Hello everyone! This is a REPOST! It's for those of you who read it and cringed at every turn by the mistakes (happens to me every time I open this fic...), for those of you who haven't read it yet and just for you in general.
Million thanks to my new sparkly beta MINDFREAK23 who is kind enough to do what I'm too lazy to do. This is all thanks to her, and I'll be adding beta'd chapters as I get them. Thank you again.
Disclaimer: All the characters in this story belong to J.K. Rowling and her "Harry Potter" series.
Author's note: I've read this fic called "In All His Quidditch Glory" by IDroppedARice down in Fiction Alley, and I really liked the concept of Oliver coming back to Hogwarts and having an affair with Malfoy. Plus my friend was giving me half a challenge when she told me "Why don't you just make Oliver go back to Hogwarts and have an affair with Ron or something…" She said it to my deaf side, so what I heard was "Do whatever you feel like you crazy bint…" so I gladly adopted her advice as you can see.
Warning!: This is a slash story, and as such there will be quite a lot of male/male action (as much as I can get in before I'll get bored with it... and that's not likely to happen soon...) Therefore, if the idea of two hot guys together give you the creeps, stay away from this story. And don't say I didn't warn you.
Summery: A nasty injury cuts off Oliver Wood's professional Quidditch career. Dumbledore summons him to replace the eloping Madame Hooch as Flight instructor and Quidditch referee. Draco Malfoy is reunited with his long time fantasy.
Nothing As It Seems
Artist – Pearl Jam. Title – Nothing As It Seems. Album – Binaural.
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Tossers. What a bunch of complete tossers! How can they possibly let me go like that! I can't believe that everything I've worked so hard for, everything I believed in is gone in a second. They don't want me; they said it, in as many words. I gave all I bloody had to that team for the last three years and all I have to show for it is a cup of tea and a "Thank you for your services". Tossers! I wish they would all be sent to the deepest hole in hell and never crawl back out! Some torture would not go amiss either!
What the hell am I going to do now? I have no future, no real job, and no real skills to speak of. The only thing I know how to do is play Quidditch and now I can't do that anymore. Bloody injury! It's been almost a week since they showed me the door and I still haven't got the faintest clue what to do with myself. I feel empty, as if someone deflated me like a useless balloon.
All I've done for the entirety of the past week is just stare out the window of my flat, seeing the world pass me by without being able to summon the strength to join its course. I think that on some level I'm still hoping that they would contact me and say it had all been a terrible mistake and ask me to come back and play for them. But then again, I know they wouldn't.
I sigh and turn from the window, it's already late. Another day just ended – wasted like the days before it. I walk to the loo and catch a glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror. I look dreadful, I haven't shaved in a week and I've hardly eaten or bathed. I never thought anyone could lose so much weight in such a short time.
I sigh again and wonder whether I should go back to staring out of the window or slump on the bed and stare at the ceiling, when I hear a tap on the window. I walk over to see who in the name of Merlin still remembers I'm alive. An owl I don't recognize hovers outside the window, but I can say for sure it isn't one of the official PU owls. I open the window and untie the letter from its leg. I look at the scroll and see the Hogwarts crest. Great, knowing my luck this is probably a letter informing me that my N.E.W.T.s were incorrectly marked or something, and that I have to go back to school, because right now it can't possibly be anything good.
I open the letter and start to read:
"Dear Mr. Wood.
I have had the misfortune of hearing about your accident (you and the entire wizarding world, damn that Prophet!) and I believe you are now available and probably in search of a new job. Fortunately I'm in a position to offer you one. As it has turned out our flying instructor Madame Hooch will not continue with us - it seems she has eloped with our Professor of Arithmancy- Mr. Vector. As a result we are in dire need of a new flying instructor and Quidditch referee. If my offer appeals to you in any way please come to meet me in Hogwarts on the 25th of August to discuss further details.
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry"
I read the letter three times over just to make sure it's not a hoax or a joke. Going back to Hogwarts and teach flying? I knew it couldn't be anything good. This can't be right, me going back to that place. It was nice while it lasted but it's been three years since I left and frankly, I didn't really miss that cold, drafty, noisy castle. I look outside again – it's been a week since I left the team and this is the first and only job offer I've had so far. I can't really afford to throw it away, not without meeting Dumbledore and hearing what he has to offer.
