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Quidditch Boy by theatregrl02

Format: Novella
Chapters: 15
Word Count: 30,471

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Harry, Oliver, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: OC/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 03/07/2007
Last Chapter: 07/30/2007
Last Updated: 07/30/2007

It's Harry Potter's 3rd year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but who really cares about that? His cousin, ironically named Lily Potter, is entering her 7th year. The Slytherin (yes, Slytherin) Queen and her group of friends are looking forward to a year full of troublemaking before leaving the castle for good. Everything is going as planned, until Oliver Wood gets thrown into the mix

Chapter 1: Quidditch Boy
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    "What the bloody hell is wrong with them?" I asked as a group of screaming girls walked past me on their way down Diagon Alley. It was mid August and I was doing all of my back to school shopping.

    "It's those idiot Gryffindorks again" my best friend McKenzie Parkinson replied.

    "Yeah, I bet Quidditch boy is around here somewhere." our other best friend, Jessica Flint added.

    "As long as it isn't Saint Potter." I said, turning away from the loud group of girls and walking into Flourish and Blotts to buy the school books I would need. The bookstore was full of Hogwarts students looking for their new school books. "Was our school always full of midgets?" I asked, looking around at the sea of heads, most much shorter than my own. My friends and I, collectively known as the Terrible Threesome, were going into our final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As 7th years, we fully intended to wreak havoc upon the castle.

    "Lil, why in the name of Merlin are you taking eight bloody classes this year? Mick and I are only taking 5," Jessica asked, taking my Hogwarts letter out of my hand.

    "I have to, I want to go into the Ministry once I get out of Hogwarts." Both of my friends gasped at this new piece of information. I had never told anyone that I intended to go into the government after I graduated, most people expected I would just get marry and have kids. That is, after all, what was expected of a proper, pure-blooded witch.
    Perhaps I should back up a moment and make the proper introductions. My name is Lily Potter. No, I'm not that Lily Potter. Merlin, I'd kill myself if I were. James Potter and my father were cousins, so I got stuck with the same surname as Saint Potter himself. As you may have noticed, he and I don't exactly get along, he didn't even know about me until some time during his first year. It really isn't all that surprising, actually, seeing as those Gryffindorks don't usually associate with us Slytherins much. Oh, did I forget to mention that? I'm a Slytherin and damn proud of it, too. Anyway, I guess you probably want to know what I look like, huh? I'm tall, about 5'7 or so, with auburn hair and hazel eyes that sparkled with mischief. Actually, it was my eyes that finally gave me away to Potter.  
    "Watch where you're going," I growled as I pushed Potter away from me. He had been hurrying somewhere and had obviously not seen me, causing our inevitable collision.

    "Sorry," he mumbled, "I didn't" he began, but stopped when he looked at me.

    "You didn't what? Have a brain? Yeah, I noticed. And why are you staring at me like that?" I'm not gonna lie, the little freak was creeping me out a little.

    "Your eyes. I've seen those eyes before."

    "What? You don't know me. How dare you imply that I would associate with a Gryffindork?"

    Of course I knew that the dweeb was my cousin, but I wasn't going to let him - or anyone else, for that matter - know about it.  Apparently later that night he ran to Dumbledore and asked him about it. The old fart ratted me out and now the whole damn castle knows I'm related to him. I try not to think about it, really. Anyway, back to the introductions.
    McKenzie Parkinson is my absolute best friend, we grew up together. Well, actually we all grew up together really. It was a pure-blooded thing. McKenzie is Pansy's older sister, but the two are nothing alike. McKenzie is feisty, the girl's a fighter. Somehow she manages to be the proper pure-blood daughter and yet still be as fiercely feministic as possible. Her hair is never the same, she changes it all the time. I believe that it was highlighted red and down past her shoulders during our 7th year, but I could be wrong. Her eyes are deep and dark, almost black, and usually cold as ice. Mickie is one of those people who you don't want to be in the bad graces of. Basically, she's amazing, and loyal to the end, if you're one of her friends, but if you get on her bad side? She'd kill you in your sleep and make it look like an accident. We were like sisters back then, nothing could bring us apart.
    Jessica Flint, Marcus' younger sister, is our other best friend.  Jessica is a flirt. Ok, well, maybe flirt is an understatement. Jessica is a slut. She's slept with just about every boy in our year, other than her brother of course, and a few from other years as well. We put up with it mainly because, apart from that, she's the best friend you'll ever have. She's even nice - if she likes you. Jessica's eyes are this amazingly dazzling, deep blue color. Her hair during 7th year was a startling blue color. Jessica never did anything she wasn't supposed to, at least as far as pure-blood etiquette was concerned, her hair was her one form of rebellion. The three of us one night during the summer before our last year got completely drunk after one of the endless string of balls and galas we attend. Jessica decided that it was time for her to stand up against her parents (they were trying to get her to marry some pure-blood geek who had been sorted into Ravenclaw).  The hair color was sort of a spur-of-the-moment-rebellion type thing.
    Then there were the boys; Jason Avery,  Raphael Lestrange, and the three you already know, Flint, Derrick, and Bole. Avery was a pretty-boy, kind of like that Malfoy kid, but much smarter. He was in the top 10% of our class and earned almost straight Os on his O.W.Ls. He has blonde hair, glimmering brown eyes, and a gleaming smile. He's tall, dark and was the heartthrob of our year. He, however, knew that he was wanted and was quite the arrogant prick about it. Unfortunately for me, I dated the prat during our 5th and 6th year. Lestrange was a different story. He was quiet and not incredibly intelligent, but not stupid either. He was a master at scheming and could remember the tiniest detail. That is if he cared enough to pay attention. Lestrange could have been much smarter had he tried, at all, in any of his classes. He has dark hair, almost black, with eyes just as dark. He wore glasses during his time at school, and has his left ear pierced. The other three I believe you already know, Derrick and Bole are the beaters on the Slytherin Quidditch team and Flint, well, Flint is infamous around Hogwarts. If you know anything about our time there, you know who Marcus Flint is.
    As we continued to walk through the store, I heard some shouting from behind the bookcase next to where we stood.  "You don't know what you're talking about, Flint, skill is more important than speed. Any wizard will tell you that"

    "Then what would you know about it, you filthy mudblood?" Oh Flint, he was forever causing problems. We walked over to the scene, finding the boys standing around Marcus, who was face to face with Spinnit, Johnson, and a few other members of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Both groups had their wands out and pointed at each other.

    "Now, now, we don't want to kill them just yet, Marcus, then who would we have to entertain us this year?"

    "What makes you think that they would beat us, Potter?" Bell said, never taking her eyes off of Marcus or his wand.

    "Well, for one, you're Gryffindorks. And for two, oh the hell with this, Wingardium Leviosa." The spell hit her squarely in the chest and she flew into the air, dropping her wand in the process. "Now what was that about why you would lose?" My friends all laughed as I floated her around for a minute, her friends standing there, not knowing what to do. "This is boring" I said after a minute and dropped her to the floor.
    "C'mon guys, let's get out of here, it's full of Gryffindorks." We pushed past them, paid for our things and quickly left the bookstore, laughing.

    "Flint!" We stopped in our tracks and turned back towards Flourish and Blotts to see none other than Oliver Wood exiting the store. We quickly got into our normal formation; Marcus stood in front, flanked by McKenzie and myself, with Jessica on my other side and the rest of the boys behind us.

    "You called?"


    "What  do you want, Quidditch boy?" I said in a bored tone, leaning my elbow on Marcus' shoulder. Oliver turned his gaze from Flint towards me and my smirk faltered momentarily, the way he looked at me made me feel as though he could see right through me.

    "I told you not to call me that," he replied through clenched teeth, his eyes still staring me down, looking through me. Avery looked between Oliver and me, locked in a stare-down, and pushed his way past Marcus.

    "Stop looking at her like that, you filthy muggle-lover," he said and punched Oliver squarely in the jaw. As Oliver stood there in shock, we simply turned and walked away.

    "What was that about?" McKenzie asked as we sat down at an outdoor café.

    "I didn't like his face." Avery said in a tone that very clearly told us the conversation was over. After a quick lunch, the eight of us figured it was time we went home, there was a party at the Malfoy manner that night and we had to get ready for it.

    "You guys coming to my place after the party tonight?" I asked as we stood up, leaving without paying for our lunch. We all agreed that we would head over to my house after the Malfoy party got boring and have a little party of our own.

Chapter 2: What's wrong with me?
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    "What the fuck was that all about?" I asked myself as I aparated into my bedroom with a pop. Avery never did anything like that. I mean, sure he'd hex you into tomorrow as soon as look at you, but he didn't like to get his hands dirty. And what was up with his excuse? That was total bull shit too, and I knew it. Of course he 'didn't like his face,' he was talking about a Gryffindork! And not just any Gryffindork, it was Quidditch Boy himself. But if Avery really just didn't like his face, he normally would have simply given him a new nose, or maybe some colorful boils. The truth was, and I knew it even then, Avery didn't like the way that Wood had been looking at me. I couldn't really blame him, Wood freaked me out, too. The way he looked at me, as though he could see into my soul, was discomforting. My soul is not a place where Oliver Wood belonged. Hell, my soul was not a place where any normal person - especially a Gryffindork - would want to be. "But why was he looking at me like that?" I though aloud as I walked towards my expansive closet to pick a gown for that evening.

    As I searched through the velvets and satins, Woods face kept popping into my mind. More specifically, his eyes. I couldn't get the image of him to go away and it was driving me insane. "OLIVER WOOD GET OUT OF MY HEAD!" I screamed into the dark cavern of my closet.

    "Why would he be in your head?" came McKenzie's voice from my bedroom. Fuck. I was caught committing a sin; thinking about a Gryffindork. But it wasn't my fault, really, it was that stare of his.

    "That look he gave me today. It freaked me out."

    "Freaked Avery out, too, I reckon."

    "Yeah. What are you doing here, Mickie?" I asked, emerging from my closet to find McKenzie, already fully dressed, sitting on my bed.

    "You're not dressed?" I looked quickly at the clock that stood on my bedside table. Apparently I had been thinking about Wood longer than I thought.

    "Bloody hell." I mumbled, running back into the closet and pulling out the first dress I hadn't worn yet. It was black, of course, as most of my dresses were, and floor length, with a slit that ran all the way up one side, right up to my mid-thigh. It was made of a gorgeous silken material that shimmered slightly as I moved and hugged me in all the right places. The fact that it was strapless meant that my beautiful diamond heart pendent could be seen for once, instead of being trapped beneath my Hogwarts robes. I stepped from the closet once more, now fully clothed, and McKenzie gasped. "What?" I asked, "it's horrible, isn't it?" Mickie was the only one I even let see my self-conscious side.

    "No, Lil, you look amazing. And you're hair and makeup aren't even done yet!" I laughed. picking up a pillow that was laying near by and throwing it at her. "Hey! Watch the hair! But seriously, get a move on, we're pushing it for 'fashionably late'." Quickly, I put on some light makeup, threw my hair into a quick but elegant up-do, and apparated to the Malfoy Manor.

    "Ah, welcome. We're always pleased to have two more lovely ladies in the house." Draco said, walking into the entry hall.

    "Shove it, Malfoy" McKenzie said, pushing past the third year.

    "I swear, that boy thinks he's Merlin's gift to women." I said, walking with her into the main ballroom.

    "So does Avery, and you dated him." McKenzie pointed out.

    "Yeah, but Avery is Merlin's gift to women." I laughed.

    "Did I hear somebody say my name?" Avery asked, appearing at our side and sliding an arm around my waist. His breath smelt strongly of fire whiskey.

    "Lily here was just telling me what a great shag you were."   

    "Is that so?"

    "I dunno, I, erm, forgot" I said, glaring at Mickie. Avery and my breakup had been a violent one and we had only recently begun speaking again.

    "GO TO HELL!" I screamed, chucking a vase at Avery's head. It hit the wall just to his left and shattered.

    "Merlin, Potter, you could've killed me!"

    "Good! Maybe then you could keep it in your pants!" We had both flirted heavily with other people during our relationship, we were Slytherins after all, but Jason had taken it a step too far and slept with some snooty girl in the year above us. I had thought that I loved him at the time, and the fact that he would do something like this to me was heartbreaking.

    "Maybe if you gave it up a little more!" He was starting to get mad now. And he really had no reason to say anything of the sort, I 'gave it up' plenty.

    "FUCK YOU!" I pulled out my wand and fired a warning shot, just grazing his right ear.

    "That's the
POINT!" he replied, throwing a hex right back. Our fight quickly exploded into an all out duel in the Slytherin common room that ended only when the prefect went to get Professor Snape.

    "CEASE AND DESIST!" he exclaimed. Avery and I stood in the middle of a wrecked common room, wands pointing towards each other, breathing heavily. "As much as I support you expressing yourselves, I will not have you destroying my common room! 50 points from Slytherin and a weeks detention each." We glared at each other as Snape left the dungeon.

    "You're the worst lay I've ever had." I whispered, my voice full of malice as I passed Avery on my way to my dorm. They were the last words I said to Avery in nearly 6 months, even during our weeks detention I wouldn't speak a word to him. Basically, it had been ugly.

    "You forget, eh? What do you say we ditch this joint and I refresh your memory?" Avery leaned forward and began kissing my neck.

    "Gerroff" I said, pushing him backwards. He looked stunned, McKenzie just laughed.

    "Merlin's gift to women, eh?

    "So I lied, what else is new?" We laughed and walked into the ballroom.

    The ball was, as expected, boring as anything. Our group stood in a circle near the door, waiting for the first chance to escape. It finally came around 11:30 when the adults were all busy fussing over Draco and Pansy. We discreetly slipped out one by one and apparated back to my bedroom. Unfortunately, the encounter with Wood was still running through my mind and I couldn't concentrate. I tried my best to focus on my bedroom, but apparently those damn thoughts of Quidditch Boy snuck back into my head because before I knew it, I materialized in a strange room.

    Looking around I saw that I was in a rather nice bedroom, painted in a deep blue color, with mahogany furniture. There was a poster on the far wall, but I couldn't quite make out what it was of in the darkness. "Where am I?" I though aloud. Suddenly, the light turned on and a deep voice cut through the silence.

    "What are you doing here?"

    "What am I doing here? What are you doing here, Quidditch Boy?"

    "It's my room." He seemed almost amused at the fact that I had somehow ended up in his bedroom.

    "What is wrong with me?" I asked myself.

    "Plenty of things"

    "I wasn't asking you." I took a step closer to Wood, trying to stare him down.

    "Why are you really here?" he asked, all amusement gone from his voice. We were now nose to nose and I could smell his oak-y cologne, feel the heat radiating off his body, hear his heart beating. We stood there, staring into each others eyes, for what felt like hours before either of us moved. Before I knew what was happening, Wood's lips came crashing down on mine, full of lust. I kissed back, hungrily, before shoving him off of me and smacking him, hard, across the face.

    "Who do you think you are?" I growled, eyes glinting. Wood just smirked. I turned away from him so I could focus on my apparation, but I could  feel him staring. I turned around sharply. "What is wrong with me?" I whispered as I grabbed Oliver by the collar and kissed him roughly before disapparating with a loud pop.

    "Where have you been?" Jessica asked when I finally arrived in my room.

    "I got distracted." I said, grabbing a bottle of fire whiskey that Marcus offered me and sitting on my bed.

    "Distracted by who?" Lestrange asked.

    "Why do you assume it's a person? How do you know it wasn't something else?"

    "oh come off it, Potter." Derrick chimed in.

    "Yeah, you walk in here 20 minutes after the rest of us, completely flustered, and say you 'got distracted.' We know you were with someone, so spill." Bole added.

    "Fuck you."

    "No, Potter," Flint said, "we want to know who fucked you." My friends laughed as I blushed a deep crimson color. Avery, I noticed, was remaining unusually quiet throughout the conversation, but I couldn't worry about his odd behavior just then, I had a bigger problem. They'd never let me get off by saying I'd gotten distracted, it just wasn't our way. But I couldn't tell them the truth either, or I'd be shunned. Kicked off the family tree and whatnot. There was definitely something wrong with me; I was having impure thoughts about a Gryffindork. No one could ever know, so somehow I had to change the subject - and fast, they were starting to guess who I'd been with.


    "Maybe Alex, he's always been popular."

    "At least we know we can rule out the Gryffindorks." Jessica said, laughing.

    "Can you imagine? Me and a Gryffindork?" We laughed and, thankfully, the conversation moved on to a new topic

Chapter 3: The talk
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        A few days later I was sitting on my bed, reading the newest issue of witch weekly when I heard that familiar pop letting me know that on of my friends had just apparated into my room. Expecting McKenzie, or maybe Jessica, I muttered a 'hey' and kept reading. When no response came I looked up to find a very drunk Jason Avery. His hair was disheveled, his clothes were practically falling off, his eyes were terribly blood shot and he could barely stand. I'd never seen him that drunk before.        

        "Oh sweet Merlin!" I cried, jumping from my bed and rushing to his side. "Avery! What were you thinking apparating like that? You could've been split in two!" Carefully, I guided him towards the overstuffed sofa that was in my room.

