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A/N: Chapter six is here! It’s a wee bit shorter than I would like it to be, but I made the executive decision to end it now and begin chapter seven with… well you’re just going to have to wait to find out. I hope that you enjoy it and as always please read and review.

Chapter Six:
Who Said Girls Can’t Play Quidditch


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Alex stared down at her bowl of uneaten oatmeal, as she pushed it around with her spoon. She could hardly believe how quickly the first two weeks of classes had gone by. Though she had managed to avoid extra work from her current class work, she was continuously buried in pre-OWL work and it was only the first month of school. At least she had finally managed to memorize where all her classes were and had gone ten straight days without a fight with James. Her eyes closed slowly and she began to drift off, her head slipping from its resting place on her hand. With a jerk, she sat up straight. Giving her untouched breakfast one last glare, she stood to leave the hall.

Alex looked down at her watch it was seven thirty and Quidditch tryouts started at eight. A nervous and unfamiliar feeling leaped in the pit of her stomach as she entered her dorm. She pulled her Firebolt from the bottom of her trunk and changed into a set of practice Quidditch robes. Putting her worn broomstick over her shoulder, she left the dorm, where Halie and Naomi were still asleep. The early Saturday morning sunlight met her eyes as she walked through the great oak doors. As she headed down the stairs to the sloping lawns that led to the Quidditch pitch, angered voices met her ears.

“Remind me again why I can’t try out for Quidditch, James.” said a very angry Lily.

She was walking quickly in the direction of the pitch, James following close behind.

“Because Lil’ you’re my little sister, you can’t play Quidditch,” said James as Alex ducked behind a tree so the pair didn’t see her.

“So which one is it, I can’t play Quidditch because I am a girl or because I am only in second year?”

“Because you’re a girl, no I mean neither, wait…no…both…AHHHH! Lily, you just can’t!”

Lily had stopped dead and was staring openmouthed at her older brother.

Spluttering slightly, Lily said, “You’re saying I can’t play Quidditch because I am a GIRL!”

At this point, Alex decided to stop hiding and she walked over to where Lily and James were glaring at each other. James looked up at the approaching footsteps and heaved a sigh of relief.

“Finally, Alex you can help me! Please tell Lily here that she can’t try out for Quidditch.”

“You’re trying out, which spot?” asked Alex.
Spotting Alex’s broom Lily, responded, “Chaser, what are you going for?”

“Keeper,” she looked down at her watch, “we should go or we’ll be late.”

And the pair walked away, leaving a stunned James speechless and frozen to his spot.

“He just doesn’t want me on the team because he’s on the team,” added Lily a little while later.

“James is on the team; what position?”

“He’s a beater.” said Lily and Alex snorted, “I know typical right, he gets to fly around with a bat and act like a brute. Don’t get me wrong, my brother is a great guy but AHHHH! Sometimes I just wish I could kill him!” finished Lily.

“I know exactly what you mean.” added Alex as the two of them entered the pitch.

The field was crowded and rowdy, apparently four of the players had graduated from the team last year and they were in need of a keeper, two chasers, and beater. It seemed as though all of Gryffindor house had shown up to try out. The people on the field ranged from mellow seventh years just looking for a new way to hang with their friends to first years looking for a way to earn some notoriety.

Lily leaned closer and said, “Apparently, the Gryffindor team has been all guys for the last seven years.”

“Are you kidding me?” replied Alex indignantly.

“No, for some reason Quidditch has turned into a boy’s sport.”

“Well, that’s about to change, I guess I’ll see you around. Good luck!”

The pair split apart, Lily towards the center of the field where the chasers were gathering, and Alex went to stand by the goal posts with the other keepers. At that point, James entered the pitch, since he was already on the team he didn’t have to re-tryout and he went to sit by Lyle and another seventh year in the stands. Alex played with the old necklace that her father had given to her and was biting her lip as she looked at Lyle. It wasn’t often that a guy made her react this way. But she was still a bit unsure because, as it turned out, Lyle was quite the ladies man. And Alex was all too familiar with the type to want to risk getting involved with him, but still… he was so HOT!

“Okay, Okay, we are starting now, I need keepers by the goal posts, chasers in the middle, and beaters to the sidelines.” Lyle’s voice rang out over the immense crowd, magically magnified.

