Winter Snows

She thought she was getting sick again. Her chest ached, her throat was sore, and her nose was running. Her father always told her to go to the Hospital Wing when she felt ill. Lucy had always been a delicate child. But Lucy had also felt worse than this before and was able to set aside the general feelings of being ill.

Lucy's watched her long, skilled fingers in the mirror as they tried to fix the clasp at the neck of her thick winter cloak. The blasted clasp wasn't catching; Lucy's hands were shaking too badly. She pulled her hands away and rested them on the dorm's table where one of her dorm mates Adelaide Armistead had placed it at the start of term. Usually Adelaide would be sitting in front of it with the other girls from the Gryffindor fourth year dorm exchanging hair and make-up tips from Teen Witch magazine. Something Lucy had no interest in taking part in. Her grades were more important to her.

Perhaps this was why she was a bit lacking in the friends department. She had little in common with girls her own age and seemed to get along better with people who could keep up with her sharp mind. These were usually older people who were willing to talk about things most children her age paid no attention to. Current events, politics, breakthroughs in magical research were a few of her favorite topics. She couldn't talk to most people her age; most of them just walked away and ignored her.

It wasn't a bad thing really; Lucy enjoyed talking to people who had a general idea of what she was talking about. There were very few exceptions to this.

Lucy had spent her childhood either sick or avoiding the latest bout of flu spreading among her numerous cousins. During the times she was sick in bed and her parents were downstairs she would sneak into the study across the hall and find something to read after she had read all of the children's books she could stomach for the day. She raided the box where her mother kept old issues of Transfiguration Today and Wizard's Time, along with the Research Society Monthly. Audrey was not a member of that organization but always said it never hurt to keep an eye on the Head Sorcerer of the Research Society. She said often that she neither liked nor trusted the man. Either way, her mother's opinion of Cavan Toft was of no concern of Lucy's.

Her hands moved towards the clasp to try and hook it again. This time she was successful and gave herself a satisfied grin that was reflected back from the mirror. Lucy took in the appearance of the young woman reflected back at her and her smile disappeared slowly. She was too thin and gangly looking. Her skin far to pale contrasting her auburn hair, her face dotted with freckles. The only feature she liked was her eyes. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Lucy had her mother's eyes. They were the same shape and the same pale grey-blue that those unlucky few faced with the cold Causey temper had found unsettling. She had also inherited her father's abysmal eyesight, nobody noticed until she had almost knocked herself out when she ran into an open drawer at her grandparent's house when she was three.

Lucy got up from her kneeling position and walked towards her bed to get her hat scarf and mittens. Her father wouldn't approve of this little excursion if he knew Lucy was feeling the onset of something nasty. But, what he didn't know wouldn't hurt him. It was Saturday, it was the first major snowfall of the year, and Lucy wanted to go and play in it for once. Perhaps throw few snowballs at the banes of her existence, James and Fred. All they did was bully and harass her and seeing as they were both rather popular in school quite a few other kids followed their lead. The rest of Lucy's cousins just ignored her, which was understandable to an extent. Her older cousins were preparing for their exams like O.W.L.S and N.E.W.T.S or were just busy with their own lives. Lucy was kind of excited about the exams next year to be honest. She had packed Molly's textbooks from Fifth Year for a bit of light reading when she wasn't working on her homework. She was already halfway through the seven extra books she had procured, for lack of a better word.

Before placing her mittens on her hands Lucy placed her wand in her pocket just in case she needed to defend herself from any rouge snowballs on the grounds. Lucy's cold hands reached for the warm, knitted softness of the mittens her grandmother had made for her last Christmas. She was hoping for another pair this year. And also the book about the many Resistance groups of the Second Wizarding War recommended to her by her Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.

Audrey Weasley's face paled when she saw that book on her daughter's Christmas list, her father didn't look much better. Lucy remembered shrugging when her mother asked her about it and replying.

"I'm curious. All we have ever heard about was the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore's Army; I want to know about the other groups who were part of the war effort."

Her mother looked proud and sad at the same time. Her mother had always gotten rather quiet whenever the war was mentioned. Her father was usually the same way, though he had left the room a couple of times when the children started asking questions at family gatherings at the Burrow. Lucy never poked and prodded about the raw wounds that seemed to surround the older generation on May the Second. The only person who had told her any type of war story was her mother's father figure she and Molly referred to as Gramps at his request. And Gramps' entire arsenal of stories revolved around Grindelwald's War and the First Wizarding War against Voldemort. Both of which were other wars he had fought in. Lucy has a strong suspicion he didn't talk about what he did during the Second Wizarding War at her mother's request.

Straightening out the front of her winter clothes Lucy walked out of the dorm, her head buzzing slightly. Perhaps this wasn't such a good idea. Lucy had one mitted hand on the stone wall to steady herself as she walked down the stairs. Lucy's boots muffled the sound of her feet in the nearly empty Common Room. The only people in there were a couple of prefects who were snogging madly in front of the fireplace. Lucy tilted her head slightly, wondering for a moment what kissing was like. Then she turned suddenly realizing that she was still staring and if caught, she would add the label of pervert tho her current one of nerd and took off through the Gryffindor tower's portrait hole.

The Fat Lady snored loudly and was mumbling something about passwords in her sleep. "No… That's not right dear; the password is not Minnow's toes…" She snored again as Lucy chuckled and walked down the steps, her hand still trailing on the wall. Maybe Ollie was hanging around the Great Hall.

The friendship between Oliver "Ollie" Wood and Lucy Weasley was the most unexpected relationship of any sort from the graduating class of 2022. Ollie was an athlete who paid more attention to sports scores then grades and world events. Lucy was bookworm. Ollie was outdoorsy. Lucy was as delicate as Ollie was robust and healthy.