I looked at the letter again and see the date on the top of the parchment – 23rd of August. I've got two days to pull myself back to a presentable state before I have to be at Hogwarts. I better get a move on then.
On the 25th I found myself in front of the fireplace of the Leaky Cauldron – I wasn't even sure where exactly I should floo myself to. I took a deep breath and a pinch of floo powder and threw it in the fireplace. Green flames were blazing and I called out loud "Hogwarts School," in the hope that I will not appear in a dungeon or Filch's office. When I stumbled out of the fireplace (I always hated floo travelling, I would apparate if Hogwarts wasn't so bloody far from London and civilization, and didn't have those ridiculous anti-apparition wards) I found myself in the office of Professor McGonagall. I, of course, recognized it immediately; I spent quite a lot of time here back in my day, and as I looked around I was quite amazed by the fact it hadn't changed one bit! It was like travelling back in time, and I was already starting to have second thoughts about the worth of this meeting. McGonagall got up from her chair and came to shake my hand, she was smiling – something I haven't seen in all my years as a student in Hogwarts.
"Mr. Wood, how lovely to see you again. I was so sorry to hear about the accident. I do hope you are feeling better." She was far too nice and it didn't feel right. In retrospect I believe it was because coming back to Hogwarts made me feel like a student again, and automatically thinking of McGonagall as Professor McGonagall, Transfiguration teacher and head of Gryffindor house.
But I wasn't a student or a Gryffindor anymore.
After exchanging my pleasantries with McGonagall she sent me to find Dumbledore. I made my way towards the headmaster's office, through the same familiar corridors (even though this castle keeps changing, it still looks the same to me). I was deep in thought about coming back here and what it could possibly mean when I rounded a corner and walked bodily into someone. I was jerked out of my thoughts at the fear that I might knocked over Dumbledore but then I realized it wasn't him, it was a student. And a very familiar one at that, he gave me a cold look running up and down my length and said my name with a sneer. This voice could only come with one name.
"Malfoy." I said, trying to sound polite, though I really wanted to punch that sneer right off his face "What are you doing here, a week before term starts?" he gave me another cold look and said hauntingly,
"That is none of your business!" He then turned and proceeded down the corridor. I looked after him unable to take my eyes off him. I tried to be annoyed by his attitude but it seemed that he hasn't changed at all, and since I never actually got anything different from him when we were both in school I came to the conclusion that the reason I was staring had nothing to do with his attitude and everything to do with the shape of his arse.
"Young Mr. Malfoy is here to help Severus put his Advanced Potions class in order." The cheerful voice behind me almost caused me to literally jump out of my skin. I turned feebly and felt my heart about to give away and looked into the twinkling blue eyes of Professor Dumbledore. "Mr. Wood, how wonderful to see you! Shall we move to my office?"
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This is not fair! This is so not fair, that it's actually infuriating. Just when I thought I was over it, moving on with my life- it comes back to bite me in the arse!
I'm talking about that damn Wood, of course. I finally got over the stupid little crush I've been harbouring since the third year, and now he has the nerve to come back, and not only that, he has the nerve to come back looking so fucking amazing it's frustrating!
I had a perfectly happy week, away from father and helping Severus putting things in order for the new term, getting some useful potions tips on the way for a perfect "O" in Advanced Potions when I walked into Wood. I was so shocked all I could do was be nasty to him; lucky for me I had years of training in being cool and calculated. And then, to top it all, I had to step away into the wrong corridor and ended up in the longest bloody one in the whole castle, trying to walk calmly while feeling Wood's resenting gaze at my back. I collapsed on the corner and felt my heart trying to escape my chest (probably to chase Wood and ogle at him or something stupid like that!)
And the worst thing is, he's probably here to sort something with his N.E.W.T.s or some insignificant reason like that and he will be gone tomorrow and I'll stay here with those stupid unresolved feelings, only this time it would be harder (literally) to forget him. Bugger!
It was the beginning of term feast and I was determined to enjoy it this time, being my last and all. The Great Hall was decorated as usual with the floating candles and the tables laden with the festive golden plates and goblets. I was the first to arrive at the Great Hall since I was the only student who was in the castle in the past couple of days.
