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Author Topic:  [Rat Race] My crew has my back... [OPEN]  (Read 385 times)

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Owain Hughes [ Gryffindor ]
86 Posts  •  15  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Ann
[Rat Race] My crew has my back... [OPEN]
« on: March 20, 2019, 03:50:39 AM »
Where do you go to replace a rat’s tail?

~A re-tail store!

========

Wednesday nights were definitely one of Owain’s favourite times of the week at Hogwarts. Not that he didn’t enjoy Quidditch, hanging out with his friends and dancing, but Wednesdays were special. Wednesday nights meant that it was rat race time. He had been reminded of the location (a disused seventh floor corridor) by a fellow Gryffindor at breakfast that morning, but for once Owain had actually remembered. He had been sweet-talking Bertie all day to encourage the best possible race performance out of him, and had pockets full of chocolate frogs ready for the first bets of the year.

For the first time, Owain had been tasked with advertising the meeting to the new Gryffindor first years and he had taken to it enthusiastically. Only a few of them had run away as the fifth year had cornered them in the common room to shove a rat in their face and ask what they thought of Bertie. The others had seemed vaguely interested and Owain was confident that at least a few would show up to tonight’s meeting and enter one of the best Hogwarts’ traditions. He had certainly never regretted his first Rat Race meeting, even though Nell had stopped going. He had met some great friends there, including Alvar, and obviously would not have Bertie.

Bertie, named after Bertie Bott due to the resemblance of Bott’s beans to rat droppings, was perched on Owain’s shoulder as he walked along. He was attempting to be discrete about his final destination but, as Owain was not a very discrete person, was drawing a lot of attention to himself with his nonchalant whistling, rat balanced on shoulder and mischievous grin on his face. He just couldn’t help himself though. He was planning on betting a chocolate frog that Bertie was going to dominate the first race, made up of pet rats only. They had been practicing and Bertie now only occasionally tried to turn around and go in the opposite direction from where he was supposed to.

Making his way to the seventh floor, Owain was not the first member there, and the atmosphere had already developed a sense of anticipation. Greeting everyone that he bumped into, with a few friendly jibes of competition that Bertie was going to dominate the field tonight, Owain dutifully helped to move the conjured race lines into their initial positions. It was important to ensure that each rat had the same track length to avoid any cheating! Even if some rats tried to escape their own lanes and clamber into their competitors… oh well, it was all part of the fun! Cubes of cheese liberated by a Hufflepuff from the kitchen formed the rats’ bribes for the night, and Owain grabbed hold of Bertie before he could eat his share when the night was still young.

As the hum of fellow students heightened and the corridor filled up, Owain withdrew his wand and tapped Bertie’s back firmly with a whispered, “mutare clara rosea.” Bertie turned a shocking shade of bright pink that Owain personally found highly unappealing but it suited it’s purpose of making his rat very identifiable. He easily pushed his way through the crowd to find the other pet rat owners, each with their own colour of rat. “I bet a chocolate frog that Bertie’s going to trounce the lot of you!” Owain declared, holding up his inactive rodent to the other competitors. “He’s absolutely raring to go!” He merrily exchanged bets with the others, and if Bertie won he would be collecting not only another chocolate frog but also a packet of Bott’s beans and two pumpkin pasties. Yum!

Plopping Bertie down in the starting position along with the other rats, Owain left a sixth year in charge of freezing the rats to ensure they all started at the same time, and made his way down the race course, squeezing in about halfway along. The track length, while mostly straight contained a few sharp twists and turns, would probably take the rats a few minutes to complete, allowing plenty time for the crowd to cheer along their favourites and unexpected events to occur.

There was a fair crowd there and Owain could see two of the little first years that he had talked to, so clearly he had been successful on his mission! He could only hope that they had as much fun as he did! A hush gathered as the chosen commentator for the night cleared their throat. The first race was about to begin!

