Disclaimer:I own nothing, sadly.
The Return of the Unreliable Keeper
She didn't think she could ever touch a necklace again.
It was ridiculous, really, she knew. After what happened she couldn't just disassociate with everything that was related to that… event, but she just couldn't understand how it had happened to her. Nothing dramatic involved her. She'd never been caught up in spectacle. She was the girl who stood in the background, watching.
Her mind wouldn't let her forget it. The memory was constantly prodding at her, whether she was conscious or asleep. She'd stop thinking about it when she was awake, but then she'd suddenly remember that she was supposed to not be thinking about what had happened - and before she knew it, she was remembering what had taken place that day in Hogsmeade.
The small package fell to the ground.
Katie had risen into the air, strangely graceful in movement, like a trapeze artist. She felt her arms outstretch, as though she was about to take flight. Her eyes were shut and her hair was lashed back…
And then it hit her.
She saw…things, things that didn't belong to this world; not even to the wizarding world. She forced her eyes open but they were still grabbing at her, and she screamed her lungs dry because they simply wouldn't go away. Someone pulled at her leg. For a second she thought it was one of those monsters trying to take hold of her, and she continued to wildly thrash and yell. Before long, she'd been lowered to the ground and saw unfamiliar faces hovering over her, obscured by the creatures; the things that looked like death. It was almost as if looking at them was harming her eyes because the longer they were in her sight, the more the overwhelming wish to become blind became stronger. The monsters had a sort of suffocating ability, merely from a stare. She thought she could hear Leanne's voice, her voice calling out to her and other voices too, but she drowned them out with her own.
Then, she'd been scooped into large arms, which as she later discovered belonged to Hagrid, and she still screamed in his hold, because the things were still there. Screaming was her only option, in hope to deafen whatever those monsters were to demise.
And now? Now she was here. In St. Mungo's, trying not to think about it, trying not to go crazy in this place because she couldn't seem to recall how long she'd been in here. Sitting in a hospital bed recovering was like watching paint dry. She didn't know how much longer she could take of it, the sympathetic visitors. She loved her mother, really she did, but she wasn't getting enough sleep. She could tell by her worsening bloodshot eyes every time she popped in to see her. She was worried about what had happened to her, even though she was recovering. Hell, even Katie herself was worried about what had happened to her - how she would recover from this - but she wouldn't tell anyone that.
She wanted to go back to Hogwarts. She missed everyone. She missed Quidditch.
She missed Oliver—but Oliver had nothing to do with Hogwarts, she reprimanded herself. He wasn't there anymore. She didn't even know where he was. Thinking about him was irrelevant right then…
Yet somehow Oliver ended up being relevant to everything. Pointless details reminded her of him; the smell of a boy's aftershave, a similar scrawl of handwriting, even a comparable laugh.
He hadn't written to her once. He'd left Hogwarts so long ago, and she hadn't received one letter from him. When she'd got back to Hogwarts castle the next school year she had tried to adjust to Oliver's absence by forgetting he had ever existed at all, but there was always hope in the bottom of her stomach whenever the owls flew in with letters at breakfast in the Great Hall. She always looked up, hoping one would be from him...
Except that day never came. Katie barely acknowledged the owls since. She hated Oliver for not getting into contact. They had been friends, fellow Quidditch team players - had that meant nothing? It was as though he'd left the castle for better things; that Puddlemere United Reserve team. She'd always thought he preferred Quidditch over her. She preferred Quidditch over him…
Except that was an obvious lie.
She needed to get out of this place. She needed to get back to Hogwarts with its many distractions. She wanted her broom so badly, to fly again. Being in here let her think too much, made her think about Oliver. Thinking about him made her feel miserable, something she didn't like because she was the happy-go-lucky girl. She hated the power he had over her. He wasn't even bloody here or related to anything, yet she was still thinking about him.
Katie heaved a sigh and rolled on her side, trying to escape under the sheets of her bed.
