Summary: Eric is fourteen when the first issue of Team Q comes out.
Rating: PG (language, sexuality)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters/Pairings: OCs, mentions of Dean and Seamus (implied Seamus/Dean)
Warnings: homophobia, cheesy comic book writing, capslock abuse
Original Story: kyuuketsukirui's Team Q
Author's Notes: Many, many thanks to theemdash for the hand-holding, beta, and awesome cheesy comic book dialogue, and to kashmir_ki_kali for helping design the characters in Team Q. buffyannotater's Uncanny X-Men recaps were also an invaluable resource.
TEAM Q, the new comic from Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan
WINNING QUIDDITCH team by day, MUTANT CRIME FIGHTERS by night, the witches and wizards of TEAM Q protect Wizarding and Muggle London alike from DARK WIZARD ROM TIDDLE and his Cronies.
IN THIS ISSUE meet the team: Keeper Gaius, with the ability to CONTROL FIRE WITHOUT A WAND; his brother Tiberius, Chaser, able to CONTROL ICE; SUPER-SMART Chaser Livia; Gavin, Chaser with the powers of TELEPATHY and TELEKINESIS; Beater Jack, gifted with SUPER SPEED; SUPER-STRONG Beater Cassiopeia; and Seeker Tracy, with the ability to make himself INVISIBLE.
JOIN THEM as they balance QUIDDITCH PRACTICE and BATTLING THIEVES and DARK WIZARDS. DON'T MISS THE EXCITEMENT!
(Available only through Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Try the fudge, it'll make you sick!)
Eric is fourteen when the first issue of Team Q comes out. He only sees it in the first place because Evan, his older brother, takes him to Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes to stock up over Eric's Christmas hols. The comic's got a Quidditch team with super powers that fight crime and dark wizards; what could be bad? Eric's a comic book connoisseur anyway, so he puts back a package of trick quills and buys a copy instead.
It's only later, when he's reading the comic on the train back to school, that he realizes it's about poufters.
"I'm going to have to take a rain check on dinner tonight," Gaius told William. "I've...we've got practice."
"Again?" William asked. "Gai, you need to remind them that you have a life outside of Quidditch."
"I know," Gaius said, expression torn as he turned away. I wish I could tell him, he thought, but I know I can't! He touched William's shoulder gently as he passed on his way out of the kitchen. "Don't wait up."
The relationship is subtle, but when he realizes Gaius (and nearly everyone else on the team) is gay, Eric's first thought is to throw the comic away. He knows the names the boys call each other (he uses them, too), and no one wants to be a poufter, even and especially if it's true.
But the art's really good, and he likes the characters (even if they're all shirt-lifters and lesbos), and it's a crime-fighting Quidditch team, so he keeps reading. And if he puts it inside one of his other comics when he's reading it in the Common Room, well that's his business.
PREVIOUSLY IN TEAM Q the team foiled DARK WIZARD ROM TIDDLE'S plot to steal Gringotts, while still getting back to the pitch in time to beat Puddlemere United 200-10.
IN THIS ISSUE the team discovers a plot to RID LONDON OF MUGGLES FOREVER. Will they be able to stop Rom Tiddle's most recent nefarious scheme in time? AN ISSUE YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS!
(Available only through Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Trick quills on sale just in time for end-of-term exams!)
Eric's still at school when the second issue comes out, so he begs Evan to pick him up a copy. It arrives with a bundle of other comics, but it's the first one he reads, staying up late with the bed curtains closed and a Lumos spell illuminating the action. He reads it again the next night, and the next, until he has to owl Evan to ask him to get another copy because the magical binding is coming loose.
Eric’s sure the illustrator is Muggle-born, because the first issue has no moving panels. The second issue has a couple scenes with moving panels (a few fight scenes, and the Quidditch match against Pride of Portree), but Eric realizes that it doesn't matter. He's too focused on whether Team Q can catch Rom Tiddle, and why Tracy's been acting strangely, and even whether Gaius is going to break up with his boyfriend William because he can't tell him where he goes most nights.
Team Q flew through the window of the abandoned warehouse where Rom Tiddle and his heinous henchmen were making a potion that would kill the Muggle population of London.
