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Chapter 7: Don't Get Comfortable
I was forced out of the shock of Oliver’s gesture when he began questioning me about one of the ex-boyfriends I had mentioned. He was a rising quidditch star no, so obviously Oliver needed to know everything. I continued talking, but soon my information was met by snoring instead of murmurs and I knew I had lost my audience.
I tried to shake him, but Oliver was so far gone that the most I could get out of him was a grunt before he rolled over. I sighed and looked up at the clock. I wasn’t forfeiting my bed, and it was three a.m. so I didn’t see Ellie returning. I got up and closed the door quietly, before slipping back into my bed and facing the opposite wall. Sleep came very quickly.
“Ady! Time to get up! You have a letter from… BLOODY HELL!”
If you hadn’t guessed, Ellie had walked in to my room to find Oliver and I still sound asleep in my bed. The only problem was, at some point during the night we had moved in to a spooning position. If I would have noticed I would have thrown Oliver’s arm off of me and bolted out of the bed, but my new found warmth didn’t strike me as odd.
“Go away, Ellie, I’m trying to sleep.”
“And I’m trying to change, but I can’t because you’re in here cuddling!” She blasted.
I felt something stir beside me, and I was finally awake enough to realize what Ellie was saying to me. Oliver Wood was in my bed. The night came flooding back to me and I looked quickly to the clock.
“Why in the world are you just now getting in at noon?” I questioned.
“How does that possibly even matter right now?” Ellie boomed.
“Okay, where the hell is her off button. I’m trying to sleep.” Oliver mumbled in to my shoulder, trying to pull me closer.
I jumped out of the bed, and yanked the covers off the bed. Oliver called out in protest but I just glared at him.
“If you didn’t have a shoulder surgery in two days I would have thrown your arse out of bed. Consider yourself lucky.”
Ellie had resigned to leave us alone to fight it out already, so I was the only one to hear Oliver’s next line, “I do consider myself lucky. I got to sleep in bed with a gorgeous woman last night.”
I just rolled my eyes and left the room to find Ellie holding out a letter and a cup of tea in my direction. She had an “I told you so” look plastered on her face, but I couldn’t take it too seriously, considering she was in an old gray t-shirt and a pair of men’s scrubs. It was clear where she had spent her night.
“Stuff it, Ellie.” I heard clattering in my room and as I opened my letter, I prayed Oliver didn’t break anything.
I am looking in to representation for the coming season and your name is up on the radar. The team thinks it’s about time that I do since Krum and I will be splitting the season before he retires. I instantly thought of you. My official offer will be at your door in a few days, but think about it, yeah? We’d be back together. Maybe we could even get up to our old antics, if you catch my drift.
As always, yours,
“So what’s Nik up to?” Ellie commented, spraying bits of blueberry muffin as she spoke.
I handed her the letter as Oliver joined us in the kitchen, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Ellie dropped the letter on to the table in front of him. Before I could grab it from him Ellie threw out the big question.
“Wow, Bulgaria? That’s fantastic! What are you going to do?”
“Like I know. I just read the letter two minutes ago. I didn’t even know there was another offer on the table other than Puddlemere’s extension.”
Oliver snorted in disbelief and I looked over to meet very angry eyes. He handed me the letter but held on to it for a few seconds before releasing it to me.
“No wonder the reporters were so keen on knowing where you’d be next year. Why stay with pathetic Puddlemere when you have a chance to work for the Bulgarian National team. With your ex-boyfriend none-the-less.”
“How do you know ab-“ I shot Ellie a silencing look before she could finish her question and she scurried off to the bedroom closing the door.
“Oliver, really, I had no idea. I swear this is news to me.”
“Even if it is news, it must be convenient to have ‘Nik’ on such a great team. Makes it easy for you to escape the slums, huh?” He spat out Nikolas’s name, even though he’d been so keenly interested the night before.
“I’m not trying to escape anything!” I nearly yelled, beginning to feel a fire growing inside of me.
“Are you saying you’re going to stay?” Oliver was raising his voice as well.
“I’m saying I don’t know! I’m saying I just found out about this five bloody minutes ago!”
He slammed his fists on to the table and I jumped back. He opened his mouth to speak, but closed it, clearly thinking it better to keep quiet and walk away. My brain wasn’t functioning on the logical level yet, so as he started to walk away from me and towards his bedroom, my fuse reached the bomb.
“DON’T WALK AWAY FROM ME!” I screamed.
He turned on his heels and I could see his face was red with hot anger as he yelled in response, “WHY NOT, ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU’RE PLANNING TO DO?”
“You can’t get angry with me for receiving an offer, Oliver. This is my career and it happens. This is an opportunity that I can’t just ignore because it will hurt your feelings.” I had lowered my voice, but only to a dull roar.
“BULLSHIT ADELYNN! YOU COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT ME OR MY FEELINGS! YOU’RE JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN MY LIFE!”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
He looked up at me, eyes dark and fragile at the same time.
“It means that I was stupid.” He spat quietly. “It means that I was an idiot for thinking that you, out of all the people in my life, would stick around.”
With that, he apparated out of the apartment, shirtless and seething.
I crumpled to the floor with my knees tucked under me and began crying. My shoulders shook with each sob, and the more I tried to stop crying, the harder the tears spilled out. After a few minutes, I felt a hand on my shoulder and saw a tissue snake in to my blurry line of vision. I accepted it, but continued to cry for several more minutes with Ellie’s arms wrapped around my shoulder.
Oliver had been cold to me when we first began living together, but this was different entirely. His words had so much feeling behind them they may as well have been knives. What would have been harsh words felt like the worst insult and what was worse is that, although I could see that he meant to hurt me, his words were cutting just as deeply in to him. He thought I was ready to abandon him just like Gwen did, and just like he felt the team and a good deal of his fans did.