Another Healer, Katie recognized, calling her from over her shoulder.
Glaring into her pillow, she finally answered, "What is it?"
"You've got a visitor."
Katie groaned. "It's not mum again, is it? Tell her to go home and get some rest…"
She tried to shuffle her head more comfortably into her pillow, when she heard a murmur from behind.
Her eyes popped out of her head, turning to face her visitor. She knew fully well who it was from his voice; a little huskier than usual, but warm and familiar.
With the Healer gone, Oliver had entered the wing, standing by her bedside looking the same as ever, a bit burly with the usual mop of hair, looking oddly strange in Muggle clothes, not the usual Quidditch uniform Katie was used to seeing him in. It had been three years but he hadn't changed a bit – except a bunch of flowers was held over one shoulder instead of a Quidditch broom.
"Hey," he said, with a small smile. She noticed he looked somewhat apprehensive, using a pitying gaze on her. Katie's throat felt tight.
"Hey," she answered back quietly. Oliver looked almost disappointed by her reaction.
"Is that all I get as a greeting?" he asked good-humouredly, and felt the wind being knocked out of him as Katie attacked him in a hug, sitting up and kneeling on the bed. She heard him catch his breath and guessed the only possible explanation for it was that his ribs were being crushed. She rested the tip of her chin on his shoulder.
"Git," she cursed him low under her breath. Oliver chuckled as he squeezed her back. She released him for a bit, only to smack him in the arm and study his face. The dimples were still there. "You're a stupid prat," she told him, before hugging him again. She shut her eyes, taking in his warmth. "God, I missed you…"
She wanted to hit him for calling her that…and she did.
"You'd think people recovering in St. Mungo's wouldn't hit others," Oliver pondered aloud, rubbing his recently bruised arm.
She missed his arms the second he released her. "Perhaps I want you ill so you can keep me company here," she joked, sitting back down in bed. She eyed the flowers in Oliver's hand and faked a gasp. "Are those what I think they are, Mr. Wood?" She looked impressed.
"Oh, these?" Oliver prodded the tulips. "They may look like flowers," he said, putting them down on the bedside table, "but at the stroke of midnight, they turn back into pumpkins with a puff of smoke."
"Your poor attempt at jokes only worsens my recovery," Katie mentioned, hoping he would take the hint – which he did, sticking out his tongue at her.
Oliver admired the colouring of his developing bruise and cracked a smirk in her direction, "Have you been working out?"
"Git," she cursed him again, aiming her pillow at his chest, but she was laughing. She missed laughing with him like this. Oliver picked up the pillow that had bounced off his chest and carefully placed it back behind Katie's head as she lay back down, looking up at him. After a few seconds of heated eye contact, Oliver turned away and Katie was staring up at the white of the ceiling again. She sighed.
"I'm going crazy in this place, Oliver." She'd meant it to come out lighter in a more chitchat manner, but instead it came out as a faint whisper. "I think too much in here," she continued quietly. "Claustrophobic, you know?" She turned her gaze off the ceiling to read his expression and found Oliver staring off into space with a glint in his eye. "What?" she enquired.
Her voice snapped him out of his reverie and he grinned, "I'm smuggling you out of here."
Katie blinked. "I beg your pardon?"
"Can you get up and walk about?" he questioned her casually.
Katie furrowed her brow in confusion. "Well, I'm still a bit weak but I can travel at a moderate speed—"
Oliver grabbed her hand and Katie choked on her phlegm. "What are you doing?" she demanded.
"Getting you out of here."
Gently, he pulled her out of the bed. Once her bare feet touched the cold floor she stumbled a bit, realized she was weaker than she originally thought. Oliver helped her upright and held onto her waist. She flushed at the close contact, smoothing out her hospital gown.
"What are you doing?" she asked again, laughing to the point of absurdity.
