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Chapter 2: that caviar is a garnish!
Chapter Two: that caviar is a garnish!
Disclaimer: all JK's or Nora Ephron's.
Confession, I have read pride and prejudice about 200 times. It’s true! I can’t help but love it. I get lost in the language, words that are so evocative of another time and place they are truly magical in a way I have never quite understood. Words like thither, mischance, felicity. I’m always in agony over whether Elizabeth and Mr Darcy are really going to get together, even though I know they are. That is the mark of a good book, isn’t it? Read it. I know you’ll love it.
Oliver remembered that letter vividly. It was one of the first of the year, and they were just getting to know each other, sharing likes, dislikes, interests and disinterests. They have agreed not to share anything revealing, such as their house, their year, their leadership positions (if any). Instead they wrote about silly, meaningless things, and grew increasingly charmed as each letter arrived with the morning post.
He was lying on his bed after the particularly gruelling practice session, clutching pride and prejudice in his right hand, groaning. What a terrible book. He couldn’t even read it. It was absolutely incomprehensible. It was a girls book, that’s what it was.
He exhaled loudly, staring at the canopy of his bed absent-mindedly. It had been a good practice. After he had put his shirt on the team had flown exceptionally well, and he was getting more excited by the minute. Perhaps this really was his year. His team was a good team, he knew it was, and the only thing that had stood between them and the cup in the past years had been a series of unfortunate accidents and mishaps. Potter was a very good flyer, and an excellent seeker, and he was of the opinion that his three chasers were the best in the school. If only luck would be on their side this year, they might get that cup after all.
He groaned again, and picked up the book, flipping to the page he had open. Elizabeth was traipsing across the countryside after her sick sister. What a gripping plotline it is. Why couldn’t Jane Austen write books about guns and fighting and spies? Don’t answer that question, he thought to himself, as he flicked a page without even reading the text.
Ivy got back to the Ravenclaw dormitory, and sighed happily. There was something deeply comforting about the way their common room was set up: all floor to ceiling windows, bright and airy and unconstricting, and deeply magical. Walls of shelves filled with every book known to man, with chairs littered throughout the space and cosy fireplaces to keep everyone warm. In the winter when the rain lashed against the window panes the common room had all the beauty of a wild storm without the downside, namely actually getting wet.
She walked over to the seventh grade pigeon holes, and peeked inside. The little alcove labelled Morton was filled. You’ve Got Mail!
Every morning at 2 a cloud of four emits from the Hogwarts Kitchens, which I can see from my window. It hangs around in the air for hours, and sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I watch it as it billows out and settles, leaving the air milky white. I know what you mean about magical things that you don’t understand or even completely accept.
Ivy laughed, imagining to herself this cloud of flour filling the air. Broomboy84 really did write about the most enchanting things. Not for the first time since they started writing to each other she wondered who he was. Who would write like this, with such feeling. What guy? Even Edmund, despite his sincerity and his sweetness, was painfully inarticulate at times. And it wasn’t even a matter of gender, but of age. Girls were hardly more able to express themselves at 17 than boys. It has something to do with youth, and the exuberance and yet clear economy of expression. Why use 20 words when you could use 10? Why use an adjective when it is really just superfluous?
Ivy chuckled again to herself, shaking her head a little, and then went up to her dormitory to change. Tonight was the party for the seventh year leaders, and she was looking forward to it. She was quite good friends with Penelope Clearwater, the head Girl, and she always threw a good party. Heavy on the food, light on the drink, always a good thing when Gryffindors and Slytherins were involved, and lots of opportunity to dance.
To twirl, in fact. That’s what she loved doing. She loved it when you wore a full skirt and got on the dance floor and twirled, the pleats of the skirt fanning out around her in the air. Speaking of magical things it was impossible to understand, twirling was one of them. When you spun around without abandon you got this spinning feeling in your stomach that felt just like flying.
Edmund and Ivy were walking hand in hand towards the great hall, and Edmund thought he could detect some anger in the strength of her grip. He felt as if she might squeeze his hand off.
‘Ivy, are you okay?’
Ivy nodded. ‘I’m fine.’ She nodded once more. ‘I’m fine.’
Ed smiled a little. ‘Right.’ He paused, and waited for her to confirm.
‘I said I was fine.’ She muttered and then stopped. ‘It’s just…’ then she continued walking again. ‘No, don’t worry about it.’
‘Ivy…’ Ed said soothingly.
‘It’s just that bloody Wood is going to be there, and I can already imagine what he’s going to say. I mean, he doesn’t have to have this conspiracy to make me feel awful, I already feel like that, most of the time, with or without his help.’
