|Scene Title||Boys and Quidditch|
|Synopsis||It's Quidditch on the Alley! Four young boys (and one young at heart) enjoy the displays and discounts.|
|Date||Jul 07, 1995|
|Watch For||Sirius inadvertently scaring someone. Football talk.|
In the spirit of the occasion, Diagon Alley has been decked out with the colors and team flags of the various teams in the British League. Along the alley, tables are set up at assorted interval and members of the teams sit signing autographs with quills and inks. Even some of the main shops have tied themselves in with the event by offering discounts on their goods and services. Quality Quidditch Supplies is by far the most popular, offering a thirty percent discount on new broom purchases and fifteen percent discount on all other merchandise.
Harry had been planning to be at this event since the day it was announced. Didn't matter if he was at the Dursley's or not. He would have snuck out. As luck would have it, his plans got changed to his godfather's house. Of course, now he's here and wide-eyed at all the decorations, and excitement going on.
Randal Baker, former Chaser for Puddlemere and current commentator for the WWN, enters the Alley through the archway from the Leaky Cauldron. He's not alone, however, as another, less-well-known-on-sight wizard walks with him, followed by three much younger boys: Gabriel, Gareth, and tiny Julian. While the two men chat away, Gareth looks about excitedly, leaning closer to the other boys. "Dad says he's buying our brooms today!"
Knowing how much this event means to Harry, well, Sirius wasn't going to deny the excursion. There is of course other Order members amongst the crowds in Diagon Alley. But Black himself is alongside his godson as they check out the Quidditch to-do.
Really, this is Julian's first outing with the Conwy / Baker family, and he's interested in returning to Diagon Alley to see it from his drastically changed perspective. He follows the family around, noticing more of his surroundings than the famous personages. He does nod and smile politely to each one who catches his eye. He trails along behind Randall and the boys, not really as interested in the Quidditch gear as the people surrounding him. "Can I get one that's not so bloody fast?" He mutters this more to himself than to his new family.
Gabriel grins to Gareth and nods quickly, "My dad too." He looks to Julian in surprise at his mutter, "Why would you want a slow broom? Though, if you're going for keeper, I guess it doesn't matter quite as much if you're good at predicting." His attention is drawn to various sites as they walk along too, though. "Who should we get autographs from first?"
Gareth's expression is also one of mild confusion. "You want something -slower- than those ancient Cleansweeps we learned on at school? I don't even think they make a slower broom." He shakes his head in amazement at Bean, but then his eyes light at Gabriel's suggestion. "Everyone! Well, maybe not everyone at once; that'd be a bit difficult, wouldn't it?" Meanwhile, Gareth's father is still chatting with Gabriel's father, who every now and then waves to one of the autographing stars.
So many things to see and do. Autographs. Sales. So much that Harry can't decide what to do first. OH wait, there is something that he should do first. "I'm gonna go get some money." Harry says, motioning towards Gringotts. "You know, for authographs and things. I'll catch up with you in a few." he adds, towards Sirius, as he starts for the bank with Kingsley following close behind.
Sirius moves to accompany Harry, then stops. Kingsley is with him and Harry will be quite fine under Kingsley's watchful eye. He's still feeling reluctance towards letting his godson wander off. Summer will pass by in a blink, and he wants as much time with James's son as possible. There's a sigh and he slips his hands into the pockets of his robes as he makes for Quality Quidditch Supplies and begins browsing their wares.
"No, you prat." Bean's gotten comfortable enough with his 'brother' to insult him and give him a friendly jab on the arm as he snickers. "No. I mean slower than the bloody — " Oops. That's one thing he's been having trouble with. They don't like the street language in a proper family home. "I mean, um, Slower than the Firebolt. Johnson let me fly hers once." He shudders. "Too fast. But yeah. Faster than the ones in the shed, for sure." He's looking around, and spots a small man. "He's probably a Seeker, right?" When Potter heads toward the bank with the tall dark auror in tow, Julian notices. "Bl —" This time he catches himself before the word is completely out. "Look." He grabs Gareth's sleeve. "It's Potter."
Gabriel grins, "I'd *love* a Firebolt. But no way could we afford that." He blinks as Harry is pointed out, turning to glance that way curiously as well. Before he can say anything, though, Randal turns back and says, "I need to stop to talk to someone, why don't you boys go ahead and look at brooms in Quality Quidditch Supplies, and I'll be along shortly." He's apparently spotted an old friend from Puddlemere outside said shop, who he then moves to talk to, introducing Gareth's father if he joins.