        "Why do you always call me 'Avery'?" he slurred out. I almost gagged from the amount of alcohol on his breath.

        "It's your name, numbnuts." It was almost midnight, I was in my pajamas and very tired, and I'm cranky when I'm tired, so I was being a little less sensitive than I normally would have been. Not to mention he'd just given me quite the scare.

        "But why don't you call me Jason anymore?"

        "I never called you Jason."

        "Yes you did. When we were dating." He replied, beginning to get undressed.

        "What in the name of Merlin do you think you're doing?!" I cried, jumping up from the seat I'd just settled into.

        "Going to bed. I can't go home like this." Ok, so that much was true. Our parents all turned a blind eye when we drank together at parties and all stayed at one person's house, but if any of us ever came home wasted any other time we'd be in deep shit, so it was an unspoken promise that whenever one of us got drunk they'd crash at someone else's house.

        "Why didn't you go to Flint? Or Bole? Or Lestrange?"

        "Because they're all sick of listening to me whine." Avery? Whine? That didn't sound at all like him. "Besides, one day a week per house is the max, remember?"

        "You've been this drunk every day this week?" I asked incredulously. Avery just nodded. "Why?" I asked, concern growing as I sat next to him on the couch. He turned and looked me in the eye.

        "Who were you with the other night?"

        "No one. Besides, why is it your business?"

        "Because I miss you." I stared at him for a minute before blinking myself back into reality. Getting up, I began walking to turn off the light.

        "Go to sleep, Avery, the booze are getting to your head."

        "No, that's just it! They aren't! I drink and drink and I still can't forget you!" he was standing, looking at me with this utterly pathetic look.

        "Go to sleep, Jason. I refuse to have this conversation with you when you're drunk." My voice contained a softness that I didn’t know I possessed. Avery nodded in defeat and turned to walk back to the couch.

        "Say it again." He asked.

        "Huh? Say what again?" he turned back to me.

        "My name, say my name again." His eyes were full of a vulnerability that scared me. Jason Avery was not vulnerable. Ever.

        "Go to sleep, Jason." I said softly, placing my hand on his shoulder. "We'll talk when you're sober." In all honestly, I didn’t think I was ready for the conversation he wanted to have, the 'we broke up, now we're friends, where do we stand? What do we do?' conversation. Not to mention, I still couldn't stop thinking about a certain tall, dark and handsome quidditch player. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why he had kissed me, or why I'd kissed back. What had come over me? Honestly! But I pushed aside those thoughts, turned off the lights and climbed into bed. "Goodnight, Avery."

        "Goodnight, Lily Potter."

        The next morning I awoke to the sound of Avery puking in my bathroom. A quick glance at my clock told me it was 8 am and far too early to be awake on such a fine summer's day. Ignoring my protesting body, I dragged myself out of bed and walked into the en suite bathroom. I filled a glass with water and go two pills from my medicine cabinet. Handing them to Avery, I returned to my room and dressed quickly. Soon after, a very ill looking Avery emerged from the bathroom and sat himself on the couch.

        "Sleep well?" I asked with a smirk. He just glared. "Oh, just give it a minute and the medicine will kick in." he was ruining all my fun with that sour attitude of his.

        "It's tomorrow" he said, as if he had just revealed the ultimate unknown.

        "Wow, can you tie your own shoes, too?"

        "I mean it's tomorrow and I'm not drunk."

        "So?" I knew what he wanted. I just really didn't want to give it to him.

        "So who were you with the other day?" If I told him the truth, he'd be beyond angry, but if I lied to him he'd know. I did the only thing I could think to do. I dodged the question.

         "I told you last night, that's none of your business."

        "And I told you it is. I miss you, Lily, I want you back."

        "No you don't, you just want someone to sleep with and I'm the closest thing that's single and not Millicent or Pansy. Or a Gryffindork."

        "I love you, Lily! And I know you love me."

        "Get over yourself, Avery, I did."

        "I will have you again." Avery said, rising from the sofa and disapparating.

        "Why did that sound like a threat?" I muttered to myself as I made my way towards the kitchen. If I was up this early I might as well eat something.

        The last few days of summer passed, thankfully, without incident. I hadn't spoken to or heard from Oliver - I mean Wood - since that day in Diagon Alley, nor had I seen or spoken to Avery since he'd shown up drunk in my bedroom. As summer was drawing to a close I realized that I might actually miss Hogwarts once I'd left. There was no way I'd get a summer vacation in a ministry position and I'd be in training for at least three years before I was even decently paid. Not to mention my friends. I'd probably be shunned as soon as I actually entered into ministry training. I mean, sure, I could talk about it all I want, but to actually do it was unheard of ("A witch's place is in the home! Making sure that everything is in order!"). And then there was Quidditch Boy. If my friends ever found out about him I'd either never hear the end of it, or never hear from them again. And speaking of Quidditch Boy, I couldn't stop thinking about him. Everyday it seemed I thought about him more and more, and the thoughts got dirtier and dirtier the longer I thought. Everywhere I went I thought I'd seen him, and the worst thing was, my friends were starting to notice that something was up with me.

        "Lily? LILY!" I had been daydreaming again. Something to do with a detention and me and Wood and McGonagall's desk…anyway, McKenzie's call snapped me back to the present.


        "You did it again! Why do you keep daydreaming?! What is up with you?

        "What are you talking about?"

        "You know perfectly well what I'm talking about!' And I did. We would be in the middle of a conversation and I would just drift into fantasy land. My eyes would get a kind of glazed look and I'd be completely gone. Although apparently I was smiling each time it happened. See, that's partially what would give me away, Lily Potter did not smile.

        "Nothing is up with me" I protested, "I'm fine." With that I got up, leaving my untouched sundae behind.

        "LIAR!" McKenzie called after me

        I realized that something was wrong with me, and I vowed to have it resolved by Hogwarts. So, seeing as it was August 31st and I was running out of time, I decided I might as well get it over with. I apparated quickly and arrived in an empty room.
"WOOD!" I called, mentally slapping myself once I'd uttered the cry. It was his house, they were all 'Wood.' However I had apparently gotten the message across as moments later Oliver burst into his room.

        "What are you doing here?"

        "What are you doing to me?" Oliver looked surprised.

        "What are you talking about?"

        "You! Me! August 16th? I can't stop thinking about it! Do you remember what happened on August 16th?!"

        "Of course I do." He was strangely calm about this revelation, and I soon found out why.

        "And?!" I was hysterical now, his calm nature had pushed me over the edge.

        "And why do you care that the firebolt came out? I never figured you for a quidditch player." Of course. Bloody Wood and his bloody Quidditch.

        "UGGH!" I cried, "Is Quidditch the only bloody thing you think about?!" As I disapparated angrily I heard him utter a weak "no."

        After that wonderful revelation I came home in a worse mood than I'd left. Now not only could I not stop thinking about Oliver - Wood, I mean Wood - I knew that he hadn't even given the kiss a second thought. What was going on in my life? I had never cared about a kiss before, and I had certainly never been so pre-occupied with a bloody Gryffindor.

        "FUCK!" I screamed loudly when I landed back in my room. I needed to figure out what in the name of Merlin was going on. Normally I can figure things out, unfortunately every so often I need a little help. This was one of those times, but I could hardly let Mick know what was going on. Even if I turned to her for advice I'd have to do it without letting on that Oliver bloody Wood was getting to me. "Fuck" I screamed again, placing my head in my hands and collapsing onto my bed.

Chapter 4: The Hogwarts Express and What Come After
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    That night as I packed my trunk for Hogwarts I made myself a promise; if Oliver Wood ignored me, I would go back to making his life hell. In fact, I'd be worse than usual. Oliver Wood wouldn't know what hit him.
    "Hullo, boys!" I greeted them, entering our usual compartment.
    "Oi! What are me and Jess? Chopped liver?"
    "Yes." I smiled at McKenzie and threw myself between Bole and Flint.
    "Any word on the heads this year?" Lestrange asked.
    "Perfect Percy Weasleby and his idiot girlfriend, I just got back from the prefect meeting." I muttered. We all groaned, knowing Weasley would be looking, just itching, for a reason to get us. "Well boys," I said, adding "and girls," when McKenzie coughed. "I have our target for the year." Every year our group picked someone, usually someone who had crossed us, though every so often it was just someone who annoyed us, to cause hell for all year. Our prime target, so to speak. Sure, we picked on anyone and everyone, but we saved the really good tricks for the 'one.'
    "Oh yeah? Who's that?" Avery asked. It was the first thing he'd said to me since declaring that he'd have me.
    "Quidditch Boy." I stated calmly.
    "Any particular reason why?" Flint asked.
    "I thought you of all people would be chomping at the bit to have it be Wood." I said.
    "Answer the question." Avery interjected. Somehow I felt as though he knew my nomination was just a cover.
    "Diagon Alley. That stunt he pulled. And I ran into him later this summer and he pissed me off." So it was a half truth, as long as they agreed, I didn't care.
    "Agreed." Lestrange said we all nodded. "Wood it is." I smiled to myself and began planning things to do to the Quidditch Captain. My friends drifted into conversation, but I just sat there, silently, thinking about Oliver.
    "She's been like this all summer" McKenzie said.
    "What's she thinking about?" Flint asked.
    "She won't tell us." Jessica replied.
    "It's a guy," McKenzie said, "I know it is."
    "It's Wood." Avery said, bitterly. I jerked from my half-awake state.
    "Fuck off."
    "See?" I sneered at Avery and left the compartment. They were beginning to bother me, really. I wandered up and down the hallway until the train jerked to a stop, throwing me into a nearby compartment and something soft. The lights flickered and went out.
    "Get off me." Oh Merlin, anyone but him. I stood up as quickly as I could in the dark.
    "What are you doing in here, Wood? What's going on?"
    "I dunno. Stay here, I'll go figure it out."
    "NO!" I said quickly. "Please. Please don't leave me alone." I was terrified. I didn't want to admit it, but apparently my voice gave me away. Tears threatened in my eyes as I stood in the darkness.
    "Ssshhh," came Wood's deep voice as I felt him wrap his strong arms around me. "Ssh, Potter, it's alright. I won't leave you." The cabin quickly grew colder and I squeezed tighter into Wood, craving his warmth. A dark figure passed the door and all the horrors, all the dark things in my past, came rushing to my mind. I closed my eyes as tightly as possible, but the tears still managed to leak through. I saw the death of my mother and the disappearance of my older brother, the pain I'd felt when I'd accidentally set my foot on fire during first year charms, the fear I felt constantly and the heartbreak I'd felt when Jason had cheated on me. All of it came rushing back in one swift moment, along with a strange feeling - dread. The dread that Oliver would leave me alone in this dark cabin.
    And then, as soon as they'd come, they were gone. The lights were back on and the train was warm again. Wood gently released me from his grasp and his rough finger brushed against my cheek, wiping away a tear. We sat down on opposite sides of the compartment and sat in a silence for a minute while the train slowly began moving again.
    "What?" I said a minute later. Wood was staring at me from across the way.
    "I don't get you."
    "Huh?" Now he was staring and confusing me.
    "I don't get you." He repeated, adding, "One minute you're harsh and cruel and uncaring and the next you're scared and crying and sometimes even kind. And then you go right back to cruel."
    "I have no idea what you're talking about." I wanted to make it entirely clear that no one was to know about what had just happened.
    "That's another thing. Why do you pretend that things don't happen?" I laughed. "What?"
    "You're one to talk." I replied. I couldn't believe his nerve, accusing me of denying things happened when he had done the exact same thing just the day before. "You need to deal with your own denial before you take on mine." I rose from my seat to leave, I'd had enough of this.
    "Denial about what?" A smile played on his lips. He knew what I was talking about, he just wanted me to say it, but I wasn't giving up so easily.
    "You know what." I said, turning to face him and finding that he, too, had risen from his seat.
    "Oh, you mean this?" he asked, leaning down and kissing me. Unlike last time, however, his lips were gentle, caring. Again I kissed him back, my mind going blank. Oliver Wood was kissing me, and I was kissing back. Again. Slowly he pulled away.
    "Why do you keep doing that?" I demanded, eyes still closed.
    "To mess with you." He replied nonchalantly. My eyes snapped open.
    "Oo! I can't believe you!" I pulled out my wand, shot a very nasty jelly-leg curse his way and stormed out of the compartment. Having had quite enough entertainment for the day, I decided to head back to my friends.
    "Where've you been?"
    "Wandering. I ran into Wood and hexed him. Figured I'd start a little early this year." That seemed to be explanation enough for them and I settled back into a seat near Jessica and McKenzie. Not two minutes later, the door slid open and Draco Malfoy entered the compartment.
    "Potter, have you heard?"
    "Have I heard what?" I snapped.
    "Your poor excuse for a cousin."
    "Not Saint Potter. What did he do now? Save a baby from the boogieman?" Flint asked, cutting him off before he could get to the point.
    "He fainted!"
    "Fainted?" We all burst out laughing. Even though we knew he was lame, we never knew he was that lame. Draco stood there, as if waiting to be invited to sit down. "What are you still doing here, Blondie?" I demanded. My encounter with Wood had put me in a foul mood and this spoiled blighter was testing my patience. Draco's smirk faltered as his eyes quickly scanned for any sign of permission to stay. "FUCK OFF!" He left. Quickly.
    "That was a little rough." Flint noted.
    "Yeah? Well fuck you." I was in a really foul mood. I grabbed my robes and left to change, thinking that maybe I'd feel better once I got into my school uniform. When I reached the changing room, the doors were just opening. "Merlin, what did I do to deserve this?" I said as none other than Oliver Wood stepped out. "Are you stalking me?"
    "You wish."
    "Ha-ha. Seriously, stop following me."
    "Might I point out that both times you ran into me? Or, well, fell the first time, really."
    "Oh fuck off." I pushed past him and into the changing room. 'Bloody Oliver Wood,' I thought to myself, adding a mumbled, "why doesn't he ever go away!?"
    "I knew it! I knew there was a guy!" came McKenzie's voice from the other side of the door.
    "Oh bloody fuck." I said, stepping into the corridor, now in full Slytherin regalia.
    "Well. Who is it then?"
    "I've no idea what you're talking about." I protested weakly.
    "Come off it, Potter, and tell me who's got you all dreamy-eyed." I had to think of a lie, and I had to think of one quick.
    "Erm, well, I've been thinking about giving Avery another chance." I hoped she'd buy it.
    "Seriously?" she sounded doubtful. I just shrugged and nodded. "you know that he still fancies you, right?" Apparently she bought it. "You should just talk to him." Fuck. Now I had to act as though I was still hung-up on Jason. 'At least he'll serve as a distraction from Wood.' I thought, letting McKenzie into the changing room as I walked back to the compartment. The only thing was, if I was going to do this, it was going to be my way, on my terms.
    I sauntered back through the doors of the compartment and, ignoring the greetings of my fellow Slytherins, sat down on Avery's lap. He turned his face to me in surprise and I took advantage of the moment as I leaned into him and kissed him roughly. I pulled away and relaxed into my new position on his lap, smirking at all the shocked faces in the room. "What?" They were too much, really.
    Before we knew it, we were sitting in our common room for the last first time of the year. The sorting had, as usual, been dull and Avery had been trying to feel me up the entire feast.
    "Is it true? The King and Queen of Slytherin have reunited?"
    "Bugger off, Malfoy, before I hex you into next Friday."
    "Somebody's touchy today."
    "Fuck off! How many times do I have to tell you?"
    "He's right, you know, you do seem like you need to relax a littler, and I know just how to help you." Avery said in a suggestive tone as Malfoy walked back towards his goons.
    "Not tonight, Avery, I'm tired."
    "Avery? Since when do you call your boyfriend by his surname?"
    "Not tonight, Jason, I'm tired. Happy?" I smirked at him as I rose and began walking towards the stairs to the girls' dorms.
    "Smartass!" he called after me.
    "And you love it, so shut up."


