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 Stress relief {Open}

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PostSubject: Stress relief {Open}   Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:13 pm

The beginning of school was always hectic, but it was rarely this stressful, especially the period before classes even began. So far this year, Malfoy was keeping score of their verbal spats, Harry was walking on eggshells around Ron and Hermione, Ginny was actually throwing punches at Harry's enemies, and a mostly unknown Slytherin was one of the most intriguing people Harry knew. And that was just the train ride here.

Since then he had added Snape to Defense classes, Potions with yet another former Slytherin professor who might be insane, more questions about his future career, and, oh yeah, Sirius's daughter had tracked him down somewhere in between breakfast and the beginning of classes for the term. The fact that Harry had actually made it through Monday without turning his wand on Ron, Malfoy, Hermione, or poor Professor Flitwick, who had decided he didn't read enough over the summer, was a minor miracle at least. One real day into the term and it was already time for stress relief.

Thus here he was, wearing his Gryffindor robes way before he needed to be, shouldering his Firebolt, and striding purposefully through the entrance to the pitch. He had skipped dinner and come down right after classes, so there was still a decent bit of light before he had to worry about anything besides the wind in his air and the freedom that only really happened for him in this one spot.

He flew for over an hour, making up for all the practice he had missed over the summer and making sure that all of his moves were still there. The upside to being a prodigy was that he was hardly rusty, hardly ever got rusty, because so much of what he did in the air seemed to be ingrained in his very being. Still, it felt great to fly and to escape the constant stress show that was his life.

It wasn't until the moment he touched down on the ground, tired and sweating from the late summer sun, that he realized he was not alone on the pitch. He had no idea who this was or how long they had been there. For all he knew, they had been staring at him the entire time and now had designs of keeping him here until the Great Hall was closed and he couldn't even grab a late dinner. "Who are you?" he asked blandly, not even realizing the rudeness of his greeting, as he attempted to sweep his freshly destroyed hair at least mostly out of his eyes so that he could see better.
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:58 am

It was barely one day into the term but the weather was perfect and a fly had sounded great. As captain she needed to figure out try outs and training schedules too. Thus why Holly strode purposefully towards the quidditch pitch with her nimbus and her Hufflepuff quidditch robes on. She had a bright smile on and her wild hair was up in a ponytail which was solely for vision reasons.

She was half leaning towards bringing out the practice snitch and having a go with it and trying not to think of the probability that she wouldn't catch it against Potter or in that case Malfoy either. Both seekers were impossible to beat to the tiny ball but out of everyone Potter was the best hands down. The boy-who-lived never failed there.

When Holly entered the pitch she had assumed it would be empty with it being too early in the term for any practice or try outs but she hadn't taken into consideration any free flying someone might want to do. It didn't surprise her to see that it was Potter up in the air and instead of calling to him which would have been awkward since she had never spoken to him before Holly watched him. It was a new experience to be on the sideline watching him fly than up there flying against him and Holly was envious of how natural it seemed for him.

Every move he made on a broom was fluid like him and the broom were one instead of two and like the broom could read his thoughts instead of answering to his touch. There was nothing rehearsed about his flying and nothing ever seemed practiced. She watched him for so long she almost forgot why she had come there in the first place and lost track of how long she just stood there watching. It came crashing back to her when she was faced with him when he came down to the ground looking windswept. Holly was taken aback by his borderline rude question and hesitated and then stuck her hand out in greeting. "Holly Jacobs. Hufflepuff captain this year."

Holly almost added on that there was no need to introduce himself since she knew he was Harry Potter but she didn't want to be rude and take that away from him.
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:38 pm

Harry took the hand that was offered, relaxing a little bit. The fact that it was a serious player and not some idiot second year gloating that they could have their broom now made things a little bit better. He still got the feeling that she had been watching him for a while, but that made sense too. Not only would they be flying against each other finally, she was also in charge of her team's tactics, and he had been on a broom so little last year thanks to Umbridge that some people had probably forgotten just what he could do in the air.

"Potter," he said, in case she felt the need to do proper introductions. He didn't know if she was one of those overly formal people, but he certainly didn't want to offend anyone on the first day of term. He took back his hand and made a show of sizing her up a little bit. "Good on you," he said finally. "I got Captain this year too. Hope you can make a decent challenge to the Cup." Life would be too boring if Slytherin was the only hard game, and anyway, he already knew that he could fly circles around Cho and Malfoy in his sleep.

Giving my old team an awful lot of credit without me, aren't you Potter, an all too familiar voice hissed in his ear. Apparently a meeting with his replacement had made the ghost of Cedric think now was the perfect time to resume the tormenting of Harry that had blessedly stopped for a few days. "Nice of you to show up in front of someone for a chat, Ced," Harry said out of the side of his mouth. "I'm guessing she can't see you and I just look really crazy right now if she can hear me, right?"

