October the 28th Kneazle

D/C: Characters, places, events mentioned belong to JK Rowling and all other affiliates… greeting card from .

Summary: The day started out bad, and then got worse when Oliver bumped into a witch who smeared her ice cream on him. A witch who just happened to be Hermione Granger…

            Hermione Granger, a young and promising witch of twenty-five years, sat alone on a metal chair outside of Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor eating a triple-scooped chocolate ice cream and staring hard at a card in her free hand.

            It was morning, sunny, and fresh. The last week of October was not very exciting for the wizarding world, so Diagon Alley was just a dull and magical as it normally was. On one side of the street, Hermione spotted a mother with her child, tugging the little girl towards Madam Malkin's, probably for a fitting.

            That could be me some day, thought Hermione wistfully. Then, she sighed and licked her ice cream scoop in solace. At the current moment, she was moping over the fact that her longtime boyfriend of four years, a muggle by the name of Michael Turner, had dumped her.

            No, she thought bitterly, he didn't "dump" you, Hermione my girl, he left you for some chit in America. Cheated on you with the small blonde thing with big boobs.

            A wobbly sigh escaped Hermione's mouth. Trying very hard not to cry in public – or back at her flat which she shared with Harry and Ron (as they had been there when Michael revealed his true intentions) – Hermione decided that escaping to Diagon Alley and treating herself would do her some good.

            So, taking her ice cream and card with her, Hermione stood and began to wander down the street, before stepping into Flourish and Blotts. She wandered over to her favourite section, the Charms area, and began to read titles. She was looking for a specific title, one by her old Professor that was published just earlier in the month. Finding it, Hermione pulled the thick book from its shelving and made to the front of the store to purchase it.

            After placing down the appropriate change, Hermione refused a bag and flipped open the book to one of the chapters and plunged headfirst into a complex series of swishes and flicks, rolling r's and drawn-out guides to correct wand waving.

            She was so engrossed in her book that she didn't notice she was on a collision course with a rather disgruntled, unaware, handsome man.


            Oliver Wood was not having a very good day. October the twenty-eighth was going down in his calendar as a day that is meant to be avoided in the future – a day where one calls in sick to work, hides under their covers until their stomach demands food, and then stays inside all day watching black-and-white movies on the telly until midnight.

            For, at that moment, Oliver was sitting in his agent's office in downtown Muggle London. Sulking, he slipped further down the leather seat and raised an eyebrow at Larry Sims, his agent and life-long Muggle friend.

            "So… what did Puddlemere United want you to discuss with me, Lar?" he asked, trying to ignore the clenching of his gut.

            Larry Sims reached under his tortoiseshell frame glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. "You're not going to like this one bit, Oliver. I just don't understand you wizards and your weird contracts and deals."

            "Contracts and deals? Why do I get the feeling that you're not telling me something?" ask Oliver, sitting up straight in his chair.

            Larry folded his hands together on top of his oak desk and leaned forward. "Oliver… there's no easy way of saying this… but Puddlemere wants you off their team."

            Oliver frowned. "You mean go back as a reserve?" He knew that was lame, but he didn't want to voice the thought that was pushing its way to the front of his mind, screaming and begging for attention.

            Larry shook his head. "No, Olli. They want you off their team, period."

            "Am I being traded?"



            Larry lifted his eyes from his hands. His eyes were filled with remorse and sadness. "I've seen you play, Wood, and you're a damn good Keeper. I don't know why they want you off, but they do. You've still got a year's worth of pay left until December, and then from there…"

            Oliver tuned out Larry's voice as he struggled to comprehend the fact that he was no longer a part of Puddlemere U. He had been scouted right out of Hogwarts, for Merlin's sake! What more did they want? Harry-fucking-Potter?


            Oliver's head jerked up in surprise as he stared at his friend. Larry's face softened.

            "I know this is hard on you, mate… I'll deal with the rest of the legal issues, okay? Why don't you go and take the rest of the day off and maybe enjoy yourself? See a film or read a good book in that Diagonal Alleyway or whatever you call it…"

            "Diagon Alley," corrected Oliver absently. "Yeah… yeah, I think that's what I'll do. Thanks Larry. You're a real pal."