There was a sudden rush of movement as people began to shuffle themselves around. There was a substantial crowd gathered around the goal posts, most of which were boys and even more were first years. They trembled slightly with excitement as they clutched the old school brooms.

“Chasers are up first; please fly five laps around the pitch.” Lyle leaned towards James and whispered, “We have our work cut out for us. This lot looks barely older than second year.”

And he was right. Of the dozen and a half people trying out for chaser, only about eight of them managed to get their brooms off the ground. Alex smiled as Lily was the first off the ground and led the pack for the entire five laps.

Next were the beaters; there were only ten or so people trying out for the spot, all of which were boys. As they took off around the pitch, Alex noticed that Charlie Thomas was amongst those trying out. They all managed to get off the ground this time, but a third year lost altitude on his second lap and nearly ran head long into Lyle and James in the stands. After they all landed (some not so gracefully) it was the keepers’ turn for their laps around the pitch. Surprisingly, there were nearly two dozen people trying out for the spot. But Alex need not worry because only half of them actually managed to make it off the ground for more than a few seconds.

Alex rose into the air with grace and poise that could only have been taught by her father. As the wind whipped through her hair, a feeling of lightness overcame her, she hadn’t felt this comfortable anywhere in weeks. Being back on her broomstick seemed the most natural thing in the world; she definitely had to make the team. So with that, her attention snapped back onto her goal and, picking up speed, she led the pack, landing gracefully onto the grass below when all five laps were done.

At this point, all of those who couldn’t quite make it off the ground were joined by those who were done eating their breakfast in the stands. Lyle blew a whistle that hung around his neck and said.

“Beaters are up first! I need you to line up. One by one, you will have the chance to take one turn around the pitch to hit as many targets as possible with a bludger charmed to fly back to you. On my whistle, go.”

It was painful to watch the first four beaters attempt to hit their targets. The truth was, they completely failed to do so. The fifth person was halfway off the ground when he lost control and spiraled into one of the targets that they were aiming at. The sixth person managed to hit seven of the ten targets while the seventh person ran from the pitch his hand clamped over his mouth. The eighth person managed to hit all ten targets, but slipped sideways off his broom by accident. Charlie went next and managed to hit all ten targets and was soon followed by the final person who also managed to hit all the targets.

James gave Lyle a knowing look and Lyle (and the tryouts) continued. Each of the chasers had one chance to score on each of the people trying out for keeper. Alex intentionally took a spot near the back of the group and watched the general abysmal performance. Lily was doing a fabulous job and had managed to score on all the keepers, including the very good ones (James didn’t seemed so thrilled by this).

Alex mounted her broom and rose into the air, level with the center hoop. For the first time in the entire morning, Alex was not the least bit nervous. She stared down her opponent with a single-minded determination. The first four were a breeze; Alex managed to block all of their shots with little effort. Lily was up next, she flew left descended quickly but flew up and to the right. She did this all so quickly Alex had barely a chance to block the goal. And she only managed to save it by practically throwing herself off the broom and caught it with the very tips of her fingers. There was a smattering of applause when Alex pulled out of the save. Lily looked upset, but not defeated because after all, it was a bloody good shot.

This was it, the last one, she stared the guy straight in the eye. All that she could deduce was that he was a Gryffindor who was slightly older than her, probably a sixth year. He seemed to plunge forward in slow motion, his movements blurring, but then someone pushed the fast forward. When she realized it was over, she had the quaffle tucked neatly in the crook of her arm. There was definitely a roar from the crowd in response to this latest save, as Alex landed onto the field she couldn’t help but feel elated. Spinning on the spot, she noticed James waving at her from the stands, and against her better judgment she went to sit next to him.

“Pretty good for a transfer student, Cunnings.”

“So you noticed?” responded Alex with a cheeky smile as she turned to watch the remaining tryouts.

~


“Okay, as you know we have four spots available on the team this year. After some deliberation we have decided who will be on the team. For the spot of beater, fifth year Charlie Thomas, our first chaser will be sixth year Greg Long, and the second chaser is (he paused to give James a look) second year Lily Potter, and finally for the spot of keeper, fifth year Alex Cunnings.”

Simultaneously Alex’s heart stopped and began to beat rapidly, I mean it wasn’t like she doubted that she would get it… but still!

