SHE'S IN LOVE WITH THE CONCEPT
your father: diego moreno, arguably the best beater of all-time.
your mother: martina watson, one of the fastest chasers in quidditch history.
you: a boy balanced on the expectations of the world.
past the sweat that stings your eyes like acid and drenches your body from head to toe, you think: i just want to be a boy. there are days where you dread getting out of bed, because the minute you take a step out of your room, training begins. as the child of two quidditch legends, the world watches you. expects you to be just as good -- no, better than them.
what is just a toy broomstick to a child becomes another limb to you. when you join the local junior quidditch team, dozens of new eyes observe you: your coach, your teammates, their parents. the pressure of perfection grows every year, but you feed off of it.
hogwarts is an escape from the world’s watchful eye. there are occasionally kids who recognize you from newspaper articles, but for the most part, you’re just griffin. not future quidditch superstar griffin moreno. not the son of diego moreno. the labels that latched onto you for the first eleven years of your life suddenly didn’t matter anymore.
you make the quidditch team in your first year, to no one’s surprise, and you win your first game. as your fellow hufflepuffs chant and cheer and rush towards you, victory feels different. you aren’t playing for your parents or the spectators or yourself but for your house’s pride. the joy that filled the common room and swept through the hufflepuff dormitories in the days that came was worth more than the world’s approval.
THINKING A HOLE IN THE EARTH
”you should take the harpies’ offer, griffin,” your father suggests as you two prepare christmas dinner. ”they’ve got a good coach, a good team. their cheerleaders are also-”
”dad.” an exasperated sigh escapes your lips, heavy enough to topple skyscrapers.
”i know, i know. i just want you to make the right decision.”
”s’not really how i’d like to spend winter break,” you explain, grabbing the turkey and placing it into the oven. ”some other day, dad. promise.” the oven shuts, and your footsteps click across the tiled floor as you slip back into your room.
it isn’t until the end of the year that you finally make your decision. your mother’s old team, the montrose magpies, offer you a starting position and a contract worth numbers you’ve never seen in your life. so as soon as you depart hogwarts, you head back into endless practices and intense training, ready for the next decade of your life.
THE WORLD IS ALWAYS AT FAULT
”griffin, you don’t seem very happy, even though you just won. why is that? can we perhaps get a smile?” a reporter asks you, eliciting laughter throughout the press room.
you tip your head to the side, holding back a yawn. ”to be honest,” you begin, leaning forward and perching your head on your hands, ”it’s late, and i have to be up really early for practice tomorrow. it’s the same questions every time, so you guys aren’t really making this exciting for me.” a smirk curls your lips as you lean back against your chair.
fame is unbearable. the flashing cameras blind you; microphones are shoved in your face; every word that leaves your mouth is twisted into a headline. you didn’t ask for all the attention. and now, you don’t know if you want it, either.
I WONDER HOW IT FEELS TO BURN OUT YOUNG
three seasons pass by in the blink of an eye. you go from newcomer of the year to most valuable player when the magpies win league championships. press conferences became longer. your manager schedules more interviews. fans want your autograph on the street. on top of your practices, you rarely have any time to yourself anymore.
it’s foolish to contemplate retirement, especially when you’re at the peak of your career. but a part of you wants it to be over. a part of you wants the tranquility you’ve never had. a part of you wants to be a nobody.
DYING JUST TO FEEL ALIVE
you and your entourage are exiting a restaurant when a man calls out your name. you look over your shoulder, expecting a fan asking for an autograph. instead, you find a man with a crazed spark in his eyes pointing a wand at you. his face is red, his hand is shaking, and his breathing is audible from across the room. before your bodyguards can react, a word leaves his lips, laced with malice: ”sectumsempra.”
everything that happens after is a blur. you remember falling to the ground, the sound of the man being tackled to the floor, and pain. red hot, burning pain running down your shoulder and arm. the memory is seared into you like a brand as you lie on the pavement. you don’t know if you writhed, if you screamed, if you clutched your bleeding arm. all you remember is torturous pain and then, black.
A BULLETPROOF RESTART
we offer our condolences for this unthinkable tragedy. it has rattled the entire quidditch community. we would like to inform you that you are able to return any time you please. we understand that this is a difficult time for you, so take as long as you would like with this decision. your teammates are here for you.
- montrose magpies
you are taken to a hospital after the incident to ensure the counter-curse was performed correctly, and the physical recovery process in the following months goes smoothly. but you feel nauseous every time you think of the suffering you went through in those few minutes. all because an insane fan of an opposing team wanted the magpies to lose. you can hardly look at a broom without being reminded of the trauma, and you don’t know when, or if, you’ll ever come back.
GIVE THESE GHOSTS A NEW HOME
the door creaks open, and you hear your mother’s soft voice say, ”griffin, your father and i want to talk to you.”
you’re barely able to formulate a word before they sit on the edge of your bed. ”we know what happened still hurts,” your father tells you, “but we feel that it’s best for you to venture out into new areas. explore to distract yourself.”
”we remembered how much you loved hogwarts, so we did some research, and there’s an opening position as a teacher’s aide for your old head of house. we thought you might be interested.”
you sit in silence for a couple moments, resting your head against the bed frame. finally, you mutter, “i’ll consider it.”
your mother holds your hand, and your shoulders relax slightly, put at ease by the warmth of her hand. ”we just want you to be happy, griffin,” she says. ”you deserve it.”
➳ section titles are from "i think you think too much of me" by eden
➳ hufflepuff alum
➳ former seeker for the montrose magpies
➳ mom friend
➳ can’t accept compliments
➳ has a scar running down his right arm