Disclaimer: The idea of Kennilworthy Whisp's The Quidditch Journal belongs to me. Kennilworthy Whisp, Oliver, Katie, Fred, George, and everything else belongs to J.K. Rowling.
Author's Notes: You have no idea how long I've been working on this. I've never had to rewrite a story quite as much as this one. So let's hope it's good! I like it, and it's somewhat longer than what I normally write.
So please leave a review and let me know what you think of it. I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions you can give me, so feel free to say whatever you'd like, I don't mind.
The Quidditch Journal
"What d'you make of this?"
Katie Bell jumped as something was dropped unceremoniously onto her lap, followed by a shock of Weasley-red hair on either side of her face. Frowning at the interruption of her studying time, she picked up the something from on top of her Transfiguration text.
It was a simple book, with a hard Bludger-black cover and a bright red Quaffle emblazoned on the front. Turning it to its side, she noted that it couldn't have been more than one hundred pages in length. It was small and Katie couldn't help but notice how comfortable it felt in her hand.
Pausing to look at both of the twins in turn, she said shortly, "It looks like a journal."
Identical twin smirks bloomed on the faces of Fred and George Weasley; they looked as though that was exactly what they had wanted to hear. Brushing aside her notes, they took a seat on either side of her, still grinning.
"You know, Fred," said the boy on her right, tugging the book from where it was held loosely in her hand, "I never pictured Wood as a diary sort of fellow."
"Nor did I, George, nor did I," said the twin on her left languidly.
"You mean to say," said Katie slowly and incredulously, "that that is Wood's?"
"Nicked it ourselves," said Fred nonchalantly, though there was no way to hide the enthusiasm in his voice.
"Can't wait to see what's in it," added George, rifling through the pages with his thumb.
"You're not planning on reading it!" she said skeptically, though she knew the answer before they could even grin back.
"Would you expect any less of us?" commented Fred, and she knew this was exactly the kind of thing the twins would do, especially if it ended with poking fun at their Quidditch Captain.
"Where is Wood, anyway?" Katie asked grudgingly, her curiosity of the Captain outweighing any guilt she felt at the moment.
Fred nodded in satisfaction as if he had known her resolve would break the entire time as George nodded to a corner and said, "He's been over there for the past twenty minutes, and I know for a fact that it's not Potions he's working on."
Katie tried to seem displeased, but she couldn't help herself; the prospect of new plays to work on excited her, and it seemed her pleasure did not go unnoticed as Fred and George moaned simultaneously.
"You're not seriously happy, are you?" said Fred, as though disappointed in her.
"You know we'll be having morning practices for a week if he keeps this up," added his twin, shaking his head.
Katie merely shrugged and smiled, her eyebrows raised.
After indulging the Weasleys in several more moments of grumbling at her expense ("one too many Quaffles to the head, this one, I've said it before"; "might as well help him, see how many hours we can make practice run before someone drops dead"), Katie tugged the book from George's fingers and said conspiratorially, "We'll just have a peek at what Wood says then, yeah?"
Instantly the words streaming from the lips of Fred and George changed from insults to encouragements. Katie shrugged their eager hands from the book and cracked it open in front of her that all three of them might view it.
On the first page it read THIS BOOK BELONGS TO: Oliver Wood in bold black letters. Fred elbowed her painfully in the side as a signal to continue on.
On the next page there was a small paragraph, which Katie read aloud. " 'Kennilworthy Whisp, author of Quidditch Through the Ages and avid Quidditch fan, often finds that keeping a diary of the successes and struggles of a Quidditch team as a whole and as individuals imperceptibly helps the Captain keep track of improvements and find ways to further develop his team. That is why Mr. Whisp has created The Quidditch Journal, a simple book that any Captain can benefit from in furthering his Quidditch team to their fullest potential. Not only does it point out areas in which an individual player can grow, but also shows the many ways in which that player is essential to the rest of the team. Mr. Whisp says The Quidditch Journal is "worth-while to any Quidditch player wishing to improve. No player should be without one." ' "
Katie looked up to see the boys' faces in identical expressions of horror.
"A Quidditch journal?" said Fred disgustedly.
Katie smirked. "What else did you expect?"
"How about the sordid details of his latest affair?" said George fervently. "Or even failing a Charms quiz would've been fine too," he added sullenly.
"His latest affair?" repeated Katie with a snort. "This is Oliver we're talking about, George."
"Momentary lapse," the twin offered. Then they both sighed simultaneously.
"Exploding Snap, brother?" said Fred.
"You read my mind," replied the other, and they both slid to the floor in front of her, Fred producing a deck of cards from within his robes. Katie quickly gathered her Transfiguration notes from the floor before a rogue card could destroy them.
