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Chapter 1: 1.
The Incessantly Annoying Pecks of a Woodpecker
Oliver Wood was a prat. The biggest, Quidditch-loving-maniacal-prat.
No, it’s not because his name reminds me of olives. I don't hate him for that.
Rather, it’s because if you have no enthusiasm for Quidditch whatsoever, or if you have no idea what the big deal about the silly game is, he ignores you. He is hardly aware of your existence, even if you happen to be waving a neon pink flag with the words "HERE I AM, I ACTUALLY EXIST" scripted onto it, right in front of his beautiful face.
Why the rant, you may ask? And I shall answer: because I happen to love him.
Sure, he's never acknowledged me in the six years we've been in the same classes, the same house, the same everything. Yeah, sure, it does my self-esteem wonders that he doesn't know me, and if you were to ask me why I loved him, I wouldn’t know how to explain it.
Maybe it was the way his eyes brimmed with an undying passion...although that is whenever a Quaffle passes his sight. Maybe it was the way his unkempt hair tousled even more in the wind every time he got on a broomstick. Maybe it was that sweet Scottish accent I’d often hear speaking about some golden snitch or some silly up and dive tactic. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the way he scoffed at my questions of “What’s a bludger?” or “What on earth is Quidditch?”
Despite the completely differing worlds Oliver and I happen to exist in, love conquers all, so they say.
And that is exactly what had compelled me to risk my short, pitiful life in an attempt to ‘try out’ for the Gryffindor team.
Call me barkers for I’ve never, ever, ever been on a broomstick before in my life. Let me rephrase that: I’ve never, ever, enjoyed being on a broomstick in my life! Even though it was only once... Yes, that one particular time during our first year.
I wasn’t expecting the broomstick to fly backwards into the stone building countless times whilst I was on it. Oh, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it to swerve in and out of the open windows, crashing into the back of people's heads either, may I just say.
Oh sure, it would’ve been absolutely fine if it had happened to Connie or Will. But no, it happened to me. Me. Oh no, it sure was not fine. It was bloody hell! I recall distinctly the moment Madam Hooch brought me down; I had whacked the broom stick against the fresh green grass until it had splintered in the middle, a series of continuous cusses vomiting out of my mouth; much to Oliver’s disgust actually.
“How could you treat a broomstick with such disrespect?” he had asked me, with that oh so alluring voice of his. A broomstick. With disrespect. That was the moment I fell in love with him. Of course, at that time I thought it was a quirky joke of his. But no. It was for real. His stern, unrelenting face told me so.
I lied. So he had acknowledged me. Once. Six years ago. And here I am, holding that feral object I’d learnt to despise in my hand. I’m dressed in scarlet robes with a brown padded helmet, brown padded shin guards, brown padded arm guards, brown padded chest guard, brown padded everything!
Better safe than sorry, I suppose. And that’s what I’d told everyone who had looked at me with a quizzical look that morning.
I hold that tattered, immensely heavy bat with my scrawny right arm and wave at Connie and Will with my left, the scraggly broomstick waving around also. They grin at me, knowing far too well that I possibly would not survive the next hour.
I take a deep breath and elbow my way to the front. I need to look at Oliver once more before I make that final, radical decision, and there he is, smiling at me. Well, I hope he was smiling at me though I’m almost one hundred percent positive that it is the huge turnout he is smiling at. But I was a contributing factor! So I was somewhat right the first time.
I grin but it falters into a grimace as my stomach bubbles with bile and my last lunch, which had only been a few minutes before…unfortunately.
I could very much break down right at this moment. Right in front of him. I could cry and wail and bawl my eyes out right in front of him like an overgrown baby with hair. Actually, I wouldn’t be that hideous, really...I think…I hope.
My brown hair’s long enough to curtain my face and my eyes would be closed anyway. Thus, not that hideous.
Bearing this in mind, I grind my teeth together and concentrate on that gorgeous figure in front of me. His broad, masculine shoulders. His straight dazzling teeth. His beautiful, sexy accent.
“FU-dgesickles!” I yell out of pain, having just dropped the tattered, immensely heavy bat I mentioned a while ago onto my foot. I continue yelping with pain, disrupting his silly talk on winning some silly cup. I fall on my bottom and hold my foot tightly, disregarding the curious looks of my future teammates. That is, if I made it in.
Oliver ignores me after a quick glance down. What. A. Mean, mad, mentally unstable, psychopathic, beautiful lunatic! The setting sun had just shone right behind his stupid head, like a halo above the most beautiful angel. I sigh aloud and he looks down once more, cocking his head to the swooning figure on the floor. i.e. Me.
I stopped sighing immediately and stare at him, unblinking. His brows furrow so cutely and he averts his gaze. I guess I had unnerved him. I frown and mull over what I could’ve possibly done to bring such discomfort to him.
“So! Who would like to start first?” I hear him say with that soft, angelic voice of his. I, who did not listen to a word he said, see a couple of people putting their hands up, so I followed suit like a mindless baboon. “Brilliant!” he exclaims enthusiastically, smiling widely. “Perfect amount of volunteers. And I see two beaters and three chasers.” His smile is much too wide. It makes me suspect something and I leer at him with suspicion.
I watch as those who had put their hands up quickly gather around behind him.
“All the rest of you,” he points at the remaining ten or so people standing up, “You’re on the opposite team. Try your hardest and good luck!”