    When my schedule arrived the next day, my mood only worsened. "Fucking McGonagall." I muttered. My schedule looked something like this:

Day             Monday           Tuesday         Wednesday         Thursday            Friday

AM 1      Potions (adv)    Free Period    Charms (adv)    Potions (adv)    Arithmancy (adv)

AM 2      Potions (adv)    DADA (adv)       Free Period      Potions (adv)    Arithmancy (adv)

                  LUNCH             LUNCH               LUNCH              LUNCH            LUNCH

PM 1    Transfig.(adv)     A. Runes (adv) Herbology (adv) Charms (adv)    DADA (adv)

PM 2    Charms (adv)     A.Runes  (adv)    Free Period       Free Period    Transfig.(adv)

                DINNER              DINNER               DINNER             DINNER         DINNER

Mid. Astronomy (adv)                                  Astronomy (adv)                         Astronomy (adv)

    "What was I on when I signed up for classes last year?" I groaned.
    "Probably Smirnoff, why?"
    "Advanced everything."
    "Thanks, Jess." I said sarcastically. "What about you guys?"
    "Only Advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts."
    "All of you?!" I cried. Now not only would I have to suffer through advanced everything, but my friends wouldn't even been there. I'd be the only 7th year Slytherin in every class but one. "Peachy fucking keen." I figured that I'd be stuck with an entire class full of Ravenclaws, but as long as it wasn't Gryffindorks I was alright. "I guess I'd better head towards Snape's class, don't want to get stuck sitting with some prat in my favorite class." I ran to the common room, grabbed my books, and headed towards Snape's dungeon. Of course, seeing as the class was almost entirely Ravenclaw (as predicted), there were only two seats left when I arrived. I made my way to the empty table, all the way in the last row, and dropped my books just as the final student walked through the door. "No. Fucking. Way." I said as I watched none other than Oliver Wood stroll towards me.
    "Looks like we're desk-mates" he smirked.
    "Don't get used to it." I said through clenched teeth. It was just one class. I could survive for today and then sit somewhere else for the rest of the year.
    Just then the door slammed open and Snape made one of his well-known dramatic entrances. "Good morning, class." he greeted. The Ravenclaws all echoed his greeting back to him. "As you all know, I only allow my most exceptional students into my Advanced N.E.W.T. level class."
    "Then how did you get in, Wood? Bribe somebody?"
    "The potions in this class will be very difficult and I do not expect that most of you will be able to produce them properly."
    "See, Wood, he already thinks you're a failure."
    "There will be an essay due at the beginning of each class and several projects throughout the year. Your lab partners will be whomever you are sitting with. Also, the seats you have chosen today will be your seats for the rest of the year."
    "Great, stuck with bloody Wood all year." I muttered as Snape walked towards the blackboard.
    "10 points from Gryffindor." He said while he began writing the ingredients for today's potion on the board.
    "What?! Professor! I didn’t say anything! It was Potter!"
    "20 points. And detention tonight." I smirked in victory as Wood glared at me and began copying the instructions off the board. My joy was short lived, however. During the 10 minute break in our double-potions class, Oliver left the dungeon briefly, leaving his schedule sticking out of his book. Curiosity got the best of me as I grabbed it.
    "Bloody hell. Not fair!" I cried. The only difference between my schedule and the one I held in my hand was the name at the top.
    "Something the matter, Potter?" Wood asked, sitting back down and removing his schedule from my hands.
    "Every class!" I muttered to myself, ignoring Wood's question. "Every bloody class!" he didn’t seem remotely bothered that we had identical schedules. I tried not to think about it as I got back to working on my potion. The second half of potions class passed slowly and it felt like an eternity before we were finally dismissed. I grabbed my things and rushed to the Great Hall, eager to get away from Wood. I sat at the table and placed my head in my hands.
    "Something wrong?" Jessica asked, sitting next to me. Our friends slowly drifted to the table and sat around us.
    "There's only one other person who's not a Braniac in all of my advanced classes."
    "Other than Dark Arts, we have that with you."
    "Whatever, not the point."
    "Well, who is it?" Flint asked.
    "Oliver bloody Wood. And Snape made us bloody lab partners for the whole year!" I cried, placing my head back into my hands. My friends all groaned.
    "Erm, well, at least we have Defense Against the Dark Arts. And maybe you can avoid him in your other classes?" Bole offered.
    "Right." I said, trying to think positively.

Chapter 5: It Only Gets Worse
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A/N Hey, sorry it's taken so long to get this up, I actually have the majority of the story written, it's just getting it posted and validated. Also, I just got out of hospital and so the rate of updates should be much much quicker. Thanks for your patients!

    As the week progressed, however, it became more and more evident that avoiding Wood was next to impossible. McGonagall assigned us seats - right next to each other. Flitwick, too, assigned us to the same table. In astronomy we were forced to share a telescope. In Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, and Herbology there were only four of us total. The only class I got a slight break from Wood was Advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts, which was being taken by every 7th year Slytherin. However, even this class was less than enjoyable, what with our new professor.

    "Welcome to the year from hell." I said to myself as I collapsed into a char in the common room after dinner on Friday. "Population: me." Avery laughed and sat next to me, rubbing my neck with his strong hands.

    "Let me help you forget about it," he whispered in my ear.

    "As much as I'd love to, I have to get this star fact chart filled out by Astronomy." I said, pulling out a half-completed chart and my Astronomy text-book. Avery made an angry sound and stomped away up to the boys dorm. "I'll deal with him later" I told myself, pushing aside all thoughts that weren't Astronomy related.

    As the hours passed by, I began asking myself why I'd left this assignment until so late. Despite what everyone in my year thought, I took pride in my work and was eager to get good marks; I hadn't earned all Os on my O.W.L.s to throw it all away now. Besides, I was determined to be the youngest ever minister of magic, and with the friends I had, it might just happen. I hated procrastinating and normally all of my assignments were completed almost as soon as they had been assigned. But so why had I put this one off? I wondered to myself as I made my way to the library to find a book that I needed.

    "Where have you been?" came Wood's voice almost as soon as I'd set foot in the library.

    "That's why." I thought to myself. I had completely forgotten that we were supposed to work with our partners on this assignment; I only had on question left. Ignoring the very angry Wood, I quickly looked up the answer, jotted it down, and put the book back.

    "Where are you going? We have to do this!" Wood practically screamed at me. At least I was finally getting to him instead of the other way around.

    "I'm finished." I replied shortly. The look on Wood's face was absolutely priceless. "Here, copy it." I said, handing Wood my parchment and leaving the library. I had two hours until Astronomy and I didn’t want to spend any more time with him than necessary.

    Two hours later, on the dot, I walked into the Astronomy tower. Surprisingly, Wood wasn't there yet. As I'd learned that week, there actually was more to Wood than brawn. He, like me, hated being late, so I was surprised when he still had not arrived as the class began.

    "Class, please hand in your assignments and begin work on today's star chart." FUCK! Oliver had my assignment. My perfectly done assignment…

    "Erm, Professor?" I said, timidly raising my hand. "My partner has my assignment and he doesn't appear to be here yet." Professor Sinistra nodded.

    "Detention, Miss Potter, for being careless." I stared at her in shock. Careless?! I was never careless when it came to school work. "Get to work before I'm forced to deduct points." I begrudgingly began working alone, since Oliver had not yet turned up.

    Finally, half an hour into class, the door to the tower opened and in stepped what I assumed was Oliver Wood, except that he was a neon pink color, with neon orange hair, and was covered with what appeared to be Ancient Runes that translated into some very colorful language. I snorted with laughter when I saw him and he just glared at me.

    "Detention, Mr. Wood," Professor Sininstra said without looking up. Wood stomped over to our telescope and dropped his bag.

    "Where were you? You got me detention because you have my homework." I said, still very angry and yet increasingly amused by how Oliver looked.

    "Then we're bloody even" he replied in a harsh whisper as he took out our assignments and floated them to the Professor's desk.

    "How are we even?" I demanded.

    "Your bloody boyfriend," I noticed he said the word with extreme disdain, "and your
groupies decided to have a little fun as I was on my way to class." I snickered. I'd figured it had been my friends that'd done this to him. "Why are you bloody laughing?! Aren't you a Slytherin Prefect?"

    "Yeah, so?" I was, in fact, a Slytherin prefect, but all that ever meant was more free reign to terrorize Gryffindorks. Not to mention the power to deduct points and give them detention. A Slytherin Prefect was really just a Slytherin with power, they weren't going to stop their house from having fun.

    "So, shouldn't you be doing something about this?" he demanded. I signed and with a wave of my wand removed the runes and the neon pink skin, leaving the hair (just for kicks).

    "Happy?" He glared at me.

    "Mr. Wood, Ms. Potter, get to work!" We glared at each other and only spoke when we absolutely had to in order to get the work done. Astronomy that night felt as though it had taken six years to get through. And now I had detention. It wasn't my first, and would almost definitely not be my last, but detention for carelessness? Because of Wood? He was going to pay - big time.

    When I reached the common room I was in a right foul mood. I threw my book on the small table in front of where my friends were still sitting, waiting for my return. The sound it made echoed loudly in the nearly empty common room.

    "Bad class?" Flint asked. I glared at him.

    "Wood got me detention. Or rather you lot got us both detention." I snarled, collapsing into the seat next to Jason.

    "What did we do?" Bole asked.

    "All those hexes you put on him, he was a half hour late to class and he had my assignment."

    "What hexes?"

    "We didn't hex him!" they all protested, except for Avery, who remained very quiet.

    "Jason Avery what did you do?!"

    "Just had a little chat with Wood, that's all. Wanted to make sure he knew where he stood."

    "You are incorrigible! Bloody wanker!" I stood up and stomped to my bedroom. I didn't mind them hexing Oliver, hell, I encouraged it, but the fact that my boyfriend indirectly caused me detention really pissed me off. Especially since I knew exactly what the 'little talk' had been about. Avery was pissed off because I'd spent more time with Wood than him this week, but it wasn't my fault that every bloody teacher had partnered us up.

    Monday morning and my detention assignment came bright and early. "I hate detention" I mumbled, pilling eggs onto my plate. The weekend had been filled with essays and various other assignments whilst my friends all had fun. "Bloody advanced classes. Bloody detention. Bloody Wood." I grumbled as I ate my breakfast. We were starting a project in potions today so I ate as slowly as possible, trying to will time to either stop entirely or speed forward. Unfortunately, I couldn't control time and class began. I sat in the back next to Wood, trying to focus solely on my work.

    "Did you get your detention assignment?" Wood asked.


    "Me too. Tonight, with McGonagall. Same as you, I expect." I was trying my hardest to ignore him, but he just kept talking. "I wonder what she'll have us do. She doesn’t seem the type to make us write lines. Maybe clean her classroom? No. Hmm. What do you think?"

    "I think you talk too bloody much. What do you think you're doing, anyway?"

    "I figured that since we have to spend so much time together we might as well be civil to each other."

    "I can be civil without being friends." Oliver remained quiet almost for the rest of the class.

    "Listen, Potter, there's something I need to ask you."

    "Class, I will be collecting your samples in 5 minutes!"

    "Quiet, Wood, get back to work," I said, hurrying about my part of the project. Whatever he wanted to talk to me about could wait until we weren't in class anymore. However, I wasn't about to let him get to me that easily and as soon as Snape dismissed us, I hurried off to lunch. Wood called after me but I merely ignored him, knowing that I could lose him if I managed to get to the great hall - he'd never try to talk to me when I was surrounded by Slytherins.

    "I hate potions." I declared.

    "What are you talking about? You always loved potions." Jessica stated.

    "Not when I have Oliver bloody Wood as my partner. He's trying to talk to me now. And look," I pointed over to the Gryffindork table where Oliver sat, staring at me, and not even trying to hide it. I made a rude hand gesture in his general direction and went back to my lunch.

    "Just, I don't know, pretend he's Avery or something."

    "Yeah, thanks Jess" I mumbled.

    In transfigurations I managed to avoid whatever Wood had been trying to tell me
because McGonagall had us all working independently and would snap at anyone who so much as sneezed too loudly. However, as I walked from McGonagall's class towards Flitwick's he caught up with me in the hall.

    "Can I talk to you?"

    "No" he placed his arm in front of me, blocking my way. "Yes."

    "That's better. What are you doing this weekend?" I stared at him in disbelief.

    "I'm not sure, why?" saying I was suspicious would have been a massive understatement.

    "One of the 3rd years, well, it's her birthday and the Twins are throwing her a party."

    "So?" I looked at him blankly.

    "So do you want to go with me?" I couldn't help it: I laughed.

    "What is this? A dare?" he shook his head. "Look, there are two problems with that. First, I don't associate with Gryffindorks and second, I have a boyfriend." Oliver nodded in defeat and removed his hand from my path. He was extremely quiet all through charms and hurried out of the room once class was over. "Weird" I thought to myself, entering the Great Hall for dinner. I almost felt bad about hurting Wood like that, but then I shook it off and remembered that I was a Slytherin. I was supposed to be bitchy to the Gryffindors.

    But I had been feeling weird ever since he'd asked me to go. Why would Quidditch Boy want to take me to anything, let alone something that would be crammed full of Gryffindorks? I sat and ate my dinner in silence.

    "What's wrong with you?" Lestrange asked, "you're not bitching about work or Wood."

    "What? I can't just eat my dinner without complaining?"

    "Uh, no." Flint said.

    "Whatever." I really wasn't in the mood to argue with them.

    That night, once my homework was done, I decided to go have a chat with McKenzie. As much as I didn't want her to know about the Oliver situation, I really needed help. I finally found her about an hour before I had to report for my detention.



    "Mick, can I talk to you? I need your help." McKenzie smiled, she loved being in on things. I suppose it made her feel powerful or something.

    "I'm at your service, my liege." I groaned, my friends were taking this "King and Queen of Slytherin" thing a little too far for my taste.

    "Why would a Gryffindork invite a Slytherin to a Gryffindork party?" I asked, no longer caring how much I gave away, I had to tell someone before my head exploded. McKenzie looked at me for a minute before responding.

    "Well, that depends on who the Gryffindork and Slytherin are." I shifted my feet uncomfortable.

    "Say Quidditch Boy invited one of the Slytherin Royal Court." The "Slytherin Royal Court" was how my friends and I were referred to by pretty much the entire student body, but especially the Slytherins. We ran the school and everyone, except the Gryffindorks, pretty much fell at our feet.

    "Quidditch Boy?" McKenzie laughed. "He'd never ask out one of the Court!"

    "Ok, but what if he did?" She stopped laughing and stared at me.   

    "Did you tell him that you have a boyfriend?"

    "Of course! But, I mean, even if I didn't have a boyfriend I wouldn't date that bloody idiot."

    "I dunno, Lil, you talk about him constantly. And you spend more time with him than your own boyfriend."

    "Shut up, McKenzie." I said, turning away to head towards McGonagall's classroom for detention.

    "What was she talking about?! I do not constantly talk about Wood! And it's not my fault I've been spending so much time with him - it's not like I chose to spend time with him! I mean, sure, I could study with a Ravenclaw, but they're so condescending! And Wood is -" I cut myself off before I let my thoughts ramble any further. I wasn't sure I wanted to know what I actually thought about him. I was annoyed at McKenzie. Not only had she not answered my question, she had insinuated that I fancied Quidditch Boy. How insane is that?

    As I entered the classroom, my thoughts were interrupted as my eyes landed squarely on Oliver Wood's Quidditch-toned chest. Apparently he had just come back from Quidditch practice and was changing shirts in the classroom before detention, ("so I wouldn't be late" he claimed). I snapped myself out of the state I was in.

    "Put that away, Wood" I said, a little more flirtatiously than intended. Oliver just smirked and re-adjusted his shirt. I couldn't help it, I had to smile.

    "Only if you put those away." Oliver retorted, nodding towards my low-cut shirt. I looked down and quickly closed my sweatshirt.


    "You started it." He said, taking a step towards me. "About earlier."

    "Forget about it, Wood."

    "No, Potter. At least - at least think about going with me?" his eyes were pleading and before I could think of a reply, I found myself nodding at his request. He smiled at me, a genuine smile, not a smirk, and was about to say something as McGonagall entered the classroom.

    Our detention, as it turned out, was to re-organize every bloody book McGonagall owned - the muggle way. I groaned as McGonagall left the room - our wands in her pocket - and I made my way towards the first stack of books.

    Two hours later we were almost done with the reorganization and neither of us had said a word to the other. When McGonagall returned and informed us that we could leave I almost jumped for joy. I literally grabbed my wand from the professor and sprinted into the hallway. Not a minute later I heard footsteps following me.

    "Lily." I stopped walking and turned around.

    "Oliver" he smiled and walked next to me.

    "It's late, let me walk you to your common room." I laughed at his gentlemanliness and accepted. We walked for a few minutes in a peaceful silence before either of us said anything.

    "Go with me to the party?" Oliver asked again.

    "Oliver, I can't"

    "Why not? It doesn't have to be a date, I know you're dating Avery." I detected a slight hint of sadness in his voice as he articulated my boyfriend's name.

    "Oliver." I stopped and faced him. "It's more than that. I can't go to a Gryffindor party."

    "Oh, Ok. I see how it is. You're too good for our parties? The Slytherin Queen can't be bothered to make an appearance with the lowly Gryffindorks? Fine, forget I asked." And with that he stormed off.

    "Oliver! Wait!" I called after him. He didn't get it, even if I wanted to go, I would never have been accepted.

Chapter 6: A Break-up and A Party
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    "Avery, we need to talk," I said, walking into the common room, fresh from my encounter with Wood. I needed to know why the boy that was supposed to be my worst enemy was treating me better than my boyfriend. Jason looked at me and went back to his conversation with Bole and Derrick. "Now." I said in my 'don't fuck with me' tone. Avery got up and followed me up to the boys' dorm.

    "Yes, oh terrible one?" Avery was in one of his dark moods.

    "Fuck you." I spat.

    "Excuse me?" he took a step towards me menacingly.

    "Explain to me why a bloody Gryffindork treats me better than you do." I demanded.