            "Anytime, Wood." Larry chuckled and began to shift the papers on his desk around as Oliver stood and walked towards the door, his mind a mixed of thoughts and worries. "Hey, Wood?" Larry called, just as Oliver was turning the doorknob to go.

            "Yeah?" Oliver asked warily over his shoulder.

            Larry regarded him carefully before saying, "Take care of yourself, Olli. Don't do anything stupid today."

            "I won't," Oliver replied, and then left the room.

            From the office, he walked down the street, his feet taking him automatically to Charing Cross Road. He spotted the Leaky Cauldron sign fluttering mutely in the chilly wind; Oliver pulled his coat tighter around him as he entered the old establishment.

            He waved cheerfully at Tom who gave him a toothy smile in return, but didn't stop as he made his way to the back of the pub where the gateway between the two worlds was.

            He pulled out his wand, tapped the correct bricks and presto! The bricks pulled away to reveal a semi-busy and loud Diagon Alley.

            Oliver hastily placed his wand back in his sleeve and placed his cold hands in his pant pockets. Looking at the cobblestone pathway, Oliver made his way slowly towards Quality Quidditch Supplies, knowing he could get lost in there for hours.

            He never noticed the frizzy, brown haired woman with her nose in her book coming right at him.


            As the two crashed into each other, chaos erupted. Hermione's book and card fell onto the ground, and her ice cream cone and two remaining scoops flattened themselves on Oliver's jacket.

            The first words out of Hermione's mouth were, "Oh God, could this day get any worse?"

            Oliver's mouth twisted into a small smile. It seemed that he wasn't the only one who was having a bad day.

            Pointing his wand at himself, he murmured, "scourgify." His jacket was instantly clean of any dairy products, and being the gentleman he was, he knelt forward and began to help the young witch to gather her large book and card from the dirty road.

             "I'm so sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going and now you're probably covered in my chocolate ice cream – ooh… that was really good ice cream too," the end of the sentence wobbled pathetically and Oliver fought down the urge to run if she started to cry.

            Instead, he reached out and placed a hand under the woman's chin and said in a tender, Scottish burr, "It's all right. Nothing a cleaning charm couldn't take care of."

            Lifting the woman's head so that her eyes met his, Oliver smiled. Hermione smiled tentatively back, before glancing down again to reach for her heavy tome. Oliver made for the greeting card and looked at the cover.

            On it was the earth with the sun in front of it, stars and the words: "If I could give you the sun, the moon, and the stars…"

            Oliver glanced at the frizzy brunette in front of him who was blushing crimson, her face turned away from him. Oliver frowned and flipped the card open, his mouth falling open as he read the inside text.

            The card said in the same script, "I wouldn't", and below that there was someone else's handwriting, stating:

            Sorry Hermione, I never meant to hurt you, but Veronica and I just really clicked. You're great and all, but I always feel as if you're hiding something from me. Well… It just wasn't working. I don't want to lie, but Veronica and I met nearly three years ago… and you… well. You know we were dating for four. Sorry Hermione. Don't try to contact me. I'll be with Veronica in America. -- Michael

            Oliver nearly dropped the card in surprise at the cold and callus words that were written – and the fact that he had bumped into Hermione Granger, the bushy-haired know-it-all best friend of his old Gryffindor Seeker, Harry Potter.

            Clearing his throat, Oliver handed the card back to Hermione, who snatched it from his fingertips and hastily placed it in her purse.

            "Why are you keeping it?" he asked, taking her hand without asking, and helping her to her feet.

            "Because it reminds me why I'll remain a spinster forever," she muttered before shifting the weight on her feet. "Sorry for bumping into you again, sir."

            Oliver was boggled. Didn't she remember him? He shook his head and muttered; "Now I'm having a really bad day, if Potter's friend doesn't even recognize me."

            Hermione lifted her head in confusion. "Potter's friend?" she echoed. She then narrowed her eyes and let them soak in Oliver's features.