@Murray Cowan  @Alvar Trickett  @Carey Baisley  @Jari Trickett  (plus anyone/everyone else)
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 03:52:59 AM by Ann »

Carey Baisley [ Gryffindor ]
116 Posts  •  14  •  unsure  •  played by Chaw
Re: [Rat Race] My crew has my back... [OPEN]
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 07:34:01 PM »
Valentine sat on his shoulder as Carey raced up the stairs to the seventh floor. He was early but everything was almost set up. As he passed a Hufflepuff placing the cheese rows on the goal, Valentine tried to jump off Carey’s shoulder. Carey being just as quick, caught him in the air. He chastised his white rat with a smile, “Valentine, you got to get to the end to get the cheese!”

Carey was glad that Valentine was finally showing some spunk. During their practice run, Tabitha out ran him every time. If he shows as much spunk on the track, then Carey hopes of finally winning a game would be looking better than the previous year.  He did not get Valentine until last Valentine's day. Another student's rat gave birth to litter in Carey's quill box, and he was allowed to pick one of the pups to keep. He had taken Valentine to a race or two but being so young the rat just hid in Carey’s pocket… overwhelmed. Before that Carey had sponsor a castle rat… but found the endeavor not very fruitful. The rat did not seem to trust Carey and as a result Carey lost his whole stash of candy within a few races.

Yet Cary just knew this year would be different. He learned not to bet everything he had and today he could hardly bet much. He did not have a chance to pick up candy at Diagon Alley before school and even though he wrote his mother asking for some, she had not sent anything yet. Instead he had to pilfer some pumpkin pasties from the kitchen.

He dropped the pasty in the prize hopper. The sight of which got Val excited again. “Valentine, you act like I did not feed you….” The rat nibbled on Careys fingers that had pastry crumbles on it. Carey continued as if the rat had replied. “You are right I did not give you your treat today but that is what the race is for.”

He dropped the rat in the starting box. “What color? Pink?” The rat backed away slightly. “Red?” The rat turned away from Carey. Carey let out a sigh and looked at the colorful rats that started to be dropped off. “Well, being one of the first here I guess I can leave you white… but ya gotta win. Okay? If you do, I promise we will be set for treats for a week!”

Carey was pleased that Valentine took an interest in the direction of the end of the tract and left him to get frozen by a sixth year. The crowds of students grew, a few familiar faces and a few new ones popped up near him. He was looking for his Gryffindor upperclassman friend Owain. Finally spotting him he cut through the crowd, stepping on one kids toes and almost knocking over a first year. “Heyya, Owain!” Carey shouted while smiling brightly. “You got Bertie in, right? What color is he this time? I think Valentine will give him a run for his money.”

Carey craned his neck and pointing out his white rat. “He is the white one there. I was so early I was able to keep Valentine his natural color. It is his first race, I did not want to overwhelm him. Ya know. But he seems eager. I think…” But whatever Carey was about to say melted out of his mind as the commentator began to talk. Excited and nervous for his rat Carey bounced on his toes. The six-year spoke up waving his wand, “Ready, set… Finite Incantatem.”  The booming voice of the Commutator said, “And they are OFF…” The young excited gryffindor jumped up and down while punching the air. Carey atheism could have won the race alone.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 07:42:17 PM by Chaw »

Murray Cowan [ Hufflepuff ]
87 Posts  •  17  •  Straight  •  played by Kelly
Re: [Rat Race] My crew has my back... [OPEN]
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2019, 09:04:54 PM »
Murray didn't learn of the rat race club until he was in his third year at Hogwarts. He quickly found out that whilst he was in his second year, the meetings actually stopped because the Carrows were professors and being caught by either one of them was basically a death sentence. Murray started by attending the races every few weeks in his third year, and then as the years went on the only time he missed a rat race was if he was extremely sick. He didn't have his own rat, but he had made pretty solid relationships with some of the school rats that punctually showed up every Wednesday evening when called.

