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LAST TIME:
I swung one leg over the broom.

“Pfft, I’ll believe it when I see it.” He grabbed another bottle of water. “Denters won’t miss his. Bloody weirdo wanting my girlfriend to play. Who does he think he is? I thought I made it quite clear…”

I didn’t catch the rest of the speech because I bent my knees and kicked off, wind scraping at my face and Liam’s cheers echoing through the air.







The problem with being in the air, however, was the fact that I was in the air. It was warm enough and all, but I was sitting on a broom, zooming high up onto the pitch, in a Puddlemere t-shirt and shorts with an entire stadium of people watching me. This was nothing like the Quidditch Cup at Hogwarts where people donned scarlet and gold or blue and gray. They were strangers. And oh, bleeding hell, there were the clicks of the cameras.

At least Oliver looked dumbstruck.

“Jane, we’re playing double on teams! You’re on mine!” Liam shouted. “Alicia, good to have you—head over to the other side. You’re on Wood’s team!”

The broom vibrated under me and though I felt steadier than I had at the Cup match, I still wasn’t an expert or anything. My team all wore the same red decal on the front of their brooms, so, after hitting a Bludger, Liam stuck one to mine. My palms were soaked with sweat.

The crowd was a loud buzzing in my ears mixed with clicks and shouting.

Ellis was on my team as well, though Liam had made it quite clear he was to give someone else a shot. He was hovering near the goal hoops, obviously completely aware of where the Snitch was. There was a scowl on his face that made him look even more arrogant.

“All right, Jane, go catch us a Snitch!” Liam said, laughing and beating away another Bludger.

How the game had been working as I was watching, is that catching the Snitch earned a team fifty points instead of ending the game (since it would have ended a little fast with dear Ellis up in the air). So my team was up by a couple hundred and Oliver was looking beyond peeved from the other side. But we weren’t teammates this time.

Psh, like I wouldn’t get up and fly in front of hundreds of people.

I looked over at the crowd. Why the hell was I up here and not down there with the bloke selling lemon ice? Damn you, Alicia. Speaking of which, she was flying quite well. She was flying up the pitch with the Quaffle tucked neat under her arm (apparently she kicked out one of the other Chasers so she could play. Leave it up to her.) and a determined look stretched across her wind-blown face.

So I started my search for the Snitch.

This seemed vaguely familiar.

I squinted and began to search but it was so strange considering there were double the people on the pitch and getting nailed by a rogue Bludger was definitely a concern. The two Seekers on the other team were obviously good, as they had their own stance on their brooms and I was just sort of holding on so I didn’t topple over and fall who knew how many meters to my death. One of them was a girl with black hair tied back in a pony tail. Her expression told me everything: she thought she had it in the bag now that Ellis had fallen back.

Oh, is that right?

I felt a swoosh of wind as several Chasers flew by, having snagged the Quaffle from Alicia. She was yelling in a rage. The air was hot. I wished the sun would go behind the clouds. While I was at it, I wished I could find the damn Snitch since, as I was seeing on the score board, the time was beginning to wind down.

“Jane, move forward on the damn broom!”

I looked over. Oliver had just thrown the Quaffle back to Alicia and the Chasers were streaking back up the pitch toward the Keeper on my team, whoever that was. He looked stern.

“Why are you helping me?” I cried, instantly moving forward and feeling the broom cease in vibrating.

“I don’t want you falling when I don’t know I can catch you.” Oliver winked at me. Bloody wanked, winking at me in the middle of a Quidditch game.

I turned and continued my search for the golden ball.

Here, Snitchie, Snitchie, Snitchie.

Damn it. This was so not working.

C’mere, Snitchie, I had to show Miss Black Hair Pony Tail that she could wipe that Ellis-worthy smirk off her face. Where was it? Ellis looked enraged. Was that because I was so far off? He cocked his head to the left.

Here, Snitchie! C’mere, damn it. Son of a batch of cookies, all I could see were players and brooms and Bludgers.

Ellis must have had a neck ache. Another jerk to the left.

Here, Snitchie. I have a present for you! Yeah right, like that worked last time.

I wondered if the Snitch last time was a girl, and thus did not want to be wooed by another girl Snitch I lied about.