            Feeling slightly uncomfortable, Oliver chastised himself. It's only Hermione! He mentally yelled. No need to get so worked up!

            Alas, that did nothing for the butterflies that made a permanent residence in his stomach.

            Hermione, on the other hand, was looking at the handsome, rugged face of the man across from her. He had a strong jaw, crooked nose (broken, she presumed), and wonderful full lips. He was taller than her by a couple of inches, with broad shoulders and toned body molded by jeans and a black turtleneck.

            But it was the eyes that caught Hermione's attention and held them. They were a deep chocolate colour, quite like the colour of her ice cream before it was unceremoniously smeared across his broad chest.

            Hermione had seen eyes look at her that way once before, like she was the smartest and greatest thing in the whole world – a look that seemed like he was going to kiss her – and not just Harry's friend. Those eyes had belonged to Oliver Wood.

            And it was Oliver Wood, who was standing in front of her, his arms now crossed and a small smile playing across his lips.

            "Oliver?" asked Hermione, her eyes widening.

            "Guilty, Hermione," he chuckled, making Hermione swoon. She had always been a sucker for Scottish and Irish accents. It was no wonder that she and Seamus had dated for a while, too.

            Catching herself, Hermione flashed him a dazzling smile, making his heart jump and his breath hitch. "I didn't recognize you! I'm so sorry, once again, for that clumsy bump!"

            Oliver grinned. "Not a problem. I'm glad we bumped into each other. Otherwise, we'd probably never see each other ever again."

            "That's true!" agreed Hermione. "So, where are you headed?"

            "Quality Quidditch," replied Oliver, waving a lazy hand at the store window they were standing in front of.

            Hermione laughed. "One track mind, you have, Oliver!"

            "Oh no," he shook his head, "Quidditch is just at the front of my mind until something better comes along."

            "That will be a while then," commented Hermione. "Would you mind if I joined you? As you probably know, I've been having a bit of a bad day. I'd very much like some company."

            Oliver held out an elbow. "Not at all. Are you sure you want to be with a Quidditch nutter like myself, though? I know you were never fond of Quidditch."

            "Well, it's all dazzling and a spectacular sport, but when you have two best friends on the Gryffindor team you tend to worry more about them than enjoy the skills of the other players," explained Hermione, looping her arm through his. "I quite enjoyed the one time we went to the World Cup… remember that year? It was when you told Harry you were a reserve on Puddlemere United! We were all so proud of you."

            At the mention of Puddlemere, Oliver's good mood vanished. He couldn't really blame Hermione, seeing as she didn't know of his being fired. Still, Puddlemere was a bit of a sore spot to touch on at the moment. Gracefully, Oliver changed the subject.

            "Now, would you look at that!" he pointed at a new broom on display. "That is sure one amazing broom."

            "What is it?" asked Hermione, pressing her nose against the glass to get a better look. Oliver glanced at her and sucked in a breath.

            Her frizzy, corkscrew hair was swaying gently in the breeze, and her cheeks and nose tip were tainted pink from the cold. Her breath fogged up the glass window in front of them, just near where her hand rested.

            She was wearing a form-fitting gray sweater, muggle jeans and trainers, barely reasonable for the weather. She only had a scarf wrapped around her neck for extra warmth.

            As Oliver watched, he saw her shiver, and without a thought, took his jacket off his back and placed it on her.

            Hermione's head turned towards him, confusion in her eyes. Oliver smiled and said, "You looked cold. Do you mind…?" She looks amazing wearing my jacket – it's completely dwarfing her.

            Hermione shook her head, placing her arms in the sleeves and smiling back at him. "Not at all. Thank you Oliver."

            She then leaned forward on her toes and gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek. Oliver was very grateful that it was cold out because he was sure he was blushing.

            Coughing slightly, he asked, "Want to go inside? And then maybe head for the Leaky Cauldron for a Butterbeer?"

            "Sure!" approved Hermione, grabbing his hand and dragging him inside the Quidditch Supply store.


