A/N: I was weeding my yard one day (with the help of my mother- I am lazy) and I got to thinking. Weeding is really, really boring. …Unless you're weeding with some hottie like the gardener from Desperate Housewives. I don't watch the show, but that guy is beautiful and I would go weed my lawn with him.
If this ritual exists, I didn't know about it before hand. Maybe it was mentioned in some book or something. I have this weird feeling it might have, just because of how easily the ceremony waltzed into my brain. So, if one of you has already heard of this bizarre respectful gesture to the gods, let me know. Because I can't think of it pre-this-fic.
Summary: When asked to join him in a ritual to celebrate the Quidditch Gods, Katie is intrigued enough to follow Oliver. Contains James Bond impersonations, fake rashes, and your favorite lessJKwritten shipper.
Rating: T… I guess.
Disclaimer: I believe I own the Weeding the Pitch idea. If I don't please tell me. I won't get big-headed, but I'm just curious as to how I came up with such a weird plot.
Weeding the Pitch
"Shh!" Oliver hissed towards Katie, racing down the silent corridor with quickened steps and motioning for her to follow. Katie stood rooted at the spot next to the sleeping Fat Lady, watching Oliver while trying very hard not to burst out laughing. If she could describe exactly what she saw, she'd say this Quidditch star was too clumsy on his feet and had seen one too many muggle James Bond movies.
"Come. On." He mouthed at her from across the hall before flattening himself against the wall at the sound of Katie's echoing snort.
Oliver, however, did not find this situation nearly as funny and strode right up to Katie (who was now doubling over and laughing so loudly she would definitely wake the portraits) and grabbed her hand. "Honestly, I don't know why I chose you of all people…"
Katie let out the last of her giggles before straightening up again. "Now, really, Olive." Oliver cringed but showed no other sign of weakness. "I thought you said this ritual involved some pretty little Chaser who had to be born on the fourteenth of August and must be wearing yellow socks at the chosen hour of departure."
Katie bit her lip.
She really thought she was funny, huh? "If you are not going to appreciate this respectful gesture to our fellow Quidditch-loving ancestors, you might as well go back. I'm really not up for getting caught you know, and if your just going to jabber away the whole time-"
"Jabber? Who said anything about jabbering?"
"Quiet, I hear something!" Oliver pushed Katie hard against the wall and into a dark corner while he peered around the hallway looking for the culprit.
Katie's heart was pounding. Oh, no! What if they really were caught? This looked absolutely wrong, Katie in a dark corner with her Quidditch captain who was three years her senior and happened to be an 11 on a hot scale of 1-10!
Despite his hotness, Oliver was annoying at heart really.
But she couldn't afford another detention. She had already gotten one too many for sarcastic remarks to Snape and only a few more would push her over the edge. She might not be able to play Quidditch anymore! That would mean not being able to stare at Oliver for a full two hours while he rambled about Merlin knows what every day!
She had to be quiet. She could not risk being caught. Her daily entertainment was being put on the line.
After a few moments, "I don't think anyone's here Oliver."
He sighed and looked at his watch. "Three minutes." He had diverted her from talking for three minutes. Well, it was nice while it lasted.
"What exactly are we doing, Wood, because I can't exactly get another detention?"
"Maybe if you stop talking so loudly, we won't get caught and you won't get a detention."
This was not a very good explanation. "But what if we get caught?"
Oliver puffed out his chest and took on a deeper mature voice, "then we will sacrifice a detention for this ancient pre-season ritual."
Katie blinked. "Oliver. We're weeding."
He shot her a look before slamming her back into a wall at the sound of a voice. "We've got to be silent. Like… very quiet quaffles."
A way with words, this man had not.
Rolling her eyes did not help to hint Katie's exasperation, as they were hidden in the dark of the castle. So she resorted to a sigh.
Oliver was about ready to punch something.
When they rounded the corner into the Great Hall, Oliver looked as though the apocalypse had come. "Okay," Oliver said excitedly, "I'll fly the coop and you stick put kid."
Was he speaking English? "What?"
"I've always wanted to say that." Oliver was walking as though performing some tribal slow-motion dance that involves skipping quickly into a shadow every time light touched his skin.
"God," Katie interrupted this pre-ritual dance. She waltzed easily across the floor and opened the wooden oak front doors. "Ready?"
Once again, Oliver looked about ready to punch something. But he recovered and sauntered out of the Great Hall ready to weed some pitch.
Katie never realized exactly how big a Quidditch Pitch was.
Standing in the quilt of green lawn, without many visible weeds present, Katie felt very small. So small that she wished she was curled up in bed asleep like the rest of her teammates.