Shit. Was Ellis growling at me?

I looked to his left.

Oh.

Hey, Snitchie.

I tore up the pitch, hurrying to reach the Snitch, when I was thrown sideways off my broom by someone else. My side was in excruciating pain (was that an elbow?) and the only thing keeping me in the air was my right hand curled around the broom, which had stopped. I saw the Snitch. It was hovering close to Ellis and his lips were turning into a thin line.

My fingers felt like they were blistering and black-haired-pony-tail girl was streaking back along the pitch laughing. Seriously? This was an open practice. No one was going to win a Cup out of this. What a jerk.

Okay, I told myself, I had to get back up on this broom. Or fall.

I looked down.

Yes, getting back on the broom was a much better option. By swinging, I managed to get my left hand attached to the broom and I started to kick my legs in an attempt to swing back up. Why wasn’t I taught this in practice? Running laps now seemed useless. Unless I was wearing a skirt. That made me miss Fred and George.

“Perry, what are you doing?!” Ellis cried, obviously unable to contain his fury when the Snitch was a few meters from him.

“Thought I’d put on a little show,” I mumbled. My arms burning, I managed to get an elbow up onto it and then another, followed by a leg over and I was finally back on the broom. Where was that girl? I was going to punch her right in the mouth.

To my surprise, there were cheers from the crowd. Real ones. For me.

Not too shabby, though my arms felt numb.

Now! The Snitch!

Was gone.





It took me another minute to regain my sense of direction as players continued to fly all around me. The seconds were ticking down and I could barely think straight with the crowd making so much bleeding noise. I couldn’t get Ellis’s pompous face out of my mind. He was such a jerk, expecting me to just zoom over there and get it when that girl had elbowed me. Speaking of that girl, where did she come off elbowing players? Wasn’t that a foul?

Should have been at least.

Should have been a red card, as Lou would say. Quidditch should have had red cards. Or at least scarlet and gold ones because they would look nice.

Bollocks!

The Snitch was on the other side of the pitch, very near to the black-haired-pony-tailed-monster of a Quidditch player. She was completely oblivious, which was strangely convenient for me, but I took my time pretending to look here and there in case she was to see where my eyes went and grabbed for it.

I was closing in. Oliver was near and since the Quaffle was in someone’s hands on the other side of the pitch, he picked that moment to laugh at me. “I still can’t believe you’re up here,” he said.

“Why?” I shouted back, inching my way closer to the hovering Snitch.

Black-haired-psycho-elbower had her eyes bugging out in an attempt to find it.

“Because you said you hate playing Quidditch.”

“I do.”


“Doesn’t look like it.” He moved closer to the left hoop. “It looks like you’re enjoying yourself.”

I flipped him off. Then I remembered there were cameras everywhere and that would probably end up in Quidditch Weekly knowing my luck. “Shut it.”

The Snitch was only a few meters away now and black-haired-crazy-hippogriff-esque girl was drifting closer now. The back of her broom was dangerously near. If the tiny ball just fluttered a bit, the girl would feel something hit her broom.

Don’t do it, Snitchie.

Look, I messed up last time. I might have been a little insensitive. I realize that.

But we don’t have to end things on negative terms.

Why don’t you come here and we’ll fix it?

Oliver was laughing again, probably about the stupid look on my face, and the Snitch was still hovering. It was taunting me, the rogue beast.

Here, Snitchie, Snitchie, Snitchie.

Let’s be best mates.

I know this…I know a boy Snitch. I do. Really. He’s a hunk.

And there it was. That crazy apparently hormone-crazed female Snitched, hovered it’s ass toward me, making a delicate humming noise that sounded a lot like victory. Or maybe it wasn’t making a noise at all. Maybe it was the crowd, but so help me Merlin I could pretend it was making any noise I wanted it to make!

It wasn’t seconds after I had the Snitch tight in my grip that the whistle blew and the time ran off on the clock. Horns sounded. People cheered.

I lifted my hand.

“She’s got it!” Liam cried. “She’s got the Snitch! Tack on another fifty—would you look at that! Jane’s got the Snitch!” He hugged me tight around the middle, still in the air. “Are you sure you aren’t interested in going pro?”

