A/N: Ok, I'm sorry this took longer to get out than I intended. Life got busy, and I got distracted by other stories that I'm writing. But it's here. I hope you enjoy it:


Chapter Three: Fights and Fascism.

The afternoon found me up in my dormitory, sprawled out on my back and procrastinating. Wood's copy of Which Broomstick? lay by my head, innocently catching the light filtering in from the window opposite me. I knew I had to look for a new broom eventually, but to do it so soon after breaking my old one seemed somewhat disrespectful to me. It had, after all, been my first broom, and that kind of bond was unbreakable. For Wood to expect me to just move on so quickly, so uncaring, so coldly ...

I expelled an impatient sigh. I was a joke. It was time to stop being pathetic and dramatic. The sooner I started looking for a new broom, the better. I couldn't keep riding one of the school brooms. They were, simply put, shit. I needed something faster. It was embarrassing whenever I was outstripped by one of the Weasley Twins. So needs must; it was time to move on. I rolled on to my front, supporting myself on my elbows, and pulled the magazine towards me. The front page was taken up by a moving picture of the most beautiful broom I had ever seen: The Firebolt. How I wished I had a small fortune sitting idly in a vault somewhere, just waiting to be spent on this broom. And the look on Wood's face if I were to turn up to training with it would have kept me happy for many, many years.

I stared down at the picture morosely, affording the Firebolt one last, longing look and turned the page.

And then all Hell broke loose.

The door to the dormitory flew open and all four of my room-mates flooded into the room in a cacophony of shrill screaming and ultra-sonic sound that turned out to be them arguing.

Nothing new there, then.

I attempted to tune them out, staring unseeing at the page in front of me and doing my best to ignore the ringing in my ears.

Really. Wasn't. Working.

"I wasn't flirting with him," Alicia was insisting, and a scoff that could only have come from Katie was all I needed to know that this was about, none other than, Daniel Price.

"I'm not blind, Alicia," Katie argued back rather viciously. "I saw you talking and laughing with him at lunch."

Because Agrippa forbid he should talk to people.

I snorted, when I really shouldn't have, because I obviously don't know what's good for me.

"Don't get me started on you," Katie growled, spinning to face me, and glaring accusingly. My eyes widened in bewilderment.

"What did I do?" I asked innocently, and somewhat idiotically. Katie's glare hardened.

"You fancy Daniel!" I stared, dumbstruck for a moment, before collapsing forward onto the bed in peals of laughter. "What, exactly, is so funny?" Katie asked shrilly.

"I do not fancy Pricey," I told her, voice muffled in my quilt. It was really quite absurd. Me fancying Pricey would be like me fancying my older cousin. Not brother, I couldn't honestly say I respected him enough to consider him brother-like. As much as I liked him, he was still Wood's best friend.

"Oh really?" Katie asked in the same shrill voice, arms akimbo. I should have just cut my losses and ignored everyone.

"Really," I relied flatly, flipping over on my bed to face her.

"Don't give me that," Katie spat, hand flying dangerously close to Angelina's nose. "I saw the two of you. You were all over each other at breakfast, and this morning in the common room." I honestly didn't have the faintest idea what she was on about. This, however, tended to be the case ninety nine per cent of the time.

A long fingered hand gingerly took hold of Katie's shoulder and Angelina took a timid step closer to the blonde. "Look, Katie, no one here fancies Daniel except you, least of all Alicia or Sean." Katie snorted disbelievingly, and Angelina shot me a warning look.

"Err, yeah, that's right, Katie. I don't fancy Pricey, honestly!"

Katie looked slightly less deranged now, but she kept her suspicious gaze on me. "Why do you keep talking to him then?" I looked at her incredulously. She couldn't be serious, could she? No, apparently she really was.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce Katie Bell; best friend, star chaser, straight O-student, and psychopath.

"Because he's my mate," I told her. Katie turned a disbelieving look on Angelina, who gave her a meaningful look. It was my turn to be suspicious. The last time there had been a meaningful look, I had ended up snogging a Hufflepuff that looked remarkably like a troll.