            Two hours later, the two of them sat in a small, window booth laughing over Butterbeer. Oliver's jacket lay behind Hermione, and both of them were leaning forward on their elbows, facing each other.

            Oliver leaned back, raising his hands and placed them behind his head. "Do you follow Quidditch at all, Hermione?"

            Hermione shook her head, cupping her Butterbeer for added warmth. Not that she needed it, being that close to Oliver who at every glance made her body temperature soar. "Not really. Since Ron loves the Chudley Cannons I have to hear about them all the time, so I know all their players and latest losses."

            Oliver made a face.

            Hermione laughed and continued, "Honestly. I don't know if I could ever look at an orange shirt without cringing ever again. It's 'the Chudley Cannons this', and 'the Chudley Cannons that'." She leaned forward conspiringly, and whispered to Oliver, "Don't tell Ron, but I prefer the Wimbourne Wasps."

            Oliver leaned forward and whispered back, "Your secret is safe with me, Hermione dearest."

            Hermione smiled, and said softly, "I'm glad."

            If Hermione was a character in a cheesy romance comedy, the music would come on by now, and it would be the Platter's "This Magic Moment". Both she and Oliver were fairly close to each other, smiling and mimicking each other's body pose.

            Something flickered in Oliver's eyes, something that Hermione couldn't identify and the next thing she knew, Oliver had closed the gap between them and kissed her. 

            His lips were warm and soft and sweet and perfect, pressing just so against hers. It was like a fireworks display going off inside her head. Hermione responded, pressing her own lips against his, tilting her head slightly to the side to gain better access to him. Slowly, so very slowly, they pulled away and sat back down in their seats.

            "Wow," said Oliver, once he could speak. Hermione nodded; mute, since she couldn't speak at the moment. Her lips were slightly swollen and red, and her eyes held a dreamy quality to them.

            Did I really do that to her? Thought Oliver, swelling with manly pride. His brown eyes held a quality of warmth in them as he placed some galleons down on the tabletop and reached for Hermione's hand.

            At feeling the contact, Hermione looked up, a question forming on her lips. Oliver just smiled and tugged her to her feet, making her grab his jacket as he led her out of the Leaky Cauldron and into Muggle London.

            "How do you feel for a night on the town?" he asked her, once they were walking down Charing Cross Road.

            "Sounds lovely," replied Hermione. "What do you have in mind?"

            "I don't know. I honestly don't spend that much time in Muggle London. What do you suggest?"

            "Perhaps and film? Or I could make us some dinner back at the flat. Harry and Ron will probably be there and they'd love to talk to you, I'm sure," suggested Hermione, tapping her chin thoughtfully with her right hand. Oliver took her left and twined their fingers together.

            "I'd love dinner, but I'd much rather spend the night with you, unless there is something back at the flat that you're not telling me." Oliver tugged on Hermione's hand and brought her closer to him. His lips rested near her ear, and he whispered, "So what's your secret?"

            Hermione shivered, before grinning and turning her head toward him. Their lips were inches apart when Hermione replied. "It's called a big screen telly with magical channels that show live coverage of the World Cup in Greece tonight."

            Oliver pulled away, surprised and in awe. "Really? Are you serious? And you're inviting me over? In which you'll feed me and give in to my overwhelming love of Quidditch and let me talk to my star seeker even though we could easily go on a date by ourselves tonight?"

            Hermione laughed and kissed him quickly. "Yes, yes, yes! I honestly don't mind!"

            Oliver stared down in amazement at the young witch in front of him. Suddenly, he pulled her into him, wrapping his arms around her in the middle of the sidewalk.

            "Oliver!" she laughed.

            "Hermione, you are amazing!" the ex-Quidditch player exclaimed, kissing the top of her frizzy head.

            "No, I'm not, Oliver," chuckled Hermione. "I live with two Quidditch prats. I know how the male minds works." She winked.

            Oliver felt his heart melt. She took his hand, and he followed like a puppy to the flat she shared with Harry and Ron.