In those last few days I grew accustomed to being the only one around, it sort of gave me the feeling I owned the castle. As it was about five times bigger than the Manor, it was a rather nice feeling.
I sat at the Slytherin table, looking around me as it filled with people. I didn't feel particularly friendly but I did greet Pansy, Blaise, Crabbe and Goyle with my usual smirk. I looked over and saw Potter and little annoying friends and noted that the Granger mudblood had a "Head Girl" badge, oh, that's just wonderful As if her head wasn't big enough as it is, it's going to be three times as big now. A short survey found the respective badge of "Head Boy" on the chest of none other than Granger's boyfriend- Terry Boot. How fitting, and what a boring couple the two of them make, I almost rolled my eyes at the thought.
I tore my eyes away from that perversity and scanned the staff table. Dumbledore stood up and raised his hand,
"Good evening students and welcome to another year in Hogwarts. We will begin the traditional sorting ceremony in a bit, and then we will merrily feast away on this wonderful food until our hearts' content." I always wondered if he wrote those awful speeches himself or did Professor Trelawney wrote them for him.
I never realized how boring the sorting ceremony is, I admit it held some amount of interest when I was in my first year but ever since then it sort of lost its charm. Looking at a bunch of scared-out-of-their-wits first years had its malicious appeal but after five years of it, it was getting old.
While Professor McGonagall read the names and people applauded to the choices of an unhygienic hat that was older than their grandparents I looked at the staff table again. Spending the last week of the summer holidays in the castle enabled me to get hold of all the juicy gossip of the staff. Unfortunately, it seems the teachers of this school believed that actually having a life outside teaching is completely worthless, as the biggest event of the summer was Madame Hooch and Professor Vector eloping.
I was curious to find whom Dumbledore chose as replacements. A witch that looked like someone had shoved her face in a press engine filled the chair of the Arithmancy professor. She might have been Madame Pince's sister for all I could tell and that wasn't a very happy thought. A horrible idea crossed my brain when I thought of Madame Hooch's replacement, I looked hurriedly over at her chair but it was mercifully empty, which was rather intriguing. After the last name had been called and Professor McGonagall cleared the stupid hat and stool Dumbledore rose again.
"Another sorting ceremony is over and now that every new student has a warm house to return to I believe it's time for some announcements. First of all, I would like to inform the younger students and probably remind some of the older students that entering the Forbidden Forest is, forbidden. I would also like to bring your attention to the fact that some new artifacts have found their way to Mr. Filch's restricted list, which is about twenty feet in length by now, if my memory serves me right. Students who wish to consult the list can find it in Mr. Filch's office; I can only advise you to stay clear of most of the products of "Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes".
"As some of you must have heard we no longer have Madame Hooch or Professor Vector among our ranks and I would like to introduce the new teacher of Arithmancy – Professor Anja Podolski," The Pince-twin witch nodded curtly and everyone stared at her with dread. No one clapped or cheered and Dumbledore cleared his throat "I would also like to welcome back a dear student who was gracious enough to accept my offer and return here in order to teach flying and be the Quidditch referee," he looked at the empty chair by his right and every student followed his gaze. I looked at Dumbledore in disbelief, "Oh, dear, he seems to be late. Oh, Oliver, there you are – ladies and gentlemen – Oliver Wood."
As was expected the entire Hall exploded in loud cheers, those who didn't remember Wood from his school days remembered him from playing Quidditch for "Puddlemere United" and I don't really need to tell you – he was quite popular, among man and women alike, to each its reasons of course. I glared at Dumbledore as if he planned the whole thing against me personally but I couldn't help my eyes from sliding over to Wood. He was slightly flushed from rushing in and from the round of applause, in my eyes it only made him look even more fetching and sweet, but I was so bloody biased I would think he's cute if he wore a clown hat and feet.
"Now that the formal part of the evening is over we can feast our hearts. Bon Appetit everyone!" called Dumbledore cheerfully and dished appeared on the tables.
"That's bloody unfair!" exclaimed Pansy loudly, "Wood is a Gryffindor for Merlin's sake! There goes the chance of house cup right now." She added darkly. Blaise nodded in agreement and I found myself asking
"What house was Madame Hooch in?" they both looked at me like I was mad, I had no clear idea why I was saying that myself, other than maybe defending Wood, but that was too ridiculous to even consider. "I mean for all we know she could be Gryffindor too, and that never stopped us from winning the cup." I really must stop before I'll be forced to hit myself.
