the Wrong Number
Summary: While trying to send his crush a text message, Oliver Wood misses a number and sends a text to someone else… someone who might actually be who he's looking for. OW/HG
Disclaimer: All characters and properties belong to JK Rowling. Premise slightly similar to that of You've Got Mail, but with a twist; more based on my friend and my own monthly bill statement for text messaging.
Author's Note: Chronology might be anachronistic with flip-phones and the characters' ages. Please excuse that as artistic licensing. And try not to get monthly fees of $35+ for your own texting. It's not cool, as my friend learned the hard way. // Also, if there are any glaringly obvious mistakes, feel free to point them out so I can revise. Also, it's a one-shot; no sequel or new chapters will be posted!
Monday, April 23
Bloody fucking hell, thought Oliver darkly, frowning and squinting at the tiny screen on his Vodafone. The tiny LG flip-phone confused the hell out of him, and the tiny buttons with numbers didn't make sense. He didn't understand why Katie Bell refused owl mail, in deference to her Muggle parents' wishes. Owls were so much easier than mobiles!
Grumbling under his breath, Oliver came to a halt outside of a Boots in Muggle London, his large hands unable to work the tiny mobile correctly. He began punching in Katie's area code and then her phone number, as best as he could recollect. He didn't understand the address function and the manual was down-right frightful.
With a sigh, Oliver thought of Katie. The spunky Gryffindor and he had met up at the Qudditch convention nearly two months ago and after one or two Owls, she had asked him to call her on her mobile instead, stating that her parents didn't like the unhygienic birds. Oliver, besotted, agreed and asked Percy Weasley to help him find a mobile phone, whatever that was.
Percy called his father (and had a family reunion as well), and then Arthur had contacted the help of Hermione Granger.
From what he understood, Granger had given him a three-year contract with Vodafone, one of the UK's largest providers (in what? he thought bewildered). He could barely understand the Muggle terminology in the help manual, and the Twins weren't helpful either.
But, he cared a great deal for Katie and thought that it might go somewhere – even with the Owl ban.
So, breathing in the chilly, but promising warmth, spring air, Oliver shrugged his shoulders and pressed the tiny numerical buttons on the phone, his fingers fumbling and pressing incorrect ones every so often. He pressed the delete key as often as he could, and when he felt confident he had Katie's number inputted, he pressed the green ok button and a blank screen appeared.
A blinking line appeared.
Motherfuck, morosely thought Oliver. What's this?
Finally at wit's end, with his flip phone held tightly in his right fist, Oliver entered a local Starbucks and politely asked the first teenage girl he could find, "Could you please tell me how to work my mobile? I just got it and I…"
The heavily made-up girl blinked up at Oliver, flashed a smile at him and took his mobile. "Are you sending a text?"
The girl smirked. "I guess so. Who're you sending the text to?"
"The girl I fancy," Oliver hesitantly revealed.
"Cute!" she squealed. "Okay, so this feature is called T9 – what you do is just begin typing in with the keypad the letters in the word you're trying to spell and it automatically finds the words that the letters can spell… and pressing this key here"—she pointed with a long, pinky nail at the 0-dial —"will change the word until you find the one you're looking for. Got it?"
Oliver felt a headache coming on. Ancient Runes was never this difficult… "I think so."
"Okay… so what are you trying to tell her?" asked the girl, looking up at him expectantly. "You tell me and I'll type it in, while you watch so you get an idea of what to do later."
Oliver heartily thanked the girl and sat in the vacant seat across him her, trying to hide his awe at the bustling coffee house and the hubbub of Londoners.
"Um, I want to ask if she's coming to the…" he paused. There was a Puddlemere versus Chudley game on Friday night, and he was fairly certain that Quidditch wasn't a familiar Muggle word.
"To the…?" prompted the teen, looking up from the keypad. Her fingers had practically flown across, sliding from one button to the next. She was done nearly after Oliver had finished speaking.
"To the Puddlemere game on Friday," finished Oliver, coughing slightly and shifted uncomfortably in his wooden seat. He suddenly felt that his black turtleneck, faded jeans and brown leather jacket were out of place at the Starbucks coffee house as another large group of business suit-clad men and women wandered in, carrying briefcases.
Then, eyeing the teenage girl, he dismissed his worry. He didn't wear Muggle clothing that often, being a Pureblood, but he wasn't far off the fashionable mark considering the girl wore ripped leggings, a pleated school skirt, a tank top and several mesh armbands.
"How do you spell 'Puddlemere'? It's not coming up in the T9 feature, so I'm using the ABC one," asked the girl suddenly. "Is it part of the Scottish League? My boyfriend only cares for Wolverton FC."
