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Chapter 1: Jitters
"Twenty minutes until the match begins, Miss Bell," the voice of Captain Larson said from the other side of her changing room.
"I'll be ready," she replied in a shaky voice.
For the past half hour, she had been pacing back and forth across the floor of her changing room, her breathing scattered and all over the place. The robes to her Holyhead Harpies uniforms swished behind her like a cape. The knots in her stomach were nearly unbearable, she was lightheaded, and felt as if she could black out any moment now. The match itself, however, was not what had gotten her so riled up. She'd been playing Quidditch since she was twelve years old as the chaser on the Gryffindor team at Hogwarts, and ten years later, she was not any closer to giving the sport up. What had truly gotten her so riled was what happened before the game.
For the past eight months she'd been in a committed relationship to Oliver Wood - a man she had secretly fancied since she was eleven, watching him play from the stands - but, two nights before they'd been in a fight over which Quidditch team was better. This fight quickly escalated in to a yelling, screaming, brawl in her dining room, complete with hexes flying at each other, when they started flinging insults at each other. As a result, he had stormed - well, apparated is the correct term - out of her flat and had yet to contact her.
She and Oliver had never had a perfect relationship, or even a near-perfect one, but at the end of the day they still told each other, they loved them. They fought, and then within hours they made up. They had never feuded this long and she was worried. They hadn't specifically stated as to whether or not that fight was the end of their relationship, but a sinking feeling in her stomach told her that it was. She was completely exhausted as for those past two nights she found herself sobbing in to a pillow.
The stress of competing in a make-or-break Quidditch match did not make her feel better.
The team was relying on her, but she felt she was in no mental state of mind to play. Her eyes were swollen and puffy, her head was pounding from the inside, and overall she just gave the appearance of someone ill. However, she was not one to let the team down. She was determined to bottle up her emotions and put them aside to deal with after the match. Her relationship issues were not the fault of the team and they didn't deserve for her broken heart to cost them an important match.
'Get it together, Katie,' She thinks to herself, her pacing not ceasing.
A loud knock on the door echoed throughout the changing room.
'That's odd,' she thought to herself.
None of her teammates ever knocked on the door. They either shouted from the other side or just barged on in. Clearly, this was not anyone on the team.
"Who's there?" She asked slowly, skeptically, uncertainty in her voice.
"Oliver," the voice spoke; the voice she instantly recognized.
She felt her heart speed up as her eyes widened, "What are you doing here?"
"I need to talk to you about the other night," he said, point-blank.
Oliver was never one to dilly-dally or beat around the bush. He said what he meant straight up to you, like it or not.
She thought this over for a minute, "Now's not exactly the best time, Wood. I case you haven't noticed, there's a match about to start out there in a few minutes. I need to focus."
"Seems to me that you're a ruddy mess and are in no condition to play," he sighed. "Please open the door?"
For the slightest moment, she considered screamed "NO!" and telling him to leave, but she decided that she would do the more mature thing and open the door. Oliver politely entered the room as she shut the door behind him. Seeing him did not make her feel any better, in fact, it made her eyes swell with tears. She immediately blinked back the tears, not willing to display any sign of weakness. She had worked hard to ensure he respected her as a player and she was not about to let that streak end now.
"Explain. Quickly." She says, crossing her arms.
Sure, arm crossing might be a little beneath a twenty two year old, but at the moment she cared not.
"What do you want me to explain?"
She raised her eyebrows, beginning to wonder if he'd suddenly become quite daft, "Why you're here, maybe?"
"Katie," He began, attempting to take one of her hands in his, although she jerked it away, "I meant to owl you earlier, but I was still so bloody angry after our fight that I thought I'd say something that would further muck up our situation."
She gave no sign of emotion in this demand.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry for everything that I said to you that hurt you. It was never my intention to hurt you Katie, I love you."
She scoffed, "You sure do have a particularly odd way of showing said love."
"Merlin, Katie," He angrily said. "I'm not the only one to blame here; you have just as much responsibility as I do to apologize to me as well."
He was right and she knew it. Boy, how she despised when he was right.
"Sorry," she mumbled in a voice so low he could hardly hear her.
"Sorry, I didn't catch that," he smirked, leaning an ear towards her expectantly.
She knew he had heard her, but succumbed to his wishes instead of picking yet another pointless argument, "I'm sorry."
He placed his hand over his chest in mock-shock, "Did Katie Bell just apologize to Oliver Wood?"
She laughed, "Don't get used to it, Wood."
"Wouldn't dream of it, Bell."
"Bell, we need you on the pitch!" Captain Larson screamed.
Oliver pulled Katie to him, kissing her head, "Got get 'em, Bell."
A/N Thank you for reading! I love Oliver/Katie, I hope you enjoyed!