"It doesn't really matter, she probably doesn't even remember what house she was in. She's ancient." Said Blaise and we all sniggered
"Apparently she's not ancient enough – she did elope with Professor Vector." I pointed out, they all turned to look at me in awe, now that's more like it.
"How do you know?" asked Pansy
"Well, I spent the last week of the summer holidays here in the castle helping Snape, you hear things." I said casually, thoroughly enjoying being the man of the hour, I can't help it, I'm vain.
"Argh, can you imagine the two of them together?" said Blaise in disgust, "I mean, what can pass as dirty talk for them?" He dropped his voice and half closed his eyes "Oh, Hoochy, solve my equation…"
Pansy gleefully joined in, "Oooh, Veci, ride my broom…" We all stared at each other for a couple of seconds and then burst out laughing. The entire Hall looked over at us but we couldn't stop.
After wiping the tears from my eyes I looked up and saw Wood looking straight at me. I hurriedly lowered my eyes as the rather inappropriate thought, 'I'd love to ride iyour/i broom' crossed my mind. I should really stop doing that before someone will catch on. This is not going to be easy, now that I'll have to meet him practically weekly in the Captains meetings, not to mention the fact that I will never be able to focus in any game as I'll be busy getting a hard-on from ogling the referee. Ouch, a hard-on on a broom, not a pretty thought.
That night I got to think. Actually I couldn't sleep and didn't feel like wondering the corridors so I didn't have much choice. It shouldn't really surprise me, after all I've known for a long time that I fancy blokes, no that's not true- ia/i bloke. The only thing that worried me was the fact that he was a Gryffindor… I bet you thought it would be Father's reaction when he finds out he has a poofter for a son, but I don't really care about that. Not much I can do about it anyway.
But the fact that Wood is a Gryffindor is quite a big deal for me. I mean, why couldn't I fall for someone in my own house? Why not Blaise? Yeah, right, who am I kidding, Blaise and I would kill each other within a week of the relationship! But still, a Gryffindor?
The funny thing was everyone in the school was positive I was some sort of a sex god, for some reason. Actually, the reason is Pansy, what a shocker eh? She started a rumor a couple of years ago (on her own I might add! It was supposed to be a joke, but it caught on from some reason…) that I'm an excellent lover. That rumor spread out like wildfire and in a couple of weeks I became a bloody Casanova. In a way it might serve its purpose, no one would believe I'm gay inow/i. Not that I'm really ashamed of it, but I'm not about to shout it from the highest tower of the castle, especially since I've never done anything about it. Sad as it is (and believe me- it's sad!) the only sexual activity I've ever been involved in was snogging Pansy, and even that was ages ago, during third year while we were "experimenting".
I've got so much sexual tension built up in me sometimes I'm scared I'll lose control and jump the first guy that will be unfortunate enough to be around. But what really keeps me up at nights, as they say, is the thought that this guy might be Potter, or worse – Weasley! I'll never be able to live down the shame of it.
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I can't believe I was late on my first day! I swear this bloody injury has disrupted my sense of timing, which doesn't make much sense because I injured my shoulder. Lucky for me I spent the last day of the holidays trying to get reacquainted with the castle and found out that teachers don't actually have to enter the Great Hall through the big doors.
On the eve of the beginning-of-term-feast it took me quite a while to prepare. I had to give myself a little pep talk in front of the bathroom mirror just so that I could leave the safety of my rooms. I finally got my head together and was on my way to the opening feast when I saw McGonagall leaving the Hall with the sorting hat and the stool. Shit! I had to run all the way around so I would not have to burst into the Great Hall and have everyone stare at me. I thought I did very well until I slipped into my chair and found out Dumbledore was half way through introducing me, and then the entire place was bursting with applause. I felt my face turning red all the way to my ears – that was so embarrassing. I'm not very good at dealing with the whole "fame" thing, never was and it didn't help much that the heads of PU were pimping me for advertising the team.
When dinner finally started and the embarrassment factor reduced, I could scan the place for familiar faces. There weren't many.