Ed sighed. ‘Ivy, ignore him. He’s nothing, he’s unimportant, and has no impact on your life outside the quidditch field. Don’t let him ruin a perfectly good party for you.’
Ivy kissed him. ‘You’re right, of course you are.’
They reached the great hall and walked in. ‘You’re fine,’ Ed whispered into her ear.
‘Hey, Ivy!’ Penelope Clearwater said as they walked in, ‘How are you?’
Ivy and Ed glanced at each other quickly. ‘Fine.’
‘Would you get me another drink, Olly, I’m all out.’ Cassie handed her glass over to Oliver and continued on with her joke;
‘And then ghost said it’s a very good place to calm down, isn’t that hysterical?’
Oliver grimaced, both at her use of the pet name ‘olly’ and at her horrible joke, and at her insistence of underpinning the punch line with her belief in its hilarity. He loved her dearly, but by Merlin the girl couldn’t tell a joke to save her life. With a mixture of relief and harmless exasperation he moved towards the bar.
‘Firewhisky on the rocks, thanks.’
The cup started to magically fill itself and Oliver drummed his left hand against his leg as he waited. He turned to his left and groaned inwardly, there was Ivy Morton and her boyfriend laughing at something Penelope Clearwater and that prat Percy Weasley were saying. He grabbed his half-full glass,
‘Hey! They’re not finished yet!’ said the girl next to him, pointing to the air where firewhiskey now flowed freely onto the tablecloth.
‘I’m sorry.’ Oliver said, ‘I have a very thirsty date… She’s part camel.’ He smiled, and the girl blushed deeply, allowing him time to exit before Ivy saw him.
He backed away to the table covered with food, breathed a sigh of relief and turned around, ready to deliver Cassie her drink. Suddenly he became aware that he had walked straight into a person, someone little. He shook his head, and reached is hands forward to steady them when, oh shame of shames, he realised that the only reason he could use both his hands to steady the person is because he must have dropped his drink. And the heady fumes of firewhisky coming from their (very pretty, he thought) blue dress meant that it must have gone all over them. How could this get any worse.
‘You have got to be kidding me.’ Ivy Morton said, surveying her ruined dress, and bringing her face up to Oliver’s.
‘I’m so sorry.’ Oliver said, and then blinked, unsure what to do. He was genuinely sorry that he had walked into her, but he didn’t like her, so it was really very superficial.
Ivy was shaking her head, and siphoning the firewhisky off her dress and into the fallen cup. She gritted her teeth when it became apparent that all of it wouldn’t come off and it had seeped into the material.
‘Well done Wood, you’ve just succeeded in ruining my night.’
‘Me?’ Oliver said incredulously, ‘I said I was sorry, there’s little else I can do.’ He was angry now, angry that she was here, and was blaming him for everything… ‘And besides, if you hadn’t walked right into me none of this would have happened.’
Oliver immediately regretted the words the moment they had left his mouth. Instead of yelling back at him, as Cassie might have, Ivy just shook her head in disbelief and moved to the table of food, grabbing a plate angrily and spooning pasta onto it.
‘What?’ Oliver spat out, grabbing a plate of his own. ‘What? I said I was sorry.’
‘That’s not the point. It’s the principle of the thing, Wood, and you walked into me, not the other way round. It was my dress that got the firewhisky on it, not yours.’
‘I’m not wearing a dress.’ Wood shot back, smiling a little now.
‘That’s not the point.’ Ivy spluttered, shaking her head. She looked over to Wood, who was reaching down with his spoon and taking the caviar from the side of the rilette.
‘What are you doing?’ Ivy said exasperatedly, ‘What is that? What are you doing?’
Oliver looked up her, eyebrows raised.
‘You’re taking all the caviar?’ Ivy said in disbelief, ‘That caviar is a garnish.’
Oliver reached down and spooned up more and dumped it onto his plate.
‘I can’t believe you’re doing this… Are you really this conceited that you would deprive everyone else of the caviar?’
‘Get over it, Morton! Life doesn’t revolve around caviar!’
‘The same could be said for Quidditch.’
‘Except for the fact that life does, actually, revolve around quidditch.’
Ivy groaned. ‘Right, I had forgotten, I was talking to the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, for whom nothing else exists other than the sport. No wonder you’re so horrible about it. You have nothing else in your life.’
Oliver blinked. ‘I’m not horrible, you are.’ He shot back, realising as the words left his mouth how infantile it sounded. He quickly bounced back. ‘This is why I despise girl quidditch players.’
