The Psychologist of Quidditch
Word Count: 513
Prompts: Appleby Arrows, Quaffle, Gryffindor, Fouls & Celebrations
For once in his God damned life, Harry would like the win a fucking match! Is that so much to ask for? Without cheating or fake luck or injuries, he'd like to win an honest game. It'd be be nice to actually get a goal without one of his chasers blatantly haversacking it and thinking they would get away without the foul being called. Ever since he became captain of the Appleby Arrows, it'd been loss after loss after devastating loss.
His team is utter shite, no connection or chemistry between the lot of them, including himself. His beaters couldn't hit the moon if it suddenly fell from the sky. His chasers are too busy arguing to see the quaffle coming from a mile away. His keeper is a fumbling baffoon who can't keep hold of his own broom because he's always so nervous, let alone catch a ball and him, well he's too busy shouting orders and complaints to even think about catching a bloody snitch!
So, even though he's desperate, it's still a bit of a surprise to be welcomed into his office one morning by Draco Malfoy's knowing eyes. And he's proclaiming himself a coach now, is he? Oh, not just some ordinary strategist, no, no. The Quidditch Psychologist, he says, head high like it isn't some cosmic joke on Harry's behalf.
The next month is as torturous as it is wet – which is saying something because Harry has to call off their first five days of practice (that's a whole fucking week lost to start with, right there) due to the fact that no one can see their own hands for water, let alone a ball. Malfoy is smug and barely says anything, just jots into his devil's notebook – waterproof, of fucking course – and stares with his squinty eyes.
And another month later, when their next game is closing in on them – a test match against Tania Flintstone's Gryffindor Graduates ammeter team, which they should win easily but Harry is having serious doubts about – he feels like Malfoy hasn't earned a single sickle he's paid him, let alone the small fortune currently lining his Gringotts account.
Somehow, they win it. Harry, even as the captain, has no bloody clue how, but suddenly they're up by 70 and the snitch is in his line of sight.
That night, while everyone else is celebrating much harder than should be necessary for such a match – where they logically should have outclassed their opponents but struggled none-the-less – Harry offers his hand to Malfoy and they shake, firm and with the promise of further work and more wins.
A year later, they're back in the league – at the bottom but he can't be picky, they're bloody in okay! - and he's got his tongue shoved down Malfoy's throat while his team enjoy a bit more than butterbeer in the next room.
He thinks they've made remarkable progress.
And Malfoy is only charging him half with the understanding that he'll be moving in to Grimmauld next week.
Settling Disagreements (Hermione style)
Word Count: 336
Prompts: Gobstones, Swivenhodge & Muggle Sport
Harry has found – and by extension, Hermione has too - that there is one major problem with having your best friend be on the Quidditch team of which you are captain. The arguments that escalate after the locker room is behind them are monstrous. Hermione's patience with both Harry and Ron is basically non-existent to begin with so she's quick to settle most of them. In many cases, it's simply a case of reminding Ron who the captain is and sometimes he'll just have to take it, man up and move on once the brooms are back in the cupboard. Other times, it's a little more complicated. But Hermione's nothing if not resourceful so she has a plan for this contingency as well.
When Ron complains that Harry is pushing him harder than everyone else because they're friends, being more critical and making him look like 'a bloody idiot' in front of the rest of the team, Hermione suggests Swivenhodge. They don't even make it to the full fifty points before Ron is too dizzy to continue and Harry's taken a pig's bladder to the face and trying not to puke. They call truce and carry on with avoiding their potions assignments.
Next, Harry complains that Ron isn't taking his instructions seriously because of their personal relationship. Of course, Ron claims 'bollocks,' but Hermione sets them up for a match of Gobstones and leaves them to it. They end up bored and seeing who can find a way of making their gobstones explode first.
Finally, after Hermione has introduced them to badminton, 'the most stupid, bloody muggle sport ever!' and they are muddy and dirty and winded, they learn not to involve her in their affairs. She doesn't learn that this last argument was about how Harry was checking out Malfoy's rear end and Ron caught him, nor does she wish to. She's perfectly happy not knowing where the origin of the numerous closet jokes that join them to breakfast, lunch and dinner came from.Sulking (A Lesson)
Word Count: 177
Prompts: Viktor Krum
When they come back to Hogwarts, Harry isn't surprised. He isn't surprised when Hermione immediately picks up her friendship with Krum, either - traitor, Ron's voice whispers in his ear immediately. He definitely isn't surprised when Ron immediately stops walking to her. Won't even look at her or go down to dinner at the same time as her. He says she's turning her back on Hogwarts but Harry knows it's the wriggling little thing in his gut. The green jealousy of his crush writhing to the surface.
He finds the whole thing privately amusing - Ron would absolutely punch him one if he said out loud that he found the entire affair nothing more than juvenile fun. But then, he feels exactly the same way when he spots Parkinson with her slippery, little fingers on his skin and when she whispers in his ear, so he can't begrudge Ron this little weakness. In fact, just for tonight, he'll join him by the fire and sulk, beer in one hand while the other gestures obscurely into the fire.