Oliver had the ability to completely shut off and ignore every part of life that didn’t involve quidditch, or eating. This had a great impact on his team’s respect for him, as their captain, and their ability to play in almost any condition, due to the constant practice, which was canceled only when McGonagall wouldn’t allow them onto the pitch. Yet somehow, his team had yet to win Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s Quidditch cup in the 2 year’s he had been captain. They had always gotten close, to the finals at least, but Harry, the star seeker, always ended up not showing up to the game. This year, his last year, was his last chance to win the cup, and he was going to succeed.
The loss of the first match had been a bit disappointing, but he knew that his three chasers, all in top form for the remainder of the season, were going to rack up all the points they needed to get into the final in no time. With a little extra practice, of course!
“Oliver! Angelina and I have to go study! Our OWL’s are this year! Winning the Quidditch cup isn’t going to excuse us from our exams!” states Alicia Spinnet, one third of Oliver’s team of superb chaser’s.
“Let’s just run one more drill Spinnet, we have to be 230 points ahead when Potter catches the snitch at the next game.” Oliver say’s, frustration with his chaser’s lack of enthusiasm for their impromptu practice.
“No Wood, this isn’t a real practice anyways. Alicia and I are going to shower and head back up to the castle now.” Angelina state’s with a definite tone of defiance and finality.
“Fine, whatever. Just go. Have fun with your revision ladies.”
After Angelina and Alicia had gathered their things and started heading back towards the castle, Oliver was about to make a landing, and go shower and head back up to the castle himself, when he realized Katie Bell, the third chaser in his trio, was still hovering in the air, focusing with the utmost concentration on the hoops in front of her.
“Hey, Katie!” Oliver called as he flew towards her. He wasn’t quite sure why, but Katie was the only person on the team he referred to by first name.
“Oh, hello Ollie. That was a really great practice today wasn’t it. I feel like we really got a lot done.” Katie says, her tone of voice sounding distant, and unfocused.
“Yeah, we did. Say, Katie, don’t you have to go revise for OWL’s too?” Oliver asks, curious as to why she would have stayed and not gone back with her two best friends.
“Uh, no, I’m only a fourth year, remember?” She replies, suddenly feeling slightly crestfallen, at the realization that one of her best friends couldn’t even remember what year she’s in.
“Oh, I remember that now! It’s just you always hang out with the older kids! Like the twins, and Johnson and Spinnet. They’re all 5th years. Right?” Oliver sounds unsure on the last part of his statement, witch amused Katie.
“Yes Ollie, they’re in their 5th year.” She says while chuckling at his new found awkwardness.
“Good. See, I’m always right.” Oliver replied, his slightly arrogant tone returning.
“Ha-ha, I’m sure you are Oliver! Don’t you have to go review for NEWT’s?” Katie asks, knowing her captain needed to start studying soon if he had any hope of passing his tests.
“Why would I study? All I want to do is play quidditch for Puddlemere United!” Oliver says, confused as to why Katie would bring up studying.
“Ollie, you know it’s not safe to rely solely on your Quidditch skills! What if something were to happen to you? What if you get hit by a bludger again? What if you fall off your broom? You can’t be a quidditch star forever, no matter how amazing your keeping skills are! What are you going to do after you retire?”
“Kates, where did all of this come from?” Oliver asks, completely confused.
“Oliver, I’m worried about you. If you aren’t out here practicing, you’re sitting with me in the library, showing me your latest quidditch plays! Your whole life revolves around quidditch! You need to focus a bit on school, or a girl, or something other than quidditch! You can’t play quidditch forever!”
“Katie, calm down please, you’re scaring me. Why are you freaking out on me like this? You’ve never had a problem with my lack of other activities! I mean when I dated Gwen in 6th year, you encouraged me to break up with her because I wasn’t focusing as much on quidditch, but on “snogging some slag in a broom closet” as you so kindly put it, which I wasn’t for your information.”
“Oliver Wood! How dense can you be? I haven’t said any of this because I don’t appreciate the dedication you’ve put into the team, or because you were spending too much time with Gwen, I said that because I’ve been bloody in love with you since my second year!” Katie quickly slapped a hand over her mouth as the last words escaped her, but she knew she was too late. Oliver may not be the fastest broom in the shed, but he isn’t completely daft.
“Well I’m not that dense, I’ve known you liked me since the beginning of summer when you were very adamant that I owl you and make plans, but you barely batted an eyelash when the others said they would be busy. I notice things Katie. People think that my whole life revolves around quidditch, but I’ve always put aside time for you as well. You’re the only girl I’ll show my plays to before they’re done, because I trust you and care what you think. I value your opinion more than any other member of the team’s. Katie, what I’m trying to say is, I think I’m in love with you too.”
“Oliver, are you serious right now? Is this some kind of sick joke? Is Angelina putting you up to this? I apologized for using her hair wash, and it was only one time.” Katie asks, but with one simple look in his eyes, she can tell, Oliver Wood loves her, Katie Bell. Who would’ve thought it could happen?
“Why would I joke about this? I remember how broken you were after you and Rodger broke up last year, I would never play with your feelings like that.”
“Uh, actually, about that whole Rodger thing, I wasn’t really upset that he and I broke up, but more at the fact that when I came to you to talk about it, your slag dragged you off for a quick snog.”
“Oh.” Oliver says, things suddenly making much more sense. “Well, I’m sorry about her, I wondered why you two never really got on well. Well, back to the issue at hand, what’re we going to do about this?”
“I don’t know.” A note of sincerity in her voice that Oliver very seldom got to hear, “Why don’t we talk about it over a butterbeer in the Hogs Head?” She asks bravely.
“Wow, that was… forward. I’d love to Katie, I’ll meet you Saturday at 11 in the common room. Dress nice, I’m going to take you somewhere a bit fancier than the Hog’s Head. Now I really should go up to the castle and study for those pesky NEWT’s. I’ll see you at practice tomorrow evening.” Oliver says as he turns and walks towards the castle. He’s been walking for a minute when he hears a still starstruck Katie call him to stop.
“Yeah, Bell?” He calls as he turns and walks back.
“Well captain, I’ve found a flaw in our plan. We have quidditch practice Saturday until noon, right through our date” Katie says as he gets within 10 feet of her.
“Well I guess some things are just more important than quidditch.” Oliver says as Katie runs and kisses him passionately.
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