There was a rule that the quidditch players had to follow. This rule was unknown to the rest of the school and those that knew of it were either the players themselves or the friends of the players. I fell into the second category.
The rule was that the quidditch players had to maintain and average of passing in every single one of their classes or else they were pulled out of the team. There were no exceptions. It was a rule enforced by every teacher and even Snape had pulled Flint from the team when he missed the average by one mark on a test. Slytherin had lost that year and Snape never allowed Flint to forget it.
If that had happened to someone on the Gryffindor team then Professor McGonagall would be the least of anyone's worries. No they'd have to deal with much worse. Wood would've come for their head.
That was why we; Alicia, Lee and I were sat in the library, finishing off our essays. Alicia somehow managed to create a balance between school, quidditch and having fun and as a result she was always able to maintain at least a passing mark.
Lee on the other hand was a different story. He struggled to maintain a balance because he was busy helping the Weasley twins with their latest prank. Although he wasn't on the quidditch team the same rule had been extended to Lee wherein if he did not achieve an average of a passing mark he would not be able to continue to be the commentator.
He had been the one to ask me to shout at him whenever he tried to leave his seat and put off his essay. But yet he was the one that pouted and was angry with me when I did exactly what he had asked. Honestly. But it seemed as to be working because he had not tried to leave for the last ten minutes and from the looks of it his essay was nearing completion. I turned my attention back to my own essay.
I neared the end of my paragraph when Lee announced, "I'm finished!" He began to frantically back all of his things up frantically and then looked back to Alicia and I, "Can I go now?"
We rolled our eyes but nodded at him anyway. That was all that Lee needed as he gathered everything in his arms and rose from his seat. He turned and practically sprinted out of the library and left Alicia and I alone. We returned to our respective work and I finished my essay as well.
"Go ahead without me," Alicia said without looking up at me. "I've still got a while left until I've finished and there's no point in you waiting for me."
Closing the lid of my ink well and gathering up my parchment I glanced over at her. "Alright then, I guess I'll see you in the common room then."
She barely looked up and nodded as I put everything into my bag. Slinging my bag over my shoulder I picked up the textbook I had been using and headed over to the Transfiguration section to return it. Finding the place where I had gotten the book from, I put it back and turned to leave when I spotted a piece of paper on the floor beside the bookshelf.
I picked up the paper and read the initials scrawled messily across the folded corner. OW. Oliver Wood?
Opening the paper up I rolled my eyes as I took in its contents. Quidditch plays. Of course if it was Oliver then it was almost always going to be quidditch. I swear, that boy lived and breathed quidditch. Exiting the library I folded the parchment back up again and put it into my pocket.
Making my way through the corridor and towards the common room I adjusted my heavy school bag on my shoulder. Entering the common room I tried to spot Wood and found him sitting beside the twins in the middle of the common room. Walking over to them I pulled the parchment out from my pocket and held it out to Wood.
"Is that a love letter?" Fred teased from beside Wood.
"As if," I said. "It's something that Wood left in the library."
Reaching forward to take the paper from me, Wood opened it and looked over it. Instant relief swept across his face. "Thanks lass."
Seeing that Wood was distracted the two Weasleys took the opportunity to slip away from him without him noticing. I glanced back at Wood.
"Are those the plays for the next match against Ravenclaw?" I asked curiously and he nodded. I chewed my bottom lip, wondering whether or not to say what was on my mind. If I did then it would be like waking a sleeping lion. "Can I give you some advice then?"
"Of course you can." His tone was amused, as though he was indulging a child. I narrowed my eyes. Well it looked like I was going to wake a sleeping lion.
"Look over your plays again. They're not going to work."
With that I turned to leave him and my eyes instantly landed on the pair of twins who were holding Trevor in their hands. I let out a sigh as I watched them try to force feed him something. They never learned did they?
"Put Trevor down," I said warningly, marching over to them.
The twins froze instantly, letting go of Trevor in the process. They stuffed their invention into their pockets and I knew that the only way that I would get the invention now would be to stick my hands into their pockets. And that was something that I did not want to do.