"Your plans are chilling," Gaius quipped as he froze Rom Tiddle to the ground.
"You're right," Tiberius agreed, "they don't seem like such a hot idea." He flicked his wrist, igniting the contents of the caustic cauldron. The rest of the team tracked down the escaping henchmen and immobilized them with their marvelous mutant powers.
"This will alert the Aurors," Livia exclaimed, shooting off a spelled replica of a racing broom.
"Curse you, Team Q!" Rom Tiddle cried before Disapparating.
Eric's favorite character is Jack, the Team Captain and one of the Beaters. He's also the only straight character on the team, though after the shock wears off that doesn't even matter very much. He's more normal than super-smart Livia or guarded Tracy or aloof Gai, and much nicer than gruff Cass or angry Gavin. And Jack's much better than Tiberius, who's always picking at Jack for being straight. Like that's weird, or something. Eric likes Tiberius the least--partly because of the way he treats Jack--but there's something else to that relationship. From the thought bubbles, Eric's pretty sure Tiberius has a crush on Jack.
Eric can't blame him. He'd have a crush on Jack, too.
If he was a poof.
Which he's not.
PREVIOUSLY IN TEAM Q the team foiled DARK WIZARD ROM TIDDLE'S plan to poison Muggle London, and still made it back in time to trounce Pride of Portree.
IN THIS ISSUE the team loses a match against the Appleby Arrows because TRACY HAS GONE MISSING! Where has the INVISIBLE SEEKER gone? And is DARK WIZARD ROM TIDDLE behind the string of break-ins on Diagon Alley? THE MOST THRILLING ISSUE YET!
(Available only through Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Don't tell your mum you bought that Dung Bomb from us!)
Eric's just gotten home for summer hols when the third issue comes out, so he begs Evan to take him to Diagon Alley to get a copy. They stop off at Flourish & Blotts first, then Evan sends him along to Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes on his own.
There's a long line when he gets there, and everyone seems to be waiting to get a copy of Team Q. Eric gets in line behind a little girl with no front teeth and waits his turn. When he gets to the front, the writers are there; he recognizes them from the smiling photographs on the backs of the first two issues. His hands shake when he puts his coins on the counter, then slips his copy into his bag. He's half-way to the door when he has a brilliant idea.
"I, um," he says, coming back up to the counter. One of the men--Dean, the illustrator--looks up. "Can you sign it for me? You guys're my heroes." Dean smiles broadly and elbows Seamus, and they both sign. Eric thinks he might faint.
Rom Tiddle had six of the seven members of Team Q caught in Full-Body Binds in his lair. "You are helpless to foil my evil plans!" he said, cackling demonically. "My plot will go off without a hitch!"
"You can't turn all Muggle-borns blue by putting your potion into the water supply," Livia said. "It's logically impossible...unless you combine hellebore and scurvy-grass and let them boil under the light of a full moon!"
"And I have!" Rom Tiddle sneered, gesturing to some of his already-blue henchmen. "With their new coloring, they'll be easier to find and kill!" He cast the Killing Curse and one of the blue henchmen fell down dead, eyes open in a sightless stare.
"No!" Jack screamed, thinking of their missing Muggle-born Seeker. If we can't stop Rom Tiddle, Jack thought, who will?
NEXT ISSUE will Rom Tiddle's EVIL PLOT succeed? And WHERE IS TRACY?
Eric's mum doesn't like any of his comic books, and he's sure she'll like this one even less ("Can't they just...not be gay, dear?"), so he hides it between Marvin the Mad Muggle and The Adventures of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived when he's at home. He's tempted to hide them when he goes back to school, too, but why should he have to?
So when he goes back to school in the fall, the first two issues in his trunk and the third in his hand when he boards the train, he doesn't bother to hide it. "Hey, that's the comic about the queers," a Slytherin says when he pushes into Eric's compartment. "I hear only queers read it. Are you a queer?"
Eric thinks for a minute. "Maybe," he says, and then he goes back to his comic. He can't wait until Evan sends him the next issue when it comes out next week. He bets Tracy's waiting to jump out a pivotal moment, and he can't wait to find out.