A/N: Hey, there! Welcome to STS. This story has a looot of drama associated with it, but nonetheless, I've decided to put it back up in its entirety because so many people have requested it and it's really the least I can do for such ridiculously awesome fans. You guys are the best. I can't even deal with you. I wish I could respond personally to every single review but I'm frantically writing an OF series and balancing about 1,000 things at a time so I don't have anywhere near the time :( THAT SAID, some things to know about the story before you dive in:
1. It's pretty AU in that the Golden Trio is absent (it's very much a romantic dramedy, so when it comes to Voldemort, ain't nobody got time for dat) and the time scheme's a little off. Oliver Wood is a 7th year, and Fred, George, Alicia, Katie, and Angelina are 6th years in this story.
2. Although the story goes up to chapter 23 and has a two part 'epilogue', it's not 'complete' in the true sense of the word... what that means is some weird shenanigans went down the first time I posted this story on a different site, and accounts disappeared, and I took that as my sign to progress into the wild world of original fiction that everyone had been pressuring me into for a while. FF was lovely, but it was an admitted crutch, and having my entire account deleted out of the blue was just the kind of shock I needed to transition away from it. However, because this story somehow got the world's coolest and most dedicated fanbase ever (IMO - you guys are rad), I couldn't fully move on until I gave them closure, so I wrapped everything up in an epilogue of sorts. It's 37 pages, most of which are full of snippets I never got a chance to post, my narration of what happened in between scenes, a long conflict resolution scene, and a 'three months later' epilogue that shows in detail how everything worked out. It's as comprehensive as I could manage, and I've heard so far that people are pretty happy with it and finally feel like they have the closure they wanted. So it's a unique kind of complete.
Anyway, I think that's it. Hope you guys enjoy the story, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions! Feedback still means the world to me, and trucking through writing a real book where I have to finish it without getting any sort of reviews gets rough, so if you feel like leaving a review, I'd love to read it! I seriously live for favorite quotes: they give me a sense of what parts of my humor work the best in fiction and what parts are best left for my weird head, and I also never know if I've built tension/drama/an argument well, so reviews on that help me a lot. That said, I'll most likely be mainlining coffee in sweatpants and an old man robe and fluffy socks as I type away at my fantasy book, so if the conclusion leaves you with any confusion, drop me a line. Thanks for reading!
Settling the Score
Heaven Hath No Pity for Fascist Quidditch Captains
Never in my life have I felt so much hatred concentrated on one thing, or rather, one person. I was ready for blood, hungry for the kill, eager to destroy – and not at all prone to exaggerating. My eyes were reduced to furious slits of green, loosely tied hair a nuclear explosion of curls atop my head, and my breathing a ragged, uneven set of wintry puffs collecting then dissipating in the icy October air.
Two bloody hours of these stupid bleacher sprints, all for showing up a little late to practice. Granted, I have been doing it a lot lately, but it's that time of year where every club gets prematurely thrilled about how spiffing the year is going to be and they plan a bunch of dances and bake sales in the flurry of excitement.
Yeah, not so convenient when the captain of your Quidditch team is a fascist.
I clenched my jaw as I pushed myself up yet another set of steep, merciless bleachers, my calves burning and my heart pounding for oxygen. Bloody Wood. Honestly, it's not like anything fantastically important happened during the first ten minutes of practice anyway – just the usual tidbits about other teams and what matches are coming up – and yet, despite my perfectly legitimate excuse, I land myself a nice, long set of bleacher sprints. Suicides, they were called. How fucking fitting.
My eyes narrowed against the wind at the distant voice, the Scottish drawl heavy and unmistakable. No way in hell was I answering him, not after this punishment. I gritted my teeth together and kept going, my dark hair whipping about my face as the wind picked up. A low growl of thunder rumbled through the air.
"Wiles, get you're undependable arse down here right now!"
I would've scoffed if I had any semblance of breath left within my lungs. Undependable – what a prick. He was the one that hounded me in the first place to join more bloody clubs so that the professors wouldn't give me the 'you're too focused on sport' speech. 'Lot of ruddy good that did.
"Wiles, don't make me come up there!"
