Hi! You don't need to read my fic the Maruader's Class of 2018, but in my next-gen world, Murphy is the fourth component of a maurader's that consists of James S. Potter (who is the same age as Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley), Teddy Lupin, and Orion Black (Sirius Black's grandson whose father grew up in France). Murphy is a little quidditch obsessed and started playing pro once he got out of Hogwarts in the Summer of 2018. This story finds us about six months later, during the December of 2018. Enjoy
"So let me get this straight… they are trading you mid bloody season to the bloody Falcons?" sputters James.
I nod and take another gulp of my firewiskey. The burn on the way down is worth it. Especially considering the news I got today.
"And you have no say whatsoever?! They can just trade you… like that?" Teddy snaps his fingers to emphasize the point.
I nod again, smiling slightly as I listen to my two friends rant. They're saying exactly what I wanted to say this morning when coach told me. However, for the sake of professionalism, I smiled and nodded before shaking his hand and wishing him a happy mid season break. I've always been a man of few words, and let's just say Oliver Wood (legendary Keeper) isn't a coach you want to get on your bad side. Besides, it wasn't his decision. It was the bloody management.
"At least you're moving up to first string," puts in Orion hopefully.
"Because their last keeper got a lifetime ban from the game!" I can't help but point out. "They're desperate! They would have taken anyone for the right price!"
"Do tell us you're getting a raise!" says James. "With Orion moving to France after my wedding… and Elaine and I moving to the manor…. Ted's always in Egypt. This place is still a dump from when we all moved in six months ago. You're either going to have to start really investing in this place or get one of your own…"
"I'd get your own place," barks Orion looking around the dingy kitchen we are currently occupying. The place is better suited to a teenage fort rather than a bachelor pad. The four of us Marauders moved into the Shrieking Shack on the outskirts of Hogsmead after graduating Hogwarts last June since Teddy Lupin, or Moony as we sometimes call him, inherited it from his father, who was a werewolf and used to haunt the shack every full moon during his school years.
"I'm planning on it," I say as I realize it's my deal. We're having poker night… probably one of our last in the shack since James' wedding is in less than two weeks, Teddy's in Egypt most of the time, and Orion's already packed for France, a temporary international transfer between the English and French Aurors. Shuffling the cards, I deal as I continue. "I have the entire midseason break to find a new place in Southern England. Maybe I'll even find a place right in Falmouth. I doubt my mid season break is going to be that wonderful though, considering how much training I'm going to have to do to be even moderately ready for the first string. I'll have to memorize a whole new playbook!" I'll have to train my arse off to have even the slightest chance at a run in the playoffs considering that Falmouth is currently sitting dead last in the league… behind even the Cannons… Which is great considering just yesterday I was playing reserve keeper for the number one team in the bloody league.
"Does the keeper really need to know the plays?" asks Teddy. I roll my eyes and try to remind myself that he never was much for quidditch.
"You're the best quidditch player I know… If anyone can pull this off, it'll be you!" says Orion in a reassuring way before laying down the winning hand. Obviously I'm not the best poker player at this table.
Five Months Later: May 7th 2019
"Congratulations on the big season!" says Dominique Weasley to me politely. We are stuck as two of the only single people at the head table of this wedding. Teddy has barely let his bride sit out a song, which considering the fact that she's pregnant with twins seems like she would need more rest. James is twirling his wife Elaine and Orion, well I think he's actually been dancing with Teddy's gran… I'm not sure exactly why. Anyways, I'm stuck here with Dominique… which really could be worse, considering she's gorgeous and actually nice. However, the fact that she's gorgeous, and nice…. And well female… basically means I'm totally incapable of speaking with her like a normal person.
"Thanks," I grunt before taking another gulp of my butterbeer. Did I mention that due to all of the pregnant women, there's an underabundance of alcohol at this wedding? I really hope Orion has a flask on him or this wedding is going to be worse than I thought.
"I mean, rising Falmouth from last place prior to the midseason break, all the way to nearly making the finals… that was impressive. Plus, you managed rookie of the year! If the Magpies seeker had only caught the snitch seconds later… you would have won! I bet Puddlemere was pretty mad they traded you away… especially after their Keeper got injured the first game back and was out the rest of the year!"
