(1941-11-25) Quiddities of Quidditch
Details for Quiddities of Quidditch
Summary: Phoenicia has her first practice flight with her team and Finley introduces her to the bludgers. Virgil and Ralphael observe with high intensity.
Date: November 25, 1941
Location: Training Grounds (Q, 4)

The skies over the training green are abuzz in scarlet and gold, as Gryffindor players — both the starters and the reserve line — swoop through the air, alongside various and sundry aerial projectiles. A handful of students from all houses are seated on the sidelines to watch, usually friends or study partners, while Madam Hooch hovers near the mid-line on her broom, shouting instructions to the flyers.

Madam Hooch is down below on the ground, overseeing the practice. Though she's head of a rival house, no one really doubts the coach's dedication to good Quidditch, and there's no objection to her oversight here.

It's Phoenicia's first practice since she made the team officially — the redhead's been flying the broom club ardently every week since she got to Hogwarts, and it's clearly paid off. While her first year was before Finley's, it's likely that he's heard a few things about her disastrous first year of flight class, which consisted of a lot of crashing and pratfalling. A little of that is still evident here; her flight is definitely a bit awkward in places, and once or twice she narrowly avoids collision with a beater trying to keep a bludger off of her. But when she's on fire, she's on fire, with a big grin on her face.

Madam Hooch blows a whistle. "Good agility, Ms. Phillips, but you need some practice working on a team. This isn't a solo show! Mr. Higgins! Fly over there with Ms. Phillips and help her get acquainted with working with a beater, would you?"

Well he'd heard it but then he's been known to balance on his broomstick just for laughs. Finley was in the air yawning casually as he twirled his beater bat casually. He was good aggressive beater,"So when you're hitting the bludger towards someone, remember ye need ta give it a good solid thwack! A bit of violence is a good thing when you're beatin'." He says merrily, his voice lilting merrily. Yeah. He's a violent kid at times. "Trust me. It's smashing!"

Phoenicia scooted over to give Finley some room in her corner of the sky as he popped up. "Er… I'm playin' chaser, Finn. She jes' wants tae make sure I dinnae run intae Billy a few dozen more times. Though me goodness, ye got a real arm on ye, eh?"

"I'm ok. It ain't all about hitting hard. How ye hit it is as important as the force." Since Finley's not as physically strong as some of the other beaters, but he does know the right angle to hit things to cause the bludgers to go off. "Ye need ta know all about all positions even if ye spend most of the time as chaser." He says laughing merrily.

Phoenicia nods. "A'right then, I guess that makes sense…" Phee nods and reaches into her red robes, fiddling and fidgeting for a few moments before withdrawing her swishy rosewood wand. She points it down at the ground and… "Accio bat!" she calls out; the hard, wooden club comes flying off the grass and into her waiting hand, which she fumbles for a moment before righting. After another minute to stow the wand again, she returns her attention to Finley. "Well. I'll give it a good auld try, then."

"A good try is all ye can manage." Finley says casually, as he runs finger through his hair. He waits for the bludgers to get released. He did love a good bit of violence. Pretending that the bludger was the face of some of the pureblood elitists, especially certain Malfoys and Blacks.

He didn't have to wait long; after another shrill whistle, a few moderately large balls of iron floated into the air, each one heading to a different pair of students who were, apparently, being expected to handle it in their own way. The one assigned to Finley and Phee gave warning of its nearing presence by buzzing angrily at them; Phee shifted anxiously on her broom, one hand on the bat, the other holding the pole steady.

"Use the incantation 'inciperio' when ready!" Madam Hooch's voice boomed.

"Inciperio." Finley says waving his wand a little bit before placing his wand back in place. He was quite ready for it. His blue eyes watch for the bludger to come into range. He was mentally calculating how long it would take for the bludger to get to where he was so he could respond accurately.

One moment, the black iron orb was ominously plodding forward through the air — the next it erupted as a streak of black, causing Phee to squeal in surprise and shoot her broom backwards and away from the projectile. Almost immediately it hooked a sharp angle and went chasing after the redhead.

"Ye cannot be scared of the bludger. Doesn't matter if yer bein' the Beaster, Chaser, or what. Bludgers are apart of Quidditch." Finley says rolling his eyes a little bit. Yeesh. Some people just don't have an idea how to react to bludgers. They acted like they were the scariest thing in the world.

