Well. So Galae had traversed into the Oliver/Percy aisle of HP fanfiction.
And so have you.
Oliver didn't know him. Not really. It's pretty sad when you've spent seven years of your life sleeping in the same room with somebody and not know anything about them except for the color of their hair.
It's not his fault. Percy was just . . . so him. Prefect, Head Boy, no-I-can't-look-up-because-then-I'd-have-to-unstick-my-face-from-this-book. Oliver wasn't a total idiot, but he didn't see the appeal in The Splendid History of the Muggle-Magical Relations Department.
"Ya thinking again?" George asked as he thrust him a bag of Bertie Bott's.
"Oh, no, George, we're going to have to get a card to commemorate the moment!" Fred gasped.
"Shut up." Oliver reached over to hit him on the head.
Fred ducked just in time. Oliver cursed, and Fred stuck out his tongue. "Beater reflexes! Hah! Your training does pay off!" He skipped away in the direction of Angelina.
What was he doing, musing over Percy Weasley at a time like this? Gryffindor's on its way to the Quidditch Cup, at last, and as the overzealous captain he should be dancing up and down for joy. Oliver smiled. He was one weird bloke.
"C'mon, Wood, tell. What's up?"
Oliver turned. George's eyes challenged him.
"I'm thinking about your bro," he said honestly.
"Just the fact that . . . I dunno . . . it's weird how I know you two so much better than I know him. Even though we're both in the same year."
George shrugged. "Well, for three reasons. One, he's not exactly Mr. Quidditch."
"True," Oliver admitted.
"Two, he's got pompous oaf written on his forehead."
"George . . ."
"Oh, it's true. Don't deny it," George said. "Why are you so fascinated by Percy all the sudden?"
Oliver smiled. "I was counting Weasleys. I kept on getting to four and knowing that there's a fifth, but I could never place the fifth. That was when I realized that I didn't know your brother at all."
"If you're askin' me," George confided, "there's really not that much you'd want to know about him."
"The last reason?"
"And three, he's actually smart."
When Oliver reached over, this time he didn't miss.
That night, he was so tired that he just flopped onto the bed and felt like he never wanted to get up. Parties had always been a little bit draining for him. There was just something about a lot of people and too much Butterbeer. Not a good combination.
That was when Oliver realized that Percy wasn't there yet. It was an interesting realization because most of the time Oliver didn't even notice him even if he was there. Percy was just like that. He was so different from the twins. Fred 'n George, you just can't help but notice them. To Oliver, Percy had always been quiet, placid, and about as exciting as warm oatmeal.
The door clicked.
"Oh. Hi," Percy said. His hair was a little tousled.
"Hi," Oliver agreed.
Normally that would have been his cue to turn away and go to sleep, but this time Oliver watched him. Percy was walking over to his desk and lighting a candle.
"So," Oliver said, clearing his throat. "You had a good time?"
Percy looked up. It was there in his eyes—utter surprise. Well, that was pretty much expected.
"Yes," Percy said cautiously.
Oliver sat up and swung his legs to the side of the bed. "Really?"
"Gryffindor won. It's a great victory for our House," answered Percy, dutifully.
"No. I mean, you had a good time with Penny?"
Bull's eye. Percy flushed.
"Aww, don't look like that, Percy. She's a great girl."
"I know," he said quietly.
"Oh…" There's something wrong. "What happened?"
Percy smiled a little. "I just told her that she's a great girl whom I had to let go of."
"I'm an honorable person."
"You're a stupid person."
"Oh? I've never heard that one before."
"You nut," Oliver said, shaking a finger at him. "You're never going to get a girl like her again. She loves you. Er, past tense on what one. Why?"
Percy slid a book into his bookshelf. It fit in perfectly. Persistence and Time—How Great Leaders are Made in Today's Wizarding World.
"I don't love her. She thinks I do, but I don't. I can't lie to her. So I let her go."
"Gently?" Oliver asked.
"In my opinion, or judging by her reaction?"
Oh. The hair. Oliver winced.
"I'm sure you made the right decision," Oliver said.
"Of course I did. I thought it through," Percy said evenly. He sat on his bed and started unlacing his shoes.
And all of the sudden, Oliver got an image of Percy sitting at his desk with a scale in front of him, industriously weighing the pro's and con's. He laughed.
