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You Couldn't Make It Up (so I did)

posted 7 Aug 2015, 14:40 by Mike Madden
You know what we could really do with? A level playing field. Has anyone seen one? It seems like we will have to put up with this...

Now, that picture might look like Birch Vale from a few years ago, or maybe the old Whaley Bridge ground, but that's not really what I'm looking for.

Imagine playing here...

...and always having to stand at the low end.

Maybe its the wrong analogy. Maybe this is more appropriate...

Once upon a time there was a lady who wrote a book about wizards. Those of you familiar with that series of tales will know that at the heart of the story was a game involving broomsticks, a snitch and various other improbable elements, but what you may not know is that 'Quidditch' as the game is known, is not as straightforward as it seems.

"Welcome to Hufflepuff Green," the grinning Chairman of the Hogwartshire & Muggleshire Quidditch League, Young and Promising Division, welcomed the League Elders to the Meeting Of The Minds. He stared, accusingly, at the small red faced chap in the corner, whispering rather loudly to the Wizard to his left. "Is he a Muggle?" The Wizard to his left coughed and spluttered, a little taken aback at the question. He whispered, in a whisper, "Yes, but he is allowed to be here. All of the Quiddles are allowed to be represented." 'Quiddles' are the teams that compete in the Hogwartshire & Muggleshire Quidditch League, but the chairman of the Young and Promising Division did not altogether approve. The Wizard to his left, on the other hand, loved all clubs equally. He was the honourable secretary of the mighty Hogwartshire & Muggleshire Quidditch League, and although he gloried over the Quiddles in the four major Quiddates (or Divisions), he tried not to get too involved in the Young and Promising Division for fear of treading on the rather scary toes of the Wizard to his right. In his experience, The Young and Promising Division was best left alone, and although he was not averse to send out veritable parliaments of owls with his messages about this and that, and that and this, very few, if any, of these referred to the goings on of the Young and Promising Division.

Outside, above the spires of Hufflepuff Green, the Green were on the wrong end of a beating at the hands of Hawthorn Copse in the Young and Promising Division, and Algernon Old, stalwart of Hufflepuff shook his head in despair. Algernon's son, George Old, was an especially talented Quiddler (as the players of Quidditch are known), and he had left Hufflepuff Green to play for the county of Upper Epic in a league far removed from Hogwartshire and Muggleshire. Algernon mischievously suggested that George cold be the answer to their problems, but a wise old wizard lowered his spectacles and peered at Algernon, before directing his gaze at the Wizard to the right and the Wizard to the left. "That, Algernon, is against the rules of the Young and Promising Division, as well you know." But the Wizard to the right liked the idea. "We are Hufflepuff Green. We make the rules and we can change them whenever we want," he boomed. Realising that representatives from all of the other Quiddles were in the room he laughed nervously, and then regained his composure. "Haha, I'm joking of course," but oddly enough, George Old played many more times for Hufflepuff Green for the remainder of the season.

Across the courtyard, Beauregard Shuttlecock, the grandly named President of Gryffyndor Field, one of the great rivals of Hufflepuff Green, laid down a challenge to the Chairman of the Hogwartshire and Muggleshire League, Young and Promising Division. "You, sir, have transgressed the rules. However, I am quite prepared to overlook it on this occasion, as Thatcher Shuttlecock is in a similar position to your George. And whilst two wrongs do not make a right, I think that it is only right and proper that Thatcher should also play in the Young and Promising Division, if, of course, it does not clash with his games for Slytherinshire County. He's captain you know". The Wizard to the right had no choice but to agree, even though he knew that the captain of Slytherinshire County was far superior to anyone else in his beloved Young and Promising Division.

And so it continued. Hufflepuff Green did not benefit from their bending of the rules, and fell by the wayside as the season reached its climax. Inevitably, Thatcher helped Gryffyndor Field to reach the final, where little fancied Ravenclaw Bridge were their opposition, Ravenclaw were outclassed on parchment, but they too had players to call upon. Young players, but players who could make a difference. The Wizard to the right had had enough. "No, they do not qualify. They cannot play," he laid down the law. "Damn muggles." And that was that. Gryffyndor Field won the day, and they were rightly applauded, but the Wizard to the right had sown the seeds. The Young and Promising Division rebelled, and in coming seasons the Hogwartshire and Muggleshire League fell apart. Exasperated, the honourable secretary retired, I suspect he ran out of owls.