Disclaimer: I’m merely borrowing
J.K. Rowling’s lovely creation. No profit is being made, but enjoyment is
A/N: An enormous thank you to Zsenya for beta-reading and wading through comma errors.
“At least no one on the Gryffindor
team had to buy their way in,” said Hermione, “They got in on pure talent.”
The pale boy’s face twisted. “No
one asked your opinion,” he paused as if to give his words greater effect, “You
filthy little Mudblood.”
Alicia didn’t know the Slytherin’s name and at that point, she couldn’t have cared
less. She could feel a white-hot rage wash over her and she would cheerfully
have torn out his vocal cords with a boathook to prevent him ever saying such a
word again. Instead, she settled for shrieking “How dare you!” as someone held
the twins back.
Ron yelled something and a light
shot out of the wrong end of his wand. A small first year with a camera pushed
his way past her to see what was happening. Ron turned a sickly shade and, in a
moment, a slug dribbled out of his mouth.
As Harry, Ron and Hermione hurried
past her, Alicia felt her anger dissipate while the hurt that the word “Mudblood” caused remained.
“Alicia?” Angelina tapped her on
the shoulder, “Are you all right?”
“Yeah,” she tightened her grip on her
Cleansweep, “I was just remembering.”
“Ah, that prat
Waters no doubt” said Katie. “Thank goodness she transferred off to Beauxbatons.”
“Yes,” Alicia nodded as the memories flooded
world was completely new and fascinated her to no end. Going to buy supplies in
Diagon Alley had been one of the most exciting experiences in Alicia Spinnet’s nearly eleven-year life, and now, at Hogwarts,
her fascination with everything had earned her the alliterative nickname of
“The Gawking Gryffindor.”
When she read the notice that all
the first years were to learn to fly, she was thrilled. Flying.
She was going to fly. Of course, as everyone said, the downside was that they
would be learning with the Slytherins, but Alicia didn’t care. The prospect of
flying was too exciting. All she was thinking about was the owl she would send
home to her parents and her parents’ reactions.
When she received a return owl, she
discovered that her prediction of her parents’ reactions had been spot on.
Well, dear, I understand your excitement, but don’t you think it will be
rather dangerous? You could be killed. Are you sure you wouldn’t like to come
home and go to a normal school without broomsticks and cockroaches? I’ve asked
your father to write but he, of course, doesn’t agree with a word I say as you
can see below.
princess, don’t listen to your mum. I’m glad to see you’re taking plenty of
risks. That’s the mark of a true Spinnet. Wish I could fly on a broom too. I’ve
been doing some reading on the subject, you know, from the books we got in a
Diagon Alley and I hope your teacher instructs you on Quidditch. It sounds
better than football. Will wants to add something
Licia, you’re going to fly? You mean like
Peter Pan? Good luck
Mum, Dad and Will
as Hermione Granger would do a few years later, Alicia bored all her classmates
stupid with flying tips from Quidditch Through The
Ages until Fred Weasley used the Levitating Charm to forcibly remove the
book from her hands. This resulted in a furious chase around the Gryffindor
table with the pursuer and pursued ending up in helpless laughter without the
slightest clue of why the chase had occurred in the first place.
By that time, they all had to rush
down to the pitch where Madam Hooch had laid the brooms out in neat lines.
Alicia could barely keep her feet from doing a little dance of excitement. Her
fellow Gryffindors looked at her strangely but with affectionate amusement.
“Oh, honestly, Alicia,” said
Angelina Johnson, “It’s just a broomstick, not dragon gold.”
“And it’s not even a good
broomstick,” she added, “It’s a Shooting Star.”
“Well, you already know how to fly,
you’ve been on broomsticks before, of course you think
“Flying is boring,” Angelina
agreed, “but Quidditch isn’t”
Alicia had heard the term around as
well as in her letter from her parents so she knew it was a wizarding
sport played on broomsticks but that was about as far as her knowledge went.
She couldn’t wait to find out what the game consisted of and how it was played.
“I’m going to be a Chaser,” said
Angelina with such conviction that Alicia knew she would most assuredly be one.
Before she had a chance to ask what
a Chaser was, however, Madam Hooch strode briskly onto the field.
