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Ruined by ravenclaw_princess

Format: Short story
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 2,731
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a mild sexual nature, Substance abuse

Genres: Drama, Angst
Characters: Harry, Hermione, Oliver

First Published: 01/25/2016
Last Chapter: 01/25/2016
Last Updated: 02/15/2016

Accused of cheating at the Quidditch World Cup, Oliver must fight to prove his innocence while his career is left in ruins. As he delves into the mystery of how he was poisoned, he suddenly finds himself embroiled in an international scandal that could cost him more than just his career.

Chapter 1: Cheat
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Disclaimer: Everything you recognise belongs to JKR

The stern looks upon the faces of his coach and manager told Oliver that something was terribly amiss. The presence of Kyle Donovan, Head of Magical Games and Sport in the British Ministry, was a sign that he was in huge trouble. The hardened gaze of Leighton Morrison, the Director of the World Cup was an indication of impending disaster.

“Take a seat Mr Wood,” Kyle said sternly. Oliver looked at his coach, Bradley Dunsten, but he gazed away, as did his manager, Clinton. Oliver cast his mind back to the first pool match of the cup. He didn't think he'd done anything wrong. Yes, he'd fouled a couple of times, but nothing that should have set him up on a collision course for a meeting with the judiciary.

Oliver sat down, his heart beating wildly in his chest and sending vibrations through his entire body. His palms were starting to sweat and he could feel his temperature rising as dread took a hold of him.

