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The Keeper of the Keeper by magicdaydreams
Chapter 1: Girl in the Boys Club
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From the outside, the pitch looked eerily similar to that of the Hollyhead Harpies that I called home last year. The large stadium had banners hanging from each tower displaying scenes from Puddlemere’s previous games. Players zoomed through the banners, occasionally stopping to wave out to whoever was gazing upon the banner at any given moment.
There was one scene notably missing from the banners. It was probably the most talked about moment in the current quidditch season. It was the reason I had left my public relations job with the Harpies after boosting their public image by 45% in just half a year. I was on the rise and the missing scene played an important role in my next challenge.
I brushed down my navy pencil skirt and adjusted the cream lace top I had chosen for the day. My outfit, along with my long dark hair held back with a bow, screamed that I didn’t belong in this world. Quidditch was a boy’s club, and more than one media source had pointed out that I was too dainty or feminine to be taken seriously in this world, even if I was just a media representative to the teams. My initiative, prowess, and ability to spout stats and records for each team gained their respect in no time.
Honestly, I would never understand why everyone always assumes that if a girl doesn’t play quidditch, that she must hate it. Seriously, I love quidditch, but I can’t fly my way out of a paper bag, so I found the best alternative to my utter lack of sports talent. Instead of making my team look good on the field, I make them look spectacular off the field. Which brings me back around to the reason I am here at Puddlemere’s pitch.
Hollyhead’s legal team made a mistake in my original contract with the Harpies and I found myself with a “free agent” halfway through the season. With a new scandal on their hand every other weekend Puddlemere rushed to sign me to an extensive two-year contract. The catch was that during my first year, I had only one client. Oliver Wood.
Now that we’ve come full circle, I’ll tell you all about what brought me here. Three months ago, Oliver Wood suffered a severe injury after a fall during a training match. No referee had been monitoring the game because it was supposed to be a light skill-building afternoon. The story went on to explain that a bludger had been malfunctioning all day during practice and had escaped the shabbily constructed restraints the team had thrown together. The bludger pelted Wood, knocking him from his broom to the ground and severely injuring both of his shoulders. The healers had repaired the shoulder as best as they could, but they hadn’t been able to fully restore his shoulders for intense pressure situations. This meant he had to be benched from the quidditch team until healers were certain his shoulder could handle the strain.
That is where I come in to the picture. Oliver Wood lives and breathes Quidditch. That is no secret, not even to foreigners like myself. With the news that he was indefinitely benched from the team, Oliver started acting out. He began causing scenes at local pubs and restaurants, picking fights with anyone who even suggested that he would not play again, and just overall embarrassing a team that was trying to gain a respectable image in the quidditch world. He wouldn’t listen to reason, and despite being barred from official team practices, could be found practicing in the pitch after hours, against the healer’s instructions, and had to be escorted out by security multiple times.
Oliver needed to be reigned in, and that is why Puddlemere hired me. I was the best rep for the job and they trusted me to help Oliver turn his bruised reputation around before it was too late. There was just one little thing both the team and my boss had left out.
“WHAT?” I shouted, before pulling myself together and smoothing my hair over my shoulders, “What do you mean I have to LIVE with Oliver Wood?”
“Adelynn, why did you think we rented you a two bedroom flat in the first place?” Anderson Reynolds, corporate executive of the PR firm she worked for explained, “Oliver has been kicked out of the team flats for the time being, and until his image has turned around and his life is back on track, the team manager has requested that you reside with him.”
I stormed out of the office and raced to the stair well leading down to the locker rooms. It was a Saturday, so no one was in the pitch except my boss, the team manager, and Oliver Wood, who was waiting downstairs to be introduced to his new public relations representative. After silently chastising myself, and smoothing my hair down once again (it was my nervous tick, and if there was ever a time to be nervous, it was now,) I made my way to the locker rooms to introduce myself as Oliver Wood’s new keeper to the man himself. I can just see this going so well for me. No seriously, can’t you feel my excitement?
I starting walking up to the slightly open locker room door and had almost convinced myself to go in when I noticed that the lights were off. Deciding to be brave, I pushed the door open and called out in to the black.
“Mr. Wood? Are you in here?”
I flipped the light on and heard someone inhale sharply through gritted teeth and then a shuffling.
“You may as well call me Oliver. I mean, if you’re going to run my life, we may as well skip the formalities.”
A tall, dark haired man emerged from the area where the showers were located and ran one hand through his hair absently. Thankfully he left his other hand at his waist, considering it was holding on to the only piece of fabric covering his glistening body.
I felt my cheeks go red at the sight of the nearly naked man I had grown so accustomed to seeing on the cover of magazines. Now, I may have a strict “no fraternizing” policy when it comes to my clients, but I’m not blind, and I can tell you this for certain…quidditch robes don’t do Oliver Wood justice. At all.
I looked quickly to the ground and I could hear wood chuckling at my embarrassment. One thing you will learn about me is that I’m rather hotheaded when I feel like I’m being laughed at. I snatched up the Puddlemere united shirt and boxers that were below me on the bench and threw them with such force that I barely had time to turn around before Oliver had to drop the towel in order to catch the pile of clothes.
“Ah, so the assistant is feisty. I like that.” Oliver smirked at me and added a wink for emphasis.
“Oh, come off it, you know I’m not the assistant. You said it earlier. My name is Adelynn Lavoie, and until further notice, you live with me. So get your things together and meet me at the top of the stairs in five minutes.”
“You may not be the assistant, but you’re still feisty” Oliver called as I walked out of the room.
Oh this was definitely going to be my hardest assignment to date. At least there was something appealing to look at during the whole thing. I smiled, covering my mouth with a hand as I climbed the staircase.
Author's note: Hey guys, this is my first story on HPFF. I hope you enjoy it, and leave any reviews you feel are necessary. :)
I promise the next chapter will show a lot more of Adelynn's personality, and I hope you stick around for it all. Thanks for reading!
Chapter 2: The EX-pert journalist
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I had never lived with boys before. My mother and father divorced when I was five, and we moved to France with my four sisters. Even our dog was a girl. Needless to say I was entirely unprepared for the disaster that was Oliver Wood’s living habits.
Despite having a bedroom, he would be up until the early morning hours planted in front of the television. I forbid going out to pubs for at least the first month, so the floor of my living room was littered with glass bottles that he didn’t bother to clean and I didn’t have time to clean. He smelled like the wrong end of a pig until I had finally convinced him to shower consistently by following him around with cheap perfume and spraying him and his drinks until he went into the shower. He managed to keep his dirty laundry in his room, but since he never bothered to close his door, that didn’t really help much.
The only time Oliver showed any form of motivation was when he was sneaking out of the house to go to the quidditch pitch. I didn’t much like the idea of having to live with him in the first place, so I thought it was almost cruel to charm him in the house. Unfortunately this was the fourth time he had slipped my grasp this week, and the bad press was just getting out of hand. Something had to be done.
“We’ve been trying to get him to come down for almost an hour now,” the team captain, Alex, explained exasperatedly to me, “We’re ready to go home, but we’ve been instructed not to let him practice alone. He keeps evading us.”
“WOOD, GET DOWN HERE NOW!” I didn’t need a charm to ensure that he heard me. I may not have learned to be messy living with five other women, but I learned how to be loud.
“When I’m finished!” Wood retorted coldly.
“Oh that’s it, I’m done with this. Give me your broom.” I shouted at Alex.
He looked quizzically at me, but the look on my face conveyed that I was not going to ask him twice and he reluctantly handed over his Firebolt. I inhaled sharply and kicked off from the ground.
“Oliver, don’t make me chase you. Get down to the ground now.” I yelled to his back as he batted away a quaffle that had been charmed to repeatedly fly towards the goal.
“Ah, Adelynn, I thought you couldn’t fly. Oh well, at least you can help me practice.” He hit one of the quaffles towards me and I slipped out of the way just in time. He was playing right in to my plan, although he didn’t know it. Goodness, I’m good at my job.
I started speeding toward him and he began laughing lightly smacking another quaffle in my direction while mentioning something about “not wanting to hurt me,” and “taking it easy on me.” Good, perfect, keep talking.
He hit another one in my direction, only this time I didn’t avoid the charmed ball. It hit the broom square in the tail and sent me toppling off of it.
“Shit, Adelynn!” Oliver cried as he nosedived toward my falling body.
He caught me while I was still at least 15 feet from the ground, but he was obviously shaken. He cradled me in to his body(which I have to admit, felt so warm on this chilly October afternoon.) and landed as gently as he could muster.
I nearly had to pry his arms from around me in order to pull away from him. I stood with my arms crossed for warmth until Oliver dismounted his broom and walked over to me putting a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and saw worried blue eyes gazing back at me and I almost felt bad for him. Almost.
I snatched the broom from his light grasp and started walking off the field. Before I left the pitch completely I pulled out my wand and called Alex’s broom back from where it had been hovering in the air. The entire team was too busy gapping at me like fish out of water.
It took all of one minute for Oliver to meet me at the base of the stairs heading to the locker room. He was fuming.
“I can’t believe you would fall off of your broom on purpose. What if I hadn’t caught you? You could have died.” He was fighting to keep his voice low. My guess was that he didn’t want his team to know any more about this ordeal than they already did.
“To be honest, I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist.” I replied coolly.
“You really think you’re that beautiful? That I just couldn’t resist rescuing a damsel in distress?” His voice was getting notably louder.
“Seriously? Is that what you think of me. We’ve lived together for almost a month and you still think I’m the kind of person that would use her looks to get her way?” I was becoming agitated. That comment hit dead on to a really sore spot of mine. “You want to know why I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist? Because you’re a damn professional quidditch player. My goal was to excite the athlete in you, not the hormonal teenage boy.”
Oliver’s face reddened and he stumbled over a few words before I raised my hand up to show that I wasn’t interested. I started smoothing my braid down and took a few deep breaths before continuing.
“Listen, I’m sorry if I embarrassed you, but you aren’t making it very easy to be overly kind either. You need to put in a little effort where other people’s lives are concerned.”
Oliver sat down on one of the steps and put his head in his hands. Slowly he rubbed his eyes and ran his hands through his hair. He looked defeated. I really hadn’t meant to deflate him like this, especially not today, of all days. I needed him on top of his game, but it was something else that made me sit down next to him and nudge him playfully with my shoulder. I couldn’t tell you what that something was, but for the first time in a long time, I felt motivated by something other than my job.
“Okay, I’ll cut you a deal, and I don’t cut many deals.” I smirked slightly as I said it; it was so true. “If you can promise me two things, I’ll let you hit the town a couple of nights this week to test the waters.”
“What are the conditions.” Oliver looked at me skeptically, but I could see a light returning to his eyes.
“Well first, I would greatly appreciate no longer living in a pig sty. I’ll even help you clean, but you have to promise not to live so shabbily anymore.”
“I guess I can do that for you. It was starting to gross me out anyways.” It was his turn to nudge me lightly, and smirk at that. It was probably the first time I’d seen even a hint of a smile in two weeks. He had a really nice smile.
“Okay then, number two. You have an interview with a reporter for a quidditch magazine in about two hours. I need you to promise to be on your best behavior, and give your best answers. If you can do that, you’re free to go out.”
Oliver looked up at me and raised an eyebrow before asking, “Who is the reporter?”
“It’s a surprise.”
I brushed off Oliver’s dark green button down and straightened his tie. He looked extremely uncomfortable in clothing that wasn’t either a quidditch uniform or jeans and a t-shirt, but at least he managed to make uncomfortable look attractive. He grumbled slightly when I made him pull a pair of dress shoes from the depths of his closet instead of his overly-worn-in sneakers, but he managed to get through most of the process with little actually whining.
I looked him over. Gwen Wright was going to eat him up. She was the perfect person to conduct Oliver Wood’s first post-accident interview. She always had a knack for portraying quidditch players in a positive light, especially the good-looking ones. She was tall, leggy, and blonde. Her father owned the magazine she worked for, but she was actually a talented writer when it came to pleasing her female audience. She managed to make quidditch fun for most women, and when you get the woman on the player’s side, her significant other is soon to follow. This interview was Public Relations brilliance.
It was also my way of having a little bit of fun. The magazine world had been buzzing with who I was representing now, considering I was very choosey with who I gave interviews with my players to, and because of this I had also chosen to Ms. Wright out of the loop as well as Oliver. This was going to be a fantastic day.
When I had finally convinced Oliver that he was ready to get on with the interview, he touched my shoulder so that we could apparate. A strange tingle ran through my spine, but very few people tend to touch me in any way other than a handshake, so it was probably just a new sensation. Yeah, we’ll go with that.
We apparated in to a part of the building far in the back of the newsroom. It was a private corridor where all of the permanent writers had offices. I had been here many times. This magazine also staffed plenty of male writers who took quidditch seriously enough to write fair stories about the Harpies, so I frequented this area of the building. Apparently, Oliver was no stranger to this part of the building either. The moment he had his bearings post-apparition he jerked to a stop.
“Who are we here to see?” He questioned quietly.
“You’ll see. This is an excellent opportunity and this interview was part of our deal remember?”
Oliver nodded and began moving again, but his actions were notably different. He was incredibly aware of his surroundings and his expression had hardened dramatically. As we made our way through the maze of doors his agitation grew rapidly.
“I never pegged you as the stalking type, Oliver.” A silky voice came from behind us.
I was standing directly behind Oliver, so I couldn’t actually see who was speaking, but I knew her voice. Gwen Wright was on her way back to her office, and the mere sound of her voice made Oliver’s fists clench.
He spun slowly on his heels and I stepped out from behind Oliver.
“Oh, I see, you’re Adelynn’s new client.” Gwen sneered while she spoke, and for once, I felt like I actually looked more attractive than she did. “It makes sense. She has a knack for bringing life to a hopeless cause.”
“That’s enough of that.” I inserted, stepping forward. “You will treat my clients with respect, or you can tell your father that this magazine will never have another interview with one of my companies clients.”
“Oh calm down, you silly little girl. Oliver and I have a history, don’t we honey?” Her green, heavily make-up covered eyes fluttered in Oliver’s direction. I could almost taste the fake honey she was pouring on to her words and it made me sick. Was she always this way, and I just hadn’t noticed before?
Oliver looked away and she laughed, “Oliver and I used to be engaged, which is why I assumed he was here on a personal call. My engagement to Reginald Finley was just announced in the Prophet this week.”
“Reginald Finley? The heir to the main creator of the Firebolt?”
“That very one. So I’m sure you can see why I thought Oliver was here in a fit of jealousy.” She had pushed her shoulders back an raised her nose trying to look superior, but it just made her look like she had caught wind of some of the crap she was trying to sell.
Before I could comment, I had the set of double doors at the entrance to the hallway slam shut. Oliver was gone.
I began to walk after him, but before I left, I couldn’t resist one final dig, “Enjoy your life with Reginald as his trophy wife. I went to school with him. He and his boyfriend were very happy back then.”
Although Oliver had gotten a significant head start on me, I knew the shortcut to the bottom level and was able to head him off just as he reached the entrance. I grabbed his arm and pulled him in to the hallway so that we could apparate back to our flat.
The moment we were safely in the flat, Oliver stormed to his room and threw the door shut with all the force he had. I decided to give him some time to cool off.
I poured two cups of tea and set them on the table that I had just cleared off. I figured cleaning was the least I could do since I had seriously neglected my research and taken Oliver in to this situation in the first place. I felt awful. I should have never taken him to see that awful woman. I should have known that he had been with a quidditch reporter, even if it was something he tried to hide. It was my job to know and monitor every part of his life.
It had been almost an hour since we had gotten back and the slamming and shoving noises had finally stopped in the room. I tool this a sign that it was safe to try conversation.
I knocked softly on the door and quietly said, “Oliver, can we talk?”
I nodded, expecting this sort of reaction, “I am really sorry.”
I began to walk towards the table when I heard a soft click of the door opening.
“It’s not your fault. You couldn’t have known. Her father hid our relationship very well.” He said, sighing heavily and tossing something in front of me on the table before sitting down and pulling his tea towards himself.
I picked up the object and flipped it over between my fingers. It was a ring. A gorgeous, easily two carat, diamond ring with intricate designs etched into the gold band. It wasn’t really my style, but I could tell it was expensive, and I could tell it was an engagement ring.
“Was this…Were you and Gwen…” Oliver cut me off before I could stumble over anymore words.
“Yep. Engaged. She broke up with me about a week after my accident, when the healers were still debating my eventual return to the team.”
“Oh wow, I’m so sorry.”
Oliver nodded and tuned his eyes towards his tea. His face was expressionless, but I had seen the pain in his eyes. It must be killing him. Less than four months after she breaks her engagement to him when she finds out he may not be able to play quidditch anymore, she has a new, wealthy, and well-known new fiancé. Damn, this girl worked fast. I’m assuming in every possible way as well.
Oliver drank his tea slowly, having nothing to add to his explanation.
“I think we need something stronger than this tea. Do you want to go out with me tonight?” I asked, trying to sound cheerful.