"It'd be nice to see you actually do something for a change!" I called back over my shoulder, my voice raspy from the cold air and lack of oxygen reaching my lungs.
I heard him scoff in aggravation, the sound followed by the thud of angry footsteps trailing my own. I braced myself for the stubborn row that was coming, idiotically determined to fight the natural limitations of my body for my pride: I wouldn't stop running until I was bloody finished.
"Wiles, damnit," he snapped as he trudged up to where I was sprinting, having to increase his pace in order grab hold of my arm. "I can't let you practice while there's lightning, school rule."
I tried to dislodge myself from his grip but his hold was too strong, so with a frustrated growl and a sharp roll of my eyes, I forced myself to turn to face him. He stared back at me with an unimpressed look, dark hair tufting in the rapidly gaining wind. "I'm not done yet, Wood," I declared, tilting my chin up a little to try to not appear quite so exhausted. My chest was heaving and my hair was matted with sweat, sticking it to my head in a vision of beauty.
"Look, I personally don't have a problem with you getting struck by lightning," he said, making my bloodshot eyes narrow, "but if I don't make sure everyone's off the pitch, I get ousted as captain."
He smiled humorlessly at my enthusiasm. "Yes, really, so get off the pitch or I'll make you get off."
I tilted my head to the side, a smug quality entering my voice now that I had the upper hand in this. "I'm sorry, Wood. I believe it was your order to complete two hundred bleacher suicides, and I've only done one hundred and seventy two. Maybe next time you should reconsider being such an asshole?"
His gaze was resigned. "I will move you, Wiles."
I snorted. "Really? What are you going to do, toss me over your shoul—ARGH!"
A strangled yelp escaped my lips as his arms suddenly encircled my waist, pulling me up and over his shoulder like an old sack of potatoes. "Pretty much," he replied nonchalantly as I began writhing around, banging my fists against his back.
"Wood," I hissed as I tried to twist out of his firm grasp, feeling horribly demeaned and undermined – this was no way to treat your own Seeker, for Christ's sake! "Put me down, you wanker, this is harassment! As in harassment! As in illegal!"
"So is practicing in lightning," he replied as he trudged down the wooden rows, lightning flickering in the distance as if to emphasize his point. Really, weather? Rude.
"Wood, put. Me. Down." The severe tone did nothing. Okay, take two: frantic. "Put me down!" Nothing. Ultimatum? "Put me down or I quit," I threatened heatedly, though I knew he'd see right through the weak claim. I may or may not use it kind of often.
Predictably enough, he chuckled. "Sure."
"I'm serious!" Except not really.
"Fine – plenty of fresh talent willing to replace you."
My eyes flashed at the response – oi. I was good. Feeling considerably underappreciated – I was really bloody good, damnit! – I snapped, "Fine, then I quit!"
He snorted dismissively. "No, you don't."
"Yes, I do!" I countered to the back of his shoulders as he finally reached the drying grass of the pitch, knowing I'd be force-feeding myself my words by tomorrow. I always did this: got all huffy, threw my metaphorical resignation in his face, then showed up the next morning for practice with a scowl. It was a stupid process that accomplished nothing, but dealing with Wood just drove me so far up the bloody wall that in the moment, I never cared.
"Fine," he said simply, "quit away. D'ya mind grabbing me a cup of coffee on your way to practice tomorrow morning, though?" My face crumpled into a glower. Hell if I was showing up for practice tomorrow. If it came down to it, I'd make that self-centered git beg.
Face hard with newfound determination, I glared at the broad muscles on his back in silence for the remainder of the way, thankful that the locker rooms were so close. Or at least I was, until he let his arms go slack without so much as a warning when he reached the door, sending me tumbling backward in a graceless attempt to maintain my balance. "Seriously?" I snapped, glancing up angrily at him, and he merely stood there all tall and cross-armed and nauseatingly patronizing.
"Practice is at six A.M. tomorrow. That doesn't mean 6:05, 6:15, or even 6:0 bloody 2. That means six."
My lip curled in annoyance. "Perhaps I'd care if I were still on the team."
He rolled his eyes, bored and unamused. "Shove off with the quitting rubbish, Wiles, I don't have time for it this week."