"What's so funny?"
"It's just that I'm sure you thought it through," Oliver said with a straight face. He told him.
Percy couldn't help it. He started laughing too.
Percy had no idea what happened. He broke up with Penny and Oliver's joking with him? Did the world really end? The next thing to happen, he thought wryly, would be Snape showing up to class in a pink tutu.
He put his shoes down and reached for his pajamas. Usually he would have just shucked his robe right then and there, but somehow, with Oliver's attention, he felt awkward about it.
Percy pursed his lips together. "I'm going to use the bathroom," he mumbled, grabbing his pajamas and sliding off his bed.
Standing in the bathroom, he felt flushed. Was there something wrong with him? Was there something wrong with Oliver? He shook his head, stripping off his robe, and then his shirt and pants.
Of course there is nothing wrong. Just because Oliver suddenly decided to talk to him after, oh, seven years . . . Doesn't mean a thing.
Percy could pinpoint that moment in time. Later on, when he thought about everything, he would say, "Ah, that's when it all started."
The first conversation wasn't at all uncomfortable. By and by, talking to Oliver didn't feel as alien as it had before. Little snatches of words before bed, talks in the library while doing their Transfiguration homework—all lent themselves to the purpose of friendship.
Now that they talked about everything and nothing, Percy didn't know how it was that he and Oliver never spoke to each other before that year. In his precise, methodical way, he discerned that it was something with the way they both regarded one another. He had always thought Oliver to be a brainless yet egotistical jock. Oliver had always seen him as the prim and proper Prefect who didn't know one end of the broomstick from another. They perceived the differences in each other, and as they were of an age fearing rejection, they refused to substantiate those differences.
But now they could no longer hide behind their younger illusions. The war with Voldemort, the final year of Hogwarts—all had made them more alert and more perspicacious about their surroundings, and ultimately, about each other.
In Oliver, Percy found the friend he had always longed for. It was amazing how quickly misperceptions could be dismantled once the cornerstone of silence falls. During the next three months, they went from barely knowing each other to finishing each other's sentences.
It was scary, but Percy loved it. He had always been the odd one out in the Weasley family. He loved his family, of course, but he never felt the closeness that Bill and Charlie felt, or Ron and Ginny, or anything close to what the twins had. That aloof attitude burrowed him in the books, and it was only upon his third year that he realized what kind of effect he had on people. By then it was too late. The students of his year had already fallen into their respective groups, and Percy, studious Percy, was again short of anyone to be close to.
Not surprisingly, he turned to academics. It was the one thing that he was good at, and if he couldn't spend Friday afternoons with friends he would spend it with the books he had always loved. Even when Penelope came, and with her general acceptance, Percy always felt that he dealt better with inanimate objects than people.
But Oliver! Had he ever felt this comfortable with anyone before? Even in the deepest, most intimate moments with Penelope (and admittedly, what counted as "intimate" was rather tame), he had never felt this much at ease. It was like something just "clicked."
One thing, however, Percy could never get over. Undressing for bed. Maybe it was the fact that Oliver was a Quidditch player, or maybe it's the fact that Percy's always been uncomfortable in his skin, but since that night he had always changed in the bathroom, or before Oliver came in. He hoped that Oliver didn't notice this. For some reason, he felt that it was unnatural to feel that discomfiture.
Percy shook his head.
"What are you talking about, Quidditch requires brain cells?"
Oliver grinned. No matter how many times had they had this discussion? "Of course," he shot back. "You have to mix agility with intuition with strategy. The classic triad. Quidditch is genius on broomsticks."
Percy snorted. "Dumbledore never played Quidditch."
"You're just jealous cause you can't sit on a broomstick without getting sick."
"You're just defensive cause Quidditch through the Ages is the only book you'd touch."
"That's harsh!" Oliver proclaimed, eyes wide.
Percy laughed. "The point of the matter is, the most important aspect of Quidditch is catching a ball. You can't tell me that it requires deep thinking to do that."
"The aerodynamics of the whole thing—"
"The Snitch obeys no laws of aerodynamics. It doesn't even touch kinematics. And the Bludgers . . . Don't even get me started on their momentum . . ."
"You know too much," Oliver grumbled.
"Your fault for dragging me to a game," Percy pointed out, smiling. "Who knew that Muggle physics and Quidditch could be such an invincible match?"
