Disclaimer:I do NOT own Harry Potter or Eyeshield 21 or any of the affiliated characters. What I do own is a kick ass Ash Ketchum hat, I am out of fudge pops -they are now replaced by spongebob ice pops. Haven't tried them yet. Box has been sitting in my freezer for two weeks-, and a collection of gold medal winning maple syrup. None of which will appear in this story.
Warnings:OC's, some OOC, Het, Slash, AU, fluff, language
The Twenty-Third Tackle
"Sigh… I feel I used up all my luck when I acquired you and Honjo-kun," The coach said as Takeru took a seat. "It was too good to be true to have two talents fall into my lap and continue our legacy. Now I am paying for my good fortune with your rebellious acts!"
Takeru rolled his eyes. For a man who had been Head Coach of an undefeated team for 10 years, he was more dramatic than some of his students. "What horrible acts have I committed?" As far as the other teachers would say, Takeru was a model student that they had no complaints about.
"What acts? How many of my players have you sent to the infirmary?" Ah… he was still on that it seems. "I know you can control your strength and yet I still get scolded by the nurse because of you. Did I not say that we would not have a practice match with that no name school in Tokyo? Now I find out you went and issued them a personal challenge in the National newspaper? What team do you plan to play with? Because you are not using mine. Do you plan to throw and catch the ball at the same time? Cover all positions just to maintain your pride?"
He knew he would probably get in trouble for the challenge but he didn't really care. He respected his coach but the man just didn't understand the situation and he was tired of explaining it at this point. There was an imposter out there, tricking people with the reputation he built and he could not stand it.
"As men, don't we only have our pride? Should I not defend it to the best of my abilities?"
His coach snorted. "Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves," he said.
"Pride is a personal commitment. It is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity." Takeru countered. What was the point in doing anything to the best of your abilities if not for the pride you feel afterwards? People who had no confidence, no ambition, and no motivation, where did they go? Not to the top. You could be a genius in all things but if you had no pride or ambition than it was a waste of talent. Even if you were born with a gift or worked hard to achieve something, you should be proud of yourself always.
"Don't get philosophical with me boy!" the coach grumbled.
That wasn't fair. The coach started it. "Coach, I am sorry for going behind your back, but this was something I needed to do. I spent two years creating the Eyeshield 21 persona. I worked hard to catapult it to infamy. It's like this school. How would you feel if another claimed and took pride in its achievements? Are we not the best school in Osaka? If another Principal stood in front of the nation and claimed that they have the highest test scores, they hold the school who has never lost the Christmas Bowl… would you not want to stand up and right that wrong?"
His coach sighed again. He removed his cap and rubbed his hair for a moment before straightening out his appearance. "I would go and set that man's car on fire."
Takeru was impressed. "Coach, aren't you supposed to set an example for the youth under our care?"
The man laughed. "Would you listen to me? I don't think so, so why waste my energy?"
He had a point.
"Did you only call me here to nag me?" He knew there was a point to this meeting he just needed his coach to get to it.
"You are a little devil. Do you know what your little stunt has done?" the coach asked.
"No." Because he didn't know.
"Trouble. For me!" The coach took his hat and threw it on the desk in frustration. "For two weeks now, I have been fending off the calls of one Yoichi Himura, the captain of the Deimon team. He wants to have a game. Won't stop calling. Threatened to go the media with this!"
Well, wasn't that interesting. "They actually want to have a match with us? They do know they will lose correct?"
Coach scoffed. "I have told him many times. I told him we were too busy to play around with him. We have our own training to do, our own games to play. Plus, the cost to travel to Tokyo, book the hotel rooms, the transportation, the school wouldn't approve such a cost."
"But he still insists?"
"Of course, he does. I don't know why he wants to do this. In all my years, I have never seen such a disrespectful youth. He barely has a full team. They have no discipline. Why they want to do this makes no sense to me. You don't storm a castle with too few men with toothpicks."
"What will you do then?"
"I want you to handle this. Talk to that boy, tell him to forget about this."
His coach glared. "Because you started this mess."
"Ma ma…" Takeru tried to calm the situation. "Just let me play them. One simple match and it will all be over. I will take 12 guys with me, from the third or fourth string, and just get this whole thing over with. It will be a nice practice for them."
"Money! Takeru-kun, who will fund this trip for you?"
A good question… "What if they came here? If the Captain is so insistent, then they can fund a trip here. We could accommodate them in the dorms or something. Wouldn't that solve both our problems?"
"And when would this happen? You have school and practice Monday to Friday, games every weekend. First string is not allowed time off. Your team depends on you."
The schedule was tight.