    "Oh, great. First you spend all your time with Wood instead of me, and now you claim that I'm not treating you right?"

    "Yes, Jason, that's exactly what I'm saying."

    "Are you sleeping with him, you slut!?" I smacked him. Hard.

    "Fuck you, Avery. Why did I ever go out with you in the first place? Go find yourself a new girl to be your whore, because I won't." I stomped out of the dorm and up to my own. I hadn't exactly intended to break up with him, I really just wanted to know why he kept ignoring me when I was around, but he was just being such a dick. I crawled into bed, figuring that I would just deal with it tomorrow.

    Unfortunately for me, when tomorrow came, things only got worse. The news of my and Avery's inevitable breakup had spread through the common room almost as quickly as I had imagined it would and by the time I made my way up to the Great Hall for breakfast a nice chunk of his oh-so-devoted followers weren't talking to me. Apparently, it seemed, he had told the entire house that he had broken up with me, and not only that, but that he had broken up with me because I was cheating on him. Avoiding his fan-base, I made my way down the table and sat next to McKenzie.

    "He's a prat, ignore him." Jessica said upon my arrival.

    "We'll get him back, Lil," McKenzie added with a reassuring pat on my back. Honestly, I didn't really care what they did to him, or if we got him back for being such a wanker, I just wanted him to leave me alone. I was done with his drama, once and for all. I sat through breakfast silently, listening to Mick and Jess talk about the latest trends and all the gossip they could think of, not really taking anything in and just kind of pushing my breakfast around my plate. "Aren't you going to eat?" McKenzie asked as breakfast wound down.

    "No." I said simply.

    "C'mon, Lil, eat something." I quickly got a forkful of scrambled eggs and placed it in my mouth.

    "Happy?" McKenzie shook her head in defeat as the two girls walked towards their first class. Seeing as I had a free period I decided to head outside and take a walk, I wanted to get as much outside time as possible before the weather and my workload prevented it. Slowly, I walked towards the lake. I stood there, on the edge of the blackness, and thought about my life. Ok, so maybe I didn't think about my life, but I definitely thought about Oliver and his invitation. Why would he risk everything to invite a Slytherin to go with him to a party? I still didn't get how he could not see this as a big deal, how he thought that anything that happened between us - even just studying together - could be accepted by the wizarding world. As my mind began wandering through all the things I longed to know about Oliver and his motivations, my feet began moving almost of their own volition. Before I knew what was happening, I found myself at the edge of the Quidditch pitch. I looked around, wondering what had drawn me to this particular corner of the grounds. Looking up, I saw it; Oliver Wood flying around on his broom. "Oliver" I whispered to myself, wondering what in the name of Merlin was coming over me this year. Quickly I hid myself in the shadows of a large tree that stood at the edge of the pitch, I didn't want Oliver to know that I was there. I stayed there, watching him fly aimlessly around the pitch, until it was time to go in for Defense Against the Dark Arts.

    As class began everything seemed normal enough; I sat myself between McKenzie and Jessica about halfway back and Wood and I ignored each other throughout the class. Lunch, too, went pretty much normally, except that the boys were sitting at the opposite end of the table. It wasn't until Ancient Runes that I realized that something was wrong with Oliver. Now, normally we at least acknowledge each other in class, we are partners after all, but that day it was as if I didn't even exist.

    "Wood." I said about twenty minutes into class. There was no reply. "Oliver?" I tried. Nothing. His face was stoic, his features cold. Sighing to myself, I went back to work and tried to ignore the statue that sat beside me. He was a Gryffindork, after all, what did I care if he hated me?

But I did care.

        Maybe not at first, not during the remainder of class that Tuesday, but as the week progressed it was definitely getting to me. Classes were torturous when I had had someone to talk to, even if it had been trading insults, but the silence that hung between Wood and myself was unbearable. I tried time and time again to get him to talk to me, even just acknowledge my existence. Suddenly, it seemed, not only did Wood no longer want to talk to me, he wanted to pretend that I didn't exist. 6 years I hadn't give a damn if this boy even knew my name, but now, the one time I actually may have wanted to talk to a Gryffindor, he was acting as if the name "Lily Potter" were as foreign as a big, greasy, meat-covered, American pizza. As the weekend approached I felt that I had to do something to get him talking to me again, or at the very least find out what I had done that had made him so angry at me - for more than 6 years I had thrown hex after hex at him, done everything you can imagine horrible to him and his friends, and he had not once acted like this.

    Finally, Saturday morning an idea came to me: the party. I would get Wood to talk to me if I showed up at the party. Looking back, this was probably the stupidest moment I had in the entirety of my career at Hogwarts, and I didn't even know exactly why I cared so much about how Wood acted towards me, but at the time it had seemed like a brilliant plan. I spent the whole day trying to figure out where the party would be (obviously it couldn't be in the common room, seeing as I'd been invited and asking a Slytherin into the inter sanctum of Gryffindorism would be like inviting Lucifer to take over the seat of light from Jesus Christ himself) and, more than where it was going to be, what I was going to do when I got there. I hadn't heard anything about the party since Oliver had mentioned it, though that didn't surprise me much - we didn't exactly run in the same circle.

    At about 9 o'clock that night I got so fed up with waiting that I decided to just go in search of the bloody Gryffindorks. The only place I could think that that lot of buggers would think to have a party was the Room of Requirements. I made my way there quickly, not really thinking what I was going to do when I actually got there and had to face the other students. Reaching the door that only sometimes appeared, I pushed it open forcefully before realizing suddenly that I was the biggest wanker at Hogwarts. The entire room stopped, drawn by the loud noise I'd made with the door, and a good half of the Gryffindor house stood staring at me. I didn't know what to do, so I panicked and went into default Slytherin-bitch mode. "100 points from Gryffindor, and get back to your bloody common room," I growled once my sense had come back slightly. Alright, so technically I had no reason to take any points from them, nor did I have any right to send them to their common room, but I needed to get out of there. Seeing all those staring Gryffindors had sort of shocked me back into reality and I stormed off into the castle. Oliver, as far as I knew, still was not talking to me, though I was sure that he'd seen my rather disastrous attempt to find him. I reached my safe place, the secret area between two tapestries that I was fairly certain no one knew about, and simply dropped to the floor.

    In less than a month my whole existence had gone rather pear-shaped. I wiped angrily at the tears that dared to make their way down from my eyes. After a few minutes, I heard a voice calling my name. "Lily?"

    "Oliver?" I choked out, surprised. "What - how - why?" I didn't even know what I was trying to ask any more. Wood sat down next to me and pulled my head onto his shoulder.

    "I followed you," he replied simply, somehow answering all my questions with that one, simple sentence. "I'm sorry, I didn't understand. They don't understand." I just nodded into his shoulder, too tired to care and too confused to explain. "Can I just ask you something?" I shrugged, I didn't care anymore. "100 points? Seriously?" I smiled and nodded again.

    "Maybe if you're good you can earn some of those back." I said, laughing through my tears. I had nowhere to turn anymore, no one to go to but him. So I did. Turning my head, I quickly and hungrily placed my lips on his, letting him consume my anger, my misery. Oliver kissed back, with just as much hunger, before standing up, taking me with him. "Where are we going?" I asked, not really caring as long as I could just kiss those lips again.

    "Not here," he responded and led me back to a now empty (and completely different looking) room of requirements. As he closed the door behind us, he gently placed his hands on my hips and pulled me into him. Though his pace was slow, there was a hunger behind his kisses that I couldn't quite place at the time - not that I cared in the least.

    The next morning I awoke to the sun shinning on my face with Oliver no where to be found. Looking around, I grabbed my clothes, dressed hurriedly, and went back to my dorm to change before breakfast. What had happened with Oliver had been confusing to say the least. I couldn't believe that I had opened myself up like that to a Gryffindor only to find him gone the next morning. Once my work for the day was done, I decided to take a walk around the grounds. When I got outside I ran straight into the Gryffindor Quidditch team. "I swear to Merlin." I muttered under my breath ignoring them.

    "Potter" one of the team called after me. I turned to face them, my worst snarl on my face. I cocked an eyebrow, waiting for them to continue. I was outnumbered and tired, there wasn't really much else I could do. "Why'd you go and ruin such a great party last night?" It was Katie Bell (big surprise). I really hated that whore. I rolled my eyes and turned away as I felt no less than 5 stunners fly past me. Whirring around, I whipped out my wand and stared them all down.

    "Leave. Now. Or it'll be 100 points each, 2 weeks detention, and a few hospital stays," I growled. Their smirks faltered and they left - all but Wood. I looked at him and turned away, not sure if it was from anger or hurt.

    "Lily." His voice was gentle.

    "Sod off, Wood." I snapped.

    "What's your problem?" he called after me. That was it, I couldn't fucking stand this BS anymore.

    "What was that, Wood? You're the one who fucked and ran, if I recall correctly. Is that all I was to you? Just a quick shag?" He stared at me. "What? Ashamed to be associated with a Slytherin like that in front of your precious little Quidditch team? Or, wait, you weren't a virgin were you?" Something changed in his face as I said that and I realized that that was just what had happened. "Merlin, you were." I laughed. "Look, Wood, just leave m alone and I'll do the same and everything will go back to normal between us." Ok, so nothing was going to go back to normal between us, I knew that, I just didn't want to admit it to him. I didn't want him to know that he'd gotten to me. I walked away, shaking my head at my foolishness.

    "Lily! Wait." I was surprised to find Oliver following me, he took me by the arm and turned me around. "I don't want things to go back to normal between us. I hate normal between us. I don't care what the rest of the castle thinks. I don't care what the rest of the wizarding world thinks. I just - I just know that when I'm around you I feel completely different than when I'm anywhere else. Not even Quidditch makes me feel like this." He paused and I stared. Did he just compare spending time with me to playing Quidditch? If this were anyone else we'd been talking about, I'd've been insulted. "Lily, I want to be with you." He pulled me into him and kissed me, gently caressing my shoulder. I had never been kissed like that before.

    "Oliver, we can't. It doesn't even matter how I feel about this. You saw what happened when I showed up last night. Even if we wanted to, I mean, c'mon."

    "Lily, I will be with you. Even if we have to hide it from the whole world." I could feel the pain in his eyes as he said that, knowing that hiding this was the last thing he wanted to do. He didn't want to hide anything from anyone. "At least - at least promise me that we can try?" He was desperate, asking me to try, begging, really. "I don't know what I'll do if we can't at least try to be together." I nodded in defeat, falling to his will. It would be a long, hard road, but if I didn't try, I'd probably regret it and I knew that. "Lily!" Oliver called as I walked away. "I'll see you in potions tomorrow." He smiled at me and walked away.

    "Oliver Wood, what are you getting me into?" I asked myself and walked back to the dungeon.

Chapter 7: Hide and Seek
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    Hiding my relationship with Oliver was actually in many ways a lot easier than having a relationship with Oliver. Seeing Wood all day, every day, was nothing new to me. Sneaking around the castle and grounds wasn't even anything new (Slytherin, remember?). It was realizing that I was letting a Gryffindor get to me, letting my guard down around a Gryffindor - one who had been my sworn enemy for ages - that I couldn't quite wrap my mind around. Even when I'd dated Avery I'd never really let my guard down like this around him. Oliver was quickly learning more about me that I'd thought was possible. My friends and followers - those who had chosen to ignore Avery and his idiot prattle anyway, had definitely realized that something was off with me, but I was pretty sure they just thought it was normal 7th year jitters. Well, except for Mick, she always could see right through me and knew right away that something else was up.

    One night about mid-October, she found me sitting on my bed, revising for Ancient Runes. Ok, so I wasn’t really revising, I was sort of pretending to. "Where are you, Miss Potter?" McKenzie asked.


    "See? This is what I'm talking about. This isn't the usual 'I'm studying, leave me alone' Lily. Where are you?"

    "Nowhere, Mick, nowhere. Just - just thinking." I small smile broke across my face as I thought of how Oliver's eyes had lit up during charms that morning when he'd finally mastered a really hard - and extremely important - charm. I was finally starting to come to terms with our relationship - though absolutely no one did or could know about it. Spending time with him made me happy in a way I'd never been before. I mean, popularity was fun and I'd had an amazing 6 years - but this was different. This was happy from the deepest part of my being. This was, well, I didn't want to admit what this was. I had even stopped thinking about the fact that we were from completely different parts of the wizarding world. I knew we'd have to tell people about everything eventually (either that or merely disappear of the face of the planet. But no, that wasn't actually an option) but I was still avoiding that eventuality as long as possible. Mick shook her head and went back to her issue of Witch Weekly. I wanted to talk to Oliver, and I wasn't really focusing on the Runes anyway, so I decided to place my book on my bed and made my way to the common room.    

    "Marcus?" I asked, he and I had been slightly less chatty since Jason and I called it off again.

    "Yeah?" he replied, not looking up.

    "Is the Gryffindor team practicing on the pitch tonight?" I asked. He looked at me questioningly before responding.

    "Probably. That wanker tries to get as much practice in as possible - not that it'll help any. We're still going to crush them."

    "Mmhmm. Thanks." I said and slid out of the room. When I reached the pitch I noticed that the team was, as always, practicing. "Oi! Quidditch Boy!" I called. He stumbled on a catch he was making and landed beside me, looking confused. Alright, so I'd never interrupted a practice before, but I couldn't stop thinking about him, so I decided that I wanted to chat.

    "What are you doing here?" he sounded angry, but he looked happy.

    "We have Runes work." I lied.

    "Bollocks," one of the twins called from behind Wood.

    "She's spying for Flint." Johnson added.

    "Sod off," I spat, "if I were spying, do you think I'd announce myself?"

    "Do we really have Runes work? I must've forgotten." Wood smirked at me and turned to his team. "I guess that's it for the night. Hit the showers." They looked shocked but nodded and followed his orders. "So why did I really just cancel a much needed Quidditch practice?" Oliver whispered to me once his team had all gone into the Gryffindor locker rooms. I took his hand and guided him into the Slytherin changing rooms, locking the door behind us.

    "To spend some much needed time with your desperately lonely and wonderfully perfect girlfriend."

    "I like that excuse" he said as he nudged his face into my shoulder. Honestly, we could've done with some Ancient Runes review, but our nice long snogging session was far more entertaining and, at least I felt, a much better way of spending our time. When we finally snuck back into the castle we had missed dinner, but neither of us cared, we could nick something from the kitchen after Astronomy.

    I entered the common room to get this week's star chart and found myself face to face with Jessica and Lestrange.

    "Where've you been? You missed dinner. I thought you'd never miss a chance to eat."

    "I was studying. N.E.W.T.s are a lot of work, you know." Lestrange groaned, he always had hated it when I'd lecture him about work (but then again, who needed N.E.W.T.s when you were a Lestrange? The world was his oyster and he knew it all too well). Anyway, I grabbed my chart and skipped to class - yes, skipped.

    "There's something wrong with that girl" I heard Jess mutter as I left and a smile crossed my face. Not something wrong, something right.

    Astronomy that night was a drag, and I couldn't stop thinking about the snogging session that had ensued earlier that evening. "Wood." I called after class was over. He cocked his eyebrow at me. "Follow me." I took him by the hand and led him towards the dungeon.

    "Where are we going?" he asked curiously. It wasn't surprising, really, Wood was probably the first Gryffindor in this part of the castle on purpose since the place was built. I shushed him and found the entrance to the Slytherin common room. I whispered the password and, after double checking that all the Slytherins had abandoned common room for the night, dragged Oliver in after me. "Lily," he whispered, his voice full of concern. I motioned for him to be quiet and led him toward the 7th year girls' dorm. I knew everyone would be asleep ('beauty sleep' they called it) so I wasn't worried about them finding Oliver. When we'd reached my bed and I'd safely secured the curtains around the bed, Wood turned to me, amazed.

    "What?" I asked as if what I'd just done hadn't not only broken about a thousand school rules but was something I did every day.

    "First of all, I am so dead if anyone finds me here. I'll be tried as a spy before being hung, drawn and quartered." I laughed, he was being a bit silly. "And secondly, how am I in here? Boys aren't allowed in the Gryffindor girls' dorms."

    "Maybe they trust us more." I joked. He snorted. "Ok, more likely they've just stopped caring. Now shut up and kiss me before I push you off the bed."

    I fell asleep soundly that night and we somehow managed to sneak Oliver through the common room and to potions without getting caught.

    "Oliver Wood, is that what you were wearing yesterday?" I joked as he sat next to me at our desk.

    "I barely had time to get my books let alone change this morning." He replied. "I'll change at lunch." I smiled. "I mean, it's not like I could've borrowed your uniform or anything."

    "Yeah, Green isn't really your color." I giggled.

    "Not to mention that I don't do skirts." I laughed slightly louder than intended, drawing the attention of the Ravenclaws who sat in front of us.

    "Sod off." I snapped and turned my attention back to Wood. "What about that skirt thing I saw you wear last year?" Oliver's face went red.

    "It was a kilt. And shut up." I laughed again at his uneasiness and went back to work, every so often sneaking a look over to imagine him in my Slytherin uniform.  I couldn't stop laughing.