I grit my teeth and nod along. I know she's trying to be nice, but honestly… I don't want to hear about my missed opportunity to play first string keeper for my previous team. I read enough articles in the sports section to know that Puddlemere would have at least made the playoffs, if not won the cup had I been the reserve who stepped in after Stagman's career ended on a painful note.
"Aunt Ginny says Falmouth is actually one of her favorite contenders for the cup next year, mostly because of you! And she never says that… considering how much she hates them for being an all men's team!"
"She played on an all girl's team. What's the difference?" I ask with a shrug. I'm not too wild about being on an all men's team either, but at least there are no distractions in the locker room. I think that a few women on the team gets a few more fouls called in your favor and a lot better reputation on and off the field. Plus, they often add an element of speed that men can't bring that easily.
"The difference is that an all men's team is sexist! Women can play just as well as men, and their exclusion of women from their team is positively barbaric!"
"What if I wanted to be a Harpy? Isn't that discrimination against men?" I laugh.
"No, that's feminism, and tradition, and… proving that women can be just as good as men!" huffs Dominique, getting a little red in the face.
"Whatever you say," I say with a shrug. I'm not exactly about to start an argument about the Harpies, especially when I know one of their most famous players (who I happen to like and respect) is here for her niece's wedding. I didn't design the league. I just play in it. And rather well I might add.
One month later: June 7th
I love the smell of a quidditch pitch in the morning. Especially the morning of the first summer practice of the year. The sun is already hot, the grass feels warm under me as I stretch, and the sky is blue and clear. Not exactly your typical English weather, so I'm going to enjoy it. The smell of new equipment that accompanies a new season doesn't hurt either. I'm just itching to get my hands on that quaffle in Coach's hands.
"Alright men, I've got some bad news," he's saying and I snap to attention. Bad news?!
"Johnny up and retired on us! Decided not to renew his contract and left us in the lurch for a left wing chaser."
I literally think I'm going to be sick… Johnny was our captain, not to mention our leading scorer. He didn't even hint that he was thinking of leaving the team two weeks ago at the Season closer. There go our chances of the playoffs for next year. Looking around at my teammates, I can tell everyone is in agreement on how much this blows.
"We'll vote on captain next month after we have a little practice under our belts and our new teammate has joined us."
"We aren't seriously pulling Norton up from the reserves?" snorts Marcus Montague. "We might as well trade someone in from the bloody Harpies!" Considering Julius Norton, the left wing chaser on our reserve team, throws worse than most girls… a player off the Harpies… even their reserve team… wouldn't actually be a bad option. Both our center chaser and our right wing on the reserve throw with their right, so putting them on the left would be a damn disaster. We need a left handed player, and frankly, we need him yesterday.
"Got a leftie coming out of Hogwarts, graduates in less than two weeks, so he'll be here for practice by the 18th. Everyone was recruiting him, so we're bloody lucky we got the contract signed and sealed back in March when Johnny told me he was gonna close out."
They've known since bloody MARCH that we were in the lurch for a right wing chaser, and they only managed a Hogwarts grad? Who could they have possibly pulled? I rack my brain for chasers that should be graduating this year and am coming up blank. Hufflepuff had a real young team last year, none of them graduating, and there weren't many standouts from Slytherin that should be coming out of Hogwarts either. I try and remember who was even on the Ravenclaw team. I can only remember a couple of girls.
"Who is it?" I blurt out… several of my teammates turning to me in surprise. Sure, I don't speak up much, but I am the most recent Hogwarts grad, and likely the only one of us that will know the bloke.
"Oliver Wood Junior," says coach with a self satisfied grin. "And yes, he's the son of The Legend, in case you couldn't figure that one out."
Everyone is still looking a little speculative, but a little better after hearing that name. At least until the next thing that blurts out of my mouth. "He wasn't even on the bloody team last year! Did he even play chaser?" Jaws are dropping.