This wasn't bound to be good.

"What was that all about?" I asked, eyeing them unsurely. Suddenly, Katie, Alicia and Angelina all averted their gazes, finding interest in something or other around the room. From behind Alicia I could see Emma sat on her bed, watching the whole exchange with mild interest. Easy meat.

"Emma, do you know what's going on?" I commanded, and the blonde girl looked momentarily panicked, then nodded, sending the other three an apologetic grimace. I raised an eyebrow and motioned for her to continue. The blonde cleared her throat and ran her hands across her bed covers, straightening out imaginary wrinkles. Angelina's hands twitched reflexively. "They thing you fancy Oliver."

They think ... I ... "What?"

"They thing you fancy Oliver Wood," Emma repeated, her eerily green eyes seeming to bulge out of her head even more than usual. I turned my own incredulous blue eyes on the other three girls. Absolutely barking.

"Why would ... what ... earth ... how ... where did you," I spluttered at them, momentarily lost for words.

I did not fancy Wood.

"What, on God's good green earth, ever made you think that I fancy Wood?" I asked them, and wondering vaguely how we had ever got to the stage that I was saying the word 'fancy' and name 'Wood' in the same sentence.

Must obliviate.

"It's just the way you've bee acting around him lately," Alicia explained.

"What do you mean?" I demanded. "How have I been acting?" Was my desire to see him dead not apparent enough? Did I need to step up the homicidal rages a notch?

"Well, you turn into Alicia every time you look at him," Angelina explained, almost apologetically.

"What do you mean, she turns into me?" Alicia asked bewildered. Angelina sniffed dismissively and turned to face the dark-haired girl.

"You are well aware of my opinion on your blusher usage," Angelina informed her primly. Alicia crossed her arms across her chest and cocked a hip.

"Excuse me, there is nothing wrong with my blusher," Alicia trilled. Angelina snorted.

"You look like you let a clown apply it," Angelina shot back.

"This coming from someone who uses so much mascara, she's glued her lashed together before!" Ha, I remember that. Also, the reason I don't wear make-up regularly.

"At least mine are natural!"

"Unlike your hair!" I could see this getting very ugly, very quickly. And if the looks on Katie's and Emma's faces were anything to go by, I'd be the only one attempting to break it up. So I pitched myself up off my bed and forward between the quarrelling girls now squaring up to each other.

"Ladies, ladies," I placed a hand on each other their shoulders and applied a little bit of pressure to keep them apart. "Let's calm down, yeah?" I offered, but was ignored at they pushed forward towards each other again. I sighed, I knew exactly where this was going, and yet, for some unknown reason, I did not leave them to it and run for dear life.

"Hag." That was Angelina.

"Toad." Alicia.

And then they were scrabbling for each other, nails scratching at anything within their ridiculously sharp radius. Which, considering I had placed myself directly between them, included me. I hissed when someone's hand connected with my bruised and swollen jaw, growling as I tried to keep them from mauling each other.

"Slag!"

"Hussy!"

I wasn't sure who had screamed what, and I didn't particularly care. The movements of their hands had reached colossal speeds, frequently slapping and smacking my already bruised and battered body. Eventually, because as my life goes it was bound to happen, one of their talons caught a gash on the side of my neck from the night before, and I hissed in pain as I felt the warm, tell-tale trickled of blood make its way down into the neck of my sweatshirt. The world seemed to freeze.

Right then. Fuck 'em.

With inhuman strength I thought only Oliver Wood possessed, I shoved them away from me with a choked yell, and they both fell to the floor in two, very undignified heaps. I looked to both of them in a mixture of incredulity and sheer anger.

"Enough," I growled out, now utterly furious, as the side of my neck began to throb painfully. "You are not going to fight because of Oliver fucking Wood."

Because it was quite obviously Wood's fault. Everything was Wood's fault.

They were glowering at me, attempting murder with their eyes, but my neck was hurting too much to really care. To be honest, they deserved to die.

