A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J. K. Rowling, not me. Nor does the title—it's a shout-out to a Matthew Reilly book of the same name. B) Which is fine, because this fic is a Christmas present for my good pal, jojor99. I hope you love it, hon. For everyone else: read, review, and enjoy! *Note: The prompt of haunted came from xXKissingSinXx's "100 Prompts" challenge in the HPFC; it's one of my fav chals since it's so helpful! :]
Oliver Wood grimaced as he returned from the Quidditch pitch. Good Godric, why? Why did he have to be so distractingly charming?
Oliver wasn't talking highly of himself, of course not. No, he was talking about a redheaded Seeker that kept cropping up not only in his mind but also into his field of vision. It seemed that everywhere Oliver went these days, Charlie Weasley was bound to turn up.
But just like yesterday, and the day before and the day before that, Charlie had been the first Gryffindor on the pitch and the last to leave. His eyes always seemed to follow Oliver when they flew. Frankly, Oliver was worried that Charlie Weasley…well, knew.
Since his first year, Oliver had admired Charlie. Oliver knew that he himself couldn't Seek for crap; he made a much better Keeper. But it was a dream made real when Charlie had befriended young Oliver. Even though Charlie was an excellent Seeker but couldn't teach Oliver to Seek, he at least was good at coaching Oliver and their fellow teammates and helping them improve their positions. Like with Oliver—ever since he'd listened to some of Charlie's good advice, he had discovered more weak spots near the goalposts and had been able to correct them.
And somewhere along the way, Charlie Weasley had remained in Oliver's head even when he was physically absent. It was as though Charlie Weasley was haunting Oliver…which was an absurd idea, because Charlie was alive and Oliver wasn't someone to haunt.
Er, he hoped so.
It was a little funny, the idea of Charlie haunting him. Oliver wasn't well-versed in ghosts and the like—c'mon, who really listened to Binns when he mumbled about them?—and so Oliver finally asked his roommate, Percy (and Charlie's younger brother—the Seeker strikes again!), about the idea.
"You're speaking nonsense," Percy said, a book propped open on his lap and his glasses sliding off the end of his nose. He pushed his spectacles back up the bridge.
"Why's that?" Oliver asked as he changed out of his uniform for the night.
Percy paused and cleared his throat. "Well, a live person can't haunt you." He paused again. "Who did you say was 'haunting' you?"
Oliver hadn't told Percy, and he sure as hell didn't feel like telling him now that Percy had spoken in such a tone. "It's not possible to be in two places at once, is it?" he asked to change the subject.
His classmate didn't notice. "No, it's not—unless you've been Splinched."
There was a silent second before Oliver broke into a grin. "Percy, did you just make…a joke?" If he had, it had relieved Oliver. If he hadn't…well, it was still amusing.
Percy, like any other Weasley, blushed red up to his ears. "A joke? Of course not!" He grumbled and started putting his things away.
Oliver appreciated that Percy could lose himself a little, not be too serious all the time. Though he doubted Percy thought much of anyone without grades to best his, Oliver considered Percy a friend. Outside of Quidditch players, Oliver didn't speak with many other students, not even their three other roommates. Of course, Percy didn't speak with too many people either, since he tended to look down on them for not doing well in school or for not obeying the rules perfectly. The Keeper shrugged at that aspect of Percy's personality, though. They might as well have each other as friends at least, right?
But as Percy changed for the night, Oliver had to turn away. He hated seeing that red hair sometimes. All it made him think was that there was one friend he'd always keep, even if they couldn't always share Quidditch. Friend… Oliver gritted his teeth and roughly pulled the curtains around his four-poster closed. It was hard to keep calling Charlie a friend when Oliver thought and dreamed of him as something more.
"All right, our match against Ravenclaw is next week. We've got to be in tip-top shape, since they've got a new Seeker, and while Roger Davies may not be the brightest Snitch in the chest, he's polite and fast—he'll snatch the win from us while smiling."
