if it will be, it will be with you
fandom: harry potter
characters/pairings: katie bell, oliver wood, fred & george weasley, angelina johnson/katiexoliver, angelinaxgeorge
setting: from her childhood through her time at Hogwarts and beyond
summary: 'against her better judgement, katie allowed herself to smile.' katie-centric, featuring a lot of katie/oliver and angelina/george. hogwarts & beyond. a series of drabbles.
a/n: i tried to stick to canon as much as possible, but some of the minor details may be a little muddled for the purposes of good storytelling. inspiration from 'truth' by bloc party
She was eleven (and ecstatic, naïve and freckled) when she felt pain for what must have been the first time, for nothing could compare to the knotted, searing agony ringing through her ears. Katie felt something wet trickle down her face. She swiped her hand across the trail of blood and emitted a soft gasp at the crimson staining her fingertips.
Charlie Weasley saw her spiral sideways; tumbling off of her broom towards the ground. "Oliver!" he hollered across the pitch.
A fourteen year old boy with sandy brown hair and hands that could probably catch bullets nose-dived on his broom and caught her seconds before she became embedded into the grass of the Quidditch pitch.
A whistle was blown, and all thirty or so Gryffindors trialling for the team and the spectators rushed towards the scene.
"Get her to the hospital wing." was the last complete sentence Katie heard. After that, her hearing- and consciousness- was fragmented.
"Which one of you two idiots…"
"It wasn't meant to hit her, Charlie…"
"Fred and I'll get her some chocolates or something from Honeydukes as an apology."
"You right to carry her, Wood?"
"Nah, it's fine. Carry on trialling without me."
When Madame Pomfrey's words- shrill, astounded, censorious- pierced the quiet atmosphere of the Hospital Wing, Katie woke.
"What in Merlin's name were you boys thinking? Letting a poor girl trial for the team."
"Honestly Miss, there wasn't much stopping her."
Katie sat up straight, only to become aware of a pounding in the side of her head.
"Pretty agile for someone who just took a bludger to her ear." Oliver grinned.
"Don't you go endorsing this sort of behaviour, Wood. Mark my words, I'll be having a word with Minerva about this…dear, are you alright?"
Nodding her head dismissively, Katie aimed her response at Oliver. "Does that mean I miss the trials? I didn't get in, did I?" she sighed rather dejectedly.
"Don't worry about it. First years rarely get a fair trial anyway, but from what I heard Charlie was pretty impressed. Your Quidditch career isn't over yet. That is, if you can still hear."
Against her better judgement, Katie allowed herself to smile.
She was twelve (so nervous, so trembling, so out of her league) when she wore the Gryffindor robes for the first time.
"Okay, men." Oliver began.
"And women." Angelina interjected.
"And women." Oliver cast his gaze to Katie, then to Harry- the two newcomers. "This is it."
Fred and George took it upon themselves to take over from there, and she managed a smile despite the overall queasiness in her stomach.
She was hit in the back of her head by a bludger no more than two minutes into the game.
"Katie!" Oliver roared. "Keep yourself steady!"
They were words of encouragement; Katie reminded herself, not questions of her competence.
She was determined to prove herself anyway.
She was fourteen (far too skinny, far too argumentative, far too one-of-the-boys to ever be someone's girlfriend) when she had her first kiss.
If it even counted.
It was New Years', and as the clock struck midnight George descended on her, firewhisky in hand and clashed his lips against hers in a harmless, friendly peck.
"Here's to another year of getting our heads bashed in, Katie!" he laughed and Katie, overcoming her initial shock, managed to explode a cracker that Oliver chucked across the common room to her close enough to George's ear to deafen him for a few minutes.
She was just fifteen- only just- when she tasted victory for the first time (firewhisky, crimson icing and rich, brown soil).
The first goal was hers, when she was close-to-tossed off of her broom to land face first in the pitch by a particularly nasty emerald-clad chaser and was awarded a penalty shot.
She heard the roars, and Oliver's voice stood out amongst them all. Katie swooped past him whilst finding her position on the pitch.
"You're not going to have a voice left if you continue like that, you know." she teased breathlessly, preparing herself to be reprimanded for taking her focus off of the game.
"Something tells me I'm not going to need it. Get back in the game, go on!"
When the snitch was in Harry's hands, he came hurtling towards her first. And Katie swore that when they grounded themselves and they were exchanging congratulations, he clung on to her for just a moment too long.
Any notion of romance as lost, however, when they returned to the common room and their faces were shoved in a large, scarlet cake.
The icing was almost as sweet as the taste of winning.
She was still fifteen when she began to understand change- (uninvited, unwelcome, unavoidable)- change.
Angelina owled her to inquire whether she'd been made Quidditch captain and whether nor not she was attending the World Cup.
No to the first, yes to the second, Katie replied diligently.
She wondered if she'd see Oliver at the Cup.
Thousands of wizarding folk attended.
She was again fifteen (a listless, endless age) when George asked her to the Yule Ball.
Katie wore silver. She knew it wouldn't clash with his hair.
"So why aren't you here with Ang?" she inquired innocently as he violently twirled her around, and she laughed he did so.