He made his way up and up the flights of stairs from the Hufflepuff common room in the basement to the seventh floor corridor that was the location of that nights race. Generally, Murray would have both of his pockets (and sometimes even his socks) full of sweets to use as bets on the races. Tonight however, Murray would be commentating. He'd taken his turn commentating a number of times since he was in his fifth year and (in his opinion) he was pretty good at it. Murray knew almost all of the other students' pet rats names by heart because of how long he'd been attending the meetings, so he was able to call the race in actual time without having to reference the colours of the rats. This was extremely convenient, especially on some Wednesday nights where it felt like the number of bystanders was such that people had to crane their necks to see the race.

Murray was moving the conjured race lines into place when Owain Hughes stopped to help him. "Thanks buddy," he said graciously, stepping back and looking at the finished product. It was the commentators responsibility before and during a race to make sure that the race lines stayed in place and didn't give any rat an unfair advantage. The little pieces of cheese at the finish line were already laid out perfectly centre with each lane. "Good to go," Murray said happily, carefully stepping between the lanes to stand on the opposite side of the track. The commentator was reserved the best position in the house in order to cleanly call the shots with a perfect view.

He cleared his throat loudly when all of the pet rats had been set down at the starting line. Murray took out his wand, pointed it at his throat and said, "sonorus". Thankfully, the helpful little charm magically amplified his voice to as loud as it needed to be in whatever setting he was in. For example, in the seventh floor corridor, his voice would be loud enough to be heard by all of the bystanders of the races, but not loud enough to carry around a corner that could lead to trouble.

"Welcome to the rat race! First up tonight is a crowd favourite... Pet rats! And it looks like they're ready to go," Murray glanced in the direction of the sixth year that was holding his wand steady, keeping the rats frozen in position at the starting line. "Well if you've made your bets, without further ado, let them go," he said, as the freezing charm was finished by the caster.

"And they're OFF!!" Murray said loudly, waiting to see which rats broke out into a lead before he made any predictions. He always took the opportunity as commentator to throw in a few comments and bets of his own while calling the race. "Looks like there's four speedy rats out to an early start, but oh- look at the two blue rats at the starting line attempting to crawl into each others lanes! They must new to the rat race game because I've never seen those rats before!" Murray began, pausing for a laugh. Sure enough, two of the smallest rats (that happened to be charmed blue) hadn't even started in the right direction. "Let's hope whoever owns those rats didn't bet much on this race..."

[OOC: Not sure who else wants to be involved, so I won't take the race too far until there's more participants and then Murray can call the rats by their names ><]

Owain Hughes [ Gryffindor ]
86 Posts  •  15  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Ann
Re: [Rat Race] My crew has my back... [OPEN]
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 11:00:27 PM »
“Carey!” He greeted joyfully, stepping backwards to make room for his friend. Did he slightly push people out the way to do so? Oops. The younger Gryffindor was great though. The two boys bonded over their love for quidditch and rats and that was really the friendship made. And Bertie and Valentine seemed to get on well so that was the clincher. Fighting talk from the third year though! Owain couldn’t let anyone get away with trash talking Bertie.... who looked like he was about to take a nap... oh Merlin. No Bertie! Time for that later! He had to win some goodies first. They had chocolate frogs riding on this! And it was they because Owain and Bertie were a team.

“As if!” He scoffed playfully. Owain was not up for serious competition after all. Only a bit of fun. “Bertie will trounce Valentine!” Yes, the dozing bright pink furrball looked soooo eager to defeat any opponents. “He’s bright pink,” Owain explained, “the one...” he sighed pointing out his beloved pet, “that has somehow become unfrozen enough to try and lick the blue one’s bum.” He laughed, “maybe there’ll be baby Berties soon then!” How awesome would that be!! He would love some baby rats. Bertie would clearly make an excellent dad too. Awkward that Owain did not actually know if Bertie was a boy or a girl and what gender the blue rat was either. It would certainly be a surprise if Bertie ended up the one pregnant with a litter of babies.