Charlie was announcing all this as the Gryffindor team assembled for the second of three practices before said match against the eagles. They had a new Chaser in the form of Angelina Johnson, a pretty and stubborn second year, and she had proved her worth in past matches. The other Chasers were okay, but one bloke missed half the games, giving reserve player Alicia Spinnet plenty of practice. Twins Fred and George Weasley had joined this year, too; despite being second years, they were damn good with their Beaters' bats…but while Oliver could admire their strength, he was again becoming unnerved.
Everywhere he looked, it was always red hair. Sometimes it was red hair and brown eyes, and other times it was red hair and blue eyes, but either way, Oliver was distracted and it was driving him up the castle wall. At the end of practice, Charlie caught up with him. "Oi, Ollie, you all right?"
Oliver managed a smile. "Eh, it's nothing, Charlie. A bit of pregame jitters, I suppose." He hated the flips his stomach was doing at having been called "Ollie."
Charlie eyed him up and down before ruffling his short brown hair. And if Oliver wasn't mistaken, Charlie sighed—slightly, but still… "Chin up, Wood. You're better when you're smiling maniacally." He laughed, and this time Oliver couldn't fight the way his cheeks burned Expelliarmus red. The two Gryffindors showered, changed, and headed back to the castle for a bite to eat.
They won with ease. If they played their cards right in the next match, Gryffindor would be vying for the Quidditch Cup with a high chance of snatching it.
The after-party was spectacular, especially with the Weasley twins around. Fred and George had modified some mini fireworks from Zonko's—how, Oliver didn't know—and so the explosions in the Gryffindor common room turned into crowned lions and spelled out, "THIS YEAR IS OUR YEAR! GRYFFINDOR WINS THE CUP!"
Charlie was making his rounds of the room, and when he came to Oliver, he grinned and grabbed his hand, raising it into the air. "Three cheers for the best Keeper Hogwarts has seen in a decade!"
Oliver nearly choked on his butterbeer as Charlie gripped his wrist tightly without hurting him. On the third cheer, the commotion bubbled into cheery laughter, and their Housemates returned to prior conversations. "There was no need for that," Oliver said to his Captain. "C'mon, Charlie… We all know it was your eye. Your eye and that Snitch—a deadly combo."
The second eldest Weasley brother shrugged and took a sip from his own drink. "Oliver, I believe that you don't believe enough in yourself, despite the pep talks you give the rest of the team on the sidelines."
The brunette frowned and drank his butterbeer to delay him in replying. What could he say to that? He liked firing everyone up…but when it came to himself, that was a different matter. The only thing that seemed to fire him up anymore were words from Charlie… Oliver gritted his teeth. Even though Charlie was kind and a bloody good mate, he was as straight as they came. He was often spotted with Nymphadora Tonks from Hufflepuff and besides, Charlie was Oliver's senior by three years. Sometimes a year or two wasn't much at school; other times, any age difference felt like an ocean. And Oliver felt as though he and Charlie had an ocean and the Black Lake between them.
"That better be butterbeer and not firewhiskey," came a familiar voice behind Oliver.
Oliver turned and saw Percy frowning at him and his brother. "Oh, don't worry, Percy, strictly non-alcoholic around here. Especially with the twins and Angelina on the team."
Percy didn't appear very convinced, so he directed his stare at his older brother. "Charlie—"
"Oh, Perce," Charlie said with a roll of his eyes. He took another swig of his butterbeer before putting it down on a nearby table. "Learn to live a little—aren't you at least happy that we're this close to the Quidditch Cup?"
"Charlie!" Percy barked.
"Yes, it's only butterbeer. Godric…" Charlie shook his head and looked at Oliver. "By the way, Ollie, you up for talking tactics? I'm free now if you are."
"Oh, uh, sure," Oliver answered, happy for the bit of bickering dying down. "Let me just finish—"
"No need," Charlie said, grabbing Oliver's drink and shoving it into Percy's mouth. "And in the meantime, enjoy yourself, little brother."
Oliver blinked and simply waved at Percy as he and Charlie left through the portrait hole. "Um, Charlie…?"
"Yeah?" Charlie glanced back at him as they headed for the Astronomy Tower, it appeared.
"Isn't Percy…slightly germophobic…?"
Charlie gave a hearty laugh as he strode along, his long legs forcing the slightly shorter wizard to keep up. "Oh, that—don't worry about it, Ollie. He'll be fine."