He raised his eyebrow as a smile threatened the corners of his lips.
“Oh, I didn’t mean like that. I only meant that we both need a drink after today, and it’s pathetic to drink alone.”
“I guess we could go out. You can’t act like my mother though. You have to let me drink.”
“You aren’t allowed to get trashed, but I’m not going to police you.”
“Then I guess we’re going out.”
“Can you give me an hour or so? I need to shower and get ready?”
“We can save time and shower together?” Oliver suggested wiggling his eyebrows. “I mean, there is only one shower in the apartment.”
I rolled my eyes and shoved him lightly. I liked that he was starting to feel better, but I wanted him to know that there would be no funny business between the two of us.
“How about I just go first, and you can shower after I’m all done. That way, you can think of me while you shower, and I wont have to hear anything because I’ll be blow drying my hair.”
I smirked at him and winked playfully before shutting myself in the bathroom and locking the door.
After turning on the water, I leaned against the closed door and sighed. The only image in my head was the one of him in nothing but a towel when we first met. Great, just great.
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Chapter 3: A Shot (of whiskey) in the Dark
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Oliver was sitting on the couch listlessly thumbing through a magazine that I had laid out. I had tried my best to be hospitable in the beginning. All of the feminine décor that I had used went promptly in to my bedroom and was replaced by solid colors and more male-friendly patterns. I had also taken all of my magazines that had anything to do with celebrities, gossip, or sex advice and stowed them in one of the drawers of the coffee table, leaving out only magazines about quidditch and newspapers that we could both enjoy. This was the first time I had been able to see the magazines on the table in weeks.
He had cleaned while I was in the shower. I smiled at his gesture and I could tell that it mean he was starting to come back to a world where more than just his despair over not being able to play quidditch lived. He was actually shaping up to be the nice guy that tabloids accused him of being before he was injured and began acting out.
“I’m just about ready. About ten minutes.” I said, scrunching my hair in my second towel as I walked out of the bathroom toward my room.
Oliver turned his head to acknowledge my comment and his eyes widened. His face took on a nice rosey color before I realized why he was gawking at me. I looked down and then my head shot back up. I was only wearing a towel. It was a fluffy, oversized towel, but either way, it wasn’t much in the way of clothing. I dropped the second towel and clutched the top and bottom of the towel I was wearing with my hands before muttering “sorry!” and scampering off to my room.
I had intended to just hurry on to my room, or at the very least use accio to call my clothes, but when I had opened my door to a clean flat, I guess I lost all train of thought. What, a clean apartment at this point was like a naked man, enough for you to forget everything that mattered and just stare.
I could hear him laughing as I closed the door, but I wasn’t going to look back. I needed to put it out of my mind, and I tried, I really did try. Pinky promise! I shook my head and turned on music to avoid my own thoughts for just a little while. I used a spell to quickly dry my hair and pulled it into a loose bun. After pulling on a flowy mid-thigh length black dress and a pair of sparkly flats I looked in to the mirror. I knew I would be overdressed for anywhere Oliver wanted to go, but I rarely got to dress in anything but business clothes and pajamas, so I wasn’t going to waste the opportunity.
When I came out of my bedroom Oliver looked up and smiled before saying, “I guess we’re even now.”
“Well, you’ve seen me in a towel, and now I’ve seen you in a towel. Although, yours was much bigger than mine, so I’m not sure how fair it really is.”
“Aw, but life isn’t fair. You’re just going to have to be thankful for what you’ve got.”
He had succeeded in slicing the tension that I had not been looking forward to facing. I was smiling. He was laughing lightly. This might actually be a good night. We started out the door and I led the way to the stairs.
“Damn.” I heard him whisper this in a voice that I could only assume was for his own ears because I barely caught it.
I smiled bigger. I knew that he was appreciating the view from back there, and I had every intention of letting him continue. I mean, tonight was about cheering him up.
I was more than correct why I had assumed that we were not going to a place that I would fit in. There were peanut shells littering the floor from the free offerings along the bar and more than once I caught myself just before slipping on what I hoped was spilled alcohol. The music was loud, but at least it was good music and there was a tiny dance floor that was just crowded enough for me to think about dancing after I’d had a few drinks.
“Can I get a beer and a…” Oliver trailed off, looking at me to finish his sentence for him.
“Scotch straight up.”
He gawked at me for the second time today.
“Hey, if I’m only going to have one, I’m going to enjoy that one.”
“Well, okay then. I just had you pegged as the white wine or, at the most, vodka and cranberry kind of girl.”
“I’m full of surprises.” I winked taking my drink and sipping it through the stirrer.
Wait, I winked. I really had to stop doing little things like that or I was bound to give Oliver the wrong impression. I could NOT be with a client and I could NOT have one wanting to be with me. I needed to stop this, but it was so easy to flirt with Oliver.
Oliver and I sat talking while he polished off two beers and I finished my scotch and moved on to water. I was determined to learn everything about him since I had made such a careless mistake earlier. I found out that his parents Anne and Daniel Wood still lived in Scotland on a peaceful spot of land that had been in his family for generations. His family had constructed a makeshift quidditch field on their property and that was why he loved the sport so much. He grew up playing with his friends and family any chance he got. This injury and the subsequent rule not to play or practice Quidditch was pretty much killing him. It was the one thing he had that took his mind off of his problems, and without it, he had to face everything.
He had to face things like his fiancé leaving him two days after he was put on the injured list for his team. She had told him that she couldn’t stand the way he was moping around, and if he wasn’t sure if he would play again, she wasn’t sure if she could be with him. He had no escape when Gwen had done this to him; he was still essentially on bedrest. So he began drinking. Unfortunately, he was a pretty belligerent drunk and the drinking caused more problems that it solved. The cherry on top of the cake was when he was informed that he would be kicked out of his flat and forced to live with his new Public Relations Rep aka: babysitter.
“I’m really sorry they forced us to live together.” I said after listening to his whole story. “I had no idea they were planning that until I showed up to meet you on the first day.
“I guess it could have been worse. At least they forced me to live with someone who cared about me in some way. I probably would have really hurt myself if I had kept trying to go it alone. It also gave me a reason to stay sober more often.”
“And why is that?”
“It’s easier to see pretty girls when you aren’t seeing double vision and don’t think you’re dreaming.”
The blush that filled in my cheeks burned slightly because of the alcohol I had already had, but I appreciated the compliment either way. I hadn’t had a boyfriend since I was in school because I was either surrounded by guys from my office who thought a woman didn’t belong in this field or quidditch players from the team who saw me as just some girl who worked for them. I hadn’t really been complimented in a non-perverted, wolf-whistle way since I was in school.
I smiled and stood up and Oliver protested, “Hey! What about your life story?”
“How about a rain check? I think I want to dance a bit. Care to join me?”
He shook his head and waved me on, so I headed to the dance floor. Never one to be shy, I started dancing by myself but was soon joined by a bloke with shaggy brown hair and a scruffy face. His eyes were brown, but sort of glazed over and muddy looking. He was obviously very drunk, which I gathered was also the reason for his inability to move with the music. I continued to dance with him, but his hands began to wander, and more than once I had to smack his hand away as it traveled down the small of my back.
He began trying to pull me closer, and I braced my hands against his chest to push away. He was stronger that I was, even while drunk, and he began to pull my face towards his puckered, wet lips. I closed my eyes and continued to push, trying to avoid the inevitable. Suddenly, I felt the man release me. I stumbled forward as my eyes opened and I saw that Oliver had pulled him off of my and basically tossed him across the dance floor. Luckily the man was too wasted to be confrontational. He mumbled something about me not being worth it, shrugged, and moved on to his next conquest.
Oliver helped me right myself and began brushing my hair away from my eyes. I brushed off my dress and looked up at him. His eyes were worried and his mouth was drawn down in to a frown. When he raised his head to look for the man I had been dancing with, he froze. His hands went stiff as they held my shoulders. He wasn’t squeezing, but he was no longer just holding me for my own balance. It almost felt as if he was holding me for his own.
I followed his gaze and right there in all of her hot pink mini dressed glory was Gwen and her fiancé sipping white wine at a table near us. Reginald was hunched over and talking feverishly about something that Gwen could care less than nothing about. She was staring at Oliver and smirking. She excused herself from the table, which didn’t make much of a difference, because I’m not sure that Reginald was aware that she was walking away.
“Aw, how sweet. Adelynn finally landed her self a man, and Oliver finally got over me. Granted you took a few steps down, but…” Gwen looked from my shoes to my hair as if she were grading me. I felt like she wasn’t being very generous either.
Oliver opened his mouth to speak, but I placed my hand on his elbow and guided him away. Before moving too far away, I looped back around and stopped Gwen before she got to her table. I put on my largest fake grin, and stepped in front of her.
“I just wanted to thank you for all of your help today. You definitely helped narrow my search for future journalists when it comes to interviews.”
Gwen rolled her eyes dramatically before speaking, “So happy I could help, but you should really stay away from Oliver. He’s a train wreck.”
“No, he’s just facing things that are a little out there for him. I think he cleared a lot of his problems out around the same time you cleared out.”
“I don’t need to stand here and listen to this!” Gwen shouted, trying to step around me to the right.
I swerved to stand in front of her, pulling a left over glass of beer from an empty table near me down on to the floor just as she stepped around to my left. I felt a few splashes of the liquid hit my shin at the same time her foot met the floor and slid out from under her.
She wailed as she went down, and her dress flew up around her belly button as she landed on the ground, revealing the fact that she had decided tonight was a good night to go commando. I moved away from the scene when I saw a few cameras being pulled out. I felt a little bad, but honestly, anyone who goes to a bar without underwear in such a tiny dress is just asking for trouble…not to mention bacteria from the bar stools.
I walked out of the bar and inhaled the cold air before looking around for Oliver. I was surprised to see him leaning against the doorframe. I had expected him to head home, or at least take a walk around the block. He stood and come over to wrap his jacket around my shoulders. Stupidly, I had forgotten my own at the house before we left.
“Thanks.” I said, looking down at my shoes.
“No, thank you. I really appreciate what you did in there.” Oliver replied.
I looked up, shocked at how close he was to me. His face moved closer to mine. Shit, he’s going to kiss me! What the hell am I going to do? How can I avoid this with out seeming like a total idiot? I inhaled deeply, but his mouth passed mine and nestled close to my ear.
“I see she stopped worrying about…extra body hair…when she dumped me and moved on to broomstick heirs.”
We both burst out laughing and made our way to a quiet alley so that we could apparate home. I can’t believe I was silly enough to think Oliver Wood was going to kiss me. I had felt an intense shiver travel up my spine when his lips brushed my ear, but that was probably just from the cold. Yeah, that’s definitely what it was.
Author's Note: Hello everyone, I really appreciate you taking the time to read this story!
What do you guys think of Adelynn? I'm a little surprised at the way her character is turning out so I was curious how you were percieving her.
As always, thank you so much for reading, review if you have a moment, and the next chapter will be up shortly!
Chapter 4: Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News
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I had fallen asleep on my bed with a book propped against my legs. It was definitely not the best position to sleep in, but I hadn’t really planned on falling asleep. So when a loud knock sounded on my door, followed by several more, I jolted up and had to deal with the resulting pain in my neck and lower back. I tightened my sloppy left over bun, and ran my fingers under my eyes, impressed that there weren’t any traces of mascara or makeup on my face. I guess I vaguely remembered running a washcloth over my face.
The knocking was persistent and I was beginning to get annoyed with whoever was on the other side of the door. I wasn’t awake enough for any of this yet.
I flung the door open and saw Oliver with an expression on his face that I couldn’t read. He was flipping through a list of names that had scratches marked through every name written on the pages. He didn’t bother to look up before speaking.
“I can’t believe that I can’t find a single person in my life is available for a few hours this afternoon. I can’t believe that I have to bring-“ He finally looked up and his lip curled up into an arrogant smirk.
At first I was puzzled by the grin plastered across his face and then I remembered that I had just woken up. I hadn’t changed or even checked my appearance before opening the door. Quickly, I glanced down and was instantly mortified. Not only did I have on a pair of incredibly short pajama shorts, but my white shirt did little to conceal the black lace bra I had on from the previous night.
“You really pay no attention to the way you dress around me do you.” Oliver said through his obnoxious grin, “If I didn’t know any better I would say you were trying to seduce me.”
“But lucky for both of us, you do know better, and you know that’s not the case.” I smiled back. I was in a very good mood despite his comments. Maybe it was because I had actually remembered to shave the day before, so my legs were at least at their best if they were going to be on display.
“You may as well come in and tell me your problems while I change. You can sit on the bed and I will go into the closet to get ready.”
I turned and began walking to the closet door, but I quickly noted that I did not hear the shuffle of Oliver’s feet behind me. I looked back and his eyes snapped up to mine, as his cheeks turn red. Again, I was in such a good mood, I was actually a little more flattered than upset, but only a little.
“Come on in, I really don’t bite that often.” I turned around and began walking, but when I heard him give a quiet sigh of relief, I couldn’t help myself, “Of course, if you want me to just go on to the closet so that you can finish staring at my arse, just let me know.”
“Well, if you’re going to offer.” I could hear him laugh slightly behind me.
He certainly got over that embarrassment quickly, and he was also surprisingly good at avoiding pillows that were chucked at his head, but I guess that was sort of part of his job.
I closed my closet door most of the way so that I could have privacy. Not that there would have been much to see, there is no clear view in to my closet from the bed.
As I peeled off each layer of my barely there outfit, I tossed it out of the closet and in to the hamper. As I began rattling through my hangers and tossing stuff out of my drawers I heard Oliver yell something. I realized I had forgotten to listen to what he was saying. Oops.
“What?” I yelled out of the cracked door.
“I said, you make it really hard to concentrate when I know there is a naked woman not to far from me!”
“That’s a lie. You’re clearly concentrating on the fact that I’m naked.” I pulled on a long sleeved red shirt that complimented my black pleated skirt and wool tights nicely and then stepped out of the closet before adding, “ But I am glad you aren’t just obsessing over your injury. A little fantasizing is good for you and my ego.”
I laughed when he quickly added, “I don’t see how there is anything wrong with your ego. I saw you in those pajamas early.”
“Okay then, either tell me what has you in such a tizzy, or bugger off. I have a lot of work I could be doing.”
“I was hoping to avoid this part of the conversation by distracting you with my charm and then seducing you. Can’t we just do that instead?”
I just folded my arms and raised an eyebrow in response. He sighed and explained that today was his three-month appointment at St. Mungo’s to assess his progress. They had sent an owl this morning informing him that he would not be seen if he arrived alone. He was required to bring someone along with him to accompany him home if they had to give him any potions that made it unsafe for him to fly, floo, or otherwise transport himself.
He continued by showing me the list he had made of every person he could think of that was nearby or not previously engaged, and explained that all of the scratched through names were because of the incredibly short notice and that no one was able to make it today. I wanted to tell him that it wasn’t short notice. He had received an owl reminder once a week for the past 3 weeks telling him the details of his appointment, but I figured this wasn’t the best time to remind him of that fact.
“So I guess I need to ask a huge favor from you. Will you please come with me to my appointment? I promise I will be the best client you have ever had if you do.”
“You already are one of the best one’s I’ve ever had. The Harpies were a handful. Of course I will go with you. I’m here to help you whenever I can.”
“I’m going to hold you to that tonight.” Oliver smiled slyly at me, winking as he motioned towards the bed with a nod of his head.
I rolled my eyes, “ You’ll really have to impress me before that happens.”
We both laughed. It was nice to finally feel like I wasn’t parenting him. It was like we were actually flat mates and not just a public relations rep and her out of control client.
We apparated to St. Mungo’s and I was relieved that the healer for his injury did not work as part of the emergency ward. There had been some black market deal that had resulted in about 70 people purchasing cheap cauldrons that boiled everything instantly and then began spitting the molten contents in every direction as soon as you lit the fire beneath it. There were people with burns and boils all over their bodies, not to mention scales, pig noses and hair down to their ankles that was still growing as results of the actual potion they had been trying to brew at the time. I overheard that it was a practical joke gone awry, but none of the people currently filing in looked like they thought it was funny.
Oliver was led to the back waiting room by a nurse who had to rush away to help deal with the commotion in the front, but not long after we were greeted by Healer McCoy, who Oliver had gotten to know on a very well since his accident. Healer McCoy, or Eric, as he insisted on being called, was a very handsome man, but in a clean cut way, not at all rugged like Oliver. Wait, why am I comparing him to Oliver. When did he become the basis for what I found attractive.
Anyways, he apologized, but informed me that I would have to wait while he took Oliver back for several tests on his shoulder. I wished Oliver well and then settled down with the book that I had quickly stuffed in my bag before we left. I couldn’t help but hope that this appointment didn’t end poorly. Oliver was finally starting to get back to normal (or at least, from what I could tell based on what his friends and family had been telling me.)
