We all know the thrill of a quidditch match, the excitement of the game, but if the first match was meant to be the most exciting of the year, no one told Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw that. It was a tale as old as time- two
lovers close friends on opposing sides, ready to face one another and lead their teams to victory.
Led by Captain Bobby Billings and dressed in full plate and tabards, the Hufflepuff team took the pitch like aerial knights with a show unlike any other we’ve seen at Hogwarts, leading their house in a rousing cheer meant to encourage the Badgers both on the pitch and off. Billings and Olivia Hatton both circled around the pitch before selecting Tove Dahlin and Poni van Pey as their Queen and Noble of Love and Beauty respectively. This was signified by crowns of yellow, orange, and black flowers offered to their selections before touching down in the center circle. Hufflepuff’s team line up consisted of Bobby Billings and Dawn Rothenberg as beaters. James Matthews, Leilani Tamriel, and Caitlin Spector served as chasers with Olivia Hatton seeking and Quinn Lowry serving as keeper.
In stark contrast to Hufflepuff’s pomp and circumstance, Ravenclaw were straight to business, walking out to the center pitch with deadly seriousness. Commentator Nora Clements led the stands in a chorus of happy birthday for Captain Cypress ‘Pretty Boy’ Chalamet who was celebrating becoming a man by facing off against his best mate in the air. Ravenclaw’s lineup consisted of Chalamet, Caralia Lane, and Kimmy Ianda chasing with Elijah Daniels and Oleander Mortiferum beating. Riven Redwhisper returned to the pitch as the team’s seeker while Michalis Sorotos debuted as the team’s keeper.
The two teams met in the middle for the Captains’ banter and handshakes before kicking off to their own sides, ready to get this game started. Chalamet was the first to get his hands on the quaffle but it was Hufflepuff to take the first goal as Tamriel slammed it past Sorotos in a vicious start for the badgers. Despite this, it was clear that Ravenclaw was not here to play games. Chalamet managed to score properly on the next attempt as Rothenberg took down Ianda proving that the summer has done nothing to diminish her skill.
It was an early dive from Riven “All Black Everything” Redwhisper that got us all on edge, though the eagle was unable to secure the snitch. And from there it only got more intense as Hufflepuff nailed two goals before Chalamet even had time to figure out what was happening. Our pretty boy wasn’t having it though as he fought to create some distance between their scores.
Whether it was Clements’ call for birthday bludgering or Billings and Rothenberg realised the threat Chalamet represented, they began to pelt him, knocking him out of the air seven times as Lane & Co picked up the slack and brought the score up 20 to 110. Despite the rough start, Sorotos was an impressive force blocking out shot after shot. I did seek him out after the match to ask him a few questions about his thoughts on being called an immovable object, how he managed to do so well, and to address the rumours of using a wind wall to stop any goals from slipping past.
“Immovable object? Nai, but the goal was to be /unstoppable./ My captain is good leader, I do well because he trains us well. Μελέτη το παν. Where have I been? A wind wall? No. No wind nor magic. Preparation is half the battle, yes? I knew what I needed to do and did this, trust in my team to be excellent as well.”
Several warnings were set out at this point, Ianda for flying the quaffle through the hoops and Lane for flying out of boundaries before the refs called down for a final warning on walking the quaffle. That warning seemed to throw the Eagle off her game as she proceeded to score against her own team as soon as they were up, and then again once the score was 100 to 220.
Maintaining the bit, as soon as Chalamet was pelted by the seventeenth bludger, Clements led the crowd in a second round of Happy Birthday, missing a few goals by way of commentary but keeping score at 120-300 in Ravenclaw’s favour.
Is it really a Quidditch match if no one receives a spark? That’s the question we all asked ourselves as the referee shot green sparks into the air, calling Rothenberg for excessive targeting. After a few minutes of consultation or- as Clements called it, folding into pressure- the referees retracted that sparking, signaling for play to resume 120-340.
Of course, I hunted down the young second year to ask her a few questions, all relevant obviously. Like, Anything you can tell us about the moment you were green sparked? What let to the referees changing their minds? You’ve gained a reputation on the pitch as being a monster with a bat, how does that make you feel? Do you worry that others might find you undatable when you’re older with such a violent picture of you in their minds? Rothenberg had this to say:
“Ahh?.. why are you -OH- Quidditch. Right. Sure I don mind, Wait- wait one at a time! I was trying to keep The seeker grounded, Ya know how you do.- why they changed their mind? because I’d been warned for not wide enough spread.. When I was sparked My captain reminded them I’d grounded three people before going after the seeker. Again… I’d hope they see me as a monster with a bat. In fact, I want everyone to know It’s gonna hurt going up against me in a quidditch game. So, confident and proud of what I can do. D-dateable? I’ve never really been, um.. someone looking for that.. but I guess, If that’s um.. Can we skip this one? I don’t worry about it no.”
It was a dive from Hatton, closing her fingers around the snitch to end Hufflepuff’s humiliation that ended the game with a score of 260 – 450 in Ravenclaw’s favour. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch up with the captains immediately after the match but I did grab them before the publication of this article.
I asked Billings for his thoughts on the match and he said,
“The team played great, can’t complain. I could have played better myself though, and want to apologise to the house. I’ll do better next game, and we’ll make sure we pick up the win!”
Going on to add this when I asked him if he learned anything and if he had anything to say to those who say if his team had focused more on practicing and less on parading around as knights they might have won,
“That I have a great team under me, and that I have a lot to work on to help that team along. And I’d tell them ‘GFY you PABs, I’d rather lose with class and substance than win with nothing at all. Besides we looked amazing and it elevated the whole event; bout the best thing I did all game.”
While Cypress had this to say,
“I’m very proud of my team. They kept a cool head and played almost like we do in practice, except for a bit of fear of stealing at the hoops – which we corrected. As for Slytherin, I’ve heard that people have been saying Ravenclaw didn’t stand a chance with Eric gone this year, and I think we’ll be able to prove that Ravenclaw doesn’t need to rely on the snitch alone; though I’m also confident in the ability of our Seeker this year. I’m looking forward to our match.”
With that note hanging in the air, I decided to pull Link Delitch aside to hear what he had to say about the upcoming match against Ravenclaw.
“Let me tell you something about Cypress and his murder of crows. They were just fortunate the badgers couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a quaffle. Slytherin will be ready to put them to the sword. The only thing that makes me nervous is if the battering we are due to give them will affect the next Ravenclaw bake sale. Now get out of my locker room!”
For those of you interested in stats and MVPs, here’s a few shoutouts.
Most Quaffle Catches:
Cypress Chalamet – 74
Cypress Chalamet – 4
Caitlin Spector – 32
Most Shots Taken:
Cypress Chalamet – 54
Most Goals Made:
Cypress Chalamet – 29
Most Bludgers Hit:
Dawn Rothenberg – 76
Most Bludger Hits Taken:
Cypress Chalamet – 46
Most Goals Blocked:
Michalis Sorotos – 38
And here is the current Quidditch Cup Standing: