A/N: This is the result of me having no social life and an especially vicious plot bunny. It's meant to be a one shot, though it's sort of left open for a sequel if I ever felt like it. A shameless plug for my other stories as well- GO READ THEM TOO! Harry Potter and the Legend of the Four Founders, and New Beginnings. Please Read and Review.
Discalimer: J.K. Rowling is brilliant and rich, so please don't sue me, whatever I have financially would be like spitting in the ocean to her. I don't own Oliver, Katie, Quidditch, or anything else from Harry's world.
The stadium popped into view, as Katie Bell appeared amid the sound of hundreds of other wizards also Apparating around her. She turned to her left, checking to see that she had not been separated from her older sister, Christine, before they walked toward the queue outside the gates.
"Tickets please," intoned an elderly wizard, wearing robes with 'STAFF' stamped across the front and back.
Katie handed him her ticket, waiting patiently while he tore off the stub and handed it back to her. Pausing for her sister to get through as well, Katie couldn't help but feel as if she were attending her first Quidditch game all over again. The butterflies were winging around her stomach, and she couldn't get her mind off Oliver. She hadn't seen him in a little over three years, three years where she had tried, and failed, to get over her crush on him. Any recovery she had made was reversed when she got his latest letter.
Oliver corresponded with all the members of his old Gryffindor Quidditch team, and Katie had always known he wasn't just favoring her. When she became Gryffindor's Quidditch Captain the past year, her last year at Hogwarts, she and Oliver corresponded even more. Mostly they talked of tactics and plays, and seemed nothing more than friends. But then she had received the tickets only a few days before graduation.
I have some very exciting news. Puddlemere's starting Keeper is in St. Mungo's with the dragon pox, so I have been called up to play! As a starting player I get four tickets to each match, I already sent two to my parents, but I thought you might like to be at my first ever professional match. Consider it an early graduation present.
Oh, and congratulations on winning the Quidditch Cup. I bet that sure showed the Slytherin's who rules Quidditch at Hogwarts.
See you at the match!
It would have been an understatement for Katie to say she had been happy; she had been ecstatic. However, she was also a little confused. Oliver had not sent Angelina or Alicia Quidditch tickets, granted he had not been starting then, but why had he chosen her? He always seemed closest to Fred and George of all the team members, with Angelina and Alicia next, then herself, and finally Harry.
Katie had always been good at hiding her feelings for Oliver. She would never confess that the only reason she even tried out for the team in her second year was to be closer to Oliver. The only person who knew how she felt was Christine, who had helped her spend the entire summer between first and second year practicing. Christine was also the only person who knew how Katie still felt.
Katie started when she felt the gentle pressure from Christine's hand on her shoulder, tearing her away from her thoughts.
"Thanks for coming with me," Katie said, smiling at her sister. "I know you would rather be spending the day with Josh and little Clara."
Christine smiled back, apparently at the thought of her husband and five month old daughter. "Josh needs some bonding time with Clara; anyway, I wouldn't miss a chance to hang around with my baby sister."
Katie was glad her sister had agreed to come with her. She knew she never would have been able to pick between inviting Angelina and Alicia, though Katie did feel a bit guilty about having not even told them about the tickets or the match.
As they walked toward their appropriate seating entrance, Katie couldn't help but look around in awe. She had never been to a professional game before, having been unable to get tickets to the Quidditch World Cup four years previously. They were walking in the broad outer corridor of the stadium, from which other concrete passages spiked off to the different seating sections. Along the other side, different food and merchandise vendors had set up their stands. Katie was slightly shocked to walk by one stand, swarming with teenage girls, which was selling buttons, banners, and shirts with Oliver's face plastered on them.
Katie recalled the copy of the cover of Puddlemere's fan newsletter that Oliver had sent her two years ago. She had laughed at it then, seeing his gorgeous face gracing the cover with the caption: Puddlemere's reserve Keeper has to do more than just dodge bludgers! Inside was an article on the popularity Oliver seemed to posses among the ladies, especially the teenage fans, some of who would go to great lengths to meet him.
Inside, Katie felt hot surges of jealousy at the younger girls who were pinning over her guy: her guy, whom she had never once hinted at her feelings for. She couldn't help but think herself a bit stupid for not telling him; now she just might loose him to one of these bimbos wearing his face across her breasts.
The hallway that led to the reserved box seats for players' families was near the very end of the stadium. Katie and Christine climbed for what felt like forever, before finally emerging high above the pitch. Another staff member double checked their tickets before ushering them into one of the boxes and showing them to their seats.
As Katie and Christine sat down, a middle aged, but very pleasant looking woman in the seat next to Katie turned and addressed her.
"You must be Katie Bell," she conversed cheerfully, extending her hand. "I'm Colleen Wood, and this is my husband Jacob. Oliver has told us so much about you."
Katie managed to politely shake hands and introduce her sister to the Woods; all the while her heart was screaming "Oliver talks about you to his mum!"
There wasn't too much time for Katie to talk with Oliver's parents. Soon the announcer's magically modified voice filled the stadium, signaling that the match was about to start. First, the opposing team, the Wigtown Wanderers, shot out onto the field. Wearing blood red robes, they flew around the field once, amid polite clapping and cheering from some of their traveling fans. Next, Puddlemere United was introduced, and seven players dressed in deep blue flew out as their names were announced, to wild cheering. When Oliver's name was read, the stadium hit an even higher pitch, as hundreds of women and girls collectively whooped for the handsome Keeper.
The players took their positions, waiting for the referee to release the balls. The box Katie was seated in was situated just off center, closer to Puddlemere's goal posts, and eye level with the golden hoops, affording her a tantalizing view of Oliver, as he hovered on his broom.
The Quaffle was released, along with two bludgers and the tiny Golden Snitch, which effectively disappeared from sight in a few short seconds. Katie's attention was drawn toward the Chasers, and was amazed by their flying and ball handling abilities, on both teams. Puddlemere caught the Quaffle at the toss up, and sped off toward the opposite side of the pitch, but Wigtown wasted no time to getting the ball back, with a spectacular interception by one of their Chasers during a pass.
The red player zoomed toward Oliver, who was hovering in a sort of lopsided figure eight pattern. Katie could see the unconcerned look on his face, which meant he was in his zone. That look was so disconcerting to other players, and Katie knew from experience that much of Quidditch was a mind game as much as a physical one.
The Wigtown Chaser set himself up for the score, changing direction suddenly and heaving the Quaffle toward the lower left goal post. Oliver was quick though, diving and knocking the Quaffle away with only the tips of fingers. It was picked up by one of the Puddlemere Chasers and hurried off toward the other team's goal. The crowd went crazy; Katie, Christine, and Oliver's parents included. Katie could see Oliver give his signature smirk, which he always wore after a particularly difficult save, but for a split second Katie thought he had looked up at her box, smiling genuinely.
The match continued on for another hour, with Puddlemere scoring five times, while Oliver missed only two saves. All action on the field seemed to freeze as the two Seekers came hurtling toward the earth, so close together in a swirl of red and blue that it was hard to tell whose broom belonged to whom. The crowd collectively held their breaths, as the Snitch disappeared from the air and the Puddlemere player pulled upward again, waving the fist clutching the tiny ball in the air. Once more the stadium was filled with screaming people, celebrating the win.
The players exited the field, Wigtown looking crestfallen and Puddlemere delighted with their replacement Keeper. The fans also began slowly filing out, filling every available inch of the main corridor in their attempt to get outside either to the Apparating point or to the large free standing fireplaces to Floo home. Excited chatter came from everywhere, and Katie and Christine had to try very hard to not get separate from Mr. and Mrs. Wood, who were leading the way to the entrance to the team locker rooms.
If Katie thought the main corridor was hectic, it was nothing compared to the chaos outside the locker rooms. Crazed fans were crowding around, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite player. Katie spotted several more girls wearing Oliver shirts, ruthlessly pushing at the crowd in front of them, calling out Oliver's name.
Two very muscular wizards were guarding the door to the locker room, which bore a clear sign stating that only press and those with authorized locker room passes could enter. Katie couldn't help but walk proudly up to the men and present her ticket. She also couldn't help but notice the venomous and loathing looks she was given by some of the women in the crowd.
Another wizard inside led them to the waiting area for family and friends, which was in clear view of Oliver's locker. He was currently surrounded by several reporters, along with a microphone set up for the Wizarding Wireless Network. Every few seconds a flash bulb would go off, leaving a puff of smoke hanging in the air momentarily. Katie again felt the nervous nausea in her stomach when she heard Oliver's voice for the first time in what felt like forever.
"Oliver, how do you think your first professional match went?" shouted a burlesque female reporter near the back of the horde.
"Well, we won didn't we," Oliver joked in response. "I thought it went quite well, the rest of the team played excellent. Witherly left some big shoes for me to fill, but I'd like to think that I lived up to the expectations."
"So, you weren't nervous before the game?" asked a male reporter near the front.
"No, I was nervous, but once I got into the air, you know, it becomes natural."
"You missed two saves today, are you disappointed about that?" inquired a third reporter.
"Well, I never claimed to be perfect," Oliver responded, "but I don't think allowing two goals is too bad, especially against a team as strong as Wigtown. I don't know, Coach might disagree with me on that come practice."
The reporters chuckled, and several photographers shifted to get different angles. Through the gap, Katie made eye contact with Oliver, who smiled widely when he saw her. Katie, in turn, blushed deeply and looked quickly away.
The reporters, ever observant, noticed Oliver's attention had drifted and quickly turned to follow his gaze. Katie tried to will away the blushing as several cameras went off in her direction.
"Hey," Oliver growled, obviously angry, "you know the rules: no pictures of family and friends unless you get permission from the player first."
"A bit touchy there," another female reporter pressed, "got a girl in your life?"
"That is none of your business," Oliver returned hotly, "now I think there are some other players waiting for your attention."
Katie could just imagine the type of speculation that would appear in the gossip papers the next day after that comment.
The reporters and photographers moved away reluctantly, finally leaving access to Oliver open.
Oliver embraced his mother and father first, before turning again to Katie.
"Sorry about that, the media can be so unscrupulous," he apologized.
"Don't worry about it," Katie responded, smiling shyly. She wondered why she couldn't control her emotions, she never used to have this problem around Oliver, but then again, he seemed a little awkward around her as well.
"You played a great game," Christine told him, breaking the silence.
Katie looked at her sister gratefully, and then remembering that she and Oliver had never met, introduced them.
"You are both welcome at my apartment," he invited, "for some 'Post Oliver's First Professional Game' drinks."
Katie eagerly accepted.
"Would you like me go ahead and set up?" Colleen offered her son. "No doubt you haven't cleaned the place either."
Oliver gave his mother a lopsided grin, "you're the greatest, Mum."
"Yes, I know I am," she replied, returning her son's smile.
"As much as I would love to attend, I think it's time for me to be getting back to my husband and daughter," Christine replied. "I shudder to think of the state the house may be in upon my return. Katie, I'll assume you will want to be polite and wait for Oliver, so I will see you tomorrow night for Sunday dinner. It was nice to meet you, Oliver."
"You too," Oliver replied as Christine and his parents exited the locker room.
Katie sat down on one of the benches, leaning against the locker behind her while she waited for Oliver to finish changing.
"I want to thank you for inviting me; I was shocked you asked me and not two of the other old team mates."
"Well, I knew you had never been to a professional game before, plus, we haven't seen each other is so long..." he trailed off.
Katie blushed once more, silently cursing the reaction. "How do you know I hadn't been to a professional game since you graduated?" she teased instead.
Oliver grinned and replied back without missing a beat, "because you would have been so excited you would have written and told me immediately, just like you did when McGonagall named you Quidditch Captain."