He focused his attention back to Holly, something combining anger, frustration, pleading, and defeat filling his eyes. "You can't see him, can you?" That would be far too easy. The ghost wouldn't let him win this peace this way.
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:29 am

When he took her hand Holly grateful he didn't squeeze it in some intomidation tactic but somehow she didn't feel that would be Potter's style. All he had to do to intimidate was get on his broom. With a nod to his name she let go of his hand. "You better believe we will." It wasn't lost on her that he gave only his surname and leaving out Harry altogether. That was fine with Holly who didn't look at him as anything more than competition on the pitch. Off the pitch didn't look at him at all. She pointed out often to her friends how rude it was to point and stare at and usually ended giving up when they began dating talk. Which brought something to mind. "Just a piece of advice Potter. Don't accept anything from Puff this year. I wouldn't want to lose to you because you're stuck in the hospital wing under the influence of a love potion."

She figured this was fair enough and she felt better about warning him because now she wouldn't feel guilty about not doing it. She wanted to ask him about one of the moves she had seen him use but he started to talk and Holly tried to pay attention. It wasn't long before she realized he wasn't talking to her and she looked around, startled. She hadn't heard or seen anyone else approach and as she looked around she could see why.

There wasn't anyone else around. She brought her eyes back to him looking at him oddly and shaking her head no to his question. "Not that I can see..." She trailed off unsurely. It wasn't everyday you found someone talking to themselves that was true but then there were probably a million and one reasons you could find someone talking to themselves in the wiz adding world.
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:21 pm

Not gonna be that easy, Potter the ghost said silkily. Harry could practically hear the smirk in his voice. Drat. If it wasn't going to get easier this year, and in fact was just going to get weirder and harder, Harry would just have to ignore anything the ghost said until he was by himself and could deal with it.

Harry made a mental note to avoid any girls he didn't know well this year if he could. He usually avoided pretty much everyone all the time it seemed, but he made a note of it anyway. The last thing he needed to do was test the level of help his friends would currently be by turning into a soppy idiot around them and seeing if they noticed the difference and fixed him.

It also pointed to something that he wasn't used to: the idea of Quidditch teams doing something slightly helpful instead of just trying to beat each other by any means necessary. I was always fair that way, the ghost voice said evenly. Harry shuddered, but made no other sign that he had heard anything or that anything was wrong.

With that, he did his best to turn his attention back to the other person who was actually here. "So, Jacobs right? Any idea when you're going to have a filled out team?" Harry was not so brash as to actually ask who would be playing for Hufflepuff this year, but he was willing to poke around a little bit. Any information that she gave up, on purpose or accidentally, would be helpful when it came time to devise a game plan.
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:57 pm

She thought he looked distracted and like he was hearing something or trying to hear something she couldn't tell which. This was the first face to face she had ever had with the boy-who-lived and she had to wonder if he was always so odd in his interactions with new people or if she had just caught him at a bad time. Holly also had to wonder if this distractedness would be effecting him in matches because she hoped it wouldn't. She wanted to win as badly as the next person did but not due to a disadvantage on the other team. Playing with distractions was like playing with one less player and Holly favored a fair game. She wouldn't see it as a real win if Potter's head and focus weren't on the match.

His question about her team had her full attention and she had to smile at him. She knew he wouldn't mind any information she would give about her team because she wouldn't mind if the shoe were on the other foot. But everyone knew most of his team was a shoo in. She knew he would need new beaters with the Weasley twins gone and maybe a chaser or two she couldn't tell for sure but everyone knew the last two Weasleys would be taking their spots back and Potter would be taking up his mantle as Gryffindor seeker. "I plan on holding try outs next weekend so hopefully then. How about Gryffindor?"
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:51 pm

Harry hadn't really expected any answers about her team, but it couldn't hurt to try. Occasionally someone connected to one of the teams was either dense enough or egotistical enough to let something slip that they shouldn't. Generally that someone was a beater with more muscle than brains, but still, never hurt to try.

Harry put on a face of mock shock as she asked about his own team. "Well, Katie and Ron and Ginny are all still in school. So I thought I'd let Ginny and Katie play beater, maybe give Ron a shot to Seek, and I think I'll stand on the ground with a megaphone and shout at them." His face turned from shock to pure devious joy, but in the end he knew he couldn't keep it going and had to give in to a big laugh.

It subsided slowly, and he eventually made it back to a straight face. "Look, you know what I have. Britain's best underage Seeker, a Keeper who can't block a ring one day, then could play for England the next, and at least two or three experienced Chasers. I need new Beaters, because I don't trust the kids that finished last year after the Toad wreaked havoc, but I'm in good shape. By the end of September I'll have a team and a strategy in place."