"No, it's not Oliver's fault," Alicia contradicted me. I rolled my eyes. Of course it was, the girl was obviously blinded by her anger; she wasn't thinking straight.

"Yes it is, he's why you started arguing. You were talking about him before you both went completely freako!"

I don't know why I wanted them to be angry at Wood so much. All I knew was that I had been beaten up for the second time in two days, and it was Wood's fault. Again.

"No, she's right," Angelina hissed from where she was sprawled out on the floor. "It's your fault. You're the one who fancies him-"

"I do not fancy Wood!"

"-we were talking about your bloody cheeks! If you didn't fancy him you wouldn't have been blushing, and if you'd never blushed we'd never have had the conversation that started this. It's your fault!" They were both glaring at me, teeth bared and a glint in their eyes not unlike the one Wood got whenever he was having one of his little pre-game episodes. I was having trouble understanding their reasoning here. Why couldn't they see that Wood was to blame?

As you can see, we're all very much on the same wave-length when it comes to rationality. I think it's why we all get along so well.

"You're both daft!" I told them, shaking my head. Neither of them said anything and continued to glare at me. I was starting to feel uncomfortable under the anger of their gazes; feeling slightly like a trapped animal. Which, essentially, I was.

I backed away from them slightly. Despite the fact I knew what was about to happen, I couldn't move.

They pounced.

They landed on me at exactly the same time and I flew backwards, knocking my head off my trunk with a painful thud. I lay there on the floor for a second, allowing myself to wallow in momentary self-pity, before Angelina and Alicia were slapping and scratching at me, snarling.

Well then.

With an animal like growl, I tried to launch myself forward, which only resulted in myself head butting Alicia, because Angelina was sitting on my legs. This obviously wouldn't do. I began to hit out at anything I could reach, twisting my legs madly, trying to break free from beneath Angelina. With a vicious kick that left my knee's and ankles throbbing, I was free, and we rolled, hitting the side of my bed with a thump, still clawing madly at each other.

Katie and Emma gasped and the spell was broken. Emma jumped from her bed, running for the door, letting off a high-pitched squeal. Her footsteps pounded down the staircase, followed by a faint yell of "fight!" There was a momentary lull, where we all turned to look at the door, and then suddenly there was a cacophony of sound as a dozen pairs of feet flew up the staircase to watch and jeer from the door way.

Katie, however, had broken out of her stupor to yell angrily at us, before throwing herself forward to break us up.

"Oi! No! Stop it!"

This only resulted in adding a fourth person to the tussle, and now the four of us were flailing around on the floor, trying to do as much damage as possible , oblivious to the chants and jeers of the gathering crowd.

Suddenly, a pair of hands gripped me by the upper arms and started to pull me out from beneath the pile of bodies. I was back on my feet, rage pounding through my my body as I tried to free myself from whatever barrier was holding me back. Angelina, Katie and Alicia were on their feet, trying to free themselves as well.

"What the fuck is going on here?" A low voice yelled from behind me, and I heard a door slam. I stilled, as if a bucket of icy water had been thrown about me, realising that the barrier holding me back was actually a person, and that I wasn't the only one being restrained. The arms around my shoulders and waist tightened as if expecting me to suddenly fly forward, but I stayed still despite the rage that was still flowing through me.

Katie, who was being restrained by Daniel, was currently trying to get at Angelina who, from what I could make out between Katie's swearing, was the reason for the scratch on her cheek. I don't know what was wrong with her, it looked dashing. Katie didn't seem to realise who it was that had a hold of her, because I imagine her facial expression would have been completely different if she had. Or the thought might have occurred to me if I had been capable of thinking anything other than "Kill, maim, cripple.'

We all appeared to be coming back to our senses now, because we had all stopped struggling against whoever was holding us back and were staring around at each other in shock. The boys holding the other girls seemed to relax slightly. "Should we let them go?" Podrick asked from where he had his arms wrapped tightly around Alicia, who was staring at me in horror.

"No, you know what they're like," Fred replied from his position behind Angelina. It was at times like these that I noticed irrelevant, stupid things, like just how much they had all grown. Or maybe we had shrunk.