From his spot over in the stands, Virgil has as always appeared with proper attire and his note taking things. Which he uses to keep rather extensive notes on the relative strengths of the Gryffindor team, in the same way that he keeps notes of all the teams—withholding not a single ounce of criticism from his private notes, which are full of, 'mediocre' and 'lackluster' players.

"…Right. Sorry. Jus' need tae adjust tae iron balls flying at me!" Phee apologized, even as she did her best to outfly the bludger; she was fairly quick and agile on her broom, but of course, truly outrunning a bludger wasn't possible on the field; you'd run out of space or get tired before the ball did. So she pulled up in a loop-de-loop and tried to get right behind the bludger for a smack — angles, right?

…Unfortunately, it was a swing and a miss, followed by the bludger smacking her in the back for it — she let out a great whoop and nearly fell off the broom, but caught herself before she could.

Ralphael walks across the Hogwarts grounds towards the Quidditch Pitch, nose buried in a 5th year Charms book. Ralphael was absolute rubbish on a broom himself, but sometimes he'd come down here to study while the Houses practiced. He figured that way in case one of them got badly injured he could help them to Madam Spleen's Office. As he approached he noted the blurs of crimson and gold flying through the air. "Ah…Gryfindor today eh? This should be a good watch then." He winces as he gets close enough just in time to see Phee come close to falling off her broom.

"Really need ta pay attention when you're swinging. Angle was way off based on where the ball actually was." Finley called out as he saw her take a bludger full on instead of knocking it away. "Watch this." He says as he leans in close to his broom and flies it straight for the bludger, bat in hand and preparing to send the bludger away. This is done quite successfully. Afterall, bludgers aren't nearly as bad as a muggle boxer.

Phoenicia started the moment out upside down, her red robes flying down to her face so she couldn't see. Given the bright white padded pants of the Gryffindor Quidditch uniform, from a distance and for an instant she looked for all the world like a disembodied pair of legs flailing about in mid-air. But that was only a second; she quite gracefully swung herself back up and onto the broom properly. "Ye mind showin' me again, love? Eyes were a wee bit obstructed."

In the stands, Virgil keeps his attention of the field now as he watches Phee with her broom. Making additional notes about her, now that he has seen her do a bit more than he had previously. He thought she was playing better than this, but now her play is questionable, so he pauses in his note taking to try to figure out what is causing the change in apparent skill.

Ralphael walks into the stands, looking around for a good place to plant himself. He notices another Ravenclaw in the stands and makes his way over to sit next to him. "Pardon me, I do apologize if I'm disturbing you-" he gestures at the notepad on Virgil's lap, "-but may I sit here?" His blue eyes look friendly and disarming, his book tucked under his arm now but a finger left inside to keep his place.

"Are ye sure yer alright over there? Don't want ye to get too bloody scrambled ye know." Finley says cheerfully towards Phoenicia. He wasn't sure how ready for things she really was. He was waiting though with his bat. He's pretty good at this sort of thing.

Virgil gestures around at the stands around him but nods in particular to the spot nearby where Ralphael is standing, "Feel free. Just making notes for the next game," he tells the other Ravenclaw. His quill making quick little notes in a short-precise hand, his handwriting having gotten considerably neater and losing all of the flair it had when he was young.

"Tch! Scrambled! What dae I seem like, a pair o' eggs? If I dae, they best at least be sunny-side!" she said with a gay laugh, then twirled her bat around. Time for another go at that little iron ball! With a grin on her face, she went at a straight charge and a swing for the bludger — once more, her bat went wild, but when the iron ball shot at her in retaliation, she neatly avoided it, and went for a third whack in passing — only to get a third whiff instead.

Ralphael takes his seat, crossing one leg over the other. "Good idea, I sometimes come down here to study and read while practice is happening just incase someone gets severely hurt." He extends his hand to the younger man with a smile. "M'names Ralphael Lovegood…"

"I know who you are," Virgil replies, knowing the names of all of the Ravenclaw, and most of the other students in the other classes as well. Purely because the school just isn't that big. A few hundred faces isn't that hard for a person with a decent memory, at least first names. "Virgil Goshawk," he tells the other boy. "Having trouble with your charms, or just working on homework?" he asks, indicating the book in Ralphael's hands—charms. The young Goshawk is the student aide for professor Viridian.

"Well some folks ain't got much resistance to get hit by them." Finley says grinning broadly as he watches her flail about,"I think ye might not be cut out to be a beater." He says plainly watching Phee struggle to connect with a bludger,"Not fer everyone."

