Obviously I failed (unintentionally of course) to finish this by Christmas. But I will try to write as often as I can. But quality matters right?

I'm suffering from depression. No, not Christmas depression. More like, back to school depression. By New Year I would have finished up my two month vacation (which is not really one) and I haven't done the mounds of homework I have. (Read 'procrastinator' and 'lazy' under profile)

Help me through my depression will you? Review please : )

Enjoy.


Stage Two- Anger

Usually Quidditch was the solution to everything and anything. It helped Oliver in his health, it helped him decide his future career, and it helped him take his mind of stress.

However, Oliver Wood also discovered that Quidditch came with many problems too. Broken bones, the (lack of) school grades, and of course—as he had scarily realized during breakfast—Katie Bell.

Still he found himself returning to the pitch that afternoon alone. He needed to distract himself from certain issues. Hopefully Quidditch could do that. Perhaps the smell of fresh green grass could help.

Sighing, he soared in the air with his broomstick, the charmed Quaffles in tow. Chasers really would be better for practice, but they were the source of distraction in the first place. He would just have to make do with charmed Quaffles.

Not that he really wanted to pin the blame on her. But it just happened, and really it was her fault that he was in this state. Her and Quidditch. And her pretty green eyes.

The bright red ball grazed the tail of his broomstick before his mind—busy in its thoughts of certain green eyes—could start comprehending the situation. Then it came to him: he missed.

He missed!

Oliver panicked. He knew that wasn't a particularly tricky shot, and yet he still didn't manage to save it. His nerves became worse at that thought. He didn't save it. What was happening?

He tried to block a shot again. It worked, but barely.

Oliver shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts once more. He needed to concentrate. He needed to focus more. Yes, concentration is the key right now.

He braced himself for the third shot, his shoulder muscles tensing. The Quaffle was speeding towards him now, and from that angle he could easily guess it was aiming for his left loop. Oliver positioned himself in place, ready to block the shot. This was easy, he told himself. It was just like that shot from Katie last week, he just had to—

Katie.

He stumbled. The Quaffle sailed passed him into the hoop.

Oliver blinked. He missed—again. He couldn't believe it. What on earth was happening to him?

A desperate sort of fury came to Oliver. Viciously stabbing his wand towards the general direction of the Quaffles, he did what many would consider a suicide move—he charmed the Quaffles to move faster. Red balls started pelting towards the goalpost, and Oliver angrily whacked them away. It is for practice, Oliver furiously thought. For practice.

Oliver didn't even know what he was angry about. But it was consuming him and he hated to think about it. He didn't want to think about anything.

Perhaps, something in Oliver's head told him, you are angry with yourself. Perhaps you are angry with the fact your are in denial for your love of--

Whack. Stop thinking about her. Whack. Don't think about her. Whack. Don't even.

The Quaffles became nothing but a red blur. They were moving way too fast. Oliver strained his eyes, but he realised he couldn't tell where were they. He suddenly stopped. He had been thrashing the air more than anything.

He couldn't take it anymore. His effort was futile. Oliver flew back down to the ground and landed with a hard thump, tired and jaded. The energy was now gone. And yet, somehow, the anger was still there.

Reluctantly he returned the Quaffles back into the crate, charming them in one by one. All the physical energy and leftover emotions had been sapped out of him. He felt the tense in his neck and how sore his muscles were. He was experiencing pain now, the kind that hurt and felt good at the same time.

He was useless, he thought angrily. He couldn't even save most of the Quaffles.

Oliver chucked the last of the remaining Quaffles back into the crate, venting his emotions on the wooden box. The crate, however, got its revenge. As he slammed the top of the crate down, the triumphant lid landed heavily on his finger.

He withdrew his hand and closed his eyes. The pain was excruciating. Served him right.

"Oliver!"

He winced as he opened his eyes. Katie Bell was running towards him.

The embarrassment of being injured in such a manner was equally painful as the throbbing of his left finger. Oliver felt the blood rushing to his head. He felt slightly dizzy, but tried to ignore it.

It was really ironical. He could have got himself injured by saving a Quaffle moving at dangerously high speed. He could have injured himself making a particularly good dive and fell off the broom. But no, Oliver thought bitterly, he had to be injured by a Quidditch crate slammed onto his finger. It sounded just as embarrassing as it sounded.

