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 Tryouts (one-shot)

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Mercy Williams
Gryffindor Third Year
Gryffindor Third Year
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Posts : 134
Birthday : 2011-02-27
Join date : 2017-08-01

PostSubject: Tryouts (one-shot)   Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:59 pm

Mercy gripped her broom tightly as she stood in the middle of the quidditch pitch amongst several other potential candidates trying out for the Gryffindor team. She surveyed her competition, her foot tapping nervously as she observed that most of them were a good deal larger than her, and some of their brooms looked a lot more expensive. Not that she needed or wanted a more expensive broom--she loved her broomstick fiercely. Even if it was an older model, it was hers, and that was all that mattered. But she wagered it probably gave one an advantage to have a nicer broom.

Still, she was feeling confident in her abilities. She'd always been good at sports, and there were only...one, two, three, four, five, six, seven other people, and only three of them had their own brooms--the other four were using the school ones, which were an even older model than hers. She liked her odds. There were several open spots on the team, as three of the previous year's team members had graduated, so she really only needed to beat five people to secure a position.

To be honest, she didn't really care which position she played. She always tended to switch around in every sport, relying more on general athleticism than on any particular skill. She did prefer more offensive roles when she could get them. Currently, the Gryffindor team was missing a beater and two chasers. Of the two roles, she figured being a chaser would require a less specialized skill set.

The team captain cleared her throat. "Alright, listen up! These tryouts are for two different positions. If you're trying out for beater, stand over there," she gestured toward her right, "and if you're trying out for chaser, stand over there," she gestured to her left.

There was some muffled shuffling as the group split in two, with three going to the beater side, and the other five, including Mercy, moving to the chaser side. The captain turned toward the potential chasers, scanning the group.

"We'll start with you guys, since there's more of you."

She nodded at a tall third-year boy, taking his name, and instructing him to mount his broom and fly above the center of the pitch. The Gryffindor keeper took his position by the goal posts, and the captain picked up a quaffle from the ground.

"Ready?" she called up to the boy. He shouted his assent, and she chucked the quaffle high into the air. He swooped down to catch it, fumbling slightly, but correcting himself. Then he made a dash for the goals, pulling up at the last moment and flinging the quaffle side-arm at the left goal post. The keeper dove through the air, swatting the quaffle aside with one hand. Mercy's eyes followed everything closely, taking note of how it was done. The boy got two more tries. He made the second one, but missed the third.

Next up was a girl in Mercy's year named Janine, whom she knew from their classes. She was tall and willowy, and her broomstick was sleek--the newest Nimbus model. Mercy felt a flash of jealousy before she caught herself. That was unprofessional. She was grateful for what she had. Plus, she liked the other girl--Janine was nice and helped her with her charms homework sometimes.

Janine went through the same process as the first boy. She made two out of three goals. Mercy felt a slight pang of worry, but quickly dashed it. She had this.

And then the captain was calling her over, and she found herself dictating her name to the older witch before swinging her leg over her broomstick and pushing off the ground. She heard someone shout her name, and she turned to look at the stands, where Mimosa sat, cheering her on as loudly as she could. Mercy grinned, a burst of confidence surging through her. She would not make a fool of herself in front of Mimosa.

Her heart pounded in her chest, and her head cleared of all thought. The world around her seemed to sharpen, her senses picking up everything with perfect clarity as she rose into the air. A slight breeze ruffled her hair, and she breathed in deeply, reveling in the exhilaration that always came with flying. She looked down at the captain and gave a thumbs-up.

The quaffle arced threw the air, peaking about four feet below where she hovered. She turned her broom into a steep dive, and swung underneath the ball, catching it smoothly against her chest and carrying on with her forward momentum toward the goal posts. She acted on instinct, taking in the position of the keeper in front of the center post. He was angled slightly toward the left, which meant it would take slightly more time for him to turn right.

Mercy tilted her broom upward, steering toward the left goal and bringing her arm up with the quaffle in her hand. In her peripheral vision, she saw the keeper started to swerve toward the left goal post, just as she'd intended. Without warning, she flung the ball with all her might past the other side of his head, letting the quaffle roll off her fingers in a straight shot toward the right goal. It smacked against the ring, but bounced through, and she let out sigh of relief, a triumphant grin spreading across her face as the keeper pulled up and turned much too late.

She swung around and returned to her original position in the middle of the field to await her second shot.

This time the keeper was ready. She knew better than to try the same trick twice in a row, so she didn't feint again. Instead, she dipped low as she approached the goal, swinging in from the right and pulling up at the same time as she released the quaffle underhanded toward the left goal, almost mimicking a layup in muggle basketball. It was a solid shot, but the keeper swept down and caught it against his chest. One out of two. Mercy twisted her lip, knowing her chances of making the team likely hinged on making this last goal.

She returned to the center of the pitch, gazing down at the stands where Mimosa was jumping up and down. Even from way up in the air, Mercy could make out the other girl's cheers, and it gave her the boost she needed.

She signaled to the captain, and the quaffle flew into the air. Mercy swooped down to snatch it like the last two times, but this time it hit her hand and bounced off, falling through the air below her. Without thinking, Mercy turned her broom downwards in a nosedive, sweeping under the falling quaffle and catching it on the second go, turning sharply back upward and toward the goal posts without missing a beat. Her heart thumped wildly in her ears, but she didn't have time to dwell on her error. She sped through the air, wondering what on Earth she was planning to do this time.

She thought back to her first trick, which had worked perfectly. She couldn't repeat it of course, but she could do a slight variation.

When her dad had taught her how to wrestle, he had one rule that he made sure to beat into her head time and time again. Mercy, he said, when you're fighting hand to hand, your body is all you have. Make sure you can use all of it. That means you don't just train your dominant hand and your dominant foot--you make sure you can take a man down with only your left hand if you have to. If I pin your right hand, that shouldn't slow you down one bit.

Mercy swung in a wide arc and came in from the right, the quaffle held tightly in her right hand. She brought it up over her shoulder and aimed it toward the left goal. There was no way she could feint from this angle with her right hand. The keeper dove left. Mercy tossed the quaffle.

And caught it in her left hand. In one smooth motion, she switch hands on the broom, and flung the quaffle across her body, straight through the center goal.

Her eyes gleamed victoriously as she let out a short, gleeful laugh, curving her broom back around. She descended slowly and touched down in the center of the pitch, rejoining the other prospective quidditch players. Mimosa's triumphant shouts met her ears, and she couldn't quite wipe the smile off her face as she dismounted and stood back to watch the last two chasers.

The rest of the tryout passed in a blur, the final two chasers scoring one and zero respectively. The beaters had their own task to complete, but the chasers were dismissed for the time being. The results would be posted in the morning.

Mercy joined Mimosa, and they walked together back to the castle, chattering excitedly.

~~~

The next morning, Mercy shot from her bed and charged down the stairs to the common room. There on the wall was this year's team roster.

Chasers:
Molly Prewitt
Janine Fitzpatrick
Mercy Williams


The Fat Lady barely had time to protest as Mercy slammed through the portrait doorway and charged down to the dungeons to find Mimosa.

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Mercy Williams || 13 || Gryffindor || Werewolf
Credits to Ruby for the awesome sig!
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PostSubject: Re: Tryouts (one-shot)   Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:43 am



Welcome to the Gryffindor Quidditch Team!
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