“Mr Wood. I'm going to get straight to the point. Your blood results from yesterday's match have tested positive for Felix Felicis and Aux Emendare.
The rest of his words faded to a background murmur. Liquid luck and a performance enhancing potion. Both were highly illegal in sporting circles. Oliver knew this and had never touched the stuff. His temperature was rapidly rising. How could he have tested positive to them? This couldn't be right. Quidditch was his life, he'd never do anything to jeopardise it.
“You are suspended indefinitely.”
The words broke through Oliver's mind, splintering his world in two. His eyes grew wide as the realisation of the words suddenly sunk in. He looked around the room at the four pairs of eyes that were staring him down, making him feel like a flubberworm in a pile of mud. “No”, Oliver said, meekly, more to himself than anyone else as he looked away from the eyes that were boring into him. He was fully in the grip of shock as he slowly shook his head from side to side. He glanced again at each person in the room and then settled upon his coach, the one who had mentored him and helped him to grow into the player he was.
“I didn't do anything wrong sir,” Oliver beseeched, I didn't take any illegal potions.”
“With all due respect,” Donovan began.
“No you have to listen to me,” Oliver was frantic now. The initial shock had worn away and the full reality of the situation was settling in the pit of his stomach. He got to his feet, running his hand through his hair as he considered what could have possibly happened to land him in this mess. “The samples must have been mixed, someone must be framing me. I'll take veritaserum, that will prove...”
“Please Mr Wood, sit down.” Donovan demanded, without a hint of amusement on his face. His lips were drawn into a thin line and his eyes were hard and cold as they stared him down.
Oliver lowered himself back into his seat, feeling defeated without even having a chance to fight. He was shaking from the shock and the adrenalin that was coursing through him.
“As I was saying,” Donovan continued, “you are suspended indefinitely from all competitive quidditch and a formal hearing will take place in due course. You are also banned from any endorsement contracts that relate to quidditch. All previous tests and samples will be rechecked to see, in light of of recent events, if anything was overlooked. You have brought this game into disrepute Mr Wood. We will not tolerate cheating on any level. Your country follows you, children look up to you. You have let down your team, you have let down your coach, you have let down your entire country. I will leave you now with your with coach and manager and once you're done, I will ask you to clean out your locker and hotel room and remove your tainted presence from the World Cup venue, never to return. I will have security meet you outside the door to escort you out.”
Oliver sat motionless as the Head of Magical Games and Sports and Director of the World Cup left the room, leaving him alone with his coach and manager who looked upon him with a mixture of disappointment and disgust.
“How could you Oliver?” Bradley asked, shaking his head in disbelief. “You're the best keeper this game has seen in so many years. England has a real shot at winning the cup this year. You had such a promising career ahead of you.” He threw his arms in the air and paced the room, finding his next words. “To say I'm disappointed is an understatement.”
Oliver felt numb inside. His whole world had just crashed down around him in an instant and he felt powerless. “I didn't cheat sir, you have to believe me, please.”
Clinton just shock his head. “We want to Oliver, we really do, bit we've seen the evidence and there's no doubt that Felix Felicis and Aux Emendare were in your blood yesterday during the match. We'd noticed a few changes in blood samples given over this past season, but not enough to cause alarm bells and Aux Emendare was never detected. But now, everything is stacking up against you.”
“I didn't do this, I would never cheat. I'll take veritaserum to prove it.” Oliver was desperate. Veriterserum was a terrible potion that could reveal so much about himself. If he took it, he would lay his entire soul bare for scrutiny and nothing would stay hidden. But what other choice did he have? But in front of him, his coach was shaking his head. It seemed like fate had already decided that he was guilty and there would be no trial, no chance to prove his innocence.
“You know as well as I do that the use of veritiserum is highly regulated by the Ministry and it can only be administered under strict circumstances and professional drug cheating has never been one of them. There are also rumours of underground potions in professional sporting circles that counteract veritaserum. Unless you come to us with some concrete evidence, there's nothing we can do.”
“Please Sir, tell me that you believe me. I've been poisoned somehow, someone wants me off the team.”
His coach just looked at him in pity. “I need your robes back Oliver.”
It was the final crushing blow. He was on his own. His career was ruined. He was ruined. Tomorrow, his face would be plastered all over the front page of the Prophet as a drug cheat and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Oliver was paralysed and sat on the chair rocking back and forth replying the words over and over in his head.
“Your robes Oliver.”
Oliver blinked several time as the words brought him out of his trance like state. Slowly he removed his robes and held them out to his coach who took them from him and tossed them upon the floor. He felt naked, striped of the clothing that identified him to the world. Without them, he was nothing and his life was just like his robes, a pile of dirty laundry upon the floor.
“You're dismissed. Now get out of my sight. I don't want to see you ever again.”
With heavy feet, Oliver inched his way towards the solid oak doors. They stood as the last garrison between his dream and ruin, looming large before him in the tunnel vision that saw nothing other than a precipice that would throw his life into chaos. All too soon he was at the doors and once through them, it would signal his end. There would be no turning back, no redemption. He was guilty in the eyes of all those who should have wanted to fight for him. But instead, they were sending him out into the cold to fight the media wolves you would tear at his last threads of dignity.
“I didn't cheat Sir,” Oliver said one last time softly, his hand poised on the door handle. He turned his head and looked his coach and friend right in the eye “and I'll prove it to you, if it's the last thing I do.”
With that, Oliver pulled down the door handle and took the plunge into the swirling abyss, wondering just what state he'd be in when he finally reached the bottom and just how he would be able to climb back up to the surface.