I arched a brow, getting more and more committed to the idea of actually going through with it with every word he said. "So sure it's rubbish, are you?"
"Well, you said the same thing last week and yet here you are, so," he let his eyes flit over my sweaty, disheveled appearance, summing me up in a glance, "I'd say I'm sure."
I set my jaw, eyes taking on a cool, hard expression that matched my intensifying resolve. "Guess we'll see, then." I swiveled about in the direction of the lockers, fighting back the urge to add something more. Getting into it with Wood was always an annoyingly lopsided process because I'd say everything on my mind whereas he'd say about 2% of what's on his, so once in a while, I tried to give him a taste of his own curt medicine.
"Six in the morning!" he called out, making me roll my eyes and throw a sarcastic thumbs up over my shoulder. Hell if I was showing up. I'll be the girl snuggled in my warm, fluffy bed, thanks.
I shivered as I entered the cold, drafty locker room, peeling off the sweaty layers of my Quidditch kit a bit reluctantly. Flinging off my muddy sports bra - Jesus, how did that much even get in there? - I stepped into the slippery shower, turning on the showerhead and adjusting the knob to a satisfyingly scalding temperature. A low hiss of breath escaped my lips as the burning water scorched my skin, dissipating the layers of grime and mud clinging onto it. I poured a fistful of shampoo onto my palm and attacked the dark, tangled mess of curls on my head with it.
This was one of my favorite parts of Quidditch. The hot water, the raw skin, the dull ache humming in my muscles. Here in my state of absolute exhaustion I could think about things, reason out my irrational impulses in a state of tired calmness. McGonagall had blown up at me earlier that day for some reason or other – I vaguely recall accidentally lighting something on fire? It wasn't entirely my fault, though: the Weasley twins were somehow involved.
I rolled my eyes at the mere thought of those two, an inevitable grin creeping up the corners of my lips. Never a dull moment with the twins around. We'd been friends since Quidditch tryouts (they'd charmed my broom to shoot out sparkles), though over the years, I'd certainly grown to know George better than Fred. There was just something about George that was easier for me to get along with. He was a lot less attention-hungry than his brother, more... balanced. Both of them were constantly thrust into the spotlight due to their wicked humor and agreeable presence, but George seemed perfectly at ease with sharing the glory with others.
He was a surprisingly good listener, and despite the absurd number of detentions he racked up daily, he was rather good at giving advice. While Fred was good for bloody phenomenal entertainment, I couldn't really find anything else besides our constant joking to bring us past casual friends. Still, as close as I am with George, I'd probably jump off the Astronomy Tower if he was the only person I could ever confide in. The Weasleys along with Lee Jordan are a riot, but those blokes would make any girl go insane after a while – they were just so testosterone-happy. For feminine matters of the heart and everything else under the sun, I had a whole PMS-filled circle of nutso females that I wouldn't trade for the entire bloody world.
Katie Bell – the empathetic bookworm/closet disco diva. When I first met her back on the Hogwarts Express, I immediately coined her for the shy, quiet type, and I wasn't that far off at first. While I talked and bonded with the other girls in our dorm pretty quickly, she remained timidly sweet and likable – oh, what a bloody shock it was when she finally let loose. The girl is genuinely insane around people she's comfortable with, and I don't think I've ever met anyone I just genuinely like everything about outside of Kats. Seriously. She's the sweetest, loveliest whack job you'll ever meet, and I don't think it's possible for anyone not to like her.
Angelina Johnson – future Prime Minister of Great Britain. Jesus, that girl is authoritative, but in that responsible, leader-like way that means she's just looking out for you. She's the mother hen of our dorm mates, the sharp-minded, logical one who knows what rules are worth breaking and what risks aren't worth taking. However, you slip her a firewhiskey or two and the transformation is almost too hysterical for words – the Prefect can't handle her alcohol well. Just ask Fred: he's been in love with her ever since she decided to run laps around the pitch in a tutu in the middle of a blizzard after getting drunk at a fourth year victory party.