Oliver froze. Hastily, he stuttered, "Um, yes, it's part of the Scottish League. Puddlemere, P-U-D-D-L-E-M-E-R-E."
"Cool," the girl replied, typing the word in. "Okay, all done." She held out the mobile to him. Oliver took it and looked at the text in the tiny screen. So, that was what it was for!
Reading it over, he double-checked the spelling. "Hi," it began, "Are you coming to the Puddlemere game this Friday? Can't wait to see you!"
"It's great," gushed Oliver, thickly. "Thank you. Can I buy you a coffee as thanks?"
The girl shook her head. "I've got to go, myself, but best of luck with the girl!"
Oliver smiled. "Thanks again."
The teenager stood and left the table, taking her white cup with her. Oliver pressed the key beneath the SEND query and watched as a tiny envelope appeared on the screen with the number he typed in underneath it. The envelope had wings and was flapping, bouncing up and down in the tiny screen.
Suddenly, Message sent, sprawled across the screen. Save number? was at the bottom. Oliver shrugged. He'd wait for the reply.
Hermione Granger, upon her graduation from Hogwarts nearly two years overdue, did not know what she wanted to do with her life. She, the witch with the top marks at Hogwarts, was stumped.
Ron joined Gringotts with his eldest brother, putting his strategy skills to work in figuring out the best way to crack tough tombs and ancient sites that interested goblins (for whatever reason that was, anyway). He had become a skilled warder during the hunt for Voldemort's horcruxes in those dark days of the second war.
Harry, coming out the victor of the final battle, would always pale and end up sick whenever the tiniest speck of blood appeared nowadays, and was happily living the bachelor's life with no job. He, however, had earned it after saving the wizard world and every so often would take a prospective career offer up and spend about two months on the job before quitting.
So far, he'd been a professional Quidditch player (which lasted two games), the manager at Florean Fortesque's ice cream parlor, a Crup-walker for a Diagon Alley pet store, a real estate agent in the Muggle world (he got his certificate and then didn't do any jobs), a nurse at a retirement home, and had recently tried a hand at being a male stripper.
Unfortunately for Hermione, nothing had changed after the war. The majority of those still in power at the Ministry were those who did not fight, but rather allowed the DA and the Order to get messy – and those in charge were old stodgy bastards who were more conservative than a Puritan.
So, Hermione found herself jobless upon graduation in the Magical world, and at her parents urging, went back to dance. When she was four, her parents enrolled her in a ballet/jazz dance school, in hopes that other young girls dreaming of being prima donnas would forge a bond.
Instead, the only bond forged was that of mutual hate between Hermione and the other girls; what did turn out well was that lithe and tiny Hermione Granger became the best in the class – go figure – and was incredibly graceful. Ballet and jazz progressed to tap and then hip-hop, and then to modern dance and Latin ballroom.
And at twenty, lithe and graceful and five-foot-three Hermione Granger found herself in Muggle London, working with bratty children who wanted to be the next Darcey Bussell or a Spice Girl.
Hermione would be happy to be the next Rowena Ravenclaw, but everyone had to be let down at some point in their life.
So, as the chattering little wannabe primas finished their stretches and unwinding of the muscles as the ballet class ended, Hermione dismissed everyone and sat on the floor to remove her own pointe. She fumbled around in duffle bag and pulled out a vibrating mobile phone. Harry was her "boyfriend" on the couples' plan, and the two kept in contact. Poor Ron could never figure the Muggle technology out, and Hermione never saved his number in her address book. Elephants would fly before Ron would give up his beloved Pig, anyway.
The front screen of the flip phone was lit up and had the words new message across the small LCD screen. Wondering if Harry sent her a text or left a voicemail, Hermione flipped the phone open and blinked at the unfamiliar number.
"Are you coming to the Puddlemere game this Friday? Can't wait to see you!" the message read.
"Oh," breathed Hermione, "It seems Ron finally managed to work the text feature!"
She looked around. Were any elephants flying? No, it was just an overcast April day in London.
With a shrug, Hermione pressed the reply button and wrote back: Of course I'll be there! Wouldn't miss it for the world.
She hit send and watched the screen say her message was sent. After all, it was against the Chudley Cannons. Ron had season tickets and despite Hermione always refusing, it was the play-offs. She knew Puddlemere would win, but she could at least root for Chudley if it made her best friend feel better.
She was good at that. Ron still hadn't figured out that it was really her who put the fake spiders in his soup bowl that one dinner, and not the Twins…
Oliver jumped as something in his back pocket began to vibrate. He cursed the stupid mobile phone and decided sourly that no girl was worth getting to know with the accursed thing, as he fished the vibrating plastic out of his pocket.