I remain sitting on my bottom, confused. What in the bloody world is going on?
I hear my last name being called and my ears perk up. I hear that sweet voice beckoning me and I immediately stand up, as though a damned woman in a trance.
“Get on your broom!” that same voice says again. Such authority. Such demand. I’m swooning once again.
One by one, the rest of the Gryffindor students soar higher and higher on their brooms. I freeze with the broom in my hand. This was it. This was my chance to prove myself, to conquer my worst fear. For what? For love. Or so I tell myself.
I grab hold of my broom and place it beneath me. I reach down and grasp the bat tightly, clutching onto the slim handle of my broom for dear life. With this, I push off of the security of the hard floor and rise slowly. It takes five minutes for me to reach the rest of my team and by that time, the game had already started.
I watch, stunned as balls of various sizes fly in every direction. I watch, taken aback by the speed and agility of the people on the brooms. I watch, petrified as a brown ball headed straight towards my face.
I scream and writhe around on my broomstick, eyes closed tightly and one hand maintaining its hold while I whirl my bat around like a mad man in distress. I hear a loud crack right in front of me and suspect that that is the sound of my skull cracking open, but then another, softer crack sounds further away. Baffled by the fact that I’m still, in fact, on top of my broom, in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, I open my eyes slowly and peer at the boy floating in mid air and the broomstick that remains idle.
“That was terrific!” Oliver Wood flies towards me, grinning madly. He pats me on the back and it took every ounce of me to not fall off my broom. I stare at him half out of shock that he had acknowledged me, and the other part out of discombobulation regarding his fierce passion for the sport.
I very slowly fly around the pitch, taking little baby lurches in the air, taking particular care to stay in his sight at all times. I glance towards Connie and Will, who the moment they see me, wave ferociously. I shake my head at them but I can’t repress the smile that creeps onto my face. It was embarrassing but internally, I am very grateful.
I manage to see another little brown good-for-nothing ball known as the bludger right before it hit a teammate of mine. My eyes widen and a loud gasp sounded through my lips. It would’ve hit her straight in the face if I did not intercept it with a swing of my bat. Wow, these bats do have a purpose then. She nods at me in appreciation before racing off to catch the larger, softer ball.
“Twice!” Oliver shouts at me as I fly back towards him. “That’s absolutely amazing. You have potential!”
I almost have a heart attack and rather than thank him for the praise, as most would do, I started to have difficulty breathing. Hyperventilating some might call it. I let out raspy breaths and clutch my chest with both my hands.
I freeze as I realise that I'm no longer holding on to my broom.
A whistle blows and I’m barely aware of the others who have started descending down towards the ground.
I, on the other hand, could not move. That was one reason I didn’t chase after my Oliver Wood. The other was, well, I have no clue how to get back down.
I try my hardest and try every way possible. Well, a majority of that consists of wishful thinking rather than actual application. Eventually, with the help of that girl I’d saved from death, I reached the bottom once again. I would’ve snogged the grass if I was not reserving that snog for Oliver... and if it wasn’t so goddamn weird.
“You all did splendidly!” Oliver exclaims, beaming brightly as his eyes twinkle with tears of vigor spirit. “I’ll put a list of all those who made it on the notice board tomorrow morning, so don’t forget to check it out!” People had already started walking off. I’m guessing, exhausted by that try out session. Or perhaps just bored of Oliver’s frantic talk on Quidditch.
“Hey!” he calls after me as I start towards Connie and Will. “Hey!” he says again, louder now that he was getting closer. “Stacia, right?” I froze. That was not my name.
“Pardon?” I gape at him, incredulous.
“Stacia, you’re definitely on the team.” He was grinning so broadly it hurt my mouth.
“My- My name’s not Stacia. It’s Jem.” I stutter. This is my first actual conversation with Oliver and it’s already disastrous.
“Anyway, you’re most probably going to play beater, so don’t be too shocked if you see Stacia up on that list!” I frown. Was he not listening to me? I look towards Connie and Will, both of whom were staring at me, inquiry on their faces.
“My name is Jem!” J.E.M!
“Which Quidditch team do you support, Stacia? I support Puddlemere. I reckon the Nimbus 2000 is just far too overstated. I’m guessing that it’s not going to be any better than the Cleansweep. All this hype is driving me mad! You know, I thought you were quite horrible at first! You didn’t strike me as the type...” Blah blah blah!
He’s being unbearably enthusiastic. I have absolutely no understanding whatsoever as to what he had just said. Right now, he was driving me mad. More than mad. I was going to be a mental psychopath the moment this conversation ends and I would probably end up at St. Mungos for incurable mental illness. I groan.
From that moment on, Oliver did not leave me alone. He did not shut up once. Not even when he had asked me a question. He continued to talk on and on and on about Quidditch. All the way through dinner, all the way back up to the common room, all the way through my homework. And even though this was impossible, all the way through my dreams.
I guess that’s what I deserve. The torturous endurance of these pointless conversations with Oliver. Not to mention that I was now guaranteed a position in the Quidditch team. Not that I even like Quidditch. Goddamit!
I groan once again and curse at Oliver Wood’s most infuriating pecks within the walls of my skull.
A/N: Hello everyone :)
This was one of my first stories I'd ever written so it had to be retouched a bit but I still didn't do much to it. I hope you enjoyed reading it and please tell me what you thought of it :)