I began drifting slowly, after having pulled my jumper down over my hands and tucking my feet underneath me on the tiny waiting room couch. It was freezing. The fall air had definitely found its way in to this building. After and hour and a half my teeth were started to chatter, but I instantly forgot about the cold when Oliver slammed through the door and began pacing. He ran his hand through his hair and looked up at me. Not knowing what to say yet, he continued pacing, lightly pulling his hair. Occasionally he would stop, look up, and open his mouth to speak, but then resume pacing as the words were just not coming to him.
Healer McCoy…er, Eric… came out finally, his breathing slightly ragged after having obviously run after his patient. That was another point for Oliver; he was clearly in better shape than Eric. Not that this was a contest for my interest. I seriously doubted either of them were even interested. No, wait, stop it! I needed to stop worrying about who liked whom or who was cuter. There was clearly something serious going on. Focus Adelynn.
I looked to Oliver who still hadn’t found his words and then to Eric who had finally caught his breath enough to speak, but insisted that Oliver be the one to tell me, since I wasn’t technically his family. He did say he was glad I came because they had to give Oliver a pretty heavy dose of a numbing potion after the tests. His pain was triggered by all of the physical strain required to get a proper diagnosis of his shoulder, not that he would have ever told the healers. One of Eric’s assistants had caught Oliver wincing when he thought everyone had their backs turned.
Eric had turned to head back in to his examining rooms or office or whatever was actually behind that swinging door. After much prodding I convinced Oliver to sit down on the couch. I hesitated, but finally decided to rest my hand on his shoulder for support. He looked at my hand, touched it gently for a moment and smiled before shaking his head. His sour expression returned quickly and I realized he was finally ready to tell me what had happened.
“That McCoy bloke says that I need surgery. Have you ever heard of that!? All this magic, and they can’t even heal my bloody shoulder with out cutting me open!” Oliver put his head down into his hands and rubbed his eyes before continuing. “What’s worse is that he said any upper body physical activity could reverse my healing completely and surgery may not even help at that point. The surgery can’t be completed until my shoulder reaches a certain point in it’s own healing process, so I have to wait four bloody weeks before I can have it. I was told, and I quote, ‘Oliver, you can’t even pick up a broom for the next month, unless you want to risk never being able to pick one up again.”
I gaped at him, and without thinking, pulled him in to a hug. Oliver rested his head on my shoulder and touched my back lightly with his hands. We stayed like this for several minutes while he collected his thoughts and I wrapped my head around what I had just been told. How would I feel if I was told I could potentially lose my dream forever? I knew the hug wasn’t all he needed right now, but it was the best thing I could think to offer.
Finally we both pulled away and I asked him what he was going to do to keep himself preoccupied. He could tell that I was obviously thinking about all the progress my poor apartment had made in the cleanliness department, and he laughed.
“I promised to be the best client you’ve ever had, didn’t I? Besides, I’m not even allowed to look at alcohol on the pain medication that I’m that they’ve forced my to take. Wince one time and I’m stuck drinking a potion that tastes worse than the some of that “food” that Gwen used to cook. I swear she was trying to kill me for quite some time before we actually broke up.” He laughed. “But back to your question. I’m going to head home for a week to spend time with my family, and then I suppose I’ll just lay around the flat bothering you and doing puzzles.”
“Yeah, McCoy suggested I take up a hobby.”
“Well, I’m not entirely sure what Eric had in mind, but I’ve got a perfect idea on a way to keep you busy.”
“Eric, huh?” He wiggled his eyebrows and nudged me in the arm. I shook my head and laughed. “This idea doesn’t involve you and me in that bed like I suggested earlier does it?”
“Sod off, Oliver.” I said, but we were both laughing now.
“If not that, then I should probably be scared huh?”
“Oh if you aren’t absolutely terrified of me now, you will be once you get back and see what I have in store for you.
We used the floo network to get back to our flat because the Healers had suggest Oliver avoid apparating until after the surgery sue to all of the risks. I felt much closer to Oliver, and felt lucky to finally have a friend in the area after moving here so suddenly. I helped him pack and as soon as he had spoken the words and disappeared in to the floo network once again, I sent an Owl to his mum reminding her to force his pain relieving potions on him daily and also one to my best friend, asking her to come visit for a few weeks and help me out with a rather large project I was taking on.
Oliver Wood wasn’t going to know what hit him.
Author's Note: I love seeing how many of you have read this story. Thank you so much!
What do you think Adelynn is planning for Oliver? Do you have any comments or questions? As of right now, this is only planned to be another 6 or so chapters, and number 5 is about half done.
I'll update this soon! Please leave a review and let me know what you're thinking!
Chapter 5: Welcome to the Mad House
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Ellie Ventrillo had been my best friend since our room assignments had been divvied out at Beauxbaton in our first year. She was tall, like me, but that was where our similarities ended. Her light hair and gray eyes played perfect contrast to my dark hair and blue eyes, and she was by far the most organized person I ever met. It didn’t surprise me when she became a party planner, because there was absolutely no party in all of France that could compete when an Ellie original was being thrown at Beauxbaton. I know how to handle people pretty well, but Ellie knew how to handle details perfectly.
We hadn’t seen each other since I moved for my new job with Puddlemere, and there was never a better opportunity than this to call her in for reinforcement. I would need her expertise and patience if I was going to pull this off. This New Years Eve, less than three weeks from today, Puddlemere United would be hosting the biggest publicity party the team had ever organized. It was also my intention to announce Oliver Wood as one of the organizers of the party. See the reason I’m going to need a bit of extra patience? The press would eat up the fact that Oliver was taking point on a project so large after all of his misbehavior, but Oliver was more likely to see it as a torture worse than the fact that he wasn’t allowed to even think of exercise for the next four weeks. That was why I hadn’t told him yet.
Ellie sat cross legged on the couch with her portfolio open in her lap. I could see about a hundred brightly colored tabs indicating where lists, receipts, confirmations, and ideas for every aspect of the upcoming party. We were waiting for Oliver to get back from his family’s house, and although Ellie was comfortable and relaxed flipping through her notes, I was running a path in to the floor and giving my nails hell.
“Would you please just sit down! I can’t handle all the back and forth. You’re giving me motion sickness and I’m not even moving!” Ellie finally erupted.
“What if he hates the idea. What if it makes him do something stupid that goes against the Healer’s instruction. What if he decides he really hates me.”
“Would you listen to yourself? You’ve got me, and between the both of us, I think we can stop one man from escaping the evil clutches of party planning.” She paused, raising an eyebrow and grinning at me, “Besides, what does it matter if he hates you? He’s just a client after all.”
I huffed at her and very maturely stuck my tongue out in her direction. She was referring to the several letters I had sent her. She is under the impression that I am smitten with Oliver after a few comments on the fact that he had impressive abdominal muscles and what, I guess, is a nice face. I denied this as often as possible, but Ellie is stubborn. That, and she is certain that I have been single for far too long and a little action would do me a world of good.
She laughed and moved her portfolio off of her lap and patted the seat next to her. I sat down and leaned my body into hers before laying my head on her shoulder. She put her arm around my shoulders.
“You’ll be fine. I very strategically chose your outfit this morning. You currently have on a dress that makes your cleavage look great, your waist look tiny, your arse look lovely and your legs look miles long. If Oliver can say no to anything you have to say, I will question both his sanity and sexuality.”
“I just really like having a clean apartment.” I muttered before pulling a fleece throw over my legs.
“You do know you possess a wand right?”
Before I could say anything, a disheveled looking Oliver Wood popped out of the fireplace. He straightened his jacket and brushed off his jeans, but the moment he looked up at me, a devilish grin spread across his face.
“If I had known I would be missing this kind of party, I would have stuck around instead of being tortured by a constant string of requests to play pick up quidditch games with my nieces and nephews.” Oliver commented, tossing his bags to the base of his door before plopping on to the chair across from Ellie and I.
“Don’t worry, you only missed the preliminary activities. We’ve got lots of plans for the three of us over the next few weeks.” Ellie winked at Oliver and then kissed my head for emphasis.
Oliver covered a very unattractive choking noise with a fake cough and wide eyes. Ellie and I erupted in laughter and I sat up. It took us a while, and several throw pillows tossed from the chair, to calm down and regain composure. That was my Ellie.
I stood, straightened out my dress and cleared my throat lightly before speaking, “Oliver, this is Ellie. She is a wonderful party planner, and also happens to be my best mate from school.”
“Right, Ellie, nice to meet you. I’m…er…Oliver. I play..um…quidditch.”
I was used to blokes tripping over their words when I introduced them to Ellie. I was not, however, used to them surveying me with a slack jaw while they stumbled to introduce themselves. I’m not usually the one worth staring at; Ellie was gorgeous.
“Yes, I know who you are, and I agree, Ady looks positively bangable.”
It was my turn to gawk. Both Oliver and I turned to stare wide-eyed at my extremely blunt best friend. My cheeks were scalding and I‘m sure Oliver and I had very complimentary shades of scarlet on our faces. Unfortunately, that was also my Ellie.
She just smiled and turned her head towards me. I tugged and the hem of the dress.
“Trust me, you don’t have to do that.” Oliver’s blushing cheeks were replaced by a sly grin. Great, I was outnumbered two to one now.
“Oliver Wood, you are going to help us throw Puddlemere United’s New Years Eve Masquerade.” There, that would show him.
His smile turned down slightly at the corners of his mouth, but it didn’t disappear completely. He looked from me, to Ellie, and back to me. Finally, he busted out laughing.
“This is what you were so nervous about when I got here.” He said, still laughing between sentences, “ You thought I was going to rebel, didn’t you? Hell, this is better than what I had planned for the next few weeks. I just have one condition.”
I raised my eyebrow skeptically and Oliver continued, “You definitely need to get more dresses like that.”
I decided now was a fantastic time to introduce his face to the new throw pillows I had bought for the couch.
Ellie had everything about the actual running of the masquerade down to a science, so Oliver and I were exiled to the press and guest lists. Oliver had to go around to all of his teammates and collect lists, addresses, and dietary needs for all of their friends and families from each of them. It was hard for him to go to the team flats, but at least he didn’t have time to even think about a broom or a quaffle. While Oliver was doing that, I was dealing with the press.
Word had gotten out that Oliver had not received the best news when he last visited with the Healers. Every single magazine was anxious to get an interview in with him or the team and every single one (well except for one) was going to get what they wanted. It took a while to get Oliver to agree to this, but we promised a 1 hour interview segment to be held the day before the masquerade for any source that donated a minimum amount of gold to our silent auctions.
Those had been Oliver’s idea. He really wanted to have the party be more than just a bunch of drunks kissing people they didn’t know at midnight. He chose a foundation that donated money to help struggling families buy the items on the Hogwarts supplies list each year. He told me that he had some friends who really struggled with that sort of thing every year and that this was the least he could do. If he was going to attract so many people because his dream was on the line, he was determined to make it worthwhile. It was all a wonderful idea, until he realized how much work he was actually doing.
“I don’t care that Alex’s sister is on a low carb diet!” Oliver huffed as we were sitting at the dining room table approving one of Ellie’s menus, “I thought I was just going to have sit on the couch watching old quidditch matches and occasionally nod like I was listening!”
“So that’s why you agreed so easily to this party planning business. Oliver, you’ve lived with me for long enough to know that I will never, ever, make your life that easy.”
“I just don’t care about all of this sodding stuff. I’m a bloke! We know to choose one of the colors randomly when you give us choices on napkin colors. We know to nod when you say something is pretty, and to agree when you think something is ugly. The only thing we enjoy when planning any event is when we get to try all of the food!”
“Oh, Oliver, it isn’t that bad.”
“Yes, it is! It’s torture”
“I could go get you a puzzle.”
He opened his mouth, and then closed it. I win.
An owl flapped on to the windowsill and began pecking ferociously. As I opened the window, a letter was dropped in and I had to back up quickly as the large bird took off. As I was about to open the letter, Ellie came bursting in, with her arms full of bags and boxes of every shape and size.
Oliver and I rushed to help her, but we looked more frazzled than she did. She just let us take all of her things and set them on the table while she opened her binder to a bright orange tab labeled “guest lists.”
“Who is your date Adelynn?” She spewed through half of her mouth as she clutched a pen cap in her teeth.
“Well hello to you too.”
She looked up at me, and finally realized that she was no longer talking to a random client and that Oliver and I were people she was actually supposed to have conversations with before asking us a billion technical questions.
“I’m sorry, I’m just trying to finalize the guest list for the caterers.”
“Well, I’m pretty sure I’m going alone.” I replied. “If that helps any.”
“Me too.” Oliver announced.
I looked at him and bite my lip a bit as I thought. Oliver Wood could not show up to this party alone. I could, because, well, everyone was expecting me to monitoring him at every second and a date would just distract me, but he had to have a date if the press was actually going to buy that he was doing okay. Oliver Wood had not ever been seen without one lady or another on his arm.
Then, as if I had planned it subconsciously, I had a plan.
“No, Oliver, you have a date, but El, you don’t need to add a plus one.”
Oliver’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion, “Who am I going with then, you?”
“Of course not. Oliver Wood, meet your date for the evening, Ellie Ventrillo.”
Oliver sputtered at me and Ellie actually dropped the binder she was holding. A flood of arguments began to come at me from both directions. I think I heard Ellie say something about being offended that I thought she didn’t already have a date, and Oliver throw out a comment that he’d really rather go alone, no offense Ellie. It was all a jumbled mess that I allowed to continue for a few minutes as a smile grew on my face. Finally I stood up straight and held up a hand to silence both of them. I knew how to work a room when I needed to get what I want. That was my job after all.
I turned to Oliver. “You don’t have a choice. This is necessary. If he shows up with me, it will obviously look staged, but I need you to go with someone and with someone who I can trust. She’s a pretty blonde, who will look stunning in anything she wears and there is no better way to show that you are over a previous relationship than to show up with someone who is much prettier than your ex.”
“While it is true that I’m gorgeous, are you sure this is a good idea. What if Oliver and I fall in love and run away together.” Ellie smiled, clearly accepting the plan because it was important to me.
“The good riddance to you both.”
We laughed, but Oliver was still standing there with his arms folded, leaning against the wall.
“Why do I get no say in this?” he muttered.
“Oliver, you aren’t going to do better than Ellie, and the publicity and excitement of you actually showing up with a date will probably make more media outlets donate to the silent auction so hat they can get an interview. Try and think of it that way.” I replied.
“What do I tell them when I get asked about her? I’m not going to lie and say that she is my girlfriend. I won’t lie.”
“You don’t have to lie. We just need them to get to the interview, and then you can tell them the truth. Ellie is your friend and you wanted to be sure you spent the night with the people who are closest to you.”
He rolled his eyes, but I could tell I wasn’t going to get any more fight out of him. I took that time to explain that I would leak the news of his date in a few days, just a week before the actual masquerade. He still wasn’t happy with the idea, but at least he accepted it for the benefit of the charity.
Ellie, on the other hand, wasn’t listening to me at all. How do I know? Because, at the very moment I finished my spiel to Oliver she tapped me on the shoulder and held out my opened and unfolded letter from earlier.
“It looks like I’m going to have to make room at our table for one more, but at least I don’t have to add a plus one..”
She had the largest smile I had ever seen. I’m pretty sure I could see all of her teeth. When I read the letter, I groaned and knew exactly why she was smiling.
Eric McCoy had asked me to accompany him to the party. As his date.
Author's note: This is sort of a filler chapter, but the next one will be up shortly. I'm working on it now. :) What do you think of Ellie and Oliver attending the masq together? How about Adelynn and Eric?
I wanted to give a big shot out to bester_jester. Who took the time to review every chapter so far! I definitely took her notes and used them!
Also want to say thank you to everyone who is reading this! I hope you are enjoying it :)
Chapter 6: Let Me Entertain You
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Author's Note: I'm putting this at the beginning of the chapter this time because I wanted to warn you that this chapter is long! I didn't want to cut anything, but i also couldn't find a good place to split the chapter.
I hope you stick with it, and thanks for reading! I hope you are enjoying the story so far. There aren't too many more chapters in the plan, so keep reading and most importantly, enjoying!
On the morning of the masquerade I woke up with my stomach tied in knots. This was the biggest event I had ever put together in my entire career, and a lot was riding on it. I had to make sure the press saw that Oliver was trying his best to cope with his injury in a positive way. I had to show my boss that I could handle such a big client with such enormous events. I had to be a presentable date to Eric McCoy, my clients personal Healer. On top of all of this I had to deal with a blistering cold, overcast day, seemingly untamable frizzy hair and red splotchy skin that had developed over night. Needless to say, I was a mess, and I needed to find a way to calm down.
I decided now was not the time to worry about the rats nest on my head and looked into the mirror at the redness on my neck. Was it just me, or did that splotch sort of look like Australia?
“Oh this is ridiculous.” I mumbled to myself, throwing my hair in to a half hearted pony tail.
“What’s ridiculous?” Oliver said, leaning against the bathroom doorframe and taking a rather large chunk out of the apple he was holding.
