The Defiant — Chapter 6 — The Ravenclaw Team

The Defiant — Chapter 6 — The Ravenclaw Team

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Andrew Samuels is my fictional self in Hogwarts school. I wrote fanfiction in notebooks when I was supposed to be studying every night for school and occasionally during my undergraduate days. This fanfiction is set in the pre Howarts era when James Potter and Sirius were at school. This is Chapter 6 of the series.

Andrew Samuels is my fictional self in Hogwarts school. I wrote fanfiction in notebooks when I was supposed to be studying every night for school and occasionally during my undergraduate days. This fanfiction is set in the pre Howarts era when James Potter and Sirius were at school. Andrew Samuels is a muggle who lost his parents and also his adopted wizard family and lives in an muggle orphanage during summer. This fanfiction is incomplete because the first four chapters was written in a notebook. This was written about 10-15 years ago when I rarely used the internet and computers didn't dominate every aspect of my work. Also, the fanfiction wasn't completed. Only a tiny part of the originally planned fiction was written. I had couple of other fanfictions before this, but they were much too inferior to this, had way too many characters, hence I didn't save the notebooks in which I wrote them.

The story now centers around Quidditch matches that takes place when Andrew Samuels was a beater in the Ravenclaw Quidditch team during his third year. The story will appear broken because of missing chapters, but I hope that you will find the three Quiddich matches enjoyable.

See previous chapter — Quidditch and the Bighead

Chapter 6 — The Ravenclaw Team

October 24, 1974. Saturday

Then came the big day-Quidditch selection trials. I woke up quite early that day and stretched my body like an athlete, cleaned myself up and ate my breakfast. Kingsley met me at the breakfast table.

'Best of luck Andrew. Stay cool. I'm sure that you will get through.'

'Thanks'

But I was quite uneasy. What if I don't get selected? All the effort that Kingsley put in me will be wasted. After having my breakfast, I went back to my room to pickup my broom.

Soon I was in the grounds. The hopefuls slowly assembled. It was a sunny day and quite cool. The trees were colorful in this early stage of fall. There were some second years, fair amount of third and fourth years. In all some 50 contesting for a beater and a chaser position. Captain Davies soon came over and delivered a formal speech. He was a burly seventh year.

'Hello my friends, I welcome you for the Ravenclaw Quidditch selection Trials. You will all have two common rounds. Flying round and then diving round. Then separate rounds for beaters and chasers. These are the qualities I expect- relentlessness, dedication and teamwork.'

The first round was to test the basics of flying. All the 50 of us had to fly around the ground. Why hadn't Kingsley told me about the two rounds?

'When I blow the whistle, you will fly around the ground until I blow the whistle again. Me and two of my team mates will inspect you. Those who fly badly will be sent out. Now on my whistle.'

As he blew the whistle, I kicked off the ground. All the nervousness I had disappeared. I was a fairly good flier. Prince had taught me flying in my first year. According to him flying is the very useful and will help a wizard in many ways, of which this is one I am experiencing. I flew perfectly. One by one those who were shaky or not so smooth were eliminated. Davies and two of the team inspected. After five rounds nearly half of the contenders were eliminated. Davies soon blew the whistle. I have cleared the first round. Feeling relieved, I looked over the ground for Kingsley. He was talking with the keeper. He caught my eye and gave me a thumbs up and flew over to me.

'I didn't say about the two rounds because Davies hardly tells what they are beforehand. Anyway you are a lot better than others. I'm sure you will get through.'

'No problem. I am fairly good at diving.'

Of course it was true. In my flying classes first year, I had some obsession with diving.

The setup for the second round was made like this. Two team members held a long pole between them. One by one, everyone had travel upto the pole, cross it and just after crossing, had to dive as low as possible. Three other members of the team including Kingsley were holding a net below for those who lose their balance. Davies also had called Professor Flitwick to monitor incase something goes out of hand.