Message Received! Screamed the front panel of his phone. Feeling better, Oliver happily opened the phone to see Katie's reply.
Oliver felt a blush spread across his cheeks. At the convention, Katie hadn't seemed all that excited over Oliver's position as Keeper for Puddlemere, more eager to share her reserve position of Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies.
But now Katie seemed to be eager to see him get his game on – and Oliver wasn't going to bugger up on Friday.
Jamming his hands into his jean pockets, he began to whistle a merry Scottish reel that cut off abruptly as he apparated to Puddlemere's stadium. He had to get his practice in.
Friday, April 27
"He's wearing orange."
"I'm sorry?" Hermione asked, looking up from the Quidditch program in her hand. She had arrived a half-hour before the game was due to start, having difficulty locating her wayward friends. They always met at the Harkin's Hopping Hot Dog stand on the fourth floor of the Puddlemere stadium whenever Chudley played against them; and yet there was no sign of anyone redheaded, or scarred.
Instead, Hermione found herself staring at Luna Lovegood, Ron's sister's roommate. Luna was wearing a ridiculous outfit of a black skirt and orange-and-black striped leggings and an official Chudley Cannon's jersey. She wore surprisingly fashionable pointed open-toe, black heels.
"Who's wearing orange?" Hermione asked, blinking and trying to ignore the outfit. "By the way, Luna, it's April, you know."
Luna shrugged. "I know. And I meant Ronald. He's wearing orange."
Hermione scoffed. "He always does at a Chudley game, despite the horrible clash with his hair."
Luna made a non-committal noise from the back of her throat, and then offered after a pause, "It makes finding him by his hair colour difficult, because the orange tends to drown out the red, don't you think?"
Hermione began chuckling but then forced it into a cough. Sometimes, and only sometimes, would Luna say something that was absolutely spot-on.
The two stood side-by-side for another ten minutes, watching the crowd of proud Puddlemere fans amble by, wearing the team colours and holding up home-made banners.
"But Mummy I don'twanna wear face-paint!" one little boy whined.
"Puddlemere, Puddlemere, Puddlemere!" chanted a rowdy group of twenty-something men.
The noise level increased and soon people were hollering as the opening announcements played over the crowd.
"Lulu! Mione!" called a loud voice, jolting the two young women out of their silent people-watching activity.
Harry darted through the crowd and appeared before the two, grabbing both by the wrist and began to tug them the same way he came.
"Sorry!" he called over his shoulder, at the two girls; Luna spacey as usual, and Hermione with a wry grin on her face. "Ron misplaced the season tickets that he has, and he spent ages searching the flat for them. Idiot had them in his back pocket the entire time."
The three soon appeared at the VIP box that Ron Weasley secured for the season. Ginny, Fred and George were already there, with Butterbeer and pretzels; Harry forced Hermione into the seat beside him while Ron greeted his girlfriend absent-mindedly.
"Lu – look, there's McGovern, and Travers, and oh – Secord is on first-string this game!" Ron gabbed excitedly to Luna.
"Hello to you too, Ronald," she serenely replied, gracefully sitting on the blue plastic stadium chair.
Soon the game began, and as Hermione expected, Chudley took a turn for the worse despite the fact that they were part of the English play-off series. Puddlemere creamed them within the first hour and a half of the game, until the Seeker for Puddlemere made a wrong, uninformed turn on his broom into the oncoming path of a Bludger.
The Puddlemere captain, and one of the Chasers, called for a twenty-minute time-out and was granted the time.
"How's work?" asked Harry to Hermione.
Hermione turned to her friend, resting her right arm on her raised knees, as her feet were propped against the railing of their VIP box balcony. "All right as far as four-year-old ballerinas can be." She sent Harry a cheesy, wide grin. "And how's your job, Mr. Potter, male stripper?"
Harry grinned. "Quit last night. Some lady just threw herself on me during my performance three nights ago and knocked me over. I hit my head hard against the floor, ended up with a concussion, and the lady lands on top of me – and get this – takes a tumble as suddenly a bunch of other girls begin a 'Harry pile-up.' I don't know how it happened, but the next thing I know, I've got blood dripping in my eyes and I passed out." He shuddered. "You know I can't stand blood nowadays."
Hermione hummed in vague agreement, trying hard not to laugh.
"And then, and then – I wake up in an ambulance taking me to the nearest hospital for stitches because I had a nasty gash on my head with an icepack on the back… and the lady in the ambulance, the paramedic, had the cheek to ask if what I had under my uniform was bruised as well and needed some TLC."