Gareth grins at his brother, giving him a light, playful shove, as Gareth's father (Ofydd, by the way) moves off with Randal to meet the Puddlemere player. "I'm hoping for a Comet 290, but I heard Mom and Dad talking about it the other night, and it sounds like we won't get anything faster than a 270, if they even have anything that old anymore. How about you, Gabriel? Any idea what you'd…." He trails off when Bean grabs his sleeve, looking around until he spots Harry. "That's him, all right," he says, then suddenly looks a bit worried, eyes darting around the crowded alley. "You don't suppose that godfather of his is about, do you?"
While Harry disappears into Gringotts, the action continues out in the alley as little by little people appear and start to shop and chat with the players. Outside Quality Quidditch Supplies there's one employee handing out flyers with the broom prices (discount included), which across the street at Madam Malkin's Robes they're advertising replica quidditch uniforms for the die-hard enthusiast.
Sirius is indeed around. 'That godfather of Harry's'. Not that Black would mind such a label, regardless of how flattering or how little, it's stated as. He does keep glancing towards Gringotts every so often, even as he looks over Quidditch gear. Harry's birthday /is/ fast approaching, might as well get a jump on present buying while here. The discounted broom prices are ignored, seeing as Harry's already got a Firebolt and Sirius prefers his bike over broom.
Julian shrugs. "Probably." He's not as worried about a convicted mass-murderer as others are. For him, it's all in a day's work. Especially when said mass-murderer was cleared. He grins. "Why? You want to run into him and see if he's as scary as the pictures in the Prophet?" He snickers again. "See, those sound about right." For not liking Quidditch, Bean sure knows a lot about the different brands of brooms. "And Potter's a Quidditch nut, yeah?" So, it only stands to reason that the man is here somewhere. He nods toward Quality and starts walking that way. "C'mon. Da said to go this way." The unfamiliar term still sticks in his mouth a little, but he's started using it, if only because of how happy it makes them.
Gareth tries to give a casual shrug, but his expression makes the 'casual' part seem unconvincing. "That's someone I'd rather not run into in an alley, not even an alley as well-lit as Diagon. Even if he didn't murder all those people, and I'm not convinced he didn't, he still spent all those years in Azkaban. And you know what they say about that place, it drives everyone mad." The thought of finally getting his hands on his very own broom, however, drives nightmarish visions from his mind, and with a grin, he starts toward the shop. "You say 'Quidditch nut' likes it's something weird. Everybody loves Quidditch. Well, except girls."
Gabriel follows the others into the shop, taking one of the flyers to look over the prices. "I'm hoping dad can afford a Nimbus, but probably gonna get a Comet. The 290 looks brilliant." Then he looks back up and adds to Gareth's words, "Girls like it too. The Gryffindor team captain's a girl. And our Seeker."
Some people don't need the assistance Azkaban provides in driving them mad. Like Sirius, and some other people we won't name. All that talk of instability aside, Sirius seems to be pretty tame and harmless. For now. He's keeping mainly to himself as he goes over essential Quidditch wear and gear.
Finally, after what might have seemed like an eternity, Kingsley emerges from Gringotts, followed by Harry. The lad is just pulling the strings shut on a coin purse and tucking it in his pocket as he weaves through the crowd and towards…you guessed it…Quality Quidditch Supplies. Taking one of the flyers as he enters, he glances over the items on sale for a moment before starting to peruse the store.
Julian bites off an off-color remark aobut the Slytherin seeker, something about him acting like a girl, and snickers again, reaching up to get one of the flyers. "See, I can't remember which one of these…" He points at two brooms moderately priced and moderately fast, "I wanted. I had it all figured out, but …" He shrugs. He doesn't know about Azkaban. He's read a little, but has no personal experience with a Dementor or a wizard convict, so he just nods. "Being cooped up'll do that." Even without the freaky guards. "Hey, isn't there a whole team with just girls?" He frowns, wondering if he can see any of the Harpies around. "Besides, not everybody likes dodging those d— those bludgers while they're …" He is busy enough looking around at the quidditch stars that he misses Harry coming up beside him. The older boy's elbow whacks Bean in the side of the head, and he steps back. "Watch where you're…" He stops mid-rant, realizing who it is. "Potter." The tone is resigned, for some reason.