"Keep your voice down, you'll wake the other patients," Oliver shushed her, gesturing to the other ill and sleeping witches and wizards in her wing, some behind closed curtains. "I'm getting you out of here, kid—"
"I'm seventeen, you pillock, and have you completely lost it?" Katie tried to make her way back to the bed but Oliver had a firm grip on her hand. "The Healers will see us escape!" she reminded him, pleased she had thought a quandary to his plan.
"Don't worry," Oliver reassured her, and Katie would do nothing but the aforementioned as he made his way to the exit of the wing, tugging her along with him, "They won't see you. Hide under my cloak."
"What?" Katie hissed, her grip tightening on Oliver's hand. She watched Oliver unbutton his large cloak and gestured for her to come forward.
"How am I supposed to hide when you're still wearing it, Oliver?"
"It's a big cloak," Oliver said, as though that obviously answered her question. "I'll button it up again when you're under it. Come on," he pressed, "before another Healer comes in."
"I'm not sure if it's just the hospital air but you've completely lost your marbles—waaaah," she cut off as Oliver tugged her forwards and she smacked into his chest. Before she could argue, Oliver wrapped the cloak around her and she plunged into darkness, pressed up against Oliver's warm body.
"Move when I move," she heard Oliver tell her in a low whisper.
"Just do it, kid—"
"Don't call me that—mmpph!"
Suddenly, she felt Oliver moving and she shuffled across the floor with him as the idea of being flattened by him in mobility wasn't appealing. She heard the sound of doors swinging open; and she guessed they'd exited her wing and stepped out into a corridor. She could do nothing but clutch his shirt, wondering what on earth they as a pair looked like outside the cloak cocoon.
"This is not going to work," Katie mumbled, determined to be cynical.
"It will – in fact, it is," Oliver informed her. Katie continued to blindly shuffle, hearing the odd voice of a witch or wizard pass them by.
"They probably think you're harboring a large monkey under your coat – not to mention this cloak isn't long enough to cover my shoes, so you apparently have an extra pair of feet."
"Ssssshhh," Oliver hushed her. Katie blew up in outrage.
"You did not just shush me, Oliver Wood!"
Katie's heart pounded in her chest, the beat doubling as she listened to Oliver's, just as quick. Was Oliver really going to smuggle her out of St. Mungo's? Why? Why did he care so much? What would happen after? Where would they go? What would she tell her parents?
After a few minutes of Katie listening to Oliver greet the odd passerby with a polite hello or good morning, and a journey in the lift of St. Mungo's, they finally arrived in what Katie guessed was their destination as Oliver halted. Katie expected to hear the outside sounds of London, birds chirping or the engine of a car or bus. Instead, she felt the overwhelming smell of…
"Tea?" Katie announced absurdly.
At once, Oliver unbuttoned the cloak and Katie found they were in…
"The sodding St. Mungo's tea room."
She watched visitors and ill patients hobble across the room, some sipping tea, coffee and eating biscuits while sitting. Some patients were chatting animatedly about the apparently exciting lives they led being poorly in the hospital. Meanwhile, Katie shot Oliver a deathly glare.
"What?" He tried to look oblivious to it but a smirk was creeping on. "You didn't think I was going to kidnap you out of the hospital, did you? Merlin, you're still ill, you know."
Katie found herself sputtering but no words spilling out. Truth be told, she'd been kind of looking forward to the idea of running away with Oliver. With his foot, he hooked a nearby chair out from one of the small tea room tables and inclined Katie to park herself. Grumbling, Katie took the seat and Oliver pushed the chair closer towards the table in a gentleman-like manner.
"Tea?" he asked cheerfully, taking the seat opposite.
Not looking at all amused, Katie shook her head.
"Suit yourself, kid." Oliver swished his wand and a cup of tea plopped out of nowhere, settling itself on the table.
"I could kill you, Oliver," Katie hissed, hoping the hot cup of tea would burn his hands.
"Then who would you have a chat with over tea?" he questioned humorously, now adding lumps of sugar to his refreshment. As Katie watched him sip happily, she could feel her thirst peak. Being without wand, she couldn't magic up tea so easily, wishing she'd taken up Oliver's offer.