"Now, does someone want to tell us why you all saw fit to start punching lumps out of each other?" George asked, looking pointedly at each of our injuries in turn; lingering on my face, and a gauge in Angelina's arm.

"What was it, West?" the voice behind me, Wood, said. "Didn't think you were quite injured enough? Wanted to make an even bigger mess of yourself?" He have me a little shake, and I felt my anger at Wood spark again.

I hadn't asked them to beat ten shades of shit out of me.

It was Alicia who voiced this thought, though.

"She never asked us to attack her, Oliver." Her eyes dropped to mine, and in the look that we shared, I knew everything was fine between us. We were just like that.

"So, is anyone actually going to tell us what happened?" Daniel asked, tone disapproving, and under his gaze I suddenly felt like I had been caught fighting by a teacher. Katie was a lucky, lucky girl, because he definitely had the disciplinarian thing going for him. Still didn't fancy him, though.

"It was nothing-" I started to say, but was cut off when a choking sob broke through the room, and we all turned to stare at Katie, who was being supported by a horror stricken Daniel as she sobbed into his jumper.

"Err ..."

"'S all my fault," she mumbled thickly as Daniel awkwardly patted the back of her head. I didn't know whether I wanted to laugh at the look on Daniel's face, or run to Katie. I decided the latter would be more diplomatic, but once more found my way blocked by Wood's burly arms.

Angelina let forth a stream of expletives, as did Podrick who was hoping on one foot. It appeared Angelina and Alicia weren't getting away either.

"Let us go, she needs a hug," I growled out.

"Pricey's giving her a hug," Fred replied, and all three of us stopped struggling at once as identical sly grins blossomed across our lips. Of course he was ...

"Shouldn't have accused you-" Katie continued to mumble into Daniel, who now looked less like he was holding a ticking bomb, and slightly more comfortable now that he was sure she wasn't going to attack him.

I jumped when George clapped his hands together.

"Ok, so now we're getting somewhere. Who did you accuse, and of what?" But Katie didn't answer him and continued to hiccough into Daniel's shoulder. Alicia shot George a dark look.

"None of your business." The red head rolled his eyes.

"We're just trying to sort this out, and to to do that we need to know what happened." But no one answered him, we just continued to stare at the sobbing Katie.

Finally, it was Daniel who broke the silence with a soft clearing of his throat. "Ollie, mate, maybe you should get her cleaned up," he said, pointing at me with his chin, grimacing as his eyes roved over my face. There was a murmured agreement behind me and Wood's arms slowly released me. I swayed slightly on the spot, and Wood's hand shot out to steady me. I was suddenly acutely aware of how much pain I was in now that the adrenaline and anger was gone. Wood took hold of my shoulders and steered me around towards the bathroom. I tried to shirk off his hands, but they retained a firm grip.

"I can walk on my own, Ollie," I sniggered, and I could feel Wood rolling his eyes behind me as he lifted a hand to smack the back of my head lightly.

"Less cheek, dipshit."

Inside the bathroom, he lit the torches in their brackets with a wave of his wand and the room was bathed in light. I was suddenly glad I had decided to tidy up the bathroom after we had showered earlier. We stood just inside the door for a few moments, Wood looking around the room, perhaps comparing it to they boys's one, and me watching him in amusement. When his eyes met mine, he looked slightly surprised, as if he hadn't expected me to be there. He frowned, eyes glinting, and shook his head, taking hold of my arm and pulling me along behind him, sitting me down on one of the marble sides.

"You look like shit, West," he muttered, though there was no amusement in his voice, and a frown still creased his brow. With a last look at me, he set about filling a sink and conjuring clean cloths.

I looked across from me at the opposite wall, where a toilet and another row of sinks stood. A mirror ran the length of the wall, same as the one behind me, and I reeled in shock as I finally got a look at myself.

Wood was right, I looked like shit. Actually, I looked worse. To be honest, I had to give Wood huge credit for being restrained and diplomatic enough to have used the word shit. It was horrific.