They walked for a while, and Oliver was itching to talk and then return to the party. Though he'd been alone with Charlie before on the Quidditch pitch, this felt…different. More personal, intimate. And frankly, Oliver wasn't sure he could control his bloody mouth if he was alone with Charlie for one moment to long.
He was actually a little surprised when they stopped at the base of the staircase instead of climbing the stairs to the actual observation spire. Oliver sat on the bottom step and Charlie walked to the window, leaning against the corner of the ledge. Even in the dim light, Oliver knew just how brightly blue those eyes were.
"So, what's up? You wanted to talk plays?" Oliver scratched his head, trying to pretend that Charlie's posture didn't make him nervous. "I mean, if we could come up with a move…y'know, make the twins like flying bookends around Angelina—it'd be a score before the other team even realized—"
"Oliver, have you ever dated a girl?"
The question was both odd and normal at the same time. Oliver shut his gaping mouth, fumbling for an answer. What did Charlie expect to hear, anyway? "Well…I… I tried. Once. It's not my thing." And then realizing how that sounded, he quickly added, "Quidditch is my love, I'd say."
Charlie grinned that irresistible grin and walked back over to Oliver. "I'm not trying to make you feel uncomfortable, Ollie. I was just asking." Well, even if he was just asking, he sure was sitting really bloody close to Oliver. And his body radiated this kind of heat that almost made Oliver drowsy…
The Keeper shook his head to rid his mind of the fog Charlie had caused. He had to be in control here.
"But that's an okay answer, I suppose. I…I feel the same way." Charlie said it so softly that Oliver had to strain his ears, and when he looked at the redhead, Charlie's expression was sweet. Kind. He was the Charlie Oliver had known all these years. So what was it that Charlie was really saying?
Dare Oliver ask?
And could he ask without screwing it up with the way Charlie was watching him?
"I…I, er…" Oliver cleared his throat. "I agree with you."
"Brilliant," Charlie replied. He placed a hand on Oliver's shoulder, gripping it—
The stimulus was too much. Oliver couldn't bear it anymore, and he did the rash thing and turned, snogging his Captain on the ruddy lips. Charlie was surprised enough that he toppled over, Oliver on top, and he didn't make any moves to push Oliver away immediately. He, in fact, seemed to enjoy it. Which made turned things upside-down when Charlie shook his head and held Oliver instead—it was as though Charlie was pushing him away without wanting to do so.
He took a deep breath. "Oh…oh, Godric… Ollie…"
Oliver blinked and slipped out of Charlie's arms. He didn't have enough blood left in his face to blush; he was whiter than a bed sheet. "I'm very sorry, goodnight, please don't hit me with a broom," he spluttered before moving to run.
"Oliver, wait!" Charlie yelled, grabbing his arm.
His voice commanded Oliver to meet his eyes. Oliver wish he hadn't. The expression on Charlie's face was…pained? That didn't make sense. He was the one who had pushed Oliver away!
Charlie opened his mouth to say something, halted with his eyes widening, and then closed his mouth. He took a breath and, when he next opened his mouth, said, "Oliver…Percy fancies you."
The brunette forgot what had just transpired for a brief moment. "…what?"
The Weasley nodded and let go of Oliver, his words keeping him. "He does. It's been a while, but…yeah, he does. You—you should consider his feelings—"
"Why?" Oliver interrupted, rattled. "Why should that matter?"
"I…" Charlie furrowed his brow. "I've seen you. You fidget around him and yet you're comfortable around him. I don't think you should be projecting your feelings for him onto me, that's all."
The fourth year wished he had it in him to hit Charlie for what he'd just said. Instead, the avalanche of information numbed him. Suddenly, the taste of Charlie on his lips didn't taste so great anymore. He turned and disappeared down the corridor, Charlie calling after him for a few minutes before giving up, as well.
Oliver hated it. He hated going to Quidditch practice now, he hated going to the classes he shared with Percy, and he hated returning to his dorms. The only times when he wasn't upset to return to his room were the times when he was simply changing and getting into bed. He didn't have to interact with Percy this way, and it was best to fall asleep quickly, for in his dreams, he could picture that Astronomy Tower evening going quite differently. The taste of Charlie was still sweet, the heat of Charlie's breath was still melding with his. The feel of Charlie's skin on his was like touching a worn, leather shin guard—soft and supple yet strong.