            Swiftly Oliver tugged his hand free of Hermione's and draped it around her shoulders instead, pulling her close and possessively towards him. Now that he had her, Oliver didn't think he was going to let this witch go anytime soon.

            With darkness rapidly approaching, Oliver and Hermione arrived at a large, red-bricked townhouse complex. Hermione explained that the owner of the set of townhouses knocked the firewall between the houses out and made two-floor flats. Harry, Ron and Hermione live on the first floor of the last townhouse complex, the one with the veranda. As they walked up the steps onto the porch, Oliver noticed the mailbox ('Potter, Weasley, Granger') and the sound of two men shouting something.

            Glancing worriedly at Hermione as she opened the door, he asked, "Are they having a row?"

            Hermione laughed. "Who? Ron and Harry? Oh no, I bet they're watching the telly and yelling at it. They fight all the time with the referees – even if they can't hear the two."

            Oliver grinned and followed Hermione after shutting the front door, watching her backside as it swished from side to side. Forcing his eyes up and away from her backside was hard, but he managed.

            Hermione tossed her keys on a side table in the hallway and turned to stare at the two men leaping off the couch to yell at the big screen television that was to her left. Through the opening of the enclosure, Hermione wondered if Harry and Ron ever grew up.

            "Hello?" she finally called out, catching their attention. Oliver stood behind her, bemusedly watching. "Aren't you going to say 'hello'? Or, 'welcome home, Hermione! How was your day?'?"

            Harry grinned sheepishly and Ron was still engrossed with the play-by-play of the latest Manchester United game.

            "Hullo Mione!" His eyes slid past her to settle on Oliver. "Oliver! What are you doing here?"

            "Hermione and I 'bumped' into each other in Diagon Alley. She invited me here for dinner and the World Cup game," explained Oliver, stepping forward to shake Harry's outstretched hand.

            "Bloody hell! Mione's always complaining that she can't stand watching Quidditch with us – and here she invites the largest Quidditch nutter we know home!" Harry laughed, motioning for Oliver to sit with him and Ron on the large couch. "Oy Ron, shuddup for a moment and say hullo to who's here!"

            Hermione smiled and announced that she'd be "making" dinner if anyone needed her and to call her when the game started. The three men all murmured semi-coherent "sure's" before they were engrossed with the telly. Soon, all three were yelling and gesturing at the box.

            Hermione bit her lip to stop a large smile to escape and went into the kitchen. She was no world-class cook, so when she invited Oliver over she hoped that he wasn't expecting something fancy or a full packed meal.

            Instead, she picked up the cordless and speed dialed the local pizzeria. Assuring her that the pizza would arrive shortly, Hermione hung up and opened the fridge door. As she shifted around the top shelf for some beer, she felt two arms wrap themselves around her waist.

            "Thank you for inviting me," Oliver murmured into her shoulder. "It's great being with Potter and Weasley again."

            "No problem," Hermione replied. "I suppose now would be a good time to warn you that World Cup – or any Quidditch match for that matter – is big in this house. Fred and George usually come over if they can make it with some of the old team. They'll probably be here tonight too. It was another reason I wanted you to come over." She turned in his arms and faced him. "Are you glad?"

            "Glad?" Oliver asked.

            "Glad that you came? That we met today?"

            Oliver's chocolate eyes richened in hue, fading into a dark brown that were almost black. "What do you think?" he growled before his mouth descended on hers, warm and inviting.

            The two kissed for what seemed like hours before someone coughed, making them break contact, but not move out of each other's arms.

            Hermione's eyes fell on Harry, who was balancing three boxes of pizza stacked on top of each other.

            "Sorry to interrupt, but the game will be starting soon," he said, trying to stop a smile from appearing on his lips and failing horribly.

            "Right," replied Oliver vaguely. "We'll be right there."

            "Excellent. Mind bringing two cases of the beer, Mione? Everyone's here tonight," continued Harry, his smile cheek-to-cheek.

            "Not at all," replied Hermione in a breathy voice, flushing instantly. Harry roared with laughter before leaving the room, ignoring all the questions that were being thrown to him.

