Percy grinned suddenly, his face lit up by the uncommon emotion. He was normally portrayed as not having much of a sense of humour, but he would always say that it had been a long time untapped. Oliver, slumped across the floor in front of the fireplace, opened one eye.
"I'm glad you find it funny, Weasley."
Percy stifled a laugh, as Oliver chucked a pillow across the room, missing Percy by miles.
"Not a brilliant aim for Hogwarts' best Quidditch player…" Percy taunted slyly, an eyebrow raised at his roommate.
"Shut up." Oliver grinned, lying back and enjoying the warmth of the fire.
With a quick flick of his wand, the fire exploded in a barrage of fireworks, their bright lights and stars filling the room. Percy watched the mirage with a practiced eye; "Not bad," he muttered to himself, turning back to his books and dropping his wand alongside the pile of revision notes he had personally colour co-ordinated earlier in the day.
"Stop taking the piss," Oliver muttered, and turned over onto his side. Percy had been practicing that party trick for weeks now.
It had been a long day. Oliver had disgraced himself in the Quidditch friendly match between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, by managing a spectacular own goal. Percy still hadn't stopped smirking, whilst the rest of the team were managing a pretty good record of ignoring him.
"It was only a friendly match," Oliver muttered, taking a bite of his curly wurly.
"Of course it was," Percy said soothingly, hiding a smile. "What the hell are you eating?"
"A curly wurly." Oliver said shortly, throwing a bar in his general direction. "Hermione bought them for me after Easter."
"And her a dentist's daughter," Percy tutted, reading the nutritional information before taking a bite.
"I don't see you refusing it…"
Percy threw the pillow back across the room. "Shut up, you." He glanced at his watch. "Damn – I was supposed to be meeting Penny ten minutes ago."
"Why?" Oliver could hardly help it. It wasn't his fault he disliked the girl. She was so bloody… good.
"We've been through this, Ol." Percy sighed, and threw a glance towards his best friend.
"I know… I know." Oliver stuck an arm beneath his head, and picked up an aero. "Go on then, God knows what she'll do if you're fifteen minutes late."
The meeting with Penny was rather short and stilted. Annoyed with Percy with being late, she automatically blamed it on his room-mate. "That ridiculous boy," she dismissed him far too easily for Percy's liking, seeing him as nothing more than a boy with a predilection for broomsticks. "That was a stupid and easily avoidable mistake he made earlier."
Despite the fact that that was exactly the reason Percy had been laughing at Oliver for the last couple of hours, Percy couldn't help feeling a little pissed off on Oliver's behalf. "I say, Penny, that's pretty unreasonable,"
She'd tossed her curls and shot him a tiny smile, "But true all the same."
They'd been sitting in the restricted section of the library, on the large table reserved for prefects. Despite the close proximity of the exams, the earlier Quidditch match had put many students off returning to the books afterwards, preferring to take the rest of the day off. Most of the pupils had descended upon Hogsmeade for 'revision snacks'. Oliver had ordered 36 packets of Hula Hoops from one of the cleaning staff who had a brother working in ASDA, so didn't feel the need to go. Plus the fact that he was a bit of a laughing stock.
"How's the discipline record going?" Penny asked, unrolling her parchment.
"Fairly well, I have to say," Percy opened his ageing leather briefcase and pulled out an identical parchment. "I had a slight hitch earlier in the week, when the first years discovered Fred and George's firework stash, but it died down fairly quickly." It had been pretty funny actually, Percy had to admit, but it wouldn't be seemly to recount the sight of ten tiny first years quaking in their boots on his approach. Penny was already shooting him disapproving looks.
"You really should nip that sort of behaviour in the bud," she said quietly, glancing down the parchment, "I had something similar last year, but I had a long chat with the offending students, and we haven't had any problems since."
Percy stifled a yawn, and sneaked a glance at his watch under the table.
"Have you got somewhere you would rather be, Percy?"
"No, no," he hastened to regain her approval, "Just been at the books too long today, feeling a bit like an early night is in order."
Well, he reasoned, as he wandered nonchalantly down the long corridors back to his room, he hadn't exactly lied.
"What was it this time," Oliver asked as soon as Percy opened the door, "Let's discuss the school's current stance on food in the classrooms?"
"Very funny." Percy slumped down on the sofa next to him, not revelling as he usually did in the perks of seventh year rooms, "Discipline records actually."
"Ooooh…" Oliver grinned, "Scintillating. Bet that got your pulse racing."
"Stop taking the piss." Percy thumped him playfully, and reached past him for a packet of ready salted hula hoops.
"Oi," Oliver elbowed him back, "But seriously, mate – what are you still doing with her? She bores me rigid."
"She's not going out with you though, is she?" Percy crunched his first crisp, "Yummm, it's been ages since I had hula hoops. I'd forgotten how damn good these things are,"
"Stop changing the subject," Oliver helped himself to a crisp, and leaned over, placing a friendly hand on Percy's shoulder, "You're going out with her, and she bores you rigid. Plus the fact that she isn't anything like you,"
"Everyone else thinks we're very well suited," Percy complained, guzzling down hula hoops.
"Well, maybe everybody else doesn't know you as well as I do."
"Maybe." Percy glanced towards his friend, "But who the hell would go out with me, if I wasn't with Penny?"
"Is that all you're bothered about?" Oliver shook his head, "I never thought that you were the shallow type, Perce." He stood up, tired out by the day's events, and ready for bed. "Who the hell says you need a girlfriend, anyway?"
Percy didn't look up, suddenly chilled by the way the conversation seemed to be heading. "Convention says I need a girlfriend."
"When did you feel the need to be bound by convention?" Oliver glanced down at Percy's well-ordered exam notes, his pristine application form for the ministry of magic, his exemplary results. "Oh…" he realised.
Percy slept badly that night, tossing and turning as the moon shone brightly through their open curtains. Across the room, Oliver didn't even get that far. He had always wondered just why he disliked the idea of Percy and Penelope so much. He wasn't too sure how things were going to turn out.