As you now Noah wrote a blog about quidditch a few days ago, well, I’m a big fan of quidditch my self so I got “Quidditch Through The Ages” by Kennilworthy Whisp, and obviously JKR. (The rights of what I’ll write are totally theirs)
Well I wanted to tell you the story of how the Golden Snitch became the Golden Snitch, so here I go (I’m translating my book so there might be some mistakes, sorry)
The appearance of the Golden Snitch
From the beginnings of XII century, the hunt of the snidget was very popular between wizards and witches. The golden snidget is a protected species now days, but in that time they abounded in the north of Europe, although they were very difficult to detect by muggles for their capacity to hide and for their speed.
The tiny size of the snidget, added to their agility on the air and their talent to dodge predators, made the prestige of the wizards that catch them rise. A painting of XII century, conserved on the Quidditch Museum, shows a group trying to catch the snidget. On the first scene some hunters have nets, others magic wands and some others even trying to catch it with their bare hands. The painting shows that these little animals where squeezed by their captors. In the last scene, we see that they gave the wizard who catches it, a bag of gold.
The snidget hunt was deplorable in a lot of ways. Every sensed wizard should regret the destruction of these little and peaceful birds in the name of sports. Besides, the snidget hunt was usually during daylight and it provoked that more muggles see flying brooms that any other wizard activity.
Although, the Wizard Counsel of that time was incapable of controlling the popularity of this sport; in fact, it looks like it didn’t have anything against it, as we’ll see later.
The snidget hunt crossed paths with quidditch in 1269, in a match that assisted the president of the Wizard Counsel, Barberus Bragge. We know this fact, thanks to a letter Mrs. Modesty Rabnott sent to her sister Prudence in Aberdeen (this letter is also in the Quidditch Museum). The story tells that Bragge took a snidget to the match and told the players, that the one who catch it would get 150 galeons (a million now days). So everyone stop playing ignoring the quaffle and leaving the baskets alone. Every “cuaditch” player was trying to catch the snidget, Mrs. Rabnott got mad and used a summoning charm with the snidget, hide it in her robe and run with it, obviously they catch her, but she freed the snidget, and was charged with ten galeons.
Mrs. Rabnott brave action might’ve saved one, but she couldn’t save all of the snidgets. But Mr. Bargge’s idea had changed quidditch nature. Real soon, snidgets were released in every match, where one player (seeker) had to catch it. When one killed the bird, the match ended and the team was awarded with 150 extra points, in memory to the 150 galeons Mr. Bargge offered. The crowd was in charge of keeping the snidget on the field using repellent charms.
Nevertheless, at the middle of the next century the golden snidget population had decreased so much that the Magic Counsel, now run by a much smarter person, Elfrida Clagg, declared the golden snidget a protected species and prohibited it’s killing or its use for quidditch matches. So the Modesty Rabnott Snidget Reserve was founded in Somerset and an intense search for a substitute to the Golden Snidget started. So the quidditch matches could go on.
The invention of the Golden Snitch is attributed to the wizard Bowman Wright of Godric’s Hollow. While other quidditch teams looked for birds that replaced the snidget, Wright, who had aptitude in metal bewitch, was trying to create a ball that imitated the behavior and flight style of the snidget. The Golden Snitch, as he called his invention, was a walnut size ball and it was the same weight as the snidget. Its silver wings had revolving articulations which permitted immediate direction changes with the same accuracy than its life model. Nevertheless, the difference of the snidget is that the snitch is bewitched to stay on the boundaries of the field. It can be said that the incorporation of the Golden Snitch ended the process that started 300 years before, in Queerditch swamp. At last, the game of Quidditch as we know it today, was born.
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