A resounding crack echoed across the empty pitch as the sixth charmed baseball spiralled out towards the stands. Tapping her trusted bat onto the makeshift batter’s mound, Petra swung the metal item back up onto her shoulder, focusing on the area that she had the balls coming from. Again, a soft whizzing noise sounded as the ball zinged through the air, this time a curve ball. Taking half a step forward with her leading foot, the blonde swung clean through, chipping the corner and sending the round item into a foul zone. WIth a soft curse, she focused again, waiting for the next pitch.
Petra’s stress levels were high, higher than normal, and for once she wasn’t coping well. Normally, things like being a prefect and moving on with her studies and subsequently, the rest of her life, didn’t bother her. But everything felt out of control. Suddenly, she’d gone from a shiny faced fourth year with no worries to a sixth year with more responsibility and choices than she cared for. After priding herself on having everything together and knowing what she wanted out of her life, Petra Stiglitz found that she was at a loss. Each carefully crafted plan was falling apart because of her own uncertainty. She no longer truly knew what she wanted to do after school.
The Aquila was torn in so many directions, there were so many interesting things that she could do, but they all had started to dim in the fact that she needed to start making hard decisions. Did she need to go to college? Would her family even be able to help her pay for it? Da had just lost his job, she couldn’t rely on them to help her with tuition when they’d already done so much for her. With a snort of frustration, she swung again, the fastball chipping on the edge of her bat, spiralling up in the air above her. If she was on a real baseball diamond, the pitcher would have caught it easily and she’d have been out.
That was how she felt. Like she was striking out of every option that she’d carefully considered before. Was this what being an adult felt like? Because she certainly wasn’t enjoying it. Nor was she enjoying the responsibility of being a prefect. She was struggling to balance being an authority figure with her friends, not that she had many. And it was the mixture of all this that had a round object hurtling at different speeds towards her face. Petra’s shoulder’s were aching, she was sweaty, and the last thing she wanted to do was swing again.
As a result, the ball currently mid-hurtle dropped to the ground three feet in front of her, exhaustion and stress winning out over her hold on the charm.
With a soft sigh, Petra leaned on her bat, trying to catch her breath and deal with the burning ache in her shoulders from continuing to swing at the flying projectiles. After a moment, movement caught at the corner of her eye. Someone had been standing on the pitch, for how long she wasn’t sure, for all she knew they’d been there the whole time, or had just walked on. Either way, she straightened, pushing curls that had escaped from her ponytail behind her ear.
“I’m just finishing up,” she said, slightly out of breath still. The sixteen year old began moving, picking up the ball that had dropped short and drawing her wand to start summoning those in the far reaches of the field back to her. “The pitch’ll be all yours in a few, I just have to get the rest of these back in my bag.” Her words were short, clearly not in the mood for conversation. With blood thundering in her ears, she thought she missed the person speaking. “Sorry, what?” She asked, dropping another baseball into her gym bag. “Did you say something?”