Moony's Quidditch Lesson
Summary: This is just a little scene I wrote for Quidditch Tryouts over on Mugglenet. I see it as sort of a missing scene from my Marauder's fic, Moments of Bliss. The boys are in their second year and you know James would want to play some Quidditch. But is Remus the athletic type?
It had started out as a very pleasant day. Remus had awakened feeling rather well rested. Of course, when you slept until 10:30 on a Saturday morning, it didn't matter if you'd been out marauding with your friends half the night. The four second year Gryffindors had lazily dressed, sneaked into the school kitchens for a bite and then headed out onto the Hogwarts grounds to enjoy the unusually balmy autumn day.
"It's unbelievable out here," said James as he pulled his jumper over his head and rolled up the sleeves of the shirt underneath. "Let's play some Quidditch…it's nearly perfect weather. Just a little breezy."
"Sounds good to me," agreed Sirius. "I haven't played in ages. Mum and Dad wouldn't let me play all summer after little nancy-boy ran crying to them that I hit him with the Bludger…Idiot! I'm supposed to hit him with the Bludger. It wasn't like it was even a real one…just one of those kiddie foam ones. Regulus is such a prat!"
"Well, I'd like a chance to try out my new broomstick," said Peter.
Suddenly, all eyes were on Remus who was sitting quietly against the foot of the old beech tree. Oh, great. I don't want to play Quidditch…I don't know how to play Quidditch! I just want to sit here and enjoy the breeze…read a little…it's Saturday; can't I just relax?
"Well, what do you say, Remus? You know you can't go through life and never play a game of Quidditch," said James. "It would be abnormal."
"Come on, it's time you learned to play. We can't play with just three," said Sirius.
"I'll let you try my new broom, too," offered Peter.
Remus hesitated. "Come on, Moony. Don't be a wuss like Regulus," said Sirius with a playful taunt.
And so, Remus found himself standing in the middle of the Quidditch pitch with a borrowed broomstick, his three friends, and a set of Quidditch balls. After all, no self-respecting twelve year-old Gryffindor would put up with being called a wuss!
James flipped the latch on the chest and pulled out the large red ball. "We'll just use the Quaffle…we don't have enough players for a real game. It'll be two on two. Moony and I will take on you and Peter," James said tossing the Quaffle to Sirius.
The four friends kicked off into the air and made a few loops around the pitch to get a feel for the wind conditions. The sky was a bit overcast and thicker clouds were rapidly blowing in, but it was still a fine, if blustery, autumn day. James and Sirius sprinted around passing the Quaffle expertly back and forth between them in a game of keep-away from Peter. Remus just took his time getting used to the handling of the borrowed broomstick. It wasn't too bad, except when he was jostled by a wind gust from time to time. He really didn't care much for flying; not that he was afraid to fly, but he found it made him a little queasy. Actually, he only did it when he had to. Flying was simply a means to get from point A to point B…and only if you couldn't get there by floo powder. But to fly around in circles, darting in and out around other flyers as fast as you could go…while they were throwing and hitting balls at you…that was sheer lunacy as far as Remus was concerned. He liked watching Quidditch. Quidditch was a game other people played!
"Alright, Moony," cried James as he sped towards Remus and halted sharply, skidding to within mere inches of the end of Remus' broomstick. Remus braked so hard he almost flew over the end of the handle. He felt the color drain from his face. "Er…sorry, Remus," James said, though the way he was trying to stop himself laughing screamed insincerity. "Well, ready to play?" James asked.
"Ready as I'll ever be," Remus grumbled.
James grinned and tossed Remus the Quaffle. Remus wobbled on his broomstick as he fumbled with the rather cumbersome ball. How on earth was he supposed to catch that thing with one hand? But James had already sped off towards the other end of the pitch, and Remus saw him look back expectantly. He tucked the Quaffle securely under his right arm and spurred the broomstick forward.
For several minutes, though Remus would have sworn it had been hours, they flew around passing the Quaffle back and forth. Remus dropped it several times as he couldn't bring himself to let go of his broomstick to use two hands, and he just didn't have the hang of scooping it from the air with only one…Maybe when he was older…but for now, his twelve year old hands just weren't big enough to palm a Quaffle. Never mind that James, Sirius and Peter could all catch the thing with their twelve year old hands.
His wobbling and fumbling seemed to provide entertainment for his friends, in any case. Peter darted around Remus, sniggering every time Remus swerved to keep from colliding with anyone or anything. It must have been the panicked look on Remus face that they all found so humorous. Sirius nearly laughed himself silly when Remus flew himself through the right goal nearly taking his head off on the upper rim. How was Remus supposed to watch where he was going and avoid colliding with Peter and catch the bloody Quaffle? Thank goodness they weren't using the Bludgers! As it was, Remus didn't see how this could be any less fun.
But then he noticed a small crowd gathering in the entrance to the pitch. To his dismay, they were all carrying broomsticks. James darted towards them after hurling the Quaffle through one of the goals as Peter tried to block it but missed. Suddenly, as if Remus was living a nightmare, the air surrounding him was swarming with young witches and wizards.
"Looks like we've attracted some players," called James.
Apparently all the laughter had given these other students the impression that they were having fun, Remus thought dismally.
