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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."
   
    "Ouch."
   
    "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.

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