Meet the Team
SQT: Journey to the Cup
It is three o'clock in the morning when the members of the Slytherin Quidditch Team are awoken by their captain, Rosemarie Halliwell. With no matches to play in February, the team has been coasting through practices and resting themselves for the final stretch – three more matches and possibly a third consecutive Quidditch Cup.
Once on the Quidditch pitch, the team mounts their brooms. Halliwell is the first in the air, Quaffle in hand, followed by co-captain Cody Lewis, then the rest of the team. But this is no scrimmage. There will be no passing drills or Keeper practice today. Instead, the team flies straight out of the pitch, then continues past Hogsmeade.
Then, Halliwell blindly tosses the Quaffle behind her. In the back of the line, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis is the one who catches it. She flies full speed to the beginning of the line, then tosses the Quaffle behind her to Darcey Goode, who does the same. This is what the Slytherin team calls popcorn flying. Usually, the team does this in laps around the Quidditch pitch. Today, they are doing it in a bee-line over rolling hills to an unknown location.
“Popcorn flying helped pass the time,” says Leslie-Lewis of the experience. “We cheered each other on and could enjoy the scenery below when it wasn't our turn to sprint.”
It is not until dawn that the team finally sets foot on solid ground again. Upon landing, Halliwell gathers her team under a tree with dozens of Quaffles stuck in its branches. Here, she finally reveals their destination in a short, lyrical speech:
When I was a young girl, my father took me into the city to see a Quidditch team. He said, "Rosemarie, when you grow up you'll be the Slytherin Quidditch Team Captain." Then he said, "Rosemarie. Don't go chasing waterfalls." ...Actually, my father kind of went in and out with how much sense that he said made. But either way, that moment directly led us here to this one.
Here we are today at Queerditch Marsh. Where it all started. The very beginnings of Quidditch. Back to the start. Ya know, this team has seen fire and it's seen rain. It's seen sunny days that we thought would never end. I want to start by saying that today has been great; home is wherever I'm with you, team.
So far, today has been about team bonding. For the rest of the season, our plan is to win. I don't want no scrubs. We're all in this together and we have to get our heads in the game. We started disgustingly early this morning, which I'm sure was hard for everyone except for Cody and me, AKA everyone with normal sleep schedules. But life is hard.
So um, to conclude... Just remember that there ain't no mountain high enough... Ain't no river wide enough... Ain't no valley low enough... Uh, to stop us from winning this Quidditch Cup. Good job, guys. Go team.
At the conclusion of her speech, Halliwell tosses the Quaffle into the tree – the tree that had first been used as a goal during the origins of Quidditch. The journey to Queerditch Marsh served as a test of stamina, but this is much more than a training exhibition.
“We felt this was a good bonding opportunity. It really brought the team together,” Lewis explains. But more importantly, it sent a message. “Even during our break, SQT is going to be working hard.”
Because that is what it takes to be a champion.