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Elly Eriksson
Makes Two of Us
Fri Sep 24, 2010 18:03

Morning had broken, like the first morning, or so some song said. Elly woke up bright tailed and bushy eyed, but after a trip to the shower she was feeling much more awake and less muddled about life in general. The sophomore inadvertently woke her housemates by dropping a plate in the kitchen area, wincing at the resounding smash before she reparo’d it, and then washed down her cheese omelette with a glass if apple juice. She was clumsy – anyone who’d ever met her could attest to this, including several cafe customers who’d witness her breaking flatware on many occasions – but only on the ground. This was lucky, because Elly loved playing Quidditch better than she loved any other activity on the planet, including making potions (her major held her interest, but there had been a moment or two she’d considered giving it up; the same had never been true of Quidditch). On a broom, Elly might even be called graceful, which was an odd word to apply to someone so thin and angular. Nevertheless, Elly had flying on her mind because it was the morning of the Quidditch try-outs for the Sapienti team. The redhead had been on the team last year, and she would love to play again in her sophomore year. Therefore it was with determination and excitement that she collected her world class broom and made her way to the pitch.

The weather wasn’t exactly optimum for playing, but Elly didn’t mind; she’d dressed in red jogging pants and a matching jacket over a navy blue t-shirt so was prepared for temperatures to rise or fall as the morning progressed. Her long, tightly curled orange hair had been tamed into a tight braid for the occasion. Usually Elly wore her hair loose, but she tied it back when brewing potions or playing Quidditch – both required her full concentration, and could potentially prove fatal if her hair obscured her vision for more than a split second. She also wore a huge smile, as was her standard, and waved to the people she knew especially well as they gathered around the coach.

The drill was similar to last year, particularly for the Seekers: introduce yourself, then take it in turn to catch a pseudo-Snitch. Elly could understand it was difficult to try-out Chasers any other way, and she was happy enough to have the opportunity to demonstrate her skills, whatever the designated activity. She did suffer a moment of concern when Darla announced she would again be trying out for Seeker, despite playing Chaser last year. Elly really didn’t want any sort of animosity between the two of them, but she had every intention of taking the Seeker spot for the second year running, which would mean Darla would be denied the position for two consecutive years. Of course she couldn’t predict the future, but Elly thought her own skills had improved over the year, in tandem with her increased dedication and familiarity with herself and her broom. She felt she’d done a decent job of being the team’s Seeker last year, having caught the Snitch and won the game in the only match they’d played, and she wanted to do them proud this year, too. Elly had been a Seeker her entire teenaged life; she couldn’t play any other position anywhere near as well. She was pleased she didn’t have the job of deciding who was on the team anymore, like she had at Sonora, because the competition at SUM was so fierce.

When it was Elly’s turn to introduce herself, she did it with her trademark friendly smile. “Hey, I’m Elly Eriksson,” she said, just in case anyone didn’t know who she was – with being on the team last year, serving in the cafe and generally being a friendly student, Elly already knew most people present on first name terms (including Mia’s fiancé, who she’d been talking to for ages a couple of nights ago without realising who he was). “I’m trying out for Seeker. I was Seeker on the team here last year, and at Sonora I was Seeker for six years, captain for one of them, assistant captain two.” And while she’d never say it aloud, Elly knew she’d been a better captain than Darla, who hadn’t even learned her team’s names by midterm, and had instilled hatred in one of the Chasers. Not good for team spirit, from either of them. For her part, Elly had gotten on well with everyone, but that was normal for her.

Then before she knew it, the introductions were all done and it was time for the actual trying-out part to begin. Darla wanted to go first at the Seeking, and Elly had no objections. She did a couple of extra stretches, touching her toes a couple of times, before trying out her new party trick: standing on her broom. It was easy enough while it was stationary to keep her balance, but once the broom started moving things were complicated a great deal. Elly had read about it in one of the many Quidditch magazines she subscribed to, and had of course tried it out immediately over the summer. It never hurt for a Seeker to have a few tricks up their sleeve; Elly had been in the hospital wing at her last school more times than she cared to count because she was always pushing herself on her broomstick. It all paid off in the end, and magic was such a wonderful Healer she’d come out thus far entirely unscathed.

After a short while, Darla returned breathless. Elly cheered her loudly as the older girl landed, and handed the Snitch back to Coach Bradford. She couldn’t wish her good luck, because she didn’t really mean it – while Elly had no qualms whatsoever about having Darla back on the team, she wasn’t going to wish her luck in being Seeker – but that was no reason to be unsportsmanlike. One of them for sure wasn’t going to get the job they were after, so they might as well enjoy themselves, otherwise this would be a waste of time. Elly hated wasting time. That was why, as soon as the required minute was up, she kicked off hard from the ground and flew up, up into the sky, the wind rushing deliciously past her ears and making the fabric on her clothes ripple. This - this feeling - this was real magic. Never mind your transmography or tasseomancy or whatever floated your particular brand of canoe, there was nothing in the world like flying, and Elly would swear by that. She loved the rush, loved the feeling of weightlessness, loved the feeling of having left her stomach on the ground, along with her troubles. Of course, that illusion was short-lived, because being in the sky usually presented troubles in a different form: Bludgers, other players, goalposts, and similar obstacles. Luckily nobody would be aiming a Bludger at her during the trial, for which Elly was grateful, but the other distractions remained. Not to worry: this was what she did best. Her two identifiable talents were smiling, and Seeking. Well, she liked to think she was pretty decent at playing pranks, too, but she was beginning to outgrow that particular pastime. She’d given it up for things like college assignments, a part-time job, and being taken seriously. Plus it left her more time to concentrate on Quidditch.

Glancing from left to right, staying steady on her broom as she began to circle the pitch, Elly sought the Snitch wannabe with zeal. Here, little Snitch, her head started talking to itself. Come to Elly. She doubted it could hear her (unless Zack’s theories about aliens were true), but Elly rarely had control of the random thoughts that flitted through her mind. Luckily they weren’t invasive enough to draw her attention away from the task at hand. Within just a minute or two she saw the blighter, glinting obnoxiously the other side of the Chasers from where Elly was flying. She wasn’t daft enough to go right through them, so after a miniscule moment of weighing up the advantages of going over and under, Elly decided to go under the players, dropping her broom sharply, and lowering her torso to become more streamlined as she crossed the distance between her and the sort-of-Snitch. Rising up again now she was clear of the Chasers, Elly took her right hand from the broom handle and reached upwards and outwards towards the golden ball. She would have caught it there and then if it didn’t decide to flutter at that moment, back towards the way Elly had just come. “Oh no you don’t,” she said, leaning back and keeping her arm outstretched even as her left hand hauled on her broom handle, bringing its nose up perpendicular to the ground, and then over some more. With her right arm over her head, Elly reached down towards the Snitch from her not-quite-upside-down position, closed her fist around it, and then finished her loop with an excited whoop before she flew back down to the ground. See, she knew those stunts had to come in hand some time or another.

Grinning as she landed and held the Snitch out for the coach to see before letting it fly off for the next contestant, Elly felt exhilarated. Her ringlets had started to stray loose from their braid and she looked a little like she’d recently been electrocuted, but she felt phenomenal. It was a shame she had a long shift at the cafe in a couple of hours, because right now Elly felt she could happily spend all day in the air.

  • Going for Seeker...againDarla Applerose, Tue Sep 21 23:07
    Darla walked onto the pitch, excited to be trying out for the Seeker position again . It was her third year already, and she was praying to God that she'd make it this year. The wind blew her soft... more
    • Makes Two of Us — Elly Eriksson, Fri Sep 24 18:03
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