Wizard Jam by Spenser Hemmingway
Summary: For Harry, Ginny, and friends, few things are as important or as challenging as a good game of Quidditch. The game reaches a new level with a visit from an extremely...looney new team. A bit of a follow on from Just a Friendly Game of Quidditch.
Categories: Alternate Universe, Quidditch Challemge (2014-4), Quidditch Challenge (2014-4)
Wizard Jam by Spenser Hemmingway
Chapter 1: Wizard JamAuthor's Notes:
“Please! What kind of Mickey Mouse organization would name their team The Ducks?”–Bugs Bunny
“No James, that isn’t how the game of basketball is really played,” I tell him. I’m trying my hardest not to giggle at the expression on his face. “Well, maybe the Harlem Globetrotters might be able to pull off some of those moves.”
“But Professor, don’t…”
“Don’t bother Jimbo. Youse be better off learnin’ the game from some comic book. I’ll teach youse all about the game…the way my New York Knicks play. This dufus needs to stick to baseball, if he can find a better team than the California Angels.”
“That’s Professor Dufus to you Margaret.” I’m again working hard not to smile.
“Hey, I keep telling youse it’s Sawzall…Professor.” She includes my title grudgingly.
“Turnabout is fair play Miss Weasley.”
The Brooklyn native is smiling now. She’s an adopted Weasley. Her parents are gone, the rest of her relatives are scumbags, and a fortunate encounter with Harry and Ginny led to the Weasley parents putting off the empty nest syndrome for a few more years. Sawzall (she was christened Margaret Sawyer) even has reddish hair, albeit closer to dark auburn than the rest of her new family.
The girl and I have become friends after a fashion (not that either of us will admit it), but Muggle London or not, this fieldtrip to the movie is school time. She’s a Hogwarts fourth-year, I’m the Muggle Studies instructor now, and I require at least a tinge of respect…at least in front of all the other students.
“I’m still not sure who that Michael Jordon was,” one Hufflepuff student quietly admits then. “And who was that Bill Murray who joined in?”
“He’s a Ghostbuster Mr. Blanc,” I explain. It’s an accurate enough answer.
I steer the score of students into an alleyway. They’re the top scorers for my classes after the midterm examinations. They’d earned this little treat, and it was, after all, a lesson in a way. Surprisingly, except for Sawzall, none of these ace scholars has grown up around Muggles.
“The dumpster there is the Portkey. No, someone with even a more evil sense of humor than mine chose this one. It’s late, so the four seventh-years I indicated will ensure you all go straight to your respective houses when we get back. Right to bed. I don’t care if tomorrow is Sunday. Now go…go”
One by one they lay hold of the receptacle and give the preset password, “Are you my mummy?”, to activate it. For some reason Sawzall holds back to the last. She looks a tad embarrassed.
“Uhm…yeah…I guess it was a real good movie. So uhm…thank you Professor.” I take a step back in mock shock at her actually saying this to me. Sawzall just rolls her eyes at me. “And yeah, well I guess basketball is all right, even your Portland Trailblazers…but I still prefer Quidditch.”
The fourteen-year-old mumbles something under her breath as she walks up to the dumpster. I can only make out something about rim shots, Martians, and maybe brooms. As the girl is sucked away (no, not inside with the garbage), I can just stand there amused and perplexed.
It’s a sunny late spring morning when the Hogwarts’ Quidditch pitch welcomes a certain young Gryffindor. The breeze is surprisingly warm for April. The fourteen-year-old expects the dew she’s walking across to be gone before the sun is too far into the sky. The house-elf that Harry and Ginny had sent to fetch her hadn’t known, or at least hadn’t said what the summons was about, except that it was important. Well duh. Anything having to do with Quidditch is important.
“Mornin’ coach. Mornin’ Your Grace…I mean Headmistress,” Sawzall says as she walks up to the two women at the center of the field.