"Give me some," Katie said, reaching for the cup. Oliver snatched it out of her reach at the last second.
"Nu-uh." He shook his head. "Too late now."
"What do you mean 'too late'? Magic me some bloody tea!" Katie slammed her fists on the table.
"Alright, alright!" Oliver gave in, prepared to do anything to calm down. He pushed his cup of tea towards her. His mouth had left a wet mark on the rim of the cup, and Katie stared at it thoughtfully, before placing her mouth over it and sipping the drink. "Still haven't learnt any manners," he said, "even after… it's been so long…" he trailed off. Oliver turned sad and Katie looked up at from her drink with a frown.
"I'm sorry this happened to you," he said miserably with a fixed stare on her. Katie turned uncomfortable; they were discussing what had happened to her in Hogsmeade, a subject she wanted to either avoid or completely erase from her mind. "Really, I am—"
"It's best not to dwell on it, right?" Katie cut across him as happily as she could muster, brushing imaginary dust off her hospital clothes. Remembering what she was wearing she felt even more self-conscious - she wasn't exactly looking her best. She swallowed and stared at the beige of her drink.
"It would have never happened if I was there," Oliver told her, his voice gravelly.
"Yeah, it would have."
"No." Oliver shook his head determinedly. "No, it wouldn't."
Katie didn't know what to reply to that. All she could think was small talk. "This tea is very weak," she told the cup more than she was addressing the person opposite her, as though the cup were to blame.
"You don't have to be so strong about what happened, Katie," he said, watching her fiddle with the cup she was tilting from left to right on the table. She stopped when Oliver placed a firm hand on the cup, stopping her from fidgeting with it. "Talk to me."
"It needs more sugar," Katie continued on the subject of the tea. "Really, my mum makes much better tea—"
"Are you okay? About what happened, I mean—"
"I don't want to talk about it," Katie talked over him, again straightening her gown. She put on a cheery façade. "How's the Quidditch? Harry's captain this year—"
"Why are you so bloody happy? Are you completely forgetting what nearly happened to you?" Oliver looked her over with an incomprehensible expression. Katie turned sour.
"Do you want me to say it, Oliver?" she snapped touchily. "I nearly died. There you go. End of story."
Oliver's eyes turned wide at the'D' word . He sounded careful when he spoke. "If you'd… if you'd have gone that day I would have never forgiven myself—"
"I don't think you would have noticed if I had." The longer Katie was talking to him, the more anger that she'd kept on account of his disconnection with her was being released
"Of course I would have!" Oliver protested, his voice raising a little.
"It took me near death for you to be here today, Oliver," she murmured. It wasn't really the case, you could guess from his eyes, but he couldn't help but look ashamed. "Three years and nothing. Why didn't you write?"
"I…" He ran a hand through his hair and sighed. "I didn't know what to say." He ended on a helpless shrug.
"It can't have been that difficult."
"Of course it was. Everything is difficult with you… Nothing is simple."
"I wanted to hear from you," Katie told him inaudibly. "Anything from you. Even irrelevant things, like the weather—"
"The weather's good."
"And the Quidditch—"
"Quidditch is good, too."
Katie glared at him to some extent. "Will you stop that?"
"What?" he asked innocently. "I'm just answering your questions."
"I wanted them answered three years ago, Oliver," she bit back.
"Well, you never answered my question on whether you're okay about what happened…"
"I'm fine," she stressed. Oliver raised his brow at her. He always had that habit of knowing when she was lying. It couldn't hurt to tell Oliver the truth. "I'm angry at myself by how I treated Leanne…"
"Yeah, she was there… there when it happened." Katie raked a hand through her hair, pushing back her fringe. "She tried to help me, you know? She warned me there was something dodgy about taking that package, and I thought she was jealous." Remembering her actions and how she'd treated her friend made Katie hate herself. "I'm so stupid."