"Well, he played Keeper for Gryffindor, since they couldn't find anyone to replace you, but apparently he plays an even better left handed chase. He was a pretty fantastic Keeper this year. Scouting reports were off the charts."
"So we're getting a keeper to play our first string left wing chaser?" sneers Montague. "Are you fucking kidding me?" He sounds about as happy as I am… which is about as happy as a merman at a fish fry.
Everyone's protesting now, and coach might be glaring my way. Okay, yeah, he's glaring right at me. Duncan and Rolland, our beaters, look about ready to hit coach with their brand new bats, and Hart, our seeker's eyes look like they are trained on the exit. I wouldn't be surprised if he walked out of practice. Coach blows his whistle to quiet us down again, but I can tell we're all fuming.
"I can promise you he's better than Norton, so shut your pieholes and hit the skies before I give you something to really complain about!" No one can argue with that, so we do as he's told and hit the skies. I have a feeling that training is about to get rough… especially considering that we're bound to be stuck doing drills and not much playing for the next week and half since we don't have a full bloody team. Have I mentioned how much I hate doing land drills?
I'm in the middle of the most delicious dream about wint-o-green wiz sticks when I'm quite rudely awakened to a tapping at the window. Being the lightest sleeper in the dorm has many more downsides than it does perks, the only perk I've really found being that I've never been pranked in my sleep during all my years at Hogwarts. Honestly, if you're expecting love notes at three in the morning, leave the bloody window open *cough*Dominique*cough*!
I blindly make my way to the window, not bothering to open my eyes before unlatching it to let her bloody owl inside.
"Livvie!" My eyes snap open at the deep voice, and my eyes are met with the sight of my idiot brother hovering outside our tower window.
"Are you bloody high!?" I exclaim in a scream whisper. "It's three in the morning! What are you doing?"
"Of course I'm high, you dafty. I'm approximately three hundred feet above the ground!" he retorts with a grin.
"We've been over this, you're never going to win Charlotte's affection by stalking our tower. In fact, I think she put on a night mask tonight and would probably send you straight to the hospital wing if she sees you here," I point out helpfully.
"I didn't come to see Charlotte. I need to speak with you," he replies with a roll of his eyes, but I can't help but notice his eyes shoot right to Charlotte's bed. Thank goodness her curtains are drawn. She would die if my brother saw her with her bright green mask on. For as much as she pretends to hate his guts, I think she secretly likes him, which is of course disgusting.
"Can't this wait until morning?" I moan, stepping back to my bed and digging in my nightstand for my wand and a jumper. If I'm going to go flying at this time of night, I'm going to need something more than my cotton nightgown, even if it is June.
"I really need to talk to you," he begs. I kind of like him begging, but from the tone in his voice, I can tell something is seriously the matter. Pulling on an old Puddlemere jumper, I gently let myself out the window and wrap my arms around my brother's waist.
Flying away from the open window, I mournfully regret the fact I didn't at least slip on a pair of socks. The cold night air isn't exactly making my feet feel warm and fuzzy. I could have done with a hair tie as well, since now my hair is going to be entirely unmanageable tomorrow.
We finally land on the eastern facing roof, right next to the chimney that comes from the kitchens. It's kind of our spot. Settling our backs against the warm chimney, I tuck my legs up under my sweater and rub my now numb feet.
"I forgot socks again," I say stupidly when I look up and see Robbie watching me.
"Are you a witch or not?" he asks with a roll of his eyes, before conjuring up a pair for me. They are purple and fuzzy… which happens to be the best kind.
"Thanks," I mumble, pulling them on with a sigh. "So what's the big emergency that it couldn't wait until morning?"
"I fucked up," he says without any preamble. Whatever façade he had up before now has totally dropped, and he looks at me totally desolate. The change is startling, and to be honest, I'm shocked. And Robbie doesn't shock me much.
"Did you get someone pregnant?!" I demand.
"No," he mumbles.
"Are you still going to graduate next week?"
"Yes," he answers.
"Then it can't be all that awful," I say with some optimism.