“A simple Professor will suffice Miss Weasley, and Ginny Potter and her husband are no longer your coaches,” Minerva McGonagall tells the girl. There is suddenly a trace of a smile there. “In fact, she and her husband are now your teammates for the afternoon.”
“Well, she and her broomsmith hubby were my first coaches, so… Hey, wait. What did youse say? Teammate?”
“That’s right,” Ginny explains. Sawzall can see mischief, worthy of that Hemmingway clown, all over the woman’s face. “Harry will be our Seeker, my brother Ron will play Keeper.”
“Ahem,” Sawzall interrupts.
“Oh…right, excuse me. It’s our brother now isn’t it?” Ginny’s correction gets a sincere smile from her little sister. “Fred and George will be our Beaters. I know that’s usually your position, but our new coach was impressed with how you filled in as Chaser last month for the Gryffindor team. You and I will be Chasers.”
“Huh? What’s goin’ on? Youse putting together a new team?” Sawzall’s eyes are as big as saucers. “Hey Professor, is this all legit?”
“It most certainly is…legit Miss Weasley,” McGonagall tells her. Practice has been scheduled for the visiting team until eleven. Your new team will have the pitch from then until one. I’m sorry that we can’t give you more time. The exhibition game will commence precisely at three. Ginny, have you come up with a third Chaser?”
“What’s goin’ on?” Sawzall repeats. “What coach?”
“We seem to have run out of available Potters and Weasleys for the last position Professor.” Ginny pretends to be intentionally ignoring the girl. “Hermione turned us down flat, but she’s agreed to organize our cheerleaders.”
“Oh dear, not again,” the headmistress says in almost a whisper voice.
“They’ll behave this time Professor. No cross-dressers. Harry and the coach have asked Marty Ryan from the Ravenclaw team to play with us. He’s very good, and Sawzall really fancies him.”
“Ginny! How did you know that…? I do not. What new coach?” the girl yells this time.
“Here he comes now with Harry,” Ginny tells her. Sawzall almost falls at spinning about so quickly to look. “His name is Vincent Lombardi.”
“Vince…Vince Lombardi?” Sawzall stammers as Harry and the famous coach step up to her. “He’s supposed to be dead.”
“So are Fred, Dobby, Tonks, Remus, and several other people,” Harry says. “Spenser Hemmingway is writing this story, he only does alternative universe genre, and he almost never allows a character to be killed off. Uhm, well he has considered knocking off Rolf Scamander several times however.”
“An excellent imitation of an owl young lady,” Lombardi tells her. He’s grinning.
“Who are we playin’?” Sawzall finally manages to say.
Before anyone can answer, Sawzall spots the new team walking onto the pitch and quickly approaching them. The girl is so much in shock that they’re just feet away before she can speak again.
“Youse got to be kiddin’! Are we back in that movie?”
“Eh, what’s up Doc?”
“Welcome to our spring Quidditch exhibition game,” Luna announces over the magical public address system. She and Spenser Hemmingway have again been recruited…shanghaied into hosting the event from the pitch booth. “Today, from Warner Brothers Studio in Hollywood, California… Yes, Spenser. That is where they’re making Harry’s Muggle biography movies. Oh, excuse me. From Hollywood, we welcome The Looney Tune Ducks. No, they’re no relation.”
“They’re no relation,” Harry repeats to Ginny. She squeezes his hand she’s holding.
“Ducks?” she asks.
“It’s for their friend Daffy. Someone named Donald has this girlfriend named Daisy. Donald caught the duck flirting with her and put Daffy in a full body cast.” Harry pauses and shakes his head. “Dropped an anvil on him. The whole team felt bad about it.”
“Ah. And the name our little impromptu team ended up with?”
“Spenser insisted…strongly insisted. He said that it was a matter of honor for him since he’s from Oregon.” Harry’s ready to start laughing. “Mr. Lombardi and I didn’t see the harm. I hope no one minds.”