"No you're not," Oliver quickly disagreed. He tried to reach for her hand but she was cradling her head in both.
"I am, though!" she continued to insist. "You're always going on about how I'm a kid—"
"In jest, Katie," Oliver tried to interject.
"And you're absolutely right!" She looked horrified with herself. "I nearly got myself killed because I'm a stupid kid!"
"You weren't to know what was in that package," Oliver defended her.
"But I was stupid enough to take it, wasn't I?" she snarled, near tears. "Passing on that package could have killed someone. It nearly killed me. You know it's dark times, Oliver, you can't trust everyone so easily these days, but I just took that package like taking sweets from a stranger—"
"Stop it," Oliver cut across her, his tone fierce. He hated how she was acting; calling herself foolish when she'd only made an honest mistake. "Stop blaming yourself. You didn't know."
Katie couldn't understand it, couldn't understand him. "Why are you defending me? In fact, what are you even doing here?" She redirected her anger at herself and onto him. "Why did you have to come back into my life again? It's hard enough trying not to think about you when you're gone, and now you're here!" She threw up her hands.
"Come on Katie," he started gently, "I had to come see you—"
"Again - only because I was close to death," she reminded him viciously. "Merlin knows you wouldn't have been here if this hadn't happened to me." She looked him right in the eye. "I honestly don't know why you bothered coming when you're just going to turn around and leave again. I wonder how many years it'll be until you decide to pop in and see me again. Five? Ten?"
"Stop it," he pleaded quietly. He got out of his seat and tried to reach out for her, but she leapt out of her chair, recoiling away from him. All of a sudden she was feeling dizzy and she gripped the back of the chair. Oliver noticed this, taking her arm to help her. She wanted to push him away again, but she honestly didn't feel well enough to.
"Take me back," she told him, wanting her bed.
"Katie, I think we should talk about this—"
"I said, take me back!"
Oliver was speedy to reply, stricken by her order that had silenced the tea room. "Fine," he said.
Throughout the journey back to the wing they were in awkward silence. Katie was stiff against Oliver's touch as he helped her hobble along, the atmosphere so unlike the happy one on the way to the tea room. She wanted to be back under his cloak again. Being in the light and out in the open made her feel uneasy. Sitting in bed didn't seem so bad now.
"Mum?" Katie croaked.
She and Oliver had approached the wing and discovered a figure outside the corridor, just about to enter. The woman looked their way and Katie confirmed it was her, a forged smile on her mother's face automatically forming, just like with every visit. "Mum, what are you doing here? I thought I told you to go home and get some rest."
"Is it a crime to check on my daughter?" her mother asked humorously. Slowly, her eyes landed upon Oliver. He threw her a polite smile as he released Katie's arm, not wanting to come across as manhandling her. "You," Mrs. Bell pointed at Oliver and successfully made his brow sweat in worry. "You must be Oliver." A friendly smile formed at her lips and Oliver breathed a sigh of relief.
"Nice to meet you, Mrs. Bell," he replied.
"I've heard a lot about you," she enlightened him. Oliver stared at Katie at her mother's comment, but she was determinedly looking at the floor. "Well, I used to hear a lot about you," her mother continued, looking abruptly sad. "Not so much lately." She glimpsed at Oliver, almost asking him for a reason for that. "You need your rest, Katie. Why don't we all go inside and have a nice chat?" Mrs. Bell pushed opened the door and gestured for them to go forward.
"Actually, Oliver was just going," Katie said.
Oliver frowned at her but she merely stared back, indifferent.
"You were, dear?" Mrs. Bell looked disappointed.
Oliver looked reluctant to answer, trying to read Katie's face. "Apparently I was," he replied, raking a hand bemusedly through his hair. "Well, erm… Katie, b—"
She'd already entered the wing and slammed the door shut firmly behind her.
"Bye then," Oliver finished, telling the door instead. He heaved a sigh, massaging the bridge of his nose.
