“What?!” James said, “Remus, wha-ow!” He cried; Remus had stepped hard on his foot from underneath his robes. “Yeah, Severus was just making fun of Sirius… and he didn’t stop… so I used those curses on him.” Remus said, staring down at the floor in shame. Viridians forehead wrinkled and he shook his head. “I expected better from you, Mr. Lupin… but I do not overlook the whole story either. Severus, you and Remus will do lines for me tonight after dinner.” “Remus—are you nuts?!” James hissed, climbing over the bench and sitting down at his usual spot at the Gryffindor table for dinner. “No, but you two are.” Remus said, stabbing his pork chop with his fork and then holding it up vertically. “Cursing Snape when Viridian could’ve caught you at any second….” He took a bite and then put his fork down on the table. “Besides, you guys have tryouts and it’s your birthday.” He added, indicating James. “But still…” Sirius objected, “You shouldn’t have gotten yourself in trouble for what we did.” “Oh get real.” Remus said, putting down the goblet of pumpkin juice that he was just about to sip. “Pringle would’ve had you whipped, and besides, I got Snape what he deserved.” Sirius said no more, and James said nothing either. “Yeah… well, thanks then Remus.” James said quietly, staring down at his plate. He sighed. “Man, I can’t eat this; I’m going out to the pitch.” He said, shoving his plate aside. “Yeah, me too.” Sirius agreed, getting up out of his seat along with James. “Tryouts aren’t for another half hour though.” Remus pointed out, looking puzzled. “It’ll give us some time to practice.” James muttered. Sirius and James left the Great Hall, both not talking at all. They had just began heading out the door that lead to the grounds when the doors to the Great hall opened and closed. James and Sirius turned to see Remus and Lily coming up to them, both with undistinguishable expressions on their face. “Good luck, you two.” Lily said urgently. Reading Sirius’s expression, she added, “And I’m not mad at you for what happened this morning. He deserved what he got. You’re lucky you’ve got Remus to back you guys up.” Sirius’s eyes widened; he had never guessed that Lily would react like she had just done towards everything. “Don’t look glum, you’re about to play Quiddich… And it’s only lines, c’mon!” Remus said, smiling and nudging them both playfully. “—and I’ll get some dirt on old Snivellus for you.” He added in a low whisper that was barely audible so that Lily didn’t hear. He then turned and left, heading back towards the Great Hall. Lily was now eyeing Sirius, turning beet red. “Um—er—I…” She stammered. Sirius began turning red himself. “See you on the pitch.” James said quickly, winking quickly to Sirius and heading out of the door. Sirius nodded at him as James shut the door behind him, leaving Lily and Sirius completely alone. Sirius turned back to Lily. “S-so…” Sirius began, but stopped; He noticed that Lily was now gazing dreamily up at him, though nervously. “Thanks for, um, standing up for me today.” Lily said, rather quickly, and then she leaned forward and kissed him. Sirius went into a state of shock, not even noticing afterwards that she had pulled away and was now saying goodbye. He waved back at her absentmindedly and then let his arm drop lazily so that it slapped the side of his leg. Lily went back into the Great Hall, leaving Sirius alone in the Entrance Hall. He stood there for a few seconds, enjoying the familiar fluttery sensation Lily always gave him that was swelling inside his stomach, and then exhaled dreamily. He headed out the front doors smiling widely and feeling completely ecstatic. Sirius reached the Quiddich Pitch, still feeling fluttery, and met James in the broom storage room where he was deciding which broom to take. They grabbed the best ones they could find and were soon flying all over the field, diving and swerving. Sirius felt so alive whenever he was on a broom; any negative emotion he had in his head was extinguished and replaced with excitement and daring. He soared up high, flying up towards the clouds and then taking an exhilarating dive… only to jerk his broom upwards at the last possible second. “Nice flying, Black!” He heard a voice call up to him from somewhere on the ground. He turned his head towards the ground to see Gideon Prewett, Quiddich