"Summer break? End of June, right before the school lets out. We can work it in our summer training camp."
"Let me talk to the team. This isn't something we can decide on our own." It was a good compromise. He knew Harry wouldn't be travelling until summer anyways. Well he better not. He needed to focus on school.
"Thanks coach," Takeru said with a smile. Despite all his grump, he was a good guy.
"But you need to do something for me," The coach added. Of course, there was a catch.
"What do I have to do, Coach?"
The man stared his down. "Get a girlfriend. I'm tired of hearing the other guys whine because they can't get a girl to notice them. Once you're off the market, they will finally stand a chance."
Takeru laughed. "30 percent of those girls watching practice are there for Honjo-san. Have you told him to get a girlfriend?"
"Once or twice. He needs to socialize more."
McGonagall organized her notes as she waited for the staff meeting to start. She had several students that she needed to talk about as she was worried about their exams. She also needed to talk about Miss Granger and reducing her class schedule. It was taking a toll on the girl and she hoped that for next year she could convince the girl to only take a certain number of classes. She hoped that talking to the other instructors that she would have a good idea of which classes to suggest she keep and which ones she might be better off without.
She had also been thinking about Mr. Finnegan for awhile now. He had brought up so good points and she had spent an evening calling random lions to her office to talk to them. It was eye opening the difference between the sexual education in her students. While the muggle raised had more knowledge on certain things, some of their views were very closed off. While her half-blood and pureblood students were more ignorant but more open to opinions. She even spoke to Poppy considering she dealt with 'surprises' every year.
Flitwick took his usual seat beside her and started on their favourite topic. "Mr. Wood has a very good team this year. I believe that the cup will return to you once more."
She smiled in gratitude. "He has worked very hard for it. But between me and you, I did convince Poppy to slip me some of her Pepper-up potion for the team. I want them to win and early morning practices can lead to a cold. They need to be in tip top shape."
Flitwick chuckled. "She may have been a Hufflepuff but she loves to win. I heard her placing a sizable bet on Gryffindor against Severus."
"Oh? What were the conditions?"
"The French chocolate cake she loves. If she wins Severus has to buy her one for every holiday until Slytherin wins the cup back. If he wins, then she has to read a speech about not being a dunderhead to every student who goes to her with a stupid injury."
Minerva grinned. "She will be eating a lot of chocolate cake then." Shuffling through her papers, she withdrew her plan for a Hogwarts sexual education course. She slid the outline over to her friend. "Would you please tell me what you think. I want to propose this today and I would like a second opinion."
Filius sent her a searching look but quickly picked up the plan and started reading. "There are some very strong points here. May I ask what prompted such a task?"
"Mr. Finnegan," she said. She was a little satisfied to see his shock. "He brought up some very surprising arguments to me. I'm sure you have noticed his... social personality by now." Mr. Finnegan was giving Sirius Black a run for his money in terms of chasing girls. At his prime, Sirius Black had been a very good-looking young man that could charm the gold off a goblin. Seamus Finnegan, while he didn't have that pureblood and regal upbringing that Black had, he was still a charming boy that was a smooth talker. His Irish lit, and turn of phrase made a lot of young hearts flutter.
"His parents seem to have raised him in a very open household. He isn't afraid to speak his mind and point out things that other are likely to shy away from." She explained.
"I think I understand what you mean. He has very bold personality. I do like your proposal. I would make one suggestion though," Flitwick said as took out a quill and started scribbling down on a spare piece of parchment.
"I agree that having a Healer come in to talk about all the technical stuff and that has the Head of Houses we should be present, I think it would be best if we separate them but males and females. I can take that boy Gryffindor's and you can talk my female Ravenclaws. I know that some will be too embarrassed having to listen to such talk with the opposite sex around that they may not take it all in."
"Embarrassed about what?" Pomona asked as she was sitting close.
Minerva quickly explained her ides for the woman and the fellow teachers sitting around.
"I think that's great idea!" Pomona agreed. "My girl's have no problem coming to me about questions, but I was always worried about the boys. I know they don't want to come to an old lady about these things so I always tried to encourage the older prefects to bring them up."
"My raven's normally just leave a book about helpful spells on each others bed. I never thought about further explanation as it didn't seem to be a problem. But Poppy says there are a fair number of students form every house coming to her every year about prevention." Flitwick said with a frown. "Book earning isn't everything when it comes to sexual health. I like the idea of the Healer coming to tackle these things before a problem arises."
From there all the professors got in on the discussion. Minerva pulled out several parchments to write everything down and they revised all her ideas one by one until everyone was satisfied with what they had. By the time the Headmaster arrived, they teachers had completed a new curriculum requirement and had sent an Owl to St. Mungo's enquiring if they had a Healer to spare to come educate the Hogwarts populace.
