I guess I should put in the legal disclaimer, as usual. sigh. I don't own Harry Potter, the plot, the setting, and all that other whatnot, but I do own the plot of everything that happens between Katie and Oliver in this story. (yay! I get some credit for something!)
"Katie Bell, you little minx! Where have you been all summer?"
Katie laughed as Angelina Johnson wrapped her into a tight hug.
"It's great to see you too, Angie," she laughed.
Two hands covered Katie's eyes from behind. "Guess who."
Katie spun around and saw Alicia Spinnet, who grinned and held her arms out for a hug. Katie jumped up, wrapping her legs around Alicia's waist and forcing her to carry her.
"Oof!" Alicia wheezed. "You've gained a few pounds over the summer, Bell."
"It's my mum's chocolate cakes, I swear," Katie grinned. "I'll be fatter than the Fat Lady before you know it."
Angelina scoffed. "She's like a toothpick," she said to Alicia. "And I'm not exaggerating."
"I'm sure," Alicia retorted sarcastically.
"I wouldn't want to be stuck between anyone's teeth," Katie said, pretending to be worried. "God forbid I had to go into someone's mouth."
Angelina and Alicia laughed.
"That sounded, um...kind of strange," Angelina giggled.
"Oh whatever," Katie grinned. "Let's get a compartment."
"Can you get off me first?" Alicia groaned.
Katie laughed and dropped her feet to the ground. She began to drag her trunk onto the train, and her friends followed. She loved these two, who had become very close to her despite the fact that they were a year older. Katie liked her roommates but as far as best friends went, Angelina and Alicia came out on top.
As soon as the girls stepped on the train, the infamous redheaded twins approached them.
"Angelina!" Fred said, sweeping into a dramatic bow and kissing her hand. "Thou art the radiant light in my dark soul, the epitome of hope in my wretched life, the—"
"Oh sod off, you prat," she laughed, snatching her hand back.
"Alicia," George said, bowing even more dramatically his brother did. "As ravishingly lovely as always, I see."
"You better not get started with the fancy-schmancy Shakespeare talk like Fred," she warned, "Or I'll smack you upside the head."
"Who's dissing Shakespeare?" Fred demanded. "I hope you know that I consider him—"
"And we mustn't forget the beautiful Miss Bell," George interrupted. He put an arm around Katie's slender waist and led the way to the compartment he and Fred had already put their trunks into. "Would you like your share of the—"
"Utterly ridiculous nonsense?" Katie laughed. "No thank you."
"I'm sorry, my lady, but I believe in equality!" George said in a booming voice. "Miss Bell, brightest star in the sky, love of my life, how lovely thou art."
"But surely not as lovely as thou art," she teased.
Fred looked over at Katie and grinned. "Haven't changed at all since we last saw you, eh?" he said as he rumpled her hair.
"No. Disappointed?" she smiled.
"Not at all," he replied truthfully.
The twins helped the girls with their trunks. When they were finished, George checked his watch.
"We still have some time left before the train leaves," he said. "Anyone up for a little walk around?"
"And possibly some mischief along the way," Fred grinned, extending his elbow to Angelina, who linked her arm in his. Alicia took George's arm.
"Coming, Katie?" Fred asked, holding his other elbow out to her.
Katie was just about to take his arm when she looked down.
"Oh no," she groaned, looking down at her T-shirt and jeans. "I forgot to change into my robes."
"We'll wait for you," Angelina said kindly. "Change quickly and meet us outside, okay?"
"Yeah," Katie replied, rummaging around in her trunk for her black school robes. "Shoot," she muttered. "Where did I put them?"
With a start, she suddenly remembered. She'd been carrying her robes; they'd been draped over her arm. They couldn't have slipped onto the ground somewhere, could they? If they did, it could take forever to find them...
"Looking for these?"
Katie spun around. Oliver Wood, the handsome captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, was leaning against the door with her robes in one hand.
"Thanks, Oliver," Katie said with relief, reaching for her robes.
Oliver moved his hand away quickly, keeping her robes out of reach.
"I don't even get a 'Hello, Oliver, how was your summer,'?" he teased.
"Why hello Oliver!" Katie gushed. "How are you? How was your summer? Oh Oliver, sugah, I can't say how much I've missed you! And how handsome you've gotten! Land sakes, Oliver Wood, you'll be charming all the gir—"
Oliver stepped forward and put his hand over her mouth. "Okay, okay!" he laughed. "You can stop now."
