1935-05-00: Up in the Air
Up in the Air
IC Date April, 1934
OOC Date 12/27/09, finished 12/30/09
Location Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch
Cast Wendy and Geraldine
Description Wendy and Geraldine play catch with a Quaffle. Conversation ensues.

It's a warm spring day, the sort of sunny, breezy day you can't help but rejoice in when you've spent months mostly cooped up inside a castle. Classes are done for the day, so Wendy's been out and taking advantage of it; she's sitting on a fencepost by the Quidditch pitch, munching reflectively on an apple. Judging from her tousled hair and the gear she's wearing, she's been having a bit of solitary practice.

Geraldine comes tramping up the path to the Quidditch pitch, her broomstick held firmly in her right hand. Spotting Wendy, she smiles widely, and makes an immediate beeline for the fencepost. "I heard you were down here," she says. "I was going to come look for you earlier, but I had to look up a few things in a book, and I sort of got distracted. You know how it is. Want some company?"

Wendy hastily swallows her current bite of apple, then beams. "Gerry! 'Course, 'course, c'mere and take a seat." She pats the spot besides her on the fencepost. "Figured you'd be up to your eyebrows in potioning and not interested in zipping about on brooms today, or I'd've invited you in the first place - sorry." Absently, she tries to comb her hair into some sort of order (and makes it only worse).

"It's okay," Geraldine assures her. "I would've been, but it's just so sunny out today that I felt bad," she explains. After leaning her prized broomstick against the fence with care, she pulls herself up onto it next to Wendy. Once settled into place, she raises her eyes to the broad, blue sky, and grins.

Wendy mimes shock. "Geraldine Claridge, distracted from /potions/ by /weather/? Are you sure you're feeling well? Should I go and fetch the nurse?" Chuckling, she takes another loud bite out of her apple. "It really is lovely today. OH." Wendy gives the incongruously girly squeak she only makes when extremely excited. "I didn't tell you! Well, because it only happened two hours ago, and a'course I didn't know where you were, and -" With effort, she hauls her mental train back to the tracks. "You'll /never/ guess what happened. Go on, try."

Geraldine shrugs, perhaps a little bit embarrassed by Wendy's teasing, but she smiles anyway. Asked to guess, she furrows her eyebrows slightly. "Um," she stalls, "did you… I dunno, meet a dragon? C'mon, don't make me guess," she implores her friend. "I hate guessing games. Just tell me!"

"That," Wendy declares, "is why you need to practice at 'em." She doesn't seem to have really noticed Geraldine's embarrassment, which is, alas, a state of affairs poor Gerry is probably quite used to. Wendy tends only to notice the feelings of others when they're brought explicitly to her attention. "Some day you're going to run smackdab into a Sphinx, and just watch. /However/," she assumes a beneficent expression, which swiftly dissolves into a grin. "I'll go easy and just tell you. I was talking with the Captain," by which she means Hufflepuff's team captain, "and /he/ said he thought I was a shoo-in for the reserve next year. Maybe even on the team itself, if I'm lucky. But reserve at least!"

Geraldine's face lights up with a brilliant grin directed right back at Wendy, her eyebrows shooting up towards her hairline. "That's amazing!" she gushes. "I mean, I knew all along you could do it. You're really quite grand with your broom. Better than me, definitely. I bet you'll get on the actual team." She sends a sidelong glance to her broom. "Speaking of flying, how do you feel about a game of catch?"

Wendy leans over slightly, intent on administering a hearty backslap. "Don't talk yourself down, Gerry! I'm only better'n you because I've spent so much time out here practicing." She hops down off the fencepost, ditching her apple core in the grass. It'll decompose. "You'll have caught me up easy next term - especially as you can practice over the summer, and I can't, really. And righto, just let me grab one of the school brooms from the shed."

Geraldine is knocked forward slightly by the backslap, but recovers quickly, and slides down from her own perch, landing gently in the grass. "We'll see," she says, unconvinced. Then, to Wendy's last comment, an enthusiastic, "Brilliant!" Following behind Wendy, she gives the discarded apple core a casual kick with one boot, sending it rolling under the fence.