As promised, two burly security men waited outside of the doors. Oliver didn't look at them, he just continued to walk to his locker room as they flanked him either side, making him feel like a prisoner being taken to the gallows. He made his way to his locker, emblazoned with his name and position as Keeper for England, only to see it change to 'cheater' in front of him. Oliver stared at the engraved accusation. This wasn't how it was meant to be.
He was so immensely proud to be representing England. All his life, he'd dreamed of playing quidditch for his country. He'd been average at school. He'd passed all his O.W.L's and N.E.W.T.S, some just barely, but he'd never found a passion for anything other than quidditch. It had been his life at Hogwarts and with much grit and determination, he'd been selected for the Puddlemere United training squad.
Making the training squad was the start of a long road. He started as third reserve with two talented keepers ahead of him. He would get game time in the third division league, but it pulled very little attention apart from a few scouts looking for talent to poach. Oliver trained hard at every practice, turning up with his best attitude and working hard at any critiques. Outside of the scheduled training, he would run and hit the gym, study books and technical break downs of past games and then hone his skills in his personal training pitch.
Through an unfortunate accident that left the top keeper with terrible concussion, numerous broken bones and an unyielding phobia of bludgers, Oliver made second reserve. It was here, that he was finally noticed. Through pure skill, in his first five second division matches, he let only one quaffle through the goals. He could still remember the day when Bradley had come up to him after the game and called him into his office.
“I've seen a few keepers in my time,” Bradley had said, a big smile on his face, “but none such as you. You're wasted in second reserve. How would you like to play with us against the Chudley Cannons on Saturday.”
Oliver managed to shake his hand while incoherently saying his thanks. In the resulting match, Oliver had kept the Cannons scoreless, making some spectacular saves in the process. They had also caught the snitch leading to a thrashing at 510 points to 0. From that day on, Oliver firmly held his spot as top keeper. Other clubs had tried to sway them with lucrative deals and bonuses, but Oliver was firmly loyal to the team that had given him his start.
The only one who was unhappy about his meteoric rise to stardom was Ivan Chester, now relegated back to second reserve and not too impressed about it. He quit the team two months after Oliver's appointment. Oliver wasn't sad to see him go, he'd always had a nasty streak and a self righteous attitude. During the locker room talk, Oliver had learnt that he'd bought his way onto the team rather than earn it. His family was well connected in quidditch circles thanks to his fathers fame playing chaser with the Falmouth Falcons and then moving on to commentating. His skills were okay, but the team didn't rate him as highly as they rated Oliver, nor did the see him as a team player. They figured that he would jump ship as soon as a better offer was presented.
But all was for naught now. Oliver opened his locker and threw his few possessions into his duffel bag and grabbed his broom. There wasn't much, the locker looking incredibly large without his navy blue robes hanging proud. He donned his England team jacket, not having anything else on him to ward off the Autumn chill; he hadn't come in today expecting that it would be his last time. He then closed his locker with a deafening and final click.
“Let's get going,” one of the security lackey’s said gruffly. “We don't have all night.”
Oliver let out a deep sigh and started the long walk to the edge of the World Cup village. The locker room exited at the back of the stadium. From here, they walked towards the accommodation blocks for the players. Each team had their own building with individual rooms. What looked like a single story building from the outside morphed into seven stories when one entered. Oliver was thankfully on the bottom floor and slipped into his room without being seen. He opened his trunk and threw his duffel bag and broom into it. He then waved his wand and summoned all his possessions that flew towards him in an angry swarm that matched his mood. While he'd planned to pack everything neatly, he was in such a state of shock and despair that everything landed as an unfolded jumble. It would have to do. Right now, he just didn't care. Oliver snapped the lid shut, reduced his trunk to the size of a matchbox and slipped it into his pocket.
Oliver could feel his eyes beginning to brim with tears. He tore his eyes away from the now empty room and stormed past the security who immediately started to shadow him once more. It was dark and while there were still some people about, no one looked twice at him. It wasn't unusual for players to have security when moving around the complex. As he passed other team buildings and common areas, he could hear a number of a raucous parties in full swing; celebrating today's victories no doubt. He should have been with them. Instead, he was being secreted away in the dead of the night as a disgrace to England.
They reached the end of the World Cup complex way too soon. Before he knew it, Oliver was at the gilded gate that welcomed the players to the World Cup. This was it. This was the end. He had come all this way without a fight, accepting this fate with the same dignity that he'd held himself with through his entire career. But this was not the time to remain dignified and rule bound. He was about lose everything and he couldn't do it without a fight.
Oliver whipped his wand out and turned on his security guards, “Expell...”
But he got no further. A flash of silver light sent him skyward, throwing him like a rag doll to the gravel road that circled the outside of the venue. He fell hard upon his right side, feeling pain shoot through his shoulder and the gravel bite into his flesh. Oliver tentatively brought himself up to sitting, feeling every scrap and graze. The pain was so intense and taking all of his focus that he didn't hear the security guys approaching from behind. One pulled him roughly to his feet by his jacket while the other one proceeded to unzip it. His England jacket was then ripped unceremoniously from his body.
A blinding pain suddenly split Oliver's head into two as a left hook collided with his temple. Oliver wavered as the world danced before his vision.
“Cheat,” one of the security guard yelled at him while the other spat at his shirt. “You deserve everything you get.”
It was the last thing Oliver heard before darkness encompassed his vision and he fell into the abyss.


A/N: Thanks for reading. This was one of my Nano Rebel 2015 stories, and considering the speed I wrote that month, it didn't end up too much like the incoherent mess I had envisaged. I would love your thoughts and any reviews would much appreciated.