Author's note

My best friend SilentStormSociety gave me this prompt. I'd tell you all what it is but I'm afraid that would have spoilers for the rest of this. Please enjoy my version of Hogwarts.

Being the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team was a lonely job, but Lyla Mahariel was glad to do it. For the last four years, her team had changed new faces replacing old as strangers replaced her old friends. Those she had known her whole school life had already left, and as one of the youngest starting players, she had lost her friends as they graduated.

She was in her last year now, and all of her friends had gone, but she was still happy. Quidditch was her life, and she was good at it. But as much as she enjoyed it, getting up early doors for the practice was still a slog she didn't look forward to.

She slowly lifted herself from the bed, caring to make as little noise so as to avoid waking the other girls. A small gold hand mirror lay in its usual place on her dresser beside her wand. She reached for the wand and whispered, "wingardium leviosa." The mirror began to float up in front of her face, and she began her usual morning ritual.

Her long red hair was carefully twisted and braided up behind her head, entering into a tightly braided ponytail. She loved her hair more than most things, but it was long enough to get in her way nearly all the time.

She managed to avoid cringing, unlike most mornings, as her eye traced the scars across her face, leading up to the eye patch she wore. She had had a dreadful accident one summer playing Quidditch with her family's clan. Madam Pomfrey had shouted at her when she returned back to the school, she could have saved her eye, and avoided any scarring if they had rushed her to a hospital. But the Dalish Elves looked after themselves, and the scar reminded Lyla to stay safe at all times. A mistake she would not make again.

She wafted the mirror away, watching it gently land back on its home on the dresser before standing up. It was a cold November morning, too early for any rational elf to be awake, but it was worth it for Quidditch practice. Just.

Her robes flew from her wardrobe with a silent charm, the very few she could do, but if laziness was an art form, Lyla was the best artist in the world. Her energy was reserved for classes and the pitch. Well, mainly the pitch.

She strolled through the delightfully warm yet deserted common room, appreciating the warmth before tapping on the exit and entering the horrifically cold castle. She already missed the giant fireplace in her common room and the welcoming heat. But she was Dalish, used to the cold winters of the forest and this was nothing compared to that.

The corridors were empty as she darted through them, racing to get to the Quidditch Stadium before the rest of the team arrived. They were as prompt as any students could be, usually coming only ten or fifteen minutes late.

Peeves shot around the ceiling of the entrance hall as she ran through, and to her dismay, he spotted her. "Captain Tempest!" he screeched as he swooped down to her. "You thought you could escape from the almighty Peeves? Oh, how wrong you were little elfy."

"Oh shove off, Peeves," Lyla growled. "I don't have time for this."

"No time? No time? It's so early, oh stormy one, of course, there's time," He giggled, flying in a little circle as he sung. "We've got no time, we've got no time. Someone help us we've got no time."

"Mythal'enaste," Lyla cursed under her breath. She reached for her wand and whilst the poltergeist sang away to himself she aimed towards him. "Mimble wimble."

Curses didn't work on him like they did people, wearing off after a few minutes but that was more than enough time for Lyla to make her escape. She laughed as she heard him struggling to free his tongue from the roof of his mouth.

The winter air stole the humour from her chest as she escaped out of the castle. It was colder her than she had imagined and her winter robe, whilst warm, was not enough to keep the chill from her bones. It was days like this that she wished had paid more attention in Charms class and less time getting distracted watching the cute girls, but it was no matter. If she ran, she would warm up, and it was good practice for her stamina regardless. At least that's what she told herself as she began to move towards the silhouette she knew to be the Giant Stadium.

Her breath misted in front of her as she ran, but before long she had arrived. Madame Hooch had been kind enough to give her a key for the Quidditch cupboard, though Lyla was as likely to forget as not. Today was a day she forgot.

"Alohamora," she uttered as she waved her wand in front of the large lock. It was purely for cosmetic reasons she was sure, any first-year student worth their weight would be able to break in. She grabbed her broom and waved her wand at the large chest. "locomotor chest!" and directed her wand to the centre of the pitch, secretly delighting as the trunk followed her actions.

She followed swiftly, and bent before the chest, opening it with one quick movement. She loved the balls in her sport. The small golden snitch sleeping in its nest, the Quaffle lying as lifeless as always and the bludgeons desperately pulling against their restraints to attack her.

She was a beater, the most violent player on the pitch and her nickname and reputation had grown from it. Tempest was her name because she moved like a one woman storm, firing the balls away as though they were caught in a hurricane. She loved it. Having the younger ones scared of her worked perfectly for the sport, although those her age knew better.