Of course, it wasn't as though the dreams did much to help. Oliver still had to go to Quidditch practice and take orders from his beloved Captain—which just about drove him nutters. He had to avoid eye contact as much as possible without pissing Charlie off, but the other Gryffindor players were getting annoyed. Frankly, Oliver was fed up with his frustration, too. But what could he do about it? Walk up to Charlie and confess, even though he knew he was going to be shot down? Talk to Percy and shoot his only friend down? At least Oliver knew one thing—he couldn't stay this way indefinitely. Something had to be done.
But what? It was the question that plagued Oliver more than Charlie's "haunting" of him, which—by now—he was over. With Oliver's luck, Charlie had merely been keeping an eye on him to make sure Oliver was a good match for his younger brother. But Oliver and Percy? Oliver wasn't sure he could imagine it…
Regardless, Oliver forced himself to have some fun on the weekend, hogging the empty Quidditch pitch with Angelina while no one else was scheduled to practice.
"Oi, toss the Quaffle already!" Angelina hollered at him.
Oliver stopped hesitating and gave it a good throw. Angelina missed it and had to dive for it, but she did so amazingly. Even now, he knew Angelina would be on the team for the rest of her Hogwarts years. He could even see her being Captain someday…but he would get to be Captain first, for sure.
Angelina threw the Quaffle back and they continued with some broom maneuvers for another hour until Angelina caught the ball and paused. She was looking down on the ground. "Hey, Wood… Isn't that Charlie's brother?"
The wizard looked down. It was Percy. His hands were in his pockets and his gaze was directed towards them, but he was frowning.
Oliver groaned as they landed. Angelina skedaddled after muttering a quick "hullo," and then it was just the two friends. Er, roommates. Yeah…
"You do realize that your dirty laundry really shouldn't be strewn all over the dorm, right?"
Oliver gave him a look. "Huh?"
Percy crossed his arms in front of his chest. "I'm only willing to pick up a few things here and there, but there are things even I wouldn't touch." He nodded as if making a point.
"Percy, what are you on about…?"
"Friends only look after friends to a certain point. But…" Percy's hard expression softened. "But friends are still friends in the end."
Oliver frowned. He hated how sad Percy looked. "…sorry. I'll clean up next—"
"Charlie told me that he told you," Percy cut in with a shake of his head. "I'm sorry I've been making you feel so bloody awkward, Oliver… I am."
"Oh." Oliver blushed. "Oh… Percy, I didn't mean—"
"—to be such a prat?"
Oliver snorted but smiled. "Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?"
Percy shrugged, but there was a hint of a smile playing at his lips, too. "Whatever you say. Though I wasn't just using the laundry thing as a metaphor, you should know. I really am not going to touch your undergarments—Merlin knows where they've been." They started walking off the pitch.
"Hey! Besides, I know that you wouldn't really mind touching them…"
"Shut up, Wood."
"Stop bitching, Weasley."
Well, at least one thing was right in Oliver's world again.
"Come on, Oliver. If we don't grab lunch at the Three Broomsticks now, we won't even be able to have dinner there!" Percy hissed at him.
"All right, already!" Oliver put his homework and Quidditch magazines away and hopped off his bed. "Hey, have you seen my cloak? I could've sworn—"
"It's half under your bed, on my side," Percy replied as he stood agitatedly in the doorway. His arms were crossed and he was tapping his index finger impatiently on his forearm. "It's not even that cold. Honestly, Oliver."
Oliver made a rude gesture that made Percy huff and continued to search for the item of clothing anyway. He found it, tugged it on, and proceeded to hurry down the staircase behind Percy. But he crashed into Percy's back at the foot of the staircase. "Ow, Percy, what the…"
"Hey, Perce, Ollie." Charlie looked as though he'd just returned from a quick visit to the Wizarding village.
Oliver's heart dropped through his stomach. Though he had fixed his friendship with Percy—which now seemed stronger—he hadn't told Percy about his feelings for Charlie. It didn't help, though, getting all flustered over the object of his affections with his somewhat-best mate standing right in front of him.