“Oh, don’t worry about it.” I said waving him off, after having settled down from being scared half to death. How long had he been standing there?
“You know we are friends. You can talk to me.” He prodded.
“Really, it’s nothing. Ellie went out to the venue. She said she would meet you here around six so that you can get there early for the press. I’m going to go for a run, I think.”
Oliver laughed and raised his eyebrows in response before shaking his head and walking back in to the dining room. I shrugged and went to my bedroom to change. After putting on my clothes, I moved to the sitting area to tie my shoes. Oliver came and sat down across from me.
“You were serious? I didn’t know you could run.”
“Of course I can. I go out every day, you just don’t know that because you aren’t very well acquainted with an hour earlier than 10 am.” I said, looking up at him as I bent to tie my shoe. “You gawk at me enough. You should be able to recognize someone who works out.”
“Hey, sorry, I thought you were just naturally fit.” He said, smirking that all too familiar smirk, but when I looked up at him, his face became serious, even a little sad before he continued, “Can I go with you?”
It was a loaded question. He wasn’t just asking if I minded him coming with me. He honestly wasn’t sure if he was able to run and not risk his upcoming surgery. I realized that I hadn’t seen Oliver do any of his normal workout routine in the last three weeks. He was instructed not to do anything involving his upper body, but he had been avoiding all workouts in general. How had I not noticed that? We had been to busy getting this party ready, I suppose, but working out was usually such a major part of his day. I looked at his face. His eyes were pleading with me to give him permission to do something physical, but his jaw was clenched, as if he was preparing for disappointment.
“Well, Eric said to avoid upper body exercise, so I suppose if you take it easy, it would be alright. Let me send him an owl to make sure while you get changed. It wont take too long.”
Oliver’s eye’s brightened immediately as he went to his room to change. I scrawled out a messy note asking for permission to Eric, and luckily, today was his day off. His flat wasn’t terribly far off from my own and my tawny owl returned quickly with his permission, and a small note for me telling me that he was excited about tonight.
Oliver and I ran for about an hour. He was much faster than me, but the fact that he had avoided any and all exercise for the last three weeks meant that I had a bit better endurance than him. We made a game out of the running, having races between different lampposts, or shops. Oliver had a nice laugh at my victory dance, and I had an even better one over the fact that he came to a dead stop when he spotted a kitten down one of the alleyways. If a little girl hadn’t run out behind the cat just a few moments after he stopped, I’m positive we would have had a new pet in the flat. Who would’ve guessed that Oliver Wood was a sucker for kittens?
By the time we were on our way back, it had started raining lightly, and by the time we had actually reached the flat both of us were thoroughly drenched. Oliver tossed me a towel and I glanced in the side mirror at my stringy hair.
“At least I’ll be able to blow dry my hair in to submission.”
“Is that what you were upset about this morning? You’re hair looked fine. Women are strange.”
I laughed, “Not only my hair and skin. I’ve just got a lot riding on tonight. This is a huge moment in my career. Sort of a make or break moment, like when you were called up from the Reserves to fill in for that bloke who walked out on the team because he didn’t like that Alex was named captain over him. You had a lot to prove and only one shot. I’ve never organized an event by myself, I was always part of a team. If this goes wrong, the men in my profession will eat up my failure, and the women will never let me forget it. I’ll be lucky to ever earn what little bit of respect back that I have managed to get.”
“Well, first off, it seems like the run has calmed your nerves. All those splotches are gone. Even the one that looked like Australia! Second, I’ve been sitting through three weeks of torture with you and Ellie; nothing is going to go wrong. And if it does, well, then you have me and I’ll help you through it like you’ve been helping me. If I’m your friend, like you keep saying, then that’s what I’m here for.”
I could feel my mouth turn up in to a smile as I hugged Oliver. He hesitated for a second and then hugged me back. The hug felt like we were silently agreeing to rescue each other if anything went wrong tonight, and it was definitely what I needed. When we let go, our shirts clung to our bodies and I realized it was time to get out of the freezing wet workout clothes and in to something that wouldn’t give us pneumonia. Although, I wasn’t entirely sure my ability to breathe would be better in the dress I had for the evening. Damn corsets.
At 5:45 I heard Ellie pop in to the living room and tap her heel impatiently while she yelled for Oliver to hurry up. He came out and complimented her gown and mask with a simple “wow.” That really was an appropriate sentiment for the way she looked. I had been with her when she’d tried on the fitted dress and mask. It was a trumpet style gown in teal silk that she had paired with a delicate royal blue lace mask. The tie backs of the mask were cleverly hidden behind blue and green feathers that wrapped around her head. She had based her costume on a peacock costume that she had seen the previous Halloween, but the short skirted, sky-high heeled novelty costume had nothing on the elegance of the ensemble Ellie had put together. She would be a knock out at the masquerade, and that was exactly what Oliver needed on his arm when he arrived.
I heard Ellie mutter something about quidditch players never knowing how to tie a damn tie straight. If this was all she had to say about someone’s outfit, it may as well be taken as the highest compliment. After a few more moments I heard two simultaneous pops and I knew I was here alone for the next half hour. I was to meet Oliver and Ellie at 6:30 for the open forum with the media and then meet back up with Eric after the interview. Luckily, I was almost ready.
I blinked through the last bit of my eyeliner application and allowed it to dry before slipping my mask on. I had decided that I would use the night sky as my inspiration and I had found the perfect mask to go with that theme. The mask was made of an ivory silk. The right side was shaped the way a mask usually is, but the top of the left side curved up into a crescent point on the top of my head. The half crescent lay against my head and the color made it look exactly like a moon. I’d be lying if I said this mask wasn’t the reason I had chosen the night sky theme to my costume in the first place. I loved how unique it was, not to mention how mysterious the color made my smokey eyes look. It made me feel strong and confident, which I would definitely need tonight.
I had put off tightening the corset on the dress as long as I possibly could, but unfortunately the drop waisted ball gown would not stay up without me losing my ability to inhale properly. It was a beautiful dress though, with a bodice of black silk covered by black lace that had little crystals spread all over it (I imagined those to be the stars.) The taffeta ball gown had the same crystals but there were layers of dark blues and purples mixed in with the black to create a full ball gown that had every shade of the night sky. All in all, my outfit was a success in my mind. Now the event just needed to be one as well.
I heard the familiar pop of apparition once again and then a firm knock on the door. Using my wand I cinched the corset and, after a quick glance to make sure my loose curls were not going haywire, I stepped out of the bathroom and opened the front door.
Eric was wearing a simple black suit, tie and mask. He also wore a smile and offered me his arm so that we could be on our way. When we arrived, I dropped him off at the refreshment table with Ellie while I joined Oliver at the press conference. They exchanged pleasantries, but there was an unmistakable familiar twinkle in Ellie’s eyes. This was going to be a good night.
The questions that were angled at Oliver were almost exclusively about how he was coping with his injury. If they had asked him these questions when I first met him, I would have been terrified of his answers, but I trusted him to form the appropriate answers. I zoned out until I heard a question that neither of us had expected or prepared for.
“We’ve been hearing that Adelynn Lavoie has been considered by several other teams for the next season. After her contract ends, do you have any idea where she will be heading? Or is she planning on staying with you and Puddlemere United?” A reporter from the Prophet ventured.
Oliver reached for the back of his neck and glanced over to where I was standing behind the curtain. I shrugged and signaled for him to pass the question to me.
“Well, since I can’t really speak for anyone but myself, I’ll let Adelynn answer that one. He moved aside as I walked out.
“If you have been hearing rumblings about where I’m heading next year, I would love your sources, because I wasn’t aware that anyone other than Puddlemere was interested in me.”
There were a few chuckles, but then I saw a hand shoot up. I called on them wearily.
It was a reporter from Quidditch Today. That was Gwen’s magazine; they shouldn’t be here. It was Gwen’s assistant in fact. I sighed, but took the question anyways.
“So if you receive an offer, are you considering leaving?”
“I don’t really like to play the ‘what if’ game, but I’ll tell you what, if I receive an offer, I’ll hold my own press conference so that none of you need to go around guessing or taking information from any source that isn’t myself. That will conclude our question portion of the evening and you may all now proceed to the ballroom for the party. Enjoy!”
There was a definite grumbling in the crowd, but I guided Oliver off stage to wait in the wings while the reporters dispersed. Eventually the stragglers that were hoping to get in one last question made their way out to the main ballroom. I began walking and was half way to the door before I realized that Oliver was not following me. I turned around and was stunned to see that Oliver was looking directly at me as if he had been waiting for me to turn the entire time.
“Have you received offers from another team.” Oliver asked quietly, holding my gaze.
“Of course not. Those rumors come up every season to try and keep our otherwise boring job more exciting.”
“But last year you did receive an offer. From Puddlemere.”
“I promise, if it is within my power, you will be the first to know of any offer I receive. It directly affects you, and it’s my job to make your life run as smoothly as possible.” I had closed the distance between us and placed my hand on his bicep, clutching his arm gently, “Now can we please go enjoy the party that we slaved over for the last three weeks.”
I could tell by his halfhearted smile that he wasn’t convinced, but also that he wasn’t going to put up a fight tonight. He needed a party just as much, if not more, than the rest of us.
It took me a solid two hours to track down Eric and Ellie, and once I had, I wasn’t too keen on interrupting. They had made their way to a balcony that had been charmed so that it would stay warm without a covering. It was clear by the way her hand never left Eric’s thigh or upper arm, that Ellie was enjoying my date far more than I would have. Eric was laughing and exchanging jokes with her, so I wasn’t too worried that he was missing me either. I was glad they had found each other though; I wasn’t in the mood to entertain a date or a best friend tonight. Something about the prospect of an offer from another team had put me in a strange mood.
I returned to mingling, and then personally found and informed the winners of the silent auction. The final winner shocked me though, and as I scanned the crowd I found the silver haired gentleman chatting with a gaggle of young ladies that he had no business talking to and nursing what appeared to be far from his first gin and tonic.
“ Mr. Wright, how are you.”
He spun on his heels, wobbling slightly. Gwen’s father was standing before me, in all of his drunken glory, wiping the alcohol he had just spilled from his sleeve.
“I just wanted to let you know that you were our winner for the Puddlemere United jersey signed by the entire team. Congratulations.”
“Ah, yes. Adelynn is it? It’s a shame I had to bid at all, after the donation to secure a spot in the interview. That planner, Ellis, I think, she’s quite charming.”
Ah, so that’s how he got invited. Note to self: Chastise and then mercilessly tease Ellie for not double-checking her media list. Oh, wait, Mr. Wright was still rambling.
“My daughter pleaded with me to purchase this silly thing so that her little chihuahua of a fiancé could brag about it in the office. She is still trying to find ways to make him look more manly like that Wood bloke she stupidly broke up with a few months back.”
“She thought a signed Puddlemere jersey would make Reginald seem more manly?”
“Oh hell, I don’t know anymore. She arranged for all of those paparazzi to meet her in that dirty pub to snap pictures of them and all they got was her without her bloomers. Made me so mad. I suspended her from the magazine for a month.”
“So that’s why she was there!”
“Mhm. Damn shame, it is, that Wood fellow would have given me good solid grandsons.”
I heard a spray of liquid and a bit of coughing behind me and I had to throw my hand over my mouth to prevent myself from laughing in Mr. Wright’s face.
Oliver, who I assume was the sprayer from behind me grabbed my elbow and quickly threw out an, “Excuse us, sir,” before pulling me out of the front doorway to the ballroom.
I tried to catch my breath, but as soon as the door closed fully, both Oliver and I burst out laughing. Our laughs echoed in the hallway for several minutes before we finally quieted down. Oliver sat down on the bench and patted the seat next to him.
“So is everything unraveling at the seams, or is it okay if we calm down now?” Oliver asked, catching his breath from laughing so hard.
“Seems to be going well to me. Ellie has this thing running like a well-oiled machine. I don’t even think I need to be here anymore, now that all of the silent auction prizes have been doled out.”
“Speaking of Ellie…”
“Lets just say that she and Eric were very pleased to make each other’s acquaintance.”
Oliver nodded and looked up at the dark wood ceilings above him.
“Well, I think everyone in there is thoroughly trashed by now, and I can’t bloody breathe in this contraption. I think I’m going to duck out early. We’ve got plenty of staff to get the guests to their rooms or homes without me being in the way.”
“But it’s only ten thirty. You’ll miss midnight.”
“Oliver, dear, it will strike midnight at our flat you know.”
“But you wont get your New Year’s kiss. Not that you would anyways now that Ellie nabbed your Healer.”
“Eh, I wasn’t really planning that far ahead anyways.” I carefully stood smoothing out my dress and pushing my mask off of my head. “I’m going to head home.”
“Do you think it’s okay if I come with you. All of my mates are completely gone, and with me not being able to drink, I’ve found out they aren’t really as funny as I thought they were.”
I laughed lightly, and nodded, holding his arm and apparating back to our flat.
“Bugger! I can’t breathe!” I said searching the apartment for my wand so I could loosen the ties on my dress.
Although, I’m not sure how I lost a wand in a modest two bedroom flat, I eventually gave up, resigning myself to knock on Oliver’s door.
He opened the door and for the second time, I was able to bask in the wonder that was Oliver Wood’s abdominal muscles. Trust me, a few weeks without exercise hadn’t fazed him at all.
“My eyes are up here, Ady.” Oliver said in a teasing tone.
“Sod off, Oliver.” I said rolling my eyes. “Hey, wait, you’ve never called me Ady before.”
“Eh, I just thought I’d try it out. Not sure how I feel about it yet. Why are you still in that dress?”
“That’s sort of why I’m here. I can’t find my wand, and I can’t get out of this dress by myself with out it. Could you untie and loosen the corset?” I mumbled the last bit.
“I’ll help you, but I want you to know that I’m only helping because you can’t breathe.” He grinned as he spoke, “ If you could function in this, I don’t know if I’d ever let you take it off. You look fantastic.”
I blushed and pulled at the top of the dress, hoping to hide at least a little bit of the overwhelming cleavage that I only had because of the tightened corset. I whisked around, trying, in vain, to smack Oliver with my hair as I spun. He chuckled and began working at the bow of the corset.
He struggled for several minutes. Between his quidditch callouses and the fact that the corset was charmed, he was definitely fighting a losing battle with the knots. Eventually, and not before he threatened to “just cut the damn thing” several times, the knot began to give. He quickly untied the bow and then loosened the crossed laces all the way to the top. His hands brushed my shoulders when he reached the top and I shivered. I was certain it was because I was taking in oxygen at a rate that hadn’t been available in a long time, but when I turned around, I saw that Oliver’s face was a soft shade of red, and I wondered what he was thinking.
I was clutching the top of the dress, trying to prevent Oliver from getting the view he had been missing when I was covered in a towel a few weeks ago. I thanked him and then made my way to my room. I tossed the dress in to a crumpled pile in the corner of my room, vowing to deal with it in the morning, but knowing I wouldn’t touch it until at least tomorrow evening. After taking off my make-up, I quickly changed into a tank top and a pair of pajama shorts before pulling my barely there curls in to a ponytail.
I walked out to see Oliver chewing on a piece of chocolate from one of the gift baskets. He looked up at me and sighed loudly.
“What did I do?”
“Damn it woman! Are you trying to kill me?” He grumbled.
“I haven’t been with anyone in half a year and you are always parading around in tiny shorts and shirts and dresses that couldn’t possibly fit you any better. Ugh!” He stormed in to his room as I stood in the living room completely stunned.
I wasn’t expecting him to stomp back out of his room and hold out a Puddlemere shirt in my direction, but that’s exactly what he did. I took it, still slightly dumbfounded, and unfolded it to reveal a long sleeve shirt that would definitely be baggy on me. I started laughing and put the shirt one. Once I looked back at him, his arms were folded, but I could see that he was fighting back laughter of his own.
“Do you feel better now?” I asked and he nodded, “You know Ellie wears the same type of clothing as I do, but I don’t see you modifying her wardrobe. What makes me so special? Not that I don’t love your fashion input.”
“Honestly, I don’t really notice Ellie all that much.”
“Uh-huh.” I mumbled, smiling up at Oliver, before stealing a piece of chocolate and heading back to my room.
I had just propped myself up on my pillows, ready to read away the last forty-five minutes of the year in my new Puddlemere United shirt that smelled vaguely of cologne (had this not been washed since he wore it last?) when I heard a knock on my door frame. Oliver was standing there holding up two mugs of tea.
“I’d like to cash in my rain check.”
I raised my eyebrow in confusion.
“Before, at the bar, you offered a rain check on your life story. I’m cashing it in.” He held out the cup to me and sat down on my bed expectantly.
It took me a second to realize he was serious, but I closed my book and accepted the tea. I started with my parents split when I was little, my schooling at Beauxbaton (namely, my adventures with Ellie) and even a few of my old boyfriends. I was just finishing up one of my stories about my first few months with the Harpies when my clock and the subsequent firework explosions signaled that it was midnight.