“Can’t believe it’s his first race!” Owain said, silently wishing Valentine well. “Are you excited?” Nevermind Carey, Owain was excited. This was the best! New rats were always great. Even better when they mucked up completely but, really, that was all part of the fun of the event. What was a race without some chaos?

When the race began, Owain jumped and cheered along with the rest of the crowd. A wave of enthusiastic noise filled the hallway and Murray’s voice could be heard over it. It appeared that the blue rat that Bertie had been sniffing earlier was not doing very well. He could only hope that Bertie was one of the speedy rats but, honestly, Owain would be surprised if he was. Bertie wasn’t exactly a sprinter. He could only hope the others would get distracted as Bertie hopefully ambled towards the cheese. He nudged Carey in the side, “go Valentine!” He cheered loudly, watching a white rat manage to stay focused and run forwards. “He might win this!”

Owain had eventually spotted Bertie and was pleased to note that although he was in a different lane than he was meant to be, he was running on his tiny little paws forwards. Yes!!! Although it looked more like he was chasing something... oh no!! It seemed like a green rat was his target and he was gaining. Fast. “No you stupid thing!” He couldn’t help but shout as if the rat understood English. But, of course, Bertie did not understand English, or if he did was choosing to ignore the provider of his food. Owain watched helpless as his rat pounced on the back of the unsuspecting green rat and wrestled it around the track. Bertie was clearly horny tonight.

As Bertie began to lick the other rat, and was licked in return, Owain laughed. Loudly. “The first years are probably wondering what in Merlin’s name is going on!” Owain imagined, remembering his own first time at rat club. “Get off her Bertie!” He yelled again, “go, go, go!” After all, Owain did have his sweet stash for the next few days riding on this. Luckily, if Bertie completely mucked this up for him there were still more races to come. 

Carey Baisley [ Gryffindor ]
116 Posts  •  14  •  unsure  •  played by Chaw
Re: [Rat Race] My crew has my back... [OPEN]
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2019, 06:31:25 AM »
The third year smiled at Owain’s boast.  “Yah, yah, we will see.” Carey said dismissively before he leaned over the track and craned his head to see the line of rats. He failed to find Bertie in pink, until Owain mentioned he was halfway hidden behind and under the blue rat. “Oh,” Carey said before realizing what Owain was alluding to. Then gave a “OH!” followed by a laugh.

“Ya know, that is how I got Valentine…” Carey said as he spared a glance to his friends while he wiggled his eyebrows. Although it was funny, he was glad when Owain changed the subject and distracted the fourteen-year-old from the colorful pair.  “I think so, well I am excited. He wasn’t up for the training I tiered, but the treats seem to change his mind. I think…”

Carey’s voiced thought was cut off by Murray’s announcement, the race began  and the crowd cheered. The young Gryffindor leaned back over the track to see his rat. It appeared shocked by the sudden noise and commotion and instead of sprinting forward, it backed up. Frustrated Carey shouted, “Come on Valentine! RUN, run run!”

As if looking for an escape his white rat looked over the rails and spotted a rat or two that were making their way down the track. Taking a second to sniff the air, the white rat soon decided to follow them. The first hesitant steps gathered up speed and he was soon a rat or two behind the current lead green one. If Valentine did not have speed at least he had focus for he working his way down the track. Watching this the Gryffindor was wordlessly, jumping up and down. He was oddly now worried about distracting his rat as he ran pass. Carey felt Owain give him a jab and Carey eventually joined in his friend’s cheer by risking a “Go, Valentine!”

A sudden outburst of frustration caught Carey’s focus. “Why what? What happened?” Carey looked for Owain’s rat Bertie who made his way down the tract in another rat’s lane. It looked like it was doing a good job, of distracting the green rat with a tongue bath. “Um. I think Bertie thinks this is a day at the spa.”