Charlie grinned at Oliver. "You two heading to Hogsmeade?"
"For lunch, if there aren't any further obstacles," Percy said with a pointed look at his sibling.
"Okay, okay, I get it… Mind if I had a word with Oliver?"
Percy's hackles went up.
"It's, er, Quidditch stuff. Totally boring. Loads of stuff you hate, Perce."
Percy looked up at Oliver.
"I'll catch up to you, swear," Oliver said. "If you don't go now, we won't stand any chance of grabbing a table."
Percy frowned but gave in. "All right. But don't go spilling any more of my secrets, Charlie!" he growled as he climbed out the portrait hole.
When Oliver glanced at Charlie, he saw that the redhead was grinning. "Oh, that brother of mine… I won't go spilling any other secrets. For now," he added with a wink. "To think, there are still two more of us coming."
"What? You mean there are more Weasleys?"
"Of course. One Weasley for everyone," he joked. Charlie inhaled as he stared at Oliver. "I did want to have a word with you, though, Ollie."
The Keeper gave him a look. "The last time something similar happened, I embarrassed myself and you told me about Percy—I'd rather avoid a repeat unless you mean to actually talk Quidditch this time."
Charlie pulled a face. "If you gave me a chance, I think it would make up for last time."
Oliver stared at him long and hard before sighing and saying, "All right, then." He walked over to a couch and dropped into it, for once wishing that the common room wasn't devoid of any other Gryffindor.
Charlie groaned and leaned on the back of the couch. "You're more stubborn than you realize, you know that?"
"It's a handy quality," Oliver quipped.
The response made Charlie chuckle. "Ah, Wood… I am sorry about that whole…ehm, mishap."
"You almost cost me my only friend," the younger wizard retorted with raised eyebrows.
"I didn't mean for that to happen. I was trying to look out for Percy, put him first."
"I figured as much. I kind of recall Bill being the same way towards you two years ago."
"Yeah, but that was different," Charlie stated. "He—" Charlie grunted and hanged his head. "He didn't have the same feelings for his younger brother's crush."
Oliver furrowed his brow. "Bill didn't have feelings for Tonks—OH." He blinked, understanding what relation Charlie was trying to demonstrate. "Oh."
"Exactly," Charlie whispered. He glanced at Oliver. "What can I say? You're an adorable little Quidditch brute who's such a softie. And I meant what I said, before the Ravenclaw match. You're better when you're smiling maniacally."
Charlie said it very gently and was looking at Oliver at the time, so it was hard for Oliver not to redden. Oliver could barely form a sentence, either. So he instead yanked on Charlie's collar and pulled his head down a little further. Oliver had never tried kissing with tongues before…but it was fun. A lot of fun.
The Weasley broke away, crimson from the edge of his collar up to the roots of his hair. "Crazy little bugger, aren't you?" he managed around the giggle in his throat.
Oliver laughed. "Well, now I at least know why I felt as though you were haunting me. I really was seeing you every time I turned around."
Charlie leaned forward for another quick peck, but he frowned. "All the time? You do know that I have classes, don't you?"
"But…I always saw you looking at me…"
"True, I stare whenever I'm around you, but—" It dawned on Charlie. "Oh, Tonks! That damned Metamorphmagus witch!"
Well, that explained a lot. Though, Oliver had one thing to say: "We should thank her later."
"Agreed," Charlie confessed before joining Oliver on the couch to seize the golden opportunity of an empty common room…which of course wouldn't be empty forever.
;] I am evil. I know. And I enjoy it. I honestly was not planning this fic to be this long, sheesh…but I'm a Percy/Oliver shipper, so it was horrible of me to write Charlie/Oliver…though I decided in the end that the best thing would've been a Charlie/Oliver/Percy sammich. Which maybe I will write someday. XD Until then, we have this love triangle…partially orchestrated by Tonks? XDDD But yeah, Charlie told Tonks about liking Ollie, and so she took things into her own hands… Pretty amazing considering she didn't even have a cameo! Oh well.
I hope you ate this up, Jo. B)
And to everyone else—review! Thankies.