Before I could even think about getting their invention from them Wood was standing beside me. His domineering presence was demanding my attention and I turned to look at him. When I found him staring down at me I raised an eyebrow. Well I guess I really had woken the sleeping lion. His eyes were on fire.
"The plays won't work?" He demanded, his Scottish accent becoming even thicker in his agitation. "Why the hell won't they work?"
He didn't even give me much of a chance to respond before he took my hand and dragged me over to the sofa that he had been previously been occupying. Pushing on my shoulder he made me sit down and sat down beside me.
"Explain," He commanded.
I rolled my eyes but complied anyway. Taking the parchment with the plays from him I set it on my knees and pointed out the flaws in his plays clearly. He might have known quidditch better than I did but when it came down to it most of quidditch could be split down into numbers. Out of the two of us, I was better with numbers.
"So do you see?" I asked when I had finished explaining, "Your plays rely on the Ravenclaw chasers being average but you're severely underestimating them."
"How?" He looked down at the plays again and I sighed. Stubborn man wouldn't acknowledge his faults even now.
"Think about it for a minute. Davies, Boot and Chambers are good. Very good. Something that you seem to forget." I paused as I caught the look of understanding that he now showed. "If your chasers are so close together they'll quickly realise that all they need to do is spread themselves out and they'll overpower the chasers."
"So in order for this particular play to work I need to space the chasers out more?"
"Exactly." I nodded.
"Well, since it seems like you're so good at finding the flaws then what's wrong with these ones?" He asked as he pulled out a small handful of parchment out from his pocket.
Opening another piece of parchment up he slid closer to me on the sofa.
The team were playing against Ravenclaw and for some reason I felt personally more invested in this game than I had in the others. Maybe it was because I had helped the team captain to come up with the plays.
"GRYFFINDOR!" The scream that left Neville's throat shocked me out of my thoughts. Returning to my surroundings I started to cheer alongside Neville and looked up into the pitch.
Angie and Katie weaved through the bludgers that the Ravenclaw beaters send their way as the opposing chasers tried to steal the quaffle from Katie. They faked to the left and Ally came speeding on her broom through the middle, seemingly from nowhere. Katie passed to Ally, using the bludgers as a covering in order to make sure that she caught the pass. But then when she approached the hoops Ally passed effortlessly to Angie and they scored another goal.
The whole point of the play had been to confuse the Ravenclaw chasers and beaters. It appeared to have worked. A smile made its way onto my face and I cheered even louder. They were using my plays. It was one of the ones that Wood had let me create on my own.
My cheering was cut short as I hear Wood shout, "Stop being a gentleman Potter. Knock her off of her broom."
Scrambling for my wand I pulled it out of my pocket and cast a quick sonorous charm. "Harry James Potter," I said warningly. "Don't you dare listen to him!"
The game gradually drew to a close with Harry catching the snitch. Gryffindor had won with an overwhelming 200 to 40. A deafening cheer erupted from the Gryffindor side at the result. Slowly people began to leave the stand and I walked towards the changing rooms. By now it was a custom for me to sneak into the changing room after a match and congratulate the girls.
I walked towards the girls changing room when two sets of hands emerged from behind the boys changing room door and pulled me in. Looking on either side of me I let out a sigh at the sight of the twins.
"Here she is boys," Fred announced, turning me around to face the rest of the team.
"The lady of the hour," And George finished, clapping a hand on my shoulder.
I quickly looked around the changing room, taking in the Gryffindor boys in their varying stages of undress. Turning red at the sight of the still shirtless, beaming keeper I turned my head and went straight for the door. The twins made no comment and went to let me pass but I was soon stopped.
"Where do you think you're going?" The Scottish brogue was thick as he asked me the question almost immediately.
I turned around to lock eyes with the keeper, making a point to not let my eyes wander anywhere else on him.
"In case you've failed to realise it, I'm a girl. This is the boy's changing room and I can't be in here."
With that I moved to open the door but the twins now stood in front of it. I narrowed my eyes on them but they were clearly acting on their captain's silent orders.
"I think everyone knows that you're a girl lass." He said with a laugh and I couldn't help but hear that as a laugh daring me to try and get past the two beaters by the door.