I was happy to see black-haired-Medusa-of-the-Quidditch-pitch was scowling from nearby.

“I think I’ll just write about it. But thanks.” I beamed and saw Michelle in the distance. Since she was on our team, she looked elated as well. Probably not with me, considering Liam hugged me around the middle, but she had to know Oliver and I were dating again.

And having sex.

Just saying.

“Celebration time?” I said to Liam as I watched Oliver slap hands with some of his teammates. The losing team.

“I think so.”

“I think maybe you should try celebrating with Michelle.” I wiggled my eyebrows at him.

“Yeah, I guess it’s about time I say something, isn’t it?” Blimey, Liam was a hot man. The sweat made him even hotter. Was that crazy? He frowned. “I’ll see you around?”

“See you, Liam.” I wouldn’t have been able to say much more, since I got side-tackled by Alicia Spinnet. We floated to the ground.

“I can’t believe you caught it! Good job, Jane! Wait till I tell everyone else and totally gloat, saying I was there and they weren’t. Oh, the envy!” Alicia said, laughing. “Did you see the score? You guys won by over two hundred! Damn that Ellis! Who did we have on our team? Dumb and Dumber looking for the Snitch—see that girls hair? Like a damn mess.”

I couldn’t help but just laugh. Of course my Snitch catch wasn’t needed to win. But I caught it, and I wiped that girl’s smirk right off her face. I really should have found out her name instead of making up my own, but what was the fun in that?

After my feet were planted firmly on the grass, I had a chance to look around again. The crowd were filing out of their seats, probably going toward the refreshment tents on the grounds where a band was scheduled to play as a part of the Open Practice day. Nice marketing right there.

“Jane!”

Though I wanted it to be Oliver, I wasn’t entirely shocked when I saw a few reporters crossing the pitch going toward me. Bugger. Wondered if they captured my friendly finger gesture up on the broom.

“Jane, is it true you and Oliver Wood are together again?”

“Yea,” I said, laughing. “That’s true. That’s why I have the V.I.P. passes that say, from Oliver Wood.”

“What made you get up there today, Miss Perry?” That one had mousy dark hair.

Oliver’s hand draped lazily around my shoulders. “She’s a natural, folks,” he said. “She was born to be a superstar. Better than the greats. Seriously. Watch for her at Hogwarts next year.” He winked at a camera. Seriously. He winked at it.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” That would be Dan Ellis, passing behind us in a huff. “I caught it five times. Five times!”

“You’re not dating a Quidditch superstar, are you?” Alicia said.

“If he’s a superstar, I’ve never caught a Snitch in my life,” Ellis said. “No matter. They can watch for Perry all they want next year. They’ll see her hanging out on the bench.”

To be honest, I understood why Ellis was peeved. I had gotten a lot of spotlight simply because I was Oliver’s girlfriend. He had so much more talent than I did (obviously) and was barely getting recognized. I sort of felt bad for him. I smiled at the reporters.

“You’ll be seeing Dan Ellis before you see me,” I said, in that moment repaying the twit for saving my arse twice the past year. “He might be worth watching.”

Alicia’s dumbstruck look made me laugh all the way to the refreshments tent.





“Thanks for the support,” I muttered to Oliver, digging my elbow into his side. “Now they’re going to be knocking at my door asking for my favorite technique for a Snitch dive.”

“And rightly so! I know you saw it when it was by Ellis.”

“How do you know it was by Ellis? You were across the pitch.”

Oliver smirked. “I could see the expression on his face. I knew exactly where it was. Too bad the Seekers on my team were worthless.” He shrugged and helped himself to a glass of champagne. “I was thinking we’d stay here and chat for a bit and then take off. What do you think, ladies?”

Alicia was practically drooling at the amount of gorgeous men around. Why weren’t they available back at Hogwarts when she was whining about being single? Now poor Lee had to compare to the abs of Liam and the rear or Stewart. Not to mention Oliver Wood.