Hermione bit her lip, but schooled her features as best as she could (which wasn't much) into a sympathetic face. "So what are you going to do now?"
Harry frowned at her rosy cheeks and inability to frown – she was grinning widely. "I've got an audition for a part in a play Monday morning."
"Going into theatre now, Harry?" laughed Hermione, "What part?"
He cleared his throat. "I'm trying for Hamlet."
Hermione looked away, trying to keep her voice stable in her answer, "Well, all you have to do is channel your fifteen-year-old self and you'll nail the part."
"Ha, ha," humorlessly replied Harry. "At least my coworkers wouldn't fall to the floor and then scream for Mummy."
"Oh, you never know," replied Hermione with a twinkle in her eyes, "Some of those actors…" She let the sentence trail.
Harry rolled his eyes and was about to reply when a monotone tune interrupted the air between the two.
"Phone call?" asked Harry wryly. "You paying for dinner tonight says it's your parents."
"Deal!" agreed Hermione, "And it's a text."
"Still counts. I say it's your dad."
Hermione frowned, recognizing the same number on her LCD from Monday. "It's not. Weird… I thought it was Ron sending me a text when I first got a message from this number earlier on in the week. I even replied – they asked if I was coming to the Puddlemere game. It had to be a wizard."
Harry frowned with Hermione, ignoring the fact that he lost the bet and would have to pay for dinner (and pay through the nose, Hermione liked her fancy meals), and leaned over her shoulder to read the message with her.
"Hey! How are you enjoying the game so far? Why not come and meet with me for a bit in the locker room?"
"Got a boyfriend that we don't know about?" asked Harry with a smirk.
"No," replied Hermione, completely confused. "It must be from someone here, though… and someone magical to mention the game. Should I go?"
Harry scoffed. "Not without me along."
"Well, let's reply and see what they send."
Watching Hermione, Harry saw her quickly type back: Game is great so far! Yay Puddlemere! The break is almost over, so sorry :("
The two watched in waited breath, ignoring Ron's debate with his siblings about the foul on the Chudley's Beater for the smash against the Puddlemere Seeker.
"Too bad. Maybe after the game? We can celebrate my win."
"My win?" echoed Harry, "It's a player!" He looked at Hermione with disbelief. "What is it with you and Quidditch players?"
Hermione flushed and replied to the text: Maybe. Where would we meet?
Only a few seconds passed before a reply popped up.
How about in the Puddlemere locker room? It'll be empty after the press conference.
"Give me that," demanded Harry, pulling out his own mobile and opening his address book.
"At the very least reply to the text, Harry," grumbled Hermione, crossing her arms and sitting back.
Harry sighed and read as he typed, "Sure, that sounds good. I'll be there with Harry."
"That's fine, you can send that," agreed Hermione, stretching her arms and bowing her back slightly.
"Any luck with finding the number?" asked Hermione finally after a few moments of silence.
"None," sighed Harry. "Oh – you have another reply." He frowned. "Odd… 'Harry Potter? I thought you don't talk to him anymore.'"
Hermione shared a look with Harry. "I guess it's someone who plays Quidditch, and someone who knows you."
"Not necessarily," countered Harry, "It could be that this person has the wrong number and the person they want to meet used to know me."
"Well, if they like Quidditch, it's probably someone from the team," logically replied Hermione with a flash of even, white teeth.
"Fred's dating Angelina, and George had a fling with Alicia and Katie, and then Alicia was last seen with Adrian Pucey, since George is now with Verity," slowly mused aloud Harry, stroking his chin as he though.
"What about Katie?" asked Ginny, who made Harry and Hermione start in surprise.
"Don't do that!" gasped Harry, clutching his chest. "Did I mention I don't take surprises well anymore?"
Ginny rolled her eyes at her ex. "What about Katie?" she repeated. "She knew Harry and was big into Quidditch. Chaser Weekly just reported that she's signed as a reserve with Holyhead."
"When did you enter this conversation?" grumbled Harry, rubbing at his torso and glaring at the redheaded girl; she perched on her heels on her seat, leaning over Harry's shoulder to face Hermione from the row behind them.
"When I heard that Hermione was getting alphabet envelopes and you didn't know who they were from," she replied smartly, messing up the terminology.
Hermione ignored Harry's erratic breathing. The poor boy was already on Valium. Harry fumbled with his yellow-orange prescription bottle, opened it, and dry-swallowed a single pill.
"We're just trying to figure out who is texting me, Ginny," said Hermione to her redhead's unasked query.
The red-haired girl tapped a single, manicured nail against her lips. Harry pointedly ignored her.
"It could be Katie," she finally offered.