I looked over, and Oliver was stretched out next to me on the bed, propping himself up on his arm with his body angled toward me. He smiled warmly and my cheeks started to heat up.
“Happy New Year, Oliver.”
“Happy New Year, Adelynn.”
And then he kissed me. Not hard, or for very long. He just leaned over and gently laid his lips on mine before returning to his spot on the bed.
“I just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out on your kiss.”
I nodded, touching my lips absently, and laying back on my pillows.
Chapter 7: Don't Get Comfortable
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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?
Chapter 8: Experimental Stages
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I apparated directly in to the waiting room where we had met Eric for Oliver’s last appointment. The woman at the desk took one look at the two of us and paged Healer McCoy immediately. I cradled Oliver’s head in my lap as I slumped against the nearest wall. I whispered his name over and over again until Eric and his assistants rushed out with a stretcher, lifted Oliver on to it, and rushed off, leaving me dripping wet, stunned, and terrified in the waiting room.
I climbed off of the floor and on to one of the couches. The woman who had paged Eric brought me a blanket and a warm cup of tea. I tried to form a smile, but I’m not sure my mouth formed one. My head was throbbing now, even as I laid it against the wall softly so I closed my eyes. I tried to force sleep, but it refused to come, and instead I sat, thinking and hoping for the best, for two hours.
When Eric finally came out from behind the doors, he was flipping through a chart. His face looked grim and his eyes were circled with dark rings. He looked to the woman who had brought me the blanket expectantly. I wasn’t sure what he had asked her, but she shook her head and simply pointed to me. Eric sighed, nodded, and walked over to sit down across from me.
“Usually we would not be able to tell you anything about Oliver’s condition, but we were unable to reach his family, and when he was here last he listed you as his emergency contact. That, combined with the fact that he’s been asking for you since he woke up, means that I can fill you in on what is happening.”
I pulled my eyes from their trained spot on the wall so that I was at least looking at Eric. I couldn’t speak, all of my words were caught in my throat, but I nodded to tell him to continue.
“All of the progress Oliver made over these last months has been completely reversed. He didn’t feel much pain as he was practicing due to high levels of adrenaline running through his body, but I assure you, he is dealing with pain like he has never felt before now that it has worn off. We’ve got him set up with several pain potions, but I’m afraid they are barely dulling the pain.” Eric’s eyes looked heavy and I could tell he hadn’t even reached the bad part yet.
“The surgery we had scheduled in three days is no longer an option. When Oliver was simultaneously hit by both the bludger and the quaffle, the impact not only set his recovery back to square one, it also shattered his collarbone and his impact with the ground combined with all of the trauma and stress tore several vital muscles. There is far too much damage to complete the operation now.”
I found my voice, although I wasn’t sure it could really be called more than a whisper, “So what does that mean. Is it over? Can he ever play again?”
“I don’t want to get his hopes up, or yours. His chances of playing professional quidditch again are dismal at best, but there is a new potion on the market. It is still in the experimental phases, and results have varied drastically from patient to patient. We haven’t presented this option to Oliver yet. We thought it best that someone close to him brought it up and then discussed this with him.”
“He’ll do whatever it takes. You know that.”
“I do, but he has to be made aware of the side effects and the pain. This potion combines mending bones with mending muscles and it is being marketed to athletes only because of the strain the potion itself puts on the body. The person who takes it needs to be in top physical condition, or else their body will not be able to handle the speed at which the potion progresses recovery. It is painful, like growing pains maximized by a thousand, and this potion would only mend the bones and muscles back to the point where we would be able to complete a successful operation. If both the potion and the surgery are successful, Oliver still only has a 75 percent chance of playing at his previous level.”
“That is a lot to take in at once. Are you sure I’m the best person to tell Oliver all of this?” my voice was stronger now and I was leaning forward trying my best to be engaged in the conversation.
“He trusts you, even now. Yes, Ellie sent me a letter about the fight, to let me know to possible expect Oliver. He needs to hear this from someone who has his best interests in mind and will be there for him during this whole ordeal.”
I hesitated for a moment, running over all of the hurtful things that we both said to each other. There was nothing I could do but agree. I would be there for Oliver, no matter what decision he made.
“You need to make a decision within the next hour. That’s the window for administering the potion under such extreme circumstances. After that, the body will become unresponsive as it tries to mend itself.”
He squeezed my arm for support and then wandered off looking over charts and talking seriously with the other healers and assistants that were in the corridor with us. It was then that I realized I was behind those solid double doors that had previously separated Oliver in the wings of the hospital and myself in the waiting room. I must have absently let Eric lead me in as he was explaining the potion and its effect to me. I was now standing outside of room 109 and staring at the slip of paper that had been placed in the slot on the door telling me that “OLIVER WOOD” was in that particular room.
I tried to inhale deeply, but I took in air so sharply it gave me a slight cramp in my side. I brushed my hair from my face, feeling the tangled mess that had never been brushed that morning and then endured a rainstorm and apparition. I didn’t think Oliver would care, but I didn’t want to look frazzled and risk him reading the sheer terror all over my face. I pulled the hair tie out and smoothed it down as best I could before twisting it in to a bun and securing it again. I felt a little better, and I hoped the small effort would make me appear more confident as I spelled out all the details of the new potion to Oliver.
“Would you get in here? Your hair looks fine and I’m sick of being alone with all of this beeping and whirring!”
Apparently Oliver’s door had been cracked just far enough that he could see me from his bed.
He was smiling at me, but his eyes looked heavy and he was gritting his teeth slightly. Eric said he was in pretty intense pain. I did my best to pull a smile on to my face. I’m not sure if it worked, but Oliver’s eyes seemed to brighten slightly.
“So what’s the news?”
I pulled one of the guest chairs as close to the bed as possible and rested my hands on the bed. He grabbed the one closest to his hand and gripped it tightly, preparing for the information the healers had told him to be expecting. I rubbed his hand lightly with my thumb and then went through all of the information I had received.
Oliver listened to every syllable as if it was going to be the last thing he was ever going to hear. I did what I could to explain the information slowly, and really give everything ample time to sink in before moving on to the next piece of the puzzle. By the time I was finished, I was exhausted, and through with talking, but I looked up to gauge Oliver’s reaction.
His brow was furrowed, his teeth were clenched and I could tell he was putting almost all of his effort in to not squeezing my hand as a relief from the pain. He was clearly letting everything settle and then he shocked me.
“What do you think I should do?” He asked softly.
“I really don’t think I can make that kind of decision for you.”
“That’s what I thought you were going to say.” He sighed heavily, “I want to do it.”
“Are you sure. A lot of things can go poorly, and this may not even work.”
“I know, but I don’t think I could live with it if I didn’t at least try. Quidditch means everything to me. I have to at least attempt to get back to it.”
I tried to sit back in the chair but he gripped my hand, keeping me next to him. He looked down at me, and his eyes were serious, decided. He was not going to change his mind. He was not looking at me for permission this time; he was looking to me for support. This time, I was not going to let my brain over run my heart. I was going to stay beside Oliver until all of this was over.
“Then I’m not going anywhere.” I said firmly.
“What about your offer? It really is a fantastic career move, and I don’t want to hold you back from something like that.”
“Sometimes there are things that are more important than my career, and you are one of them. You were there for me during the New Year’s event, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and now I’m going to be here for you during this.” I smiled slightly, “Like it or not, you are my friend now, and my friends have the hardest time getting rid of me. Just ask Ellie.”
He smiled a real smile and then squeezed his eyes tight, taking his hand from mine and moving it to the shoulder that was in a hard cast. He took several deep breaths and trained his eyes on the ceiling, obviously trying not to complain about the pain.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
He looked at me and did his best to smirk, although the gritted teeth and squinted eyes didn’t produce the normal effect.
“You can kiss it and make it better.” He managed.
I stood, and leaned over the bed, my face just inches from his. Surprise replaced some of the pain in his eyes, and his jaw relaxed slightly. I kept moving forward, thankful that he didn’t have his wits about him. If he had he may have leaned forward to kiss me, but that would have ruined the dramatic effect I was going for. I bent merely centimeters from his lips and then placed mine on his cheek.
“Tell you what, you make it out of this alive and we will see about that kiss.”
“I’m holding you to that.”
“Please do.” I added with a wink.
He was smiling again, obviously having braced himself for the gesture this time because he grabbed my hand again instead of his shoulder. I looked up at the clock and realized that we had been missing for almost 6 hours to our friends and Oliver’s family. I had to contact everyone and tell them we were alright before Ellie organized a search party. I told you, she is the best in the business for parties and I meant it. We would have hundreds of people scouring every nook and cranny of Western Europe if I didn’t tell someone where we were soon.
I pulled my hand away from Oliver’s and started towards the door.
“Stay.” He whispered, barely audible, as I was about to open the door.
With a hand on the door knob, I let a small smile play on my lips before turning around and pacing towards him.
This time, I put my hand gently behind his head, and kissed his forehead before saying, “I need to let your family know you are safe and what is going on. You’re going to need as many people as possible by your side, but I promise, I’m not going to leave. I’m here, no matter what.”
He smiled, and closed his eyes as his most recent potion settled in to mask the pain. He would need his rest. Now I just needed to gather the strength to help him through either outcome.
Author's Note: Sorry about any typos. I tried to read it quickly before posting, but I only had limited time!
What do you think will happen with Oliver's potion and surgery? Do you like where Adelynn and Oliver are heading? Let me know everything you're thinking! I love hearing it!
Also, NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I will do my best to update this story once a week until it is finished, but my NaNo story has to be my priority. Only a few more chapters for this one though, so don't worry!
As Always, thanks for reading!
Chapter 9: The Waiting Game
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The Healer came to cart Oliver to a different private room about thirty minutes after his parents and Ellie arrived at the hospital. We were given permission to wait in his normal room, instead of the general waiting room because Eric thought we would be more comfortable and it would keep up away from the prying eyes of the press who had gotten wind of Oliver’s newest accident and were eagerly trying to attain information any way they could.
We were told that the potion should activate, and if it was successful, leave Oliver’s shoulder surgery ready within two hours. He would not be brought back in to this room until after the surgery however. He would be in so much pain that it would be best if he was kept confined in order to allow him to deal with it any way he could without having to put on a brave face. Even the Healers and their assistants would be stationed away from the room, though they were leaving sensor in the room that would be able to read if Oliver’s pain levels reached critical condition.
If his body managed to avoid going in to shock, and accepted the experimental potion that regenerated his bones that quickly, he would be sedated so the surgery could be preformed. His mother asked that he be sedated during the experimental potion, but if his body relaxed to the degree induced by the sedative, his body may not have the power to see the potion through to its potential. The four of us would just have to wait it out, knowing Oliver was in pain, and knowing there was nothing we could do to help him. These would be the longest two hours of our lives to this point. I was sure of it.
Eric left and I saw Richard Wood go over to his wife and try to hold her as she shakily gripped a cup of stale coffee. Her eyes were puffy, but at the moment it seemed as if she had cried as many tears as she could. I was sure more were not far off, but I thought it best to let Richard comfort her. He would have better luck keeping her calm than I would.
Ellie was pulling at the strands of thread at the end of her sleeves, slowing unraveling them, plucking them off and then playing with them absently. Each time she would drop a thread, she would pluck another off and begin the process all over again.
I just looked out of the small window down to the street below where at least twenty journalists had crowded around the lower entrance. Some looked up and spotted me, instructing others to look up and snap pictures. The flashbulbs going off spawned an instant headache and I immediately pulled the curtains on the window tight.
“You should go down and speak with them. Maybe that would help the buzz die down a bit.” Leigh Wood said to me from across the room, fighting to stabilize her voice.
I looked back at her, and I could see her hopeful eyes looking back up at me. If the press was bothering her even half as much as they were bothering me, I figured I needed to try to do something. I nodded, and smiled, but didn’t say anything. She smiled back and then tucked her head back in to her husband’s chest.
Ellie followed me out of the door and in to the community bathrooms. She handed me tissues and mascara, instructing me to clean myself up while she got out my clothes.
“Clothes?” I said, trying to snap out of my daze.
“Yes, clothes. You know, things other than a Puddlemere t-shirt and shorts.” She spoke quietly, realizing that I wasn’t all there.
I nodded absently, vaguely remembering that I was still wearing my clothes from the night before. She handed me another Puddlemere jumper that she said she rescued from Oliver’s clean laundry because it looked cozy, and a pair of jeans.
“No one is expecting you to look professional. You’ve been in the hospital all night. Just focus on being comfortable and answering the questions they have. Try to get them to give you and Oliver’s family some space.”
I was thankful for Ellie at this moment more than ever. She walked to the back entrance with me and went out to inform the press that I would hold a short conference, but that afterwards, they needed to respect the privacy of the family and keep their distance until more news was available.
I stepped out to fifty flashbulbs going off all at once. I knew what my first order of business would be.
“Please, no pictures. I’ve had a long night and the flashing lights are giving me a bit of a headache.”
Immediately I was asked what had happened and I did my best to explain. I told the press about Oliver falling off of his broom while practicing, his shoulder, and the risky experimental potion that he was trying at this very moment.
“What would make Oliver go out and practice? Wasn’t he given specific instructions to stay away from the pitch?”
“Oliver got rather angry about something this morning, and the best way he knows to blow off steam is to play quidditch. It has been killing him since he was given those instructions, and I for one, am incredibly proud that he managed as long as he did.”
“Does his anger have anything to do with your offer from the Bulgarian National Team?”
“Word travels fast in this community doesn’t it?” I said, forcing a smile that I wasn’t sure was convincing. “It is true that I have received an offer, and once I make my decision, I will let you know. For now, it is my job to stay by Oliver’s side, both as his representation and as his friend. I will not be selfish and worry about my career when my friend is undergoing the most trying time in his life. Now, last question.”
“So you are standing by the story that you and Oliver are just friends? Several guests saw you leave the masquerade together just before midnight. Neither of you were seen again that night, and now you haven’t left his side since he was brought in.”
It was Gwen’s assistant again. He must have been sent with a list of questions, because there was no way those words hadn’t come from Gwen’s brain.
“Oliver and I maintain a friendship, nothing more, and even if there was more going on, now seems like a very inappropriate time to talk about my personal life, don’t you think?”
The reporter’s face flushed in the lamp light and he sunk back in to the crowd. I turned my attention back to the group as a whole.
“As I explained earlier, we will not know the outcome for several more hours, and then it will take a bit of physical therapy before we are able to judge anything definitively. I will release information as I learn it, so please give the Wood family some space over the next few weeks. If they are hassled, I will see to it that the publication responsible receives absolutely no information from Puddlemere ever again.”
The crowd muttered their discontent, but after several stern looks and some physical herding, they dispersed. Ellie and I made out way back in to the hospital. I slumped against the wall, surprisingly drained from that short interaction.
“You need to get some sleep.” Ellie insisted as we walked back through the door.
I tried to protest, but she was determined that even an hour and a half would be better than nothing at this point. To my dismay, Oliver’s parents took it upon themselves to see to it that I took my nap as per Ellie’s instructions while she went to collect a few things from the flat. There is no winning when you become the sole distraction for a mother and a father who can either make sure you sleep, or worry about their son.
Within two minutes, I was tucked in to the couch with a blanket and a pillow pulled from Oliver’s bed. As I drifted to sleep, I noticed that the pillow smelled like him faintly, and I snuggled deeper in to it.
I woke up groggy and confused with Leigh shaking my arm frantically.
“The potion was receptive! He went in for surgery an hour and a half ago! They expect him to wake up any minute now!”
“That’s great Mrs. Wood.” I said through half of a yawn.
As I rubbed my eyes I saw Eric come in the room, and after quickly squeezing Ellie’s hand, he turned to face Oliver’s parents and myself.
“Oliver is about to wake up from his surgery, but we only want him awake for a few minutes before we sedate him again to give his body some time to recuperate. He asked before his surgery that Adylenn be the first to come in and speak with him. He wants to her help to figure out how to talk to the two of you without upsetting you.”
“I can understand that. The boy never did have a way with any words that didn’t have to do with quidditch.” Richard said gruffly when his wife began to protest.
Leigh looked from her husbands face to mine. I was totally lost. I couldn’t believe Oliver had asked to see me first. His mother was going to have my head.
“Hmm, well, alright, but if there’s anything going on between you two, I expect a conversation when we are done with Oliver.” Leigh said with a slight grin and a twinkle in her eyes.
I stood in an awkwardly, stunned silence. I hadn’t expected her to be so forward with me. Not that there was anything going on. At least not to the best of my knowledge.
“Don’t mind her. She’s been waiting for grandbabies since the day our boy left Hogwarts. I think she’s secretly happy he’s got something to talk about other than quidditch.” Richard said, and the two laughed, hugging each other.
I nodded, but as I walked through the doors and down the corridor, the words he had just said settled in. Wait, Oliver was talking about me when he went home to visit his parents? He hadn’t said we were a couple or anything more than friends for that matter, had he? Oh that boy was going to get a nice piece of my mind when I wasn’t afraid of setting back his progress. I’ll give him two weeks. Max.
