This evening's pickups may have started out a bit slowly, but enough people flew onto the pitch to make it a night to remember!
No cauldrons were strapped on heads today; instead, we started the festivities with two rounds of Xany (remember, that's the game where the first 3 to answer correctly get points): one on the regular question set and then one on the Cascade set. I may have fallen off my broom during one of the games, but it only took three more questions for me to find my bearings!
Then it was time to choose teams; we followed Shadow's suggestion of asking players to choose school subjects (Muggle or Wizard). Ultimately, most of our players chose science-related subjects so we had to find a different way to choose teams: was the work for the subject done primarily in the Lab (team L) or mainly with Pencil and Paper (team P)?
With that in mind, we all headed out to the Quodpot arena. The first three questions all went to the Pencil and Paper players, but Aurelia made a risky gambit on question 4 to narrow the gap to 6-4, and then Tarma made an even riskier gambit, ending in an explosion! Two questions later, it was my turn to explode (on the iridescent, pearly scales of an Antipodean Opaleye), and three questions later it was Scarlet's turn (she exploded inside Harry Potter's school trunk). Cody got the next 3 questions for Pencil and Paper; a streak interrupted by Vanessa of Labs exploding on Rubeus Hagrid, with the Pencil and Paper team holding a 16-4 lead. Three questions later it was Cody's turn to explode; after two 'safe' questions there were three explosions in a row to end the game. The first exploded harmlessly, but the second got Emma on "Gryffindor are Losers" and the third got Aurelia on "that old git". Since Emma and Aurelia were the last two standing on the Labs team, Pencil and Paper ended the match with a 17-8 win.
Then we switched to the Cascade set for another game... would the result change? The first four questions were split between the two teams, but due to Ron Weasley exploding Scarlet, Pencil and Paper started out with a comfortable 5-1 lead. A three-question run for Pencil and Paper (by three different players, no less) extended that to 11-1. Then Labs got the next two, but one was a Question 5 on the Black Sisters, so Narcissa Black ended up exploding Shiloh. (Since it was a Question 5, I decided to use people of that surname at HOL: I had typed Tarma and was getting to Polaris before the explosion.) In fact, there would be two more explosions in the four questions to follow, both landing on Pencil and Paper players (the Tutshill Tornados exploded Shadow, and Harry Potter exploded me). At that time, the score was 13-6 to Pencil and Paper. Two more questions passed uneventfully, but then two Lab players exploded on consecutive questions: Tarma (sucked in by the Unknowable Room) and then Emma (who really should have kept off the Dirigible Plums). Cody got 4 of the next 5 questions correct (and the one in between: "no one remembered the Kneazle") padding Pencil and Paper's lead to 22-6, but the last question was a Question 5 where Parvati and Padma Patil joined to explode Cody (meanwhile I was guessing HOL 'siblings' instead.) Three questions later, Hope got out on a Puking Pastille, leading to a 12-question run where Aurelia was the only person to answer any question. She exploded on Ginny (a Weasley), but not before scoring seventeen points, giving Labs the first lead of the evening at 23-22. Vanessa then made it 24-22 with Ancient Runes on the next question, before exploding two questions later on Hermione's Secret. There was only one player remaining, Alex, who promptly answered the final two questions of the game, ending the match at 25-24 in favor of Pencil and Paper.
There was still time for one more match, though I needed to switch to a much weaker broom for the occasion. The two teams split the first four questions, but while both of the Lab questions resulted in points, both of the Pencil and Paper questions led to explosions (Ron Weasley got Hope; Gregorovitch got Cody) giving Labs a 3-0 lead they would never relinquish. Labs got the next three questions to extend it to 9-0 before the Quod exploded harmlessly next to a sopophorous bean. Three more questions in a row went to the Labs, the last of which was The Hearing that exploded Tarma. Then it was time for Pencil and Paper to answer correctly; unfortunately, Terence Higgs decided to explode me (maybe he thought I was after his position
). Aurelia was exploded on the very next question with the help of Andrew Kirke (did Andrew think Aure was gunning for his position? They're not even in the same house!) but two questions later Alex finally earned Pencil and Paper their first points of the match with a ring. The score at that point was 13-2. Then came a six question, 13-0 run with a harmless explosion in the middle... extending that lead to 26-2 before Vanessa exploded on Flight of the Fat Lady. Shiloh exploded on the very next question thanks to Quirinus Quirrell, segueing into a run by Scarlet. After she answered four questions in a row, the bot asked for Quiddtich teams in the British and Irish league... Cody, Scarlet, and I paid the question its proper respect with Continental European
teams as the Quod exploded the entire Magpies side, far away from us. Then came a harmless explosion of Luna Lovegood, a correct answer by Scarlet, an unanswered question, and finally... Scarlet exploded on the Double Eight Loop (one of her favorite tactics as Keeper, ironically enough). At this point, Alex was the last person standing, but he had to erase a 37-2 lead if he wanted to come back. Could he do it? Four questions later, we learned the answer: NO! He exploded in a sea of yellow Fwooper feathers, but the Lab team had finally won: 37-7.
The following people showed up: Alexander Brighton, Aurelia West, Cody Lewis, Emma Borg, Hope Stark, Scarlet Leslie-Lewis, Shiloh Adlar, Shadow Gaunt, Tarma Amelia Black, Vanessa Tilley, and Will Lestrange!
The next pickup takes place in a week and a half in #quidditch, on... Thursday, March 22 at 2:30 AM HOL!
(NOTE: This was moved half an hour earlier from a previous announcement to accommodate for a snitch match shortly thereafter.)