I knew quite a few of the Gryffindors, especially the older ones. There was Harry, last of my glorious Quidditch team, and Granger and two Weasleys... Whatever will happen to Hogwarts when there are no Weasleys left, I wonder.
There was not much chance I would recognize any of the Hufflepuffs or the Ravenclaws. I hardly knew any of them who weren't in my year as it is.
The only Slytherin I recognized for sure was Malfoy, and that was only because it was really hard to forget the person who practically single-handedly managed to cause so much trouble for Harry and the rest of our team.
I watched him and saw him laughing with his friends over some joke, I'm not sure I remember how he looked at thirteen but he was certainly worth a glance now. First, he's finally stopped slicking his hair back and now he lets it fall softly around his face, which in turn had lost it's childhood roundness and was now bloody gorgeous. I should probably stop thinking like that about someone who will soon be under my authority, but the whole authority idea is still rather new and frankly ridiculous. What kind of authority can I be to people who are barely ten years younger than me?
Well, so far so good. I must say that the first week of teaching passed far better than I thought it would. No one died, to start with, and there were no life-crippling incidents either- a success in my book.
It was actually kind of fun to watch the first years take their first broom flight (mostly the muggle-born and those whose parents refused to let ride a broom because it was too dangerous, and you'd be amazed how many of those there are). I can't really remember my first flight, it was so long ago, but I bet I looked pretty much like that. All shining eyes and flushed face with excitement.
I think I could actually get used to this, since the only ones taking flying lessons are the first and second years students (and that's mostly style improving because you don't really need a whole year learning how to fly, and if you do you better give up the idea altogether). I was left with plenty of free time – actually I had nothing to do until Thursday evening when I was suppose to meet the captains of the house teams in order to work out the training and tryouts schedules.
When Thursday evening arrived I was late again. But this time it wasn't my fault! The staircase I was suppose to take from the Great Hall to my office changed right as I got to it and I had to wait for it to come back…
When I finally burst into the office I found all four of them waiting. I was very pleased to find Harry there; I always knew he would make it as captain eventually.
The big surprise was, of course, Malfoy, I'm not sure why- it's so like Slytherin to choose him as their captain. The man who knows how to cheat in Quidditch better than anyone else. I should probably keep an eye on him.
The four captains where already deep in conversation, or rather argument about the training days. The Hufflepuff captain, Wayne Hopkins was quite loud and aggressive, Hufflepuffs sure had changed since my days. The Ravenclaw captain, Mandy Brocklehurst was firm but quiet, almost dangerous. I would love to see her up in the air. I didn't really join the argument as I really didn't need to, after all it's their business, I'm only here to make sure things didn't get out of hand.
I noticed that Malfoy wasn't arguing, after he made his requests he sort of piped down. He was busy sending me odd looks when he thought I wasn't looking, and it was rather uncomfortable because I found I was actually enjoying them a little too much for comfort.
"Right then, that's settled." The voice of Hopkins was throwing me back to reality, "Gryffindor get Mondays, Slytherin get Tuesdays, we get Wednesdays and the Ravenclaws get Thursdays". I took notes of that and tried to compose myself between Malfoy's gazes.
"Right, then these will be the days for tryouts next week. I'll post a note in each common room." I said, "Well, I believe this concludes tonight's meeting then, I'll see you on the pitch." Oh dear gods, can you get any cornier than that? Damn you Malfoy and your gorgeous flirting eyes!
The four of them left and I sank in my chair and cursed the day I agreed to Dumbledore's offer.
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I did it! I fucking did it! The first step in the "Get Wood" operation succeeded, and the funny thing was I didn't even know there was a "Get Wood" operation until about ten minutes ago.
It was during the captains' meeting, I only came to secure Tuesday, as my team's training day, which wasn't difficult, as I knew no one else wanted it. That left me quite a lot of time, while the others were bickering, to send seductive looks at Wood. He didn't get all of them because he was trying very hard to pretend he didn't see me, but I know he did, it was the way he dropped his stupid clip-note-board in front of him and his ears turned pink. It was a far better reaction than I hoped for, because at least now I know that he's not completely repulsed by me.
Ok, the board is set and the pieces are moving. How in the name of Gandalf am I proceeding from here?
