A/N: Hullo everyone and anyone reading this. This, is the long awaited chapter which isn't actually the entirety of the chapter, as the ninth and tenth are Parts 1 and 2, respectively. Thanks so much to everyone who's reviewed up to this point, and I hope dearly that you'll continue to enjoy this fic. As a point of interest, this fic WILL be finished soon. I know where I'm going, and so you CAN expect regular updates once a week. That's my promise to you. And if I don't keep it...well, you can spam me with abuse at my livejournal. Thanks again everyone.

Chasing Oliver

Chapter Nine : Mending Part I.

(And) Every time you feel like crying,

I'm gonna try and make you laugh,

And if I can't, If it just hurts too bad,

Then we'll wait for it to pass,

And I will keep you company for those days so long and black.

[Bowl of Oranges: Bright Eyes]

"I hate flying," Hermione Granger informed Caoilin NicBrádaigh quite passionately on Wednesday night after dinner. The girls had returned to their dorm, Caoilin trying to keep a safe distance from the gossiping first years. Hermione didn't seem to get the hint. Not that it bugged Caoilin too much; the bushy haired younger girl had been quite a good companion over her time at Hogwarts.

"Why do we all have to have flying lesson once a week?" She continued complaining and flopped down onto her bed, to the right of Caoilin's, where she was sitting cross-legged upon the quilt. "It's not a proper subject; it's just an excuse for the boys to show off."

Caoilin smirked "It's not all that bad Hermione, flying can be fun you know."

Hermione made a noise quite like a snort and sat up. "Easy for you to say, you played for Ireland,"

"Flying isn't all about Quidditch, even I'll say that. You've got to learn how to, really. It's a good form of transportation, if you can't be bothered Apparating, or going via floo," Caoilin said, undoing her braided hair for it to hang loose over her thin shoulders.

"Ahuh," Hermione still wasn't convinced. Various conflicting emotions passed over her small face before she replied "I suppose I should give it another chance. It is an assessable subject after all."

"Good on you," Caoilin said encouragingly, getting up from her bed to gather her things for a shower.

Caoilin awoke early Thursday morning, after a night of light, restless sleep. She laid on her bed for awhile, looking up at the canopy of her bed. Her green eyes wore tired grey bags underneath as she rubbed at them. She sighed. The past few weeks hadn't been going so well. And quite frankly, Caoilin wasn't very impressed about it, deep down under the layer of indifference she'd be applying liberally to her attitude for weeks as if it were a strict prescription. She wasn't being herself. That's what it came down to, in the end. The lack of self-expression was driving her internally deranged.

This isn't the right way to go about anything, her gut was telling her. It's the easiest way, no one asks questions-they just walk by. It's better this way, her brain reasoned. She considered the conflicting outlooks on her present behaviour, and then allowed herself to listen sparingly to her heart which said, you should've let someone in. Then they could help you. She groaned and rolled over onto her side. This didn't seem to be going to get her anywhere except further into the State of Insanity.

What should I do, she thought to herself over and over like a mantra. Oh screw it, Caoilin eventually decided after minutes of pointless internal confusion, everything was better when I played Quidditch. I'll just go do some drills before breakfast. She hurled herself out of her bed and wrapped her dressing gown over her checked flannel pajamas and pulled on a pair of running shoes before dashing out of Gryffindor tower carrying her broom, in the direction of the Quidditch pitch.

Unaware and in the fifth year Gryffindor boys' dorms, Oliver Wood awoke as Caoilin rushed from the tower. Of course that wasn't why he'd woken up; he was awake for his early morning It's A Week Before The Next Game But Who Cares training session. Everyone knew Oliver was just a bit obsessed with Quidditch but he knew that if anyone caught wind of him training by himself far more than the rest of the team even trained, he'd never hear the end of it. Especially from the Weasley twins. And that was why he trained in secret at the crack of dawn.

He dragged himself out of bed and changed into a pair of jeans and a thick wool jumper, then strode out of the dorm with his racing broom, taking a short cut to the pitch.

Caoilin's shoes hit the stone pathway rhythmically as she rushed out to the pitch. When she arrived, she decided to grab a Quaffle from the storeroom to practice with. The small girl slipped into the unusually open and unlocked room near the locker room.

That's strange, Oliver thought as he approached the storeroom a few minutes after Caoilin had disappeared inside of it, that should really be locked. Perhaps someone's in there. Although no one sprang to mind who would be awake at this hour, let alone in the storeroom, Oliver went in, accidentally closing the door behind him.

"Who's there?" Caoilin called out, turning around from where she was inspecting the barrel of Quaffles in the back corner of the room.

"I'm here-Er- Oliver Wood," Oliver called back, moving further into the room towards the voice. It wasn't such a large room, but in the very early morning dull light, it seemed to be rather dark and dim inside.

"Oh God," Caoilin cursed, throwing the Quaffle she was holding down "Why are you in here," she said accusingly and strode over to him.

"Caoilin NicBrádaigh!" Oliver exclaimed "What the hell are you doing in here?"

"I could ask you the same thing," Caoilin replied, and looked past Oliver toward the door. "Did you shut that? You shouldn't have shut that," she ran past him to the door.

"It must've clicked shut after I came in. No worries, it only locks shut with a simple charm, just get your wand out and we'll be out of here in no time," Oliver said to the obviously flustered girl who was trying to turn the door knob in vain.

"Get yours then,"

"Where's yours?"

"Er-in my dorm,"

"Genius you are, absolute genius,"

"You forgot yours too didn't you,"