Wendy makes her way for the broom closet, tugging open the door. Her voice grows half-muffled as she digs around for the best of the school brooms. "Oh, c'mon, don't be so hard on yourself, Gerry. Remember first year? It took me two classes before I could even get the damn broom to come to my hand. Oof!" She barely sidesteps a tumbling broomstick. "I really think you've got more natural talent at this than I do. I'm just a mad woman about practicing, is all." A suitable broom located, Wendy heads back towards the shed door. "Want to use a quaffle, or just a regular ball?"

Geraldine leans on her broomstick by the shed door while Wendy looks for a good broomstick. "Let's use a Quaffle," she says. "I just hate how fast regular balls fall. It's so annoying to have to fly back down and get them, don't you think?" Laughing self-consciously, she admits, "When I was really little, I used to wonder how Muggles dealt with that when they couldn't charm their balls. Douglas laughed at me so hard when I asked him. Berk."

"Quaffle it is," says Wendy, agreeably. She goes to retrieve one. "When they couldn't charm - oh, d'you mean, you thought Muggles played Quidditch too?" Quaffle clutched securely in hand, she heads for the door, grinning good-naturedly as she gestures for Geraldine to head towards the pitch. "S'pose I can see where you might've. I remember being awfully startled when I found out Wizards didn't really play rugby."

"Yes," Geraldine admits. "I'd never seen a broomstick actually used for anything but flying, see, since we just used Cleaning Charms, so when I heard that Muggles had brooms, too, I figured they /must/ play Quidditch, y'know? Silly, I know, but I guess children think stupid things all the time." At thirteen, Geraldine is certainly not a /child/. She gestures towards the sky with the handle of her broom. "Shall we fly then?"

Wendy doesn't need to be asked twice. She's up in the air almost immediately, and for a moment has exactly the same expression she has had /every single time she has been on a broomstick since first year/, which is to say 'mildly dopey with glee'. It never really gets old. "D'you know," she comments, idly fingering the Quaffle, "There's a Muggle game called broomball? It's done on ice, with the brooms sort of serving like hockey sticks." Pause. "I've told you about hockey before, I think, right? Anyway, David -" one of her brothers "- sent me a photo of it. They play it in Canada."

Geraldine zips up half a beat behind Wendy, settling into a perfectly horizontal hover, her broomstick facing towards the other girl. Her fingers are wrapped tightly around the handle, and her feet are kicking loosely in the air. "You mean they hit the whatchamacallit with a broom?" she says, her tone somewhere between amazed and bemused. "Which end?"

"Just a regular ball in broomball, I think. It's not a puck like with hockey." Wendy tends to get a slightly smug tone when talking about Muggle things - not a 'ha ha aren't they funny' smug, but a 'look what /I/ know' smug. "And they use the bristles. It sounds jolly, if you ask me. And - you ready?" She doesn't wait for a response, zipping slightly further away and then abruptly sending the Quaffle Gerry-wards.

Geraldine reacts quickly, raising her hands up to snatch the ball out of the air, grabbing it with both of them. "You could have waited for me to say 'yes'!" she calls, but with more amusement than anything else. Dropping down half a foot, she tosses the ball back up towards Wendy. "It does sound pretty fun," she agrees. "I've always kind of wanted to try Muggle games, you know. It's sort of neat how they're so complicated. I mean, wizarding games are complicated too, but they don't have the magic to help, so they've got to make it really interesting and logical."

"Where's the fun in /that/!" crows Wendy, darting to grab the ball, pitching it back in one streamlined motion. "And Muggle games are /loads/ of fun. Not that Quidditch isn't, a'course - look here, Dad and Stepmumsy would be happy to have you over if you wanted to visit this summer. We could teach you rugby and lacrosse. With two of us, it'll be easy to bully Ifan and David into letting girls play."

Geraldine reaches up to catch the ball with her right hand, and sends it back towards Wendy. It veers slightly too high and towards the left as she is distracted by Wendy's invitation. "That would be excellent!" she says with excitement. "I'd love to learn. And you could show me the Muggle world! I'll write to Father and Mother as soon as I get the chance."

