AN: Hello, everyone. I am soooooo sorry for taking so long to update. I lost my entire book set, so I had nothing to go off of. I've found them now, in my sister's room, so I'm hoping that I will be able to post a new chapter once a week; I'm going to aim for every Monday, just so you know.
As always, I do not own Harry Potter.
When Oliver had said that they would go over strategy, he hadn't been joking. For the next two hours, Annabelle sat between George and Angelina while Wood flipped over card after card of plays and explained each one thoroughly. Annabelle was enjoying herself, having previously not known anything about Quidditch, but none of her friends seemed to share her excitement. Fred, who was sitting on an ottoman, was leaning against the wall with his eyes closed. Alicia had her wand out and was silently practicing her wand movements under the table, and Katie was listlessly staring off into space.
"So that's what we've got to do," Oliver said loudly, dropping the cards onto the table and looking around at the rest of his team mates. "Are there any questions?"
The only reply was a muffled, growling snore that came from Fred's open mouth. Annabelle stifled a giggle, but Oliver was not impressed.
"Oi!" he yelled. He flung his cards across the table, hitting Fred in the throat. Fred let out a gross hacking sound, and sat up abruptly, clutching at his neck. He glared at Oliver and opened his mouth to say something, but the Gryffindor captain beat him to it. "What is wrong with you lot? Do you want to lose the cup again this year?"
"No, Oliver," Katie said in what Annabelle assumed was supposed to be a soothing voice. "None of us want to lose the cup."
"Then what in Merlin's name is the problem?" he bellowed, glaring down at them all. "The only one who even listened to anything that I had to say was Annabelle, and she's not even on the bloody team!"
"We all just heard this all in the dressing rooms, Wood!" George yelled back. "Why in the bloody hell would we need to hear it all again?"
In her second week of school, Annabelle had laid in bed listening in while her roommates talked about the boys and their date worthiness. Oliver was one that had been brought up several times, but after much debate, the unanimous vote had been a resounding no.
"He's way too interested in Quidditch," Margie had declared. "Yeah, he's super fit, but he'd never have time for a girlfriend."
"I just wouldn't want to deal with his temper," Alicia had said quietly.
"Does Oliver have a bad temper?" Annabelle asked, lifting her head off of her pillow.
"Yes!" the girls all cried, looking at her like she had just confessed her love for Blast-Ended Skrewts.
"I've never seen him lose his temper before," Annabelle shrugged, lying back down.
"Well, let's hope that it stays that way," Angelina said.
Annabelle had thought that the girls were exaggerating, but watching Oliver now, she saw what they meant. He normally stood head and shoulders over her, but now he seemed much larger, with his shoulders rounded and his hands clenched at his sides. His face was twisted in a mask of anger, and was bright red. Spit flew from his mouth when he spoke.
"Because we need to be prepared!" he roared. "How do any of you lot expect to win at all this year if we're not ready? We've only got a month before the season starts!"
"And I'm sure they'll all be ready," Annabelle spoke up.
Katie and Alicia looked across the table at Annabelle in horror as Oliver turned on her, looking surprised.
"What?" he asked, having finally stopped yelling.
"They'll all be ready, Oliver," Annabelle said, standing up from her chair. "From what I hear, the team was really good last year; with a bit of training, they'll be better, but you can't blame them for today. That was something out of everyone's control."
Oliver looked at her, his mouth working silently for a minute, and then sank into his chair.
"Alright," he said, finally. "Everyone can clear off now."
The team didn't wait to hear it again; everyone jumped to their feet and made a beeline to their dormitories. Annabelle remained where she was, looking down at Oliver in his chair.
"What was that?" she asked.
"I just lost it for a minute," Oliver shrugged. "I don't know; I just…I just really need to win the Cup this year."
"Well, making your team hate you is probably not going to help you," she smirked. "Just loosen up a bit, and everything will be fine. Come on, let's go to the library; I know that you've got a lot of studying to do."
Oliver grimaced at the thought. He hated doing schoolwork, but he also knew that if he didn't do well in his classes, that he would be kicked off the Quidditch team, so grudgingly, he got up and went to get his books.
Annabelle was three milliseconds away from murdering Oliver Wood. Every time she would put her head down to work on her own essay, he would come up with another question about his own homework, and Annabelle was forced to help him.
"You're really smart," Oliver complimented after she had come to his rescue the seventh time. "Did you already learn this at Beauxbatons?"
"No," Annabelle said stiffly. "No, I just do a lot of reading."
"About Billywigs?" He scoffed.
"Yes," Annabelle replied. "I like Magical Creatures."
Oliver stared at her for a moment in disbelief, and then shook his head with a snort. "I never really had you pegged as the nerd type, Delacour," he said as he leaned back down to his essay. "But I'm glad that you are; I'm definitely going to get an 'E' on this one."