“All the new members should stay awhile so I can pass out practice schedules and hand out uniforms.”

Alex went to find Lily amidst the crowd, “See, I told you that there would be girls on the team this year.”

“Oh my gosh, I cannot believe that you blocked my shot, well I guess I can, you were great!”

Alex laughed, “Let’s go sit in the bleachers so we can get out of here and have some lunch.”

~


With a full stomach and a yawn, Alex left the Great Hall in search of a hot shower and a soft bed. She seemed to barely notice where her feet were carrying her and was before the Fat Lady sooner than she had expected.

“Password?” spoke the portrait.

Alex had not even the slightest moment to respond because someone on the other side pushed it open with unexpected force. For what felt like the hundredth time, Alex was thrown backwards sprawling across the floor, broomstick skidding away. A first year appeared above her, when they realized they had knocked down a fifth year, they ran in fright. Groaning, Alex stood up and grabbed her Firebolt. Approaching the still open portrait hole with caution, Alex walked inside.

Her stomach dropped several inches, she was more awake than she had been all week, and her palms began to sweat slightly. Before Alex, sat not the serene calm of the Gryffindor common room, but hundreds of pictures of herself plastered to protest signs.

“Alex, Alex, come here and help,” yelled Halie as Alex waded through piles of leaflets and poster board that completely hid the center of the room.

“Halie, what is going on?” said Alex open-mouthed.

“She’s missing!”

“Who’s missing?”

“Alexandra Wood. The press tried to track her down at Beauxbatons, but no body there has ever seen her, let alone taught her.”

For the first time, Alex looked down at the posters and leaflets; they read, FREE ALEXANDRA.

“Why does she need to be freed?”

“Because… Halie here thinks that Alexandra’s parents have her on house arrest after that whole James Potter thing.”

Alex jumped slightly as Naomi revealed herself from behind a stack of paper. That’s when she saw the dozen or so first years who had been forced to help with the protest, they all looked equally miserable. At least this explained the rampaging first year that had tackled her in the hall.

“So no one knows where she is?” asked Alex.

“Well, there are rumors.”

“Rumors?” said Alex with a raised eyebrow.

“Some think that she may be attending Hogwarts secretly; something about Alexandra’s maid buying Hogwarts robes.”

“But you don’t believe that?”

“Well no, could you imagine Alexandra attending Hogwarts and no one knowing; I am quite sure I would see her from a mile away.”

“Oh okay,” finished Alex

“Alex, can you please help us protest?” asked Halie with a puppy face.

“I really want to, but I would be no help at all, I am too exhausted to participate in arts and crafts.”

“Wait… why are you tired?” asked Naomi.

“Quidditch tryouts, remember?”

“Oh oh ohhh, how did you do?” asked Halie, momentarily abandoning her protest.

“I got keeper!”

“Congratulations!” screamed Halie and Naomi in unison as they lunged over the protest posters to give her a hug.

“Fine, today I give a pass from working on the protest, just wear one of these for me.”

And she handed Alex a hot pink pin that flashed “FREE ALEXANDRA” in green ink. Alex smiled weakly and put it into her pocket. Bidding her friends goodbye, Alex went up to bed for a well deserved nap.

A/N: This will probably be the longest author’s note ever seen, but there is a good reason why, so I promise if you read on and participate you won’t regret it!

***Hogwarts is holding the event of the decade and they need help picking the baddest (by which I mean best) band to play. So they need YOUR help! Come up with a band name and the name of the lead singer to play at this event (Making the lead singer of the male gender will increase your chance of being picked). Submit your idea as a review for this chapter. I will accept ideas until I am ready to post chapter seven. Then I will announce who the winner is in an author’s note in chapter seven. The band and character will play a semi major part in an upcoming chapter (Though I won’t tell you which). Points will be given for creativity and it always helps to flatter the judge with kind words about her story. ***

I really hope this helps make things more fun and interesting and I look forward to seeing your ideas.

P.s. Here is a sneak peak at the next chapter:

Walking quickly to the staff table, Alex deposited the slug on the table before her. The whole hall was watching in silence.
“Miss Cunnings what is this about?”
“I swear it was an accident, he wouldn’t let go of me… I don’t even have my wand!”
Horrified, McGonagall looked down at the purple slug.

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