What part of my face wasn't currently smeared with blood was already bruised or starting to. One side of my neck was wet and sticky with blood, and still appeared to be bleeding, whilst the other side was red where a hand-mark shone up against my pale skin, and scratch marks ran down the length of it.

I heard the water stop and turned to find Wood watching me strangely. I didn't like the way he was looking at me; pitying almost. I didn't like the lack of anger or annoyance or mocking in his expression. I didn't know how to handle this side of Wood. I didn't know how to react or what to expect, so I turned my face away and stared ahead.

I heard him dip a cloth into the water and ring it out, but still hissed when it made contact with my skin. He wiped the blood from my face with a gentle pressure and long sweeping motions which had me closing my eyes and breathing heavily. It never occurred to me that he didn't have to do this by hand, that he could have used his wand. But then again, I don't think it occurred to him either.

"I think it looks a lot worse than it actually is," Wood murmured, voice soft with concentration. I tilted my head to look at him, and his eyes flickered to mine briefly before returning to where he ran the cloth over my jaw. The uneasiness in my stomach seemed to intensify, and I felt uncomfortably warm under the scrutiny of his gaze. He had never paid this much attention to me before and it was more than a little unnerving. His eyes flickered to mine, almost nervously, and back again. A half-smile curled at the corner of his mouth.

"You're going to have to stop getting into fights,West. This is the second time in two days I've had to look after you."

Now this was more familiar territory. I grinned, and winced, immediately regretting the move. "You did not look after me yesterday! You man-handled me, told me off, and threatened to kick me off the team," I reminded him. He snorted and tilted my head the other way so he could clean the other side of my face.

"Yeah, well, you deserved it!"

"I deserved to be man-handled?" He shrugged and smirked. I rolled my eyes.

We fell back into silence; me staring into space and Wood diligently working at cleaning my face.

"Why didn't you go to Madame Pomfrey last night?" I looked at him again, he was eyeing a particularly nasty cut above my eyebrow, which had only been made worse by today's aggravation.

"I don't know. It never really came into my mind to do so, I suppose." I shrugged and Wood nodded.

"So are you going to tell me what happened today, then?" I dropped my eyes, feeling like a little Witch caught playing with her Father's Wand. I couldn't help but smile, though, as familiarity warmed through my chest. This was Wood's Prefect/Quidditch Captain voice; I could handle this. Easy Peasy.

"Like I said, it was nothing-" Wood cut me off.

"I don't want to hear it, West." I sighed.

"No, honestly, it was over nothing. They were talking about me blushing today, Angelina made a comment about Alicia's blusher, who make a comment about Angelina's mascara, who make a comment about Alicia's fake eye-lashes, who made a comment about Angelina's extensions, then I got the blame when I stepped in to mediate because this whole thing, the argument, started over me blushing, and then Katie ended up getting involved because she was trying to break us all up," I finished, and was pleased to find Wood staring at me in a mixture of disbelief and horror.

"There is no way you lot ended up gauging the fuck out of each other over that. Not even you four are that pathetic," he scoffed. I quirked an eyebrow.

"Don't kind yourself, Wood. Of course we are." An easy grin slid onto his face.

"Don't look now, West, but I think you might actually be acting friendly towards me." I snorted.

"You're fixing my face for me," I pointed out. Wood smirked and I heard him mutter something that sounded remarkably like: "some things are un-fixable." Prat.

"So what was Katie talking about? She shouldn't have accused who, and of what?" I scoffed and rolled my eyes.

"She's convinced that everyone's after the bloke she fancies." Wood grinned, eyebrows raised. "Paranoid."

"Has she tried telling Pricey yet?" I stilled and watched my Quidditch Captain carefully.

"I never said she fancies Pricey," I said, trying to keep my voice even.

"You didn't have to say it, she's made it perfectly obvious herself." My mouth formed itself into a perfectly defined 'O'. Well then, no use pretending.

"Do you think he knows then?" Wood snorted again.