“Sounds good to me. I’m going to head off to the restroom and I’ll find you two at a table.” With a smile, I made my way through the thick crowd of Quidditch lovers and players and toward the ladies room. It was packed in there as well, women crowded against the mirror dabbing oil blotters or reapplying lipstick. I felt like a stereotype while I was in there and had almost managed to get out unscathed when I felt a sharp jab in my side. Recoiling backward, I noticed the jab had come from a long finger, fresh with a manicure.

Bridget Lilion was standing above me in the crowd as women passed on either side of us.

“I want you to know, Perry, that you’ve started a war,” she hissed. It was so quiet I was certain no one else could hear her. Piece of blond hair streamed down her face. “I’m going to take you down to where you belong.” With that, as I was clutching my side, Bridget stomped on my foot.

I let out a muffled scream, wanting to punch her right in the face, but there was no way I could get away with it. Not here. Not when the room was filled with Quidditch families, supporters, administrators, and even the stray reporter. I would get myself on the front of the Sports section of the Prophet for sure. Not something I wanted.

Eugh, but still. I really needed to just pop Bridget Lilion right in the face. What did she mean by take me down? This was probably about Oliver and his total and complete rejection of her for me. Obviously, since she was a git and all.

Bridget would get what was coming to her, even if it wasn’t that exact moment in the women’s restroom.

Alicia eyed me strangely when I came back holding my side and limping a bit. “Toilet take you down?” she asked, sipping her drink. She pushed another toward me.

“Something like that. I’ll tell you later.” I slid in next to Oliver, who was happily chatting with someone with signatures all over his Puddlemere shirt and let myself relax.

Alicia shrugged as Oliver signed the guy’s shirt and he disappeared into the crowd.

“So here’s what I’m thinking,” he said suddenly and Alicia jerked her eyes away from the bum of a passing boy. Look but don’t touch was her motto, and I couldn’t have agreed more. “Puddlemere is having a preseason benefit game. It doesn’t count toward the regular season, but it’s my first actual start with the team.” He beamed proudly. “We’re playing the bleeding Magpies because they want to generate a lot of money and what better way to do that then have the team who just competed for the Cup? Anyway, the Magpies are expected to win, so I’m guessing that’s what is going to get people out to the game.”

“Will the Magpies win?” I cocked a brow.

“I sure hope not, but it’s my first professional game, so I don’t think anyone is expecting some grand performance.” Oliver took another drink. “But I want all of you to be there. You, Jane, and Spinnet, and everyone else.” He had a twinkle in his eye.

This man was absolutely brilliant. Why bother having another retreat when you have a preseason benefit game?

“You mean Katie and George!” I cried.

“I mean Katie and George.”

I could have kissed him right there. Well, I did, but that wasn’t the point. It was Oliver’s first professional Quidditch game. There was no way either Katie or George would miss it, especially since it was such a special moment for him.

“They’re getting on my nerves,” said Oliver. “I thought you and I had a stupid break up. Theirs is far stupider than ours.”

I chuckled and Alicia raised her glass. “To stupid breakups and Quidditch bums!”

I smirked and winked at her. “To Keepers.”





The following day was my lunch with Valerie Gig. I was lucky not to think about it much during the Open Practice or while I was with Oliver, but once it was next on my agenda, I felt the nerves explode in my stomach. I hoped the night I met her wasn’t a fluke. I was still awesome, right? I had to be. I was Jane Perry.

That was what I told myself while standing half naked in my bedroom, lights on and toast half-eaten on the dresser. I couldn’t decide between necklaces. Shirts. Skirts. It was a disaster.

I wanted to look classy and timeless, but I also wanted to look modern and show that I could dress at a Quidditch event. Well, Valerie saw me at the fundraiser. I looked pretty hot in my dress. Liam thought so. I wondered if he talked to Michelle.

I tried on a few outfits that Alicia and I had decided on days before. Each looked really good. In the end, after twirling in front of the mirror so many times I was actually dizzy, I decided on a professional pencil skirt and a fresh, yellow and white top. It was summer after all and this wasn’t an interview.

I stared at the toast. Yeah, no way I was eating that.

“Jane, are you about ready?” Dad said through the door. I figured he was more anxious than I was.

“Yeah,” I grumbled.

“Let’s see you then!”

I pulled open the door and immediately regretted it from a rebellious teenager point of view. Dad’s eyes were already welled up with tears. Oh, geez!