"I'm sorry," Mrs. Bell apologized, making Oliver jump as he'd forgotten she was still there. "Katie's very stubborn."
Oliver resisted agreeing. Taking his gaze off the door, he looked at Katie's mother and said, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Bell," bowing his head slightly.
"Sorry? What the devil for?" she asked, confused.
"I'm sorry I wasn't there to protect your daughter."
Mrs. Bell looked at him with the kindest expression.
"But, from my understanding, you've left Hogwarts, have you not?" she asked, and Oliver nodded. "Then there was really nothing you could have done. Whether you were in contact with my daughter or not outside of Hogwarts, you'd have hardly been able to bodyguard her whenever she left the castle."
Oliver didn't like her making him feel as though he wasn't at fault. "But I still feel responsible…."
"Please don't," Mrs. Bell told him. Oliver wanted to argue, but he gave in, nodding. What she said next surprised him. "Just make sure you're there to protect her the next time something like this happens."
Though the gesture seemed kind, Oliver couldn't help but notice a sense of threat behind her words. A familiar threat of a concerned mother, he guessed.
"I… I don't think I can guarantee that," he admitted. Mrs. Bell looked thwarted at his response.
"Katie was right then," Mrs. Bell said with sad eyes. "You are unreliable."
Again, Oliver resisted from arguing with her – or maybe it was because of the sheer truth behind her words.
"Goodbye, Mrs. Bell." He shook her hand quite formally.
He wrapped his cloak tightly around himself and he left down the corridor. Mrs. Bell shook her head after him and opened the door into the wing Katie was in. She approached her daughter; she was glaring up at the ceiling in bed.
"Katie," she began.
"Don't start, mum." And with that, she turned on her side and forced herself to sleep.
Mrs. Bell cleaned up the torn up tulip flower petals dumped by Katie's bed.
She was back, back in Hogwarts. Rejuvenated, ready for action, and most importantly prepared to kick some Ravenclaw arse in a final Quidditch match to win the Cup that day.
It was that morning in the Great Hall she received a letter by owl.
The weather's good. Quidditch is good, too.
Good luck with the match. You're going to need it (only kidding, Bell).
A derisive laugh erupted from her lips. He had actually listened to the conversation they had in St. Mungo's tea room. She remembered her words: 'I wanted to hear from you. Anything from you. Even irrelevant things, like the weather, and the Quidditch.'
"Cheeky bugger," she remarked aloud.
"Who is?" Leanne asked, glimpsing at the letter. Katie blushed.
"Nobody," she responded. She scrunched up the letter and tossed it into the left over milk in her bowl of cereal, not feeling hungry with the familiar pre-Quidditch nerves.
Walking down to the Quidditch pitch, all Katie could think about was how Oliver deduced she had a match that day. Lucky guess, she presumed.
Gryffindor had won, even without the famous Harry Potter, a surprise to all. A win of four hundred and fifty points to a hundred and forty. Naturally, every member of Gryffindor House was ecstatic, returning to the Tower in celebration for a party.
Katie had been chatting to Leanne when Harry Potter had entered to the sound of delighted screams, pulling him in. She smiled at the sight. She spotted Ginny Weasley running across the room. Along with the rest of the House watching in curiosity, she witnessed a charming moment of the two kissing to a background of wolf-whistles and giggling. Envy suddenly washed over her. Not that she wanted to kiss Harry Potter – goodness, that was wrong on so many levels. But the idea of someone running across a room to kiss her publicly, without a care in the world, just you and them… it was a scene she could never picture having with the boy she wanted.
"I'll be right back," Katie told her friend, before pushing through the crowd.
"What? Where are you going?" Leanne called after her.
"A walk!" Katie answered over the noise of the common room.
Grabbing her broom, she exited through the portrait hole.
Quidditch was like a stress relief for Katie, except after playing a match and already being tired, flying was only adding up to her deflated mood.
