The Sugar Quill
Author: Firebolt909 (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Chaser  Chapter: Chapter Two: The Tryout
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CHAPTER TWO: THE TRYOUT

“Ginny!  Psssst! Ginny!”  Ginny looked up to see Hermione Granger motioning her to come over.  Ginny threw down her Potions homework and walked over to the brunette, who was also immersed in homework. 

Hermione’s eyes danced excitedly, just like she had solved an important mystery.  “I think I know who the new Chaser might be.”  Ginny’s own eyes widened.  Hermione was undoubtedly the smartest witch in her year, Ginny didn’t expect that her friend would be the one to blow her cover, not with only two days left until the tryouts.

“Oh,” Ginny replied, hoping she added just the right amount of curiosity in her tone.  “Who is it, then?”

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell,” whispered Hermione.  “I think it’s great!  We need more women on the Quidditch teams and it would just irk Ron to no end!”

Ginny was flabbergasted.  “Who are you talking about?”

Hermione shot her a knowing look.  “Who do you think?”

“How did you figure it out?”  Ginny looked around, making sure no one was listening in to the conversation.

“Oh, please.  I’ve seen you fly.  You make that old Shooting Star of Charlie’s look like a Firebolt when you hop on it!” Hermione praised.  “Besides, I knew there just had to be a reason that the identity was kept secret.”

Ginny was torn between horror and embarrassment at the compliment from her friend.  “You really do think I can do it, then?”

Before Hermione could reply, Ron and Harry both plopped down in the vacant chairs across  from the girls.  “Damn it!” said Ron angrily. “That old slimy git made us scrub the entire dungeon floor!  On our hands and knees!”  Ron held up his hands, which were indeed very grimy and very red.  Blisters were starting to form on his palms.  “I won’t be able to hold a quill for a week!”

Harry nodded as he too held his hands up for inspection.  “That’s the last time we ever try to sneak out of Potions class to go meet the team for a bit of extra practice!” he added forcefully.

“Silly idea as well,” Hermione scolded.  “What on earth possessed you two to go have Quidditch practice right in the middle of the day?”

“Well…” began Ron, glancing slyly at Hermione.  “We were actually going to sneak down to Hooch’s office to see if we could find the name of the new Chaser.”

“What?”  Ginny exclaimed, her mouth nearly touching her toes.  She should’ve never had this stupid idea in the first place, if she only knew all the trouble it was going to cause.

“Well, we’re dying to know who it is!”  Harry defended.  “I mean why on earth would anyone want to keep it a secret, unless it was something terribly important?”

Ron, meanwhile, was studying his girlfriend, who suddenly was very, very fascinated with her homework.  “What do you know, Hermione?”  He asked, taking the quill from her to get her attention.

“Ron! Give that back!”  Ron’s long arms held it out of her reach.

“Oh, come on! I know you know something.  You’ve got that glint in your eye!”  Ginny was suddenly terrified.  The main reason she wanted her identity kept secret was because if before the week was ended, and she had come to her senses, she could easily back out, with no one the wiser. 

“I do not!” Hermione scoffed. “I know nothing more about this than you do.”  That must have appeased Ron because he handed back her quill and with a quick kiss to her cheek, was off to take a shower.

Ginny turned to find Harry staring at her.  I must have it written on my face, she thought miserably.  “What is it, Harry?” she asked.

Harry blinked.  “Oh, nothing,” he said hurriedly. “I need to go take a shower too.  I’ll see you two tomorrow.” And he was off, going up the stairs leading to the boys’ dormitory.

Ginny stared after him.  He had been acting strangely lately. 

”So, anyway, I think this is great,” Hermione continued, as if they had never been interrupted by the presence of Ron and Harry.  “Ron absolutely hates it when I know something he doesn’t.  This’ll drive him nuts!”  Hermione was grinning madly.

Ginny couldn’t help it.  She grinned too. “I’m glad I can bring so much joy to my friends’ lives.”

*********************

Ginny could barely keep her mind concentrated on her work on Friday.  The tryouts began in only a few hours time.  What in Heaven’s name possessed her to do such a stupid thing?  She was probably going to fall straight off the broom or do some other silly thing in front of Harry and the rest of the team.  As the time drew nearer, Ginny felt like she swallowed a whole tub of flobberworms.  She hardly ate any lunch, just stirred the food around on her plate as she listened to the rest of the Gryffindors talk animatedly about the identity of the Chaser.

At three-thirty, Ginny walked up to the common room, her bag slung over her shoulder.  Hermione met her at the portrait hole.

“Ready Ginny!” Hermione was almost dancing.

“I guess so,” she replied, thinking about how nice it would be just to curl up in her bed and die.

“Well, come on then!  We’ve only got enough time to get your things.”  Hermione dragged her up the stairs to get her things.  Ten minutes later, they were leaving the common room, her broom swung over her shoulder.  It was funny how the room was empty; she hadn’t seen a Gryffindor in sight. 

The march to the Quidditch Pitch was a long one.  Several times, Ginny almost turned back, Hermione stubbornly dragging her down to the stands.

“Come off it, Ginny!  You’re just a bit nervous.  It’ll be alright!”  Ginny prayed she was right.

Things were not alright.  Ginny nearly passed out when they reached the pitch.  The blood drained from her face as she stared at the stands.  Normally, there would be only the members of the team and Madam Hooch presiding over the tryouts, but there, in the stands, was the entire Gryffindor House, murmuring and whispering and giggling.

“Nope.  No way.  We are turning right around, Hermione.”  Ginny jerked out of the other girl’s grip and turned around, planning to head straight back to the school.

“Oi, Hermione! Ginny!”  Ron had spotted them.  Ginny quickly stuck her broomstick behind her back.

“Looks like quite a crowd, eh?” He asked them, pulling Hermione close.  “The person’s gotta show up soon.  Although, I think with you two here, it looks like we’ve got all the Gryffindor’s here.”

Ginny wanted to throw up.  Harry was rushing up to them as well.  A lock of pitch black hair stuck out on his forehead.  His eyes were alight with anticipation.  “Hi, Ginny.”

Ginny definitely wanted to throw up.  “Hi, Harry,” she squeaked.  They all started walking down to the center of the pitch, where the other team members were, Hermione casting looks at Ginny the entire time.

“Well?” Fred and George asked Madam Hooch.  “Where’s this person at?”

Before Madam Hooch could answer, Ginny felt a hand shove her forward, making her stumble into the center of the circle that had formed.  Everyone looked questioningly at her, including a pair of bright green eyes.

“It’s me,” she choked out. “I’m the new Chaser.”

//
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