She reached into the chest, grabbing one of the two bats that were attached to the lid, and began to give them a few test swings. Swinging the weapon was one of her favourite activities, an exercise that never got boring no matter how often she did. Violence was her general nature, one that she sometimes worried about but if the Sorting Hat said she was a Gryffindor, there was surely nothing to be scared for.

She mounted her broom, letting it hover a few feet off the floor as she continued swinging. She enjoyed warming up for practice this way, especially when she was alone. It was just her, her thoughts, and the bat. Nothing to set her rage going, nothing to make her think. She was at peace and happy for a few long moments.

"Morning, Cap!" A gruff voice shouted from below her, disturbing her from her daydreams. She looked down and waved towards the voices owner.

Alistair Theirin, the team keeper. Marian Hawke, Merrill, Josephine Montilyet, the teams three chasers. Sera, the team Seeker, and Cassandra Penthaghast, the other beater on her team.

They were all younger than Lyla by a few years bar Cassandra who was her age. But despite that they worked well as a team, an energy between them that every other team lacked, and Lyla liked to believe it was due to her natural leadership. Well, that and her intimidation.

She wasn't the nicest captain, she would be the first to admit that but she was the most effective, and under Lyla the team had won the house cup every year.

She was proud of that, and as she flew down to meet her team, she grinned to herself. This was going to be their year again, she knew it.

"Morning, friends," Lyla smirked, jumped from the broom with practiced ease. "You're all late."

"As always, mate," Sera giggled. "It's much better to stay in bed, yeah? Too cold for this rubbish."

"Oi!" Alistair laughed. "Rubbish? Captain worked hard on this, I'm sure! She definitely didn't just do this to make us miserable."

"Wanna bet, Felas?" Lyla snorted. "Come on, let's get to it. The sooner we're done, the sooner we can get into the warmth of the castle."

"My sort of plan," Sera cheered.

"Get in the air when you're ready, guys," Lyla ordered. "I'll release the balls soon as you're up. Usual thing. Sera, you steal glances for the snitch, yeah? Keep them pervy eyes off of Cassandra, please. Cassie, me and you just do our thing smacking the bludgers back and forth. Chasers, you score against Alistair."

"Hey!" He complained. "They'll try to score against me!"

"We always score against you, mate," Hawke joked.

"Three against one!" He chimed as he mounted his broom. "Won't happen today!" He shouted as he flew off.

The chasers were off after him before Lyla could notice. Sera looked Cassandra up and down one last time and was off with a sly wink.

Cassandra groaned in disgust as she walked over to Lyla. "Same bet as always, Lyla?" She asked.

"Aye, ten galleons to the first one to knock the other off, right?" Lyla nodded.

"Of course. See you up there." She smiled, holding her broom out in front of her before flying up.

"Ok, babies," Lyla whispered as she knelt before the ball chest. "Play nice for once."

She unhooked the snitch first, letting it unfurl in her hand before it darted off quick as a flash. Next, she lifted out the Quaffle, throwing it high up into the air for Hawke to catch.

She gulped, leant as far back as she could and unhooked the bludgers. One flew straight up, heading towards Cassandra with a long-held grudge, the other hovered before Lyla's face, practically grinning wolfishly before charging at her.

By the luck of the Creators, Lyla was faster. Smashing her bat into it just inches away from her face. "Accio broom!" She shouted as she ran. The broom flew to her, and she was up in the air before the bludger could retaliate.

She screamed with joy as it flew past her head, making strands of her hair fly up as it nearly skimmed her. She lived for this, the rush of the game was all she had and by the Creators did she revel in it.

She smirked as it came back towards her, stealing a glance towards Cassandra who was busy fighting off her nemesis. It zoomed towards her and with all of her considerable strength she smashed it towards her teammate.

She giggled maniacally to herself as she saw Cassandra swear loudly. The beater was an expert though, and dealing with two furious balls was child's play to her. She batted one away temporarily before striking it towards her Captain.

Lyla roared as she flew up and away, leading the ball on a merry chase around the castle, shouting and laughing the whole time. This was the life!

She flew low as she approached the lake, letting her feet skim the surface before noticing the bludger's reflection coming at her quick. She pulled up swiftly, flying straight up towards the sun as the ball flew below her. She gasped as her old broom slowed down, urging it silently to give more power as she reached the height of the tallest tower of the castle.

She panicked as it finally gave in, slowly drifting back to the lake before picking up speed and hurtling.

The bludger took her by complete surprise. Hitting her in the side of the face, knocking off her already broken broom before she knew what was happening.

"HELP!" She screeched pathetically.

She fell fast, praying to the Creators to please have a little bit of mercy, but the bludger wasn't done with her yet. It came back for another hit, smashing into her leg and causing her to howl in agony until she hit the water and her world went black.