When I finally reached the door number that was scrawled on the piece of paper in my hand, I checked to make sure the door was closed. After I was able to inhale deeply a few times, I turned the handle and made my way in to the dimly lit room.
Oliver was laying on the bed, distantly staring at the door until I came in. A small smile spread across his lips and I could tell that he still had painkillers coursing through him because he wasn’t wincing as he moved. His shoulder was covered in blue and purple bruises, but the bandages and cast were gone. He looked much weaker than I had ever seen him, but his eyes had a strange kind of strength. It was like he knew he was going to make it through all of this. I’m glad he could be so confident.
He patted the bed next to him and then gingerly scooted over. I took a few steps toward him and then faltered.
“Oh, come off it, you know I’m not going to bite you.” He said, grinning tiredly. “I would like you to lay with me for a few minutes though.”
“Hey, just because you went through something traumatic doesn’t mean I have to cuddle with you.”
He rolled his lower lip out in to a faux pout, and with knowing how much he had just gone through, I couldn’t resist. I carefully sat on the bed, and slid as close as I could to him on the side that didn’t have a recovering shoulder. He sighed and yanked my arm so that I was laying next to him with my head perch on his chest. He had a surprising amount of strength for someone who had just undergone extreme surgery.
“Don’t get used to this.” I muttered, putting my arm around his torso lightly.
“That might be hard, but thank you for doing this. I just really needed someone to hold close, and my mom isn’t exactly the woman I want to do that with.”
I laughed, but closed my eyes and relaxed a bit. It felt so nice being held, without having anything expected of me. As we know from previous experience, I’m not great with the emotional side of things in relationships, but that doesn’t mean that the physical comforts aren’t something I enjoy. I like snuggling just as much as the next girl.
There was a light knock, followed by barely a second before the door began to open and Eric slid inside the room. He looked at the bed and stopped short, rubbing his hand over his mouth as if he was trying to erase the grin that was all over his face. I pulled my head up quickly, but Oliver gripped me as best as he could, preventing me from bolting from the bed.
“Sorry to interrupt, but your parents really need to come in now so that we can get you back to sleep.” He said to Oliver. “You can wait out in the hall, it should be less than ten minutes, and I’d like to speak to the three of you afterwards. Ellie is waiting out there.”
I felt Oliver loosen his grip grudgingly, and I looked down at him smiling kindly.
“I’ll see you when you wake up, okay?” He nodded, smiling back.
I opened the door and took his parents place in the hallway while they visited with their son. I didn’t see any real reason to share what had just happened with Ellie, it would only make her pester me that much more. She just sat in one of the chairs that ws stationed outside of the room and held out a cup of tea and a cookie in my direction. I accepted the tea, but let her keep the cookie.
It wasn’t too long before Leigh and Richard came back out of the room followed closely by Eric. He told me quickly that Oliver would be asleep within a few seconds, and would wake back up in around 12 hours or so and be ready to be discharged.
“He is going to be going through some intense at-home physical therapy and he is going to need someone monitoring and helping him through it all. Now, Oliver has requested that he be allowed to stay in his current flat, rather than go home, as he’d like to be closer to his team and the pitch as motivation to stick with the physical therapy.”
“Richard and I, unfortunately can’t miss any more work. Between both accidents we have exhausted our leave.” Leigh sighed sadly. “I don’t want to put this on you, Adelynn, but if this is something your willing to undertake, we would be so grateful.”
“And more than willing to pop up on the weekends to help out!” Richard added enthusiastically.
“I don’t think Adelynn would have a problem spending more time with Oliver.” Eric cut in, winking slyly so that only I could see it.
I sneered at him quickly when Oliver’s parents had their heads turned and then quickly added, “Not only is it my job to take care of Oliver, but he is my friend and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Author's Note: Enjoy the update! I'm doing my best to have one a week during NaNoWriMo, because I enjoy writing this too much to put it on hiatus. I'm thinking I may either extend it, or write a sequel once I finish up my planned chapters...what do you guys think?
Chapter 10: Let's Get Physical
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A/N: I'm putting this first to warn that this chapter should not be read by anyone who is not a mature reader. :) You'll see what I mean.
Let me know what you think? Were you expecting this?
I peeked out of my room before scampering to the kitchen and to grab a granola bar. Unfortunately Oliver stepped out of his room before I could close the door to my room and he half ran to catch her before the door could close. He pushed his way in despite my protests.
“I noticed you’ve been mysteriously absent every morning while Kim is here.” He said, smirking and wagging his eyebrows at me.
I rolled my eyes. Oliver wasn’t half as whiney as I had anticipated him being during the last two week of his physical therapy, but there was one thing that I hadn’t anticipated that was making me just as uncomfortable. His therapeutic trainer, Kimmy(which he thankfully refused to call her,) was a tall, leggy blonde who lacked absolutely nothing in the feminine curves department. She was giggly and girlie, but her job meant that she was toned and fit, and rarely in anything that wasn’t yoga pants and a sports bra. It was kind of hard for me to watch her bend over Oliver, helping him stretch his shoulders while he helped himself to a view of either her chest or arse. I couldn’t really blame him though. Hell, I’d even caught myself staring at her once or twice. I’m pretty sure she’s a robot or something.
Of course, it isn’t jealousy. Nope, why would you even think that? I just couldn’t stand watch Oliver ogle her and then listen to her squeak in her mouse voice all the different moves she would be helping him with. Honestly, it was like listening to someone who had just sucked in four balloons worth of helium call out new Twister positions. Trust me, that is not something that is appealing to the eyes or the ears.
So, to spare my ears and my nerves, I holed myself up in my room with a magazine or a book until Kimmy left. Then Oliver and I would usually have lunch and spend a good bit of the rest of the day together. It was nice and extremely nonchalant, which is what I liked about our days. The press had respected my wish of giving Oliver space while he went through his physical therapy, but I could tell they were bubbling at the brim with questions about both his career and mine. A few weeks without questions was definitely something I needed.
“Oh hush. I’ve had work to do.” I muttered back, flopping on to the bed next to him.
“Yeah, I can see that,” He said, lifting the magazine that was dog-eared and open on the bed.
I stuck my tongue out at him and, much to my dismay, his form of retaliation was attacking my sides trying to tickle me. I hated being tickled. First off, it usually hurts, and second, I’m ticklish everywhere. Seriously, my elbows are ticklish. So of course, once he started, and found out that I yelped like a puppy and giggled like a maniac no matter what he did, he wouldn’t stop.
By the time my mind realized that I needed to push back, Oliver had me pinned to the bed. I wiggled underneath his weight, but there was no way I was going to get out from under him simply by willing it to happen. I wasn’t nearly strong enough to push him off. He would be expecting that. No, I had to do something that evoked the element of surprise. Then I had one of my best ideas yet.
I stifled my laughter, which took all of my concentration. After containing that I locked eyes with Oliver. He was already starting to get confused. His hands stopped tickling and just rested on my sides as he looked in to my eyes. Perfect, time for step two.
I clutched his shirt with both my hands and tugged lightly. He resisted, but I had expected that. I pulled harder and huffed lightly, playing at being upset that he wasn’t giving in to what I wanted. This time he lowered his chest over mine. His face was inches from mine now, and I batted my eyelashes for emphasis.
He smiled slyly, looking at my lips. I returned the smile, and craned my neck up a bit. He leaned forward, closing his eyes. I wasn’t going to get another opportunity as good as this one.
I exerted all of my strength and rolled him off of me to the side of the bed. I bolted from the room, leaving a very confused Oliver on the bed.
I heard him curse, and then laugh, which I also joined. He paced to the bathroom and I began making tea and some sandwiches for the two of us. When he came out of the bathroom, his face gleamed slightly with the cold water he had just splashed on to it.
“Oh yeah, what I meant to tell you is that Kim won’t be coming for the next week or so. Some type of family thing.” Oliver stated, chewing a giant mouthful. “I’m supposed to show you my routine as best I can, and then have you help me in the morning. That is, if you can spare the time since I know you are just so busy every morning I have physical therapy.”
He snickered and I rolled my eyes. “I can help you, but I’m not going to go easy on you.”
“I certainly hope not,” he added, winking.
I blushed instantly. I was thankful for the fact that I had already put my makeup on for that day because it hid the flush in my cheeks very well. For the past few weeks, ever since we cuddled in the hospital bed, we’ve been increasingly flirty with each other. Now, I don’t wan’t to get you hopes up. Absolutely nothing has happened between us other than words, but those were enough to keep my thoughts trained firmly on Oliver and the various things I would like to do to him. Hey, can you blame me? If there was any man to break a dry spell with, Oliver Wood is definitely at the top of that list.
I stood, and he swatted at my arse. Obviously, I dodged him without a problem since he wasn’t really aiming to connect, just to play around, but I was still incredibly thankful that I had plans with Ellie to help her organize her new London flat. I couldn’t stand another whole day of pent up emotions and sexual frustrations. I might just rip his clothes off.
The next morning, I woke up early to get changed in to workout gear and eat a small breakfast before I would be required to help Oliver with his physical therapy. I had been looking over the notes that Kimmy had left for me, and all of the exercises seemed pretty simple, with the exception of the fact that I had to straddle Oliver for most of them in order to provide stability as he was stretching his shoulder. This was going to be a very long two hours.
Oliver popped out of his bedroom with more energy than I’ve ever seen him have ever, let alone at 8 am in the morning. Of course he was shirtless. Of course he was. All of his therapy and workouts had gotten his torso back in to impeccable shape. Ugh, I need a cold shower. I’ve never let my hormones affect me this much. Time to snap out of it.
I put my game face on and we began the exercises that had been left for us to do. Thankfully, Oliver was taking this therapy session seriously. There were so many opportunities for him to do or say something inappropriate, but he never did.
I leaned over him and pressed his shoulder down in to the floor while he turned his body the opposite direction. His face tightened slightly, but he was definitely making improvements. When I released his shoulder I started to sit back up, but his twisted his body as well which caused me to lose my balance. I fell forward, one hand braced against the floor on either side of his head. My hair was falling and coiling on his shoulders and near his face, and he closed his eyes smiling.
“You know. I think you have some of the best smelling shampoo in the world. I noticed that when you laid with me, but I forgot to tell you what with the looming surgery of doom.”
I smiled, lowering my lips to his forehead for a quick second and then pushing myself up and off of him.
“Break time!” I declared, walking to retrieve my water bottle, even though I hadn’t really been doing much of a work out at all.
I drained some of the water in to my mouth and Oliver walked silently in to the bathroom. I had really been expecting some type of response like those I had become accustomed. Oliver liked to make sure that I was very aware f the fact that I was a tease and that I was constantly reminding him that he hadn’t been with a woman in months. He would curse at me for a while, smirk at me, and then try to flirt with me unsuccessfully. I had gotten used to the routine, so I was a bit shocked when it wasn’t repeated. I honestly didn’t mean to be such a tease. I was just being friendly most of the time, and playful the rest, but I understand, form experience I might add, that it’s hard not to take every little thing as teasing. Trust me, I was not immune to thinking Oliver was a tease himself.
I heard the door start to squeak close (we really did need to get something for that,) and then bang open. I jumped at the violence of the sound, and heard Oliver mumble something. I stepped forward cautiously, not really sure what I would find when I rounded the corner of the kitchen. As I turned the corner I saw Oliver storm out of the bathroom and stomp in to his room. I was momentarily stunned where I stood. I had no idea why Oliver was acting like this.
He was throwing things around his room as if he were having some sort of tantrum. I contemplated just going in to my room and giving him time and space too cool off from whatever was suddenly bothering him, but I felt deep down that I had to at least try to find out what was bothering him. As I was about to knock, the door flew open.
“No more.” He growled, staring intently in to my eyes.
“No more wha…” I tried to stammer, but he pulled me in to his room before I could finish.
“I can’t take any more of it and I know you can’t either, so just no more.” He grumbled through mostly gritted teeth.
After pushing me against the wall, he laced his fingers through my hair and it was in that split second that I realized what was happening. I looked in to his eyes. They were fierce, hungry, and passionate. Instantly the floodgates that had been holding back all of my emotions opened and I locked my hands in his hair and pulled his face towards mine. Briefly pausing, allowing him to come the final bit of the gap between our lips. Oliver didn’t hesitate at all, desire clearly showing all over his face. He had been wanting this as long as I had, but it seemed he had been suppressing it for my benefit just as I had. His eyes told my without a doubt, that if I had given an inch at any point during the last few weeks, Oliver would have gladly take a mile. I silently cursed myself for being so scared of what might happen. Nothing had ever felt so good or so right before this instant.
His body pressed against mine as our lips explored each other’s necks. When our lips connected again, I felt Oliver’s hands grip under my arse and lift me, pinning me against the wall with my legs wrapped around his waist. I took in every bit of the full on snogging, letting the warmth wash over my body and the relief of weeks of build up rush out. I couldn’t hold in gasps and slight moans as we continued to kiss, not that I wanted to. They seemed to make Oliver even more passionate, and feeling his fingertips inch underneath my shirt sent chills up my spine. I pulled his shirt over his head, breaking from the kissing momentarily to admire his arms and torso flexed to hold me up. Every single thing he did left me wanting more, and I could tell he felt the same way.
Our lips connected again and I felt his tongue prying. He carried me to the bed and we fell on to it, still tangled together. Our mouths never broke apart except for gasping breaths. My hands traced his bare back, grasping urgently on to him. I never wanted to let go in that moment, and it could have lasted forever for all I was concerned. My mind was finally catching up with my body. I knew I wanted Oliver more than I had ever wanted any man and I wasn’t going to move away this time. I let it all happen willingly, and without overthinking it for once. We didn’t get out of the bed again for a few hours. Talk about physical therapy.
Chapter 11: You Can't Always Get What You Want
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The sun was streaming so brightly in to the room that it was impossible to keep my eyes shut. I was trying to avoid this day like the plague, but for some reason, I wasn’t able to force myself back to sleep. It was probably because I knew what today held. It was my first press conference since Oliver’s surgery, and I knew which questions were likely to be asked.
We hadn’t left the bed, let alone the apartment, for more than two or three hours in two weeks, and that was terrible for publicity. With the journalists and photographers starving for any scrap of a story they could find, they were beginning to make things up. Little did they know, they weren’t far from the truth when they said we were locking ourselves in our ‘lover’s tower’ as ‘flames spark and ignite’ between us more and more everyday. We were now one of the most speculated couples in the quidditch world, and that was exactly the problem.
Sure, we had fantastic days together lounging about snogging and cuddling. The nights were even better if you know what I mean, but Oliver and I had not had anything that even closely resembled the Talk. You know, that one where you sit there for an hour or two and just figure out what the hell was going on. Yeah, that hadn’t happened. In fact, I’m pretty sure Oliver is avoiding it because every single time I utter the words, “Can we talk?” or any variation thereof, he changes the subject or takes off his clothes. Trust me, both are very effective methods of distraction. Especially the latter.
So here I was, preparing for a press conference with no idea how to answer questions about Oliver and I, and still no decision made about the Bulgarian National team. This was going to be a fantastic day. No seriously, I’m not trying to convince myself not to run away to the country and live out the rest of my days as a pig farmer. Well, to be honest, the only thing really keeping me from that is the fact that being a pig farmer sounds filthy and I can’t stand being dirty(at least not in most areas of my life; Oliver has a way of bringing that out of me too.)
I managed to pull myself out of Oliver’s bed and in to the shower, but I couldn’t bring myself to lift my arms and actually clean my hair or anything useful like that, so I just stood there, letting the hot water scald my chest and stomach for what seemed like eternity, but was probably only about ten minutes. When I finally had the energy to start actually showering, I heard the door knob turn and Oliver’s voice sound from the door.
“Don’t worry, it’s just me, not some serial killer. Don’t freak out.”
More than once, he had tried to sneak up on me while I was in the shower. Lets just say that my instincts when I’m scared are to punch at whatever is making me feel that way. He stopped trying to scare me after the time I socked him in the stomach. Now he announces his presence from the door or occasionally even farther than that if I’ve left the door open. I guess he doesn’t want to take any chances.
He pushed the shower curtain to the side and stared, with his signature grin, at me. He reached forward and swatted at my arse playfully, but I wasn’t in any sort of mood for it that morning so I just stepped out of his reach and further under the water, washing my hair.
His brows furrowed. I’d never pulled away from him before and I could see the confusion on his face. I was usually the one up for anything at anytime. His face softened in realization.
“I never pictured Adelynn Lavoie to be the nervous type.” Oliver began, “Are you worried about the conference today?”
“I’ve never gone in to a conference without knowing all of the answers.” I replied softly, rinsing the shampoo from my hair.
“What does that mean?”
“Can we talk when I’m finished getting ready? I have to be out of here in less than an hour.”
He huffed and shrugged, but left the room with no sound other than closing the door a little harder than necessary. I’d have to find out why he was so upset, but not until after I was ready to go. There was no telling how long I would have to get ready if we, well, if I started talking about everything that was bothering me at this point.
