Closed Spying on Try-Outs

Seamus Reid

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Seamus had easily signed up to help spy on the other teams. He wanted to, wanted to do anything that was asked of him on the off chance that it helped his chances. He'd been an alternate for a while and wanted to be on the team finally. So yeah he'd do anything asked of him. Though for him, it wasn't too difficult, this was Ravenclaw try-outs and he could spot his brother on the pitch with the rest of them. Seamus had a little notebook, with some scattered notes about the people who had arrived. He was very hopeful that doing this would be his ticket, the extra leg up. Spying wasn't too hard to do, though given that the players were still on the ground, it wasn't too difficult, it might be a different thing all together when they were in the air. He had some binoculars but wouldn't do it immediately. He was trying to not be spotted, or at least if spotted, ignored.
 

Celia Vuong

one may smile, and smile, and be a villain
 
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Back when Celia had been a mere Quidditch player, the recent string of abbreviated matches had been a nuisance, each one robbing her of a chance to show off her skills and actually enjoy the game. But now that she was captain, the short matches were a major problem. They had left her completely blind to the other teams' strengths, weaknesses, and tactics. How was she supposed to develop coherent strategies if she didn't know her opponents' habits? Sure, she could just brute force her way through the year, knocking out everyone who got in her way. But even that task would be made easier if she knew each player's flying patterns.

In the muggle world, she would have the option of watching game tape, but this was the magical world — a place so backwards that literal videotape didn't even exist. So she was just going to have to spy on the other teams. She was starting today with the Ravenclaw tryouts and had asked Seamus to meet her there. Truthfully, Celia didn't consider the eagles much of a threat; she had knocked out Hamish once and was sure she could do it again. Rather, the purpose of today's excursion was to test Seamus. He was a decent beater, her top choice to fill the open spot, but he was also Hamish's twin. Celia needed to know where his loyalties would lie when it mattered most.

The fact that Seamus had shown up at all was certainly a promising start. "If anyone asks, you're here to support your brother," Celia instructed, taking a seat next to him. She'd ditched her Slytherin robes for plain black ones, but aside from a large blue scarf, she hadn't really bothered with a disguise. If Xiuying kicked her out, then Seamus could continue on in her stead. "We're looking for any weaknesses among the seekers and beaters." He was a beater, and she didn't want him wasting his time watching the keeper or chasers. She would keep an eye on them and report back to the team anything useful. Celia studied the pitch, doing a mental tally. "Strange," she muttered. "Sefina's not there."
 

Seamus Reid

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Seamus glanced up at Celia as she sat down next to him. He rolled his eyes a little at her. ”I am,” he said. He would've been there no matter what, would've been watching had he been asked to or not. This was two birds with one stone. He glanced at the seekers and the beaters. He obviously knew his brother, but he didn't know the beaters. ”Sefina transferred,” he said with a shrug, he knew because Hamish had told him so. ”And the older alternate beater, Valeria, hasn't turned up, yet,” Seamus replied. It did seem like the team would have some changes which would help them more than a little. They were a more solid team, with lots of players who would likely leave in the next year, but they could remain the best if everyone else's teams were weak.
 

Celia Vuong

one may smile, and smile, and be a villain
 
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Celia raised her eyebrows a little, unimpressed by the eyeroll. "And yet you're also spying on him," she commented, trying to gauge whether this bothered Seamus at all. Aside from occasionally glaring at her during practice, he wasn't exactly the most expressive person, and she found him a little difficult to read. At his comment about Sefina, Celia nodded, a little surprised that he knew a bit of gossip that she didn't. Maybe Hamish had told him. "Oh, I'm not that worried about her," she said a little dismissively when he brought up Valeria. "She's been an alt for ages. Even Michael was chosen over her." Michael was terrible, so she assumed Valeria was worse. Still, that didn't mean she was going to ignore Valeria if she showed up. She'd much rather have more information on the Ravenclaw team than less.
 

Seamus Reid

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Seamus shrugged. ”He's my twin, I look out for him,” he said. Though perhaps in a beater position that wouldn't be the best thing to say but it didn't matter. He cared for his brother and would always look out for him whenever he needed today. He glanced back at the team as they were getting started. ”It just means the team is young,” he added with a shrug. He knew that they had an experienced team, and he didn't think that being an alternate meant a person was bad, he'd been an alternate for a while. ”The team are pretty disorganised”
 

Celia Vuong

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Celia was careful to keep her expression neutral though she couldn't help but wonder if Seamus intended to "look out" for Hamish when they played Ravenclaw. "It must be difficult, then, watching him play," she said, giving Seamus a sympathetic look though her eyes were cold, searching his expression. "Seekers are always getting injured." She tried to recall how Seamus had reacted last year, when she'd knocked Hamish out, but she'd been a little too busy reveling in her success to pay attention to any of her teammates.