Finally, I wiped my cheeks and eyes, having slowed the river of tears to a steady trickle. I moved in to the bathroom and splashed cold water on to my face, hoping to cool the burning in my cheeks with little success. Was it so wrong for me to consider this fantastic offer from an amazing team? I hadn’t even hinted that I was going to accept it, had I? I had been waiting my whole career for a big break, and they couldn’t get much bigger than representing Viktor Krum’s protégé?
That was just it though, wasn’t it? I had been too busy thinking about my career and my opportunities to worry about the person that I had promised to help through this whole ordeal. Oliver was my friend and he was worried that I was dismissing him just like any other client on the company’s roster. I’m not supposed to let my job mix with my personal life, but when I do, I’m supposed to notice and take the appropriate precautions. I thought I had done that.
“You know, maybe this isn’t really about your career for once.” Ellie spoke quietly, but firmly, to make sure I heard what she meant but also that she didn’t set off my tears again.
Apparently, I hadn’t been thinking internally. I knew what Ellie meant. I had developed feelings for Oliver, however new and fragile they were, and I was scared of them. I had never wanted a man in my life, romantically or otherwise, because I had seen how wrecked my mother and older sisters were when my father asked for a divorce and then remarried a little while later. So when men were a part of my life, I blocked them out from most of my emotions so that it was easy to dismiss my feelings for them when they walked away. Sure, I’d had boyfriends, but I never expected anything from them. The same goes for my male friends, but here I was expecting Oliver to be there for me in case something went wrong at one of the biggest events of my career, and I prided myself in the fact that I had been there for him on one of the hardest days since his accident. I was expecting him to stay, but I was scared, and that was making it hard for me to promise him the same thing.
“Where do you think he went?” Ellie questioned once she noticed that I had taken her previous comment to heart.
I hadn’t even thought about where Oliver might have gone, but now that I was, every alternative seemed terrible. He had apparated so quickly that he may have hurt himself with that alone. I could only hope that he hadn’t gone to a bar since he wasn’t allowed to drink, and I prayed that he hadn’t gone to the quidditch pitch. I look up at Ellie, and our minds connected. My eyes stung with tears again, and hers grew wide with fear.
“I’ll collect everyone I can think of and we will go anywhere that Oliver frequents. You go to the pitch. Now.”
With that, Ellie apparated away, and, after taking a moment to calm my nerves, I did the same.
I chickened out slightly. Instead of apparating in to the pitch itself, I steadied myself at the front entrance. The harsh and freezing rain pattered against my face and I realized I was still wear the Puddlemere shirt and shorts from the night before. I hesitated despite the chill that was penetrating my bones. There was no telling what I would find when I entered. I was hoping to find Oliver outside the stadium. No such luck.
To get on to the field, I had to go down through the locker room first. I held my breath and stopped in front of the men’s locker room door. The pitch was deserted due to the holiday, and the rain pattering outside did nothing to boost my confidence. I pushed the door open, not caring if I found a stark naked Oliver Wood as long as I found him. No such luck.
His shorts and socks were strewn across the floor in front of the locker that held his nameplate. His locker had been thrown open in frustration. I could tell because the locker next to his had a noticeable dent in the door right where the sliding lock would have connected. His locker door was half open, but even without full view I could tell that his robes and broom were missing. Everything had been knocked off of the shelf or hook it was on in his haste. I bowed my head and closed the locker room door behind me.
I held my breath as I put one foot in front of the other, traversing the hall to the pitch that seemed all too short now. Maybe I would find Oliver sitting on the bench, fully dressed for practice, but having calmed down enough to know that flying and running drills was in now way a good idea. No such luck.
I looked up to the goal post through a rain-streaked gaze and saw Oliver spin his broom to smack away an oncoming quaffle just as a strike of lightning lit up the sky behind us. He had enchanted two quaffles and what appeared to be a bludger, though I couldn’t be sure in the dismal lighting conditions, to routinely make their way at him. His eyes were fierce and determined, his mouth drawn and his jaw clenched tight. He hadn’t calmed down at all. He was possibly angrier now than when he had left. This was a dangerous and delicate situation. Unfortunately, he spotted me first, so there wasn’t much time for me to prepare something to say.
“What do you want Adelynn?” He yelled, batting away the bludger as it barreled toward him.
I gasped loudly and knew what road my emotions were going to force me to take.
“Please come down here Oliver. We can talk.” I pleaded.
He flew to the third and lowest ring to stop a quaffle from crossing the boundary, and then shot a nasty look in my direction.
“Sod off, Adelynn.” His tone wasn’t friendly or joking in the slightest way.
He glared at me, willing me to disappear with his eyes. I stared back with a pleading look in my eyes, tears welling sharply. Neither of us saw it coming.
The bludger came barreling at Oliver from his left side and a quaffle sped toward him from the back. They collided with each other and Oliver’s shoulder. He let out a painful yell as he fell off of his broom.
My mind raced. Oliver was falling incredibly fast, unable to prevent anything himself. I reached for my wand and searched my mind for the spell that would stop his fall. What a time for my mind to go blank. I looked on in terror as Oliver quickly approached the ground, and finally my mind offered the spell that would at least slow him down dramatically. I cast the spell and started sprinting toward him. His body slowed, but not enough to eliminate the harsh hit when he reached the pitch.
“Oliver!” I screamed his name several times as I was running towards him, but by the time reached him, I knew he was unconscious.
I held his arm, hoping that apparition wouldn’t be a mistake. It was the fastest way to get to St. Mungo’s and I couldn’t waste any time.
Author's Note: I hope you're enjoying things so far. I know this chapter was kind of a turn down a slightly less happy path. What do you think will happen next? Do you think Adelyn will take the offer?