"Yeah, but you know what they say about the Holyhead Harpies," laughed Harry.
Hermione looked confused, "No, what do they say?"
Ginny and Harry shared a smirk, ignoring Hermione's lack of Quidditch knowledge.
"Don't worry about it, Mione, you'll figure it out. But you do know it's an all-girls' team, right?"
Ginny rolled her eyes at her ex, ignoring him, and then stared at the empty pitch. "Well, which of the players do we know on the teams? And it definitely sounds like it's a Puddlemere player, because Merlin knows the Cannons won't win," laughed Ginny.
The three turned to Ron and said, in unison, "Sorry, Ron."
He looked properly appeased, and waved the comment by when Luna snuggled against him.
The three went back to their converastion.
"Well, there is Oliver Wood," offered Harry tentatively.
"And McLaggen," imputed Hermione with a face, glancing toward the Puddlemere hoops where the Gryffindor alumni floated. He was a reserve Keeper for the team, and was practicing with Wood briefly.
"Both are Purebloods though," argued Ginny. "And I doubt McLaggen would even know how to work a talkie tone."
"Telephone," corrected Harry and Hermione together. Hermione continued, "But neither would Oliver Wood, unless he had a good reason to."
"Like a Muggleborn girlfriend?" queried Ginny slyly.
"Well, it's not me!" hotly answered Hermione, while Harry snapped, "Get your head out of the gutter, Ginny!"
Ginny just shrugged and sat back in her seat, taking the offered pretzel from George without a second thought – but both Twins knew she'd get them back if there was something wrong with it.
"Maybe we should reply to the last message," sighed Harry.
Hermione nodded, and began typing away; as she did so, she asked Harry softly, "I thought you and Ginny always got along great."
Harry frowned, watching as both Puddlemere and Chudley got ready to resume their game.
"I guess we did, but after the war things changed. I change, you know? I can't stand the sight of blood. I pass out if I see a horror film. My nerves are shot and I have nightmares every night and my therapist says until I accept my role as the Chosen One, I'll never have any reprieve," ranted Harry, crossing his arms and slumping down into his seat. He placed his feet up near Hermione.
"And?" replied Hermione, checking her text over before sending it: Of course I still talk to Harry – why wouldn't I? Don't you?
Harry sulked. "Well, that's not very hero-ish, is it?"
Hermione sent Harry an incredulous look. "Are you telling me that you and Ginny never worked out after the war because you weren't a hero – just a crazy, normal person addicted to prescription drugs?"
"Would you want to date someone who cares more about his Valium, Prozac and Vicodin than his girlfriend?" asked Harry.
Hermione paused and then replied: "Maybe if I was an undertaker…"
Harry shoved Hermione playfully and said, "piss off, Granger!"
"Ooh, ooh, or maybe if I was a psychiatrist! Or – !!"
Hermione braced herself against the seat beside her, as Harry shoved her a little harder this time, pouting. Hermione was laughing too hard to notice Harry's pout.
"It's not funny," he whined.
"Oh, come on, it is!" argued Hermione. When he didn't reply, she sighed, and wrapped an arm around him. "Let's agree to disagree, ok? Besides, Puddlemere creaming Chudley always makes Ron get depressed – he'll need us to be able to agree with him all night long about how Puddlemere sucks."
Harry graced Hermione with a smile and the two didn't speak again until the final score read 345-34 for Puddlemere and their Seeker caught the Snitch forty minutes later.
Oliver raced through his shower after the game. He would've fallen off his broom if the Chudley Cannons had won against Puddlemere. Even if the team all had head colds they'd still win.
Oliver enjoyed the warm steam coming from the shower, and breathed deeply. He was going to see Katie Bell again! The Katie Bell he had a crush on at Hogwarts but never told, because he was the stereotypical jock, the boy with Quidditch on the brains.
Nervous butterflies ran rampant in his stomach, and his fingers shook as he reached for the white fluffy towel hanging outside the shower stall.
Oliver took the time to dress, making sure he looked casual but still elegant. He was once compared to someone named David Beckham, but as he didn't know who the man was, he couldn't comment.
Since Katie was a Muggleborn, and her parents were staunch anti-Wizard, Oliver was hoping to impress her by wearing only Muggle clothing. He had a nice pair of dark blue jeans that hung low on his hips and hugged his bum quite nicely if he did say so himself; he slipped on gray socks and then slid his feet into an expensive pair of Italian dress shoes, and reached for a bottle of cologne. He then slipped a long-sleeved, thin beige A/X shirt, but he didn't know what A/X meant, sprawled across his chest. The label said Armani Exchange, but Oliver wasn't sure if that was the name. His dark brown leather bomber was thrown casually over a shoulder.
