A/N: One shot guys. My usual… Only, I really like this one. And it's actually a good length! Be proud of me!
Disclaimer: Well, the plot and stuff but the rest is JKR's.
Summary: With Madame Pomfry missing in action and Oliver hospitalized by the girl who's been begging for his attention all year, you're bound to get something interesting. But poor Oliver just wants to read his Quidditch Times and be left alone!
And now, without further any ado…
A Few Quaffles Astray
"Did you come here for a specific reason or are you just admiring your handiwork?"
They were in the hospital wing, Oliver in a bed staring grumpily across the room and Katie a few stubborn feet away.
She shrugged, her eyes scanning over the damage: a cut eye, possibly broken rib, extremely bruised ego. "I …thought about apologizing."
"…for hitting six quaffles at me? Or aiming a bludger at my skull?" Oliver shot, his eyebrows raised skyward, "Now, why would that call for an apology?"
"No, seeing that you deserved." Katie made an awkward motion where she sort of placed her arm on the window sill but then moved it back on her hip at the last minute. She was a lot less confident now that she was off her broom, had nothings to throw at him, and her fury had deflated to a mere anger. "I want to apologize for calling your mother a troll's hussy." She cleared her throat. "That was uncalled for."
Despite the sarcasm and rudeness of Bell's entrance, Oliver could tell it was a sincere apology. The truth was if the circumstances had been slightly different (without Bell hurling painful objects towards his body in a thundering rage) this bit on his mother would have been mildly humorous. Sitting in the bed, Oliver actually had to bite back a smile.
But this wasn't exactly a time for jokes, and he wasn't Captain of Gryffindors Quidditch Team for nothing. Oliver summoned the last bit of pride he had within him and added, "You missed the team, they were in earlier," although he had meant to say something a bit more offensive.
Katie actually laughed, easing up slightly. "I think they would've chucked me out if I did come with them. Besides, I was in a right state." Katie blushed crimson and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
"No kidding." Oliver muttered under his breath, repositioning himself in his bed and reaching for Quidditch Times as though their little meeting was over.
"You deserved it you know."
"Hm." Oliver propped the magazine on his knees and opened to the first page: Can Joseph Fellington bring the Tuckers out of their Slippery Slump? No. Joe Fellington was a dingbat coach if Oliver ever saw one. Fellington refused to accept the newest research on tactics, insisting that his players study ancient Seeker's guidelines from the pre-Nimbus era! As if that would solve all of Quidditch's problems… Twit.
Katie watched seething as Oliver read the first couple paragraphs of his Quidditch Times, to which she would immediately be canceling her subscription (regretting the fact that she once memorized all of the leading stories simply because she had seen it peaking out of Oliver's Quidditch bag, "Good conversation starters," Alicia had suggested).
Wanting nothing more than to rip that effing magazine to shreds, Katie held her breath and filled her cheeks with air. This was a calming ritual she had seen her mother go through many times, usually when her boss would call during obscene hours or whenever Katie's grandfather came up in conversation. Funnily enough, as she was popping her face like a gorilla, Oliver chose this moment to pay Katie the attention for which she had been begging none too subtly this entire year.
"What're you doing?" He asked, peering above a glowering image of a brutal looking Chaser.
Separating her lips slightly, she let the air out like a balloon and tried to avoid spraying her Quidditch Captain with her sweet-Bell saliva. "Nothing."
Now that Oliver was staring right at her, gorgeous Scottish Wood eyes and all, she couldn't think of anything to say. Not that she wasn't mad. She still was, of course.
"Okay," Oliver said and returned back to his magazine, wondering why the hell she was standing there if she wasn't going to at least yell at him like he knew she wanted to. God! Women!
Not that he knew much about them but he was getting more than he needed out of Bell. He didn't even encourage her and she seemed attached to him. It had to be one of those teenage crushes that would go away. Surely! Because if this kept up -repeatedly physically injuring your Captain, for example- he might have to kick her from the team. And Bell was a very good Chaser. And, before all of this weird stuff, they had talked. Well, a little. Wood didn't socialize much, but he could tell that Katie was a nice girl. He was just waiting for this stage to pass and then practices would be much easier, and less painful.
The space between the two seemed to fog with awkwardness, blended with the sounds of magazine pages slicking together as Oliver turned a page. Katie broke the silence with an unexpected feminine squeak that was uncharacteristically vulnerable.
"You could at least pretend to notice my feelings."
This caught his attention. Oliver dipped down his magazine and saw that her eyes had become red and puffy. "…What?"