    "Miss Potter, is something funny?" Snape asked as class was almost over - I had been laughing intermittently the whole time.

    "Well, you see sir" I began. Oliver looked terrified. He didn't think I'd tell the whole class about him in a skirt, did he? I mean, c'mon. "Posey, here," I said, indicating the nosy Ravenclaw who sat in front of me, "has been using the wrong ingredients all class and I found it amusing, seeing as how she keeps telling Rosenbaum over there," I pointed to the boy that everyone knew Posey was head over heels for, "what a good potions student she is." All the color drained from Posey's face. The best part was, it wasn't even a lie. Posey had been so intent on impressing Rosenbaum that she had been using the wrong ingredients.

    "I see. And why did you not feel the need to inform her of her errors? I smiled, knowing exactly what to say.

    "Well, professor, I felt that a N.E.W.T. level student should really be able to take care of her own portion. And besides, I was trying to focus on my own, sir." I smiled smugly and Snape smirked.

    "Very well. 10 points, Ms. Posey, and detention. Furthermore, please do pay attention in the future." Posey's mouth dropped open and I began packing up my materials.

    "That was a tad harsh." Oliver said as we made our way to lunch.

    "Keeping up appearances, Mr. Wood. Now go change before someone realizes that those are Quidditch robes." I laughed again as Oliver looked down to realize that he was, in fact, still in his Quidditch robes.

    As Halloween approached, we decided that we wanted to do something other than the traditional feast. It was a Hogsmead day anyway, so we'd just stay in the city. I wanted to spend some time with Oliver outside of classes, without having to pretend that I hated him. I felt kind of bad, my friends had taken the suggestion that he be the one rather to heart and had been taking the mick out of him left, right and center (though he protested that he didn't care). We decided that when everyone got into the carriages, we'd just stay behind in Hogsmead. No one would be around (hopefully) and we wouldn't get into too much trouble if we were caught ("Sorry, professor, lost track of time" and whatnot).

    "Oliver." I greeted him with a quick kiss just inside the village boarders once everyone else had gone.

    "You're smiling"


    "I like it when you smile," he said, taking my hand and leading me to a small café near the edge of town. We ate for awhile in silence, a blissful silence, not talking about school or houses or work or anything. "We have to tell them eventually" he said, about an hour into the meal.

    I shook my head. "No we don't"


    "We'll cross that bridge when we get there." I said defiantly, amazingly self-assured that that day would be well far off. As we finished dinner, however, and reached the castle, we realized that something was off - the entire student body was hold up in the Great Hall.

    "Sirius Black tried to get into the Gryffindor common room" we were informed hurriedly by some Hufflepuff as we walked in. All students were to remain there while the grounds were to be searched for any sign of the crazy murderer. I was terrified - id' heard all about Sirius Black - and I clung tightly to Oliver as we found ourselves a quiet corner of the room to settle into - away from his group and mine.

    "Oliver, why does Sirius Black want to get into this castle so badly?" I was terrified and was shaking something awful. He took me in his arms and pulled the nearest sleeping bag around us. We fell asleep that night holding onto each other, not thinking about anything but the other person - and the fact that a mad killer was quite possibly running around Hogwarts right then, looking for his next victim. Ok, so Oliver probably wasn't thinking about that, but I most certainly was.

    "Well well well, what the bloody hell do we have here?" came Lestrange's voice the next morning. It was early, however, and I wasn't thinking straight. I nuzzled my head into Oliver's shoulder and groaned quietly.

    "I knew something was going on!" McKenzie called. Unfortunately, by now we'd gained the attention of the entire Gryffindor and Slytherin houses.

    "Quidditch Boy and the Slytherin Queen, who would've thought." Flint announced loudly.

    "You slag!" came Katie's voice, loud and clear. I may have been half asleep, but I knew when I'd been insulted. My eyes shot open - I was now fully awake - and before anyone knew what was happening, Katie Bell was flying across the Great Hall. Our secret was out, apparently, but right then I didn’t even care. Standing up I faced Katie.

    "Say it again," I dared. She looked terrified as Wood tried to hold me back.

    "Lily." He warned.

    "Say. It. Again." Katie, showing an amazing amount of gall, decided to stand up to me.

    "I knew something was up! What did you do to Oliver? Why is he spending all he time with your lot instead of the people he should be?"

    "Katie, you don't know what you're talking about." Oliver said, placing his hand on my wand and forcing me to lower it. Oliver may have been willing to intercede, but my friends certainly knew better than to try anything.

    "Oliver." I said again.

    "Listen, Lily, it's obviously pointless to try and hide this anymore." I looked at him, pleadingly. I didn’t want to admit that our relationship had just been pushed into the spotlight.

    "Wait, so we aren't seeing things? You actually are shagging this Gryffinloser?" Flint asked. My eyes darted towards him and back to Oliver. Then I did the only think that I could think to do - I ran. As I burst through the Great Hall the entirety of the Slytherin 7th year began a brawl with the Gryffindor Quidditch team. This was going to be disastrous and I'd left Oliver to deal with it all, but I didn't care.

Chapter 8: Fallen From Grace
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    I ran into the forbidden forest and quickly climbed a tree before I began crying. I stayed outside all day, ignoring the crisp November air. Throughout the day I thought I heard the sound of various students tromping through the woods, no doubt looking for me, but I ignored it all and just kept on thinking.

    For 8 years I had been so assured of my place in the world. I was the Slytherin Queen and had been since before I'd even attended a class (blood still counted for something amongst the Slytherin families). I was the most popular and wicked girl in Slytherin and could do everything I wanted. By the time I'd turned 17 last year everything had been perfect - I was head of my class, pretty, popular, dating Jason Avery, and life was just beginning. Now I was 17 ½, slipping in my classes, skiving off my prefect duties, broken up with Avery, and quickly realizing that my social status had just severely slipped. I'd never be minister by 25 now and honestly, I didn't even care anymore. My life was over.

    In retrospect, I may have been exaggerating a bit, but that was how it felt. For example, I wasn't "slipping in my classes." In truth, Oliver and I had gotten one "Troll" on a potions assignment because we had been, erm, distracted, and forgot to take it off the fire. Snape had let me slide with a warning (I'd never gotten below an "Exceeds Expectations" in his class, and I was still his favorite student) but Oliver had lost 20 points for the assignment. Later that night I'd awarded him 25 for "outstanding flying" What can I say? I'd felt guilty. Anyway, not the point.

    As darkness slid around the grounds I figured that I'd best get back inside before I lost any major points for Slytherin. I had lost enough friends this morning just from being in the same general area as Oliver Wood. After I dropped from the tree and dusted myself off, I walked back into the castle. I saw Oliver looking at me across the way, he looked as though he'd walked away from this morning's events without too much damage. A small smile broke across his face. I turned from him and walked to the dungeon. I just couldn't face him. I knew it was stupid, but at the moment, he was the symbol of everything that as wrong with my life.

    I stormed through the castle, wanting nothing more than to melt into my nice, warm bed. As I entered the common room, everyone stared and whispers followed me all the way to the stairs. "You are a right idiot" I said to myself in the mirror as I dropped into bed. "A right bloody idiot."

    "You can say that again." McKenzie said, just as I had closed my curtains. I pulled them apart and came face to face with the scariest looking Slytherin I'd ever seen. McKenzie and I had been best friends since we were born, and she had stuck with me through everything. Even the time I'd thought it would be a good idea to shave me head and dye my eyebrows neon yellow. I had been hoping beyond hope that she at least would remain by my side. "He's a Gryffindor! Not even just a Gryffindor - he's the Gryffindor! He's their bloody Quidditch captain! Their pride and joy! You broke up with Avery for Oliver bloody Wood, Lily, do you realize what you've done?!" I just stared. "Not to mention," she continued, "every Slytherin 7th year - including you - and the entire Gryffindor Quidditch team have detention for a month, each house lost 100 points and we've lost all Hogsmeade privileges until further notice - not that it'll stop us from going, but still." McKenzie was fuming. I had the idea that the entire house had come bitching to her when they couldn't find me. Then she said the three words I'd never thought I'd hear her utter. "I despise you," she spat and closed my bed curtains roughly.

    That night I didn't sleep very well. Visions of attacks from left, right and center kept popping into my dreams and I'd wake up in a cold sweat. And when it wasn't the surprise attacks, it was that look of Wood's, the look he'd given me in the Great Hall. The look that told me he forgave me for running away. The look that told me he loved me.

    The next morning as I entered the Great Hall for breakfast, I thought back to the first day of classes the year before.

    The Slytherin Court entered the Great Hall with Avery and myself in the lead. We were fashionably late, as always, but our places remained empty, right in the power seats at the head of the table. The Slytherins stopped eating and talking and watched us walk to our seats. The teachers - minus the newbies - ignored the ritual. Even the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs watched as we passed through the hall. Once we had reached our seats - and our untouched food portions (only the best) the house went back to its normal activity. That was power. Even the 7th years had watched us in awe. We ruled the house, there were no doubts.

    This morning provided a sharp contrast. As I made my way down the table, people shuffled to close spaces and whispered as I passed. They didn't want to let me sit there. When I reached the end of the table with no where to site, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Not believing what I was doing, I walked over to where Oliver sat with the twins. I gently tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around, gave me a surprised look, and then, realizing what must have happened, slid over to let me sit. The whole hall - which had been watching with baited breath - gasped. A Slytherin sitting with the Gryffindors? Was the even allowed?

    We ate in silence, the twins eyeing my suspiciously the entire time. When breakfast was over, Oliver stood up and offered me his hand. I looked between it and him - the message was clear. There was no use hiding it. Slowly, I took Oliver's hand and we made our way to class, whispers following all the way. When we reached the potions classroom, we queued up outside with the Ravenclaws (we'd left breakfast well early).

    "Well, if it isn't the Slytherin Queen, fallen from Grace." Posey said as we stood outside the door. I didn't respond, I didn’t even look at her.

    "Shove it, Posey." Wood said when he realized that I wasn't going to respond to the comment. I had gone from citizen high to citizen low in less than 24 hours, it had to be a record of some kind. I sighed in defeat and slowly made my way to my desk. The week was long, I spent classes being silent and meals were skipped as often as possible. When not possible (i.e. when Oliver forced me to go) they were spent eating quickly next to Oliver at the Gryffindor table.

    Saturday night came around and I was on my prefect rounds, I had nearly doubled the shifts I took since Halloween. ("Good work, Wood," Percy had commented. "She's never been so dedicated." Oliver had punched him and received a detention). At about 2 am I saw something move in the shadows and jumped. "Probably just a rat" I muttered to myself and continued on my rounds. A few minutes later, I heard footsteps behind me. I spun around. "Show yourself!" I demanded weakly. I was a shadow of my former self to say the least.

    "Lily, it's me." Came Oliver's voice as he emerged from the shadows. My wand hadn't even been drawn - I no longer cared if they attacked me.

    "You shouldn't be out of bed." I said quietly. Oliver took me in his arms.

    "And you shouldn't let them get to you. You're still Lily Potter, nothing can change that."

    "There's no power there anymore. I might as well be Neville Longbottom for all the good it'll do me." I said.

    "Bollocks. You are still the same feisty Slytherin you have always been. So what if they don't fall all over you anymore? The only reason they're winning is because you're letting them. If you go out there and show them what you're made of they'll respect you again. And besides, who needs them? Lily, you have more than you'll ever need right here," he pointed to my head, "right here," he pointed to my heart, "and right here," he finished, pointing to himself. I smiled at him despite myself and decided that I absolutely had to rebuild my credibility. And I had to start with that bitch Posey. And Percy and Penelope wouldn't be bad targets either.

    "Go to bed, Oliver, before you get into trouble." I said, kissing him gently.

    "As long as you promise me you'll be alright." I looked at him and he smiled, knowing that I would indeed be alright, for when I looked up at him, I had that old sparkle in my eye - the one that meant trouble.

Chapter 9: A House Divided
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    The next morning I realized a flaw in my plan - I didn't need to start with Posey, I needed to start with the Slytherins. I woke up bright and early and made my way to the Great Hall, insuring that I would be the first one there. Quickly, I set about my plan and settled down into a seat right up front. One by one the Slytherins made their way towards breakfast. It was a Sunday morning, though, so they were all pretty slow to arrive. I sat in my spot, slowly eating some eggs, smiling at the Slytherins as they gave me questioning looks. Eventually, students here and there were beginning to finish their meal and my plan was going into action. As they attempted to rise from the table and carry on about their business they all found themselves inexplicably stuck. I smiled, grabbed an apple, and easily slid from my seat. Tossing the apple in the air, I smiled widely as I passed the Slytherin Court. After all, not only were they stuck to their seats, they were sticking to each other as they attempted to break free. With one last laugh, I exited the Great Hall. Time for part two of my genius plan.

   While the Slytherin house was stuck at breakfast, I made my way back to the dorms. One by one I put itching powder in each of the Courts' beds, along with a few eight-legged friends for McKenzie (she detests spiders. They scare the bajesus out of her). Smiling once more to myself I exited the common room and went to meet Oliver by the Quidditch pitch before his practice.

    "You look much happier this morning." Oliver observed.

    "Yes, well, I realized how much fun being a Slytherin can be." I grinned.

    "Ah, I thought that stunt at breakfast had a bit of that Lily Potter flare to it." I laughed and hugged him.

    "They'll never know what hit them" I said. Slowly, the Quidditch team arrived. "I should go." I said.

    "No, stay."

    "Oliver, they'll never trust me. They think I'm a spy."

    "I'll talk to them." He reassured me and motioned for me to go sit and watch. Wood gathered his team around him and I could hear loud protests - mostly coming from Katie, Angelina and Alicia. After about 15 minutes of what seemed like a heated debate, Oliver came over to me. "Well, the girls aren't happy," he admitted, rubbing his neck, "and the twins don't quite trust you either, but you can stay if you like, and we'll talk after." He smiled at me hopefully. I had nothing better to do, so I decided that I might as well just stay, at least for a little while.

    Flint wasn't going to be happy; the Gryffindors were good. Even with those Nimbus2001s that Lucius had provided to get Draco on the team, the Gryffindors were an all around better team. Harry was, as much as I hated to admit it, the best seeker I'd seen in ages, and he just kept getting better.

    After the practice, the team showered and came out to meet me where I had been watching from. "C'mon, we're having a team picnic." Oliver said, taking my hand and leading me toward a shaded area.

    "Oliver, I'm not on your team." He smiled and kept walking.

    "You're not going to spend the rest of your life eating alone." He said, sitting me down.

    "Hi guys." I said shyly.

    "This morning."

    "At breakfast." The twins began immediately.

    "What did you use?"

    "The professors couldn't find a counter curse for ages." I smirked.

    "Super glue."

    "Ah! But how did you get it to stay wet until they sat on it?"

    "That was easy. I just worked a little magic." They smiled again and then began whispering excitedly.

    "Looks like you've won them over." Harry said, sitting next to me. I was surprised, of everyone on the team I expected him to want me there the last.

    As lunch progressed, I managed to have a halfway decent time, Oliver, Harry, and the twins were all talking happily with me, but the girls kept eyeing me suspiciously. Oh well, I figured, at least there's someone who'll talk to me again.

    I didn't know how right I was.

    Apparently my little prank at breakfast had re-earned me some major respect points with about half of the Slytherin house - those that didn't worship the ground that Jason Avery walked on (which, considering his status, was a fairly considerable number).  Unfortunately, with Slytherins picking sides and pledging allegiances, it looked as though Avery and I were going to be having an all out war for supremacy. There were those, of course, who vowed they would never support me while I dated a Gryffindor, but there were others who had come around and felt that I was daring and that was admirable. I didn't really care, after all, I still had Posey, Weasley and Clearwater to get back before my name was even remotely cleared.

    For Posey, I decided the best way to attack was the muggle way - she'd spot anything else a mile away. I also decided that I had better wait until potions on Thursday to make my move - too much revenge at once and Snape would be forced to act (he had ignored both the superglue and the itching powder, although both definitely me, due to "lack of viable evidence." I told you, blood still held some power).

    Thursday morning I grabbed my supplies and, skipping breakfast, headed to the potions room. Silently, I le myself in and made my way to Posey's seat. The first thing I did was apply a fresh coat of paint to her stool - making sure that, like the super glue, it would remain wet until she made contact with it. Then I set about the ingredients that were sitting on the desk, all clearly marked "R. Posey". Quickly and carefully I relabeled every bottle. That's when I noticed the piece of parchment sitting on the tabletop. It contained the instructions for the potion we'd be making today - it seemed she had been practicing the night before, in order to ensure that she got it perfect during class. This was going to be almost too easy.

    Carefully, I changed a number here and a decimal there, not enough to be noticeable, but definitely enough to provide quite the entertainment during class today. Finally, I coated the bottom of her cauldron with a substance that, when burnt, smelt absolutely horrible 0 it came from the Death Flower and was extremely rare. I smiled to myself and slipped back out to the door to queue up for class.

    "What did you do?" Oliver whispered in my ear when he saw me.

    "Oh, you'll see." I said, smiling broadly as Snape let us into the room.

