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James Montgomery for Ester Montgomery.
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2nd April, 1890 — Outskirts of Hogsmeade
@Cecily Gallivan
If these next couple of weeks were going to be the most important of her year, then Augusta fancied she may as well spend every minute possible on her broomstick. No time to rest on anyone’s laurels, though they had won their match against Kenmare, because that was only the start. The Harpies had to do better in the league than that, and Gus was determined not to screw up the national tryouts, either.

So if she’d decided to go flying, it was because it could count as clearing her head and warming up for the day in one fell blow, and there was not a great deal of time to waste. The sun had come up as Gus skimmed out past the chimneys and rooftops and towards the gleam of the lake, quite lost in her own head until she saw another broom up on the horizon.

She narrowed her eyes and leaned forwards in burgeoning curiosity. She bet this was someone on another team doing private practice drills of their own - and she might as well spy on them! Not that she was being particularly subtle, in tailing them - she had accelerated enough that she was going to catch up to them soon enough, and there was no subtlety in being side to side.

“Morning!” Gus called gaily, from a few metres behind, just to give them some warning (or to make use of the element of surprise while she still had it). She offered the person - woman, actually, she saw now! - a rambunctious wave.

beeeautiful set by bee!
After her terrible time at the Festival of Fools party the previous day, Cecily wanted to clear her head. At some point, her stepmother had rushed her home. She'd gone to bed with a terrible headache. In the morning, after waking up, she decided to take her broom for a ride above town. This always helped her calm her nerves.

Since the Gallivan home was in the northern part of Bartonbourgh, Cee was soon flying above the black lake. Sometimes, when she felt blue, she wished that she could fly all the way to Hogwarts. Sadly, its protective shields kept it hidden from anyone that wasn't a student or a staff member.

Musing as she was, she had been flying on autopilot, so when a female voice called for her, Cee was somewhat startled. She momentarily lost control of her broom, before she regained it and turned it to see the woman who had called for her.

"Morning!" she called and narrowed her eyes a bit to try and recognize the woman. "You're a harpy, right?" It was a very informal way to address someone, but she felt free from society's rules up in the air.

this beauty was made by mj
She stifled a chuckle at the jolt of surprise from the stranger on her broom, though was glad the girl hadn’t fallen off and tumbled into the lake for her troubles. She pulled her broom up reasonably alongside her to reply, “I am! Gus Robins,” Augusta declared with a laugh, edging the broom just near enough to stretch out her hand to offer it in a handshake, although the moment she did so she recalled proper young ladies did not make a habit of shaking hands, notwithstanding whether they were on the ground or in the air.

“Chaser,” she added, cheerful nonetheless. “And who do you play for, then?” She wasn’t a Harpy, it’d be daft if Gus didn’t know that. But she seemed familiar, in a way that most people in the quidditch world were - and she seemed rather at home on a broom.

beeeautiful set by bee!
It was the proper form for ladies to curtsy when they met someone, but that wasn't really possible on a broomstick. Unless they tipped its edge slightly downwards in a symbolic curtsy movement. Hesitantly, Cee gave the other woman her hand. Not out of politeness, but because she had to steady her grip to the broomstick before she released her other hand for the handshake.

Gus Robbins. Right! Cecily knew of her by her proper name, Augusta Robbins. They had never gotten so close so as to use her pet name.

"I don't play," Cee replied. "My brother sponsors the Chuddley Cannons, though. I'm Cecily Gallivan." Then, because she didn't want to look like a boring debutante to the Holyhead Harpy, she added: "I used to play as chaser when I was at Hogwarts."

this beauty was made by mj
Gus shook her hand promptly and then returned her hand to the broom to keep her direction steady, grinning widely.

There was a touch of recognition in the other woman’s eyes, which Gus took as a rather good thing. For once.

“Ah, a Gallivan!” She exclaimed, making sense of things somewhat. Gallivan was a name that had long since been entwined with the Cannons as a team, although there had been the slight upset of its sponsorship passing down along the family line. Miss Cecily Gallivan wasn’t the sponsor, as far as she knew, but she evidently wasn’t the prissy sort of sister who turned up her nose at the sport. Not if this was anything to go by!

“Pity you don’t still play,” Augusta remarked, quite sincerely. “You’ve got good form.” A little more cautious in control than she would need to be, for a chaser, but that was mostly down to practice, and she had a willowy build that would be a godsend. Gus had always wished she had longer arms and just that bit further a reach.

beeeautiful set by bee!
Cee felt immensely flattered by the Quidditch player's compliment. Playing Quidditch used to be her passion while she was at school and she had never felt like she had any talent. If a Harpy had told her that she had good form back then, perhaps she would have had a bit more confidence in her abilities.