This was a killer round. Out of the 10 who went before me, only 3 survived. Some failed to make an impression, while some lost their balance while diving. Soon it was my turn. I was nervous as there was only one turn, but when I flew, I didn't feel much. I flew slowly and steadily having my eyes on the pole and just after crossing the pole, made a near vertically downward dive and pulled out of it after some distance. Davies and his team was impressed. I looked at Kingsley and he gave me a thumbs up. In the end, only 6 out of 24 including me survived this round. Davies called out.

'Ok now for the beaters.'

I was surprised to find all the 6 of the contenders coming for beaters. I had fixed beaters as my only aim. Were the others trying for both? It was my turn first.

Davies himself came to test me. First he threw some normal balls to dodge. Having strong reflexes, I dodged them. Davies got harder. He threw the balls trying to trick me in one direction and changing the direction of his throw in the last minute. I dodged them too, but was nearly hit by one which he deceived me by changing the direction of his throw, but I avoided it by flying fast . Then Davies called out Kingsley to release the bludgers. From below Kingsley released the bludgers. It tried to hit him, but he hit the bludger in my direction. I knew Kingsley wasn't going to be a partisan. He hit it really hard. The bludger came from below and I hit it towards Davies. He dodged it easily and looked quite impressed. Kingsley sent the second bludger and I parried it too. Davies himself acted a another beater and hit some bludgers towards me. I dodged some and parried the others. Except for two blows in the stomach. Overall, Davies was quite approving of my performance.

'Very nice. Now next one.'

I flew down to one of the raised stands were Michael and Patel were sitting.

'You really did well man.'

'Awesome'

'Thanks'

I was confident of getting selected. Others did not fair so well. One of them was knocked out by the normal balls itself and others got some treatment from bludgers. Perhaps the high standards set by me was the reason for Davies testing them so much. In the end, Davies announced me as the new Beater and a fourth year by the name Thomas the new chaser backup. I was happy with my performance. Slowly I realized that I began to think like a sort of player. Next, I was eager to get some practice and play well. I went and thanked Kingsley for the wonderful practice and motivation without which I would have never even thought of trying for selection.

'Thank You so much. Without your help I would have even thought of trying.'

'Well that's nothing. Next I expect you to play well because we need to win this year.'

That was quite professional. The others members of the Quidditch team came to meet me. Two big seventh years came over. One boy and a girl. Both of them were strongly built and agile. The girl had a striking blonde hair and other had red hair.Kingsley introduced them to me.

'Andrew. This is Barbara.'

The Blonde girl shook my hands.

'Well done man. You were awesome. I particularly liked the shot that nearly got me.'

'This is Samson - the muscle man of our team'

'Oi. thats too much Kingsley. Anyway mate, you were amazing. Practice hard and you will be a fine beater. Davies badly wants to win this season.'

Samson was quite like his name. When he shook my hands, I felt like letting my hands into a pressing machine. In the far sight, he looks quite ordinary, but he has a strong body.

The keeper of the Ravenclaw team was a fifth year by the name Marshall Speed. He was quite skinny, but as fast as his name according to Kingsley. He didn't seemed like a calm and quiet person. The seeker was a fourth year by the name Peter. He was a lean but had the correct build for a seeker. I remembered the last year. He wasn't at the best of his form. He never caught the snitch once. This directly affected Ravenclaw's fortunes. Ravenclaw lost to Griffindor by 200 points and in the next match by 80 points to Slytherin. In the last match against Hufflepuff, Peter was injured and did not play. Ravenclaw played with captain Davies as seeker and another substitute player as chaser. Davies failed to catch the snitch, but the chasers made a wonderful face saving performance and Ravenclaw won by 30 points. Ravenclaw tied the third spot in the table with Hufflepuff.

Captain Davies is a burly seventh year. He had a very commanding aura. He is very charistamatic person. He had been the captain of Ravenclaw from his fifth year. I remember Ravenclaw finishing second in his fifth year. He definitely shows himself to be an able and experienced person.