    "You, my friend, are an evil genius" Fred Weasley said, sitting down at lunch. I had begun eating meals with Oliver and the twins, since eating alone was boring and they, well, weren't. Apparently news of what had happened to Posey had spread through the castle quite quickly.

    "I've no idea what you're talking about, Fred." I smiled. "I was just an innocent bystander."

    "Innocent my arse" George said.

    "How did you get away with it?"

    "Get away with what? I did nothing." The twins smiled at each other.

    "Genius" they said in unison.

    Luckily for me, Weasley and Clearwater were two of the people in my afternoon charms class that day, so I'd have my opportunity to complete my revenge. I was quiet through the rest of lunch, trying to come up with something that would get back at the head boy and girl without giving away too much proof that it had been me - having my prefect rights taken away was the very last thing I wanted to have happen. Then it hit me - I could do anything I wanted to them, as long as it looked like an accident. I smiled and tapped Oliver on the shoulder. "I need your help" I said, before explaining the plan.

    "Alright, class" came Flitwick's voice, "today we will be practicing our nonverbal spells." I smiled. Perfect, everything was going according to plan. "You will need to work with the partners you were assigned at the beginning of term." My smile grew and I glanced at Oliver. We broke into pairs and the plan began.

    "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, WOOD?!" I cried about five minutes into class.

    "Maybe if your ugly face wasn't so distracting I could do the charm right!"

    "WHY YOU!" I sent a very nasty, and conveniently verbal, hex at him - missing (intentionally) by mere inches.

    "Mr. Wood! Ms. Potter! What seems to be the problem here?" Flitwick asked, rushing over.

    "I can't work with him!" I cried.

    "Me?! I can't work with her!" Wood countered.

    "Please, please, stop fighting. Mr. Weasley, Ms. Clearwater" Flitwick was playing right into my hands, "please work with Mr. Wood and Ms. Potter, just for today. Silent spells are very difficult and we don’t want to take any chances." Penelope and Percy looked at Flitwick completely gob-smacked. They knew Wood and I were up to something - we were the best pupils in the class.

    "Hullo, Penelope," I said, smiling evilly before sending a bat boogey hex her way. "Oops! I must've slipped! Let me try again." This time I gave her a boil on her nose, then I hit her with a cheering charm that had her bent in two laughing, a few more hits and finally I hit her with a full-body bind. Oliver had been giving Percy much the same treatment.

    "My, my, what happened here?" Flitwick asked as he approached us at the end of class.

    "We slipped." Oliver and I said in unison. Flitwick tutted his tongue.

    "I would expect more from my best students, but I suppose everyone has their off days." He looked at Percy and Penelope. "Class dismissed so I can sort this out." Oliver and I grabbed our bags and quickly exited the classroom.

    By the end of the day our little adventure in Charms had been heard by every student in the castle. No longer did Ravenclaw and Hufflepuffs make comments about me behind my back. I was back and it felt good. Unfortunately, Slytherin house was still fighting for supremacy - minor duels were being held and hexes were being thrown at every opportunity. The Slytherin common room was no longer a safe place for a Slytherin to go alone. The rest of the court and I had yet to face off in an all out duel for power, but I had a feeling it was coming.

Chapter 10: Happy Christmas, Don't Be Mad
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A/N: First of all, thank you thank you thank you to everyone who's reviewed, I'm sorry that I haven't had time to respond to the reviews. This chapter is relatively short, and after this I only have one more written, so updates may take a little longer. Thank you again to everyone!

    The rest of the term passed without any major incidents - the Slytherins kept fighting amongst themselves but there were no major disturbances. As the Christmas break arrived, I decided that it was time to talk to Oliver about our plans.

    "Oliver," I said as we sat on the Express on our way home.


    "My family, they, well, they have a ball every year on Christmas Eve.  I was wondering if, if you'd…" I trailed off. I couldn't ask. I didn't want to bring him that far into the darkness.

    "Of course I'll come." He smiled at me.

    "And dinner beforehand? It will just be my family." I said. He nodded.

    "And dinner as well." I smiled and let myself fall asleep on his shoulder.

    When Christmas Eve arrived I was more than anxious. I hadn't seen Oliver since Hogwarts and my family had been driving me crazy. At 5 o'clock on the dot Oliver arrived in my entry way, in full dress robes.

    "You," I said as I greeted him with a kiss, "are a smart man." I was dressed in a full length gown. It was midnight blue with a slit cut up my right leg. It was strapless, too, and I wore elbow-length silk gloves and a stunning diamond necklace.

    "Yeah, well, I clean up nice." I smiled. He sure did. Just then, my family walked into the entry way.

    "Ah, you must be Mr. Wood," my father greeted him.

    "Yessir." Oliver said, shaking his hand.

    "Oliver, this is my father, my step-mother and this," I said, indicating the little girl sticking her head out from behind my step-mother, "is my half-sister, Gem." He shook my step-mother's hand and smiled at Gem.

    "Come," my father said, leading us to the dinning room.

    "I didn't know you had a sister." Oliver whispered as we followed my father.

    "Yeah, well, I try to keep it kind of a secret." I admitted, taking my seat at the table.

    "So, Mr. Wood, you are, of course, a pureblood I assume?" That's my father for you, cuts right to the chase. And don't beat around the bush with what he wants to know , either.

    "Um, yessir." Oliver responded nervously.

    "Scottish, correct?" Oliver nodded. "That explains why we haven't met before then, I suppose." The conversation continued in much the same manner throughout dinner, until my father got to the question I hopped he'd forgotten about. "Now, Mr. Wood, you are a Slytherin I suppose? Why have I not met him earlier, Lily, I thought I'd met all of your housemates." I swallowed hard and looked at Oliver.

    "Actually, father, Oliver isn't a Slytherin."

    "Oh?" he was surprised - and obviously disappointed. "A Ravenclaw then?" I shook my head.

    "I'm a Gryffindor, sir," Oliver said, I had never heard his voice so small.

    "Excuse me? I thought I just heard you say that you are a Gryffindor?"

    "That's right, father. And captain of their Quidditch team." My father was furious. He began lecturing me right then and there about how I was a disgrace to the family. My step-mother nodded along, and my two year old half sister laughed. "We don’t have to sit through this, c'mon Oliver." I said, taking his hand and exiting the dinning room

    "What about your ball?" Oliver asked.

    "Sod the bloody ball." I said and apparated to Oliver's bedroom. He quickly followed suit. Ok, so saying 'sod the ball' was quite possibly the stupidest thing I'd done that night, but I was pissed off. When Oliver apparated next to me in is room, I turned to him. "Do you have something I can change into?" I asked in earnest, realizing that I was still in my gown. He laughed and fetched me a pair of shorts and a Puddlemire United sweatshirt, along with a change of clothes for himself. We quickly changed and I hung up my gown before either of us said another word.

    "So, do you want to meet my parents?" Oliver asked with a smile playing across his lips.

    "I dunno, Oliver, I look a mess. And our last parental adventure didn't end up too well.

    "First of all, I like you in my clothes, and second of all, my parents aren’t nearly as psycho as your family." I laughed. It was probably true. My father, step-mother, and half-sister were quite possibly the three most psychotic wizards there were - except for Voldemort, of course.

    "Oliver, I'd love to meet your parents." I smiled and he smiled back. Taking my hand, he led me downstairs.

    "Mum? Da? We have a guest!" he called once we reached the kitchen.

    "Oliver! I thought you were going to be gone all night," his mother said, enveloping him in a hug.

    "Plans changed." he said as his father entered the room. "Mum, Da, this is Lily Potter." His parents looked at me - they obviously knew my name.

    "It's nice to meet you, Mr. Wood, Ms. Wood." I said as politely as possible

    "Of course! We've heard so much about you!" Mrs. Wood said, taking me by surprise and hugging me. Oliver smiled. I spent the rest of the night sitting with Oliver and his parents, talking about everything and nothing. At about 1 AM Mr. Wood noticed the time.

    "Happy Christmas, everybody," he said, smiling.

    "Lily, why don't you sleep here tonight, seeing as it's so late. You can go home after brunch tomorrow." I smiled at Mr. and Mrs. Wood and thanked them for their hospitality.

    "I really should be getting back, though," I said. Oliver and I said goodnight to his parents and went upstairs to retrieve my gown. I kissed Oliver gently on the lips before disapparating back to my own room. I silently hung the gown in my closet and got into bed. Honestly, my parents probably would not notice that I had returned until breakfast the next day, but Oliver's parents had been more than fair to me and I didn't want to take advantage of their hospitality.

    In all honesty, the only reason my father cared about my attending the ball (something I'd surely be punished for skiving off) was in order to keep up appearances. He had dismissed me four years prior, when my mother had died and my elder brother disappeared.

    Not long after my mother's death, my father re-married into a very prominent pureblood family. He and Melissa - his new wife - had Gem not long after. Once he had his new wife and daughter, I was no longer needed. I was, however, to maintain appearances. This meant attending all pureblood functions, receiving top grades and school, and marrying a nice, rich, pureblood Slytherin (like Jason Avery) before settling down and producing lots of pureblood babies.

    This plan, of course, was already never going to happen, seeing as I didn't want to settle down into a family. My father and step-mother had often lectured me on how a career in politics was a man's job and I needed to find myself a suitable husband to care for me. With any luck, he'd be a prospective Death Eater as well. Fucking parents. Once it became clear to me that I was no more than a show piece to my family, I realized that that gave me immense freedoms. Being Slytherin Queen was a lot, but with parents who didn't care about what I was doing, I could do ANYTHING - as long as it didn't make my father look bad.

    The only downside was Gem. Whenever I was home, I was expected to let her follow me everywhere, and I had to make sure I set a good example, or she'd go tattling to Mummy and Daddy. As you can probably imagine, I didn't spend much time at home. At first I spent my time trying to find my brother, but after a year or so I gave up and began spending all of my time away from Hogwarts at McKenzie's house. It was better than mine, that was to say the least. But now that McKenzie and I weren't talking (she had, unfortunately, chosen to side with Avery in our little turf war) this vacation was to be spent mainly at home.

It was going to be a very long break.

Chapter 11: Why We Hate January
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As break wound down, Oliver and I decided to spend New Years in a small clearing near where Oliver's parents lived. We got there right as the sun was setting and laid out a blanket on the ground.

            "This place is beautiful, Oliver, thank you." I said as I sat between his legs on the blanket.

            "I'm just glad you're here to share it with," he smiled. We sat there in each other's arms for the longest time, not talking, just being. But something was bothering Oliver.

            "Knut for your thoughts?" I said after a minute.

            "It's nothing."

            "It's obviously not nothing, you've got worry written all over your face." He signed.

            "It's just, well, Harry got a Firebolt for Christmas."

            "Shouldn't that be a good thing?" I asked, now very confused. I didn't know much about Quidditch, but I knew that Oliver had been dying to get one of those Firebolt things on his team.

            "McGonagall took it away." He mumbled.


            "Something about not knowing who it was from and how it could be dangerous. We'll never win now, not with Harry riding a school broom." I didn't really know how to comfort him, this broom situation seemed to really be getting to him, but to me it was just a stupid broom.

            "Talk to McGonagall when we get back, I'm sure she'll hear reason. I mean, she wants to win more than you do." Oliver made some sort of indistinguishable noise and then we dropped the subject.

            As midnight crept closer, I felt as though my life was about to change. This would be my last term at Hogwarts, and then what? Ministry training, hopefully. But what about Oliver? Where were we going? At 11:59 Oliver called me out of my reverie.

            "I love you" he whispered as he kissed me gently to ring in the new year. My heart jumped and I forgot to kiss him back. "Are you alright?" he asked, pulling away.

            "Uh, yeah. Happy New Year, Oliver." I said and kissed him, choosing to ignore the 'I love you' comment for the time being.  A little while later we parted ways, not really wanting to be separate until the Hogwarts Express a few days later.

            On the Express, I was awkward around Oliver. He had told me he loved me. Did I love him? Yes, I think I did, but I couldn't bring myself to tell him. I hadn't told anyone that I loved them since I was five years old and told the boy behind the counted at the local pizzeria that I loved him because he gave me free extra pepperoni. When we reached the castle, I hurried to my dorm, claiming to be tired after such a long journey. Really, I just wanted to think about the situation.

            Unfortunately, my thoughts would have to wait, because when I  entered the common room, I came face to face with the Slytherin Court.

            "We need to talk" Jason said. I could see that he and the rest of them were all fingering their wands. Before I knew what was happening, Bole, Derrick, Jessica, McKenzie, Flint, Lestrange, and Avery were in formation in front of me. They were ready for a rumble. Luckily for me, there was a whole group of my supporters not far off and they came to my aid. Unluckily, it ended up being me and mostly Malfoy's little 3rd year crew versus the Court. But that was ok, I could've taken them on single handedly.

            The fight that broke out was a nasty one, and eventually nearly the whole house was involved When the dust cleared, I was battered and bruised, but I was victorious. The Slytherin Court all lay in various states of awareness throughout the common room. I had let others take them on, mostly, except for Avery and McKenzie. Them I took on personally After all, I had a score to settle with them most of all.

            "Guess this means I'm still better than you." I spat at Avery as I went off to bed. "I hate January" I muttered to myself as I drank a nasty tasting healing potion and climbed into bed. But hey, on the bright side, I was Queen again.

            As the month progressed, classes got harder ("N.E.W.T.s are just around the corner!"). Oliver began practicing Quidditch five times a week, I think partially because I still had not returned his words of devotion, and life in the Slytherin common room slowly returned to normal.

            Well, almost.

            With my reign re-established, the rest of the court fell into the rankings. They no longer held the same respect in the house. They were still widely respected, of course, throughout the school, though, so they pretended not to care. Malfoy and his goons had eagerly taken their positions in the house, and suddenly I found myself grooming the next  generation of the court.

            Oliver, when I did see him, kept complaining because McGonagall would not under any circumstances give Harry back the broom. I didn't care much, I wanted Gryffindor to fall to Slytherin anyway, even if I was dating the team captain. And speaking of Quidditch, there was a Slytherin versus Ravenclaw match about halfway through the month. Oliver and I decided to watch the game together despite the fact that he was rooting for the Ravenclaws while I was obviously rooting for Slytherin.

            "That was a cheap shot!"

            "You think that all the Slytherin shots are cheap shots" I pointed out.

            "Well, most of them are."


            "And McGonagall still hasn't given back the bloody broom, so no offense, but you really need to lose." I glared at him sideways and went back to rooting for my team.

            In the end, of course, Ravenclaw lost miserably to Slytherin. I wanted to celebrate, Oliver wanted to mourn. I kissed him softly and let him go off to mourn with his housemates in peace. I was headed to a massive party in the common room.

            That night, I drank quite a bit of fire whiskey, in celebration. I'd had precious little to celebrate all month and I was making up for lost time. By 2 AM I was fully wasted and wanting to talk to Oliver. Knowing that I'd never be able to find the Gryffindor common room, I took my owl and wrote a quick note to Oliver.

            "Meet me in the Room of Requirements, A.S.A.P." was all it said. My handwriting was sloppy with drunkenness, but it was legible enough.  I quickly snuck out of the common room and made my way to the Room of Requirements. Oliver was waiting there for me, looking concerned.

            "What's going on?" He asked, opening the door to reveal a couch and a fireplace.

            "Hi." I said.

            "You're drunk" he stated dumbly.

            "And you're not wearing shoes!" I giggled. He shook his head and took me inside. "Hey Oliver!" I said in a loud whisper.


            "I love you!" I said as if it were a big secret.

            "You're drunk" he said again, handing me a cup of water from the kitchen that had appeared in the corner of the room.

            "Yes. And you're not wearing any shoes. We've already established that." Oliver shook his head at me and led me to the couch.

            "Lay down, get some sleep, we'll talk when you're sober." He sounded tired, almost annoyed

            The next morning I awoke with a blinding headache to find Oliver resting uneasily in an arm chair.

            "What time is it?" I groaned, clutching at my aching head.

            "About noon," Oliver said through a yawn.

            "Where am I?"

            "Room of Requirements." Oliver stated matter of factly. "do you remember last night?" I thought for a moment. There was a party, obviously, loads of fire whiskey, a note, something about shoes and, oh yeah, I had told Oliver that I loved him.

            "You must think I'm a total bitch," I said, closing my eyes tightly against the painful memory.

            "No, just curious as to why it took about two bottles of fire whiskey to get it out of you."

            "Oliver" I said, looking at him pleadingly, "I haven't told anyone I loved them for 12 years." He nodded and sat next to me.

            "I love you, Lily." He said, looking me straight in the eyes, communicating silently that he meant it, he cared, and he'd never hurt me. I swallowed hard.

            "I love you, too, Oliver Wood." He smiled wider than I had ever seen him simile and kissed me.

            "You taste like fire whiskey."

            "You taste like chocolate." He laughed and kissed me again.

