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Elly Eriksson
Seeking is my calling.
Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:39

It turned out that there was going to be a Quidditch team this year, after all. When Elly and those who’d been on the team with her last year had discovered that Coach Bradford hadn’t returned to Sapienti after the summer there had been some concern that Quidditch would be cancelled for a year. Not that this would stop them – Elly had been doing her daily practises as usual and Hector had mentioned the possibility of setting up unofficially scrimmages to keep the players in shape – but organised games against other teams was too exhilarating to be properly replaced by anything else. So it was with absolute delight that Elly discovered the sign-ups. With greater delight, she’d heard rumours (this was easily done while she worked at the cafe and could overhear conversations) that the coach was a retired Quidditch player. Excellent! A real professional coaching them was just about the only thing that could compensate for Coach Bradford leaving. It wasn’t until she arrived at the try-out, however, that Elly got a glimpse of the apparently people-shy new coach. “Oh my gosh, is that Simon Green?” she asked whoever was near enough to listen. She’d been an avid Quidditch fan since she’d discovered the sport, and although the Chicago Chimeras were usually her team of choice (she had never lived in Chicago but the Chimeras really knew how to play with style, not to mention Ethan Musetti, Beater for the past nine years, wasn’t exactly hard on the eyes) she followed the other teams in Quidditch magazines and on the wizarding wireless. Simon Green had to be one of the longest-standing players in the past couple of centuries. Could it be possible that he was the coach?

Elly made sure to stretch out a little while she waited for the try-outs to begin. One could never be sure whether these things would give you adequate time to warm up. She was prepared as she could be, with her long orange curls braided tightly back from her face and out of her way. She was wearing black joggers, her usual black Quidditch pumps, and a blue fitted tee beneath her black cotton jacket. The weather was mild, but flying could often cool Elly down before the exercise warmed her back up again, therefore she would need her jacket if each Seeker hopeful was only flying once, as was usual. The junior also had her Seeker’s gloves on, and held her broomstick firmly in her right hand. She could just about count the number of Quidditch try-outs she’d been to on two hands, so she had a rough idea of what this one would entail, even if the coach varied from the norm. She’d never been turned away from one of those try-outs, either, and she didn’t intend to be turned away from this one, either. She enjoyed being on SUM’s team, and she had every intention of playing Seeker just like she’d done the past two years.

After a short while, a whistle blew, and the new coach called the Quidditch hopefuls over. The moment he introduced himself, confirming he was, in fact, Simon Green, Elly managed to hold back a squeal of excitement but she couldn’t suppress the grin that spread itself out across her face. How amazing to be trained by a professional Quidditch player again! She’d learned to fly under the instruction of Amelia Fox, previous Beater for the Florida Heliopaths (until she’d attacked the press with a Bludger), but she’d never seen Amy play at the time. This was different – she’d seen Simon play. This was incredible! Elly was excited, and she was sure some of her emotion managed to shine through as she completed her own introduction. “I’m Elly Eriksson, Seeker.” She didn’t say she was trying out for Seeker, because that sounded like she wasn’t sure she was going to get on the team, and honestly she’d never been so determined about anything in her life before. “I’m in my Junior year here. I was Seeker for the team the past two years, and before that I was Seeker for my house team at Sonora Academy for six years, captain for one and assistant captain for two of those years.” She thought her resume was impressive, but couldn’t deny that it would sound more impressive if she’d said ‘seven years’ at Sonora. Unfortunately, as a Muggleborn, she had never heard of Quidditch, had never flown a broom, and so hadn’t even tried out in her first year. Of course once she’d been introduced to the sport she’d been irrevocably hooked.

Volunteering to go first of those trying out for Seekers, Elly waited for Simon Green’s whistle before kicking off from the ground hard. It wasn’t slippery underfoot today so she was in no danger of twisting her ankle like she had a couple of weeks ago, and she made a good kick-off, rising high and fast into the air. She flew a couple of laps of the pitch, as much to warm up as to look for the Snitch. She still lived for that feeling of being free, of being weightless in the air, with the broomstick beneath her moving at her every slight whim. Still, that wasn’t why she was up here. She had a job to do, so she started scanning the skies for that Snitch. Predictably, it wasn’t as hard to find as the game Snitch – try-outs would go on forever if that were the case. Therefore she wasn’t surprised that after only a few minutes she saw it: a shimmering stretch of gold, moving fast against the wind, over to the other side of the pitch (Elly’s left) and a distance below her. Without hesitation, the redhead nudged her broom hard to the left, and cut back across the pitch, following the Snitch rather than trying to head it off, in case it changed direction (as Snitches were prone to do). She also continued to approach it from above, because descending on the ball would give her more speed than if she tried to rise from below. Plus she already had height, so it would be counter-productive to drop much lower. Elly dove gradually, silently calculating her own speed compared to that of the Snitch. Then the blighter did a shimmy to the left, and began to cut back across to the other side of the pitch, putting itself a little in the redhead’s favour. Trusting her instincts, Elly leant forward, almost lying flat on the broom, increasing her speed to a dizzying level. Coming up on the Snitch, she outstretched her right arm, gloved fingers close together so the ball wouldn’t pass between them. One second later and the ball was enclosed firmly in her fist, which rose into the air automatically to signal the catch (and victory, had this been a real game).

Dizzy from triumph, adrenaline, and her recent exertion, Elly returned to the ground with a little more speed than was perhaps necessary, but one couldn’t always be sensible. Her hair had begun to frizz out from its braid and her cheeks were pink from riding fast against the breeze. She touched ground with a bounce, and a laugh because that had been the most fun she’d had all week. She needed to be part of the team: her life wasn’t the same without Seeking. Releasing the Snitch signalled the end of Elly’s try-out, and the little golden ball fluttered off again ready for the next Seeker to try out.

Done with her short portion of the try-out, Elly sat on the grass in front of the stalls, legs stretched out before her, supporting her weight on her elbows as she lay back to watch the others still up in the sky. It was a great day for relaxing, and she didn’t have to be at the cafe for another couple of hours.

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    • Seeking is my calling. — Elly Eriksson, Wed Feb 16 10:39
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