Carey laughed at Owain’s joke, before returning his attention to Valentine. It was then he noticed his rat turned and was climbing over the lanes toward a kid who was watching the game while nibbling on a Pumpkin pasty. The kid must have decided to keep one for himself instead of betting it. The only problem was pumpkin pasties were Valentine’s kryptonite. “Oh NO!” Carey said waving frantically to get the kids attention. The young kid was to focused on the lead rat to notice Carey. Giving up on getting the kid's attention Carey instead called to his own rat by shouting.  “Get the cheese, get the cheese, the cheese!”

Murray Cowan [ Hufflepuff ]
87 Posts  •  17  •  Straight  •  played by Kelly
Re: [Rat Race] My crew has my back... [OPEN]
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2019, 09:28:59 PM »
"It looks like Bertie is off to a solid start," Murray called, his voice magically magnified above the crowd. "But wait- what's this- Bertie has jumped on Cheesie!" he laughed loudly, as Owain's rat pounced onto the back of the little green rat named Cheesie, owned by a sixth year Hufflepuff. Murray glanced towards Cheesie's owner and gave him a wide grin. He'd watched his fellow Hufflepuff try to teach his rat to stay within the lines of a makeshift course he'd created in the Hufflepuff common room a few days prior, and the rat had done well. Apparently things change when there's another rat on your back!

He overheard Owain cheering on another rat, and then heard a third year Gryffindor cheering on that same rat. Valentine, they were shouting. "Valentine is running great down the track! I've never seen that rat before so he must be a first-timer!" As soon as the words escaped his lips, the white rat veered off to the side, clambering over a few lanes towards some bystanders. "Might need a little bit more practice in staying straight!" Murray commented, turning his attention back to the leader which was a shocking purple rat owned by one of his own friends. Priscilla the rat was always a slow starter, but somehow she managed to pull herself together toward the end of the race and stay on the straight and narrow path to victory.

"Priscilla is in the lead by about ten rat lengths to the closest follower... It looks like she may have the win!" The purple rat crawled forward. She wasn't speedy by any means but it was pretty obvious the cheese a few feet in front of her was her end goal. "And yes, Priscilla takes first place in the pet rat category!" Murray's eyes found his friend that owned the purple rat and he gave him a grin and a thumbs up. "Here come the stragglers... Valentine has managed to clinch second place in his first ever race! Great job!" The white rat crossed the line and immediately grabbed the cheese. The third and fourth place spots were extremely close. Bertie had crawled back off Cheesie and the two of them were heading straight towards the cheese, within the same lane. One of them would get there first and secure their prize while the loser would need to find cheese at the end of a different lane.

"Third place is going to be a close one! Both Cheesie and Bertie are running side by side only feet from the finish line!" Murray had moved himself so that he was positioned directly at the end of the track, ready to call out the third place rat if it was a close finish. "They're inches away now, and it looks like it's going to be Cheesie... Wait- no! Bertie has put on a burst of speed and is nearly- YES! Bertie takes third place! With Cheesie coming in a very close fourth," he took a deep breath and looked back down toward the starting line where there were three rats that had barely moved, including the two blue rats that were climbing all over each other in an attempt to get back to their owners.

Owain Hughes [ Gryffindor ]
86 Posts  •  15  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Ann
Re: [Rat Race] My crew has my back... [OPEN]
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 04:26:28 PM »
He was resigned to losing. At least this race anyway. He could bet on random castle rats later, and leave Bertie to chase whatever female rat he wanted. Certainly the bright pink rat seemed to be keen to get himself a rat girlfriend this evening. Maybe he would even attract the attention of Pricilla, the winner of the race. Her dedication to actually reaching the end of the track quickly may even be inspiring and encourage Bertie not to mess the next race up! Owain was doubtful but it was a nice thought.