"Fred knew I wouldn't ask her. And he also knew I wouldn't want anyone else to." he replied matter-of-factly, and Katie was almost tempted to laugh at his logic.
"Well, no." George admitted. "Not quite. But not entirely tactless either, and I think that's where the brilliance lies. Oliver asked about you, by the way."
Katie's eyes snapped into focus, suddenly not so distracted by the magnificent ice sculptures. "What's that?"
"We write him every now and then. Ask him about the big leagues and all that. He was wondering if your head was still in one piece since we haven't played any Quidditch this year."
Katie was beaming for the rest of the night, and it wasn't because of the tinsel.
She was seventeen when she first felt the darkness (inexorable, terrible, plentiful).
The ward in St. Mungo's was unrecognisable, stark white and far too sterile. It was foreign enough to make her yearn for the nights spent in the Hogwarts hospital wing.
The questions were the worst, because there was a great big black pit in her head where she couldn't remember anything and no one seemed to understand that (not even herself).
Leanne owled her, as did a few others- Harry Potter amongst them- but it was all ineffective as a distraction.
Until one day, she fiddled on the wireless, and came across a radio play-by-play update of the Puddlemere United match.
He only let in three goals on his debut match.
She was nineteen (so young, so frantic, so stupid) when she killed someone.
There was a flash of green light and Colin Creevey in his blond-haired glory had stood on his own two feet for the last time.
Whipping around, she fired a curse at the boy (the boy, just a boy!)'s assailant. Nott stumbled backwards, having been so cocky to have been unsuspecting of the damage Katie was capable of causing. With another flick of her wand, his head slammed into the castle wall and he slumped to the ground.
A drop of blood trickled from the crown of his hairline, and Katie forced herself to look away.
Ten minutes later, with the voice of You-Know-Who echoing in her mind, she was confronted with the task of removing Colin Creevey's corpse from harm's way.
"Let me do it." A voice gasped from behind her, and Oliver was gently pushing her aside.
For a fleeting moment, Katie's eyes stung with tears. Grief, guilt or relief- she wasn't entirely sure, but she was certain that it wasn't the time to figure out.
She wiped her eyes and followed him into the Great Hall, fearful for who else she might or might not find there.
She was still nineteen (hopeless and yet hopeful; clueless and yet more conscious than ever before) when he saw her cry for the first time.
She thinks she might have gotten through Fred's funeral if she hadn't caught sight of George's expression.
Angelina was standing by his side. Oliver joined them as Katie and Alicia walked over to offer their condolences .Harry split from Ginny, Ron and Molly upon seeing them all and was there within seconds.
The last time they'd stood together was after their win in the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup.
Such a shallow, insignificant victory.
Harry said what the words wouldn't when he tapped the coffin with his wand. The mahogany surface was soon engraved with a tiny Gryffindor emblem.
As the service drew to a close, Katie turned to Oliver with tears brimming in her eyes, threatening to spill. "This isn't what winning is meant to feel like." she whispered bitterly.
Winning was meant to taste like firewhisky, crimson icing and rich, brown soil.
She was twenty-one (learning that time healed all wounds as she trained to be a healer) and he was twenty-four when they met again.
"Before you ask, I only took a job as a Quidditch correspondent to pay my way through Healer training." Katie admitted sheepishly.
"I didn't ask." Oliver replied bemusedly, with a hint of the grin she'd never forget.
"And these are the questions the newspaper told me to ask you. Believe me when I say I could come up with better."
"I trust you, Katie. Get on with it, so we can talk about more important things, like the only reason you've owled me in the last eighteen months is because your job required you to." He was joking, but Katie couldn't find it within herself to laugh.
"Is it a burden to be the youngest ever coach of the English national Quidditch team? Do you believe people expect better results from you because of your age?"
Oliver took a sip of his butterbeer, snatched Katie's notebook from her hands and placed it on the countertop of the bar they were sitting at. "I'll fill out proper answers for you later. That should satisfy the Prophet alright. Don't tell me you can't think of anything better to talk about than that rubbish."
Katie smiled wanly. "I figured I'd be seeing you at George and Angelina's wedding soon enough anyway. It was only a matter of time, right?"
"Right." Oliver agreed passively. "Have you got a date, then?"
"To the wedding!"
"Course not." Katie laughed. "I told you, I'm training to be a Healer. It hardly leaves much time for anything else. Quidditch included, before you ask."
"Great, so why don't you and I go together?"
"What, like…as your date?" Katie replied, her smile fading into an inquisitive expression.
"Bit slow on the uptake? I knew that bludger to the head would have lasting damage. Yes, as my date." Oliver said slowly, taking another sip of his butterbeer.
Katie bit her lip, shaking her head softly before chuckling. "Alright. Yeah, I'd love to."
She was still twenty-one (conflicted, and yet content) when she danced with a man for the second time in her life. "Any reason as to why you waited ten years after meeting me to ask me on a date?" Katie murmured.
"Merlin, has it really been long?" Oliver muttered under his breath. "Ten years." he repeated.
Katie looked across to the dancefloor to where George was finally getting his dance with Angelina, and back to Oliver, who seemed to be contemplating his answer.
"Probably because I was hit in the side of my head with a bludger when I was eleven."
A/N: Thank you for reading :-)