"Really! For Merlin's sake, you're so blind a girl could ing strip in front of you and you'd keep shouting Quidditch tips at her!"
This was a shocking statement on many levels. Not only had a fourteen year old just said the word loud and proud in a public hospital ward, but referenced how blind he was with girls and alluded to stripping in front of him.
So, Oliver just sort of sat there, his magazine very much forgotten at his bedside and his mouth hung open in disbelief. He was racking his brain quick, wondering what the hell he was supposed to say in response. He couldn't actually remember Bell taking her clothes off during practice…What if it had actually happened and he hadn't noticed at all and he had kept yelling instructions at her? ".I…?" Where the ruddy Scott is Madame Pomfry?
"See, look at you. You are a mess. Have you even stopped to think about anything you've accomplished this year, other than Quidditch?"
By the look on her face, she had meant this question to have some impact on him, but at least this Oliver knew the answer to. "Why should I? I'm setting up for the Leagues you know, and this Hogwarts stuff looks great to the scouts. I'm practicing constantly and being Captain'll look really good to the recruiters! Plus, I'm reading up about the different teams, although you have no guarantee of where you're going or even if you're going-"
Katie sat down on one of the visitor's chairs and just looked at him.
"What?" He asked and cocked his head a bit to the side.
She smiled. He looked cute like that.
"Nothing," she said.
Oliver grumbled. He had forgotten what he was talking about.
There was quiet for a few minutes during which Katie watched the grounds and wondered why she couldn't have been born three years earlier.
"I do notice."
"I do notice." Oliver was looking at her, his eyes softer than usual and his arms across his chest.
"You don't act like you do." She wasn't going to give in this easily. Oliver had given her months and months of hassle and she was going to at least pretend to be stubborn, even if she did still want to get into his Quidditch pants.
Oliver rolled over onto his side so he could face her. He looked pretty sexy. And he knew it too, the way he was casually smiling. "It was kind of hard to ignore that kiss."
"Oh, so now it's a kiss?" Katie exclaimed, throwing her hands above her. "Not while it was happening though? You practically denied I existed!"
"Well," Oliver reasoned, "You should've warned me before bumping into me on your broomstick during practice. What was I supposed to do? Start snogging you in front of everyone?"
"Did you want to?" Katie raised an eyebrow at him coyly.
"That's completely irrelevant!" Oliver said, who was now starting to get annoyed again and returned to his less-sexy-but-still-sexy position where he was laying down, staring moodily at the ceiling.
"It is not!" Katie whined, grinning at him and walking closer, "it is completely relevant, and I want an answer."
It took a lot of willpower to keep herself from making out with him right there in the hospital wing, but she was supposed to be mad at him remember?
Oliver had been close to Katie before during practice and talking in the halls, within touching distance yes, but this seemed way too close. All of Oliver's senses were on overdrive and bad inkling that this…feeling for his teammate who was three years his junior was bad. There were red flags everywhere. Younger girl, Leaving in a couple months, Completely blind with women, came to mind…
"Kates." Oliver said, or, well, croaked, "You know how I feel about romances on the team. They're just a bad idea and you're just a kid and I'm going off to play Quidditch…"
But Katie wasn't listening. Or she was listening but didn't want to hear it. She was running her fingers over the cotton in Oliver's collar. He couldn't explain it, but it was bloody amazing. And eventually Oliver ran out of excuses and just sat there, feeling her finger trace back and forth across his neckline. Then all of a sudden, Katie started to cry soft quiet tears.
He sat up and held her a bit. He rubbed her back and stroked her hair and finally asked why she was crying.
Katie smiled at him between wet sniffs. "That after trying to talk to you and everything, the only thing that made you actually notice me was hospitalizing you." She laughed and then caught a glance at her watch and sighed. "I should go, Oliver. I'm expected to be in bed. It's late."
But as she got up to go Oliver squeezed her waist and whispered into her ear, "I noticed you before Katie. I did. I just… thought it was a crush. You know?"
She turned around to look at him- burly, blind, Quidditch obsessed Oliver. She shrugged.
They just sat for a moment, and then she kissed his nose and got up to leave.
"I think I might keep you on the team, you know? If you don't hit me with anymore balls? Alright?"
Katie smiled. "I will resist the urge."
And with a light sigh, Oliver picked up his magazine to page twenty to continue reading, although no matter how many times he reread the article on Joe Fellington, he wouldn't be able to remember a single word he read.
A/N: Okay. I really, really actually like this one. So review please.