She shrugged at Seamus' next comment. "Perhaps. But it's rare that younger players are allowed to start over older ones." The Ravenclaws took off, and Celia was quiet as she watched the beaters and seekers. She did smirk a little at Seamus' assessment of the team, silently vowing that she would never allow her team to be so disorganized. "Some of the beaters seem pretty hesitant to hit others," she observed. Either that, or they had terrible aim. But a more defensive strategy would be in keeping with what she'd observed during their last match against Ravenclaw. The beaters then had been more focused on protecting Hamish than going after Ivelisse. "If they maintain a defensive position during a game, then knocking out your brother will be harder. Slytherin would have to play more aggressively." Celia glanced sideways at Seamus, wondering what he made of all this.
 

Seamus Reid

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Seamus glanced back at her, and gave a little shrug. It did bother him that Hamish got hurt, but he knew that he had a job to do. ”Quidditch isn't that dangerous,” he said. He knew people had died from it, but he also felt sure that no one had in a while. ”When we play, it's a job, a role. He knows the risks, I know the risks.” he replied, his gaze moved to his brother at the practice as he spoke. ”If you hit him outside of quidditch, we'll have problems, but during it, during the games, that's just the way it goes. I can aim at him,” he said.

Seamus shrugged a little, he wasn't going to comment on it. He'd never been afraid to hurt people, but Slytherin were out to win. Always. The Slytherin nodded somewhat. ”If they maintain a defensive line on Hamish we just keep taking out their other players, eventually they'll have to spread their defence, and it'll weaken it.” this was provided that they didn't change their tactic to offence.
 

Celia Vuong

one may smile, and smile, and be a villain
 
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Seamus seemed rather unconcerned about hitting his twin, and Celia debated dropping the subject. Maybe it was better to let him go on thinking Quidditch wasn't all that dangerous. At the same time, she didn't want to end up in a situation where Seamus suddenly froze in a match as the reality of his position dawned on him. "People have died playing Quidditch," she said simply. A simple fall or bludger to the head could kill. "In a game, you wouldn't just be aiming to hit him. Your goal would be to injure him so badly that he is physically incapable of continuing. Anything short of hospitalization would be a failure." It was brutal, but it was the truth. "Can you do that?"

Celia considered Seamus' strategy, not sure she agreed with it. "Our focus should always be the seeker and the beaters. They're the only ones who can change the outcome of the game." It was perhaps not the most captain-ly thing to say — and Celia would have never shared her views on chasers and keepers with the rest of the team — but it was vital that she and Seamus be on the same page if they were to work together. "If we think a forfeit's within reach, we'll aim for the other players. But the matches lately have been so short that we need to put pressure on the seeker even if they're well-guarded."
 

Seamus Reid

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Seamus shrugged, though people had died during quidditch it had been a while and no one at school had died in the game, they'd died for other reasons. He scoffed a little, laughing lightly. ”It doesn't matter how hard he gets hit, if he gets hit three times, he's out. That could be three to the leg, or three to the back,” Seamus told her. He didn't need to be hitting his brother hard, ”But I'd hit him like I'd hit anyone else,” he retorted with a shrug. ”Plus, with your current rate of bludger hits, you'll take him out before I hit anything,” Seamus knew this was a question of whether he could hit his brother with a bludger, whether in the moment he could, and though he said yes, he hadn't exactly done it yet.

Seamus was sure though that should the situation come, he'd be able to. He disagreed with how to run a quidditch team, but she was captain, he wasn't. ”Okay,” he agreed with her. ”I'm with you on it,” he assured her, he wouldn't go against her. He was on thin ice already with his brother, and didn't want to run the risk of continuing to be an alternate or even to be dropped from the team.
 

Celia Vuong

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Celia frowned. "We want to make it impossible for him to catch the snitch. A bludger to the leg isn't going to do anything." Ideally, they would shatter a wrist or rupture an internal organ, something really painful. "And if we can take him out in fewer hits, we should." To be fair, Celia had never seen anyone get knocked out of a game after a single hit. But that didn't mean they shouldn't try and make it happen. She was slightly mollified to hear that Seamus planned on treating his brother like any other player, but she also knew that would be easier said than done. His next comment, while perhaps well-intentioned, made her frown once more. "I'm not looking for someone who will sit back while I do all the work," Celia warned. She had high expectations for the next beater; she did not want another Ares.