"Doubt it, he's hardly the most observant or perceptive person in the world, is he?" I felt my cheeks redden. He always seemed to catch me staring at Wood at the worst possible times. Or maybe I was just really obvious.

"You'd be surprised," I mumbled. Woods eyebrows shot up, but he said nothing.

"So do you think she's going to tell him?" I shrugged, wincing a bit as the tightened skin of my neck pulled on the laceration.

"I don't know, she might, do you thing – what?" Wood cleared his throat uncomfortably.

"I need you to take your sweatshirt off." One of my eyebrows rose. "So-so I can clean your neck," he stammered out by way of explanation. Despite my own initial uneasiness, I found his own discomfort highly amusing. Uneasy Wood was always fun to tease. I smirked and reached down to grip the hem of my sweatshirt and began to pull it up provocatively. I stopped short with a painful grunt, arms held awkwardly above my head. Slick, West, very smooth. Two hands suddenly took hold of mine and helped me to pull the garment over my head and off.

I dropped my sweatshirt onto the floor at my feet, feeling very self-conscious, my face just as red as Wood's, and very aware of the fact that if Wood so desired to look, he would have an ample view of my cleavage down my white vest. But, luckily, his eyes were glued to my shoulder, and when I turned to look, I found it stained red; the strap of my vest saturated in blood. I hadn't thought the bleeding had been that bad.

"You'll never get the stains out," Wood commented conversationally. Awkwardness, how I love thee. I sighed.

"I know, I'm not bothered, it's only a vest." Wood grinned, almost shyly, and rolled the yellow sweatshirt on the floor with his foot.

"That'll be ruined too."

"It's all right, it was only the Wasps." And Wood laughed, nodding his agreement. Quidditch would always be a safe subject with us. He wiped the cloth over my neck one more time, stepped back running his eyes over my face and neck, and then nodded.

"All finished," he announced, motioning to the mirror.

I turned hesitantly towards the mirror and visibly winced at my reflection. Whilst Wood had been right, and it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it had looked, it still wasn't pretty by any standards. The new and freshly opened cuts and scratches stood out angrily against my pale skin, already made to look peaky by the bruises colouring my jaw and temple. But I'd live, and that was what mattered, right? Because I would not be giving Wood, or the Slytherins, the satisfaction of my death.

I lifted my eyes to Wood, prepared to thank him, in spite of my traditional Wood-inspired defiance I felt at doing so, but was met by the sight of him staring, entranced, at something on the back of my left shoulder: a large black bruise. I could see it reflected in the mirror behind Wood, and I could see why it had caught is attention; it was very nasty looking. As if feeling my eyes on him, he raised his to meet mine in the mirror and held them. His expression was uncharacteristically open; he looked much younger, his face tinged with guilt. I smiled slightly at him, and he returned it with a small quirk of his lips.

"Thank you, Oliver," I whispered. He said nothing, but nodded and turned to leave.

I can't exactly say what happened in the bathroom, or when exactly it happened, but something between Wood and I changed. Not something that anyone else would notice, but certainly something that I notice, and something I'm sure he noticed. Whatever it was, it changed.

Only, it made things all the more difficult for me.

You have no idea


I left the bathroom and made my way back towards my bed, smiling reassuringly at the guiltily worried expressions of the other girls. They appeared to have sustained some injuries themselves, but nowhere near as bad as mine. Emma had returned at some point and sat huddled, obviously terrified, on her bed behind an extremely uncomfortable George, who looked just as scared of Emma as she did of him.

Though, I suspected Emma's discomfort was due more to the fact that George was sitting on her perfectly made bed, wrinkling her perfectly folded sheets.

Everyone had piled onto Alicia's bed, next to mine, except for Daniel, Wood and Katie, who was still sniffling miserably into Daniel's shoulder (and if I knew Katie, she was merely taking advantage of a good situation), they were spread out over my bed. I took a careful seat next to Wood, who looked over at me with a raised eyebrow.