Captain for the Gryffindor House team and an extraordinary Chaser, had just commented him. He had just entered the field, followed by Sturgis Podmore, a third year who played Keeper who was carrying a large trunk; Benjy Fenwick, a second year; and Frank Longbottom, a fifth year, who both played the positions of Beater; and Elphias Doge, another Chaser along with Gideon. “Hey, come on down you two!” Gideon called up to them, walking to the center of the field along with the rest of the team. Sirius and James zoomed down to the ground, both landing smoothly right in front of five members of the Gryffindor Quiddich team. “We’re just going to wait until the rest of the people who are trying out get here, and then you guys could get back up in the air and show us what you got.” Gideon said, leaning against his broom. Sirius nodded calmly, but inside he was excited; he was ecstatic about showing the team all of his moves. “I hear you can do a killer tailkick goal.” Doge said to Black, lifting his head slightly. “Er—“ “Yeah, he can.” James said, beaming for Sirius. “And I hear you caught a quaffle in a dive, inches above the ground… and recovered?” Benjy Fenwick asked James curiously. James nodded shyly, staring down at the ground and spinning his broom on it’s handle. “Maybe he can replace the king of ‘Wronski Feint’ then?” Frank Longbottom asked Gideon, eyebrow raised. “Maybe…” Gideon said, eyeing James. “Oh, here come the rest of the hopefuls.” He said, pointing towards the entrance of the field. There were about seven people coming in as a group, all looking either determined or nervous. “Oy! Over here!” Gideon called, sizing them all up. “Hmm…” He began, “Seems to be mostly female.” And he was right; there were five girls and only two boys. One of the girls, Sirius was shocked to see, was Andromeda. When they all reached the center of the field, Gideon told everyone to sit down. Sirius and James sat, looking attentively up at Gideon. “Alright… as you know, we have two slots open.” Gideon began, pacing along the crowd of onlookers. “Chaser… and Seeker. Now…” He said again, pulling out a piece of parchment. “Sign your first and last name either under ‘Seeker’ or ‘Chaser’ and, also, your best move… then we’ll call you up. One player for each position at a time.” He handed the parchment over to Sirius, who was nearest to him, along with a quill. Sirius took it and signed immediately under ‘Chaser’ and put down “Tailkick,” then passed it to James. James, of course, signed on for ‘Seeker’ and put ‘Wronski Feint.’ After everyone had signed, Gideon took the parchment from Andromeda and went to talk to his fellow teammates. They were whispering rapidly, some of them shifting uncomfortably, others looking excited. After a couple minutes they broke off, and Gideon cleared his throat loudly. All of the people sitting on the grounds heads shot up. “Okay, when I call your name, you will come over here with your broom. We will simulate a Quiddich game, and ask you to do a couple basic moves according to your position. We will be using those set of hoops over there on my right.” He said, indicating the hoops with his finger. “Well… first things first, Podmore, release the Bludgers and Snitch.” Podmore nodded and opened the large trunk, which released two black bowling ball-sized balls, and a tiny walnut-sized fluttering Snitch that immediately zoomed upwards and out of sight. “Okay… first up for Chaser: my little bro… and for Seeker: Andromeda Black.” Gideon said. Sirius was glad that he wasn’t going first, as the nervousness that had been absent this whole time now kicked in. He and the rest watched and Fabian Prewett and Andromeda kicked off from the ground, as well as the five members of the house team, and began to simulate a game. Fenwick was trailing behind Andromeda, observing her as she searched around for the snitch. Fabian was with Doge, who were both passing the Quaffle back and forth. Sturgis Podmore was guarding the hoops, waiting for Fabian and Doge to try and score a goal. Gideon was surveying both Andromeda and Fabian intensely. “Get ready to dodge a bludger, Andromeda!” Gideon called up to her, spotting a bludger heading towards Longbottom. He swung his bat and hit it forcefully towards Andromeda, who ducked just in time, but in the process of doing so, almost fell off of her broom. Gideon