Annabelle glared at him and opened her mouth to give a smart retort, but she was interrupted by someone clearing their throat loudly behind them. She turned and saw Madame Pince standing behind them with her arms crossed across her bony chest.
"Are you two aware," she hissed at them in a dangerously low voice, "that this just happens to be a library, and that maybe there are people trying to do their work in peace?"
"I'm pretty sure that we're the only ones in here," Oliver replied, talking just as loudly as he had been. "No one really comes into the library, do they? I mean, it's not really the coolest place to hang out."
Madame Pince's nostrils flared dangerously. "Then maybe you can find somewhere else to 'hang out'!" she cried, pointing at the door. "Out you go! OUT!"
"Looks who's being loud now," Oliver said, giving her his most charming grin.
Madame Pince wasn't buying it. "Get out, Mr. Wood! Now!"
"Yes, ma'am!" Oliver packed up his books at record speed. "I'll see you later, Annabelle." And without another word, he was gone.
Madame Pince looked down her long nose at Annabelle. "You too."
"What?" Annabelle asked, shocked. She had never been kicked out of anything before in her life. "But I'm just trying to study!"
"I know, Miss Potter," Madame Pince said in a low voice. "But rules are rules. And it's almost time for dinner, nevertheless. You'd best hurry down to the Dining Hall."
"Yes, ma'am," Annabelle sighed, closing her Herbology book with a dull thud.
As she slowly began to pack her things back into her book back, she noticed that someone was sitting in the shadows, and looking at her. She stopped what she was doing and looked at them. The small, round-faced boy turned away quickly, his face turning a brilliant shade of red as he stared down at his own notes in front of him. Annabelle thought that he looked familiar, but couldn't quite place him. She shrugged and continued to pack her things up.
As Annabelle made her way back to Gryffindor tower, she was plotting how to best dispose of Wood's body once she killed him. She was debating between feeding it to the giant squid in the lake and taking it down to the edge of the Dark Forest late at night and burying it in Hagrid's pumpkin patch when she met Angelina on the stairs. The other girl stared hard at her, looking impressed.
"What are you doing?" Annabelle asked as the stopped in front of the Fat Lady.
"Wattlebird," Angelina said absentmindedly, and the portrait swung open. "What did you do to Wood?"
"I didn't do anything to him," Annabelle replied, thinking of her earlier plans to dispatch the Quidditch Captain. If someone had got to it before her, she wasn't going to be impressed. "Why?"
"Because he's in a good mood!" Angelina gasped as they crossed the Common Room and headed up the stairs to the fourth year girl's dormitory. "Oliver's never in a good mood; let alone after a blow up like the one he had earlier."
"Ha!" Annabelle laughed. "He won't be in such a good mood when I'm done with him."
"Weren't you just with him?" Angelina asked, confused. "Why what did he do?"
"He was talking too loud in the library!" Annabelle explained. Angelina looked at her blankly, so she continued, "And he got me kicked out!"
"I've never been kicked out of the library before!" Annabelle exclaimed, pushing the dormitory door open with a bang. "I'm furious with him."
"You're being ridiculous," Angelina snorted. "It's not that big of a deal."
"But he got me kicked out!" Annabelle cried.
"Whatever," Angelina shrugged, still grinning. "Are you ready for dinner?"
"Oui," Annabelle sighed, giving up on making her friend see her side. "I just wanted to drop off my bag and wash my hands before going down."
"Okay, well hurry up," Angelina said as she plunked herself down onto her bed. "I'm hungry."
Annabelle dropped her bag onto her own bed and then hurried into the bathroom. She scrubbed her hands well, and dried them off with the soft, crimson towel that hung on the wall. She looked at herself in the mirror, and sighed. Her auburn hair was falling down out of the bun that she had put it in that morning and her cheeks were flushed bright red from the exertion of climbing all the stairs. Even after the several weeks of taking them, Annabelle still wasn't used to the amount of steps that she had to take just to get to her classes. She debated whether she should take her hair down and try to fix it, but the gurgling in her stomach made her decide that she didn't really care all that much. She turned on her heel and walked back out of the bathroom.
"Are you ready?" Angelina asked. Annabelle nodded. "Good; let's go."
The Dining Hall was packed, as usual, but the girls managed to find a spot at the table with their friends. Annabelle, who was still annoyed with Oliver, made it a point to sit as far away from him as she possibly could. Everyone was too focused on their food, so Angelina was the only one who noticed; she rolled her eyes with a smirk and sunk down onto the bench beside Katie.
While she filled her plate, Annabelle tried her best to follow the conversation that was going on around her, but it was hopeless. Margie was talking loudly and very quickly, to the point where her words all ran together into a mumbled, jumbled mess that was completely unintelligible, to Annabelle at least. The other girls seemed to have no problem understanding her at all, and were hanging onto her every word with wide, shining eyes, looking as though Christmas had come early.
