Disclaimer: I'm sorry I forgot to put this in the first chapter. Anything you recognize belongs to JKR. The rest is mine.

Thank you to those who reviewed the first chapter. I hope that you enjoy this one and review again. I would never stoop so low as to refuse to post more based on how many reviews I get because I believe it is petty and childish however they do make me wish to write a little faster because I know people are looking forward to a next part. So please take the time to tell me what you think.


~*~



Oliver Wood was a Gryffindor to the core. He was brave, chivalrous and true. Admittedly he often got carried away with his passion for Quidditch but everyone who knew Oliver knew that anything he said in the heat of the game should not be taken to heart. His mouth was known to spout some rather unseemly sentences during those times. As a Gryffindor Oliver hated to admit that he was afraid, and the truth was that up until a certain point in his life he was not afraid of much.

Until he happened to glance over at Percy Weasley one night just as the moon hit the redhead's face just so. After this Oliver started to carry a very real fear around in the pit of his stomach.

Oliver hadn't grown up hiding from the terrors of war. He hadn't even known it existed. His mother was a squib from a very small and certainly not powerful family and his father was a muggle. Looking back he could remember his mother getting strange letters and then retreating to her room, tears in her eyes but at the time he had shrugged it off with a child's concern. Oliver hadn't even known that the wizarding world existed until one day when he was nine years old and an aunt, an uncle and three cousins whom he had never met came over rather unexpectedly for a visit. While curiously peering inside their car he had seen a rather strange looking broomstick and pulled it out, it had been humming and he had dropped it in shock. However instead of hitting the ground it fell only a foot before rising up to float just below his waist. After staring at it for a moment he grabbed it and ran inside, excited to show his mother this strange phenomenon. She had just stared at him before bursting into happy tears and hugging him. It was a broomstick that had initiated Oliver into the world of magic and they had remained his passion ever since.

Until a brilliant, shy, and handsome boy took their place rather out of the blue. Oliver didn't have anything against homosexuals, in fact he had a paternal uncle who was one. He just wasn't sure at first whether he was, or even wanted to be one. After all, he still found girls attractive. He still had normal teenage fantasies about them.

He just didn't dream about them as often as he did Percy Weasley. He had been slightly shocked to learn about the intense bigotry that existed in this wonderful world, but it hadn't really affected him until that night. Then, something began to eat him away inside. After all Oliver was a very straightforward person, it was usually the case that what you saw was what you got. This had to be hidden though and it went completely against Oliver's nature. He was ashamed to admit why that was. Fear, and that was just another thing to cause him turmoil. Gryffindors weren't supposed to be afraid. Gryffindors were the brave ones, when you read about the captains and generals that had led wizards and witches into battle they were usually Gryffindors, most Aurors were Gryffindors and he was ashamed of betraying what his house stood for. Ashamed that he was not a true Gryffindor.

Percy was still reading when he came out from the shower. The slender boy was sitting on his bed, glasses carefully balanced on his nose. His lips always moved silently as he read, Oliver was sure Percy was not aware of it because he would have made himself stop immediately if he were and Oliver liked watching the way Percy's soft lips moved. Watching secretly of course when he knew no one could see him. It helped that there were no other Gryffindor boys in their year. Percy was always too involved in what he was doing to notice Oliver staring.

Oliver knew Percy would never accept his feelings. Percy was from a very old Wizarding family and was a stickler for propriety. No, Percy couldn't know and another knife twisted in Oliver's stomach for having to lie to the person he considered to be his truest friend. Perhaps the only person who did not see him to be just a fanatical Quidditch player. Percy believed he was a talented wizard as well, and Oliver couldn't remember anyone else that had ever told him that. Not when there were people like Percy Weasley and Penelope Clearwater who far outshined Oliver in any class. Yet, Percy believed in him. He realized he was staring at the other boy and turned to get into a pair of clean school robes. Slipping his tie over his head he let it hang loosely, not liking the tight feeling around his neck. He pulled on a flowing black robe and grabbed a parchment, quill and ink, and a book from his bag. He spread them out on his bed and sprawled in front of them.

"You're going to get ink on your bed again." Percy told him, Oliver sighed and glanced over at him.