“You look wonderful,” he said.

“Thanks.” My cheeks felt red. He didn’t have to say it, but I knew he was proud of me. He always would be, no matter what I did, but because I was going to lunch with a well-known Quidditch writer put me at the top of the standings. I think the only thing that would have gotten me higher was being on a professional team. I’d owl the Harpies later.

Hah.

“All right, well, you’d better get there a little early and peruse the menu so you can order what you really want.” He reached out and straightened the wrinkles on my shoulders. “Good luck, love. I know you’ll be wonderful. All you have to do is be yourself.”

I smiled. There were so many jokes I could make at that point, but instead I just hugged my father, grabbed my purse, and left, trying desperately to will away the tears that had snuck up so suddenly. Dad always had a way of making me feel special.

And now I sounded like a sod. Game face on, Jane Perry. Game face.




The café we decided on was a small place in Diagon Alley that I had been to on several occasions. Since it was a weekday, not many people were there, which I was happy for because having a conversation in a crowded café was difficult in itself, never mind thinking up answers to tough questions. Was Valerie going to ask me tough questions? I hoped not. I hadn’t studied.

There were chocolate brown booths lining both walls and small round tables in the center. At the end of the café was the counter, complete with menu board and old fashioned register. It made a soft ding every time it was opened.

My heels clicked as I walked up to the counter, unsure of what I wanted. Every time I had been there before it was a cup of tea or a small cake. This time, however, I was interested in lunch.

Loads of sandwiches and treats graced the board. I was unsure of what to pick that would make me look professional. I had to make sure it wouldn’t drip down my face either. Ah, what a choice.

“Jane?”

I knew that voice. Oh, I knew it. A smile erupted on my face as I turned to see Roger Davies behind me (did he recognize my hair or my arse?) wearing a collared shirt and sporting his usual shiny hair. I hugged him tight.

“Roger! Oh my gosh, I feel like it’s been forever. I missed you!”

He looked really happy and incredibly dishy. And he was blushing. Roger Davies, what on earth were you doing blushing?

Then I spotted it. The reason, not a person I referred to as ‘it.’ Though it was a person. A very pretty person behind him with light hair and eyes. At first she looked a little disgruntled (probably at our uncharacteristic hug), but then her face settled and she narrowed her eyes.

“I know you!” she said suddenly. Her voice was very sweet.

“Have we met?” I said.

“No, but I know who you are. You’re Oliver Wood’s girlfriend!”

I was going to take Oliver to quit Quidditch because this recognition game was getting old fast. “Yeah, I am,” I said with a smile.

Suddenly it was okay I was hugging her beau (or maybe just date? I hadn’t heard from Roger what they had been up to) because I was Oliver Wood’s flame. Well, I could handle that. I couldn’t not hug Roger. He was a fabulous guy. Great snogger too. Wondered if she knew that.

“And you’re,” I said, biting my lip. “Madeline, right?”

“Yes!”

Photo memory came in handy. Too bad that was pretty much the only time it ever would. Roger was right in his letters, though, she was stunning. I practically felt like a troll just standing by her. She had that fair skin people talked about. I didn’t know what people, but people definitely talked about it. At some point.

“Jane’s an old friend of mine from Hogwarts,” Roger said cheerfully, obviously giddy we were getting on so well.

“Oh, that’s wonderful.” Madeline shook my hand. Hers was warm. “How did you meet? Classes?”

“Something like that,” I said with a smile, not wanting to go in depth about our midnight stroll around the castle. Not that we hadn’t met before that, just never really talked since he was a year ahead of me and a Ravenclaw.

“Won’t you join us?” Oh, Roger, stop being polite. It was apparent he wanted nothing more than for me to turn him down since he had finally gotten Madeline out of the building where he was asking for the kitchens and onto a date. But he was polite and debonair, that Roger.

“I’m so sorry, I can’t,” I said lightly. “I’m actually here waiting for Valerie Gig. We’re having lunch today.”

“That’s why you look so,” Roger’s eyes got wide as it became obvious he was still standing next to Madeline, “dressed up today.”

“Yes, that’s right.” I smiled.

Madeline didn’t seem to notice. In fact, she was still looking at Roger.