Settling her notes next to her and her Transfiguration book on her lap, Katie fully intended to continue her studying. It was made difficult, however, by the Quaffle that was staring tauntingly at her from where she had discarded Oliver's journal at her feet. She shook her head and turned back to her studying.
But less than a minute later she found her eyes drawn yet again to the innocent book. Katie bit her lip. She only wanted to see what Oliver thought of her flying, right? It wasn't as if she was really reading something private if it was about her… no…. But she nonetheless threw a furtive glance around her before quickly snatching up the book from where it lay.
She was quick to rustle through the textbook on her lap and the notes next to her for a moment, as if giving testimony to doing nothing but studying for Transfiguration. Several seconds later she settled on a page and disappeared within it. She only hoped no one found her peculiar behavior for what it was. Fortunately, she noticed as she peeked from behind her book, no one was paying her much attention.
Katie pulled the shiny back and red journal toward herself and did as she had seen many of her friends do in class—opening the journal to the first page, she slipped it between the thick pages of her Transfiguration book so that when she held it up, it looked as if she was deeply immersed in pages 145 and 146 when she was really immersed in the thin journal.
Katie wedged herself in the corner of the couch, pulled her knees up to her chest, and placed the two books on top of them. Scanning over the page she decided that of course, she would have to read the whole thing, just to put everything in perspective, but only for this one page, certainly.
Date: 4 Sept. 1993
Practice Conditions: ground was hard, sun was bright, bit nippy though
Accomplishments: everyone showed up and remembers how to fly; had the Chasers practice some old plays and everyone recalled well enough; Weasleys caused bedlam as normal
Potter: had him do a couple warm-up catches; still as excellent as ever, of course
Weasleys: mayhem as usual, but I didn't expect any less; I reckon they've been working though, Fred nearly took Spinnet out
Johnson: glad to have someone as adamant about Quidditch as I am back, though I could tell she'd rather be chatting in the common room
Bell: seemed a bit sluggish but that may just be from George blagging her before practice; we'll have to fix that
Spinnet: seems she's been practicing during summer holidays; glad I had made the decision to pull her off the reserve
Wood: get out all the bad playing while you can
Notes to Self: start drawing up those plays soon, these players need to be whipped back into shape… I always love first practices
Katie chuckled to herself. She would just see Oliver Wood locked up in his dorm, his hair still wet from his after-practice shower, sitting hunched over the tiny book as he poured his thoughts into it. It seemed just like the sort of thing he would do.
She grinned appreciatively as she turned the page and read on, all thoughts of confining to only the things he wrote about her gone.
He gave her the same appraisal, she noticed, as he gave all the other players: first point out what had been done right, then what had been done wrong. It seemed she had an especially sharp turn that often threw him off, but she also had a hard time scorning the right hoop, the journal repeated over and over, page after page. She was now proud of that turn, she decided.
It was at the beginning of December she first noticed the changes. …she must've cut her hair, and it looks quite nice, but that's not going to fix her slowing shot… she had me so scared when Fred shot that Bludger at her, I nearly beat him… I don't care how "handsome" he is, she's got to focus on Quidditch, not Diggory… I think we need to get her new robes, hers seem to be fitting a little tightly…
Katie fingered her shortened locks and had to blush as she thought about how she and Angelina had been going on about the handsome Cedric Diggory instead of practicing, and remembered just as vividly the telling-off they had gotten. And indeed, Oliver had startled her more than the Bludger had when he'd flown over to fawn over her. But her robes? She had always wondered why Oliver had insisted on trading them in for a different set.
The subtle changes of November, however, Katie let pass. After all, he was only showing her a bit more attention, that's all, nothing more. But come December, Katie couldn't ignore the fact that he commented more about her laughter than her shooting and her smile more than her passing.
Katie laughed. It was almost as if he fancied her or something.
Eyes widening in surprise, Katie flicked to the next page. Behind her name it read pretty flyer with the word decent placed in between them with a caret, almost as if it had been forgotten. The practice after that it mentioned how Katie was "trying to distract" Oliver with "that little scowl she makes before she shoots." And on the page after that (a practice they had only last week), Oliver commented on how well her left hoop shot was getting, and that she ought to work on her problem: being "too bleeding pretty." Oliver had even given himself a word of comfort: "Merlin bless you Katie's a Gryffindor or there's no way you'd ever be able to block a shot by her (and make sure to schedule a morning practice for that lip from Spinnet)." Flipping through the two pages after that, though, Katie noticed that nothing had been written behind her name, almost as if Oliver had just given up writing about her.
"That interesting, eh?"
For the second time that evening, Katie was startled out of her reading by a vivid red head of hair on either side of her head.