Ivy looked up from the meat dish, the knife still in her hand, the heat radiating from her blonde hair, anger seeing to smoke from her ears.
Oliver bit his lip. ‘Because they just don’t know how to take a joke. Everything is emotional for them. With the guys, well, you punch them up, you sledge a little, and it’s done. With the girls, it’s personal.’
Ivy’s mouth was hanging open, she was clutching the carving knife and holding it up, almost as if she wanted to stab him with it. She was utterly speechless.
‘What?’ Oliver said, smiling a little, ‘What?’
Ivy shook her head, just as Edmund came up next to her. Ivy coughed a little and motioned towards the boy opposite her.
‘Hi I’m Oliver Wood,’ Oliver said, reaching out his hand. Ed nodded slowly, shaking his hand, and sizing him up.
‘Oliver Wood, the persecutor of innocent Quidditch captains, the inventor of Gryffindor exhaustion, the destroyer of the Hogwarts healthy quidditch rivalry, tell me, how do you sleep at night?’ Ivy, emboldened by Ed’s chivalrous spiel, raised her eyebrows at Oliver and pursed her lips expectantly.
Cassie interjected, slipping her hand into Oliver’s, ‘There’s a great spell that just wipes you out completely. Paradorm. Be careful not to overdo it though, and you’ll wake up the next morning right as rain.’
Ivy and Ed, not expecting his rhetorical question to be answered, nodded politely and moved to go.
‘You’re Edmund Bones, aren’t you?’
Ed nodded again, smiling wanly and began to leave the table.
‘your last piece in the Hogwarts Herald was brilliant, just brilliant. I mean, Aethelbert the unready was so illuminating.’ Cassie was grinning, ‘I’m Cassie Fields,’ She turned to Oliver, ‘Ol, this man is the one who wrote that article on Agnus and Ariadne.’
Ed was blushing. ‘You really… you really liked my piece?’
Oliver rolled his eyes. ‘Cassie, this is Ivy Morton.’ Cassie smiled briefly at her. Not being a real Quidditch fan the name escaped her, although she did recognise the face from somewhere.
‘Do we have Transfiguration together? I think we do. You’re awfully good.’ She turned back to Edmund, who was almost jumping up and down with excitement.
‘My piece, I’m sorry…’ He babbled, ‘I’m flattered, I mean, you write these things and you think people will read them and then a week goes by and there’s now owls, you’ve got no mail,’
Ivy and Oliver both looked sharply at Ed.
‘And you start to think, am I a fraud? Am I a failure…’ Ed finished, shaking his head.
Cassie nodded sincerely. ‘You know what always fascinated me about Agnus and Ariadne? How old they looked when they were really just our age.’
Oliver reeled back, completely stunned by this statement. Ivy felt like laughing. Then they both looked at each other and remembered that they were in the middle of an awkward, unresolved fight.
‘Listen, Ed,’ Ivy started to pull him away.
‘What else are you thinking of writing about? Because your column is always so interesting to read.’
Ed was being pulled back as he said, ‘Well I like to write about things relevant to today, you know, like the Luddite movement in 19th century Gloucester.’
Simultaneously Oliver was pulling Cassie back. As they walked away he said, ‘Listen, Cass, have you ever had a caviar garnish?’
Later that night Oliver was lying in bed, pretending to be asleep. But he really couldn’t. He felt terrible about the party, and the things he said. He didn’t even mean it about girl quidditch players, he secretly thought that Alicia Spinnet was the best player on the team, himself included. He only said it because he knew it would upset her, and he wanted to make her angry so bad.
Do you ever feel you become the worst version of yourself he wrote in a letter to Peachgirl, his penpal, That a Pandora’s box of all the secret hateful parts – your arrogance, your spite, your condescension – has sprung open. Someone provokes you, and instead of smiling and moving on, you zing them. Hello, it’s Broomboy84, the slimy git. I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about.
The next morning Ivy perused this letter, shaking her head in wonder.
I know exactly what you mean and I’m completely jealous. She wrote back, her quill scratching so quickly over the paper that she sent ink splattering onto her cheek. What happens to me when I’m provoked is that I get tongue-tied. My mind goes blank. Then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to think of what I should have said. For example, what should I have said to the bottom-dweller who recently belittled my existence? Nothing… Even now, much later, I can’t think of anything to say.
Oliver smiled as he read this letter that afternoon, knowing exactly what he would write back.
Wouldn’t it be the best if I could pass all my lines to you and then I would never behave badly and you could behave badly all the time and then we’d both be happy. On the other hand, I must warn you that when you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.