Like all 12-year-old boys…or maybe just most…or some…at the very least, this one! Gareth has a healthy distrust of all girls. He rolls his eyes at Gabriel's and Julian's words. "Okay, -some- girls like Quidditch, and yeah, the Holyhead team, the Harpies. But -all- boys do. It'd be unnatural not—" He stops short, however, when Harry accidently elbows Bean, frowning at first. Then his eyes widen, and he whispers, "It really is," with something close to reverence.
Gabriel nods quickly to Julian, and says, almost at the same time Gareth does, "The Harpies." He doesn't seem to have his cousin's distrust of girls, though. He looks up as Julian bumps into Harry (or the other way around), blinking. He, though, says simply, "Hi."
It's like there's a sixth sense or something, but Sirius notices Harry's return immediately and heads straight for the teen. "Harry? Were you needing a replacement on any protective gear," he asks, not waiting until he's within 'inside voice' distance to speak. Hey, it's fun to drop your manners, and it's so easy to forget them too.
Harry hadn't realized he'd jostled anyone. Shows how much he was focused on stuff in the shop. "Julian." he replies, noting the resigned tone in the boys voice. "Gents." he adds to Gabriel and Gareth before hearing Sirius' voice. "Nope. My gear's still in good repair." he answers, looking around. "Though, I was thinking about picking up a few new pieces of equipment. For..ummm….backups, you know."
Julian follows Harry's eyes to see who he's looking at, and then snickers, turning to Gareth and Gabriel. "Told you so. There he is." He grins, giving a flick of the parchment in his hand toward Sirius. "Were you there when he barged into our Potions class that day and dueled the teacher?" His grin widens, and then he catches sight of the broom he'd been thinking about. "It was that one." He points to it. To Potter, he nods. "Potter. How are you?" It's the 'bored Slytherin' tone of voice that he's picked up from his housemates. "Interesting stuff, isn't it?"
Gareth's eyes widen cartoonishly, and his face drains to roughly the color of curdled milk. "It's -him-," he gasps, though this time his tone is one of absolute horror. He stumbles away from the sinister Sirius Black, only to back directly into Gabriel. Letting out a terrified squeak, he drops the flyer he was holding, turns on his heel, and makes a mad dash for the nearest exit, all thoughts of new brooms and the Great Boy Who Lived banished from his mind.
Sirius gives Harry a grin from across the way, and dives into the spirit of shopping. Seems he's pleased just to spend money on the lad, even at the expense of getting carried away. Just because he can. There's also the fact that a child has just gone running like a frightened little girl. Sirius's face sets in a grim line, well then. He'll just be off to check another area. A sign is given to Kingsley before he ducks around the corner.
Gabriel blinks again as well as he looks up to Sirius, taking a slight step back and then stumbling as Gareth bounces past him. He blinks, "Hey, wait…" He's nervous of the man, still not sure what to believe, but not anywhere like terrified like his cousin, at least. He looks to Harry after Sirius goes too, "Sorry about that."
"It's ok." Harry nods, at Gabriel. "I know Sirius is used to it by now. There's still some people out there afraid of him." he explains, while picking up a pair of seeker gloves and examining them. "As best as can be expected." he says, finally answering Julian and nodding. "They've got a few new things this year it seems. New brooms it looks like, though still nothing faster than the Firebolt."
"Firebolt's too fast, in my opinion." Julian looks down at his nails, still borrowing heavily from the house of the Snake. This is a tricky situation for him. "Johnson let me fly hers once. Too damn fast." It's just Gabriel nearby, and he's less likely to comment on his language than his brother might, Bean reckons. He watches the interplay between cousin and … Potter, and gives a quick smirk. "Gareth ran like a scared little girl." He snickers again, the Slytherin facade dropping. "If the rumors about him are true, then he probably thinks it's funny, huh?' Black, that is.
Gabriel shakes his head quickly to Julian, and says, "No, *can't* be too fast. That's impossible." He grins as he says this. Then he looks up to Harru again and nods more seriously again.
Harry grins as he passes the few items he's collected while taking to the cashier. "Only too fast if you don't know how to handle it." he replies, looking up as the total is mentioned. "And the rumors about Sirius aren't true. I'll tell you that for a fact. Anyone that wants to dispute them can deal with me." As he adds that, he fishes the requisite amount of coins from his pouch and exchanges them for his merchandise in a bag. "On that note, if you gents will excuse me, I need to go catch up with him. Supposed to be getting lunch shortly. Enjoy the rest of your summer!" As he heads for the door, he offers both Julian and Gabriel a wave, and a glance towards Gareth as he emerges outside the store and disappears into the alley.