cringed slightly. “Close one, Ms. Black!” He yelled. He then glided over to his brother, Fabian, and Doge, joining in passing the quaffle back and forth amongst each other. After about ten minutes, Gideon switched players and called up the next pair: two third year girls named Emmeline Vance and Marlene McKinnon. Marlene made a spectacular dive for the snitch, having been the first one to spot it, but missed it by inches when she swiped for it. Andromeda hadn’t found the snitch at all when she was up, but Gideon said she did well and would have been impressed if she had spotted it since it had been so early in the game. Finally, Marlene and Emmeline landed on the ground and Gideon announced: “For Chaser: Sirius Black and for Seeker: James Potter.” Sirius stood up, determination and nervousness dancing around inside his stomach. He saw that James was as determined as him as they both mounted their brooms. Sirius heaved a nervous sigh and then kicked off from the ground, followed closely by James. “Good luck.” James told him, and then zoomed up higher to Fenwick. Sirius smiled and then shook off the pressure, flying over to meet Gideon and Doge. “All right there, Black?” Gideon asked. “Yeah.” Sirius said confidently. Doge grinned, tossing the quaffle he had up in the air and then catching it again. “Right.” Gideon said, “Hawkshead Attacking Formation! Black in center!” At that, Sirius took off, zooming towards the goalposts and forming a triangle the way migrating birds did with Gideon and Doge on either side of him. “OY, BLACK!” Doge shouted. Sirius turned to see Doge throwing the quaffle at him. He caught it easily one-handed, clutching his broom tightly with his other hand. “Beautiful!” Gideon said, “Now… do you think we could see that tailkick?” He asked. Sirius smiled and nodded, “You bet!” “Alright!” Gideon said. He and Doge stopped, leaving Sirius to zoom towards Podmore alone. Sirius saw Sturgis concentrating hard on him, ready to defend the hoops. Sirius thought quickly; he zoomed towards the right hoop, about five yards or so away from Podmore… and then veered left at the last second, lining up with the left hoop. Sirius tossed the quaffle up into the air and spun around, whacking the quaffle with the twigged end straight towards the hoop… and into the hand of Sturgis Podmore. Sirius swore under his breath and turned back to face Gideon, who had a look of amazement on his face. “I missed!” Sirius yelled through cupped hands. “I know… but not if Podmore wasn’t there.” Gideon said. “But—I still missed.” “Black, some seventh years can’t even do that.” He said, “Podmore is the best Keeper in the school—hardly anyone ever scores against him.” Sirius shrugged. Gideon was right about Podmore being a good Keeper. “Hey Gideon!” Fenwick shouted suddenly, “Potter’s spotted it!” Sirius turned quickly to see James speeding towards the opposite end of the field, a glint of gold a few feet in front of him. James’s tongue was between his teeth, his hand extended out in front of him as far as it could go as he strained to go faster. After a few seconds, the snitch went into a dive. James took a dive also, right on it’s tail. “C’mon James…” Sirius muttered under his breath, gripping his broom tightly in suspense, “C’mon… you can do it.” James must have been a foot from crashing into the ground when he made a snatch and pulled up. He zoomed back towards Sirius, a tiny pair of silvery wings poking out from in between his fingers; he had caught the snitch. “Potter, extraordinary!” Gideon shouted, slapping his hand hard against his forehead in disbelief and eyeing the silvery wings that were beating against James’s hand. James had a huge grin on his face, thrusting the Snitch up in the air with triumph as cheers met his ears from down on the ground from the other seven hopefuls, and the rest of the team and Sirius. The team commented him as he passed by and reached Sirius. “Yep. Definitely the new ‘Wronski Feint’” Sirius heard Longbottom utter to Gideon. After tryouts were over, Gideon called everyone out to the center of the field again. “Okay, the new members of the Gryffindor House team… will be revealed tomorrow morning after breakfast in the Entrance Hall.” Everyone groaned. “We like to keep the rookies in suspense.” Fenwick said, chuckling.
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