Last but not least, Alicia Spinnet – most beautiful psycho you will ever meet in your life. The bint is stunning. Seriously, she's like celebrity levels of gorgeous, but she's also the weirdest person I know. And bluntest. And rudest. And most obnoxious. And most unintentionally hilarious. You either love her or you hate her: if she's against you, you hate her, if she's on your side, you will never laugh harder or live brighter or be more fiercely defended. We actually couldn't stand each other at first, and it was through Angelina that we finally decided to set aside our prejudices and get to know each other. Thank God, because ever since then, we've been inseparable, and I really can't imagine life without Alicia around to make it mental.
"Wiles, you still in there?"
I closed my eyes and groaned, wishing that I could stay under the steady stream of scalding water forever instead of facing the frigid air awaiting me. "Yeah, so leave."
"I can't leave until you do, so hurry the ruddy hell up – it's freezing out here."
Like that was going to make me go any faster.
I made sure to take my sweet time before finally reaching back and shutting off the showerhead, grabbing a ratty towel from a nearby hook, and wrapping it around my dripping frame. My skin instantly erupted in goosebumps as the cold air of the locker room brushed over it, and it hastened my pace as I threw on some clothes.
"About time," Wood drawled as I waltzed out of the doorway, wringing my dark waves and shooting him a dismissive look. He was leaning against the wooden goalpost, arms crossed and brows arched. His face was thrust in shadow from the dimming sky, darkness pooling in the hollows below his cheekbones, and my lips twitched in annoyance at the inadvertent elegance of it all.
Wood was fitter than he deserved to be and it pissed me off.
"Okay, I'm here, hooray," I said sarcastically, waving him off with my hand, "you can leave now."
He shook his head. "Have to make sure you're safe and sound in the castle."
I sighed, rolling my eyes yet again as I began to trudge away through the mud. "Why do I get the feeling you're making these 'rules' up?"
"Obviously I just want to spend loads of extra time with you." Touché.
We bickered somewhat pointlessly as we made our way over to the double doors of the Great Hall, the warmth of the room emanating from the cracks and the windows. I scoffed at something particularly arrogant he said as I pushed the door open, and a welcome rush of heat smacked against my shivering body.
"Look at that, safe and sound in the castle – guess that means goodbye," I stated with about as much enthusiasm as a dementor would, ignoring his dismissive eye roll as I ran my eyes over the various tables lining the Great Hall. Only a few scattered people were sitting, indicating that there was still some time to dry up by the common room fire before dinner.
I hurried my way up to the Gryffindor tower, my calves protesting loudly with every set of stairs I had to ascend, and by the time I'd arrived at the portrait hole, lactic acid was seeping from my each and ever muscle, a delayed reaction to all the rigorous training I'd undergone today. "Veritaserum," I muttered to the Fat Lady, ignoring her attempt at striking up gossip as I slowly clambered through. The fire was roaring high and mightily in the common room, outlining the scattered students lounging about in a bright silhouette, and despite my urge to collapse by the fire and take a nap right there, I forced myself up the stairs to the sixth year dorms.
Shoving the door open without so much as a 'hey, guys!' and slamming it closed behind me, I staggered to my fourposter and collapsed. No one said anything, accustomed to my post-practice dramatics, and after a moment, I lifted my head and glanced about the rather messy room. Katie was bundled up in the thick, Snoopy blanket that she brought with her every year, munching on a chocolate frog and ravishing some classic novel. Her light brown hair, inevitably straight and shiny, hung loose around her shoulders, released from its usual plaited style.
Alicia was strewn languidly across her bed, curls shoved up into a pretty bun, absently perusing some muggle magazine. She had her thick-rimmed reading glasses on, and her head was bopping around to whatever obscure death metal rock was probably playing in her head. Angelina was most likely the one in the bathroom, showering herself to her usual, orderly perfection. The girl was a complete organization-freak – her neat bed stood out like a sore thumb in the sea of chaos that surrounded it.
Katie glanced up from her book, dark eyes sympathetic. "You look beat."
At this, Alicia glanced up as well, her face contorting into a grimace at my appearance. "More like homeless. Bathe much?"
"I took a shower."
"In what, a toilet?"
I ignored the comment, letting my head collapse back down into my soft bed and reveling in the warmth and comfort of my pillow. "God, I don't think I've ever been this tired in my entire life."