Wendy misjudges the ball's angle, and is forced to give chase, face flushing with mixed annoyance and embarrassment. She rebounds with a magnificent return throw. "I'll write my people too, but I'm sure they'll let you. Well. Dad might still be in Cardiff, but Stepmumsy will be thrilled, anyway." Because she is a fundamentally honest girl, she feels obliged to add, "They'll probably pepper you with questions, y'know."

Geraldine just barely catches the ball, and would have if they'd been playing with regular balls. Fortunately, Quaffles have Gripping Charms, and she manages to catch hold before it flies too far past her. "Sorry!" she calls, probably equally embarrassed. "I'm sure it'll be great fun. And I don't mind the questions, I'd be happy to tell them about the wizarding world." By 'tell them about the wizarding world', she of course means 'regale them with minute points about Potions lore that almost nobody cares about'.

Wendy's expression says, clearly, that she knows /exactly/ what Geraldine means. "Just please don't go talking about newt's toes or slug pus. You'll give my brothers /ideas/, and Stepmumsy won't talk to me for a week after. But I'd be happy to show you the sights of Llanelli, such as they are." While she waits for Gerry to throw, she adds, "I could try to get us a trip out to Stepmumsy's parents' farm, too, if you like. It's mostly cows."

Geraldine casts the Quaffle back towards Wendy, more carefully this time. "Slug pus can have incredibly fascinating effects," she says in protest, but she grins good-naturedly. "I'll try and keep it under wraps, though, I promise. I've seen cows before," she says brightly. "I think they're rather cute, actually. I would like that."

"I'd rather my brothers not get any bright ideas about slipping slugs into the cooking. Because, again, Stepmumsy won't speak to me for a /week/. And I'll see what I can do, cow-wise." Wendy catches the Quaffle easily, experimentally passing it to her right hand (she's a leftie) to throw. Which makes it her turn to make a wobbly pitch, accompanied by a quick, "Oi! Watch out, it's a little to the right - sorry!"

Geraldine doesn't quite make it this time, and the ball slips past her fingertips. As it falls through the air, she swoops down under it, and grabs it with both hands. "Got it!" she says, ever-so-slightly breathless. "And I don't think slug pus has a very desirable effect on cooking," she adds, as she tilts her broom upwards and rises back up. "It's gross-tasting enough when you have to drink it in potions. I mean, unless you add ingredients to neutralize the flavor." She sneers her disapproval at this clearly amateurish approach to potion-making.

Wendy turns red again, embarrassed at her own sloppiness. "Sorry!" She waits for her friend to catch her breath, putting up with Potions talk with more interest than usual - a conciliatory gesture for her lousy pitch, perhaps? "I think the gross taste is what most people are /after/. Surprises me that the stuff has valid uses outside pranking."

"It's my fault, I should've caught it," Geraldine says, shaking her head, before lobbing the ball back in Wendy's direction. "Most things are useful in one potion or another," she says. "If we think it isn't, we probably just haven't found a use for it yet. That's what Father says, anyway. But of course, stuff from non-magical creatures and plants isn't nearly as powerful."

"Not /everything/ can be useful in potions," protests Wendy. After her poor showing, she's paying more attention to the game, and catches tidily. "I mean, the world doesn't work like that, I'm sure. You bloody well can't always use all parts of the, whatszit." While she wracks her brain for animal names, she sends the ball Geraldine's way. "BUFFALO!" It's a good thing she's already thrown, because her excited little bounce would have made any throw go absolutely pear-shaped. "All parts of the buffalo." She's so /proud/ of herself for remembering that.

Geraldine catches the ball easily this time, and sends it back immediately. "Well, we can't prove that everything is useful yet," she allows. "And some things are probably not /that/ useful or only able to be used in really obscure ways. But I don't see why you couldn't 'use all parts of the buffalo'. What's a buffalo, by the way?"