Luna starts in again. “For our school, our composite team, The Hogwarts’ Beavers. What’s that Spenser? A civil war game?”
“I think it’s a fine name Harry.” It’s Ginny’s turn to laugh now.
Harry moves to place his arm around Ginny’s waist and she, in turn, leans into him. Together they study the enormous crowd of students, staff, families, and assorted cartoon characters. As Luna reads off the team rosters, first The Beavers then The Ducks, their attention turns to that other team and its literally looney make-up.
The Duck’s Chaser will be the tall gray rabbit that Luna insisted on calling Harvey until told that the other bunny was six foot tall, white, and usually invisible. Their Chasers consist of another rabbit named Lola, a black and white cat named Sylvester, and a strange looking Witch named Hazel (who has an odd habit of leaving a trail of hairpins behind her as she flies). Yosemite Sam and a fierce Tasmanian devil fill the Beaters positions. The big surprise comes at the goals. The team’s Keeper is a small, yellow, and the closest thing to a duck with which they could come up. Tweety Bird’s broom, even as small as it was, is about ten times his size.
“Officiating today will be Madame Hooch, with line judges Neville Longbottom and Mr. Elmer Fudd. My, my, is that a shotgun across his back.” Luna pauses a moment as the teams take to the air and Professor McGonagall moves to the center of the pitch to release the Golden Snitch. “And…play ball.”
“Bric-a-brac a soda cracker! Bip boom bah! Bugs Bunny! Bugs Bunny! Rah, rah, rah!” The Duck cheerleaders shout to the crowds. Porky, Wile E. Coyote, Foghorn Leghorn all look exceptionally odd in their miniskirts, especially as compared to Hermione and the three other pretty girls cheering for us, each representing their respective houses.
“Wasn’t that the cheer you wrote for your other story?” Luna asks. She’s either forgotten or doesn’t care about the game microphone. “Oh, you stole it from Mr. Bunny. That wasn’t very nice Spenser.”
At first, Harry flies alongside Ginny as she moves down the pitch. Every few seconds they exchange a friendly, reassuring smile. Three quarters of the way to The Ducks’ goals, Harry offers his wife a quick salute, and then turns his broom into a sharp, vertical climb that defies Muggle physics. Of course, magic does that to begin with. Ginny initiates a weaving pattern that allows her to pace her broom flight without actually reducing speed. Her target is Lola who has a death grip on the Quaffle. Poor Porky has had to be reassured a few times that the ball really wasn’t made of actual pig skin.
Just yards away from each other, at almost the last possible moment, the bunny hurls the Quaffle straight down to Sylvester as he passes under her. Ginny, knowing she can’t hope to execute a U-turn so quickly, instead drops off her broom to land on the cat’s broom just behind him. Sylvester, startled by the stunt, neglects his grip on the ball to where Ginny is able to steal it from him. Leaping off again, the Witch pulls her wand, renders an Accio Broom Spell, recovers it, and speeds toward The Duck goals with that whole team in wild pursuit.
After several seconds of chase, Yosemite Sam pulls a brace of pistols and begins firing wild shots at Ginny. Fortunately, Looney Tunes are notoriously bad shots. Neville Longbottom, after years of fighting a Wizarding war, is much more proficient with a wand. Where his line judge whistle, foul call, and thrown flag aren’t effective, a quickly utilized spell bolt is. Sam hits the pitch turf with his pants on fire.
“My biscuits are burning! My biscuits are burning!” he shouts as he drags his singed tail across the grass and back to his broom.
Meanwhile, Ginny has progressed to the hoop and to what she honestly believes to be an easy goal considering the bird’s size. She has never seen the movie. Ginny underestimates Tweety. The little bird’s hand/wing grows in size several times over, snatches the Quaffle, and flings it back to Lola. So surprised is she that Ginny almost doesn’t see the Bludger that Taz has knocked her way. Only a quick dive saves her. The heavy ball barely brushes her broom’s bristles.