"We can have a real game now!" James said, looking delighted.
Remus saw Davy Gudgeon toss Sirius a Bludger bat from the supply locker. Great, now I can get my head taken off with a Bludger. I don't think so.
"Where do you think you're going, Remus?" asked James.
Remus had assumed that his services were no longer needed and had started for the pitch floor. They had more than enough players for a little pick-up match now. "I've had enough fun for one day," he said.
"Oh no you don't, Moony," said Sirius as he swerved into place beside Remus. "Now you get to play it the way it's meant to be played. Come on, it'll be great!"
Remus shot him a look and kept flying for the ground below.
"Afraid of a little competition, eh, Lupin?" Severus Snape had just kicked off from the ground and made a bee line for Remus and Sirius. He made a tight circle around them and then zoomed off towards the far goal posts. Remus was surprised to realize Severus was a halfway decent flyer.
"You can't quit now, Moony," said Sirius with a glint in his eye as he turned and sped off in hot pursuit, his Bludger bat now held comfortably in his hand.
Remus groaned as he reluctantly turned the broom and flew back to the top of the pitch.
James took the role of captain for their team. After playing Remus in every position and realizing he just wasn't adept at catching, throwing or hitting, James finally resorted to putting him in the coveted role of Seeker. Remus had pretty sharp eyes and very good concentration. Plus, the fact that the other team hadn't been able to round up anyone much better made James feel keeping Remus out of the main fray was his best strategy.
Now, the biggest problem for Remus was having to fly higher, above the protection of the pitch stands where the wind was buffeting him rather harshly. He strained to find the Snitch so he could finally put an end to his misery.
Down below, the match was well underway. From what Remus could tell, the other team was mostly Slytherin. That didn't bode well. Evan Rosier was yelling instructions to the other players and Severus had taken the Keeper position for his team. Remus watched as James streaked by and lobbed the Quaffle through the goal easily then made a rather rude gesture in reply to something Snape had said.
It was hard to keep track of the score while flying around looking for the tiny Snitch, but Remus could tell James was scoring on Severus rather frequently and Severus was looking more furious by the minute. Plus, the winds had really picked up and the clouds were starting to threaten rain or worse. Remus had seen no sign of the Snitch and decided to try searching a bit lower. Maybe he'd have better luck and, more importantly, if there was lightning, he didn't want to be the highest point in the pitch.
Unfortunately, the lower he flew, the more he had to dodge the other players. He found himself directly in the path of Sirius and two of the Slytherin Chasers. Sirius cut dangerously in front of them just in time to force them off course and prevent Remus being knocked out of the sky. Remus hadn't realized he was so close to the other team's goal posts.
He looked around frantically for a place to get out of the way when a Bludger whizzed past his ear and he almost fell off his broom. "Oh God," he whispered. "How did I get myself into this?"
"Alright, Lupin?" sneered Snape. "Surely the brave Gryffindor isn't afraid of a little Bludger?"
Suddenly, Severus' eyes widened, and he swerved sharply just in time to keep the Bludger from wiping the sneer off his face.
Sirius gave his bat a jaunty twirl and smirked deviously.
"Nice one, Sirius…but I wouldn't aim for his head; the Bludger will be so greasy your bat'll slip right off next time!" cried James. He held the Quaffle up towards Severus as he sped past toward the now unprotected goal. Severus nostrils flared as he leaned low over his broom to coax a burst of speed, but it was too late. James was too fast. He sidled up to the large hoop and very arrogantly dropped the Quaffle through, grinning devilishly at Snape as he did.
"Bloody hell, Snape! Are you playing Keeper or not?" cried Rosier. "Man your post you idiot!"
Severus looked livid as he hovered in front of the giant rings.
Remus knew things were about to start getting ugly, and the only thing he could do to stop it was find the blasted Snitch. He searched, circling the outer perimeter of the pitch. Nothing. When he looked back, James was racing once again towards Severus, as Peter passed him the Quaffle. James snagged it and just as he made the shot, Remus saw Severus pull a Bludger bat from behind his back. He pelted the Quaffle back at James fiercely from very close range. It caught James squarely in the gut, and he doubled over clutching at his stomach. Severus laughed as he tossed the bat back to a sniggering, large third year Slytherin. Remus couldn't believe James was still on his broom and started to speed over to make sure James didn't fall. Sirius came careening out of nowhere and grabbed the bristles of Severus' broom tugging it hard towards him. He took a vicious swipe at Severus' head with his bat, but fortunately, Sirius had tugged so forcefully on the broom it had almost slipped right out from under Snape so that he hadn't been pulled into range of the violently swinging bat. Instead, he was seated precariously on the very tip of the broomstick handle just out of Sirius reach. One good tug and Sirius could pull it right out from under him and Severus would fall to the ground.
Next thing Remus knew, there was a fully fledged mid-air brawl. Rosier was on Sirius, holding him back, and the other players were swirling around them. Twice Remus found himself hanging on to his broomstick for dear life. He felt his lip swelling and noticed his own knuckles were bloodied and sore. He could hear shouting in the distance.
"Enough! Stop that at once! I said enough! Get down here…all of you! NOW!" It was Professor McGonagall. Great… to top things off, Remus was going to have his first detention! Crap! He hated playing Quidditch!