Katie set her book down, eyeing me quizzically. "Exactly how many suicides did he make you do?"
"Bloody two hundred and something…"
"What a dick!"
"Just because you were a bit late?"
I nodded stiffly into my pillow, too exhausted to really let myself get worked up all over again. I'd already pitched quite a fit when he'd commanded me to do them in the first place, and now I was just glad to be done with them.
"Whatever, just show him up in practice again – he gets so entertainingly angry whenever you mess with the Quaffle and score against him," Alicia suggested as she turned a glossy page, squinting at a pair of shoes.
"Oh, right – I sort of quit the team," I muttered, unsurprised by the lack of reaction the two girls met this news with.
"Again?" Katie asked flatly.
"Yes, again – but I mean it this time," I said a bit defensively, annoyed by their dismissive attitudes.
"Funny, that's what I recall you saying the last time you quit," Alicia said as she flipped to the horoscope section, making Katie snort wryly.
"And the time before that."
"And the time before that…"
"Okay, fine – so maybe I say that a lot, but this time I'm not coming back unless he personally comes and grovels at my feet," I declared into my pillow, my stubborn gaze narrowing at Alicia's snort.
"And you really think he's going to do that?"
I lifted my head somewhat proudly. "If I stick it out for long enough – yes."
"Then you're a bloody idiot," she responded, reaching for her self-inking quill to take some stupid astrology quiz – she was oddly superstitious like that.
"Who's a bloody idiot?"
I glanced over to the bathroom, my eyes landing on a very clean and pretty-looking Angelina. Her long hair was gathered into a series of tiny braids, and her uniform was neatly pressed and well-fitting on her tall, athletic physique. "I am, apparently."
She flashed a derisive smile. "Tell me something I don't know."
"Jupiter and Venus align tomorrow night at eight," Alicia responded, quill in hand as she scribbled down her responses.
Angelina rolled her eyes. "Rephrase – tell me something I care to know."
Katie snorted as she flipped the page of her leather-bound volume. "Here we go."
"Planet alignment is no joke, Angie – I can predict your entire future with this thing," Alicia responded, waving her magazine about rather indignantly.
"Oh, yeah? Can you predict this?" Angelina countered as she flung a large scrunchie directly into Alicia's face, making the blonde squawk in protest.
I rolled my eyes to the back of my skull as the two began to squabble aimlessly, craving the peace and tranquility that I had walked into. "Oi, four year olds – kindly stuff it."
"Oi, hag," Alicia jabbed as she hurled her quill at my head, "kindly stop being boring."
Angelina snorted in agreement as Katie checked her wristwatch, eyeing the hands for a moment. "It's about quarter to seven, should we start heading down?"
Alicia sent a wry grin in Katie's direction. "You're such a porker, honestly – if you didn't play Quidditch you'd weigh three tons."
"Good thing I play Quidditch then, isn't it?" Katie responded as she popped the last bit of the chocolate frog she'd been munching on into her grinning mouth.
Alicia and Katie arose from their sloth-like positions, stretching slightly and doing some last minute touch ups – Katie twisting her hair into her everyday plait, Alicia removing her glasses and letting her bouncy hair flow free.
"You coming, Andy?"
I groaned miserably at the prospect of getting up, weighing the importance of hunger versus sleep. My muscles were practically numb with exhaustion, though the slightest movement would send them screaming with pain. "Can I just meet up with you lot later?"
Angelina, ever the leader, simply shrugged in response, the others following suit as they ambled out the door and mentioned something about saving a seat. I buried my head deep within my pillow and sighed into the silence, feeling the shackles of sleep pulling down on my eyelids. My final thought before drifting off to sleep was that there was no way in hell I was getting up at six in the morning for Quidditch practice – Wood really did himself in this time.
He would have to beg.
A tear or sixty-five wouldn't hurt, either.
A/N: Hullo, readers! New story – I got inspired by the lack of Oliver Wood/OC stories to write one of my own, so here it is! It's a bit of a slow intro, but there were a lot of characters to establish and I really wanted to make them my own. Review with anything – likes, dislikes, the weather! I like to hear from you guys!