Chapter 12: Why We Love February
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    February, unlike the majority of January turned out to be rather pleasant for Oliver and myself. Of course, classes still sucked, what with "N.E.W.T.s just around the corner" and now even closer, but Oliver and I were doing better than ever. Oliver was still practicing five days a week (a fact that his team absolutely hated him for; they constantly begged me to try and intervene with his stupid practices. Every so often I took pity on them and interrupted the practices, either for a good snogging session or so we could study for some class or another. Once or twice I even had to remind him to stop in time to finish his astronomy work before class.)

    A few days into the month Oliver got some amazing news. He burst noisily into the library, where I had been studying for Ancient Runes, in a state of shock. Madame Pince gave us an evil glare and I had to shush Oliver before we got kicked out of the library. "Oliver, what? You can barely catch your breath!!"

    "It's McGonagall!" It was the first time he had said that phrase without sounding sad or exasperated.

    "What about her?"

    "She's given back the broom! Finally decided that it wasn't jinxed! That Harry can use it in the games! Isn't that wonderful news!" He was so excited he was shaking. I wasn't entirely sure how to respond, for him and his team, yes it was wonderful news, but for the Slytherins it kind of sucked. "Well?!"

    "I'm happy for you" I said, hugging him tightly. "Now shh, before you get me kicked out, I need to study this."

    "That's alright, we need to go practice with Harry's new broom, anyway. I'll see you at dinner?"

    "If you remember to come to dinner." I joked.

    "Bye!" Oliver nearly skipped out of the library and towards the pitch.

    "And you should be studying some too!" I called after him as he ran towards the pitch in his now Quidditch-induced haze. Dinner came and I couldn't help it, my house pride got the better of me.

    "Flint." I said, standing behind him at the table.

    "What do you want?" he asked coldly.

    "The Gryffindors have the Firebolt back. Just thought you'd like to know." He stared at me as I walked away down the table. As I sat down, I glanced over at the Gryffindor table to see Oliver and his Quidditch team talking excitedly, no doubt about how badly they'd destroy the Slytherins now that they had Harry Potter on a Firebolt.

    That week something strange happened, something that hadn't happened in ages; I dreamt about my brother. I was sitting in my bedroom at home, reading a letter, and something compelled me to look up. There, standing in my doorway, was my brother, Liam. I hadn't seen him in years and all I wanted to do was run over and hug him. But something held me back, there was something off about him. "Liam?" I whispered, slowly rising from my seat.

    "I love you, Lily." Liam said, his eyes full of despair, before his figure slowly faded away.

    I awoke with a start in a cold sweat. There was something wrong, something had happened to Liam. I had always known that he was missing, but now I knew that something else was wrong. I glanced at the clock and, seeing that it was 3 am, realized that no one else would be awake. Quietly, I rose from bed and snuck out of the castle. I needed to be outside, I needed to be alone. Seeing as it was mid-February and the middle of the night in northern Scotland, it was damned cold out, but I didn't care. Laying on the cool, crisp grass next to the dark lake, I stared up at the stars, looking for an answer. Where was Liam? What had happened to him? And why was I dreaming of him now, when I hadn't in ages?

    Liam had gone missing around the same time that my mother had died, but I had never believed that he was dead. I knew that he was alive, I knew deep down in my soul that he was still out there, that one day he'd come back to me and we'd be together again. Liam was always the one that made sure I was safe, made sure that nothing happened to me when I was at home. He ruled the Slytherins before my time at Hogwarts and he had always made sure that I had everything I ever wanted. But then, one day, in the middle of the night, I heard a loud ruckus and the he was gone. I never saw him again. I searched and searched but I couldn't find a single trace. My father never cared enough to look, and my mother had been dead for roughly three months at this point, so I felt as though it was up to me. It broke my heart when he left, and I closed myself off from the world, even from McKenzie for awhile, and it broke my heart again when I realized that I wasn't going to find him. But was this a sign? Had something happened to my brother?

    "Where are you, Liam?" I whispered to the night sky, tears stinging in my eyes.

    "Right here." Came a quiet voice from the shadows nearby. I jumped up with a start and stared into the darkness.

    "Wh-who's there?" I asked, pulling my wand from my nightclothes and pointing it towards the shadows. Slowly, a tall figure stepped out into the dim light around the lake. My eyes widened and my wand dropped.

    "It's me, Meme," he opened his arms to embrace me, but I responded in a way that was quite unexpected.

    "Where have you been?!" I screamed, "FOUR YEARS! Not a word! I was worried sick! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!" I broke down in sobs and Liam gently took me in his arms.

    "I'm sorry, Meme, I couldn't tell you where I went, it would've ruined everything."

    "What the fuck are you talking about?" I asked, shoving him off of me. As much as I was relieved to see him alive and apparently entirely healthy, I was pissed off that he had gone four years without a single message, not even a note to say he was alive.

    "They had to think I was dead, Meme, they had to think I was dead so I could find out what really happened to mom without them getting in the way."

    "You couldn't have let me know?" I whispered, tears dripping down my cheeks.

    "Meme, they were watching you. Everything you said, everything you did, someone knew. I had to keep you safe, if they knew that you knew where I was they'd have done anything to find out. I was working against them and they don't like people who work against them." I was so confused at this point that I stopped questioning things and just hugged Liam. "Meme, mom was killed because she knew something." I looked up at him, unsure of how to respond.

    "What could Momma have known that would have gotten her killed?"

    "I'm not sure, but I'm going to find out. But I had to see you, I had to see you before this got any further." I looked at him, once more confused.

    "Liam Potter what have you gotten yourself into??" I asked, not wanting to let him go.

    "I'll tell you everything, but not now, not here. I have to go, Meme, but I'll contact you soon, I promise." And with that, Liam pulled away from me and disappeared back into the dark forest. Now fully confused, I decided that it was time to return to bed.

    Everything was going well as the Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw game began. Oliver was in perfect form - someone had let slip that a scout from Puddlemere might be in the stands. Unfortunately, the knuckleheads in 3rd year Slytherin decided to have a little fun with the Gryffindor seeker. Draco and his cronies snuck onto the field dressed as dementors, but Harry didn't miss a beat. He sent the most amazing patronus charm at them, scaring them to high heaven. I'm not going to lie, I was impressed with the twerp. Oliver, however, was fuming when I found him after the game.

    "I can't believe them! They're despicable! Those bloody cheaters! Well, we'll show those ugly, miserable Sly-" he stopped short. "Sorry, I got a little carried away."

    "No you didn't but c'mon, I know you hate my friends. Don't worry, though, because they pretty much hate you, too." I smiled at him, I'd stopped caring about the 'miserable Slytherin' comments that tended to slip out during Oliver's quidditch rants long ago. Besides, what those idiots did was pretty low - even for Slytherins. Oliver continued his rant all the way back to the castle and straight through dinner.

    Unfortunately, the day's excitement was far from over. That night, the castle was awoken when none other than Sirius Black attempted to kill that Weasley brat in 3rd year. The castle was searched - again - and security was tightened - again.  What a bloody great way to spend 7yh year, hiding from a psycho maniac killer. It was barely a week into February and already I'd had more than enough excitement, between Oliver's quidditch, Liam magically reappearing, and now this, I was ready to just sleep until March.

    Luckily, most of the rest of the month was dull, filled with N.E.W.T. practices and, well, sleeping. Almost every spare minute was spent studying or doing homework assignments. What little time I could spare from that I spent trying to find a job for after I graduated. I was debating between the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and the Department for International Magical Cooperation. All I knew was that I wanted a ministry job - and bad. Oliver, of course, had no idea what he would do if he didn't get invited to play for a Quidditch squad, but, as I kept reminding him, they'd be crazy not to take him.

And I was right.

    It was the last week of February when the letter came. I watched as Oliver carefully removed the Puddlemere seal and read the excruciatingly tiny handwriting once, twice, three times before making any sort of response. Slowly, he lowered the letter, face blank.

    "Don't worry, Oliver, there's always the Cannons, or - " I began, but was cut off.

    "I got it! They want me to be their reserve keeper!" I screamed, drawing the attention of the entire all, and hugged Oliver.

    "I'm so proud of you!"

    "We're celebrating tonight. Be ready at 7," he said.

    It was nearly impossible to sit still during lessons that day. I was so proud of Oliver! But at the same time, it made me think about our future together - and if we had a future together or not.

    That night at 7 Oliver met me outside the Slytherin common room. He took my hand and led me out onto the grounds.

    "Where are we going?" I asked

    "You'll see," he turned a corner and leaning against the wall of the castle was his broom, as if it were waiting for us. Oliver got on and then helped me up in front of him. Placing his arms around me, he gently took off, rising quickly into the cold February air.

    "I'm not too good with flying." I admitted as we climbed further and further until we were well above the ground.

    "Don't worry, I'd never let anything happen to you." I smiled and Oliver turned the broom toward one of the many towers of Hogwarts. He landed softly and then I saw, tucked away in a shadow, a folded blanket, two glasses and a bottle of Champaign.

    "Oliver" I whispered, getting off the broom, "why are you doing this?" I asked, amazed that he would do all of this for me.

    "I told you, to celebrate." I turned to face him.

    "This is your big thing, shouldn't I be doing something for you?" He placed his arms around me and gently kissed my forehead.

    "Do you love me?"

    "Of course"

    "And are you standing here with me, right now?"


    "Then that's all I need from you." I smiled and shoved him playfully.


Chapter 13: The Showdown
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A/N: Hey guys! Sorry this is taking a little longer to get out, I have a whole bunch of school work that I need to finish up. Also, just a note that Liam calling Lily "Meme" (pronounced like "Maymay", btw) is a reference to Firefly/Serenety. Ok, well here it is! A nice long chapter!

   February turned into March and the weather began to grow warmer. All of my time was taken up by studying for N.E.W.T.s and what little time not spent studying was spent sleeping. Oliver and I barely saw each other outside of classes what with the Gryffindor versus Slytherin quidditch match coming up, Oliver was running the team harder than ever. We, of course, never spoke of the match. It was an unspoken understanding that I would be rooting for my house, though supporting Oliver as well. But we'd worry about that at the game. March was a blur of papers and practice exams and late night study sessions that led to sleep deprivation and sleeping in classes. Unfortunately, one such case of what I used to call sudden onset class-naps came on during a fairly important lesson of Transfigurations - and McGonagall caught me.

    The night before I had been up until dawn studying for the practice exam that McGonagall was giving. In fact, I'd been up for most of the weekend before the class. Transfigurations was quite possibly my worst subject and I needed a good grade on the practice exam if I had any shot at passing the N.E.W.T. Unfortunately for me, due to the late-night study session, I was literally falling asleep all day. By the time Transfigurations came about, I was ready to fall asleep on my feet, Oliver had to keep flicking me under our table to keep me awake. Eventually, however, I just couldn't stay awake anymore and I feel asleep - right in the middle of the practice exam.

    "Miss Potter!" McGonagall called from about 2 inches away from my ear. I suddenly jerked awake, startled by the rather loud interruption of my very pleasant dream.

    "Yes, Professor?" I asked groggily.

    "Were you planning on turning in your exam and proceeding to your next class? Or were you merely going to sleep through the rest of the day in my classroom?" I looked around and noticed that Oliver and I were the only ones left in the room - he was standing by the door and I was sitting at my desk. With a half-finished exam in front of me.

    "Shit." I said and glanced over to Oliver. He looked back sympathetically and mouthed "I'll wait outside" before slipping into the hallway.

    "Detention, Miss Potter, and 10 points for your language. Now turn in your exam."

    "But Professor, I can't turn in a half-finished exam. I need this to pass."

    "Turn in your exam, Miss Potter, and I will see you tonight for your detention. You are excused." I sat there in a stunned silence for the longest time before I realized that if I didn't leave soon I'd be late for charms, which would mean more points deducted and probably another detention.

    "I fucking hate Mondays" I mumbled as I met Oliver in the hallway and we proceeded to our next class. The last thing I needed at the moment was a detention, I mean, c'mon, I barely had time to breathe as it was! And with McGonagall? She hated me, she always had.

    I groaned and complained all through Charms and straight through dinner, which I spent in the library doing my homework that I wouldn't have time to do because of the detention. Oliver, being the sweet person that he was, brought me a sandwich in the library and even sat with me, helping where he could. Time for detention came far too quickly and I hurriedly packed away my things before running off towards McGonagall's class. The clock struck 8 just as I walked in the door.

    "Ah, Miss Potter." McGonagall said from her desk, "do come in and have a seat." I walked in and took a seat where she indicated - front row center.

    "You're not going to have me write lines or something, are you?" I asked suspiciously. McGonagall never gave out B.S. detentions like that. Usually her detentions involved manual labor.

    "No, Miss Potter, you will not be writing lines." I sighed in relief. There was nothing more boring than writing lines. Except maybe classes…"Sitting in front of you, Miss Potter, is the exam that you decided to use as a pillow earlier this afternoon. When you finish it, and have checked it carefully, you may leave." I looked at her in shock. What was she doing?

    "But Professor…" I began.

    "Please do not argue, Miss Potter. You may begin." I stared at her for a moment as she sat at her desk grading papers before turning my attention to the exam that sat on my desk. She was serious. She was really giving me another chance. I couldn't believe it. An hour and a half later, when I had finished my exam and double checked everything, I turned in the paper and began to leave, pausing at the door and turning to face McGonagall.

    "Thank you, Professor." I said before leaving the classroom.

    The rest of March went by quickly. I did my best to avoid sleeping during classes, except once in a while I'd catch a nap during potions. Snape, after all, loved me to death and I was his best student in our year, but that'd beside the point. As April rolled around, so did the Twins' birthday.

    "Lily!" Fred called one Friday morning as I crossed the Great Hall.

    "Hullo, boys." I said, hugging them both. I had had a good week and was looking forward to the weekend.

    "What are you doing tonight?" George asked me.

    "Astronomy" I said, making a face.

    "No, you're not. You're going to skive off Astronomy tonight." Fred replied. I looked at him as though he were insane.

    "You're kidding, right? Oliver'll kill me if I skive off any more classes."

    "He's going to, too."

    "Yeah, you two are coming to our party tonight, in the room of requirements. Be there at 8!" I laughed and shook my head. Leave it to the twins to demand my presence at their party instead of class.

    "Fine, boys, I'll be there. But don't expect a gift!" they pouted playfully as I walked away from them and towards my first class of the day.

    That night at 8 o'clock I made my way to the Room of Requirements. It was nice to be able to relax and spend time with Oliver and my friends without worrying about classes or exams.  I mean, I hadn't even had any alcohol since the rather disastrous quidditch celebration in January. As I entered the room, I saw Fred and George being their normal selves and drawing a large crowd around them on the dance floor. The next thing that drew my attention, however, was Oliver, sitting by the bar with a butterbeer in his hand, looking distracted. Slowly, I walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. He jumped, seeming to come out of some sort of trance.

    "You alright there, Wood?" I asked, jokingly.

    "Huh? Oh, uh, yeah, just, ya know, thinking."

    "About the match?" I asked, knowingly. He nodded. "Oliver Wood, the quidditch match is more than two weeks away and you're at a friggin' party. Now put down that butterbeer, slap a smile on your face, and come dance with your sexy girlfriend." Oliver looked at me for a moment before smiling and shaking his head.

    "'Friggin'? Since when do you say 'friggin'?"

    "Since the damn professors have been working me so hard that I forgot to curse?" I tried.

    "Mmhmm. Or maybe you've finally realized that there are better ways to express yourself than through curse words." He smirked at me as he put down his butterbeer. He always had thought my cursing was a bad habit.

    Oliver and I danced - and drank - all night until there were only a few people left at the party. Even the twins were looking tired as Oliver took me in his arms for yet another dance. It was nearly 5 in the morning and we were both thoroughly drunk by the time we decided to call it a night. We stopped just outside the Slytherin common room and I turned to say goodnight to Oliver, but that isn't what came out.

    "He's back." I whispered, finally letting my secret out.

    "Who?" Wood asked, looking concerned.

    "My brother!" I laughed, which quickly turned into sobbing. "He's back, and he knows something." Oliver took me gently in his arms but didn't say anything. "I'm sorry." I sobbed into his shoulder.

    "Sorry? Why are you sorry?" I pulled away from him and looked him in his eyes. I may have been drunk, but I wasn't stupid. He really had no idea what I was talking about.

    "I should have told you! Something could've happened to me, or to you! And you don’t even know what's going on!" I cried harder.

    "Ssshh, Lil, go to bed, we'll talk about this tomorrow."

    "Why does that sound so familiar?" I asked, referring to the quidditch celebration incident.  We said our goodnights and I wobbled my way into bed, falling asleep quickly.

    "Liam? Liam where are you?" I called. He had sent me an owl about a week after he had decided to make himself known. In the letter I'd been asked to meet him outside of The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade so that we could talk. Apparently he'd uncovered some new information about our mother's death. 

    "Over here, Lily." I smiled and ran to my brother, hugging him quickly before we entered the tavern. Finding a small table hidden in a corner, Liam ordered two butterbeers from Madame Rosemarta and sat down opposite me.

    "Start talking, bud, before I kill you for making me worry about you for the past four years." Liam smiled and took a long sip of his drink before beginning his story.