"It's a bit like a cow, I believe." Wendy's tone is one her friend no doubt recognizes from (probably grim) experience: it's the one she only uses when she doesn't quite know what she's talking about, and wishes to avoid admitting her own ignorance without having to actually lie. "They have them out in America, with the cowboys and Indians. The latter being the lads who use all parts of 'em." The ball is a nice distraction, and she edges her broom further away, to try throwing from a different angle. "And what I /mean/ is, how can everything be useful for potions? Some things must be potionproof. Types of rock, say."

"I see," Geraldine says, raising her eyebrows. "Anyway, I meant plants and animals. But some rocks /can/ be used for Potions. Just look at how powdered moonstone is so often used in Love Potions. Some people have a theory that everything in the world has latent magic in it waiting to be utilized. If that's true, then it follows that anything has magical properties that can be useful in potion-making."

Wendy considers this. Finally, judiciously, she says, "I cannot believe /for a second/ that there's a bit of magic in my father. Not even a particle." Angle sufficiently interesting, she lobs the Quaffle to Geraldine. "You've seen him on the platform in London before. If he were any more respectably non-magical, /he/ would be rocks." There's no heat in her tone; she's just stating facts.

Geraldine doesn't reply right away, focusing on catching the ball neatly in one hand, and launching it back in Wendy's direction. "He had you, didn't he?" she says. "I mean, there must have been something there, right? Anyway, it's only a theory. I wasn't saying I believed it. It's just interesting, that's all."

"I have a feeling that was all my mother's work. Or a fluke." Wendy watches the incoming Quaffle with narrowed eyes, and manages an only slightly fumble-fingered grab with her off hand. She beams at the ball with delight, switches it to her left, and shoots it back. "And yes, I know it's not your very own theory. It just annoys me, I'm not even sure why. Let's drop it." Suiting deed to word, she asks, "Are you planning to try out for the team next year? I bet you'd make reserve at least."

Geraldine catches the ball lightly in her hands. Dropping the subject easily, with no more than a small shrug, she replies, "Oh, I don't know. I need to do well on my schoolwork, and I don't want to be too distracted." She puffs out a sigh, and adds, "Besides, I'd probably just embarrass myself."

Wendy rolls her eyes dramatically enough that Geraldine might be able to see it, even with the distance between them. "I wish you'd stop downplaying yourself so much." She sounds a little peeved. "Gerry, you're /good/ at this. You'd be brilliant if you were on the team, I'm sure of it. As for your schoolwork, you're plenty clever, y'know - if anything I'd bet having a bit of regular sporting would help you out. Strong body, strong mind and all that." She pushes a wayward curl from her eyes, watching the Quaffle in Geraldine's hand intently. "You should at least try. If you decide it's too much for you, it's not as if doing well in the trials makes you obliged to play next year."

"Maybe you're right," Geraldine tells Wendy, but her tone of voice is unconvinced. "I'll see how I feel next year, when it gets closer to try-outs time." She punts the ball roughly in Wendy's direction as she talks. "Have you decided what position you want to try out for yet? I'd probably go for Seeker or Chaser, myself. I can't really see myself as a Beater, and Keeper seems like it would make one too anxious. I guess all the positions are pretty much like that, really."

"I'll try not to badger you over it," Wendy sounds reluctant as she says this, "but consider it, alright?" She hasn't positioned herself in a good place to catch Geraldine's throw, and has to dart forward to snag it at a workable angle. "Chaser, probably. I wish I was a bit bigger," she adds, a little petulant, as she shoots the Quaffle back to Geraldine. "I'm not nearly large enough to be a Beater, but it seems like it'd be loads of fun."

"I don't think you have to be big to be a Beater," Geraldine disagrees, catching the Quaffle in one hand. "Just strong. And you're plenty strong, I think. Stronger than me by a lot, anyway." She tosses the ball back towards Wendy, and adds, "I guess it depends on who you're up against, really."

"But have you seen some of the gorillas the other Houses have for Beaters?" Wendy catches the ball neatly, and pitches a return throw with a bit of spin to it. "It's worth trying, and I /will/, but I have a feeling Chaser's a more likely prospect. You should try for Seeker - you'd be good at that."

