DISCLAIMER: I am not J.K. Rowling. The only characters I can claim in this story are Arlene, Christine, Marty, Taylor, Alfonso and Vincent, who you'll meet later. All other characters belong to the fabulous J.K. Rowling. Enjoy!
My name is Arlene. Arlene Sommers. I work at Quidditch for Kids—a high end program that takes rich and famous wizard's children and puts them onto Quidditch teams. I honestly hated working there. My boss, Taylor Gringhorn, made my life a living hell. He was all about the money-it's like he needed it to survive. He expected me to take no bullshit from the richy-rich parents who felt the need to object to every foul I called in the game. That really wasn't the problem, though. I never took any crap; those famous assholes never flustered me with their high and mighty crap. It was the fact that I was a referee on a stupid kiddie game. I had wanted to play pro-Quidditch. I had trained all through Hogwarts as a Chaser for Ravenclaw. But my parents had died- and suddenly. My poor brother, Vincent, he had just gotten out of college for marine biology, and he had no idea how to handle it. So I gave up the dream to handle the funeral. It was hard. Both he and I had really, really loved our parents. We all contacted each other at least everyday. And I missed them everyday too. Yes, Vincent and Mum and Dad were Muggles, but they meant the world to me. I guess I was lucky that I had been able to keep them out of harm during the war. So once the war was over and then my parents died, I felt betrayed. I had worked so hard to keep them alive and safe, and then they had been killed in a car crash. So easy. So non-magical that I had never thought of it. I paid for the funeral, and it drained most of my money. When I needed a job, I took the only Quidditch-related one I could find.
When I wasn't teaching little brats how to fly on a broom, I lived on my tiny little farm flat in the country with Samuel- my pet piggy. He was so cute, and he ate all my table scraps that I didn't compost, so we had a great system. Plus, if I was gone for awhile at work, I could just let him outside and let him roam. Samuel and I kept a large garden on a tiny plot of land in the middle of nowhere, but that was just the way we liked it. During the war I had to leave the house because of Death Eaters. Sixteen years had passed since then, and everyone had gladly moved on.
So my existence was fairly simple. I got up, got ready for work, fed Samuel and went to work. I'd work all day, train kids and referee games. Then I'd come home, cursing my boss and go to bed. Pretty boring, right? Well, one stupid, famous, richy bastard changed my life around, surprisingly for the better.
It stared on a boring-ass Tuesday. I had to get up early, I had a pee-wee game today. It was foggy in the morning, and I burned my hand making eggs. Samuel ate my leftovers and then I went to get ready. I showered, and washed my reddish-brown slightly curly hair. I wasn't super skinny- not by a long shot, but I definitely wasn't chubby either. I was small and muscular from all of my Chaser training that I took every Friday. My mother always said that the best feature about me was my eyes, but I wasn't so fond of them. They were a strange grayish blue that really wasn't a definitive blue or grey. After my shower I got into my lightweights, the clothes that went under the uniform pads, then got those on too. I Apparated straight to work and was immediately greeted by my boss as I checked in. "It's a high client game today," He said at the desk. I finished writing out my slip and put it in the basket.
"My specialty." I said with just a hint of sarcasm, and went out to the field. It was about half the size of a real stadium so I could keep an eye on those little shits, but I still loved it. Parents were already there, getting their kids ready in the plush stadium seats as I strode out onto the field, drawing my wand and flicking it at the locker room. My broom flew out and rested on the field next to me, and then the box with the Quidditch balls came floating over.
"Dad, stop fussing," A kid whined, and I took a deep breath and let it out. Let the games begin. Literally. I blew my whistle three times, and the two teams slowly disengaged from their rich parents and came down to the field, brooms over their shoulders.
"You know the rules, guys. A clean game. Got it?" I said, and the nicer of the brats nodded, while the really stuck up ones rolled their eyes, sticking their pretty little noses in the air. "Captains," I said, and a kid that could only be a Potter stepped up from red team. He was the spitting image of his father, the Boy Who Lived. The boy from the blue team stepped forward, a smirk across his pointed little face. "Positions," I said, trying to fight the boredom from my voice. "Shake hands," I said, as the other members of the team lined up, and the Captains shook hands, glaring at each other. The kids mounted their brooms as I walked over to the box and got the Quaffle. "Ready, set, go." I said coolly, throwing the Quaffle high, then mounting my broom and sending some sparks at the box. The balls burst free as I rose into the air. The kids were already racing through the field, and I focused on keeping up with them. Marty, my good friend from Hogwarts was the narrator and score-keeper, and he was already hard at work.
"Red Team in possession, passed to Merwin, then Potter, ducking to avoid a Bludger from Malfoy, Nott takes the Quaffle…" I tuned him out and focused on the game. The Bludgers would never come for me, perks of being the ref, but the Snitch and Quaffle often found their way over to me. While watching the game, a kid on the red team knocked into a kid from the blue team and nearly knocked him off the broom. With a sigh, I blew my whistle, flying over. The first foul of the game, which was bound to get some parental comments. The two kids turned out to be Potter and Malfoy, the second generation of a long feud I had even heard of at Hogwarts.
"James," I sighed. I knew all of the kids by name, it was that exclusive of a Quidditch center. "You can't purposely try to knock players off their brooms, remember?" I said kindly, and the Potter frowned.
"I didn't mean to. Honest." He said, trying to lie and failing, a hot flush spreading over his face.
"Just remember not to next time, alright? Foul," I said, raising my voice for the adults and pointing to James Potter.
"HEY!" The kids' father yelled, standing up in the stands. I was surprised, usually the Savior of the wizarding world was quiet at games, only cheering for his son when called for. He had never questioned me before. "That isn't a foul!"
"Hold on a sec, guys." I told the kids, then flew over to him in the stands. "Is there a problem, Mr. Potter?" I asked calmly. The rules to being a ref were simple. You had to treat parents with respect, but you had to get them to sit down so that the game could continue. The careful balance between ordering around the most prestigious wizards and witches in history and being respectful was a hard place to be.
"Yes, there is a problem." He snapped. He looked tired and a little beaten down. I could only hope that he wasn't drunk, for his kids' sake. "That wasn't a foul."
"Sir, you child tried to knock another player off their broom. That's a foul." I said calmly.
"Quidditch is a rough game," he insisted.
"Maybe for older kids and professionals, but at Quidditch for Kids that's a foul. I'm sorry sir." I said with a bit more firmness.
"What's your name?" He demanded, his green eyes flashing angrily.
"I'm Arlene Sommers, Mr. Potter."
"Well, Miss Sommers, my kid would never do that on purpose."
"I'm sure he wouldn't," I agreed half-heartedly in a bored sounding tone. "But he made a mistake and broke a rule, that is a foul. Now please sit down, sir."
"Are you trying to tell me what to do?" He yelled furiously, his hand drifting down to his pocket, where his wand probably was.
"No, I'm trying to referee this game so that your child can have happy memories of playing fair games of Quidditch with other children. Now please, sit down." I snapped. He gaped at me for a moment, his eyes still burning with anger, and then he sat down. "Resume play," I almost drawled, flying back to the kids.
At the end of the game, the Potter's left in a rush, the most famous man probably of all time glaring at me as they left the stadium. What an asshole. I thought that for a moment, when he was glaring at me, I thought that possibly I saw grief in his eyes. I knew that his wife, Ginny, had passed away, but that wasn't my problem. I had stuck up parents like him to deal with. But, hey, it was just another fabulous day at Quidditch for Kids.