"Thanks," she replied. "I miss it if I'm being honest. There isn't the same thrill in tennis." The muggle sport was the sort that was acceptable for a society lady to play, so she played it. It couldn't replace the excitement of flying on a broom with a quaffle in hand.

this beauty was made by mj
Gus wasn’t sure if she had really said the right thing or not, there: she had meant it, of course, because she wasn’t particularly good at thinking before she spoke, but either it had come across as a compliment, or it would sound like an insult to someone who hadn’t the faintest inclination of playing quidditch, and ‘having good form’ in this regard was not advantageous to a marriage.

But Miss Gallivan seemed pleased enough, so Gus could relax, mercifully! If anything, she thought the younger woman sounded a little wistful. She missed it. Tennis. “Pffft, even a beater would find tennis dull at ditchwater,” Gus joked with a sympathetic snort, trying to picture ways of making tennis and croquet and those sort of lawn games even remotely interesting. Tennis was all just back-and-forth. “Better than badminton, though...” she mused with a lopsided grin, glancing back at Miss Gallivan and perhaps pointing out the obvious with her next: “And at least you still get to fly?” It wasn’t the same, of course, but... “Maybe you ought to try playing tennis on a broom!”

beeeautiful set by bee!
Badminton was the worst lawn sport there was. Cee could never have a proper back-and-forth with the shuttlecock. Even if she managed to hit it in such a way that it flew towards her opponent, the other woman usually wasn't skilled enough to send it back to her. So the game was a constant picking up for the shuttlecock, getting a successful hit and then getting disappointed when it ended up on the grass once more.

"Tennis on a broomstick!" Cee exclaimed. "What an excellent idea!" That would make the game so much more interesting. Though she would need to practice flying with a racket in her hand. "Now I wish we had two rackets and a ball with us!" With their knowledge of Quidditch, the would easily grasp the concept of tennis on a broom.

this beauty was made by mj
“Next time, certainly,” Gus teased good-naturedly, grinning at the thought of flying tennis - it would be rather funny, she thought - but not expecting anything to come of it. Instead, she nodded downwards at the Black Lake, and chuckled. “Though I expect if anyone tried it here half of the joy would be fishing tennis balls right out of the lake.”

“That what you do, though?” Augusta added, with an affable sort of curiosity, if only because - given her status and station in life, she didn’t know a lot of well-to-do young ladies in a properly ladylike career, least of all debutantes. She presumed. “Play tennis and go to balls and... garden parties?” She shrugged, sorry if she was being impertinent. But Miss Gallivan had only mentioned her brother being a sponsor, and hadn’t said what she did with herself (except sneak in a bit of broom-flying in her spare time), so it was probably worth the asking.

beeeautiful set by bee!
"Yes, next time," Cecily said, though deep down she suspected that she and Miss Robbins would likely never meet again to play broom-tennis. It was like those sort of coffee dates you arranged with people you saw after a long time but, deep down, you both know that your plans won't actually lead to any meeting.

She laughed at Miss Robbins' description of debutante life, though she felt somewhat self-conscious inside. There was nothing wrong with being a debutante per se. Out of the two of them, Cecily had chosen the course of life which was more suiting to a woman. In any case, she felt like a loser, somewhat, for being a pretty debutante when Gus Robbins followed her passion for Quidditch. Cee didn't want the professional player to think her a talentless debutante who spent all her days doing nothing but look pretty.

"Pretty much," Cee replied. "I help my brother around too, if I can," she added because she felt the need to prove something to Gus Robbins.

this beauty was made by mj
Truthfully, she would have been perfectly happy to hear all about the life of a debutante, to be told about garden parties and tea parties and fancy balls in godawful detail, because that was the only way someone like Gus would ever get to learn about them. Nor would she pretend that whatever young ladies like Miss Gallivan did with their days was any easier than playing quidditch for a living. She could weave down a pitch with some angry bludgers, alright, but she imagined that weaving around a ballroom with two left feet could easily be just as much of a task.

But she’d be laughed out of the room for sincerely asking, and she knew it.

But Miss Gallivan had the best of both worlds, then, helping her brother with their team. “So I’ve heard,” Augusta said brightly - although the way the quidditch world talked, it was not always the most kindly of the Gallivans, relatively recent as they were to the ranks of sponsors without their father to hold their hands. “I bet you’re a good help to him,” she said, smiling but meaning it quite sincerely. “Maybe you’ll be the one to finally get some more women on the Cannons, hm?” She teased. She knew what the other teams were like; the Howlers had had Dezzie, for a time, but Dezzie’s husband had also been captain there. There were female players here and there, as tokens, but the truth was the other sponsors would probably prefer to get beaten over the head by a broomstick before they admitted that female players had any business being on the pitch.

Miss Gallivan might be well placed to make a difference, there.

beeeautiful set by bee!

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