Geraldine leans in to the ball, grabbing it out of the air with both hands, and sending it back. "I would like to be a Seeker," she admits. "I like flying more than any of the rest of it, if I had to choose. I just don't know if I'd be good enough. There's plenty of other people who want to be Seeker, and some of them are probably much better than me." She smiles uncomfortable, and visibly casts about for a change of subject. "So what'd you think about that Transfigurations lesson today? I still can't get the Inanimate to Animate Transfiguration down very well. I hope I don't do too awful on the end of term practical."

Wendy shoots Gerry a sharp look - she saw what you did there - but, mercifully, lets the subject drop. She tries catching the Quaffle with her right hand again, and succeeds, woobily. "Still having trouble with that?" Tossing the ball to her left, she shoots it back. "Hm. It's not -" She was probably planning on ending that sentence with 'that hard', but thinks better of it. "It's not any trouble if you want to practice after dinner. You can borrow my notes, too, if you like."

"That'd be great," Geraldine enthuses, and only a little bit of her gratitude is for the subject-dropping instead of the tutoring and notes. She catches the ball, and starts flying farther out. "Let's make it a little more interesting." When she's at an acceptable distance, she throws the ball swiftly and with purpose towards Wendy.

Wendy watches Gerry move with narrow-eyed concentration. "Common room, 8 o'clock," she comments, absently, while she waits for the ball to head her way. When it does, she darts forward, nabbing it from midair with a satisfying THWAP sound. Enthusiastically, Wendy calls, "Nice throw! Here, how're you at catching from above? Quaffles can be a bugger when they're coming up at you." She darts down several feet, but waits for Geraldine's response before actually making the pitch.

Geraldine grins happily to herself, and calls down to Wendy, "I don't know, but I'll give it a try. Throw it here!"
"All right." Wendy eases her broom into a good angle: the throw'll be from below, but nothing horribly difficult. Glancing up at Geraldine, she calls, "Try and meet it in midair, don't wait for it to come to you!" Advice given, she makes the throw, muscular arm providing a nice turn of speed.

Geraldine dives forward to meet it, narrowed eyes focused on the bright red ball, and her hands reaching towards it. Just as it seems she must make it, it bounces off the tips of her fingers, rocketing in the wrong direction. "Pants!" she gasps, frustrated, and turns her broom down, chasing after the ball, her body bent almost flat against the handle. She manages to grab it a couple of yards down, and clutches it to her chest as she rides steeply upwards. "And that's even with the Gripping Charm," she says gloomily. "I'd never have caught it if it was a Snitch."

While Gerry chases after the errant Quaffle, Wendy takes the opportunity to sigh. /That/ wasn't what she wanted to happen. By the time her friend is turned around, she's smiling almost serenely… but with a hint of steel underneath it. That's rarely a good sign. "But you /almost/ had it. Pass it here and we'll do it again."

Geraldine throws it gently overhand to Wendy, and flies her broom to place her in a similar position as last time, hovering perfectly still in the air, her eyes sharply focused on Wendy.

Wendy, deep in thought, glances down at the Quaffle, and then up at Geraldine, and then down again at the Quaffle. Her shoulders set, she fixes her eyes on the other girl, and she makes the throw: it's at the same speed and angle as before. No training wheels for Gerry, apparently.

Geraldine is holding her breath this time, her mouth set in a grim line, as she swoops in towards the ball. It comes up quick, and is suddenly in front of her, and then immediately safe in her hands. She lets out the air in her lungs with a heave, panting slightly, but she then gives a little jubilant laugh and beams down at Wendy proudly.

"ATTAGIRL!" Wendy pumps the air with her fist, grinning hugely. A quick dart of her broom, and she's hovering next to Gerry, reaching over to slap her (gently, they are sort of in mid-air at the moment) on the back. "See? Just get a little practice with the timing, and you'll be able to do it as easy as a swallow grabbing a fly. You're gonna be /good/ at this, just you watch." She beams. "You want to try it again, or turn in?"

"Thanks, Wendy," Geraldine says with a warm smile. "I think I am about done for tonight, though. It'll be dinner soon. Meet you on the ground?"

"Righto." Wendy tosses off a small salute, and then, with a cheerful grin, shoots downward. "Last one on the ground has to put the Quaffle away!"

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