"Well, I'll just get you to clean it up for me then won't I?" Oliver grinned and turned back to his work. A potions essay. His smile quickly turned to a grimace. Potions was his worst class by far and he was barely passing. Percy of course was top in their year. Oliver knew that no one was aware of how much he envied Percy Weasley, least of all Percy. Percy was everything that Oliver wasn't. He was brilliant, ambitious, talented, and organized. He always knew the right thing to say, especially in class. He would probably get a great job after Hogwarts, marry a nice girl and have a couple kids. The perfect life. As for Oliver, he figured he'd be lucky to get recruited by some small Quidditch team, probably as a reserve player and if he ever went beyond that he'd play for a couple mediocre years and then who knows what. Oliver was sure he had no talents beyond being a Keeper and if he couldn't play Quidditch...well he would be utterly lost.

He cursed as he realized he'd drawn a large line across the parchment as he'd been thinking and grabbed his wand, muttering an erasing charm. He could at least do that. He started to think about more pleasant things, like how he was going to get Percy out of his shell a little bit. He was slightly abashed that his goal was not completely unselfish in wanting Percy to get out more but he ignored that.

"So Perce, how should we start on our little project?" Oliver asked, looking over at his roommate. Percy closed his eyes and leaned his head back.

"Our little project? Unless I'm mistaken this is all your hair brained idea." Percy commented dryly.

"Come on." Oliver rested his head on crossed arms. "It'll be fun. When's the last time you've been to Hogsmeade?"

"About three months." Percy said, closing his book and setting it on his side table.

"How about we go tomorrow night?" Oliver suggested. So it wasn't quite getting Percy to associate with other students in their year, but Oliver could overlook that.

"Tomorrow is a Thursday, students aren't allowed to go on weekdays." Percy informed him with a raised eyebrow.

"I have my ways. Are you going to turn me in, oh great prefect?" Oliver tried to put on his best pleading face, which for reasons he could not discern worked on Percy but no one else.

"No, I won't turn you in but I don't think it would be good for a house prefect to go about breaking the rules like that." Percy slid down the headboard on his bed so it was lying flat on his back, staring at the deep crimson canopy.

"If no one finds out then it won't be a problem." Oliver cajoled.

"Oliver, I have a lot of work to do. Class work and prefect responsibilities. If I want to have a chance at Head Boy next year I need to have a completely clean slate, and sneaking off to Hogsmeade is not a Head Boy kind of activity."

"Oh please, the Heads are still students after all. Just look in the old yearbooks. They weren't all angels Percy. I don't think that one small outing is going to knock you down, and that's only if we get caught."

"And why exactly will we not get caught?" Percy turned his head towards Oliver, his eyes questioning.

"Well if Filch or a teacher happens to catch us you can simply say that you are doing rounds and you brought me along with so we could quiz each other on that Charms exam coming up." Oliver explained with a pleased grin, it was a good story and he knew it but he still turned a little red when Percy narrowed his eyes a little and nodded, pleased at least with the story.

"And if we get caught while in Hogsmeade?"

"Why would any of the professors be there? I've done it before Perce, believe me there is no one from Hogwarts down there during weeknights. They're all off grading papers and coming up with ways to torture us just a bit more." Oliver could see that Percy was about the say something to him about having respect for teachers so he quickly continued. "We can just go to the Three Broomsticks and have a couple drinks. We'll sit in the back so we can see anyone who comes in before we do."

"Drinks?" Percy questioned, "What do you mean by drinks?"

"Beer, vodka, whatever you want. Young people are supposed to drink alcohol at some point in their lives Percy and I intend for you to as well." Oliver rolled onto his back, unable to sit still for very long and looked over at his friend who seemed to be arguing with himself.

"I, I, well," Percy began obviously embarrassed. Oliver drew his eyebrows together slightly. "I don't really have money to buy drinks or anything. Funds are kind of tight at home and I give the allowance Mum sends to the twins and Ron." Percy's face was red and he wouldn't look at Oliver. "They enjoy it more anyway."

Oliver didn't say anything for a moment, just caught up once again in thoughts of how perfectly wonderful his friend was. 'Why do you hide this part of you from everyone?' He thought to himself, angry that no one else took the chance to see past Percy's mask. "I'll pay."