Lucy grinded her teeth together, agitation boiling under her skin, she took a deep breath and let her temper cool. Maybe she was jealous of Ollie to some degree. The only time he had ever been sick was back in second year when he had dragon pox. He was in the Hospital Wing for three weeks until they were sure he was no longer contagious and or covered in scale like spots. And who could possibly forget the smoke coming out of his nose and mouth? Lucy swore he was breathing fire at one point.

The staircase beneath her moved with a loud groan. Lucy gasped and grabbed the railing to prevent herself from falling over. She had fallen over while the staircase was moving before, though luckily Teddy had stopped her before she suffered any real damage. Teddy Lupin had then managed to trip down the stairs himself. He was fine.

The staircase stopped and Lucy walked down the rest of the way slowly and carefully. Really, there was nobody here to catch her now.

Oo0Oo0

Lucy stood alone in the center of the hall taking in the spacious, Christmassy atmosphere. Lucy looked up to find that it was still snowing outside. The realization made her smile. She liked Christmas; it was the one day of the year Gramps didn't antagonize her father. Or refer to him as "That Bloody Bureaucrat." The many books from relatives were also nice. Now, where was Ollie? Lucy wanted to take part in at least one snowball fight before she left for the holidays.

There was a chorus of shouts and laughter coming from the Entrance Hall. Lucy jumped and took off to hide behind a large Christmas tree behind where the professor's table usually stood. The owners of the voices grew louder as they trounced into the Great Hall. It was half the kids from her year apparently coming in from a large snowball fight on the grounds. Lucy suppressed a sigh; she had missed the big event. The voices sounded happy, breathless, and exuberant she noticed. Lucy closed her eyes, listening for Ollie's voice among them. She smiled when she failed to hear the sound of Ollie's loud, boisterous, voice. Lucy took that to mean he was outside still.

As the voices disappeared into the depths of the castle Lucy came out from behind the Christmas tree unconsciously tugging her cloak closer to her body. She looked around for stragglers and seeing none she walked quickly out the way they came in, enjoying the quiet and her echoing footsteps in the corridor.

The door opened wide and the cold air nipped her cheeks as Lucy tried to cover them with her cloak. The thing preventing this action was the blasted clasp she had worked so hard to fix earlier. And that was hard to accomplish with mittens on anyway. Lucy gave up and took in the pristine white world around her. Ignoring the trails of footprints coming from all over the grounds, it was perfect.

"Lucy! Lucy! Over here!"

Turning quickly towards the voice Lucy found its source. A tall boy with brown hair and lively green eyes was jumping up and down waving his arms trying to get her attention. He had succeeded, and also got the attention of those few who had not gone back inside quite yet. Many of them were snickering at the sight. Lucy looked over to find Imogen Varnham from Slytherin with her large group of friends pointing at Ollie whispering and laughing. Lucy felt her blood boil as she reached for her wand, then she stopped short as she felt her blood cool. Lucy did not like people laughing at her best friend. But Lucy was in no shape to duel for her friend's honor, and she was out numbered. Besides, Lucy was now seeing two Ollies'. That wasn't good…

Oo0Oo0

"I can assure you Mr. Wood for the third and final time, Miss Weasley is just fine."

"She passed out! How is that fine?"

"I find passing out to be a normal reaction with a fever that high. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have other patients." The steady tapping of heels on the floor was the first sound besides voices to reach her mind. Lucy rolled over and buried herself deeper into the blankets. Mmm… these were nice and warm.

Ollie's voice broke through the silence. He sounded unusually quiet. "Lu? Lucy? You awake?"

Lucy made a muffled sound in response.

"I'll take that as a yes. How are you feeling?"

"Alright, what happened anyway?"

Ollie smiled softly, "You passed out. You had a really high fever according to Madam, you fell face first in the snow." His face turned pink, Lucy wondered if it was from the cold weather outside. "I picked you up and brought you inside. Word's all over school by this point, Imogen made sure of that. And Molly said she doesn't care what you say at this point she's telling your folks."

"Great, dad's going to have a fit. He's already threatened to have me homeschooled on three separate occasions already. I personally think he just wants someone around who shares his sense of humor." Lucy said drily. "Mum will talk him down; she usually talks him out of his rants."

Ollie laughed, "I like your parents, and I think they're nice."

The silence settled over them.

Lucy sighed suddenly, "I missed the first snowball fight of the year. I'll probably miss the rest too."

Ollie looked grim for a moment before his green eyes lit up excitedly. Lucy looked at him nervously; Ollie's plans were spur of the moment things that usually ended badly. Ollie drew his wand suddenly. Lucy got scared at that point. He waved it around and whispered something that Lucy couldn't hear. And there were suddenly snowflakes falling over them both.

"Ta-da!" Ollie said as he took a mock bow from his chair. "What do you think?" He leaned in closer to Lucy's face as she looked up at the snowflakes appearing from nowhere over her head.

"Wow, Ollie! This is amazing." Lucy held out her hands to catch the snowflakes in the palms of her hands. She was hardly paying attention to Ollie leaning ever closer to her not even paying attention to his spell he had cast. "How did you…?"

"I found it in a book in the library while you were studying for History of Magic." It was at that moment that Ollie realized how close he was and pulled himself back. Lucy hadn't even noticed, she was transfixed by the snow that she had so badly wanted to touch and feel with all the other children, but this was much better somehow for reasons Lucy couldn't explain.

Oo0Oo0

Author's Note: This was my original entry the contest I entered Responsible in. It has been sitting on my computer for about six months and I have just now decided to put it up, it does contain some ideas (names mostly) from my larger project to come. Ah, Next Gen. Ollie and Grayson are pretty much the same character; I was going through a name debate. Yes, there is shipping in here.