"Are you ready?" Oliver asked, standing tall and eyes scanning the field preparing for battle.
"You mean we don't have to chant first?"
"You're ruining the moment, you know."
"Sorry, didn't realize there was a moment. Time flies when you're having fun." Katie bent her knees a bit in tune to some music in her head and looked at the sky.
"Why are you like this?"
"My parents have this theory…"
"Do you know the meaning of be quiet?"
"Usually when people ask you a question, you're meant to answer."
"Usually when people ask you a question like 'Why are you obnoxious' they aren't really expecting an answer."
"I'll keep that in mind."
"You should, it'll come in handy."
She hit him. Ooh. He was strong.
Oliver rolled his eyes. Good lord, this girl was not very respectful to the Quidditch Gods. "What?"
"We just had an entire conversation and it wasn't about Quidditch. I think your condition's improving."
Oliver sighed. "We really need to get moving. This grass isn't going to weed itself." He chuckled.
So much for a hot man with a good sense of humor.
Katie watched as Oliver bent over to pick up a weed (or was it grass? damn, how could you tell…) and discard it into a summoned trash bag. He repeated this process again, and again, and again, and by the fiftieth time he hadn't covered a square foot.
"Would you mind joining me?" He asked sarcastically. "This isn't as easy as it looks."
"Who said it looked easy?" Katie grumbled, pulling out her wand.
Oliver yelped. His face slackened into a worried puppy-like expression as he tried to explain to Katie how you could never use magic to threaten the field. Bad karma for future games, he insisted.
"So," Katie said slowly, reality sinking in, "You want us to weed this entire pitch. With our hands. Without magic. In one night. Without magic?"
Oliver grinned. "It's a great bonding experience. The whole team used to do it years ago, but in more recent decades only a few members have participated seeing as the whole detention thing is a problem when they intersect with game schedules…"
Katie pivoted and headed straight back for the locker rooms to go sleep in the showers.
"Wait you can't!"
"Really?" She asked, raising an eyebrow. "Because it wouldn't take much effort and I know for a fact that you keep your want hidden in your left jeans pocket which could prove to be very helpful if I made, say, a surprise attack over my right to sleep."
Oliver paused and padded his buttocks. "How do you know where I keep my wand?"
"No reason." She said sharply, blushing in the darkness of the field. "But I am perfectly entitled to a good nights rest. I'll have you know that tomorrow I have a great deal of work to do on a very important… test for Herbology… and if I fail I could… quit the team."
"Just let me go, Oliver."
"Because you want to stay."
Why the hell would she want to stay on a pitch that was getting increasingly cold by the minute to weed?
"…Because you respect the Gods. I know you do."
His eyes were so soft and pleading, for a moment she thought he was serious. Then a smile tugged at his lips and he couldn't resist laughing. "Because it's freezing as flipping hell and I'd get lonely out here all by myself, that's why!"
Katie grinned. "Are you scared?"
Oliver hastily continued picking at the grass beneath him and thrusting weeds into the plastic bag. "Why would I be scared?"
"Maybe the Quidditch Gods won't be so nice to you if you loose the first match of the season! You want to get on good terms with them so they don't haunt you and destroy your hopes of ever being a professional Quidditch player…"
"No!" Oliver cried out and turned around to see Katie on giggling hysterically. He started joining in and pretty soon he remembered that they had an entire pitch to weed, not giggling on the ground like a couple of third years.
"Come on." He reached down and let Katie pull herself up from his arm. "We should start."
Katie yawned. "How long do you think it'll take?"
"Why don't you start moving and we'll find out?"
"You were so nice just a minute ago…"
Katie reached into the ground and grabbed hold of a blade of grass and began pulling. She heaved. She grunted. She fell over in exhaustion.
"Oh right." Oliver smiled. He handed her some ridiculous looking goggles. "Put these on and you'll be able to tell what is grass and what you want to pull."
Katie stared at the gold trimmed goggles without hiding her disgust. "You want me to wear these?"
"Do you want this to take four weeks? Trust me it helps." He took a pair out of his pocket and got to work.
Oliver could still be sexy in his insane goggles. If he wasn't humming, the grass is green and the sky is blue (part of the National Quidditch Song –yes, there was a song)…
The goggles did help, although Katie hated to admit it. There were fine purple outlines where the weeds were, and those were much easier to pull up (as the grass had been magically planted in by Madam Hooch, Oliver said).
"So, Hooch is allowed a wand and we aren't?"
Oliver's weird rules were rather annoying.
"She isn't on the field playing! She won't get bucked from her broom and have the grass devour her like Katherine Watson."
She just looked at him.
Was it really that possible to be so thick?