It was ridiculous. And it had to be in front of Katie too.

"Are you okay?" Katie asked as she reached Oliver's side, worried. She kneeled down on the grass (how unglamourous as that sounds, Oliver thought, but she actually looked graceful doing it) beside him, looking slightly vexed and anxious. She glanced at Oliver, concern etched all over her face. He wanted to reply, but the giddiness got worse. The lump in his throat made it harder for him to form words.

Katie didn't seem to think much of this. Perhaps it was because he didn't speak a lot in the place. Well, he wasn't much of a talker.

"I am fine," he managed to spew out after a while. She gazed concernedly at him again, the little worry lines forming on her forehead. They were cute.

"No, you are not. That lid weights at least a good twenty pounds," She decided. Oliver felt inclined to agree. It was a hard blow.

Katie gently lifted his hand to the level of her eye, examining it closely. One of his fingers was bright red. A purplish-white crescent was beginning to form underneath his fingernail. His finger was throbbing still. She gently blew cool air over the finger with her breath. It soothed the sting a little.

"Why are you here?" Oliver asked, hoping he didn't sound accusatory. Genuinely, he was kind of curious.

"I came down for a walk," Katie shrugged. She was still tending the wound. The wind made her dark hair fan slightly in the breeze. "I saw you down here, so I sat down at the stadium and watched." She continued.

"Oh."

"You were playing like a mad man up there, Oliver, Is something wrong?" Katie questioned him. The creases on her forehead were getting darker, Oliver observed. Her whole facial expression had hints of frown in it.

"Why did you say so?" He asked back.

"You looked troubled. Plus the way you played… You played like you didn't mean it," Katie answered, tearing her glance away from his finger. She was gazing at Oliver, her green eyes riveted on him. He was reminded how lovely she looked, with little wisps of hair framing her face as the wind got stronger.

I played like I didn't mean it?

"Am I so obvious?" Oliver asked, frowning.

"No. But I could tell," She replied, smiling a little. "It was only after you started charming the balls to go so fast did I suspect something was wrong."

Oliver felt slightly warm. She saw him missed all those goals! He suddenly felt a stab of pain.

"Ow!" He cried, wincing slightly.

"Oh gosh, I'm so sorry!" Katie apologised, abashed. A pinkish glow tainted her cheeks. "I was just trying to check if there were splinters. I can't believe I was so clumsy."

"It's okay," He told her. Oliver didn't like Katie to feel guilty. "It doesn't hurt that much." He lied.

"That's a lie." Katie declared. He blinked again. How did she know that?

"The crate always slams on my finger," Katie explained, grinning. "Because I'm so careless, you see. So I know how much it bloody hurts."

Ah.

"Anyway, don't stress yourself too much over today's practice," She continued. "You are just a little off form today. You are still are still our number one keeper."

Number one keeper, he repeated. Number one.

Oliver couldn't reply. She had moved her head and repositioned herself closer to him in order to examine his finger once more. She was so near he could inhale her, smelling the scent of fresh green grass and maple syrup at the same time. He felt all his anger dissipate at that inviting scent.

She smelt lovely.

"You smell like maple syrup," He said abruptly. Katie looked at him, but didn't reply.

"Your finger looks fine now," She commented. Oliver saw that there was a little white crescent moon on one of her fingernails, just like the one he had now. "But I know just the way to make it better," she told him, smiling.

Tilting her head down, she brought her lips closer to Oliver's hand, blew gently over the injured finger again. And then, stroking the injury very softly and tenderly, she kissed his finger.

This was the part where Oliver realised it was a miracle—It didn't hurt anymore.

Amazing, he thought.

"Better?" Katie asked.

Better.


Lol I thought this was kind of cute! It's so hard to make this shy, awkward Oliver angry. So I let him vent it out on the ball. I hoped you all liked this !

If you all want something Christmas-y, I suggest you can read my new oneshot Outside Quality Quidditch Supplies. KBOW too. And remember to review.

Hmmm. The next chapter for this is Bargaining. Wonder how that goes.

Review! And a Happy Christmas to all, especially those you made my one year here so wonderful!