"Oh, I couldn't possibly,"

Oliver hopped off his bed and went and sprawled out on Percy's, shoving the other boy over a bit and lying on the pillow. "Please, Percy? Is it too much to ask to go out and have some fun with a friend? I have the money, my parents send me more than I ever use and I can't think of any better way to spend it." He interrupted and turned his face to look at Percy. Percy tilted his head likewise and Oliver's mouth dried slightly, realizing yet again how beautiful Percy's eyes were. They were a dark blue, and as deep as the ocean. He couldn't look away and almost thought he saw something swimming there, beneath the waves before Percy sat up abruptly, silent for a moment.

"All right." His voice sounded strained but Oliver was too shocked to pay attention. He had actually agreed. A brilliant smile broke out on his face and he jumped off the bed.

"Great! I'll meet you in here at 10:00. Dress fun, but school clothes over it." Oliver advised and went back to his essay, his spirits much lighter than before.

~*~

"Hey, Oliver!" The brunette saw Fred Weasley waving at him from the middle of the Gryffindor table and he went to sit down next to him and his brother.

"Hey," He said, reaching for a chicken breast.

"Is there still practice tomorrow morning?" George asked from across the table. Oliver sighed, they were always trying to get out of coming. Didn't they understand that unless they all practiced they wouldn't have a chance in hell at winning?

"What do you think?" He asked, eyeing them. He refrained from rolling his eyes when they both gave a despondent sigh. They just didn't understand. Quidditch required discipline, it wasn't something that could just be handed to you on a velvet pillow. You had to work for it. If they didn't win this year...Oliver shuddered, taking a bite of his chicken. If they didn't win he would never be picked up by a professional team.

"Hey Oliver, do you think Angelina would go out with me?" Fred asked, bits of biscuit flying from his mouth. Oliver raised an eyebrow.

"I'm not sure." He answered. "Maybe asking her would be a better idea."

"Well, I want to know what she's going to say before I ask her." Fred exclaimed, giving Oliver a look that told him the redhead clearly thought he was crazy. This however was not a new revelation. "Come on Oliver, give a little help here. George says no."

"Well why in the hell do you need my opinion then?" Oliver questioned, bewildered.

"Because he doesn't like my answer." George said, smirking at his twin. Oliver sighed, looking down the table at the pretty Chaser. After studying her for a moment he looked back at Fred.

"I'm going to have to agree with George there. Sorry Fred." Oliver said, patting the boy on the back.

"Bastard." Fred muttered, taking a gulp of pumpkin juice.

"Maybe this is a bad time to ask, but I was wondering if I could borrow that map thing of yours." Oliver asked quietly. The twins looked at him with innocent eyes.

"What map?" George replied. Oliver just rolled his eyes.

"You two are not as stealthy as you think you are. I've seen you use it loads of times. I just want to use it for tomorrow night."

"Ok." George said after a moment, then yelped when Fred apparently kicked him under the table.

"He's being a prat, George. Why should we let him borrow it?" Fred snapped.

"You're the prat, Fred." George said before turning to Oliver. "Sure you can use it. Ask us after dinner tomorrow."

"Thanks mate." Oliver said, relieved. He and Percy were covered and he was lying to himself if he said he wasn't more than a little excited. Which he reminded himself was overreacting. He was just showing a friend a good time, it could never be more than that for so many reasons, the first being that Percy would completely and utterly despise him for it. A second being that he would never have the courage to tell his friend. Furthermore he was still confused, how could he feel the way he did for Percy but still be attracted to girls? Other than Percy he did not really have a lot of desire for other males. He didn't think that you could really be gay for only one person could you? Was it possible to be attracted to only one member of your same sex? Maybe he just found so many wonderful things in Percy that gender was completely forgotten...but then he was definitely physically attracted to his friend. He blushed with shame at that, thinking of those desperate minutes he spent ever so often alone in the shower, his mind so filled with his friend that he almost couldn't breath. That of course led to other things but he was not going to think about that at the dinner table in the Great Hall.

He looked down to his right where Percy was eating all alone, carefully spooning stew up to his pink lips. Oliver knew Percy was pretending that he didn't care no one was sitting with him and Oliver hated himself for being such a coward not to go sit with the other boy. Truth was that though Oliver and Percy got along famously when they were alone, Oliver was afraid to show any kind affection, platonic or not, in public. Of course it would be seen as only friendship but what if it wasn't. His stomach tightened. If he started spending time with Percy out at school people might start paying attention to how he acted around him, they might see...

Oliver hung his head in shame, for he knew that he was no true Gryffindor.