"Did my letters really let you get to know me that well?" Katie responded rhetorically, laughing at the truthfulness of his statement.
"I just have to store my equipment," Oliver told her, hanging his robe in his locker, "and then we can get going."
"Do you have to walk out through that mad house outside the locker room door?"
Oliver laughed, a sound Katie was only just realizing how much she had missed. "You would think the mad girls outside that door would have figured it out by now that we have a back way out, since none of us ever leave through the front door."
"You can't just Apparate out?"
Oliver laughed again. "This room has anti-apparation charms on it. Could you imagine it if it didn't; how many crazy fans would be Apparating in here?"
Katie had to admit she hadn't thought of that. When Oliver was finally ready, he led her through a passage at the back of the locker room, which terminated at what appeared to be a solid wall. Oliver pushed on it, and it swung open, allowing the warm summer air to rush in.
Katie stepped out first, and Oliver followed, and when he closed the door it blended in so perfectly with the rest of the wall that no one would ever be able to find it from the outside.
Now that they were outside, Oliver told Katie where to Apparate to, and with two loud cracks they were both gone.
Katie appeared in Oliver's living room, while Oliver appeared in his kitchen, startling his mother. Katie realized Oliver must have been doing fairly well as a reserve player, judging by his 'apartment,' which was the size of a small house.
"Welcome to my bachelor pad," Oliver joked, helping his mother by carrying out a tray of drinks. His mother followed shortly after with a cake that had 'Congratulations Oliver' written in blue icing on the top.
Katie accepted a glass of wine from Colleen, who poured herself a glass as well. Oliver and his father both poured themselves a glass of Firewhisky.
"A toast," his father announced, holding up his glass while Oliver's face turned slightly red. "To Oliver, to his first professional game of Quidditch and to many more. May he become the most famous Keeper Puddlemere has ever had."
"Hear, hear," Katie and Colleen chorused as everyone clinked their cups together.
After cake, a few more glasses of wine, and much conversation, Oliver's parents announced that they need to be heading home, leaving Katie and Oliver alone.
"I'll help you clean up," Katie offered, starting to get up off the sofa.
"Don't worry about it now, I'll do it later," Oliver replied, holding her back. He had been sitting next to her for the entire night, but after his parents had left he had moved much closer.
"You know, it really has been great to see you again," he told her, reclining and putting his feet up on the coffee table in front of them. With a flick of his wand, he turned on a radio in the corner of the room, which instantly filled he room with one of the Weird Sister's new songs.
"Ahh, I love this song. I was so disappointed that I had to graduate the year before they would play at Hogwarts," Oliver commented.
"It's over played," Katie responded jokingly.
"You know, Miss Bell, that is quite a sense of humor you have acquired since I last saw you."
"It comes from spending too much time with Fred and George," she replied.
"I heard they never graduated, but threw themselves out of school?"
Katie laughed at the memory. "Yes, we'll all be telling our children about their escape."
Katie blushed deeply and looked at her feet, "you know what I meant," she grumbled.
"You know, there was always one thing I never understood," Oliver mused.
"What was that?" Katie asked out of pure curiosity.
"Why you never told me that you had a crush on me."
Katie nearly choked on her mouthful of wine. "How did you know?" she sputtered.
"It took me a while to figure it out, half way through my 7th year in fact. I kept noticing how you acted around other guys and how you acted around me, you didn't flirt, or tease, or joke around me like you did around the other guys. I, being a guy, didn't understand why this was, so I asked Alicia and Angelina, not telling them it was you, of course. They responded that they suspected this girl had a crush on me, and didn't want to show her true feelings, so she always checked her personality when I was around. Judging by your reaction, they were right."
Katie once again resumed staring at her feet. "What would you have done if I had told you?" she finally asked.
"Well, if still at Hogwarts, I would have invited you to a Hogsmeade weekend with me. If you would have mentioned something in one of your letters, I would have tried to set up a date over one of the holidays or something."