Harry really hadn't intended to talk that much, but it was hard to stop sometimes, even with a casual acquaintance. Quidditch was the one passion he had that didn't frequently make an attempt on his life. Even the ghost seemed to have floated away in fear or respect of his reverie, leaving only Harry and the girl he was practically preaching to.
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:30 am

So the boy-who-lived had a sense of humor. That was something new but entirely preferred and Holly would have thought his as full of himself as Malfoy was when he spoke about being the best seeker if it wasn't true. Since Potter had began playing in his first year he had never been fairly beaten to the snitch and the only time Gryffindor lost was when Potter wasn't able to fly so Holly didn't bother arguing the point. When it came to seeking Potter had every right to be cocky and boastful but she didn't think it was a very good form for him.

The blonde barked out a laugh. "So much for modesty there eh Potter?" She shook her head amused by his lack of modesty but his words were still true. She knew what he had as far as players which meant she knew what she was working against. The only surprises left were Ravenclaw and Slytherin and Holly had more information on the house of blue than green. "Any idea what Malfoy has up his sleeve? His cockiness has gone up a notch lately." It may have been stupid to ask Potter of all people but it was common knowledge the two liked to spout off to each other and if Malfoy was going to brag it was most likely going to be to Potter.
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:14 pm

Usually Harry didn't know anything more about Slytherin's quidditch team than who had most recently tried to break his arm in a corridor, but this year was a special occasion, and it always felt good to have one up on Malfoy. He knew that he really should keep his knowledge to himself, but he couldn't help but gloat a little, and it wasn't like Malfoy ever did the smart thing, so he probably wasn't even giving up a strategic advantage.

"Well, I'm not sure if the cockiness has anything to do with quidditch or not, but it should," Harry said with a knowing grin. "He has a Seeker that has better reflexes than he ever thought of if he relaxes the unspoken rule about the Slytherin team being all blokes." Harry hoped Malfoy continued to be daft. He didn't really want to embarrass Skyler in the air. She seemed so nice.

"Now then, I know you probably aren't going to tell me anything about your own team, but I did give you insider information," Harry said with his smile growing to a grin again. "Do you know anything about the Ravenclaws? I can't figure out a single team member, even the Captain. It's a little bit weird."
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:48 pm

"But Malfoy plays seeker and we both know he's not about to give up his own position even if it's the smart thing to do." She laughed at the idea when really she was a little concerned. He might not ever have beaten Potter but Malfoy was no joke in the air. The fact that Potter himself thought whoever it was would be a better challenge than the Slytherin prince increased that worry and Holly sincerely hoped Malfoy stayed his cocky self and didn't relax his unspoken rule of no girls allowed on the Slytherin team.

It was the blonde's turn to smile knowingly and she nodded. "Word has it Cho Chang is still captain but might be quitting altogether and it looks like they need a whole new team for the most part. I think the new ravenclaw prefects might end up on the team if their words on the train ride in has anything to do with it." There wasn't much to share but what she did know was that the Ravenclaw team was adding up to be this years underdog and they might just get steamrolled by the other houses.
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:52 am

Well, that was something. Cho was considering not playing at all. It was a shame, as if she returned to her old form, she was an actual challenge. It was also curious. Maybe Harry wasn't the only one whose life had been torn apart by a certain specter in the last year. If he got the time and thought he could stomach her crying, maybe he would have to track her down and see.

Mind racing a little bit, Harry half turned towards the exit. "I believe you were probably here to get some flying in, not just to watch me, Jacobs?" he asked with a grin. "Maybe I'll just give you a chance to do that. I'd stay and return the favor of an audience, but I really need to get something to eat after that session. Have a good night, eh?"
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PostSubject: Re: Stress relief {Open}   Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:52 pm

It was hard not to grin back at Potter because his face was brighter when he did and he looked like a normal guy and not the Chosen One so many referred to him as. Holly was sure her friends would be put out that she had only spoke with him about quidditch and teams and not his many adventures but it wasn't her place to question him and if it were her she wouldn't want that stuff brought up every time she came across someone new. "Gee, thanks Potter." She replied sarcastically but her tone signaled she was only playing, no real bite or malice in it. "No worries. I'm sure you're better to watch than me anyway." She added sincerely with a friendly smile.

Holly didn't mind it so much. She wasn't so completely competitive that she couldn't admire and compliment better players than herself. In a way, she looked up to the boy for his flying and hoped one day she could reach the level he was on and quidditch would be awfully boring without Potter in the air anyways. He kept the rest of the teams and seekers on their toes and striving to be better. Holly wondered if he knew the effect he had even when he didn't try as she waved him a goodbye and mounted her own broom, shooting off into sky.
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