Well, selection is just the first step in any team. After selection comes practice and matches. Captain Davies announced the first practice on Monday. I was eagerly looking forward to that practice. Kingsley wasn't too eager.

'Well first practice will be quite boring though. You can get an lengthy pep talk from Davies. Wait till you come there….. but make no mistake though. This is his final year and he badly needs to win the cup this year.'

October 26,1974. First Quidditch practice.

After attending an interesting class from Professor Dumbledore who came in for an unwell Professor Mcgonagall and an charming charms class from Professor Flitwick, I went along with Kingsley for practice. I was four in the evening and a clear refreshing sky. We were the first to come followed by Barbara, Samson, Davies, Peter and Marshall Speed. As Kingsley told, Davies started off with a long speech.

'Listen I know I have said you this before, but I want to renew it in your minds and for the new comers. Ravenclaw is the best team. I know it, we know it.'

Barbara and Samson who were obviously bored, did not show it out.

'…. We have a experienced chasers in me, Barbara and Samson.'

'Stop Davies, you have told it hundred times over.'

'We have a fine keeper in Marshall, a fine seeker and two wonderful seekers. I don't why we could not win the cup. Let us forget about what happened last year. It was quite unfortunate I know that. I refuse to hold anyone responsible.'

Peter looked a bit uncomfortable.

'We have to forget it and look what needs to be done. I have drawn certain plans for everyone of you. All will have a role to play. Look here - with good practice and cooperation amongst the team, I'm sure we can win this year. I have served as the captain of Ravenclaw team for two years. I have played since my second year. In my five years I wanted to see Ravenclaw team take up the cup. This is the last chance I have. I need your guys help in this. Please help me realise my dream.'

The last few sentences really touched everyone of us. Nobody expected him to become so emotional. But of course if you have served five years in the team still not won a single cup, then you got have those feelings, I told myself.

The practice was quite good. The team was already experienced and hence there was no problem. Davies had Kingsley to teach me more about being the beater. There was this usual practice of dealing with bludgers. Davies too was a beater in the beginning, but later became a chaser. He of course never forgot about being a beater though. He gave some useful advice. Dealing with bludgers is a dangerous job especially for the beaters. You have to hit a mad ball coming to get you off the broom. Others can avoid it, which is easier, but a beater has to hit it to keep it off the team. I found that I had a very good aim. I was hitting the balls quite frequently. The problem was that when a bludger is coming the left side of me requiring to deal it with a backhand shot off the bat, I struggled. Either my aim was poor, or I couldn't hit it strong enough. I got a few blows on my front, a painful one at the shoulder and another one at the head, but it was more of a graze. Kingsley wasn't perturbed by it. He too got a painful blow from one of my shots.

'Well, you will have to get used to it. This is the life of a beater - less glory, more danger.'

He seemed quite moody with the last few words. I felt the same too: beaters never score any points. So they are rarely cheered. Only chasers and a seeker in trail of the snitch gets the maximum attention. But I also had a different thought.

'May be we can get glory by beating a seeker?'

'You know, you are right. I would like to hit that Potter's head with a few bludgers.'

Captain Davies scheduled a practice once every three days. The Quidditch practice became quite energy draining. Once we were in tone, Captain Davies also began to conduct 'social sessions'. We were supposed to mix with everyone in the team and develop an understanding.

'Quidditch is a team game. We need everyone to cooperate with each other if we are to push ahead of others. No one has ever tried out this aspect of the game, so I think this will help us push ahead of others. Remember - everyone has the skills but it is only the cooperation amongst the team members that will win matches, and not skills alone.'

But this technique actually didn't seem to be working, because no one including Captain Davies did not actually know what to do. According to Sampson, Davies always tries different things. This is one such thing. Although it will begin badly it will end well.

After three practices, I finally got hold being a beater. But the backhand problem still persisted. Another problem I had is that I had the slowest broom in the team. I had a comet1970, which was much slower than the comet reloaded owned by others. Captain Davies noticed this and said that he will soon get me a new boom.

Continued in the next chapter — The Claw of the Eagle

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