It was tricky trying to tell whether Seamus was being completely honest or if he was simply just telling her what she wanted to hear. Celia regarded him for a moment before nodding. "Good." Although it frustrated her that she couldn't get a good read on Seamus, he had never struck her as deceitful. She gazed back out at the pitch and was quiet for the next several minutes as she watched the players dart through the air. "That beater is a lot more aggressive than the others," she commented after a bit, gesturing towards a blonde girl she didn't recognize. "Some teams have one beater on offense while the other does defense. What do you think of that strategy?"
 

Seamus Reid

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Seamus recalled Hamish thinking that Celia had been intent on killing him, Seamus had said no, but he was beginning to think perhaps he was wrong about that. She hadn't been trying to kill him but maim sure. He didn't say anything, but he nodded slightly and just shrugged. ”I don't, but you're a better beater, probably the best the school's seen,” he replied. When she was able to, Seamus knew it was always only a matter of time before she took everyone she needed to out.

”It only really works if the offensive of the other team is strong. Hufflepuff's have a weak offence, so playing one person defensively is pointless,” Seamus said with a shrug. Against their team, he was sure defensive was one of the few ways to try to play. He didn't think there was much benefit to them in Slytherin playing defensively. ”Plus we've got Avery, he's a good seeker, we don't need to worry like other teams do. It looks like Ravenclaw's alternate seeker will be a first year,” he said. Avery was his friend, but he was also a good seeker, Seamus thought he was better than Ivelisse but he wouldn't really say that.
 

Celia Vuong

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This time, Celia decided to accept the compliment with a small shrug, allowing a smile to briefly cross her lips. She wasn't sure about being the best the school had ever seen, but she definitely hoped to prove to everyone this year that she was the best beater now. She listened to Seamus' analysis, snorting a little at his comment about Hufflepuff. "True. But Gryffindor's beaters are actually decent. They could end up posing a real problem if we end up playing them."

Celia thought it interesting that Seamus didn't mention Ivelisse at all, though she also knew he was friends with Avery. "He is," she agreed. "He also has trouble avoiding bludgers sometimes." It was nothing she wouldn't say to the younger seeker's face. "Ivelisse, too." To say that the girl had "trouble" dodging bludger was a massive understatement. "If one of them gets taken out, and the other takes a hit, we might have to adjust our strategy." And because Seamus was the junior beater, he would be stuck on defense in that scenario. Celia thought it unlikely things would ever get that bad, but she wanted to be prepared for anything. "I think most of the teams will have fairly young alternate seekers. Gryffindor's is good, though," she said, thinking back to that tryout.
 

Seamus Reid

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Seamus wanted to argue that therefore they should be hitting more than just the one seeker, given that some beaters could be good. But he didn't think even now that he could get her to agree. ”One Gryffindor beater is decent,” he countered, thinking that the elder, seventh year beater and captain was very decent. ”They'll need to beat Ravenclaw for us to see them,” he said, assuming already that they would win their game. He didn't think it was too wild a concept for them to be winning their game. Even though they had changed captain, nothing, or little else about the team changed.

He would agree that Gryffindor was likely their biggest threat, between the seeker and the beater, it would be the hardest things for them to beat. ”Sure, but, their seeker is still a bit inexperienced, she's good sure, but she hasn't had many…opportunities to play properly,” Seamus didn't want to say too much there, given that he was the same, probably a fine beater but not exactly tested on the field. ”I think we're still going to take the cup,” he said.
 

Celia Vuong

one may smile, and smile, and be a villain
 
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"Aurora isn't that bad either," Celia said, thinking back to the Gryffindor-Hufflepuff game last year. Perhaps the girl had simply been lucky during that game, but Celia didn't want to make the mistake of underestimating her. "She's better than Michael, at least," she said, gesturing dismissively at the Ravenclaw beater who seemed to be aiming bludgers anywhere except the other players. She nodded at Seamus' comment. "That shouldn't be too hard for them." The seekers on both teams sucked, but Gryffindor's beaters gave the lions an advantage over the eagles.

Celia snorted a little, shaking her head. "Oh, I wasn't talking about Elara. I'm not that worried about her. There was another kid, Rāwhiti, who showed up to their tryouts and did really well." It made Celia wonder if maybe they could "accidentally" send a bludger or two towards the alternates during the game. She would need to review the rules again. The number of fouls in Quidditch was a little absurd. "Of course we will," she said firmly. Privately, though, Celia was worried. The loss against Ilvermorny had disturbed her, and it was the reason why she was taking so many extra measures this year to ensure Slytherin's success. However, there was no way Celia was going to share her worries with the team. She needed them to think that the cup was an inevitability. And in some ways, it still felt that way. Slytherin had the best seekers, beaters, and chasers at Hogwarts. The idea of any other team winning the cup just felt wrong.
 

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