Damn, I look fine, he thought with a smirk. The tall, broad-shouldered and athletic but not buff-looking man in the mirror winked back at him. He was going to knock Katie's socks off, and woo her with tickets to his next game, and an expensive dinner. He already had reservations at Frenchie's, a French-cuisine oriented establishment in Kensington. He had researched it thoroughly.
Reaching for his mobile, he smiled at the message received text and flipped it open, but frowned at the message.
"Of course I still talk to Harry – why wouldn't I? Don't you?"
"Of course I don't," muttered Oliver darkly. E ran his left hand through his short hair. Why would Katie keep in contact? Hadn't she said at the convention she dated George for a bit but she hadn't seen anyone else from Hogwarts?
Dread fell in Oliver's stomach. What if he had the wrong number? He didn't know how to work the technology…
With a heavy heart and breaking out into a cold sweat, Oliver typed back: No, I don't. Listen, can we meet outside the Puddlemere change room in 10 min?
A reply was almost instantaneous.
"Sure. See you soon."
Hermione and Harry were bent over the mobile phone, their foreheads nearly touching.
"Well, I suppose you'll find out if it's someone we know soon enough. And worst case, you're great at laughing things off," said Harry, trying to sound enthusiastic. He couldn't help feeling a bit worried for his best friend, though. A slight pain in his chest made him winch. Maybe he should go back to see a doctor, he was probably getting asthma or something.
"True enough," replied the twenty-two year old. She shot a sly glance at her friend. "Are you coming with me?"
"But of course!" Harry agreed jovially, as theatrically as he could. He rose from the plastic seat and, without a cloak to help him, pretended as best he could with his windbreaker and brought his arm up to his face, covering everything below the eyes.
Hermione laughed. "You look stupid. Cut it out. Let's head down."
Fred and George said their goodbyes quickly, waving and calling that they'd see them for a Weasley family dinner on Saturday; Ginny huffed and puffed and crossed her arms, but then loudly said she had a date with Seamus Finnegan and disapparated before Ron could start on her case.
"Um," began Ron, blushing furiously, his arm wrapped around the shoulders of Luna, "Lu and I are going to head back home." He scratched the side of his nose. "Dinner plans, you know."
Hermione raised an eyebrow. "You mean you're going to shag like bunnies tonight, don't you?"
"Hermione!" replied Ron, scandalized.
Luna smiled at her female friend and said pointedly, "Not just like bunnies, but like wild dogs!"
Harry went slightly green and Hermione plastered a fake smile on her face, as Ron began to drag his girlfriend away.
"Luna, honey," the two friends heard him say, in a very calm manner, "You can't just go around telling everyone about our sex lives…"
Harry opened his prescription bottle, popped another pill, and then pocketed it. He pushed his glasses further up his nose with his middle finger. "Shall we go? It's been nearly ten minutes."
Hermione nodded and together they fell in step, walking from the fourth floor level to the first, and then the sub-basement near the home teams' locker room.
Softly flickering orbs of light bobbed gently high above the two as they walked down the gray concrete hallway, leading to the change room. Both were silent, Harry with his hands in his pockets to control a nervous twitch, and Hermione, furiously trying to figure out who the mystery texter was.
When they reached the locker room (having bypassed security – everyone was charmed by Harry Potter), the two leaned against the wall across from the Puddlemere door, waiting for the mystery texter to appear.
When the door opened, it was someone Hermione hadn't figured, and felt her surprise show on her face.
Unfortunately for her and Harry, their surprised expressions were echoed on that of Oliver Wood's, who looked like his world had come crashing down on him in a sudden swoop.
Hermione, knowing that although she wasn't Heidi Klum or Kate Moss, felt acutely the disappointed look on Oliver's face. She was at the very least pretty, and he didn't have to seem so bloody obvious about not being happy to see her. Prat.
Swallowing her hurt and slight anger (at him, or her reaction, she wasn't sure), Hermione planted a large smile on her face, stepped forward, and drawled, "Well, I see that my mystery texter is as surprised to see me as I am him!"
This seemed to snap Oliver out of his slump, but it had the effect of also startling Harry, who twitched violently and fumbled for his pills again.
Hermione rolled her eyes at her best friend and stuck her right hand out for Oliver to shake.
"I take it I wasn't who you were expecting, Wood?" Hermione asked pleasantly.
Oliver cleared his throat, his manners returning to him. "Um, no… not at all." He shook her hand. "I'm sorry, Granger, but I was under the impression that I was text messaging… um…"
"Your latest squeeze?" Hermione offered with a tiny laugh. "Did you just type in the phone number or is it saved in your address book?"