"You asked for it," she grinned.
"Your hair is messy," he said suddenly. "Did a tornado go by that I happened to miss?"
"Yes, a tornado called Fred," Katie laughed, running her hand through her hair carelessly. She never really cared how she looked. "He took it upon himself to mess it up."
There was a sudden silence around them. Katie opened her mouth to speak just to get rid of the awful silence when she looked up. Oliver's warm brown eyes were gazing down into her hazel ones, and there was a look on his face that she'd never seen before. Whatever it was, it was making her cheeks heat up.
"Well I've done my duty," she said lightly, breaking eye contact as she snatched her robes from his hand. "Now I can have my robes back."
Oliver looked startled at first, but then he laughed.
"You're too much, Katie."
"I'm a handful, aren't I?" she grinned. "Now get out so I can change."
"Not even a proper thank you?" he said dryly. "Always the polite one, aren't you?"
"Yes, and you love me for it," Katie said sweetly. "Now get out before I boot that lovely arse of yours out the door."
Laughing, Oliver turned to leave. As he reached the door, Katie called, "Oliver."
He turned around.
"Our latest products will be out soon. Are you girls interested in trying them out?"
Katie opened her eyes and sat up drowsily. Through her half-closed eyes, which were still heavy with sleep, she saw that it was Fred who'd just spoken.
"Try out what?" she said sleepily.
"Well if it isn't the Sleeping Beauty, come back to life!" George exclaimed.
"Perfect timing, Katie," Fred said. "We were just telling Alicia and Angelina about our latest masterpieces."
"I wouldn't try your "masterpieces" if they were the last things to eat on earth," Angelina said fervently.
"Aw, Angelina," Fred protested.
The door opened and Oliver walked in.
"Hey, Oliver!" George said eagerly. "Are you willing to try out the latest Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes products?"
"Not really," Oliver said quickly. "I was actually just wondering if—"
"Bloody hell, why is the train slowing down?" Alicia interrupted.
The compartment grew quiet as the train slowed to a halt. They could hear loud curious voices and cries of indignation from the other compartments.
"Probably just a simple malfunction in the engine or something," Fred said confidently. "The conductor'll have it fixed in no time."
"Are you sure?" Angelina said anxiously.
Katie looked over at Oliver, who was still standing in the doorway. He had a grim expression on his face, as if he suspected it was more than just a "simple malfunction."
"Sit down, Oliver," Katie urged, patting the seat next to her. He sat down beside her wordlessly.
An ominous silence swept through the entire train. Not a sound could be heard from the other compartments. Then the light in the ceiling flickered for a second and everyone's eyes turned apprehensively to look at it. Suddenly all the lights in the train went out and everything was pitch-black.
Angelina screamed. There was the quiet murmur of someone speaking soothingly to her, and her screams ceased. Apparently, Fred had ditched his jokes for the moment in an effort to comfort her.
"I'm scared," Alicia whispered fearfully.
Katie started to shiver. Whatever was happening, she didn't like it. Oliver put an arm around her shoulders comfortingly, and she leaned her head against him.
"Why am I suddenly so cold?" she murmured into his shoulder.
He held her tighter, but he didn't reply. Even he didn't have an answer.
The compartment door began to open slowly. Six pairs of eyes widened as everyone turned quickly to see what it was. As their eyes adjusted to the darkness, they could see a pale bony hand appear, and soon after, a dark hooded figure.
"Dementors," Oliver whispered.
Katie looked into the dark shadow where the dementor's head was concealed from sight. She suddenly felt all her happiness drained from her, and she felt an icy grip around her heart. She closed her eyes to hide from the horrible faceless creature as she suddenly remembered what had happened the last day of school the year before...
"What do you want?"
A harsh, rough laugh.
"You Gryffindors always think you're so much better than everyone else."
"That's not true. It might be for Slytherins like you, but not for Gryffindors."
"Are you insulting my House?"
"Yes, it's full of dirty rotten asses like you."
"What did you say?"
"You heard me."
A tight grip on her wrist.
"Let go of me."
"You better watch what you say, Katie, or you'll regret it."
"I won't regret anything. Leave me alone."
"I'll be waiting for you next year, Katie."
Heart pounding. Walk away, quick.
Harsh, rough laughter echoing down the hall...