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The first week past without much even after the whole niffler/Malfoy incident. The Gryffindor Quidditch Tryouts were looming and Elle was becoming increasingly nervous about her duties as Captain. She had decided, after much deliberation, to try out all team positions, just to make things fair, although she hadn’t said yet. She knew the other players may get a bit ratty, but it was the way she wanted to do things. The only question on everyone minds at the moment was who the new Quidditch Referee now that Madame Hooch had retired last year. Luckily, the question was soon to be answered. That night at dinner, McGonagall stood up to make an announcement.

“Students, you may have been wondering why I did not announce the new Flying and Quidditch Teacher at the start of term. The delay was a result of our new appointment having things to deal before he came to Hogwarts. Many of you may have heard of him before, and I expect you to treat him with the same respect and attitude you would with any other professor within this castle.” With that said, McGonagall nodded curtly at Hermione, who headed to the same chamber she had taken Elle into.

She returned seconds later followed by a rather familiar figure, who looked extremely pleased with himself. He waved merrily at several students and couldn’t suppress a grin as he looked around the Great Hall. Many of the students were in shock, particularly Ryan.

“Dad?” He whispered quietly, more to himself than anyone else. The rest of the group were in shock as well. They had seen Oliver many times over the holidays but he had not mentioned his new job at all. They had known he was retiring, but had no idea he had been offered Madame Hooch’s job.

The next week of school passed in a flurry of rumours and gossip, mainly circulating around ‘Professor Wood’. It was strange for Elle and her friends to hear Ryan’s dad referred to as ‘Professor’ he was either ‘Ryan’s Dad’, ‘Oliver’ or ‘Mr. Wood’ to them. Ryan was still deeply offended that his father had not mentioned his new job to him and was becoming increasingly frustrated with people asking if he would be able to get them an autograph.

It was Saturday morning and Elle was preparing herself for the Quidditch tryouts that would take place that morning, supervised by Professors Wood and Weasley. She had put up a notice declaring the time, merely saying that “all players were welcome” but luckily no one had asked her about it yet. Sirius was already a member of the team, he played the position of Beater, Ryan was the Keeper, Louise was a chaser and Elle was the seeker, and thanks to Harry’s extra training, one of the best in Hogwarts history, never failing to catch the snitch.

As Elle made her way to the pitch with her friends, they chatted merrily about classes and everything they had to do over the weekend, although Elle had practically finished her homework she had decided to go to the library with the others to do extra charm work. The entered the pitch and Elle was slightly relieved that she had arrived before the professors. She drew out her wand and muttered a charm. What appeared to be ribbons flew out of the tip and formed the words “Beater”, Chaser” and “Keeper”. With another flick of her wand, the words moved high in the air, so that they were clearly visible. Her friends frowned at this, but before any of them could ask, a voice echoed through the air.

“Impressive Elle.” Oliver called. “Congratulations on making Captain, Professor Weasley told me the good news!” He added grinning.
“Let’s just hoped you’re not as obsessive as Professor Wood was when he was captain.” Another voice, just behind Oliver called.
“Funny Potter, but you know as well as I do that it paid off!” Oliver told Harry, grinning as Hermione rolled her eyes. The group of friends watched in amusement as the friendly banter between the two continued. It wasn’t until around twenty students appeared did the Professors seem to remember what they were here for.
“Well just take a seat in the stand Elle.” Hermione smiled, indicating herself and Harry. Wood had already stated that he was going to stay down and observe.
“Good Luck” Harry whispered as he turned to the stands. Elle smiled weakly in return.

She turned, rather nervously, to the awaiting crowd who were all clutching their brooms and looking extremely excited.
“Err, Right. Well, firstly, thank you all for turning up on time.” Elle smiled, her nerves easing as she spotted Beth in the crowd, giving her a reassuring smile. “As you can see, I have went to the effort of separating the positions.” Elle indicated the charmed words floating over head. “I have decided to try out these positions so if you would like to make your way to the place you would like to play we can get started.” Elle grinned at the faces in front of her.

The crowd of students obliged and made their way toward their preferred position. Sarah and Beth went to the Chaser section along with 8 other students, Sirius and 8 others went to the Beater group and finally the remainder went to the Keeper group, with the exception of Ryan. He stood in front of Elle with a most displeased look on his face. Elle groaned inwardly, this was exactly what she was expecting.
“Yes?” She asked him, preparing for the angry response that was sure to come.
“You want me to try out for a position I already play?” He demanded, looking thoroughly outraged.
“Yes, Ryan I do. In order to be as fair as possible I am trying out for all the positions indicated.” She, once again, gestured to the words floating above them in the air. Elle was all to aware of the stares of the students and watching Professors.
“How is that fair?” Ryan asked.
“Look Wood,” Elle growled, losing her temper. "No one else on the team from last year are complaining, but if you have a problem with my captaincy methods then you can just leave right now and save me some time!” Elle declared, pointing a shaking finger in the direction of the castle.

The silence that followed was very long and uncomfortable. Elle was all aware that Oliver was standing right behind her but in her current mood, couldn’t care less. Things weren’t exactly the same between her and Ryan since the start of term, although Ryan acted as things were back to normal, Elle was still trying to figure out was wrong with him. She didn’t dare take her eyes of him as he stood in front of her, clearly trying to decided what to do. Elle only called him Wood when she was furious with him, which was an understatement right now.

“Well?” Elle demanded. “Are you staying or going?”
“Staying.” Ryan muttered, before heading to the Keeper group.
“Right then. Does anyone else have a problem with my method?” Elle asked, glaring at everyone. Several people shook their head in answer, but no one was brave enough to speak. “Good. Now lets get these tryouts started!” Elle smiled, as a few people visibly relaxed.

The tryouts, for Elle anyway, were long and quite tedious. She had her team now and she was happy with who she had. Sirius and David Jordan were her beaters, Beth, Sarah and Andrea Williams were the chasers and Ryan was the keeper. Elle had announced her decision to the anticipating group before her, and felt guilty at the crestfallen looks on those who hadn’t made it. She pushed any feelings of guilt aside as she put the balls away. She was so busy she didn’t realised that Professor Wood was still there. It wasn’t until he spoke that she noticed his presence.

“You handled that well.” He called, clearly impressed. “Didn’t know you had it in you!” He added grinning.
“You really think I did the right thing?” Elle asked.
“Definitely, at least people can't accuse you of favouritism. That was a fair tryout and although some were disappointed I reckon you made the right choices, so does Harry.” Wood smiled.
“Thanks, it means a lot.” Elle smiled, glad that she had some form of reassurance to the way she dealt with things.

She just hoped her friends would be as good as Professor Wood about it all.

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