Katie looked from Fred to George, holding the two books to her chest. "What?"
"Oliver's diary that interesting, then?" asked Fred, motioning to the books.
"Transfiguration," explained Katie, holding out the now-closed textbook. The journal between the pages made it difficult to shut.
"Wood's diary," repeated George, prying the Transfiguration book open to reveal the journal.
"I wasn't actually—" she began, but her voice trailed off as the twins smirked at her. She huffed. "So fine, I was reading it."
"Anything good?" asked Fred.
"Oh, you know," said Katie airily, waving a hand. "Compliments on how good the Beaters are, how well the Beater's girlfriends work together, how pretty I am."
She distinctly heard Fred mutter something about "not our girlfriends," but George cut him off with, "What was that last one?"
"Beater's girlfriends working together?" Katie offered, but George wasn't fooled.
She gave him a grin. "How pretty he thinks I am?"
Katie heard Fred crick his neck in his hurry to look at her. "What was that?"
She sighed resignedly and said in a monotonous voice, "Oliver finds me very pretty."
The Weasleys grinned.
"Our dear Captain, his first crush!"
"His mother must be so proud!"
"Imagine what the team'll say!" And they erupted into girlish giggles.
"You are most certainly not mentioning this to the team!" cried Katie, bristling. She gave them both a sharp rap over the head with the journal for good measure.
"I distinctly heard team and Captain. You're not trying to overthrow me again, are you?"
With an, "oh for the love of Merlin!" Katie threw herself down on the couch and folded her arms in front of her, grimacing.
"Why look, Fred, it's our beloved Captain!"
"Indeed, he must have heard Katie's screeching and wasn't able to resist!"
The twins both guffawed with laughter as Katie scowled and Oliver looked slightly nonplussed.
"D'you know what they're on about?" he asked, pushing her notes to the floor and joining her on the couch.
With a sigh, she held out the journal. Oliver took it from her and proceeded to read his own name from the first page. He paled.
"Where did you get this?" he said, and turned to her with bright eyes.
"Fred and George nicked it," Katie responded, unsure of his paling demeanor and flashing eyes. He had the journal clutched tightly in both hands.
"Did you read—?" he began, but was cut off by a Weasley twin.
"Oliver, mate," said Fred, clapping Oliver on the shoulder and sitting next to him. "Katie just told us something very interesting."
"Something," said George, squishing himself next to Katie, "that happens to involve you and your opinion of the fair Bell."
They both grinned at him mischievously as Oliver's ears turned pink. He said nothing.
"Oh look, George," said Fred, and he nodded his head to where Oliver's knuckles were white against the journal. "Someone's found his diary."
"It's not a diary!" Oliver yelped. "It's a journal."
George pursed his lips in an empathetic expression. "From what I've heard, it's more a diary than a journal."
Fred nodded sympathetically.
"It is not a diary!" Oliver repeated fiercely. "It's a blasted Quidditch journal. That's all."
"But Quidditch isn't the only thing you write about in there," said George.
"Of course it is," said Oliver, but the pink of his ears was spreading to his neck. "It's a Quidditch journal, so I write about Quidditch."
"And Katie," added Fred slyly, while the aforementioned person shook her head.
"Because she's on the Quidditch team," Oliver said sternly.
"Because she's pretty," hinted George.
Oliver scowled. "It doesn't matter if she's pretty or not, because she's on my Quidditch team."
"But you think she's pretty, though, don't you?" said George.
Katie buried her face in her hands and moaned.
"She's on the Quidditch team," said Oliver through clenched teeth, and Katie could see through her fingers the red working its way over his cheeks.
Fred pinched the bridge of his nose. "Oliver, mate, just admit that you fancy Katie!"
For a moment, it looked as if Oliver was going to throw the journal in his hands at Fred's head. But he merely sucked in a deep breath and blew it out through his nose.
"You know, Oliver," said George, smirking, "you're never going to get a girl if you don't tell her you like her. I mean, take Fred here as an example."
"But I don't have a girlfriend," said Fred, looking nonplussed.
George held up a finger and said, "Exactly." He grinned as his twin scowled.
"Well, maybe I don't want a girlfriend," said Oliver defiantly.
"Doesn't want a girlfriend, he says," repeated Fred, shaking his head as if hearing a private joke only he understood.
"Are you saying you don't want Katie as your girlfriend?" shot George accusatively.
"I never said—" began an extremely flustered Oliver.
"Because she's not going to be very happy with you if you say that," added Fred.
"You can't just tell a lass you like her and then tell her you don't want to go out," George said quickly.
"Because you know you'll end up with antlers or wings instead of ears," went on Fred.
"And you really don't want antlers, now do you, Oliver?" asked George.