Ralphael shrugs, "No trouble, just reading ahead and trying to get a head start for the O.W.L.S." He sets his satchel bag down next to him, places his book open on his lap, and starts digging around in his bag for something. "Plus I like to do independent studying so that I can learn as many spells as I can."

"Well, if you need help with anything, just let me know," Virgil suggests, though he doubts he'll have much to offer Ralphael given that the other boy is older. Knack or not. "See how she's flying? She's actually pretty good on her broom, I'm not sure what has her so off today," he remarks as he makes another note and stares at Phee out over the field, one of several folks flying around, but her stream of mistakes are clearly catching his eye.

Phoenicia gave a laugh and a roll of her eyes. "Well, I tried for Keeper an' I got chaser. Beater was rock-bottom in me list. I'm jes' tryin' tae learn not tae get in yer way while yer whackin' the ball about. Shall I keep tryin' at hittin' the bloody bludger," she asked, a twinkle in her eye as she dropped the profanity, ",or d'ye want tae move on tae flyin' in tandem with me on the ball an' ye on the bludger?"

"It's the Beater's job ta make sure that ye don't need ta worry about the bludgers." Finley says shrugging a little bit,"It's kinda the one thing we do. We take care of the bludgers and make sure the rest of the team ain't bloodied too badly by them." He says with a wicked smile on his face.

Ralphael pules a package wrapped in cloth out of his bag, unwraps it, and inside are about half a dozen Pumpkin Pasties only slightly smushed from the books in his bag. He places them between him and the other boy and gestures form Virgil to the pastries. "Please, help yourself!" he says as he takes a pastry turns his attention pach to The Pitch. "Yea, I haven't seen her fly before but I spoke with her briefly yesterday and she seemed to be quite distracted then too. I'm not quite sure what's on her mind recently."

Phoenicia frowned. "Well, aye, but ye insisted I give it a go so I ken yer role a wee bit better. Jes' askin' if we're done wi' that?"

"I think we're done. Yer good on a broom but ye ain't so good with the bat." Finley says shrugging a bit,"I think ye have a basic understandin' of how hard it is ta be a beater." He says shrugging a little bit,"But yer strugglin' something fierce right now."

Phee laughed a bit — a little in relief, a little in self-consciousness — and nodded. She was about to say something else when the clock tower let out five great BONGS, overriding her soft voice. Dusk was settling in, given that it was late November after all. Phee glanced over at Finley. "…Ah. Think we're done-done. Not tha' practice is over, but I need tae start studyin' charms fer the night. I'll be over on the sidelines if ye need, Mr. Higgins." She gave a little friendly salute with her leather-gauntleted arm. "Nice flyin' wi' ye."

Ralphael shrugs and takes a bite of his pastry. He pulls out a notebook of his own and balances the two books between his legs. He pulls a quill and ink out of his bag as well and sets it on his opisite side next to his bag. He opens the ink and dips the quill in, draining the extra ink off and begins sribbling his notes in the second book. His head seaming to do a rotation: from the spellbook, to his notebook, to the quiditch field, a bite of pastry and back again.

After descending, Phee doesn't bother changing out of her sport robes; she just unbuckles the leather armoring her hands, ties the gauntlets together, and throws them over her shoulder before making her way to the stands. She takes a seat not far from Virgil and Ralphael, then off-handedly points with her wand. Wordlessly, a small book satchel comes flying over from the grassy pitch proper and into her hand.

Descending the rafters, Virgil re-seats himself next to Phee. "So," he begins, and pulls his notes from beside him, "Not your best showing, but I still think you're one of the best fliers in Gryffindor," he tells her, pointing to a rubric on his notes with her name on it. "What happened?" he asks, and she might also note that he has notes about the weather, the breakfast served in the hall this morning, and a few other seemingly random events that might figure in, as well as Arithmantic calculations attempting to suss out the 'what happened.'

Ralphael gathers up his books, one hand holding two books with his middle and ring finger keeping the places marked, grabs his bag bottle and quil and moves closer to the other students. He sits down, placing his books to the side open. He turns around and points his wand back to the cloth of Pumpkin Pasties and mutters "Wingardium Leviosa" and levitates the food over to them and sets it down positioned between the students for all to share. "Hey again Phee, good to see you're not too banged up from out there." He smiles warmly at her.

