Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
All's Fair in Love and Quidditch
By Silver Sailor Ganymede
"Face it, Albus: we haven't got a kneazle's chance in Hades of winning the Cup this year," Hugo sighed pitifully. "Gryffindor's got the strongest team they've had in years. Your dear brother is captain now and, much as I hate to admit it, he, my darling sister and Roxie make for a very good team of Chasers."
"It's probably because they're all related," Albus said. "It must allow them to read each other's minds."
"Almost all wizards are related somehow, you dolt," Hugo snapped. "Then again you might be right; I've seen them play with my own eyes and it is rather like there's a psychic connection there or something." He looked very put out by this. "Did you know that Rose is thinking of playing professionally when she finishes school?"
"No, Hugo, I had no idea," Albus drawled. "I mean it wasn't as though I was sitting right next to you at Grandma's table when your mum blew up at her about that."
Hugo glared at him. "You could have cut the sarcasm in your voice with a severing charm, you realise that?"
"I try my best," said Albus, looking rather pleased with himself.
"Anyway, back to why we're going to dismally lose the Quidditch Cup this year," Hugo said brightly. Albus groaned, causing his cousin to shoot him a murderous look. "So they've got James, Rose and Roxie as Chasers, and George Jordan and Fred are their Beaters. You can see why those two will cause us trouble."
"Because they play like Slytherins?" Albus suggested.
"If only our own team played like the Slytherins they are," Hugo muttered. "Anyway, they have David Wood playing Keeper, and everyone knows that his dad's a professional. So he's obviously learnt a few tricks."
"He has. I've watched him play Quidditch with my brother before; his parents are old friends of dad's, remember?"
"And last but not least, Lily is their new Seeker," Hugo said, looking as though someone had just sentenced him to die a slow and painful death. "And now look at who we have on our team. That oaf Bletchley is Keeper and captain even though he doesn't seem capable of telling a goalpost from the rear end of a Blast-Ended Skrewt. Carrow and Higgs are halfway decent Chasers, I'll give you that, but Devereux seems to think that his job is to drop the Quaffle rather than score with it. Montague and Drayton are good Beaters, yes, but a game can't be won on brute force alone. And I nearly cried when I found out that Bletchley had chosen Cassius Nyx of all people as our Seeker. Nyx. Really, what was Bletchley thinking? I mean he's got about as much chance of catching the Snitch as a bat in a thunderstorm."
"So what do you propose we do to rectify the situation?" Albus asked, looking as though he had started to doze off during his cousin's rant.
"Well firstly it wouldn't hurt them to get some girls on the team: I mean this is the 21st century!" Hugo replied.
Albus tried and failed to stop himself snickering. "You sound just like your mum when you say things like that."
"Shut up, Al. Anyway, if it were up to me I'd have Vincent Goyle as a Beater rather than Montague, seeing as Goyle's got to be twice the size of him. Then I'd replace Devereux with Scorpius Malfoy – you told me yourself he's a bloody brilliant Chaser, so I don't understand why he's not bothered trying out for the team. And of course I'd be playing Seeker instead of Nyx."
"You've overlooked the fact that neither Vinnie nor Scorpius are at all interested in Quidditch," Albus replied with a yawn. "And you know you're not going to get on the team while Bletchley's still here. So what do you propose we do to change the situation that can actually be done?"
Hugo frowned. "What do you mean?"
"Well seeing as we can't replace Nyx, Montague and Devereux with you, Goyle and Malfoy, why don't we come up with a plan to do something that actually will improve our chances of winning?" Albus said, rolling his eyes.
"Such as what?"
"You've overlooked the fact, my dear Hugo, that we've seen every single member of the Gryffindor team play before," Albus replied. "We know how they fly, we know how they play, and we know exactly what tactics James-the-ever-oblivious is bound to use. All we have to do is give Bletchley a few, shall we say, suggestions, and maybe they'll score well enough to win even if Nyx fails to catch the snitch."
Hugo grinned at him. "That's brilliant. Why didn't I think of that?"
"Because you were too busy ranting," Albus said. "Maybe our chances of winning aren't quite so bleak as you were convinced they are."
"So you're basically proposing that we cheat, yes?"
"Cheating is a strong word, Hugo. I'd prefer to call it 'creative winning'," he grinned, reminding Hugo a little too much of James for his liking. It was times like this that he actually remembered that Albus and James were brothers. "Anyway, you do know what the family motto is, don't you?"
"No. What is it?"
"All's fair in love and Quidditch," Albus replied, smirking. "We're going to win the Cup this year."