Dumbledore for his part just clapped his hands, told them it was a job well done and he can't wait to hear feedback.
The final match of the year had arrived.
Oliver was a maniac with practice leading up to it. The Gryffindor team had never been so exhausted in their entire lives but not one of them complained. They all wanted this win just as much as Oliver- for Oliver. They knew that Puddlemore was sitting in the stands, they wanted their Captain to achieve his dream and for that they threw everything they had into practice and the game.
Slytherin was a tough opponent. They liked to play dirty tricks and hurt you. Were they going to back down and try to shy away from any potential injury? Never. They took the elbows, punches and kicks and didn't flinch. They could try to knock them off their brooms but these lions were fierce and were not going to be budged.
They took the lead right away. Alicia had gotten the quaffle and in a bit of amazing skill had barrel rolled over the 3 opposing chasers and had threw mid roll to get the first goal of the game. All within 10 seconds of Hooch blowing her whistle. From there the stands would not stop cheering. The girls were absolutely brilliant. The twins seemed to have multiplied when you thought they were on one side of te field they were on the other side in a second and smashing a bludger into your face. Oliver was in command, baring orders from the hoops. He tracked every single player and knew exactly what they wanted to do.
If anyone was looked towards McGonagall, they would have seen her looking proud of her lions. Never before had she had a team that worked so well together. She knew that unless an absolute disaster happened to her team, they were winning that day. Snape appeared calm but her was clutching his fists and withheld any snarky remark.
As for Harry…
He could see the snitch. It was near the ground and Malfoy wasn't giving him an inch to move. They had a good lead but if Malfoy caught the snitch first, they would lose by 20 points. He could do something... It was a little crazy. It wasn't finished. And 100% Hooch was going to kill him. McGonagall was going to kill him too… and Madam Pomfrey… Well, no point in dying a normal death.
Looking around Harry tried to figure out how to make this believable. After all he couldn't just suddenly keel over in a dramatic re-enactment of getting poisoned. That would just be embarrassing. He didn't need to think long as the familiar fast whizz of a bludger could be heard hurdling towards him. Normally we would dodge and move on, but this time he angled his body so it seemed like he hadn't seen it.
When the bludger finally hit him, it got him on the back-right side of his ribs. Lurching forward, Harry released his broom. Using the laces on his boots, he locked them around the foot stand and started falling.
He could hear the crowd gasp, the instant yelling of fear from the Gryffindor stands. He only focussed on the snitch. It wasn't moving, just flying in the same space which was good. If it flew away now and he fell to his death for no reason he was going to be very upset.
He was getting closer to the ground. He could see the twins trying to catch up. The Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws started yelling as well…
If you ignored the death at the bottom, free falling was really calming. Your body was so light, the wind rushing past felt like it was taking all worries… he would have to do this again. If he was ever allowed back on a broom.
Focussing on the golden ball, Harry waited until the last second to reach out and snag it from the air. Twisting his body and kicking his leg forward he brought his broom close enough to grab. He re-mounted right before impact and zoomed away. Thrusting his hand in the air, the stadium went silent. It took a few beats before it exploded into cheers as the audience caught up to what happened.
Hooch was waiting for him when he landed. He could see McGonagall storming cross the field. Well… in for a penny, in for a pound. His ribs were really hurting and the adrenaline was wearing off… Harry closed his eyes and collapsed.
When Harry woke up it was to the feeling of someone strangling him finally registering. Opening his eyes and struggling to get free, he found that it was just Oliver hugging him tightly.
"Ollie… air…" he gasped out.
His Captain froze before letting him go and then apologized profusely. "I'm sorry Harry! I was just so happy and I needed to tell you but you were still sleeping so I thought just a hug because I am about to burst from excitement!"
Harry smiled. "Good news then?" He asked as he sat up.
Oliver sat down beside him with a huge smile. "Puddlemore… they offered me reserve keeper. They were very impressed with my handling of the team and my skills. They said that I will be vice-captain next year when my training is finished. I… I just can't believe it."
"Congratulations Oliver. You deserve it." Harry was so incredibly happy for his friend and captain.
"I will start right away. They want me to start practice on the weekends for now and after graduation I will join the training camp fully. My parents came by. They said they were so proud of me." Oliver sniffled as he wiped away a stray tear. "I worked so hard for this that it doesn't seem completely real." He admitted.
Harry leaned forward and gave Oliver a light hug. "Did you even read the contract before you signed?" Harry teased.