With a sigh I turned to look back at the twins who raised their hands defensively.
"Before you attack us," they said, "We've got some good news for you."
Wood made his way towards the door and approached me, "We'd like to welcome you to the team as our official play maker."
I turned to frown at him and he furrowed his eyebrows at my facial expression. "As grateful as I am that you think that I'm good enough to be the 'official play maker' I'd rather not be the play maker."
"Excuse me?" He was incredulous.
"I just don't want to be on the team," I said with a shrug.
Wood's eyes flashed as though he was accepting a challenge. A challenge that I was stupid enough to give him. "Why not lass? You know you're really-"
"Oh be quiet, you leprechaun."
There was a hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his lips. "Leprechauns are Irish."
"I know that. But I don't know what the Scottish equivalent is." I sighed, I was getting off track. "But that's beside the point."
"And what is the point then?"
Straightening up, I narrowed my eyes at him. "I know exactly what you're trying to do Wood. You think that because you made your accent thicker I'm going to melt like all of the other girls. Well that doesn't work on me." I jabbed a finger at his chest and pulled it back as if I had been scalded when I realised that he still wasn't wearing a shirt.
Why couldn't he just put on a shirt?
"You're on the team lass so just deal with it."
"Alright," I agreed. "Then I quit. So now I'm off of the team."
"You're not off of the team unless the captain says so. And I don't say you're off of the team." He sent me a smug look as if he thought that he had won. Well then, he had another thing coming.
"Just give up," Harry advised when it became obvious that I was going to keep arguing with Wood. "You won't be able to win this one."
I ignored him and crossed my arms over my chest. "There's no such thing as a play maker anyway!"
The argument continued for the next two hours while the rest of the team dressed and left the changing room until we were the only two left.
Wood had won the argument and now I was subjected to his quidditch rants. The rest of the team loved me because it meant that they no longer had to stay in the common room until 2am and listen to him. Instead I was the one in the common room until 2am. The only one.
He always had a knack for knowing when would be the worst times for him to approach me and this time was no exception. I had been talking to the girls when I caught sight of his approach from the corner of my eye. I managed to smother the reflex of sighing as I convinced myself that he could simply be walking passed me.
But he didn't. Of course he didn't.
He stopped beside the sofa that I was sitting on and looked down at me. "Come on lass." His accent now seemed to be constantly thick. But thankfully I was unaffected by the accent. It would be too heard to work with him if I was constantly melting whenever he opened his mouth to speak.
Rising from my seat I followed him to an isolated corner of the common room. Settling down so that I was comfortable I glanced up at him knowing that we would be here for a while. Wood sat down beside me and set pieces of parchment out before me.
Taking my time to scan over each of the plays he'd created carefully, I became acutely aware of his eyes on my face. I rubbed at my cheek self-consciously. Did I have something on my face? He chuckled quietly. I decided to pass it off as him simply being weird and got down to business.
"These plays are all defensive. Personally, I think that our defence is stronger than our offence. I mean we do have Fred and George as our beaters." He was looking at me strangely again. "What?"
He shook his head, smiling slightly. "It's nothing. Did you know that I'm the only person on the team that you call by their last name?"
I thought it over quickly. "I guess you're right Oliver. I didn't realise." Looking down at the parchment in my hands, I studied the formation. "So for this one to work-"
"Hello Olly," Fred said appearing beside us.
The twins both squished in beside us, pushing Oliver and I closer together. I shifted uncomfortably, feeling the entire length of my side press against Oliver's.
Oliver screwed his eyes shut in annoyance at the nickname. "Don't call me that."
"Why not?" I asked quietly still looking down at the plays before me
"Well, Miss play maker," George began, demanding all of my attention as he snatched the parchment from my hands. "Our dear captain Olly here has a great aunt Agnes that pinched his cheeks and called him that whenever she saw him."
"How old were you when she did that?" I asked turning to look at him.
"She still does that," he muttered avoiding my eyes as a flush crept up his neck.