“It was great meeting you, Madeline,” I said at last, trying hard to keep myself from laughing as Roger’s color went up in his cheeks. She really was a lucky girl.

“You too! Good luck with Valerie. She’s such a nice reporter.” Her smile was infectious as the two of them made their way to the counter to order (I gave Roger an extra hug and told him to owl me as soon as possible).

I stepped back and checked my watch. Two minutes until our lunch was to begin and I stared at the menu. Why was it suddenly so daunting? Probably because my stomach was all of empty and making weird noises. Nothing sounded good. Well, other than the deserts. Seriously, why was that cheesecake even there when I needed to eat lunch?

Sandwich? Soup? Salad? Ick.

“Nice to see you again, Miss Perry.” Valerie Gig appeared at my side. She was just as beautiful as I remembered (there were a strangely large amount of beautiful women in my life) and today her hair was back in a messy bun. She wore a tailored gray skirt suit with a vibrant pink top underneath.

“Hi!” I said. Hi? Really. I was such an idiot sometimes.

“How are you? Had a look at this menu? What are we thinking?” Valerie was instantly personable. She shifted her weight onto one leg and acted as if this lunch was the most important choice of her day.

“Erm,” I mumbled. Drat! “I’m not really sure, Mrs…”

“Call me Valerie, love,” she said, smiling. “Prefixes are for newlyweds and nineteenth century England.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at the truth of it.

“I’m thinking cake. Look at that chocolate cake—could shove it right down. Might have some milk to go with it and a cup of tea.”

Wait, what?

“I was actually eyeing the cheesecake,” I said in a small voice, twisting my fingers together.

“Get it, then! Don’t make me feel like the only whale here!” Valerie laughed and I saw small crow’s feet lining her eyes. I wondered how old she was. I knew she wasn’t that old, but she looked so young. I instantly felt warm and at home with her, which would make this lunch less about nerves and more about me as a potential Quidditch writer.





The cheesecake was even better than I imagined. We picked a round table flanked by windows in the front and for a few I saw Roger and Madeline talking in a booth on the other side of the shop. They ate quickly and left though. They were holding hands.

Yes, there was a tiny stab of jealousy there, but I think that was the Alicia part of me that just wanted all the boys for myself. Roger and I were close friends now, and I’d never think of him as more than a handsome brother, but Alicia had the right mindset: we knew some dishy blokes.

As for Valerie Gig, she was far more than I could have expected. Before even bringing up the fact that she was an internationally known Quidditch writer, we talked about regular stuff. We talked about the cake (it was amazing) and the sales going on throughout Diagon Alley (mental note to buy a zebra purse up the street for half price) and then she asked about Oliver. Obviously she knew we were back together, so I told her a bit of the story and she loved it.

“I thought you and Liam looked fantastic together,” she said, finishing off her glass of milk, “but the spark wasn’t there. Now when you so much as looked across the table at Oliver, I saw it.”

I blushed several times during the conversation.

When we got around to talking about my experiences and goals, I got nervous again. I didn’t have anything to occupy my hands (never-ending cheesecake needed to be invented) so I clutched at my skirt and tried to smile as much as possible.

It went quicker than I thought it would, the tough questions (okay, they weren’t really tough, she was just asking about me playing Quidditch and how much I knew about the game. Turns out, I know a lot) and sooner than expected we were off talking about the World Cup match.

“You’ll be at the Puddlemere benefit game I’m guessing, right?” Her tea was finished and small pieces of hair were falling out of her bun.

“I will. I’ll be there with most of the Gryffindor House team from Hogwarts actually,” I said with a smile, thinking of George and Katie. Then I thought of them screaming at each other in the stands while people looked on with wary expressions. I was willing to take that risk.

Both of them were far too stubborn for their own good. I didn’t know anyone that stubborn. Well, me, but that was beside the point.

“I’ll be there covering it, actually. I look forward to seeing you.” She set down her napkin. “You should send me some samples of your work. Maybe read through some Quidditch Weekly—you read it, don’t you?”

“I’ve subscribed for several years now,” I said, face feeling hot with embarrassment. “So I’ve read pretty much every article.”