"I think I may have had too much to drink, because I think I'm hearing things," Katie mumbled, putting her wine glass down.
"Believe it or not, Quidditch wasn't the only thing I thought about at school. And it wasn't the only thing I thought about after I left either."
"So why didn't you tell me?" Katie demanded. "Especially if you knew I liked you."
"I suspected you liked me, but I kept hoping you would tell me yourself before I left, and then when you didn't, I started to doubt. Perhaps Angelina and Alicia had been wrong. I didn't want to make a fool of myself, or worse, get rejected."
Katie laughed a little, "so what we are saying is that we've both been hiding our feelings for years, and if one of us had grown enough backbone to tell the other, we could be sitting here as significant others instead of friends."
Oliver nodded and put down his glass as well. "So I guess we'll just have to make up three years of lost time."
Before Katie was able laugh or reply, Oliver had pressed his lips against hers. She just stared at him for a few seconds, feeling his mouth on hers, before instinct took hold and her eyes fluttered closed. She wrapped her arms around him, kissing him back. Shivers involuntarily ran through her entire body as he returned the embrace, sliding his hands up and down her back, occasionally running a hand through her hair. He kissed her harder, and she felt herself sliding down on the sofa, until he was on top of her. She ruffled his hair, using her hands to pull his head closer still. When he slipped his tongue into her mouth, she let out an unconscious moan. She was suddenly very glad to be pinned under him on the sofa, for had they been standing, she was sure her knees would have given out. A feeling she had never felt before had taken hold of her body, a strange tingling that covered every inch of her skin. It was intoxicating, and the longer they kissed the more she wanted to feel this new sensation. She couldn't remember who slipped their hands under the other's clothing first, but she was finally brought back to her senses when she felt his hands slide under her bra. Her eyes snapped open and she pulled her mouth away, though somewhat reluctantly.
"We can't," she breathed heavily, looking up at his now open eyes. "I think we've had too much to drink."
"I'm sorry," he replied, "you're right, that was way too fast. But I don't think we can blame it purely on the alcohol, we both wanted to do that for a long time."
Katie nodded in agreement. She was still trying to catch her breath, and the tingling sensation still had not fully faded. "So after all that, does it mean we are dating?"
Oliver looked at her very seriously. "I would be the happiest Quidditch player in the world if you were my girlfriend, but Katie, you have to understand what you are getting into. You saw that circus outside the locker room, and the way the media reacted. You'll be press gossip material, and the female fans, they have been known to send Howlers to the women who date players they are obsessed with."
Katie grinned. "I think I can handle the media, after all, I start my job at the Department of Magical Games and Sports soon, and that means I have sway over which newspapers get access to the locker room. As for your adoring fans, I think I can deal with a few cursing letters as long as I know I'm the one dating you."
Oliver leaned forward and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips. "You're the best."
"I know I am," she giggled back. "Now let me help you clean up, then I should probably be heading home, it's late."
"You know you could always just spend the night, you know what they say: 'Apparation and Alcohol don't mix.'"
Katie chuckled as he pouted, pulling his best puppy dog face in hopes of convincing her to stay. "My parents would kill me if I didn't sleep at home," she reminded him. "But what about if we do something tomorrow, you do get Sundays off, right?"
"Well then, how about you come over in the afternoon and then come with me and my parents to my sister's house for Sunday dinner."
Oliver grinned, "it's a date."
Katie helped Oliver wash the dishes, which ultimately ended in a small scale water war in the kitchen. After they had cleaned that up, Katie knew she had to leave. After a long kiss good night, which neither was happy to end, Katie Apparated home, and straight into her own bedroom. As she dressed for bed, she thought about how the day had ended with events that not even her wildest dreams could have conjured. Very content, and thinking herself quite possibly in love, she fell asleep to waiting dreams of Oliver, and a very real future with him as well.
A/N: Love it? Hate it? Just bored? Review it! Also, be sure to check on the sequel, Season Tickets.