She continued to weed for a few minutes before she scratched her right elbow. Then she scratched her left forearm. Then she scratched her wrist. Then her thigh. Needless to say, a chain reaction of itchiness ensued.
"O-oliver!" Katie moaned in between vigorous scratches, "I think I-I'm allergic to this grass!"
This was a surprise, seeing as they practiced on this lawn every year multiple times a week and Katie had never broken out in hives.
Katie, in an attempt to reach a hard-to-get itchy spot behind her ankle bent over and ended up kneeing herself in the forehead.
A thud followed by a string of curse words Oliver had never heard used in that fashion in his entire life.
"How could you not know you were allergic to this grass?" He was curious, but she reacted as though he was laughing at her or something.
"Maybe because at practice we don't roll around in it, caress it, and rub our bodies all over it. In fact, most of the time during Quidditch games, we're flying."
"Let me see your arm."
"God, Oliver, I know you're a helluva flier but I don't exactly fancy your chances as a healer."
"Can I see your arm?"
Katie waited before Oliver reached and, without invitation, pushed up her sleeves.
"You thought you were going to get away that easily, huh?"
Her stomach sank a couple notches. She shook her head, but he was weeding so forcefully now that he didn't notice.
"Am I really that hard to put up with?"
Katie shook her head again, tears forming in her eyes as she stood and watched him dismantle the ground beneath him in such a rage that she couldn't predict what he would say next.
"I picked you for a reason, Katie."
Katie wiped at her face, disbelieving. "What?"
"I figured you'd be smarter than the rest of the team (I wouldn't fancy getting caught out here with Potter, imagine the rumors), but I figured we could talk. I want to get to know you, Katie."
Shocked to a standstill, Katie just looked at him. "But… I'm just this annoying, sarcastic-"
"I watched you teach Harry the Crispers Keel and you did a great job… You're funny, even if I'm the butt of your jokes half the time-"
"Try seventy-five percent-" She mumbled with a grin, regaining her pride.
"And I know you're crap at Charms, but I am too and I'm proud of it." He looked away for a minute and then glanced back at her. "I'm not asking you out or anything if you don't want me to… just" he cleared his throat as though he had prepared the next line, "do you want to hang out sometime?"
It was a rather lame finishing point but Katie thought it was cute, especially for a guy his age who should be sleazing around like he owned the place. She considered. "Dating Oliver Wood? I mean, that wouldn't be so bad…"
She smiled and leaned into him.
Without further ado, the bags of weeds were forgotten and the two Quidditch-God-Worshippers went for their first date around the Hogwarts grounds at four in the morning.
"So, was their really any such thing as a weeding ceremony?" There was a glint in her eye. She thought she knew the answer.
Oliver perked up a bit. Oh no, she thought. This was what he did when he got overly excited about a maneuver…
"Actually, yes… but they really only celebrate it in Africa and some parts of South America. I had to do quite a bit of research you know, to get the right time and date and everything…"
Wow. In some weird ways, this was sort of romantic. "So, this is the real Weeding Day?"
"And those are the real Quidditch Gods?" She nodded up towards the sky full of brilliant stars.
"And you did all of this just as an excuse to get me out on the Quidditch Pitch alone?"
Oliver blushed. "I could've just pulled you aside after practice, but this just seemed right. Plus, the Seeker God, Serrekus, is just fascinating. You can see him right there." Oliver drew lines with his fingers into the sky.
Where Oliver saw magnificent shapes and people, Katie saw dots of light.
"See?" He asked and drew it again for the umpteenth time.
"I think so." She gazed at him and cuddled deep into his shoulder.
Tada. Okay. Let's get on with the self-critique shall we? I know, it's like right after you finish reading the cute ending I start bashing how I can't stand the ending… I feel sorta like Oliver just changed his mind about her, but I guess that's because I didn't really expect that to happen when I started writing this. It started out just them wandering to the pitch and once they got there I didn't really know what to do… I mean, you can't write about weeding for nine pages and captivate an audience. At least, if you're a non-botanist who would rather not read nine pages of how-to-pull-a-weed like the most of us, then it's not that interesting.
So to support myself I reread the piece a few days later (I usually do it, but this time I considered rewriting it… too lazy…). I think it sort of does work, I mean Oliver doesn't want to look too obvious in the beginning and Katie is annoying him and he has been nervous and he doesn't really understand why he's doing all of this for a girl three years younger than him. See, it makes more sense when I explain it. That's not a good thing.
Well, I think this has potential. I mean, if I am incredibly bored in the future I could take this thing apart and write it so I actually like it, but as for now I just feel like posting and this idea's been with me for a while… so there you go.