Phee paused in the middle of pulling out her copy of "Advanced Defensive Magic: Curses and Counter-Curses" and simply blinked at Virgil, taking a moment to filter what he'd just said. "Well, that's kind of ye, love. Ah, I suppose I'm jes' coping wi' flyin' in a group instead of by me lonesome for once!" Pink flushed her cheeks; well, 'one of the best fliers in Gryffindor!' She wasn't sure about all that, but it made her feel good to hear at least. She turned her attention over to Ralph even as her hands automatically dragged out quill and scroll for note-taking. "Nothin' prepares ye for a flyin' cannonball what wants to introduce itself to ye, but I managed. Sorry fer slippin' away all of a sudden yesterday, I was needed fer a thing or two."

"That doesn't account for it, I compensated for the additional variables there. Oh, the bludgers, of course, you just aren't a natural beater, that's so obvious it makes me ashamed to ahve missed it," Virgil concludes and spends a long moment looking at both his odds-making and the arithmancy involved. It apparently requires pulling from a different page entirely, and he ends up applying new factors to several other people's notes as well. "Yes, yes, that makes sense," he glances at her book, thinks about it and says, "Did the Auror recommend any particular books to you?" he inquires.

Ralphael replies, "No problem, I understand. I can be a bit scatterbrained and absentminded myself sometimes." He reaches into his bag and pulls out a jar of some thick yellow looking paste and passes it over to Phee. "Here, put some of that on where the bludger hit you. Your bruising should be gone within the hour." He takes another bite of his pumpkin pastie before finishing off the first one. "Don't let it bother you too much, I'm absolute rubbish when it comes to flying a broom let alone playing quiditch."

"She did, as a matter ah fact! Dangerous an' Dark: Defense Against Deadly Creatures, by a… I want tae say Marcus Moody? Yes," she confirmed, after a few seconds of scrolling up to an earlier part of her notes. "Bit specialized fer my interests, but should be generally useful." She smiled over at Virgil before accepting Ralphael's jar. "Och! Is all this fer me, love?"

Ralphael nods with a shrug. "Sure, go ahead. Between myself and Madam Spleen I can always either get ahold of more or make more." He crosses one leg over the other resting his elbow on his knee, then rests his head in his hand. His gaze travels up to the clouds in the sky arnd roams down to the forests tree-tops. "I'm still not 100% sure what exactly I'm going to do. Part of me want's to become a healer at St. Mungos since I'm a natural when it comes to Herbology and my spellwork. On the other hand I've thought a few times that it'd be useful for the Auror's to have someone on their team who can fight by their side as well as help keey their arse alive. I'm pretty decent with my spellwork but I know I still need to learn more…"

"Speaking of Madam Spleen, she'll probably appreciate me skipping a week in 'er care for once, so thank ye from meself and on 'er behalf." Phee laughed as she opened up her textbook. She chewed her lip in thought for a bit before returning to Virgil's question. "I plan t'search fer phoenixes an' other magical avians like the roc, which can be found about the world. But s'a bit easier tae find 'em in the deserts, plains, and mountains than out in forests."

"My uncle is the Healer in Charge of," Virgil begins toward Ralph, then pauses to think about the correct phrase, "Of Magical Bugs and Diseases, at Saint Mungos." That being said, he looks back to Phee and thinks about it, "You're one of those sorts, huh? Phoenecia, Phoenix researcher," he remarks and smiles a little. He's rather a pleasant boy, if perhaps a bit lacking in tact.

Phoenicia shrugged. "Whit can I say? It's made quite an impression on me. Lumos Luteo Maxima," she added, creating a floating orb of warm light which rose into the air over their heads. "Please excuse me, though. I need tae get through this reading t'night. Dinnae mean tae be rude," she added apologetically, nodding at both boys. "Jus' have a lot of readin' tae dae, ye ken?"

Ralphael nods "Not a problem, completely understandable. Don't let me keep you." He cleans off the tip of his quill, places the cap on his ink, and stowes his books awak. "Virgil, I'm going to head back to the common room myself to do more studying if you care to join."

"I'll walk you back, Phoenecia," Virgil tells her as she stands up, setting his book beside him, whips out his wand, he pronounces, "Pack," and his books fold up, his ink corks itself, and everything flies back into his bag without him needing to put it all away neatly. He folds away his wand again, immediately, and tries to catch up with the sixth year. "Maybe later!" he calls out to Ralphael, and then goes on to ask Phee a few questions about magizoology.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License