Oliver chuckled. "Yes, I did, you brat." He ruffled Harry's hair. "McGonagall was there with me. After you collapsed and were taken inside, she saw the recruiter and coach talking to me. She came over and she's done this a few times so she knew what to look for. She read the contract with me, explained anything I didn't understand, and then declared I was getting a good deal. I signed with her present."
They had a good Head of House.
"You're going to be brilliant Oliver."
Harry briefly glanced up from his lunch when Seamus pushed a second year out of the way to sit down.
"You alright Seamus?" Dean asked as he rearranged himself to accommodate the Irish boy.
"You guys ever have one of those shits where you start sweating, tears start falling, your nose starts running and you have to take off all your clothes?"
Harry sighed, Dean snorted and Neville beat a hasty retreat by using his girlfriend as an excuse. "Hello would have worked too," Dean threw out.
"They served something at breakfast that didn't agree with me. Felt it all mornin' just brewing down there."
"We don't have to share everything," Harry offered. He was eating after all. He would have liked to finish his meal without all the… details.
"Just be glad it happened now. After dinner, none of yous would wan' ta be near the dorm."
"Can we talk about something else?" Harry asked as he pushed his plate away. He had chosen the Sheppard's pie and the resemblance to something was just too great for him at the moment.
"We could talk about the Hogsmeade visit this weekend," Dean responded. "if we head out after lunch, we can save money. We only need to buy butterbeers if we go to The Three Broomsticks."
Seamus grinned as he leaned over and picked up Harry's abandoned plate. "Not me. I got a date."
"Who this time?" Harry asked. Seamus seemed to be on a mission to date every girl in third to fifth before the year was up.
"Lavender. Been making eyes at me all month." Harry raised his eyebrows. That was a surprise. "Dean, you should really take Padma out. She's still interested."
"I'll pass. She's nice but not my type. I mentioned footy once and her eyes glazed over."
"That's the problem with you jock types. All you care about is sports. Can't appreciate the finer things in life."
"I think you're appreciating them enough for all of us." Harry retorted. Seamus just didn't seem to slow down.
"Look, I just want us all to be happy. I mean, how great would it be if we all came back from Hogsmeade with tales of our dates, we could compare notes, help each other with problems."
"That does sound fun, but at this point, haven't you been on enough dates that you don't need the help from two amateurs?" Dean asked.
"It's always good to get a fresh perspective."
"There's not much you can do in Hogsmeade. Go to a pub… a café. Do some shopping. It's not like there's a theme park or cinema." Dean argued.
"There's more than that! Plus, its all about taking those places and making them exciting for the girl."
"If you say so." Dean didn't seem interested in the conversation at all. Harry was considering leaving, class would start soon, and he was really looking forward to Charms.
"Come on Dean, Padma is a great girl, she likes you, and even though you rejected her before, she's still sniffing around the ole' Thomas tree. If you really can't see yourself dating her then just choose someone. You're a catch! You have the whole tall, dark, handsome thing going for you." Seamus should really learn when to quit.
"Well if you really want me to have a choose, then I'll take Harry as my date," Dean threw out.
Harry coughed in shock. "Me?"
"Why not?" Dean asked seriously. "We go to town, do some shopping, I spoil you with treats from Honeydukes… does that sound different from our other trips to Hogsmeade?"
Harry thought about it. It really wasn't that different. "Okay…so okay?"
"A date." Dean confirmed. "Happy now Seamus?"
Seamus shook his head. "What waste of that face. Didn't even splash in the water before settling down for life," the Irish boy bemoaned.
"Settling down for life?" Harry asked.
"Look. Harry you were never going to be one to dates loads and play the field. Your heart is too soft and kind to potentially hurt a girl like that. You are the type to seriously date person and that's who you will marry. Dean has the potential to be a lady killer. He would be a gentleman and date a couple of girls, treat them all well like a gentleman but if he doesn't see a future, he wouldn't string them along."
None of that sounded bad, but Seamus' somber expression made it seem like it was.
"You two dating, well… Harry you should expect a proposal at graduation. I'm Dean's best man by the way," Seamus said casually as he shovelled meat and potato into his mouth.
Dean chuckled. "I thought Harry was going to marry his firebolt. Are you saying I am more important to Harry than his broom? The broom that helped him win the Quidditch cup?"
Seamus snorted. "Nah mate. They just haven't passed the bill letting him marry his broom yet."
Harry blinked and then shook his head. His friends were teasing him again. He wasn't going to stick around for it. Without saying anything, he slowly got up and quietly walked away without either boy noticing.
Fun Football Fact
The last scoreless NFL game was in 1943 when the Detroit Lions and New York Giants battled it out for a 0-0 tie