Currently unbeta-ed, though hopefully not for long.
I don't own anything.
There's a reason no one ever touches Percy Weasley, despite his nerdiness. There's one reason, and one reason only, that people actually listen when Percy speaks, and it's not the gleaming Head Boy badge pinned to his robes.
That reason is Oliver Wood.
They met at the first, and only, professional Quidditch match Percy ever went to (discounting that horrendous World Cup debacle, which Percy generally does).
They were seven. Oliver was bouncing, as seven-year-olds are wont to do. Percy was sitting calmly in his seat, hands folded primly in his lap, waiting patiently.
And Oliver wanted to understand why Percy wasn't excited.
They've been best friends ever since.
No one really understands why.
Percy's not even sure he understands why.
He knows he doesn't deserve someone like Oliver.
Oliver's charming, after all, and charismatic, and funny and sweet, and while he's not Percy-smart, he's clever and astute.
Percy's awkward and ungainly and nerdy and flawed.
Still, Oliver claims they fit, and Percy's disinclined to disagree.
And the students at Hogwarts understood this in their very first year.
Oliver made sure of that.
Oliver has always been Woody to Percy. It's not Percy's fault, really. He blames his father for it, for showing him the movie Toy Story. And somehow it stuck.
Percy has always been Pecker to Oliver. It's not Oliver's fault, really. He blames Fred and George. And Oliver learned it from them, because they teased Percy with it mercilessly. Oliver adopted it because Percy hated it, and because it made him blush every time, though Oliver's not entirely sure why. Oliver's not even sure where the name came from. Something about Mr. Weasley and birds.
Coming from each other, the nicknames were affectionate. Coming from other people, they were insulting.
It was Avior Zabini that taught Hogwarts precisely why no one messed with Percy.
It wasn't really the fifth year Slytherin's fault, to be honest. He was just bored, and Percy and Oliver were just there.
"Well, well, if it isn't little Woody and his pal Percy Pecker." Avior's thugs laughed maliciously. "What do you think, Ollie, how badly will Gryffindor lose in the next match?"
Oliver's enthusiasm for Quidditch and house pride were well known, and Avior was trying to get a rise out of him.
Oliver sat calmly, reclined against the tree, same as he had been when Avior walked up.
Avior sneered at the lack of response and turned on Percy.
"How'd you manage to get that nickname, Percy Pecker? We'd-"
He never finished his sentence, though it was surely something derogatory.
Percy sat stunned as he watched his friend, who, despite being well-built for an 11-year-old, was clearly no match for the fifth year who was built like a wall.
Oliver didn't seem to notice. He launched himself at Avior, somehow managing to deck the older boy, throwing him to the ground and landing firmly on top of him.
"Don't say another word," he hissed. "Don't you say another word to him."
Avior flipped them easily so that Oliver was pinned, but Oliver kneed him where it hurt the most and slithered out from beneath him. He easily ducked Avior's next attack with the grace of the expert Keeper he would become. Smirking, he flipped the older boy to the ground again, knocking the air out of him. Avior's cronies weren't laughing anymore. They stared in shock, as did Percy.
Avior blinked before staggering to his feet, enraged. He couldn't get a hand on Oliver. The smaller boy was quicker, nimbler, and had an innate grace Avior couldn't dream of matching. Oliver didn't even have to deck the boy again, because after ten minutes of humiliation, Avior threw himself at Oliver so hard, and blinded as he was by rage, he didn't see the tree until it was too late. His thugs guided him to the hospital wing so that Madam Pomfrey could stop the bleeding from his head.
"I'll get you, you twerp," he tossed over his shoulder.
"You'd have to catch me, first!" Oliver chirped cheekily. And Avior never did.
The rumor mill at Hogwarts was immensely efficient. Oliver and Percy were never bothered again.
It wasn't until years later, after they were out of Hogwarts and renting a flat together that Percy got up the courage to ask the question he'd wanted answered since he was seven years old.
Oliver glanced up from the Prophet, smiling. "Yeah, Pecker?"
Oliver understood, and he stood up from the table, walking over to Percy.
"Oh, Perce," he murmured quietly, wrapping his arms around him. He spoke the truth, but it was also exactly what he knew Percy needed to hear. "It's because you're worth it."