She'd looked out for him, Oliver, in the stands, throughout the game. After reading a letter from him that morning, an absurd idea had entered her brain, that Oliver, knowing she had a match that day, might turn up to watch it.
Unless he was hiding, he hadn't turned up.
Because he was never going to, and you were stupid to ever think that, Katie told herself. Stupid kid.
"Faster," Katie told herself, kicking her broom as she zoomed across the pitch. "Faster. You're too slow. You'll never make it big if you're this slow."
She kicked the broom again but her speed wouldn't increase. Frustrated, she flew back to ground and landed on the grass. She glared at the broom hovering obediently by her side, grabbed it with two hands, and hurled it across the ground in anger. It skidded across the grass and landed at someone's feet.
"You dropped something."
Katie looked up heatedly from the grass. Wiping sweat from her brow; she looked up into her former Captain's eyes. He waved the broom and came over to her as she stared at him, stunned by his arrival.
"You should treat your broom like your friend," Oliver told her, placing the battered broom back into her hand.
Katie promptly closed her mouth. "Well, I occasionally like to throw friends across grass. For example, I'm looking at one right now." As expected, she glowered at him.
Oliver looked both left and right humorously, before focusing on Katie with a mischievous smile. "Can't be me."
"And what makes you think that?"
"Because we're more than friends."
Katie raised her brow. "Really?" she folded her arms, trying to look unimpressed. "I don't see any evidence for that."
"Friends don't do this," Oliver told her, leaning forwards to kiss her. Katie, completely off guard, was unresponsive to the kiss at first, until getting over her pleasant surprise and kissing him back. Just as she dropped her broom and her hands curled around his neck, Oliver broke the kiss to withdraw with a pleased smile, just as Katie had started to kiss the air a little, unprepared and caught up in the moment.
Rubbing her tinting cheeks a little, she looked away. "Well, I certainly don't do that with Leanne…"
"I'm glad." Oliver considered his answer. "Well, actually—"
"We'll press no further on that matter," Katie cut over him. She studied him, completely bewildered. "Oliver, just… what the heck brought that on? And what in Merlin's name are you doing here?"
"I'm here to surprise you," he said.
"Well, you definitely surprised me," she admitted, fanning herself a little. "Especially doing that… thing… with your mouth."
"And," he took her hand and entwined their fingers, "I did you a favour."
Katie didn't like his somewhat arrogant tone. "You did?"
"You thought I was in the crowd watching you play today, so you automatically played better to impress me."
Katie noticeably reddened. "I did not," she said shrilly.
"I can read you like a Quidditch magazine."
"That's a lovely comparison," Katie commented.
"And the kiss," Oliver went on to explain. "It was something your mother said, actually." He smiled at the memory.
Katie groaned, "My mum?"
"At St. Mungo's, she told me: 'make sure you're there to protect her the next time something like this happens'," he quoted her eloquently, looking thoughtful.
"And that didn't scare you off?" Katie sputtered.
"She's a wise woman."
"More like barmy," she muttered.
"Your mum got me thinking of this… weird theory," Oliver said.
"Perhaps I should sit down for this," Katie suggested amusingly. She plonked down on the grass and Oliver followed suit.
"Let's say, your Quidditch position you play is based on who you are and what you do as a person."
"Right," Katie replied carefully, plucking strands of grass.
"Well, I'm a Keeper. So, I protect the goals, so I have the want to protect something," Oliver said, looking at her with glinting eyes. "I want to protect you."
Katie stopped playing with the grass, trying not to let a delighted air come about her. "Pray tell, what does my Quidditch position say about me?" she asked curiously, her complete attention on him and him only.
"You're a Chaser," Oliver told her. "You have the want to chase." Katie could see where this was going. "You like chasing me."
"Oh I see this theory of yours flatters you very well," Katie said. Oliver smirked back.
"I know," he agreed haughtily.
Katie leaned forward on her knees and gave him a small kiss.
"I hope your theory is true," she told him seriously.
"I hope so, too," he replied, just as earnest.