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Bugger, I wanted to go flying Monday evening before the tryouts of the Gryffindors but Dumbledore caught me up for a "little chat" and I ended up making it just in time to the tryouts.
The tryouts themselves turned out to be better than I thought. Harry knew what he wanted from his team and succeeded in putting the right people in the right positions, at least that what it looked like, now we'll just have to wait and see if he was correct.
On Tuesday I decided I'm not giving up the opportunity of flying. I brought my old broom with me, I had a Quidditch pitch at my disposal and it seemed like a real waste not to use it. I skipped dinner, I wasn't very hungry anyway, ever since they kicked me out of the team I stopped watching my diet – there wasn't much point to it… actually I was so depressed I just forgot to eat, and I still hadn't settled into proper eating habits. But I know that Dumbledore is watching me to make sure I won't starve.
I mounted my broom and did a couple of laps around the pitch. It felt so bloody good, so proper, to be back above my first pitch like that, to fly with the wind on my face and the goal-hoops glittering in the sunset. After about twenty minutes of flying my shoulder began to bug me so I had to stop. When I landed on the grass I heard lazy clapping from behind me and turned to see Malfoy standing next to his broom watching me.
"That was quite impressive flying," he said and I felt the blush creeping up to my cheeks, and that made me feel like such a twat. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can't I act normally around this guy? "Fancy a little game before everyone shows up?" Hell, yes, everything to keep him near. I shrugged, he smiled and I found myself clutching my broom much tighter than was necessary.
We went over to the shed to get out the balls chest. Within five minutes we were up in the air with the quaffle, at first I played keeper, and although Malfoy turned out to be quite a decent chaser he was no match for me so we switched positions. That was much more interesting, since I pretty much suck as a chaser and Malfoy turned out to be a flying disaster as a keeper – he couldn't split his attention between the quaffle and the goal hoops and kept concentrating on the ball and made it very easy to pass him. He had great seeker instincts but lousy keeping ones. We played for about half an hour, until we heard voices from below and realized the tryouts time had arrived.
Like Harry, Malfoy knew exactly what he wanted and which people to place where. I hardly needed to do a thing, so I just watched.
When the tryouts were over Malfoy handed me the list of players and we proceeded to gather the balls. By the time we managed to strap the last bludger and took the chest together back to the shed the others were gone, and I suddenly realized I was alone on the ground with Malfoy for the first time.
He casually leaned against the wall of the shed and watched me lock the shed door, as I looked up at him he ran his tongue over his upper lip to moisten it and I felt my muscles tightening in the effort of staying where I was. I was holding myself back with sheer willpower; my brain was fighting a losing battle against my muscles. In two steps I was in front of him, taking his mouth in a hungry kiss, which he responded almost immediately. Damn, it's been far too long since I last did it, and I missed that wonderful sensation of kissing someone so much. The last bit of my brain that was still functioning screamed out things like "He's a student" and "He's underage" although I knew the last bit wasn't technically true it still worked well enough. I pulled away before all the blood left my brain. He was looking at me, his eyes dark with lust and I knew that I could take him right there and then and he'd let me, but I couldn't.
"Draco, I'm… I have… to… I have to go" I managed and cursed inwardly for stuttering, and left as fast as my legs carried me to have an ice cold shower and think of a suitable punishment for myself.
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He kissed me! Oliver Wood kissed me! He kissed me! He kissed me! And I didn't even ask for it! Well, not in so many words anyway. I've dreamed of this moment for so long, in so many variations. But the reality was so much better. His lips were so soft, and his tongue- oh, heaven. He tasted of sweat and cinnamon and the force he put into that kiss was almost overwhelming, my knees were buckling under me and I swear if there wasn't a wall behind me I would've ended in a small satisfied Draco heap on the ground. Before I could bring my brain around he pulled away and gasped at me,
"Draco, I'm… (Don't say you're sorry, or I'll smack your head!) I have… to… I have to go", and he just turned and ran away, leaving me dizzy, leaning against the shed wall and feeling like I could fly from sheer joy. He called me Draco, and to my ears it sounded like music – must have been his Scottish accent, and he kissed me. Oliver Wood kissed me, snogged me out of my wits. Well, if I wasn't in love until now (and I'm pretty sure I was), I sure am now.