    "I can't tell you everything, meme, but I can tell you a lot." I nodded, acknowledging the compromise and imploring him to continue. "Momma was killed because she knew things, things that certain people didn't want her to know." He paused and took another long sip before continuing. "Somehow she managed to befriend members of You Know Who's top circle, and she learned things. She learned names and places and plans, things that only the most trusted Death Eaters were told. And she went to Professor Dumbledore with the information." I looked at Liam confused.

    "What are you saying, Liam? Momma was a Death Eater?" I couldn’t believe that for a moment. Father, without a doubt, was at the very least a He Who Must Not Be Named sympathizer if not a Death Eater, but Mother would never have done anything like that.

    "No, meme, she went to Professor Dumbledore with her information. She became a spy for something called the Order of the Phoenix. But someone found out and they killed her. And they've been watching you to make sure that you don't follow in our mother's footsteps." I couldn't believe what I was being told. My mother was murdered by Death Eaters because she knew something?

    "But what could be so important that they would kill her now, when He Who Must Not Be Named had been dead and gone for almost a decade? And why would they be watching me?"

    "She knew something about Him. She knew something that could help Dumbledore stop him from ever coming back. And the Death Eaters think that she may have told us."

    "Liam." I said, seriously, "what did she know?"

    "I don't know" he said, half convincingly.

    "Bull shit, now tell me."

    "Meme, I can't. If they find out that you know your life could be in danger. And your boyfriend's life."

    "According to you my life is already in danger, and how do you know about my boyfriend?"  I was starting to get irritated with my older brother.

    "I have my ways. And yes, your life may already be in danger, but not nearly as much as if I tell you."

    "Liam, stop being a pompous ass and just tell me what she knew already."

    "Fine." He said, after sighing deeply. "I don't know exactly, but it had something to do with You Know Who coming back and the location of certain objects. I'm still trying to figure out what the objects have to do with him, they seem like random, mostly useless objects. I mean, I don't even know what they all are, but I know that they're important." Liam looked at me seriously for a minute before continuing. "Meme, tell
no one about this. Please, promise me." I looked at him for a second, thinking it over, thinking over everything he had told me, before I nodded in agreement. I would not tell anyone what he had told me, but I would have to tell Oliver something eventually, especially if his life could be in danger.

    The next morning, after taking some very disgusting potions for my hangover, I found Oliver sitting in the Library, planning out Quidditch moves. I told him everything that I could about how Liam had returned and told me of my mother's murder. And then I told him how Liam felt that we might be in danger. Oliver laughed and reassured me that nothing was going to happen to us, especially not while we were still at Hogwarts. I smiled, pretending to believe him, and the subject was dropped. He was far too preoccupied with the upcoming Slytherin versus Gryffindor match to worry about crazed Death Eaters anyway.

    The match came faster than either of us would've liked. The entire quidditch cup came down to this game, and I was torn between rooting for my house and rooting for my boyfriend. Oliver and I had barely spoken at all in the week leading up to the match, partially because we hardly had time to breathe, let alone speak, and partially because we didn't want to talk about the match. On the morning of the game I met Oliver in the Great Hall for breakfast. I was fully decked out in my Slytherin gear and Oliver was wearing his Quidditch robes. I sat down next to him and suddenly found myself face to face with the entire Quidditch team.

    "You can't sit here." Fred said, his normal smile gone from his face.

    "What are you talking about? I have breakfast with you guys all the bloody time!"

    "Sorry, Lily, but today you're a Slytherin." Harry added. I glared at him and he backed away.

    "C'mon, Oliver, tell them I can stay here." I said, looking at my boyfriend for support. He, however, couldn't meet my eyes.

    "I'm sorry, Potter, but they're right. Today you're a Slytherin, you should be with your own kind." I couldn't believe he had just said that to me.

    "Excuse me, Wood?" I spat. "My own kind?" I was getting angry now. "Well, since I'm a Slytherin today, I s'pose I'd better act like one, eh?" I growled, standing. I pointed my wand at the group and mutter a few spells, causing the team to stick fast to their seats and become unable to make a sound. I smirked at them and said "Good luck today, you're going to need it," before walking over to the Slytherin table.

    The match itself was, of course, the biggest match of the year. The Slytherins took their seats at the pitch and found themselves surrounded by a sea of red and gold. We, however, were not to be deterred. Everywhere you looked there were banners and signs, rooting for the Slytherin team and dragging down the Gryffindors, especially Harry. As the game progressed, the taunts that came from the Slytherin stands began to outweigh the cheers from the rest of the students.

    "Hey Wood! Try and block it next time!" I shouted as he let a goal score. He may have been my boyfriend, (and Gryffindor may have been winning), but what he'd said at breakfast had really pissed me off something awful. "Good thing that Puddlemere scout isn't here! You're bloody awful!" I shouted when he let another goal score. He turned towards me, eyes filled with hurt and anger, and scowled. Quickly, however, his attention turned back to the game as he blocked a shot from the Slytherin chasers. "Fuck" I muttered and sat back down.

    The match ended, of course, with the bloody Gryffindors winning. The Quidditch Cup was theirs. But that didn't mean that the showdown between the houses was over. As the teams landed on the field and everyone ran to congratulate the Gryffindors, the Slytherin team was planning its revenge and setting up traps in the Gryffindor locker room.

    "Lily!" I heard a voice call as I began to exit the stadium. I stopped in my tracks and turned towards the person who'd called.

    "What do you want, Quidditch Boy? I'm a Slytherin today, remember? That means you hate me." My face was hard and cold. My eyes emotionless. Wood was notably taken aback by my response.

    "Lily, c'mon, the game is over."

    "Yes, and you mudblood lovers won." I snapped. Normally I don't use the word mudblood, but I was in a right foul mood, and it was all his fault.

    "Excuse me?"

    "You heard me, Wood, now go and celebrate with your team. We Slytherins don't associate with Gryffindors." I turned on my heels and walked away, leaving a very confused, and slightly angry, Oliver Wood behind me.

A/N: Only two chapters left! But I'm thinking about a sequel and/or a Sirius Black story :)

Chapter 14: It All Comes To An End
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A/N First of all, thank you so much to everyone who's reviewed (I haven't had the time to go back and reply to all of them)! You have no idea how much it means to me. Ok, here's the last chapter before the epilogue. I'm probably going to do a sequel, but I'm thinking of doing a Sirius story first because, let's face it, Sirius Black is the man. Also, I'm probably not going to get a chance to submit the epilogue for this story until after the submissions hiatus for DH is over, so I'm apologizing now for that. I think that's mainly it, so, without further ado, enjoy!:

    The mood in the common room that night was subdued to say the least. I was so angry at how Oliver had been treating me all day that I didn't even feel like studying. I had heard that Oliver cared more about that stupid Quidditch cup than anything else, and trust me, I knew that he really loved quidditch, but I never thought that he would treat me like that over a stupid quidditch game when I didn't even care about the stupid bloody game. Was I ready to break-up with him over something as stupid as this? Not really. But I wanted to be damn sure that he knew that I was pissed off about it.

    Sunday was spent writing papers in the Slytherin common room - not something that I usually did. Normally, my day would be spent in the Library so if there were any reference books that I needed they'd be right there. However, avoiding Oliver was much more important than having books at hand at the moment. And the one place I could avoid Oliver for certain? The Slytherin common room.

    "Well well well, if it isn't little miss 'I'm too good for the Slytherins now'"

    "Jason Avery, what in the world do you want?" I asked, putting down my textbook and looking up at him.

    "We were just wondering why you're in here, instead of off with Quidditch boy and his band of idiots."

    "Why do you care?"

    "I don't."

    "Good, now if you'll excuse me, I still need to add 3 inches to this essay." I turned back to my work, figuring that Avery would just turn and walk away. But he didn't.

    "Was it the game?"

    "Excuse me?"

    "Is that why you two are fighting? Because of the stupid Quidditch game?" He knew it was true before I even responded. He laughed, as if in triumph, and then noticed that the look I was giving him was not one of anger, but of sadness. "He's a wanker if he cares more about his bloody Quidditch game than you." Jason said, his voice gentler than I'd ever heard it. I looked at him in surprise as he slowly turned and walked away. This was not the Jason Avery I had known for so very long.

    I spent the next week ignoring Oliver. It was surprisingly easy, actually, all I had to do was spend as much time in the Slytherin common room or my dorm as possible. As for classes, well, we were getting into more and more practice exams, so there really wasn't any need for talking to him during those either. Oliver, however, was not having quite as easy of a time with my ignoring him. Ok, let's be honest here, he was distraught. Apparently he honestly didn't see why I was so upset with him, after all "it was only a Quidditch match!"

    Things finally came to a head on Saturday. Being utterly sick of the common room, and the idiots that were currently occupying it, I decided to take a walk outside. Oliver, it seemed, had the same idea. He was walking along the shore of the dark lake with his head down and his hands in his pockets. He glanced up briefly and saw me, freezing instantly. I didn't know what to do, I couldn't just turn and walk away, that would be stupid, so I stood there, no more than a yard away from him, staring right back.

    "Lily" Oliver said quietly after a moment or two. He sounded sad.

    "Yes, Wood?" I snarled. I was still pretty pissed off.

    "Lily," he said again, closing the distance between us in one giant step. He took my chin in his hand and looked into my eyes. His warm, chocolate brown eyes were begging me for forgiveness. "I'm sorry. Merlin, I am so sorry. I don't even know what I did wrong and I'm sorry! But mostly, I'm sorry because I've made a total bollocks of the best thing that's ever happened to me." Slowly, gently, he brought his lips to mine. At first, being taken in by his words, I did nothing. Eventually my senses came back to me and I pulled away.

    "Oliver, you don't even know why I'm mad at you!"

    "Does it matter? I'm so sorry, please, give me another chance." He looked so pathetic, but I wasn't quite ready to forgive him just yet.

    "I love you, Oliver, but I'm not so sure you feel the same." I said quietly as I turned
and walked back into the castle. Way to ruin a beautiful weekend.

    I woke up the next morning to find a vibrant red rose on my bedside table, and there was a note attached.
I'm still not sure exactly what I did to make you so upset, but it's killing me. It's killing me that I did something to hurt you, and it's killing me not spending every minute of my time with you. You told me yesterday that you weren't sure if I really loved you, but somewhere, deep inside, you must know that I love you more than anything. I love you more than Quidditch, I would even stop playing if it meant that you would be with me just a little while longer. Please forgive me?
~ Oliver Wood

    I was in tears by the end of the note. Of course I had to forgive him now, and maybe I'll even tell him what he did wrong sometime. I wiped the tears from my face and quickly got dressed before heading out to find Mr. Wood himself.  I found him in the great all and ran into his arms, kissing him.

    "Good morning to you, too, love." He grinned that cheeky grin of his.

    "Do you mean it?" I asked, my vulnerability shinning through my eyes, pleading with him not to break my heart.

    "Of course. I'll write the letter to Puddlemere right now if you want me to." Oliver looked sad but determined as he uttered those words. He began to pull away, in order to search for a quill and parchment.

    "No." that stopped him quick.

    "I thought…Isn't this what you wanted?"

    "No, Oliver, I'd never ask you to give up Quidditch." He looked at me, now utterly flummoxed, which made me laugh as I continued. "I just wanted to know that you would." I whispered.

    The school year was rapidly coming to a close, exams were taking over our lives, and our futures were looming like ever-present storm clouds on the horizon. In a little over a week we would no longer be in Hogwarts, we'd be in the real world. Oliver, I feared, would find someone prettier and smarter and all around better than I was and leave me (ok, ok, so it was an irrational fear). I'd probably be moving out of my father's house, but then what? Where would my life take me? More and more I found myself debating these questions instead of studying for my N.E.W.T.s, which is probably why I sat there, in my last exam ever, staring at a completely blank parchment and freaking out for a good 10 minutes before I even attempted to begin.

    Boy was I glad when that exam was over. Oliver and I made our way to the grounds, deciding to take in the beautiful day before our teachers let us know how poorly we did in their classes this year. We sat under a tree by the dark forest, quietly taking in our surroundings and reveling in our freedom.

    "What do you think's going to happen after we leave here?" I asked suddenly.

    "I dunno, Lil. I s'pose we'll go on with our lives, though it is kind of odd to think that we're not going to be coming back here next year." I nodded and leaned against him. "Lily?" he said, quietly, nervously.


    "Can I ask you something?"

    "You just did, genius, but yeah, go ahead."

    "Well, after we leave here, well, I mean, Puddlemere, they're putting me up in a real nice flat in London." I was totally lost. Why was he telling me that his team had bought him a flat?


    "Well, and I mean, you don't have to if you don't want to."

    "Oliver, stop stuttering, what are you trying to ask me?"

    "Well, I know you're going to be working for the ministry, right? And that's in London, too, so, I mean, I figured, maybe you could move in with me? Only if you wanted to of course." He was so cute when he was nervous.

    "What are you, stupid?" I asked him. His face fell.

    "It was a bad idea, I knew it was, I shouldn't've - "

    "Of course I'll move in with you, silly," I said, cutting off his rambling.

    We sat in silence until the sun had disappeared beyond the horizon. "I still can't believe that it's all ending." I said, sadly. Oliver wrapped his arms around me and replied.

    "What are you talking about? It's all just beginning."

Chapter 15: Epilogue
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    Sitting on the Hogwarts Express I could not help but be slightly depressed. Never again would I ride on this train, speeding towards the castle that I had called home for 7 years, the place where I had learned magic, where I had grown up, where I had fallen in love. It would be easier, now, for Oliver and myself, no longer having to worry about house rivalry. More importantly, however, I no longer held any power. I had, in the span of hours, gone from the most feared and respected young woman within the halls of the school, to a mere intern in the ministers office. But I would work my way up again, of that I was sure, and this time I would have Oliver by my side, supporting me…

    Or would I? The old doubts kept popping into my head. Sure, he'd said that he would quit Quidditch for me, but…but what if he met someone else? Quidditch teams were notorious for having long road trips where they didn't see their homes for ages. I couldn't very well go with him, seeing as I would be working close to 7 days a week, and long hours at that. Would Oliver stay by my side as I worked through the ranks? Would it be N.E.W.T.s all over again? I was terrified that we'd hardly see each other and fall out of love, or, worse, stay in love but feel painfully, painfully alone. Eventually Oliver would gain great fame, meet some starlet, and forget all about me.
   "SHUT UP" I said to the voice in my head that was spouting doubt and hateful words.

    "Lily?" Oliver looked at me, concern glittering in his chocolate brown eyes. "Lil, are you alright? You're yelling at yourself."

    "Huh? Oh, oh, yeah, I'm fine." Oliver nodded, though he looked thoroughly unconvinced.

    I knew, even then, that Oliver and I would have our ups and downs. I knew that there would be rough patches and good times. I knew that our relationship would be tested at least once, especially with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named on the rise again - and my friends most likely in on it. But, more than I knew all that, I knew that I wanted to be with Oliver, that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Oliver Wood. When I looked into Oliver's eyes not only did I see the warm chocolate-brown that I had fallen so deeply in love with, I also saw our future. I saw a house nestled in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by green. I saw children and pets and family, gathered around a fire in the winter, or swimming in a nearby pond in the summer. I saw Oliver and I bringing our children shopping in Diagon Alley, or taking them to platform 9 ¾ for their first day of school. I saw our future together. And I ached to make it happen.

    But did he feel the same? Did he care as much as I did? When he looked at me, did he see the things that I saw when I looked at him? The last thing I wanted was to tell him everything that I wanted, everything that I dreamed of, only to have him laugh in my face. I may have been an adult as far as the Ministry was concerned, but inside I was still that trembling little girl, shaking for approval and aching to belong.

    Suddenly, I felt the wetness of tears running down my cheek and a rough finger wiping them away. I turned my head up to look into Oliver's eyes, trying to read his thoughts.

    "Oliver?" I asked in a weak voice.

    "Yes, Lily?"

    "Promise me something?"


    "Promise me you'll stay with me?"

    "Always" he said, gently, a smile spreading across his quidditch-tanned face.

    We sat in silence as the train continued on its path, speeding away from our past and towards our future.

    I sit here now, 15 years later, in a small flat in London. My story may not have gone exactly as I wished it would, it certainly hasn't turned out like I dreamed back when I was a teenager, but I'm happy with where I am in life. Most of my friends from Hogwarts are dead or in Azkaban, casualties of the second war, and I couldn't tell you where most of my family is right now, but none of it matters, not anymore. I kept in touch with as many of my friends as I could, Harry and I still talk and I absolutely love his children and Godson. George and I lost touch awhile back, he was never the same after his brother died, he withdrew himself from many of his friends. Every so often I make it back up to Hogwarts to visit the school, to see Hagrid's newest discoveries, to watch the children run around the castle, carefree now that The Dark Lord has fallen. Draco, well, Draco and I had a thing a few years back, I'm not going to lie about that, and he's one of the few Slytherins I'm still in contact with. "But what about Oliver?" I'm sure you're asking yourself. Well…that's a story for another day…