"Oh hush lass." He placed a finger to my lip and I looked away to hide the almost indistinguishable red tint to my cheeks. So maybe his accent did affect me. But I'd rather die than have him figure that out.
Oliver was relentless when it came to making sure that everything was perfect for the upcoming matches. He had gone to the extent of sending a first year girl up to my dorm to wake me up. He'd sent her for two reasons. The first being that he couldn't climb the stairs himself as they'd change into a slope and the second being that because she was a first year I wouldn't chew her out.
That was the reason that I was trudging through the school beside him, still half awake. He dragged me into the great hall and made sure that I ate some breakfast. But really, I was still half asleep. Why would I want to eat whilst I was half asleep? When he was satisfied that I had eaten enough he stood and used my hand to drag me to the library.
"Come on," he urged when I tried to stop.
Letting out a sigh I followed him into the library and to a table. Sitting down at the table we pulled out our essays. We weren't even looking at the plays right now. I was certain that helping him maintain an average passing mark wasn't my concern but I did the smart thing and kept my mouth shut.
As I got to work, I couldn't help but glance up at him every so often. His eyes were trained onto the words before him, his brows furrowed in concentration and he bit the side of his mouths almost constantly. This concentration was different to the type that he gave to quidditch and I had to admit that I found this level of concentration more endearing.
"Did you need something lass?" He looked up, meeting my eyes and I almost started.
"Um, yeah. Can you pass me some parchment please Olly," I said thinking quickly, only to then wince when I realised what I had just called him. "I'm sorry I-"
"It's alright," he insisted to cut off my stammering. He passed me a piece of parchment. "You can call me Olly."
I looked at him curiously knowing that he hated that nickname. It made no sense for him to have given me the consent to call him a nickname that he hated.
"Lass?" His voice alerted me of my staring.
"Get on with your essay. We've got a practice later."
I groaned and rubbed my hands across my face, "Do I need to be there for this practice?"
He gave me a look, raising his eyebrows, "What do you think?"
I had taken to reading in my dorm room because whenever Oliver saw me in the common room he would approach me to talk tactics. But lately he approached me to talk about whatever came to mind. Whilst I had no problem with talking to him, in fact I liked talking to him it was just that I spent so much time with him that I was falling behind.
The dorm room was the only place where he couldn't come and find me. He was also unable to send girls up to come and wake me at the crack of dawn because it ended up waking my other roommates, Angie and Ally. They had been quick to put an end to that. They had marched up to Oliver and told him in no uncertain words that if he sent someone else to barge into our room then they would leave the team effective immediately.
He had wisely stopped sending people up.
I looked up at the sound of the door opening and saw Alicia walk into the room. Turning back to my book I felt the bed dip as she sat down on the edge of the bed. Looking up at her I waited for her to speak.
"Alright spill," she commanded and I turned my attention back to my book.
"What are you talking about Ally?" I asked as I turned the page.
"I want to know what's going on between you and Oliver." She said as she snatched the book from my hand. Closing the book she threw it across the room so that it landed on her bed.
"I was just at the good part." I complained, looking at the book lying on her pillow.
"Answer the question woman!" She said firmly and I looked back at her with a sigh.
"Nothing that you're thinking." I insisted when she rolled her eyes. "We're making plays or staying up to talk about tactics."
"Of course you are." Angie spoke up, her tone was disbelieving.
"Seriously, I'm just helping him make and fix the plays." I crossed my hands over my chest. "What's the big deal anyway? You already knew that."
"Yes of course," she said with a smirk. I rolled my eyes, her smirk told me that she had picked up on a double meaning that didn't exist. "Quidditch plays."
"Yes just quidditch plays."
"You can't expect me to believe that the two of you stay up until 2am or even later and just talk about quidditch?"
"No not just quidditch." I amended.
"See!" Ally said her eyes wide.
"But we just talk!"
"Whatever," she said with a knowing smile. "When you announce your relationship publically you better make sure you tell me first."
"Ally, Angie you're both so annoying," I muttered growing tired of her insistence that something was going on.
Rising from my bed I headed for the door, picking up my discarded book on the way. I walked out of the dorm room wondering of the likelihood of me getting some peace in the common room. Heading down into the common room I found the twins and Olly sitting on the sofa.