            "That was…" Oliver paused. "Interesting."

            "Very." Hermione agreed, trying to keep a straight face before the two of them broke out in chuckles. "Let's get the drinks. More people will rush in if we don't, whining."

            Oliver nodded, and helped Hermione carry one of the cases back out into the den, where Harry, Ron, Fred, George, Alicia, Angelina, Lee, Katie and Ginny were.

            Harry and Ron claimed the couch, saving one of the seats for Oliver, while Fred, George, Ginny and Lee sat on pillows in front of the coffee table, and Alicia, Angelina and Katie chose the carpet off to one side of the table.

            When Oliver entered the room, a chorus of cheers welled up and he was saluted with pizza slices. Grinning, he nodded and waved, before sitting on the seat that Harry saved. As Hermione placed the beer case on the coffee table, ready to grab a throw pillow when Oliver grabbed her around the waist and pulled her down on his lap.

            Harry and Ron shared an amused look while the twins wiggled their eyebrows and everyone else catcalled.

            "Quiet!" laughed Hermione, "The game is starting!"

            The next three hours were filled with angry shouts at players when they fumbled the Quaffle, or one of the referees made a bad call.

            Hermione covered her eyes at one point where their favourite teams' seeker went into a Wronski Feint, making Hermione moan out, "No! Not the Wonky Faint!"

            Oliver laughed and removed her hands, holding them for the rest of the game, even when everyone else tossed their beers in the air when England won.

            After the game finished, the sports commentators began their best moves play-by-play, and then did the sports news for the week.

            "… And in other news, Puddlemere United coach Trenton Oswald held a press conference this morning stating that Oliver Wood, the keeper for the past eight years and reserve for three, has been removed from the team due to reasons that were not elaborated on. Wood, who helped Puddlemere win nearly nine Europe Quidditch Cups, has not been available for comment. Moving on in news…"

            Silence fell on the occupants of the room. Hermione turned to face Oliver, who tensed up at the first mention of Puddlemere.

            Lee was the first to speak, "Bloody hell!"

            "Do you know why they did that, Oliver?" asked Alicia, taking a sip of her beer.

            "Not a clue," replied Oliver quietly. "My agent told me just this morning."

            No one spoke for a bit, falling back on their owns thoughts with the television blaring in the background.

            All too soon, it was nearing midnight and the Weasleys who didn't live at the Gryffindor Trio's flat left, taking their guests with them. Harry and Ron said that they were going to go to bed, leaving Oliver and Hermione alone on the couch, and with three empty pizza boxes and beer cans.

            "I think we'd best get started on cleaning this up," said Hermione, standing and beginning to scoop up the empty cans. Oliver helped, taking the pizza boxes and placing them on the counter in the kitchen.

            Hermione dumped the cans in a box under the sink that was filled with other recyclable items, and placed the pizza boxes there for the time being.

            "Did you enjoy yourself?" asked Hermione, turning back to Oliver. He nodded and glanced at his watch. "Despite… earlier this morning?"

            "Of course!" Oliver smiled. "But I think I'd best be going home now, though," he finished regretfully.

            "I understand," said Hermione, leading him to the hallway and to the front door. She handed him his jacket, the one she had grown fond of in the past twelve or so hours, and watched him put it on.

            She opened the door and he stepped out on the porch. They were silent for a second before Hermione asked, "Will I see you again?"

            Oliver smiled tenderly and brushed a thumb across Hermione's cheek. She closed her eyes briefly before opening them.

            "Count on it," he said, before kissing her goodnight. He then turned on his heel and with his hands in his pockets, began walking down the street, heading for an alley he could apparate to his own flat.

            Whistling a tune, Oliver knew that when he was going to go home he would mark October the twenty eighth as a very eventful day, one that mustn't be forgotten.     

            It had been the best day of his life.

AN: Aww! Oliver/Hermione fluff! That was sweet. Now I need to write something else while I wait for "Skulls and Crossbones 3" to be beta'ed. Read, review and enjoy! Yours, Kneazle