Oliver's eyes were wide as saucers. "Er… no?"
"No, of course you don't," said Fred, clapping him on the shoulder again.
"Then you know what you've got to do," said George loudly, jumping up.
"Uh…" sputtered Oliver.
"You've got to tell her!" said Fred, standing up next to his brother.
"Tell her what?" asked a confused Oliver.
"Tell her you like her!" said both twins at once.
"Tell her you'd like to go to Hogsmeade!" added George.
"Tell her you want to be her boyfriend!" continued Fred.
"Tell her once we've left!" finished George, and both twins walked away, snickering.
Katie pulled her fingers away from her face, through which she had watched the entire exchange. Now she turned her eyes to Oliver.
He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment before looking to her. "So… I'm supposed to tell a girl that I like that she's to go to Hogsmeade with her boyfriend because I don't want to end up with antlers?"
There was a silence in which only the sound of the crackling fire and the chatter of Gryffindors could be heard. Then Katie laughed.
She laughed loudly, clutching her stomach while tears streamed down her face, and laughed all the harder when she saw Oliver's bemused face.
A few minutes later, after many looks from fellow Gryffindors, a case of the hiccoughs, and a tissue from Oliver, Katie had managed to calm herself down. The grin on her face, however, was refusing to leave.
Oliver eyed her cautiously. "Is it all right now to ask why you were laughing?"
Katie shook her head and chuckled. "The absurdity of the past ten minutes just hit me."
Oliver raised his eyebrows.
"I mean, Fred and George, and that silly little journal, and the antlers! What did you say? That you had to remind a girl you liked that her boyfriend wanted to meet her in Hogsmeade? That was funny."
Oliver looked uncertain. "Isn't… isn't that what I'm supposed to do, though?"
Katie stared at him incredulously.
"Say," began Oliver. "You wouldn't happen to have a boyfriend, would you?"
"No," said Katie, wondering vaguely where this was going.
"Oh." Oliver frowned. "Does Angelina, or Alicia?"
"Not that I know of…."
"Then I have no idea what the Weasleys were on about," declared Oliver.
Katie sighed. "Oliver, the twins think you fancy me and were suggesting that you ask me to the next Hogsmeade trip."
"Oh." Oliver's eyes widened. "Ooh." He flushed. "What—ah—what gave them that idea?"
She nodded to the journal in his hands.
"They didn't read it, did they?" he asked quickly.
"I don't think so."
"Then why would they think that?"
Katie shrugged. "Maybe because you turned the color of a Quaffle when they suggested it."
"I did not!"
"You're doing it again."
Oliver pressed a hand to his cheek. His eyes widened.
"So maybe I am," he said defiantly. "That doesn't mean anything."
"D'you think I'm pretty, then?" she shot at him.
"Just because I think you're pretty doesn't mean I fancy you," he said firmly.
"I think you've reached a new shade of red," said Katie thoughtfully, cocking her head at Oliver.
He groaned and leaned back into the couch.
Katie laughed. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm only teasing you. Don't get so worked up."
He only frowned at her.
"If it makes you feel any better, I'm quite sure the Weasleys didn't read it. I'm the only one," said Katie.
Oliver made the odd gulping sound he sometimes made before a Quidditch game.
"Oliver, what's the matter?" she asked concernedly.
"You—you read it?" he gasped out.
She leaned forward and frowned. "I don't know what the problem with that silly journal is. It's not like you write about who you fancy in the back. It's only Quidditch."
Oliver was making the gulping sound again.
Katie's eyes widened in surprise. "You'd actually be so stupid as to write about the person you fancy in the back of a Quidditch journal?"
He was flushing again.
"Well it's a shame I didn't get that far," she huffed.
Oliver looked as if he was about to retort when he paused. Then he sighed. "You know what? Here." He shoved the journal into her hands. "You read it. What does it matter anyway? I want you to know."
And he got up and left.
Katie looked at the journal in her hands. Her fingers ran over the edge. Did she really want to find out who Oliver fancied?
Yes, her mind immediately answered.
Even if it meant reading his own private diary?
Open it, she told herself.
"He gave me permission," she reminded herself, and opened the journal to the last page.
There was the beginnings of a complicated play and a small drawing of the goal hoops in the corner. Underneath that, looking as if they had been traced over countless times, were the words:
I think I fancy Katie Bell. Oh Merlin, I think I fancy Katie Bell.
Eyes nearly popping out of her head, Katie reread the words.
"He fancies me…" she murmured to herself, a smile blooming on her face. "He fancies me…"
She looked up, her eyes landing on the boys' staircase. There was a familiar pair of eyes watching her—she grinned and said, more to herself than anyone, "Thank Merlin for The Quidditch Journal."