Oliver blushed a bit and shuffled, aware that he was far too overdressed to meet with his old Gryffindor Seeker and said Seeker's best friend. He looked like he was going on a date – what an impression he must have given Hermione Granger and Harry Potter! He felt his embarrassment grow.
"I have it written down," he finally admitted. "I had to ask a girl at a coffee shop for help."
Hermione genuinely laughed this time, and offered to help him send a text to the girl he really was interested in, and not her.
When it was revealed as Katie Bell, Hermione laughed. "Well, Katie's gorgeous, so I'll take it as a compliment that you typed in my number, Oliver!" She winked at him boldly. "Not a lot of girls can say that they had Oliver Wood texting them personally."
"It was a case of mistaken identity," the Scotsman grumbled, his ego severely bruised.
Hermione felt her heart melt, just a bit, and then asked, "How about you come with me and Harry for a snack? We can show you how to work your mobile."
Oliver flashed Hermione a grateful smile. "Please," he replied exasperatedly. "I don't know when I'll ever run into another mobile-savvy Muggle teenager again."
An hour later, Oliver felt as though he understood the basics of his mobile phone. He was fairly sure he would never use the web browser function, or the camera – but he stopped that train of thought. Hermione had proved how much fun the camera feature could be earlier.
"Just try it," she urged. Harry was nursing a tea with a dollop of whiskey, watching the doorway and trying to be oblivious in his paranoia.
"I really don't understand how to work it, Hermione," sighed Oliver, but he did as she asked and pressed the tiny camera button and watched it an hour glass appeared, which then turned into a pixilated display of the coffee tabletop.
Oliver raised the mobile in his hand, trying to get used to the weird angle and holding the phone to aim and shoot – and came across a grumpy Harry. Without realizing it, he pressed the circular button in the middle and listened in awe of the tall-tale schnick of the picture being taken.
Harry wearily looked up from his tea mug.
Oliver burst out in laughter at the image. He handed the mobile to Hermione for inspection. She smiled.
"Lookin' good, Harry," she crooned, reaching over and ruffling his hair. "If only you were taking a job as a model."
"After my stint as an actor," he grumbled in reply, swatting her hand away. Hermione ignored him and laughed some more.
With the phone still in her hand, she turned it around so she was the center of attention, and leaning across the table to Oliver, puckered her lips and settled them against his stubby cheek, pressing the camera button.
Oliver blushed deeply; he was quite well-known and famous, but having someone he considered more than a passing acquaintance act so boldly – well, most Pureblood families were fairly conservative.
"To remember your lessons," said Hermione, in reply for his unasked question. Oliver grinned his thanks, and flipped his phone shut.
He stood, catching Harry's attention, which had been focused on his tea.
"Thanks again," he replied, thickly. "It was great catching up with you two!"
"Likewise," said Hermione, smiling up at him. She did look very attractive, Oliver finally decided. She wore a simple gray knit sweater that was too large and kept slipping off her one shoulder, revealing a black bra strap that was very sexy; she had on a pair of jeans that some girl in passing muttered jealously about "Lucky jeans," and dangerously high stiletto boots.
She was going to make a man happy one day, Oliver decided. And she had made him happy by imputing Katie's phone number to his address book, and went through the functions patiently.
"Now, go get 'er, tiger!" grinned Hermione, swatting Oliver on his arm.
Oliver found himself grinning back. "That I will!"
Hermione and Harry watched him leave the coffee shop, silently, until Harry said, "Do you think he knows Katie is a lesbian?" while eyeing the dregs of his tea, finally pushing it away with a shudder.
"Do you think you could be any more neurotic, you wanker?" replied Hermione in the same tone.
Oliver was nervous; he had called Katie up for dinner and she accepted. He was going to meet her outside Frenchie's, and then hopefully they would get pissed, and then end up making passionate, wild sex all over his flat until the wee hours of the morning.
It was a far-fetching dream, but Oliver had high hopes. Katie had been open to his advances in Hogwarts, and he didn't see there being any changes in the near future.
"Ollie, hi!" greeted Katie, stepping out of a cab that pulled up that the curb. She was wearing a sexy, sparkly silver mini-dress, hoop earrings and minimal make-up.
She breezed right up to him, and kissed him on both cheeks. It annoyed Oliver a bit – he never liked the European air-kissing thing and he wasn't Italian – but he let it slide.
He ushered Katie inside, and soon they were seated at their secluded, window-side table with a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for them.
"Here's to a great night with great friends," toasted Oliver genially, and Katie reciprocated, taking a long swig from her flute.