A quick loop has Ginny moving back in search of the Quaffle again. Forty yards ahead, however, Sawzall has already taken it from Lola who was herself busy with The Beavers’ Bludger. Fred and George are knocking the ball back and forth to each other as if they were playing ping-pong. The rabbit and her broom are pretending to be the twins’ net.
Maybe five hundred feet above all this, Harry has just completed his first loop of the field in search of the Snitch. Hold up, he scans the air all around him, pleased that it was such a bright, clear afternoon, but frustrated that the good visibility wasn’t helping. Perhaps he was paying too much attention to his Snitch hunt.
“Carrot Doc?” the voice behind him asks. Bugs pulls alongside Harry. He’s impressed that the Wizard hasn’t flinched when surprised. “I grow them myself you know.”
“I…uhm, I don’t think were supposed to be talking to each other up here. It’s probably against the rules.”
“Yah think so?” Bugs asks nonchalantly, but still hands off the carrot to Harry. “Meh. I’m new to all this. All of us are except for Witch Hazel. By the way, how did you get the studio to send us over here?”
“Warner Brothers are renegotiating the contracts for screenplays about me. They like that nice Muggle lady’s version of my seventh year better than what Spenser wrote. This game is a signing bonus. Can I ask you something? How can your team fly brooms. Only Hazel should be able to. You’re Looney Tunes.”
“It’s because we’re Looney Tunes. We can do anything. Haven’t you seen our cartoons? Hey, when do I get to meet this girl Looney?”
“It’s Luna, Spenser spells Loony differently, and only he’s permitted to call her that. Although, after today, that may change.” Harry sees a glint in the distance and his chin inadvertently comes up. “Great carrot. Thanks. Got to dash.”
Harry is off like a shot after the Snitch. Despite his better broom, he’s joined a moment later by Bugs flying neck-in-neck with him. It’s now a race.
After eight attempts, Ginny is finally able to score. Less than five minutes later, Marty Ryan is able to repeat the process with an assist from Sawzall.
“Another excellent play by The Beavers’ Margaret Sawyer-Weasley…”
“My name’s Sawzall you hair brain!” the other girl shouts back. She doesn’t care that Luna won’t hear her.
“…and Martin Ryan. I wonder if he’ll ask her out on a date tonight after the game. I am concentrating on the game Spenser. They’re a nice couple.”
At this point, Fred and George are waging a running two-on-two battle with Taz and Yosemite Sam, freeing both Beaver and Duck Chasers from the threat of Bludger strikes. The advantage is given to Hogwarts though when Chaser Sylvester abandons play to go after an afternoon snack–Tweety Bird. The Ducks’ Chaser occupies their Keeper for almost five minutes until a shotgun blast knocks the cat out of the sky. Elmer Fudd is very pleased at finally hitting something other than Daffy. Back on post, the bird proves to be as proficient as Ron. Ginny’s and Marty’s goals are the first and only for either side in ninety minutes of play.
The two real duels, the ones attracting the attention of the crowd in the bleachers, are those between Seekers Harry and Bugs, and between Chasers Ginny and Lola. They are all so well matched to their counterparts that no progress can be made. Everything else has degenerated into a weird cartoon. Sam has twice more taken to drawing and firing his pistols only to have his biscuits burnt both times. Elmer's shotgun is proving to be a deterrent to Sylvester as well, but that doesn’t stop the cat from occasionally trying for the bird. Witch Hazel’s spells are actually pathetic. She has spent too many years vegetating on a movie lot and too few practicing her art. The Looney Tunes supply of Acme Explosives is more than matched by those from Weasley Wizarding Wheezes. Bedlam is ruling. Fouls are blatant and continuous. Madame Hooch blows her whistle until the thing explodes. Elmer Fudd swallows his.