Oliver finished the last word and leant back in his armchair. Then, a thought occurred to him, something that had been bugging him and niggling at the corners of his mind for a long time. He leant forward again and wrote something extra at the bottom of the page.
Do you think we should meet?
‘Meet?’ Ivy said, stunned, dropping the toast from her hand. ‘Merlin.’ She sat, staring at the letter for a long time, and then she folded it up and put it back into her bag. She couldn’t deal with this now. She had no idea what to do.
‘Are you okay?’ Violet said, looking up from her bowl of cereal.
Ivy nodded. ‘I’m fine.’ She said, half to herself, half to her best friend. ‘I’m fine.’
‘Ivy what’s going on?’
Ivy looked at Violet, her face a mask of apprehension. ‘He wants to meet me?’
Violet bit her lip, ‘Okay, Ivy, you’re gonna have to give me a little more to go with here… Who’s he? Ed? Professor Flitwick?’
‘Broomboy84!’ Ivy yelled, and then realised people were looking and sunk down into the bench.
‘Who?’ Violet said again, and then comprehension dawned. ‘Ooooh.’ She said, grinning a little, ‘Broomboy84’ She echoed. ‘Right.’
‘Well?’ Ivy said, exasperated. ‘What should I do?’
‘Ask him if he’s good looking, that’s what you should do.’ Violet said, ‘And then decide.’
‘What?’ Ivy said, almost laughing. ‘I can’t do that!’
‘Ah you are way too innocent my friend. It’s very easy.’ Violet outlined, her eyes shining mischeviously, ‘All you have to do is drop into the conversation casually that you really like him and would like to have lots of sex and babies for the rest of your life with him.’
‘But I don’t!’ Ivy said, her voice a high pitched squeal. She lowered it to a whisper as she leant into Violet. ‘I have a boyfriend, Vi.’
‘I know you do. But I see your face when you get a letter from this Broomboy. You never have that face when you’re with Ed.’
Ivy shook her head. It wasn’t true. She loved Ed. Ed was always there for her. Ed always said the right thing. Ed was adorably abstruse at times, and was charming and gallant to all her friends. He was the perfect boyfriend.
Adrian sat down with them, sighing loudly. ‘What’s going on?’
‘Nothing.’ Ivy and Violet said in unison, smiling at each other. Adrian shrugged and opened his Hogwarts Herald, perusing the pages absent-mindedly. That was the best thing about Adrian, Ivy thought, he knew exactly when a boy’s opinion would be needed… and exactly when it wouldn’t be.
She hasn’t replied, Oliver thought, she doesn’t want to meet me. He was sitting in the Gryffindor common room that night, after checking his pigeon hole 4, or maybe 7 times.
‘Why?’ He said, and then realised that he had said it aloud.
‘What, O Captain my Captain?’ George said, appearing from, as the weasley twins often did, nowhere.
‘Bloody hell you two just come out of nowhere don’t you?’ Oliver said, his head in his hands. ‘You really should learn to be a little more tactful. You could walk in on something you might regret.’
‘Well, to be honest with you mate…’ Fred began.
‘I don’t want to hear it.’ Oliver said, a grin creeping across his face without his permission. That was the problem, or perhaps the good thing, about the twins. They never failed to put the smile on your dial.
‘As George was saying, Oliver, what’s going on?’
‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ Oliver said darkly. The twins shared significant looks.
‘Okay, which Quidditch captain is it now?’
‘Ivy Morton again? Shall we go and give her a little scare?’
‘Actually, you insistent prats, it’s not a Quidditch captain it’s my… it’s something else.’ Oliver finished lamely.
George was stunned. ‘Not a Quidditch captain…’
‘But it’s always a Quidditch captain…’ Fred managed to choke out.
‘Well I suppose I have a lot more depth than you gave me credit for,’ Oliver said drily, ‘Thanks for noticing.’
The twins quickly recovered. ‘Well who is it then?’
Oliver shook his head. He didn’t want to talk about it, not with them. They wouldn’t understand.
‘Don’t worry about it. It’s not important.’
‘But is it going to affect your game, because then it is important.’
Oliver glared at them. ‘I’m fine, there’s nothing wrong with me. And my game is fine.’
‘Now go to bed, practice at 6 tomorrow!’
The twins smiled at each other. He was fine. The real Oliver was one of early morning practices and driving them to the brink of insanity.
A/N : i HATE uni. i'm sorry this chapter has taken forever to get out... hope you enjoy! X