"So, tell me," began Oliver, "Did you see the game?" Start on common ground, Quidditch, to gather up the conversation topics…
Katie shook her head. "God, no! I was training all day and was so absolutely knackered I couldn't even get up to check the news when the Evening Prophet came in. Scared my parents shitless and I had to cancel my subscription right then and there." She laughed brightly.
Oliver frowned. "Oh. Well, we won!" he smiled brightly, waiting for a reply.
"Really? How nice," replied Katie, before her eyes lit up. "I absolutely need to tell you, Ollie, about my teammate Sonya."
"Sonya?" asked Oliver, slightly put out. He'd chalk it up to nerves, and give the evening a hard start. It was bound to get better.
"Yes, Sonya!" Katie began, ordering some tofu-friendly, vegan-only meal that had Oliver cringing. He was a meat and potatoes man, and a big fan of his haggis.
As Katie chatted on and on about Sonya, the recently transferred teammate from Romania, who apparently was a whiz on the broom and so strong and capable and was quickly becoming Katie's best friend, Oliver began to have a sinking feeling in his stomach, one he didn't like at all.
"Katie," he finally interrupted, shutting her up. He reached across the table and took her hand in his. Katie halted mid-word and looked down at their hands.
"Ollie?" she asked, blinking at him.
"How about we go back to my place?"
Katie went silent. She kept looking from their hands to Oliver's face, and then she just suddenly crumpled in on herself. She shoulders began to shake, in what Oliver thought were tears, and she removed her hand from his to place over her eyes.
"Katie? We don't have to if you don't want to," Oliver offered, trying to back up and make up for his gross mistake. Maybe she only saw him as a friend?
When Katie finally looked up, she hadn't smeared her minimal make-up and she wasn't crying. She had been laughing.
"Oh, Ollie," she began with a chuckled sigh, "I'm flattered, but didn't you ever wonder why George and I broke up? He must have drunkenly bemoaned me in your company before."
Oliver shook his head, in disagreement.
Katie sighed. "Ollie," she began softly, leaning forward over the table, "I'm gay."
"Pardon me?" bit out Oliver, in surprise. He sat back in his seat, distancing himself from Katie.
Katie rubbed the side of her neck, leaning back in her seat as well. She picked up her fork absently, and began to force some food onto it, but her appetite had left her. "Ollie, surely you must know the stigma of playing for the Holyhead Harpies. Only about two of my teammates are married – to men. And one has a steady boyfriend. The rest of us… well…"
"You're serious," deadpanned Oliver, completely in shock. He had never put much stock in those rumours because they were just that – rumours. No one had ever come straight out and declared to the Prophet that they were in a same-sex relationship.
"I'm so sorry, Oliver," gushed Katie, her eyes wide. "I thought you really wanted to meet up just as friends… and I mean, I was so surprised about you getting a mobile – speaking of which, how on earth did you ever manage to work it?"
"I didn't," he replied, absently, as he mulled over what Katie had revealed. The conversation halted and they finished their meal in silence. When the check came, Katie pleaded to pay for her share, but Oliver waved it off.
"A nice meal out with a friend," he had bravely said, waving her pleas off. "Who knows when we can do this again, with both of us touring?"
Katie gave a wobbly smile, and kissed him on his cheek, gently, as she got into her cab to go home. "Take care of yourself, Ollie," she had whispered. "There's a perfect girl out there for you."
Yeah, thought Oliver darkly, shoving his hands into his pockets and finding a place to disapparate from, and it's not you, Katie.
Monday, April 30
Hermione was sweating and tired and fatigued, but her work as a dance instructor never seemed to end. Her teenager hip-hop class was always a workout, but the girls enjoyed it and loved showing off their toned bodies – or their would-be toned bodies for the upcoming summer.
"Okay," she finally called, gasping for air as they finished half the routine, "Let's take a twenty minute break. Get something to drink!"
Hermione walked to her bag and towel, dabbing her forehead and draping the towel across her shoulders. She took out her water bottle and took several deep gulps from it, before screwing the cap on. She then looked at her mobile and was surprised to see that she had a text.
She seriously hoped it wasn't Harry, sending her another message about how he needed a ride to his therapists'.
"Hey Hermione," it began, "fancy a coffee with me tonight? Oliver."
Hermione smiled, and typed her reply.
Sitting with his teammates in the conference room, going over a game plan with the head and assistant coaches, Oliver felt his mobile vibrate in his pants and surreptitiously pulled it out.
Message Received displayed itself across the LCD. He flipped it open and read the reply to his earlier text.
"Hi Oliver. Love to. Where and when? Can't wait. Mione."
Oliver hid his grin.
Who knew what a little wrong number could lead to?