“Good to hear!” Valerie looked pleased and gathered up her purse. “Send me some samples, then, and I’d definitely like to keep in touch. I’ll see you at the game! I will be rooting for Puddlemere. I’m so sick of hearing about the Tornadoes and the Magpies. Hopefully Oliver Wood will be Puddlemere’s ticket out of the gutter.” She winked.

I reached out my hand and she shook it. “It was so nice of you to meet me for lunch.”

“The pleasure was mine, Jane. If there’s one thing I love about my job it’s finding new talent to take over. And I think I’ve found it. I’ll see you soon.” With a wave and a smile, Valerie Gig was off, back on the streets of Diagon Alley probably finding another amazing sale on handbags. I still wanted that zebra bag.

Before I went home, though, there was one thing I needed to take care of.





Katie clearly wasn’t expecting me. I didn’t blame her, it wasn’t like I owled ahead of time. She was in her pajamas with fuzzy pink slippers and hair tossed to one side. A magazine was dangling limp in her right hand.

“Can I come in?” I asked.

She nodded and opened the door. We walked into the living room, the same place that was so familiar to me since I had cried on the floor about breaking up with Oliver.

“What’s up? Is everything okay?” Katie asked, tossing the magazine onto the chair.

I nodded. “I wanted to come and say sorry.”

“Sorry? For what?”

“I know when we went dress shopping things were normal between us, but I should have been back here and hung out since then.”

Katie laughed. She actually laughed. Her face always looked so bright when she laughed. “Jane, don’t be stupid. You got back together with Oliver. That’s wonderful! You’ve definitely had your plate full.”

“I should have invited you over.”

“I was busy anyway.”

I cocked a brow at her outfit. “Really?”

“Well, here and there I was.”

“Anyway, I’m sorry. But I’ve come to tell you that you’re invited to Oliver’s benefit game for Puddlemere. It’s his first professional start!”

Katie squealed. “Are you serious? That’s so amazing! Is he super nervous?”

It was like having the old Katie back. No more tears. No more Weasley-bashing. Just Katie. Sweet, affectionate Katie.

“He won’t admit it, but I know he’s feeling the pressure.” I adjusted my skirt and fell into a chair. She sank into one beside me.

“About the game.” Katie looked at her slippers. “George won’t be there, will he?”

“I was told to invite you,” I said. “I don’t know who else Oliver invited, but I haven’t heard anything about George getting an invite. He wants you, Alicia, and Ang there though.” Yeah right, like George wouldn’t get an invite. But let’s face it, if Katie knew George would be there, she wouldn’t go. She would fake sick and she wasn’t good at faking anything.

“Okay.” Her ears were reddening.

“How are you holding up?”

“Oh, I’ve been fine.” She paused. “Seriously, Jane, I’m fine. I’ve actually gotten to spend a lot of time with my parents and read all the books I shoved in the back of my wardrobe. I’m excited to see you guys again. How is Roger? Did he ever talk to that girl?”

“Saw them at a café only a few hours ago. Holding hands!”

She squealed. “What are you so dolled up for? You look amazing. Fred would love that skirt.”

I smiled. “I actually had lunch with Valerie Gig today.”

“Wait—the Valerie Gig?”

“Famous Quidditch writer? Yeah, that one. I’ve heard there’s one that does palm reading, not that one.”

Katie leapt to her feet. “Seriously? Jane, holy hell, how did it go?” Did Katie Bell just swear? I missed her so much.

I kicked up my feet and told her all about it.




A/N: Lovely people! I hope you enjoyed that chapter! Sorry the quality isn't as up to par, I had to hurry & get it out before the queue closes! :) I wanted all of you to have some Oliver/Jane lovin'!

Tweet Tweet! For more information on the Twitter I have created for my fans, please head over to my blog or PM me in the forums! My blog addy is at the top of my Author Page :) It's a HIT so far! And you'll get sneak peaks :)

What did you think of the chapter? Any favorite parts? How about Alicia's dumbstruck expression?

Also, I'll be answering questions on the Twitter soon. If you have any questions you'd like to ask, about the stories or  me, feel free to ask them!!!

Have a fabulous day!


NEXT TIME:
Katie and George come face to face.

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