"Right, now that we're all here then," he started to say, voice stern and authoritative, and I felt myself shiver. "I've got to say that I'm really disappointed in you lot; you're supposed to be best friends, not pounding the shit out of each other." He cast his eyes about disapprovingly, and we all bowed our heads shamefully. I realised then that Dumbledore did not have it in for me, and that there was actually a reason Wood had replaced Percy as prefect this year. He shook his head and sighed. "I'm giving the four of you detention."

There was a moment of shocked, deafening silence in which our horrified gazes held Wood, and then suddenly, all four of us were on our feet, rounding on him, voiced raised in indignation and anger.

"You can't do that."

"It was just an argument."

"You're such a dick!"

Wood held his hand up to silence us, and shot me a dirty look, before turning to Alicia and Angelina. "I can do it, and it quite obviously wasn't 'just and argument'," he said in what I considered to be a very patronising tone. But I wasn't about to be outdone by Wood, of all people.

"You can't give me a detention, I'm a prefect as well!" I yelled indignantly, then reared back when he turned angry amber eyes on me.

"I can give detention to whomever I feel deserves one. And you four, deserve detention." He kept his voice low, but his glare said everything he hadn't. I realised something then: Wood was scary.

"But Oliver, honestly, it was just an argument. We have then all the time!" Angelina said, slightly hysterical. Merlin knows she couldn't blemish her perfect record with a detention.

"So what I witnessed today happens all the time?" Wood asked. This was one of those rare moments when I realised that we should all just keep our mouths shut, but I was the only one who realised it.

"Yes, it does." Angelina was nodding enthusiastically. Wood was nodding thoughtfully. The girl really was an idiot for someone so smart.

"Well, I've never seen any of you looking quite like Sean does, before." I could tell by his tone that he was baiting us. How very Slytherin of him.

"Most of these were caused by the Whomping Willow yesterday," I pointed out to him, and he turned startlingly angry eyes on me again.

"Most of them would also be healed by now, if you hadn't been rolling around trying to gauge each other's eyes out." Alicia, Angelina and Katie all shifted guiltily and I felt my stomach turn. That wasn't fair.

"No! Stop making them feel guilty," I demanded furiously, and he turned a grim, mocking smile on me.

"No, Sean, he's right. We shouldn't have been fighting. Especially with the state that you're in," Alicia said quietly.

I didn't reply. I continued to hold Wood's infuriating gaze, my eyes beginning to sting from not blinking, but I knew better than to argue with him when he was in this kind of mood. It would only make things worse. When he, himself, was sure I wasn't going to say anything else he turned back to the others, my furious glare still hot on the back of his head.

"Someone could have have been seriously hurt today," he said softly. "Or, well, more so than they already were." He shot me a look out the corner of his eye and I clenched my fists. I wasn't weak, I could handle a few scraped and bruises. "And that jeopardizes the team, which in itself is wholly unacceptable, but if it had been a teacher who had found you brawling, you would have lost the house a lot of points."

The fact that what he was saying was true only made me angrier, though it was more at my own stupidity that at Wood. It still didn't stop me from blaming him, though. I crossed my arms across my chest to stop myself from lashing out at him.

"And that is why I am giving you all detentions," he finished, face considerably less hostile now, and more smug.

For the thousandth time in two days, I felt ashamed. Though why, I couldn't tell you. There was no way I was ashamed for disappointing Wood; I did it all the time, so why should this time be any different? Either way, it didn't matter. What did matter was that I knew Wood was resolute in punishing us, and frankly, we deserved it. No that I would be admitting it.

"If you give us detention, McGonagall will find out anyway, and you know what she's like, she might do something that effects the team." It was this comment, Katie's reasoning, that seemed to get Wood to reconsider the detention, and I had to give to blonde enormous credit for her efforts. Wood sat nodding his head thoughtfully.

"OK then, no detention," he finally conceded, and we all relaxed back grinning with relief. But something about the brightness in Wood's eyes unnerved me. "However," he said, quieting us, "the four of you will be doing extras. Five each. Personal sessions." He grinned, almost evilly, and I got the impression that he was quite enjoying himself.

Five extras? Personal sessions? With Wood?

Kill. Me. Now.