I stepped out of the shower and wrapped my hair in a towel and then wrapped another around my body. Oliver was nowhere to be seen in the living room, so I assumed he was holed up in his bedroom with headphones on and music blaring. I had to force myself to walk to my room instead of his and to get ready instead of cuddle up against his chest and go back to sleep, forgetting everything that was weighing down my mind. I sighed and began applying my makeup; turning up the music I had playing to drown out the noisy thoughts in my head.
I slid in to a pleated gray skirt, and put on a sheer dusty pink button down on over my gray tank top. I left my hair down and secured out of my face with a pearl lined headband even though it made the look seem a bit juvenile for a press conference. It made me feel pretty, which gave me an extra boost of confidence, so I didn’t care. I carried my pumps in to the living room and curled up on the couch with a cup of tea.
I had about twenty minutes left before I had to leave, so I called for Oliver. No response. I stood and knocked on his door. Still no response. Maybe he had his headphones in and couldn’t hear me at all, so I went so far as to twist the doorknob and push the door open slightly, and was shocked to see the room totally empty. Oliver had left while I was getting ready. I guess there was no sense in hanging around here when I could dread over the press’ questions at the conference hall. I apparated out of the apartment still clutching the cup of tea, with my knuckles turning white.
I arrived behind the curtains about 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the conference, but I could already hear the buzz of people in the audience. I was a little disappointed that Oliver had not even bothered to stay around and wish me good luck today. This was an important day for both of us, seeing as to how most of my intended announcements focused on his career and not mine. I’m sure mine will come up I the questions portion, but the main reason I’m here is to finally give the press that bone about Oliver’s future in quidditch that they’ve been begging for this entire time. The least he could have done was give a word or two of encouragement before I faced the beast. Oh well, I guess that can’t really be expected from someone you aren’t in a relationship with, even if you are close friends, and even if you were there for that person during their entire recovery process. I guess that’s just too much to ask. My bad.
I finally pried the cup from my hands and set it on a table in the back. I heard a pop, and looked up to see Ellie standing near me, smiling brightly. At least someone had a good morning. She looked at my face and a worried expression spread over hers.
I waved her off, but she still knelt down in front of me. She didn’t know anything about Oliver and I, because I didn’t want to get my own hopes up before anything real came of it, and now did not seem like a good time to bring any of that up. Luckily, she jumped to a very different conclusion.
“You still haven’t made a decision about Bulgaria, have you?”
I just shook my head, and then heard a second pop. It was one of the administrative assistants from my office. Her sole purpose for the day was to apparate in, introduce me, and then leave. I wish I knew her name, but assistants dropped like flies at my firm, so I never really got a chance to learn any of their names. We each smiled uncomfortably, knowing we would probably never see each other again, and she stepped up the stairs and on to the stage. A hush fell over the noisy crowd, and I knew my time had run out.
“I guess this really will be a gut decision.” I said, smiling at Ellie and hoping that she could see how thankful I was that she had shown up today.
I stepped on to the stage, and waved out to the crowd, plastering a smile on to my face for the flashbulbs that went off as I crossed to the microphone. There had to be at least fifty people in the room with me, with press coverage from both local papers and then spanning all the way to some staff members from Bulgarian papers with their translators, hoping to get a lead on the story before any of the other papers. I was impressed by their dedication, and I hoped they would get something to write home about, whichever way this day turned out.
“First of all, I would like to thank all of you for coming out today as well as for being patient during these trying times for Oliver. My announcement today concerning Mr. Wood will take precedence, and following the full announcement, I will accept questions. I ask that you do not interrupt me or come forward with any questions that you may have stewing until after I’ve had a chance to let you al in on some very exciting news. Sound good?”
There were murmurs of agreement, and the sound of the door opening and closing in the back of the room. I couldn’t see a thing with all of the lamps pointed directly at me, so I just pushed it from my mind, took a deep breath, and continued.
“I am pleased to announce that Oliver is on track to make a full recovery. He is nearly ready to compete in matches again, but all of his doctors agree that he will be ready to participate in full practice by the end of this week. In celebration, Puddlemere United would like to invite all of you, as well as any fans that would like to attend, to the practice that will be held this Saturday, so that you can see for yourselves how Oliver is progressing. We are very excited about this news and Puddlemere couldn’t be more pleased to have Oliver back in the ranks before they start their preliminary matches for the new season. We are counting on you to spread the word about the practice, and I’m sure your quills are itching to meet parchment, but I suppose we can pause long enough for me to answer a few questions.”
The question portion of the conference started off slow, much to my relief. There were just a few simple questions about the details of the open practice and what exactly would be happening that day. Those were easy answers that I had rehearsed in my head maybe a thousand times because they were the only answers I knew definitively. Once those passed by I knew the real questions would start pouring in, and I was right. The first question hit it right out of the park.
“Miss Lavoie, we know you put your decision about the Bulgarian National team on ice while you were helping Wood recover, but isn’t it about time we got some indication about which team you will be working with next season? As you said, preliminary matches start in just a few weeks.” A squirrely man with large glasses spoke up from the first row.
“I think I can help with that answer.” Came a voice from the back.
Wait, I know that voice.
“Mr. Nikolas Tresor, ladies and gentlemen.” I announced, trying to hide the fact that I was momentarily stunned by the sight of my old boyfriend and his appearance at a press conference here in London.
He smiled kindly at me as he took the stage. We hugged briefly and I heard someone clear their throat just before Nikolas broke the hug abruptly. I still had trouble seeing in to the audience, so I couldn’t tell who exactly had cleared their throat, but I didn’t have time to speculate, because Nikolas walked up to the microphone and began speaking.
“I’m sorry to announce to all of the Bulgarian fans who were looking forward to Miss Lavoie working with us next year, that we are officially resending our offer. We recognize that Puddlemere United has a much greater need for her services this year as they rebuild the image of their team and Oliver resumes his role as a premiere keeper in this league. I would like each of you to know, however, that we fully intend to make another offer in a years time, and I will fight to the end to have her on my team when I begin my full training as Seeker for the Bulgarian National team. Thank you.”
With that, he walked off the stage without another word, leaving both myself and each reporter in the room totally speechless. Unfortunately for me, the lacking of vocals did not last long as one female reporter far in the back threw out one of the snarkiest comments that I have ever heard at a press conference.
“I guess we know the answer to our question about whether or not Miss Lavoie and Mr. Wood are involved romantically. Why else would she have waited so long to accept Bulgaria’s offer? They probably got tired of waiting.”
There was some tittering laughter right around her, and I could tell by the voice exactly which publication she was from, but before I could comment another familiar voice saved me from myself.
“I believe I can take that one, Gwen.” Oliver spoke up from the back as he headed to the stage.
Again I stepped away from the microphone and let someone else take over the conference for me, though, after the last announcement, I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea.
“First off, I’d like to thank you for showing us all the extent of your professionalism with your comment, Gwen. I’m sure you are an excellent representation of the staff at your father’s publication. Second, I would like to state, officially for the record here and now, that Adelynn and I are not involved romantically. We maintain a professional relationship in all matters related to quidditch, and away from the pitch, we are very close friends. I assure you that is the extent of our relationship.”
Oliver sounded so sure of himself that I doubt a single person in the room, apart from Gwen possibly, doubted a word that came from his mouth. I know I believed every single word of it.
He stepped away from the microphone and moved backstage. I quickly thanked everyone for coming out and ended the conference quickly. I made my way backstage, feeling sick to my stomach and viciously angry all at the same time.
Nikolas had already apparated away, but Oliver and Ellie were chatting idly backstage when I arrived. I thanked Ellie for coming and asked her to meet me for dinner later that night, but explained that I was ready to go home and take a nap. I completely avoided Oliver’s eyes as I hugged Ellie and then apparated away.
There was a pop just a few seconds after I settled on to the couch, and my blue mug of tea appeared over my shoulder accompanied by a slight laugh that just made me feel more miserable instead of lifting my spirits.
“I think you forgot something.”
I snatched the mug and watched as Oliver sat down across from me, clearly puzzled. He wasn’t the only one. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why I was so upset. I knew we were not officially a couple, but I guess hearing him say that there was absolutely nothing romantic going on between us, which judging by his tone, he completely believed, sort of broke my heart. He hadn’t wanted to be with me, he had wanted to be with a woman. I should have seen this coming.
“What’s wrong?” He said, moving to sit next to me on the couch.
He tried to lean over to kiss my forehead, but I pulled away.
“I forgot to tell you something this morning. I got an owl yesterday from the coach. You’re cleared to move back in to your team flats whenever you’re ready.”
With that, I stood and paced to my room, closing and locking the door behind me. I settled in to my comforter, and cried quietly until I could no longer hold my eyes open. This is what I get for breaking my number one rule. Never get involved with a client, even if you do become “close friends.” It always sucks.
Author's note: First off, I'm SO sorry this took so long! I promise all of my attention is back on this story now. I got really behind in Nanowrimo, and I had some serious catching up to do, but the good news is that I wrote an entire novel in one month :) Any readers/editors would be greatly appreiciated when i put the finishing touches on it!
Second, what do you think? Will Oliver go back tot he team flats? What has been your favorite part or chapter so far? What do you want to see more of?
The next chapter will be in the queue in the next few days, so the wait wont be nearly as long, pinky promise!
Chapter 12: If it Isn't Broken, Stop Trying to Fix It
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The tension in the room fell apart and crumbled to the ground like a proper French pastry. I stood there with my mouth grasping at words, my head couldn’t provide. I must have looked absolutely ridiculous, because a smile cracked open on Oliver’s face and suddenly he didn’t look quite as messy as he had before. I felt my lips close and pull up in to an unintentional smile as well.
I held a hand to my forehead and, leaning against the wall, slid down to a seated position on the floor. That was when we both started laughing. I knew the entire time that I was being ridiculous, but knowing that Oliver had jumped to such extreme conclusions made me feel only partially crazy.
My abs ached by the time we regained composure and there were tears streaming down my face. Oliver stood up and came over to me timidly. He was testing the water to see if it would be okay if he sat down. Instead I stood and went in to the kitchen to fetch our cups of coffee. Leaning against the counter, I extended his out to him, while taking a sip of my own. He accepted it, but stepped closer to me so that he could place it on the counter behind me. I swallowed the swig of coffee I had taken and it went down hard and slowly. I hadn’t been this close to Oliver in a while. I could feel the heat pouring off of his body, and I could see the drunken stupor leaving his eyes. Gingerly I set my cup down and looked up in to his hazy eyes. He smirked down at me and I lost it.
Slow, chubby tears ran down my cheeks just minutes after I wrapped Oliver up in a hug that I had to stand on my tiptoes to deliver. I wanted nothing more than to hold on to Oliver, but to be honest, he smelled like the rubbish bin out behind bars right around last call.
I wiped away a few tears, plugged my nose and pointed to the bathroom, “You. Shower. Now.”
He chuckled, but didn’t argue. When I heard the shower turn on, I went in to the bathroom and collected his discarded clothes to put them in the washing machine.
My mind raced while the water pattered to the floor of the shower. I only let the fact that starting the washing machine had dosed Oliver in cold water amuse me slightly because I was still really confused about the situation.
I had been acting like a mental patient. That was a fact. Unfortunately, this problem wasn’t solved by admitting that I had made a mistake, because I wasn’t totally convinced that I had made a mistake. With Oliver’s clothes in the wash, and him in the shower I was able to sit with my thoughts pouring out like Niagra Falls. I even had to go as far as to pull out a quill and parchment to make some sense of the mess in my head.
Yes, I wanted Oliver. He was attractive, he had been there for me, and he and I got along better than most of my other relationships other than Ellie. No, we had not established what the hell was going on with us and I wasn’t convinced I wanted to get in to that because he might suggest relationship, and I’m a chicken shit. Yes, I wrote that.
I dropped the quill to the ground, grunted and doubled over to put my head in to my lap. With my forehead pressed against the parchment I had scribbled on, I willed my mind to make sense of the jumbled mess. It said no, and then promptly went blank. I couldn’t make sense of anything.
“You’re going to get ink on your forehead.” I heard Oliver quip from the door of the bathroom.
“How long have you been standing there?” I pushed out without sitting up.
I realized the puttering of water had stopped a while ago and I finally pulled myself up to look over towards Oliver. He was smirking and had himself sexily propped up against the doorframe wearing nothing but a bath towel.
“I’m not, plus you took my clothes.” He stated this matter-of-factly, totally unphased by his lack of clothes.
He came over and perched on the arm of the couch, careful to keep his bits covered by the towel. He was successful, but my mind supplied the visual anyways, so it really didn’t matter.
“Okay, what’s going on?” He asked.
I wasn’t very good at hiding my emotions and the list in front of me wasn’t helping at all. I sighed and decided to shoot straight.
“That’s exactly my question.” I suck at shooting straight.
“Okay, what is going on with us.”
His face contorted in confusion and then slowly flattened out when he realized what I was talking about. He nibbled on the side of his lip and 48%of me wanted to forego the conversation and pull him down on top of me. The majority won, and I sat patiently waiting for him to reply.
“I guess I don’t know. I didn’t think we were trying to be something with a definition. Are we? Do you want to…date…and stuff.”
He was terrified of the words as they fell from his mouth, and if I’m being honest, so was I. He easily read the doe-eyed expression on my face and heaved a sigh of relief. I didn’t want a proper relationship any more than he did at this point.
“It’s just that I’m just getting back on the field and…”
“It’s just that I’m finally getting more responsibility and…”
Our words overlapped and then our subdued laughter mingled in the air before we returned to an odd silence.
“So does that mean that we go back to being just platonic friends?” Oliver was the one who ventured forward with the question.
“Oh God, No!” I burst out, clapping my hand over my mouth and flushing as soon as I realized what I had said.
He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively at me and I shoved him off the couch.
“Well its good to know where your mind is at least.” He said playfully as he clutched the towel that was threatening to fall off.
“Have you seen yourself?” Apparently I was crass and brazen today.
He just laughed and looked towards the ground, but I could see the pink rising in his cheeks.
“So, ya wanna?” he said when he finally regained a bit of composure.
“Unfortunately for you, I don’t like to take advantage of people who were drinking.”
Oliver looked chastised. As he should. Before he could respond, however, we were interrupted by a know on the door.
“Adelynn Lavoie? It’s me, Carlee Kyle from the main office.”
“Shit,” I muttered under her breath as Oliver shot up at the sound of the female voice coming from the other side of the door. “What is today?”
“Wait, really? You went out drinking on a Sunday night. Don’t you have practice on weekdays? Why are you even still here?”
“As much as I’d like to withstand the half-French inquisition, I believe you have someone at the door to tend to first.”
I nodded curtly and made my way over to the door. Had I really lost track of the days so much so that I hadn’t realized it was my first day with the new intern? Apparently, but that’s not the point. I prepared myself for the over-zealous discount pantsuit wearing, university student that I was expecting on the other side of the door. All of the interns in the company were the same like that.
I opened the door and my mouth slacked a bit. Apparently, I had been assigned the one intern who decided to break the mold. Carlee was average height, but with the three inch heeled, knee-high boots, she rivaled my own height. Her blonde hair fell to her cheekbones in very sloppy waves, which framed her smoky black-rimmed eyes well. She had painted a red stain over her lips and wore a pile of thin gold necklaces of varying lengths over her dark grey tank top, black leather jacket and dark wash jeans.
She looked like one of the witches I saw frequently on the cover of witch weekly, or within its pages and splattered throughout the society columns. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was one of those witches. I self-consciously fumbled with my messy hair as I tried to place the girl on my doorstep quickly.
“Yes, I am.” She muttered, tucking the large sunglasses she had in her hand in to her blonde hair.
“Huh?” I asked in a slight daze, my mind still trying to work on no sleep and less coffee.
“I am the girl from all of the broomstick and school robe ads. I modeled for a living until about 3 months ago. That’s where you’ve seen me, and yes, I will wait for you to finish getting ready.
I recognized the faint rumble of the dryer as I looked down at my own outfit. Only slightly mortified by my halfhearted attempt from that morning, I motioned for Carlee to come in while I excused myself to get ready. I prayed Oliver found the black robe he had left behind when he moved out and that he wasn’t wandering around in a towel.
All total, it took my ten minutes to make myself presentable. Eight of those were spent detangling my hair. A button down shirt, tuxedo trousers and a pair of pearls need to be part of every girls wardrobe because you look put together when really, you just snatched a few things from your closet.
All total, it took ten minutes for Carlee to get comfortable enough to be seated shoulder to shoulder with Oliver, her hand on his knee(thankfully he’d found the robe,) and her head thrown back laughing at something he had said that probably wasn’t even that funny. Oh yay, just what I was hoping for when I asked for an intern. I need to stop thinking things are going to go smoothly when new people are introduced in to my life. I needed to get Ellie over here and get down to work before Carlee could get some “work” done herself.
My first assignment for Carlee? She needed to go fetch Ellie for me naturally. I mean, it is her job. Also, I had her pick up muffins on her way back. Obviously, I needed to get her status ironed out and clear from the get go.