“Well, what are you all waiting
for? Stick your right hand over the brooms and say up!”
A small Slytherin raised a
“Yes, Mr. Higgs?”
“I’m left-handed, ma’am”
“Then, use your left hand, boy.
Don’t you have enough sense to figure that out yourself?”
After the fifth try, Alicia’s broom
shot into her hand, and instinctively, she knew she was going to love flying.
Her feet could no longer restrain themselves and did an ecstatic little jig
which earned her a sharp reprimand from Madam Hooch.
“Miss Spinnet, this is not your
Irish dancing class. Stop that immediately.”
Alicia meekly obeyed and listened
to Madam Hooch’s next instructions about hovering. Hovering seemed to go on
forever. Alicia wanted to fly.
Finally, Madam Hooch announced that
for the last fifteen minutes of the period, they were allowed to practice
flying freely. Alicia kicked off from the ground and found herself in paradise
as her broom soared into the air. She loved the feeling of the wind whipping
past her ears and through her hair. She loved seeing the castle from above and
she loved the speed. She was flying.
She’d been born to do this. It was
no accident that her first signs of magic had been related to flying. After
seeing Peter Pan, she’d tried thinking lovely thoughts and to her great
surprise had ended up floating next to the ceiling fan. As she remembered this,
she giggled and began to sing “Look at me, way up high, suddenly, here am I,
I’m fly- y-y –ing!”
Angelina, who was flying next to
her, shook her head. Alicia stopped singing to explain.
“It’s a Muggle song from a Muggle
musical,” and she resumed her singing until Angelina informed her that she sang
like an Augurey which resulted in a furious
broomstick chase and many thrown pine needles.
“Still,” Angelina said between
gales of laughter, “it’s a good thing you like flying. Wait till you see your
first Quidditch match.”
“Hey,” she grinned as an idea
seemed to hit her, “You may sing like an Augurey,
Alicia, but you fly like a Chaser. Let’s make a pact. At some point, we’ll
Chase together and we’ll be the best bloody Chasers that ever were.”
“All right” said Alicia placing her
hand over Angelina’s outstretched one, “Even though I have no idea what a
Although during the first match of
the season, Gryffindor was trounced, Alicia decided that Angelina was right.
She did want to be a Chaser. The Seeker might be the key to the game but the
Chasers were the backbone. She also loved the looks of the bright red cheerful
Angelina nudged her, “Hey, now you
know what a Chaser is, you still in?”
Alicia grinned back, “More than
ever. Next year we’ll start our career as the best Chasers.”
Corinne Waters, another girl in
their year, sneered at her, “A Mudblood like you, a
Chaser? You’d fall off your broom before it got off the ground.”
Alicia had never heard the word
before but she knew it was most assuredly an insult.
“At least I know the difference
between asphodel and ginger,” she snapped back, referring to the potion which
Corinne had created that had turned her hair purple for a week instead of
changing her eye color as it was meant to. However, the shock and anger on Angelina’s
face when Corinne had spoken made it clear that Mudblood
was more than an insult. She had instantly snapped out a retort in Alicia’s
Later, in the common room, Alicia asked
Angelina what the word meant.
“Some wizards, stupid ones really, think that
purebloods, you know, all wizard families are superior and that anyone with
mixed blood or Muggle and wizard blood is inferior” Angelina explained, “So,
they think it’s dirty blood which is where you get the term Mudblood.”
“Oh,” Alicia said understanding and
feeling both angry and hurt. The term Mudblood
wasn’t just an insult. It was a slur.
“Don’t think about it” said Angelina.
“Waters is an idiot. Some of the best Chasers to play for England
came out of Muggle families. Anyway, she’s just jealous because she can’t fly
any more than a cow can. Still in for the Best Chasers Union?”
Alicia nodded, “Of course.”
If anything, the insult had made
her more determined. By the end of the year, she and Angelina were fast friends
and their ambitions as far as Chasing went had deepened to playing together at
the World Cup.
By their second year, Alicia had
almost forgotten that the term existed until she tried out for the Quidditch
team. There was unfortunately, one opening for a Chaser as only one had
graduated the year before. However, it was a mark of Alicia and Angelina’s
friendship that they had all agreed that whoever did not make it would support
the one who did.
