A/N: This is a story written in repsonse to challenge on the Percy Oliver Writers Support Network on Yahoo! Groups. For more information, visit the group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/POWSN . The challenge was to write a Percy/Oliver slash story about a big snow day, including snowmen and snowballs. This is the result.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For the third time this morning, Percy nearly broke his quill in half at the unexpected sound of a high-pitched squeal wafting in from his window. He almost growled, looking down at the huge ink-blot marring what had been a near-perfect essay on "The Hundred Hour War: The important results and why we should care" for his History of Magic class. Heaving a great sigh, he crumpled up the now ruined piece, tossing it into the wastebasket by his desk. Pulling out a fresh scroll from his desk, he smoothed the clean paper out, re-inked his quill, and prepared to try again.
"The Hundred Hour War," he muttered, neatly writing the title onto the paper, only to be interrupted once again by shouts below. With a half-shout, he threw the quill down, standing up and slapping his hands down on the desk, leaning over to look out the window.
"What children," he growled, shaking his head angrily at the juvenile antics of the members of his house. A fresh, new snow had fallen the night before, coating the Hogwarts' grounds in an untarnished white blanket. Well, untarnished when Percy had first looked out the window before breakfast. Now, it was trampled and marred, nearly the whole school seemingly finding it necessary to make snowmen and hurl the frozen water at one another. With another angry sigh, Percy flopped back down in his chair, unintentionally kicking his desk, the precariously piled reams of scrolls threatening to fall over and his ink bottle...
"My notes!" the redhead shrieked, deftly plucking up the fallen container before it could ruin anything else on his desk. Quickly separating the soiled notes from the clean ones, he squinted at the ruined page, trying to figure out what it had been.
The only words he was able to make out were 'fire' and 'crickets.' "Fire Lizards," Percy said, remembering. "My Care of Magical Creatures notes from yesterday." Gingerly folding the inked parchment in half, he dropped it into the wastebasket, wiping his hands on the small rag he kept by his desk.
There was nothing for it. Percy decided he would have to see Hagrid and ask if he could observe the lizards again today and take new notes. Yanking on his cloak and carefully packing away the school things he would need, Percy hefted his school bag over his shoulder and walked out of the dormitory.
* * * * * *
The air was brisk and cold, though not unpleasantly so. He sidestepped a small snow fort as he made his way through the courtyard. The snowball fight seemed to have moved around to the other side of the castle, a small favor Percy was incredibly grateful for. Living with his large family, he often found himself the main target in every snowball fight, mostly because he refused to fight back. It seemed so ridiculous, hurling compacted balls of frozen snow at one another. To make it worse, the twins would usually charm their ammunition, making it explode in strange colors or even stranger smells, zipping around trees and hedges, seeking him out no matter where he hid. Once, he was even hit by a snowball as he exited the shower, coloring him a purple hue for the better part to two days.
Luckily, he seemed as if he would escape their wrath, the sounds of the fight clearly some distance away. Straight to Hagrid's and back, and then he would study in the library. It was a wonderful plan.
Percy gasped as a cold wetness suddenly dripped down the back of his robes, stumbling forward in his surprise, his glasses knocked off of his head and falling to the ground somewhere in front of him. "FRED! GEORGE!" he heard himself yelling to his surprise. Percy never liked to raise his voice. It seemed warranted this time, though. "GOOD LORD, COULDN'T YOU JUST LEAVE ME A--" Percy paused, having spun around to face is attackers head-on. It wasn't Fred or George or even Ron. It was...
"Oliver?" Percy asked, squinting at the familiar shape in front of him. The tall quidditch player laughed, his blurry image jogging forward.
"Sorry, Perce! I couldn't resist," Oliver said, still laughing. "Your red hair is like a beacon."
"I expected better of you," Percy snapped, hating how prissy his voice sounded, but unable to help himself. He blinked owlishly at the taller boy in front of him. "You're a seventh year! You should be setting an example to the younger students, not participating in this... this... tomfoolery!"
"Oh, get off it, Percy," Oliver replied cheerfully, dropping to his knees in front of the redhead, reaching down to pick up his glasses. "We don't always have to act our age." He stood up, then noticed the heavy bag of books and scrolls. "Where are you headed with all of that, anyway?"
"Hagrid's," Percy said with a sigh, shifting the bag. He reached out a hand for his glasses, but Oliver didn't hand them over. Instead, he put them on his own face.
"Geez, these are strong," Oliver mused, squinting. "Why are you going to Hagrid's?"
"Because I need to take some new notes on Fire Lizards," Percy replied, reaching out to snatch his glasses off of his roommate's face.
"Why new notes?" Oliver asked, skipping backwards out of Percy's reach. "What was wrong with your old notes?"
"Nothing, except I spilled ink all over them and now they're unreadable," Percy said, trying again to swipe his glasses back, getting frustrated. "Will you give me back my specs already?!?"
Oliver laughed. "Here, here," he said, plucking the glasses off his face. Percy reached out his hand, but Oliver ignored it. Instead, the quidditch player tilted Percy' head up, one hand resting underneath his chin. With the other, he slipped the glasses slowly back into place. Percy blinked in surprise at the uncharacteristically gentle action, Oliver's very close face suddenly coming into perfect focus.
"Uhm..." Percy said intelligently, feeling a fiery blush ride up his neck. He wondered in the remnants of the old snowball were steaming away.
"Try to have some fun today," Oliver said softly, giving Percy a small, secretive smile. Then, much to Percy's increased surprise, the dark-haired quidditch player suddenly leaned down, giving Percy a swift kiss on the cheek, before letting go of his chin and springing away.
"Uhm..." Percy repeated, watching Oliver's retreating form with wide- eyed shock. His hand came up of its own accord, touching the tingling skin on his cheek that had met with Oliver's lips. Shaking his head to clear it, the redhead turned, starting a hurried walk to Hagrid's, his mind racing.
Then he paused, smiling what could only be described as a very, very wicked smile.
* * * * * *
Oliver laughed heartily as Fred and George pelted the Slytherins with barrage after barrage of fish-smelling snowballs. He managed to duck another flying snow-missile that was headed his way, then gasped when a cold, wet snowball smacked into the top of his head from behind.
Oliver spun around, trying to see who had hit him. Nobody was there, but in the far off distance, well out of throwing range, he could see Percy giving him a quick wave before turning and walking out towards Hagrid's. Oliver reached up and touched his head, amazed at the bright-red water he found there, staining his fingers.
"Nice hair color, Oliver!" Ron shouted from across the way, laughing a bit. Oliver grinned back in spite of himself.
"Tomfoolery, indeed," Oliver muttered, then promptly got hit by a shower of snowballs.