"What is going on?" Annabelle asked Fred, who was sitting to her right talking to his twin in a low voice.
"Something about some Hufflepuff bloke," Fred replied, turning to look at her over his shoulder.
"It's not just about some Hufflepuff bloke!" Margie cried, glaring at Fred. "It's about Peter Bannman; I'm having a study date with Peter Bannman."
"Who's Peter Bannman?" Annabelle asked, taking a bite of her shepherd's pie.
"Who is Peter Bannman?!" Margie looked like she had swallowed a watermelon whole and was trying to hack it back up. Her face had turned a bright, splotchy red and her eyes were bulging out of her head as she stared at Annabelle. "He's only about the best looking guy in our year!"
"Hey!" George cried indignantly, his hands on his hips. "I take offense to that!"
"Oh, shut up, Weasley," Margie snapped at him before turning her attention back to Annabelle. "Seriously, how do you not know who Peter Bannman is?"
"I've only been here for two months," Annabelle replied. "I don't know everyone yet." Not that she could possibly remember everyone who attended Hogwarts anyway, there were way too many people.
"That's no excuse!" Margie hissed. "You don't have to know everyone; just the really important ones."
"Come on, Margie," Oliver butted in. "Leave Anna alone; she's trying to eat."
Margie looked at Annabelle and shook her head slowly, but didn't say another word. Instead, she got up. "I have to go; I'll see you guys after, okay?" Without waiting for a reply, she walked away from the table. Annabelle sighed and returned to her food.
"Are you not going to thank me for saving you?" Oliver asked, leaning across the table.
Annabelle looked at him with a raise eyebrow and turned away without answering.
"She's not talking to you," Angelina stated with a grin.
"What?" Oliver looked at Angelina and then turned back to stare confusedly at Annabelle. "Why not?"
"Because you got her kicked out of the library," Angelina explained.
Oliver snorted at that and shook his head, while Fred and George Weasley abandoned their conversation and turned to stare at Annabelle in horror.
"You can't be serious?" George deadpanned.
"What? Annabelle asked, looking at him.
"There are a lot of good reasons not to talk to Wood," George replied. "But because he got you kicked out of the library? That's not one of them."
"He got me kicked out!" Annabelle cried, laying her fork down. "Of the library; who gets kicked out of the library?"
"Everyone has," Alicia laughed. "It's not that big of a deal."
"It is to me."
"Who would have thought that little Annabelle Delacour was a priss?" Fred asked, looking down at Annabelle with a smirk.
"Um, anyone who pays her any attention," Olivia said quietly. "Just look at her."
Annabelle, along with everyone else sitting around her, looked down at herself. She didn't see anything, but apparently everyone else did.
"I guess I see your point," Fred sighed. "To think, I'm friends with a good person." He shuddered, as though it was something revolting.
"Just think about it, though," Oliver said cheerfully. "Whenever you need someone to help you study, you can just go to Annabelle."
Annabelle smirked and shook her head. The rest of the group continued to talk about her and the god use they could put her to, so she started to look around the rest of the table, doing the one thing that she promised herself that she wouldn't do. She frowned when she saw Hermione Granger sitting alone at the end of the table.
"Where are you going?" Angelina asked, watching as Annabelle stood up and packed up her things.
"I'm going to sit with Hermione," Annabelle replied.
"Don't go," Oliver said quickly. "We didn't mean to offend you."
"I'm not offended, you idiot," she replied. "She's just all alone, and looks like she could use a friend."
They looked down the table to where Hermione was sitting, trying to eat as she read a book that was propped open against a jug of pumpkin juice. When they looked back, Annabelle was gone.
"Bonsoir," Annabelle said, sliding down onto the bench beside Hermione.
"Hello," Hermione replied, looking up from her book in surprise. "If you're looking for Harry, he's not here."
"I'm not," Annabelle replied, pulling one of her own books out of her bag. "I saw that you were sitting alone, and thought that I would join you."
"You don't have to," Hermione said, sounding slightly sad. "You don't have to be nice to me; you can go back and sit with your friends if you want to."
"I don't want to," Annabelle said quickly. "They're being idiots."
"They are just typical teenagers," Annabelle explained. "They think it's funny that I am - what did Fred say? - a priss."
"A priss?" Hermione looked up at the older girl. "What does that mean?"
"Someone who enjoys the library, and obeys the rules," Annabelle said with a grin. "Someone like me, I suppose."
"And me," Hermione replied. "I guess I'm a priss, as well."
"Where is Harry?" Annabelle questioned after a moment. "And Ron?"
"Detention," Hermione replied. "For the flying car thing."
"Ah, oui," Annabelle shook her head. "I had forgotten about that. Idiots."
Hermione grinned and returned to her book.