Fred leaned over. "Hey, as soon as you two are done debating the end of the world, can you pass me the jelly?"
It was that night that Oliver noticed it. The fact that Percy took his pajamas to the bathroom and changed there.
It took him a while to figure out what's wrong, but when he did he wanted to laugh. What was that all about? Had Percy Weasley developed some kind of nudity issues?
Okay, that was bad. Oliver was getting some pictures in his head that were not supposed to be there. He gulped. That's not a good sign. But then and again, it's all Percy's fault anyways. Him and his stupid uptightness.
Well, that was uncharitable. Out of all the things that Oliver had found out about Percy, he is not uptight. At least, not so in the usual sense of the word. Sometimes Percy snapped. Sometimes Percy stood aloof. A lot of times he pressed his lips together tightly in that typical Percy Weasley way, but Oliver knew better than that now.
He knew how Percy dealt with it, carrying all that responsibility with him everyday. He had given himself to the world, because it needed someone like him. Someone to keep the order, to iron out the detours, to hold it immaculately in both hands. At night, alone in their room, Percy laughed. However hard he had it, Percy loved it all.
Sometimes, Oliver would wake up an hour before dawn. Between plotting new intrigues against the Slytherins and calculating how many people he had to kill for the Quidditch Cup, Oliver would look at Percy. Even when he's asleep, he looked neat. His pajamas, however worn and faded they might be, were cleaner than Oliver's and by far less wrinkly. He never mussed up his sheets. Even his freckles were spread in an orderly fashion on his skin, although Oliver doubted that Percy would appreciate that comment. Yes. The only thing that was never tidy was Percy's hair.
Percy had nice hair. Before, whenever Oliver went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, he would always be thankful that his dark brown hair always lay perfectly. But now he wondered what it would have been like if he had been born redheaded. If there was such a thing as thinking too deeply, it would be that Oliver knew exactly how to describe Percy's hair: soft fire.
Those mornings, Oliver would prop his head up with his elbow and wonder what Percy dreams about—or even if he dreams at all. Did he dream of Penny? Of working in the Ministry? Of winning the House Cup against Slytherin? Or even . . . did Percy ever dream of him?
To tell the truths of all truths, Oliver himself dreamt a lot. He had always been more of an emotional than a logical being, and that carried over to his sleep. His dreams had always been bizarre—Voldemort singing the theme song for "Full House" on the Quidditch field, Harry announcing that he's going to America to seek his fortunes in the showboat business, and even Fred 'n George telling him to be "sensible." Oliver snorted at the last one.
Lately, he had dreamt of Percy. The first time a surprisingly normal scene. He made a mess in Potions and Percy was scolding him for it. The second time it was about Percy and Penny sitting together on the grass, and he happened to walk by them. For some reason, Percy didn't even look up and a shot of hurt coursed through him.
"Well, don't you look deep in thought," Percy said wryly as he stepped outside the bathroom. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," Oliver said. "Don't get started, Percy."
Percy grinned. "So. What are you thinking about?"
"What? What about me?"
Oliver's throat stuck. "Uh . . . just about how I had a dream a while back that I blew up a cauldron in Snape's class and you kept on telling me that I was scrubbing the floor wrong."
Percy's eyebrows raised, but a smile played on his lips. "I am that pathetic, even in your dreams?"
"Your words, not mine," Oliver said.
Percy slipped into his bed, and while he did, his shirt stretched open to reveal four square inches of smooth collarbone. Percy must have noticed it, because he immediately fastened the top button that he had missed.
Oliver, meanwhile, quickly looked away.
Would you all like to know how I suddenly went to Oliver/Percy? Well, I started this fic, actually, five months ago. Then I started watching anime (and studying), and I fell in love with Yami no Matsuei, and Weiss Kreuz. Both GREAT animes, by the way, although I tend to favor the first one. But then somehow I went back to Oliver/Percy again.
It's just so cute, I guess. I couldn't resist the cuteness. I've always identified with Percy—studious, serious, and bossy—and MY GOD! HAVE YOU SEEN OLIVER WOOD? I'm going to, like, move to England if all guys looked like that. So my train of thought was, if I can't have Biggerstaff (::snickers:: How does someone live with a name like that anyways?), I'll do the next best thing. I'll pair him up with my favorite character.