Cheering as Valentine crossed the finish line (second!), Owain gave Carey an enthusiastic thump on the back. “Well done! I owe you a chocolate frog! But I’ll get it back mate! Just you wait.” Any other praise was distracted by the sight of Bertie giving up the chase on Cheesie (as Murray’s commentary explained) and resuming his chase on the cheese. “Go! Go! Go!” Owain screamed, enthusiastically leaning over the track to cheer his rat on. If he came in third then he wouldn’t lose all his goodies.

He watched in anticipation as Bertie and Cheesie ran neck to neck. This was almost more stressful than when two seekers where flying breakneck speed after the snitch! Finally, his chanting seemed to pay off and Bertie edged ahead to TAKE THIRD!!

“Wooooo!” Owain cried, fists punching in the air in victory. “Well done Bertie!” With a wide grin on his face he turned back to Carey. “Top three!” He told his friend, still crowing over his (well, Bertie’s) achievement. What a fantastic start to the rat race year!

“C’mon,” Owain said cheerfully, as he began to push his way towards the finish line to collect Bertie. He collected a few Bertie Bott’s beans from spectators as he went. They hadn’t had faith in Bertie like he had. Although, the majority of the beans definitely looked like they could be either grass or vomit flavoured - never mind, he would use them to bet later.

Once at the finish line, Owain congratulated Priscilla and her owner, handing over the betted chocolate frog, and picked Bertie up from where he was, once again, trying to climb on top of poor Cheesie. “Soz, Dave,” he smiled apologetically at Cheesie’s owner before beating a hasty retreat.

“Good first race!” Owain called loudly to those around him, which included both Carey and Murray. “Definitely some new rats to watch out for this year.” He looked around at the assembled crowd who, even now, were busy readying for the next race. Randomly summoned Hogwarts rats this time. “I’ll put a sugar quill on number seven!”

Soon they would be racing again, and Owain was once again looking forward to cheering the small rodents as they ran through the obstacle course that snaked the corridor.

Rat racing was definitely the best club at Hogwarts.

[/OUT]

Carey Baisley [ Gryffindor ]
116 Posts  •  14  •  unsure  •  played by Chaw
Re: [Rat Race] My crew has my back... [OPEN]
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2019, 04:18:26 PM »
Carey had all but given up.  Then suddenly his rat seem to realize that the wizard eating over the track was not going to give him any food, so it head straight to the next food source, the finish line cheese. Carey was so excited he practically shook the brain loose of a student closest to him before Valentine finally won!

"VALENTINE WHOOOO!" Yelled and cheered Carey barely hearing Owain congratulating him. He turned to his friend, "Save the frog, We are going to win a mountain of them next time!" He wanted to make his way over to his winning rat, but the crowd was unwilling to budge. Everyone was still routing for the third place. It was then that the third year noticed that Bertie in his pink coat was racing for the finish line against the green rat who appeared to be called Cheesie. Just why would his owner NOT color Cheessie yellow or orange was beyond the young wizards understanding but he could at least help his friend cheer.

"Ber-tie, ber-tie, ber-tie!" Carey chanted loudly! It was amazingly neck and neck! Carey thought that their cheer looked was helping Bertie take the lead, until just befor the Cheese, Cheesie looked like they would be going to get it. "No…" then, ”Yes, Yes Yes!!! Go Bertie! Bertie got it!” He yelled at his friend who obviously did not need to be told this let alone it be screamed into his ear.

Carey repeated “Top three!” and followed in Owain wake as he was able to push through the crowd to collect their winning rats. He scooped up Valentine, who curled in a ball protectively around his small nugget of cheese. Yet once Carey collected the second prices handful of candies the rat dropped what was left of the cheese and tried for them instead. “Hey, you only get one and the rest are for more betting. Help me pick out a good rat…” Carey said to his rat as he made his way back to the other side of the rat racetrack. He was hoping with some sweet motivation Valentine will help him pick the winner.

{OUT}

OOC: Call out to @Murray Cowan  / @Kelly for doing such a great JOB!

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