She looked a little stunned at being ordered around so quickly, but after the initial shock, she shrugged and picked up the slip of paper that had Ellie’s address chicken scratched across it. She left. But not before sending a flirtatious wink in Oliver’s direction.
Next up, Oliver. I looked over to see a stupid grin painted on to her face.
“No.” I stated plainly and firmly.
“What?” He asked, attempting innocence.
“No canoodling with the interns.”
“Number one: canoodling?” he said, raising an eyebrow questioningly, “Number two: What about the boss?”
“How long will it take to get Ellie over here.”
“Well, considering she’s probably still asleep…at least thirty minutes.”
Oliver’s smirk returned, he stood, pacing over to me quickly, and reached behind me to push my bedroom door open.
“Good. Go” He growled, pushing me in to the room as he discarded his robe.
A/N: Sorry this took so long! I really, really am! Please forgive me :) Writing a whole novel in a month and then beginning the editing process took a ton out of me. But I'm back and you will get regular updates from here on out. Pinky Promise!
Please review and let me know if you would like my to add some chapter images with pics of the various characters! I have Ady, Ellie and even Carlee images that I can use if you want them!
Chapter 13: A Little Healthy Competition
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I know! I'm so sorry. I didn't realize when I posted the last chapter that I had written my last planned chapter. I wasn't going to extend this story, but I love it too much and I finally realized where I wanted it to go. I just hope you don't hate me too much when you finish this chapter!
Also, the chapter image is the men of the story. From L to R- Healer McCoy, Oliver, Daniel Deveraux. What do you think?
Please comment and let me know what you think. How do we all feel about Daniel? Isn't he a beautiful human being? Talk and update soon!
I am a professional. Really, I am, I swear, but damn does Oliver Wood look good. I would have willingly locked the doors and closed the blinds for the rest of the day just to stay in bed with that gravely voice and chiseled body. Unfortunately, we both knew that the open practice coming up was too big of a deal to do that. We both needed to make good impressions on the public. Why do I have to care so much about my job?
Ellie arrived shortly after Oliver and I pulled ourselves out of the bed and tossed our clothes back on sloppily. She was in work mode and very ready to head to the pitch to speak with managers, security and staff about the reception area and party that would be following the open practice. The only sign that she hadn’t been up and planning for hours was the cup of coffee she clasped like a life line in her right hand.
She gave me less than five minutes to gather my bag and necessities before popping away with Carlie loaned out and on her heels. At least I knew that, if Carlie was with Ellie, no one would gawk at her like Oliver did that morning. She needed to stay focused and it was obvious that male attention didn’t do much to help with that.
Oliver and I apparated away a few minutes and a quick snog session later directly to the hallway outside of the locker rooms.
“Oi! Wood! I’ve got your new broom and robes!” A voice behind us called in a hurried tone.
We turned and as Oliver stretched out his hand to take the items, I froze. The man standing before me wore a slim fitting suit with a dark tie that could only be described as being perfectly tailored to his clearly chiseled body. His dark hair lay in waves that were just long enough for the front pieces to have fallen down on the sides and serve as a gorgeous frame for blue eyes that made me a little weak in the knees. I had seen handsome men before. Hell, I had just gotten tangled up in sheets that morning with one, but this man didn’t have a single physical quality that didn’t demand your attention. It wasn’t until he had turned to me, flashing a brilliantly white smile and spoken something my ears couldn’t be bothered to hear that I felt Oliver’s hand on my elbow, lightly nudging me.
I turned my head down and laughed lightly before pushing my bangs behind my ear demurely. What was this? I have never once been this shy around a man before. Although, to be fair, I haven’t been this blindsided by a man before either. What? Oliver was a mess when we first met. I blinked, holding my eyes closed for a second longer than necessary and cleared my head quickly before holding out a hand for him to shake.
“Sorry about that, my mind was elsewhere. I’m Adelynn LaVoie.”
“Oh right, I know who you are. From what I hear, you and I are going to be working together quite a bit over the next few weeks. My name is Daniel Deveraux.” He said, added another of those dashing smiles for emphasis, “The team likes to call me the equipment manager because I’m responsible for all of our equipment sponsorships. You and I are supposed to go through a list of possible companies soon so that we make sure all of our deals are with reputable people.”
“Well then, it’s very nice to meet you, and I look forward to working with you, Mr. Deveraux.”
“Call me Daniel.”
It wasn’t a question, or a suggestion and he emphasized that by added a small wink and smirk to the end of his sentence. Our hands were still clasped together and I could feel the blush rising in my cheeks when I heard Oliver clear his throat. I pulled my hand away quickly and bit my lip slightly before looking up to see Oliver’s face twisted in to an angry frown.
Daniel glanced between us and accurately read the tension. He excused himself quickly but not before reaching out and tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ears. I’m sure that action alone is what caused Oliver’s entire body to tense up. I wasn’t even touching him and I could feel it happen. When I was finally brave enough to look over his fists were clenched and his jawline was set in a hard line. Okay, I probably could have handled that better.
Oliver turned and stalked off, leaving me to choose whether or not to follow or to just run off and find Ellie. It was probably better to let him simmer a bit, because honestly, it frustrated me a little that he had acted that way. What right did he have to act that way? I certainly wasn’t his girlfriend and I was certainly allowed to speak with other men. That included men with captivating blue eyes, and handsome, square jawlines and impeccably broad shoulders and... yeah, I needed to find Ellie. These Puddlemere men were distracting. I guess I can’t blame Carlie for losing her focus.
I found Ellie in the main banquet area on the top floor of the stadium, near the VIP boxes. She was barking orders about where to place certain name cards and who could not possibly sit next to whom because of the incredible cheating scandal and how could these idiots not know about those types of things. I laughed quietly and walked up to stand beside her.
“I’ve got that wispy intern of yours running around getting the correct colored table cloths. Some idiot sent royal blue instead of navy. How would it look if I had royal blue linens at a Puddlemere event.”
“Ghastly I’m guessing. I’m glad you’re putting Carlie to good use though.”
“Why, so you can have time to put Oliver Wood to good use while she’s not around?” She smirked and raised an eyebrow as she glanced at me. “Your hair was a mess when I got there this morning and his shirt was on inside out.”
I smacked her lightly in the arm, knowing that, if anyone would have caught on to that it would have been her.
“Hey, I’m not going to deny it. Just like you aren’t going to deny that my owl had to fly back to my flat because you weren’t home, but when I sent him to Eric’s flat you got the letter just fine.”
Ellie blushed slightly but regained her composer quickly.
“Come see the view from our box; it’s spectacular.”
We walked in to the owner’s box and I was floored by the décor Ellie had put together. The owner was to hold an invitation only press conference before the open practice in this room so Ellie had spent great time and given great care to make sure the previously drab, beige room was picture ready and adorned in plenty of navy and gold glory. The Puddlemere crest was shown proudly on banners hanging from the ceiling and the large windows were framed by sheer Navy curtains, held back with golden sashes.
The view of the pitch really was amazing. Not only could you see the whole pitch quite clearly, but also there were four flat screen televisions posted above the windows. Each one was linked to a camera that had been charmed to follow a specific group of players. One for the seeker, keeper, chasers and beaters. Wherever the action was, we wouldn’t miss it. Oliver must love knowing that he has a camera trained on his every move throughout the game. From what I’ve heard, he’s quite the showoff.
We glanced out the window to watch the team warming up. Oliver was posted by the goals smacking away quaffles. He still held a rather angry look on his face, and, even though this was just a warm up, he was swatting away quaffles like his life depended on it.
“What’s wrong with him? Did you two have a lover’s quarrel? Did you express dissatisfaction in the sack?”
“What? Ellie!” My face was beet red as I scanned the area to see if she had been overheard. “Can you please warn a girl before you say things like that!”
“I’ll make up more things if you don’t spill. I can tell there’s something.”
I sighed heavily, “Fine, I met Daniel Deveraux today. He’s in charge of…”
“Oh, he’s something to look at isn’t he? I met him the other afternoon. Had to ask if we were allowed to use a certain brand of beer or if it conflicted with a sponsorship. What does that have to do with Oliver being a grouch?”
“Would you let me finish?” I fussed before continuing, “I guess you could say that he is something to look at, and I definitely looked. Oliver wasn’t pleased with the attention I gave to Daniel, and probably wasn’t crazy about the attention he paid me either.”
“Ah, the green eyed monster already? I didn’t know you two were exclusive.”
“That’s the problem, we’re not.”
The more I thought about it, the more upset I got. Why in the world was he still upset? He was on his broom again. He was preparing for his first open practice after this crazy accident and he was sitting up there seething because I found another man attractive or, heaven forbid, another man found me attractive. That is just foolish. We would definitely need to talk about that soon.
I would have continued fuming, had the stadium speaker system not interrupted my train of thought.
“ADELYNN LAVOIE, YOU ARE REQUESTED IN MR. DEVERAUX’S OFFICE.”
I watched Oliver as the announcement boomed. It was the first quaffle I had seen him miss all afternoon.
I finally found the large door with Daniel’s nameplate on it after searching for around 20 minutes. Upon opening the door, it became very clear to me exactly how important Daniel was to Puddlemere.
His office was massive and had view that directly overlooked the pitch. Everything in the office was in a well-kept order and it was clear that he spent many long hours here because there was a well-stocked mini-fridge and a throw blanket tossed over the small couch in the room. He greeted me warmly and offered me a seat.
“I figured you hadn’t left the stadium yet, so I wanted to call you up here to talk about a few things.” He started seriously, and then smiled brightly.
I melted, hopefully not noticeably, at his smile. I won’t lie.
“Then I realized that it is the day before a massive publicity event and you probably have thousands of things to attend to before heading home.”
“As much as I would love to stay and chat with you, you’re right.”
“I thought so. Would it be possibly to meet tomorrow evening then? I have a few contracts that I’d like you to look over that need to be sent out by tomorrow at midnight.”
The open practice was tomorrow. The confusion must have read like a book across my face, because he immediately added to his statement.
“After the practice of course. It should be over between 5 and 6, so I was thinking we could have a working dinner at a restaurant in London.”
“Oh, yes, that should be fine.” I added a smile that I hoped was as charming as his. “I’ll put you in my calendar.”
I stood waving slightly as I walked to the door. Daniel stood and made his way to the door as well. Leaning against the doorframe, I saw a smirk that I thought only Oliver Wood was capable of.
“Excellent, it’s a date.”
I didn’t correct him.
Oliver would be furious.
If I told him, that is.
Chapter 14: Make Me Proud
[Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]
Author's note: I know! I'm a terrible person. I have had this chapter 75%done for at least 3 months now, but between getting a new class full of students, weddings and my own engegement(!) I haven't had time to finish it.
Hopefully, I can go back to one chapter each week, since I have the entire rest of the story mapped out. I will try!
Again, i'm sorry, but let me know what you think so far and what you think will happen next!
If my undereyes weren’t the color of my navy blue cardigan I sported in support, I would be amazed. I didn’t sleep a bit last night and I know Oliver didn’t either. I have a pile of 3 sentence letters on my desk with his signature scrawled sloppily on the bottom to prove it. I started feeling bad for our owls around two in the morning, but I couldn’t sleep either so this was the best alternative. He was nervous, and understandably so.
Last night, the team manager announced that Ryan Lefton, Bill Duncan, and Artie White would be playing with the reserve team against Puddlemere during the open practice. Three recently retired quidditch record holders would be playing against Oliver in his return in front of the fans. It was put in place to drum up excitement, as if Oliver returning wasn’t exciting enough.
Finally somewhere around four in the morning, I enclosed a short-term sleeping potion in my letter. Oliver had to be up in five hours, and at the pitch in six. I really hope he took the potion. I don’t know if he did because I took a vial of my own and was out like a light until my alarm rang bright and early. All I can say is “Thank Merlin for good concealer and hair potions.”
I had tucked a gold satin shirt in to a high waisted pleated navy skirt and finished of the look with heels. Not the most sensible thing to wear on my feet at a quidditch pitch, but with all of the cameras, plus having to run straight to the business dinner with Daniel afterwards, I didn’t see much of a way around it. At least they were chunky and not very high. That seems to redeem the shoes a little bit, or at least it does in my mind. Which is all that matters. Right? Right.
I arrive at the pitch and make a bee-line for the locker rooms, successfully avoiding all of the camera crews that have already stationed themselves outside the pitch waiting for the doors to open. I find one of the team assistants and ask him to send Oliver out for a few minutes.
“The coach is coming down to talk to the team in five minutes.” He said, with snarky undertones bleeding from his voice.
He either didn’t know who I was, or he had never seen a female in this area that wasn’t a reporter trying to dig for dirt.
“Then I’ll make sure I keep it to four. Now go get him.”
I’m quite assertive when I need to be and the assistant scampered in to the dressing room.
Seconds later, Oliver emerged in his newly pressed Puddlemere robes. I never understood why they press them before matches, but Oliver looked amazing. Please keep in mind that I have seen this man both shirtless and completely naked when I say this. Oliver Wood has never looked better.
His eyes were bright and active(clearly the lack of sleep wasn’t affecting him a bit.) He stood tall and straight with an enormous grin on his face. He looked at home in his robes. It was as if everything had fallen in to place. I couldn’t help but share his smile.
“I just wanted to check on you before the match, but you look better than I’ve ever seen you.”
He wiggled his eyebrows and the smile turned in to a momentary smirk, “Ah, you like what you see Ady?”
“Oh stuff it.”
“Really professional. Is that the kind of flowery language they pay you for around here?” He quipped.
“I’m glad you’re ready. You look so happy.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy, and this sure of my game, since I was signed to the team.”
“Well, good luck out there then. I promised I’d have you back in less than five minutes, so you better get going.”
“Aw, no time for a little pre-game action?”
His eyes shimmered mischievously, but darted away as we heard footsteps coming down the stairs. We both turned and my breath caught once again when I saw Daniel in all his fitted three-piece suited glory.
“Don’t mind me, just passing through with a note for Adelynn.” He slipped a small piece of paper in to my hand and then moved in to the locker room just as quickly as he had come.
“There’s something about that bloke that I really don’t like.” Oliver muttered.
I bet this has absolutely nothing to do with me. I need to diffuse this situation and get happy Oliver back right away. My best idea was to reach up and ruffle his hair lightly.
“Don’t worry about him, or me, or anyone else for that matter. Get out there and show me how the best keeper in the league plays quidditch.”
Okay, so I added a little bit of a sexy undertone to my voice, and the ruffled hair was a bit more gentle tugging than ruffling, but it was time to bring him back to earth.
“ Well, if you insist.”
He leaned in to kiss me, but another set of footsteps interrupted us. This set belonged to the coach. Oliver diverted his kiss to my cheek and thanked me awkwardly. The coach just shook his head with an all -knowing look on his face. He didn’t say anything though and Oliver and I both breathed a sigh of relief.
I turned to go and he swatted at my ass, barely making contact before the coach called out to him.
Without the super star retired Chasers playing with the reserves, the game would have been a blowout. With the super star retired Chasers, Puddlemere’s main team was ragged and worn-down by the end of the game. They proved themselves though.
The beaters were able to keep the reserve keeper so occupied that the main chasers scored an absurd amount of goals, and Puddlemere’s seeker extraordinaire, and captain, Alex Smith caught the snitch within two hours of play. The veterans put up an amazing fight, firing off more shots than the main chasers for Puddlemere, and that’s where the stats get truly impressive. Olive blocked an unprecedented 93% of shots taken by the three renowned chasers.
I blinked in astonishment when the save percentage flashed across the screens lining the pitch. I finally pulled my gaze away to look at Oliver and I could see his mouth hanging open in a slack smile as the team flew at him. He looked up, directly to the box he knew I was sitting in, beamed and launched in to an impressive dive to the center of the pitch were a crowd had already begun to form for him full of VIP fans, reporters and the rest of the Puddlemere family. Those kinds of numbers were unheard of against those particular chasers, and even though this was just an open practice, everyone knew it was a big deal.
I rushed down the stairs as quickly as my heeled feet would let me and tried to scuttle my way through the crowd. There was no way I was ever going to make it to Oliver at this rate.
“I think there’s somebody looking for you.” Alex said, grabbing my hand and parting the crowd in front of us until we were steps from Oliver.
He was facing the opposite direction, so I launched in to a jog and threw my arms around his neck yelling my congratulations loudly, so that he could hear me.
He immediately spun around and lifted me in to the air, spinning me slightly. His face was so bright that I was certain the photographers didn’t need a flash to capture it. There certainly were a lot of photographers around.
Oliver seemed to realize this at the same moment that I did and he set me down gently, but quickly. People began filling in all the spaces around us, and before long, I could barely reach Oliver’s outstretched hand with my own.
I looked down at my watch and, realizing I was about to be late for my business dinner, decided it was time to go. Oliver could handle the press, and he wouldn’t be too mad at me for leaving the celebration early, right? A girl can hope, right?