Julian frowns. "Surely at least a couple of 'em are true?" There's always some truth to the rumors. Oh, well. Bean shrugs, and goes to look at the broom. "Gabe, look at this one. It's not too fast and it's sturdy. They even said it was rated fairly high on the cushioning charm…" His prattle trails off as he continues to look at the broom. If he's gonna have a broom, it's mainly going to be transportation, and it better have a soft seat. "Yeah, it can be too fast. Let me tell you…" He rolls his eyes. "Later, Potter." He calls, lifting his hand in an idle wave.
Gareth is leaning against the building next door, taking good, deep breaths . His color has mostly returned, and it looks like he's nearly ready to return to the store. When the famous Harry Potter exits, however, Gareth's eyes bug yet again, though he manages to stammer a quick hello. How can the Chosen One associate so freely with a well-known Death Eater? Once the doorway is clear, he scurries back inside to find his brother and cousin. "Just uh…needed some air," he explains.
Gabriel waves to Harry as he leaves, "Bye." He looks back to Julian and says, "That's good." Though he doesn't sound all that convinced that a cushioning charm is all that important. "I'm hoping for a faster one, though, still. I wanna make the team next year." He looks back to Gareth and grins, "Yeah, sure."
Harry has disconnected.
Gareth's explanation makes Bean snicker again. "Right. And you only returned when he was gone." Good one. He frowns at Gabriel. "See, I don't want to play Quidditch. I don't mind flying around, don't mind doing tricks, but I don't want to dodge bludgers and …" He shrugs. Old argument, probably. "Well, that one there is a little faster." It's also decently priced.
Gareth sends a quick scowl at Bean, but once attention is drawn again to the brooms, he's all grins. "I don't necessarily want to try out for the House team," he says, snatching up the flyer he dropped earlier, so he can compare prices to the actual models. "But having a good, fast, reliable broom would be excellent. You know, just in case there's a pickup game or some such. Besides, if you're Beaters are any good, you never have to worry about Bludgers anyway."
Gabriel nods quickly to Bean again, "That's ok, then." He looks to the one Bean pointed to, looking at the broom and looking for a model name. He says, "Maybe, yeah." He looks a little hesitant to actually pick, and soon explains why, "Dad said he's been saving up to get my first broom, but he wouldn't tell me how much he saved." To Gareth's comment about beaters he shrugs, "Always some getting through, but not enough to really worry about, don't think."
Julian rolls his eyes. "How do the beaters get good? They start somewhere, don't they? And if you're in practice, you're dodging the d— dodging the things anyway…" He shakes his head. "Whatever. I just don't find it that interesting. Didn't find footie that interesting either." He snorts. "Except for the fact that I could get more food when it was over."
Gareth's eyes suddenly light, and even the prospect of getting a broom flees his mind. "You've played football?" he asks excitedly. "I've seen loads of matches, but never actually played for real. What's it like?" He forces himself to calm a bit, glancing at Gabriel. "I'll bet he'll get you a really good one. I mean, he's a Quidditch player himself, or was at any rate. He knows how important a good broom is."
Gabriel grins and says, "Yeah, it is kind of boring, huh? I played pickup games, it's fun that way, but it'd be too boring to play on a team." He nods quickly to Gareth then, and says, "I hope so. He knows all the good brooms too, knows the specs better than me."
"I suppose if you grew up with Quidditch, footie'd seem a bit boring. Only one ball and everybody's on the ground." Bean smiles wryly. A shop clerk comes over to the boys, watching them closely. "But it was something to do." He shrugs again. "Yeah, he oughtta know his brooms." Julian states the obvious.
"Well, of course, they all have to stay on the ground," Gareth says. "I mean, Muggles can't fly, can they? Besides, it'd be pretty silly to call a game 'football' if you didn't have to play it on foot. But it's still awfully fun to watch Muggles playing it. All of them running about the field, smashing into one another now and again. But why is it only the Keeper ever seems to use his hands?"
Gabriel starts to say something to that, but his father then calls to him, "Gabriel! Come here for a minute? There's someone I'd like you to meet." He rolls his eyes and looks to Gareth and Julian again, "I'll catch up to you at the autograph tables!" He turns then to hurry out to his father.
Gabriel has disconnected.
Julian waves at his cousin, and looks over at his brother. "Ya reckon we should head toward the tables soon?" He points in that direction. "Well, they call it football because you have to use your feet. You get penalized if you…" He continues to explain as they walk around looking at the sights.