The third chaser was Corinne
Waters’ older sister, Anna. The new captain, Oliver Wood, glanced over the
assembled second years as did Anna. Her eyes flickered over to Alicia and
contempt was quite clearly spread over her face.
“Ah, it’s been centuries since we
had a Muggle-born on the team. Of course, the last time we had a Muggle-born on
the team, we were completely defeated. I suppose, blood does show.”
Which was almost
tantamount to calling her a Mudblood again.
Alicia gripped her broom tightly and willed herself not to respond. If it had
not been for Oliver Wood, Alicia might have lost her cool.
“The Holyhead Harpies’ Seeker is
Muggle-born and according to Quidditch Weekly, she’s the best Seeker
they’ve had since the 16th century. It’s not blood, Waters, it’s a question of talent.”
This statement said in Wood’s thick
Scottish accent seemed to take on even more emphasis. Alicia glanced at her friend
who gave her an equally reassuring look.
By the finish of tryouts, Alicia
was convinced that under a captain like Oliver Wood, if Gryffindor didn’t win,
they would almost certainly die trying. She stood with the others waiting to hear
It was, unfortunately, Anna Waters who
delivered the news.
“While all of you played quite
well, one of you played magnificently and so our new Chaser is officially
Alicia, however, did not miss the
rather sanctimonious little smirk that flashed over Anna’s face as she glanced
at Alicia. Again, it was Oliver who stepped in.
“But we’d like to announce
something else. As it is Anna’s last year, she will be taking the NEWTs, and as
such,” Wood shuddered in horror, “she may not have as much time to give to Quidditch, therefore, we have decided that Alicia Spinnet
will serve as a Reserve Chaser.”
Those words seemed to wipe out any
references to Mudbloods and replace them with a
simple word, Chaser. She was a
As they left the pitch, they bumped
into a small blonde first year who had been watching the trials.
“Sorry” said Alicia, “Didn’t see
The blonde girl grinned, “That’s
all right. As long as you can see a Quaffle . . .”
Angelina smiled, “You’ve got the
right idea. What’s your name?”
“Katie Bell. Next year, I’m going
to be a Chaser too. I wish I could have been one this year. But first years
can’t play. I think that’s a stupid rule. You miss out on some of the best
players that way. I play Quidditch at home all the time, I Chase there too and
I could probably Chase better than that girl Waters.” She said all of this very
quickly without taking a breath.
Angelina and Alicia looked at each
other and reached an unspoken agreement. They would work with Katie to make
sure that she would definitely Chase for Gryffindor the next year. Besides,
they liked her enthusiasm and her blunt manner of speaking. It didn’t matter
that she was a year younger than they were.
“Hey,” said Alicia, “Angelina and I
here decided last year that we would form a Best Chasers’ Union
so that Gryffindor would be sure to win the Cup at least once while we are
here, but so far, it’s just us. We can’t be a Best Chasers’ Union
with only two. What do you say?”
Katie’s blue eyes widened with
delight, “Really? You don’t want to find another second year?”
Angelina laughed, “No, anyone who
cares more about a Quaffle than being bumped into is the best choice for a Best
“Right then,” said Katie, “Count me
And in Alicia’s third year, when she
zoomed out onto the pitch and scored and heard Lee’s enthusiastic voice
commenting “ . . .Alicia Spinnet, a good
find of Oliver Wood’s, last year only a reserve . . .” she knew that she,
Angelina and Katie were as seamless a team of Chasers as they had dreamed of.
“Spinnet!” barked Oliver, “Stop
daydreaming! We may not have a Seeker right now, but we are still going to
Alicia resolved to speak with
Hermione later and tell her what Wood had said so long ago, it wasn’t blood
that mattered but talent and Hermione certainly had that.
“Hey! We can’t have a Best Chaser
Union if we only have two,” Katie yelled. “Come on, Spinnet, you heard Oliver!”
Alicia grinned, picked up her
broomstick and followed her teammates.
She thought of another amendment to Wood’s statement of so long ago. It
wasn’t blood that mattered, but friendship, and Alicia knew she had that in