He runs a hand through his hair, mussing up his already windblown dark brown locks. "I signed two quidditch contracts, one with Kenmare, and one with Falmouth…"
"You did WHAT?!" I shriek, startling more than a few nearby birds as my shout echoes through the night sky. "That's even worse!"
"Falmouth offered me first string left wing back in March, and the deal was too sweet not to take it! I signed a two year contract and was going to tell mum and dad over break. And then everything with Davie's team winning the cup before he got traded to Puddlemere, I didn't want to bring it up and distract from either of our victories, so I was gonna let them know at graduation. But then Kenmare offered me first string center chase… and… I signed that one too… and… I'm royally screwed aren't I?" I watch as he despondently lets his head fall into his lap. My brother has managed to get himself into a right pickle.
"I think your career is over before it's begun. Dad's going to… it's going to ruin us all you know… going back on a contract. Where are you going to get that kind of money to buy out?! What were you thinking!?"
"I don't know!" my twin shouts back at me. "Look! I wasn't! I was thinking... fuck! Kenmare, my favorite team my entire life, offers me even more money to play my favorite position first string, on a team that is a shoe in to at least make the playoffs, if not win it all for the next several seasons!"
"This is going to destroy dad, absolutely destroy him," I whisper again. I'm unable to think beyond the fact that this is the most monumentally stupid thing my brother has ever done. And I mean EVER.
"How much would it cost you to buy yourself out?" I ask. Usually it's about half the value of the contract.
"Two million," groans Robbie, throwing himself against the chimney. "STUPID… STUPID… STUPID…"
I think I'm going to throw up. Two. Million. Galleons. My dad's a retired professional quidditch player and coaches now, but that's a ridiculous amount of money. If dad had to pay it off, well Robbie will be paying dad back for the rest of his miserable life (since he won't be able to make his money playing quidditch and will likely have to take a job as a janitor at the ministry or something awful!) It's also going to destroy dad's dream of ever saving up enough money to buy into management. In fact, forget that… dad will probably be fired as well… laughed out of the business since his son can't keep a contract.
"Did you accept the second string position with the cannons yet?" asks Robbie, and since this is nearly completely off topic, I'm a little thrown (in my family, playing quidditch and the many different teams have all been ruled different topics).
"Not yet," I answer without thinking. "No…. no… no, no, no, nonono!"
"Please, I signed my name O Wood! Livvie- you can play for me… you can't tell me you're excited about being offered a second string position with the bloody Cannons…."
I cannot believe my brother. "I can't just pretend to be you! That would be totally unethical… besides, what are they going to do when they realize that you are playing for the other team! I can't believe you didn't learn anything from fourth year!" I counter.
"It's not like you haven't done it a million times!" he protests. "And, I already thought that part out. I'll make some big stink about going by a false name for my first few years, building my own name for myself, without dad, some rot. Besides, I signed the contract O. Wood… It won't technically be a violation of contract. The Falcons will be lucky to have you…"
"You're just forgetting one little thing…" I snort, even though I know snorting is unladylike.
"What's that dear sister?" asks Robbie. He thinks I'm caving.
"The Falmouth Falcons are an ALL MEN'S TEAM!" I exclaim. Once again disrupting the local wildlife.
"As if you haven't impersonated me a hundred times. Look, if it gets out that I double booked myself… well…. It will probably ruin both of our chances for a career in quidditch faster than you can say quidditch. Besides… if anyone got that suspicious just remind them you have a twin. Nevermind that my twin's a girl, people don't pay attention to that. Besides… you looked enough like a boy until we were about, what, fifteen? Sixteen? Whenever, you decided to grow tits…" He so did not say that!
"I did not DECIDE to grow tits! And what do you mean I looked like a boy!? If this gets out that I participated in this charade it will definitely ruin both of our careers! Definitely! I Enjoy your future working for quality quidditch supplies… as their stock boy!" Summoning my broom from my closet in my room, I manage to storm off, the effect only slightly ruined by my delay on the other side of the roof while I wait for my broom to arrive.
"It's a left wing chaser position! Your favorite!" he calls after me.
So there's the first chapter! Hope you enjoyed it! Keep an eye out for the next chapter! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Let me know what you think! Ellie