More than a few times Harry’s pursuit of the Snitch brings him down to the Quaffle battle. Somehow he's able to come close enough to Ginny to shout some encouragement to her or to at least wave. This latest time is just maybe three feet above the ground and at the fastest speed of the match. Far ahead, at the other end of the pitch, Lola and Ginny are weaving in and out of each other’s path taking turns snatching the Quaffle away from each other. Ginny has the more experienced and capable fellow Chasers, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Lola, almost by herself, is outplaying them. That should be impossible.
All at once Bugs darts ahead of Harry and just inches from the golden ball. Is he about to get it and end the game? What have I been doing wrong? Harry silently asks himself. In the blink of an eye, the Snitch turns on a dime (or rather a Knut) and rises high into the air again at a breathtaking speed. Harry is able to react in time and move to pursue it. Bugs can’t.
Wham! The rabbit slams into a wooden partition just below the bleachers. He’s squashed like a sheet of cardboard. Ignoring the Snitch for the moment, Harry looks down to see one of Bugs’ flattened hands reach up, grab his long ears, and then peel himself from the wall. A thumb then goes to the bunny’s mouth. He blows himself back up as if he were a balloon. That should be impossible Harry again thinks.
“No, not for a cartoon character,” Harry says to no one. “Cartoon characters. Drawn cartoon characters on their drawn cartoon brooms.”
Scanning the pitch, Harry sees the chaos the match has become. Firecrackers and pies are being thrown from team to team. Ron has just had his own near experience with a Duck anvil. The referees aren’t even trying to officiate any longer. The spectators are booing and throwing things onto the field. Hermione and her cheerleaders are trying Take Me Out to the Quidditch Match for the third time, but the crowd is ignoring the song. Luna is almost begging audience and players alike to calm down. It’s a waste of time.
Seeing Bugs still on the ground, probably trying to mend his broom somehow, Harry decides to ignore the Snitch for the time being. Instead, he flies straight to Ginny, comes up alongside her, and motions for her to stop. He’s pleased to see Marty and Sawzall take over the battle with Lola.
“Ginny, I know how to end this mess,” He tells her. “It may be cheating. No, it certainly is cheating, but that can’t matter now. Do you remember the Borrador Charm?”
“It’s just a word editing spell Harry. Spenser learned in Spain six or seven years ago. It’s for word editing.”
“The school house-elves use it to remove non-enchanter graffiti as well.”
“Oh no Harry!” Ginny gasps. “We can’t do that.”
“No one will get hurt Ginny. Follow my lead.”
Flying in tandem the two speed toward The Beaver goals near which the twins continue their back and forth with their Duck counterparts. Harry swerves to the left and Ginny performs a roll to the right when a Bludger comes at them. At the last second George deflects it with his club back at Taz. Before the Tasmanian Devil can return the favor, Harry raises his wand, pointing it in the Duck’s direction. Ginny finds herself holding her breath.
“Borrador!” Harry shouts.
In less than a heartbeat, a giant eraser appears before the Looney Tune Beater. Taz somehow seems to know what this means. He turns to flee, only to have his cartoon broom edited out from under him. Taz hits the ground with a bone crunching plop that would have sent any of the Beaver team to the infirmary.
“That’s how it’s done,” Harry calls out to his team. “Be especially careful not to erase any of the Looney Tunes. Just take their brooms.”
“That hardly seems fair Harry,” Ron tells him, but says so as he edits out Witch Hazel’s broom.
“This isn’t a match Ron,” Ginny counters. “It’s a fiasco. They tried to squash you with an Acme anvil. We can apologize later.”
As the others spread out to apply the charm, Harry flies back to where Bugs had gone down earlier. The broom is still broken from the impact. It doesn’t need to be erased. Bugs simply leans against the wall, munches on another of his endless supply of carrots, and appears to be maddeningly calm.
“Bugs, I’m sorry. We have to stop the match,” Harry says as he brings his broom down to the grass.
“Yeah Doc, were sorry too.” The rabbit then points straight up into the sky.