"Angie and Ally are driving me mental," I complained as I sat between George and Olly. I put my book in my lap, contemplating trying to pick up where I had left off from.
"Why?" Olly asked as he looked at me, putting his stack of new plays to the side.
I stared up at the ceiling, "They're convinced that there's something going on between the two of us and that we're hiding it." I was aware of the look that the two twins shared but made no comment on it.
"And did you tell them that there was nothing happening between us?"
"Of course I did," I said turning my attention from the ceiling to the boy beside me.
"So you told them that you're helping me with quidditch plays?"
"Yeah but they know that anyway."
"Let me guess; they took it as an innuendo.
I scoffed, "Obviously."
"Alright." He straightened up in his seat. "Well did you tell them that we're going to Hogsmeade together this weekend then?"
"Yes – wait. What?" I looked at him wide eyed
"Great," he said as he stood from his seat and gathered his things. He looked down at me before dropping a quick kiss on my cheek, "So I guess I'll meet you in the great hall then?"
I nodded, still shocked and he walked up into the boys dorm. When he was out of sight I looked at the two twins who were giggling like little girls beside me.
"What in the name of all things magical just happened?"
Fred managed to stop his giggling before George did and composed himself. He smirked at me. "It looks like our fearless leader finally gathered up the courage to ask you out."
"What are you talking about? Finally?"
He made no effort to answer me and George cleared his throat to catch his twin's attention. When Fred looked over at him he held his hand out and Fred reached over into his pocket and set some money in George's palm. When he looked over at me I raised an eyebrow, silently demanding an explanation.
"Fred bet that he would just grab you and song you senseless during one of your planning sessions." George shrugged. "I guess he didn't know how much of a coward our captain secretly is."
I was nervous. I had to admit that I didn't think that I would be but I was. When I had finished eating breakfast I was rushed out of the great hall by Ally and Angie who had announced that they had spotted Olly waiting for me by the doors. And there he was.
His back was turned towards me so he couldn't see my approach or the two girls walking on either side of me. I stopped walking and they did the same.
"Guys I'll be fine," I said quietly, "It's just Oliver."
"Exactly," Angie said as if it meant something, "It's Oliver."
"Alright," Ally said setting a hand onto Angie's arm, "We'll go now but you have to tell us everything afterwards. Deal?"
When I nodded the two girls turned to walk ahead of me. They walked passed Oliver and out of the doors. They made their way towards the carriages and when they had disappeared from my line of sight I made my way towards Oliver slowly. He still hadn't noticed me when I was standing behind him. I tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around to face me. He looked sort of nervous as well.
"I thought you were going to stand me up," he admitted with a slight smile.
"Why?" I asked tilting my head slightly. "If I had stood you up then everything would be awkward between us and that wouldn't work. Especially because we need to work together and I help you to plan out the quidditch-"
He cut me off. But not with his words. His lips had slanted over mine the moment the word quidditch had left my lips. It was a peck and no more than that. But even so it was enough to silence me. He pulled back and I looked up at him in surprise.
"I don't want to hear the word quidditch leave your mouth today," he said as an explanation.
My eyebrows shot up in surprise when I heard his words. This was Oliver Wood, right?
"Are you feeling alright? I mean you of all people don't want to hear the word quidditch-"
He kissed me again. This one lasting longer than the first and he seemed to hesitate for a while before pulling back. When he did pull back though he looked down at me with an eyebrow raised, his eyes dancing in amusement.
"Are you going to say the word quidditch again lass?" He asked quietly, not having put that much space between the two of us when he pulled away. I shook my head and he laughed quietly, "That's a shame. I think I'd like to keep shutting you up like this."
He pulled away from me more and smiled down at me. I bit down on my bottom lip.
"Olly? Fred said that you were planning on kissing me during one of our qui-" He raised an eyebrow at me and I cleared my throat. "One of our planning session."
Contribute a better translation
"I was," he admitted. "But I couldn't work up the nerve. But who knows? I might have to keep tricking you into saying the word quidditch over and over again today."