Without a sound, an enormous hole opens in the sky. Through it comes an equally large hand holding a giant pencil with an eraser of its own. Harry knows what is happening. He tries to move, but is now frozen in place as if he were hexed. Maybe he is. The hand and eraser move to him. It begins the deleting, starting at Harry’s feet and then moving upward very slowly. Harry is amazed that it doesn’t hurt. Somewhere in the distance, he hears Ginny screaming his name, no doubt flying to him and perhaps her own erasure.
Having just removed Tweety’s broom, which did little good since he has a set of wings for flying; Sawzall swings about and begins her return flight up field. She immediately notes the hand removing the last of Harry and shifting its attention to Ginny. The older sister is throwing hexes left and right at the hand with no effect. Sawzall finds herself coming to a stop near The Ducks’ cheerleader line. She can’t move, just stare at the giant pencil in the distance destroying her family.
“That’s Chuck Jones. He, he, he’s the man that d-d-d-draws us, and he’s very, very p-p-protective of us.” Porky stammers there below her.
“What do you mean?” Sawzall shouts back at the pig.
“Th-th-that’s all folks!”
My Muggle Studies classroom is in a part of the castle that’s usually called Morgan’s Keep. Luna and I even lived here for a short time after we got married. Sorry folks, no Rolf in my universe. I got the girl. Anyway, it’s a really nice place. I often spend a lot of my free time there. This night, after returning from watching Space Jam with my students, I'm enjoying a late evening game of Exploding Snap with Harry, Ginny, and Luna. Sawzall doesn’t bother to knock before she joins us.
The four of us at the card table are instantly on our feet. The first thing into my head is how many points I was going to have to dock her for being out of her own tower after curfew. My second thought is how the girl is as pale as Nearly Headless Nick.
“Uhm…nice pajamas Sawzall,” I finally say. “Are those pink ponies on them?”
The girl’s jaw drops and her eyes shoot daggers at me…real ones, which I barely dodge. Ginny moves over to the girl then, maybe to calm her, only to have Sawzall throw her arms around her sister for an intense hug.
“I dreamt I lost youse and Harry. We were playin’ Quidditch with a bunch of Looneys.”
“Sawzall, ahem,” I interrupt.
“Oh, sorry Aunt Luna,” the girl says, pulling away from Ginny finally. “I meant Bugs Bunny and the other Looney Tunes.”
“Who?” Ginny and Luna ask together. Neither had grown up with a television.
“We’ll explain later,” Harry tells them. “Sawzall did the movie tonight give you a nightmare?
“In spades Harry. Hey Professor, who the heck are the Ducks and Beavers?”
“What? Well, the Ducks are the University of Oregon’s team. They’re pretty good with football. Football not fútbol folks. The Beavers are from Oregon State University where my dad went to school. Their baseball team is great. Why are you asking young Weasley?”
“Because… I mean… Ah nuts. Forget it. Never mind. Take your house points Prof. I’m going back to bed.” The girl turns and makes it as far as the still open door before pausing. “I’ll tell youse though, if I ever hear The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down again I’ll upchuck. If any talkin’ varmints show up here to play Quidditch, I’m goin’ back to Brooklyn.”
After Sawzall has left, the four of us can only stand there staring after her for the better part of a minute. Harry is the one who finally speaks.
“Bugs Bunny on a Quidditch broom?”
“Spenser, where was this Muggle theater you visited tonight?” Ginny asks. “I’d appreciate it if you could write down the directions. I believe that Harry and I have a date tomorrow to watch this Space Jam.”
Ginny kisses Harry on the cheek then, whispers something in his ear that makes his eyebrows go up, and then leaves us. When she’s gone, Harry waits several seconds before going after her. At the door, he turns to Luna and me with a big grin on his face.
“I wonder how well Michael Jordon would do playing Quidditch?”
“With or without the Looney Tunes?” I counter.
Mischief managed Doc!
A/N: On 29 November, the University of Oregon Ducks beat the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium, 47-19,in this year's Civil Wars.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
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