Chapter 1 : Nothing but Quidditch
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They'd lost. They'd lost, they'd lost, they'd *lost*. He'd lost. Lost to Hufflepuff. *Hufflepuff*. Cedric Diggory and his Hufflepuffs. Hufflepuff, who made it a tradition of coming last in the Quidditch Cup. Hufflepuff, who hadn't won a match for ten years, six months and twelve days by Oliver's count, and that was only because Slytherin's Seeker had been knocked unconscious (he had, from memory, been in the hospital wing for eight nights) and two of their Chasers and both Beaters had broken too many limbs to continue effectively.
And he'd admitted it was fair, grudgingly. He'd refused Diggory's offers of a rematch, because it wouldn't have been right. Because it *was* fair. Hufflepuff had won fairly. It wasn't Diggory's fault that Potter had fallen. Oliver was less inclined to shift blame away from himself, however, because somehow, *somehow*, he was sure he could have changed things. (After all, he had spotted the Snitch before Potter as it was. If he had just spotted it a few moments earlier...)
No, no matter how much he hated it, he'd lost, fair and square. There was just no getting around it.
It was over. It was all bloody over, first game, it was over. Slytherin - no, not even Slytherin, just bloody *Flint*, probably only came back again to do this - wrong-footing them, Hufflepuff winning, it was all unfair and Oliver didn't *care* about that, he'd just - he had *failed*, he was never going to see his name on the Quidditch Cup, no team was ever going to want him to play after he left school and that was it, his life was most definitely and officially over. He'd probably be the laughing stock of the entire world, after this. He'd never be able to leave his dorm again. He'd become a hermit, he'd stay inside every day, never go anywhere, never do anything. There was nothing he could do about it, either. His life was just over, and he was going to have to accept it.
Oliver was considering starting to count - that was three, four, five, seven - when a hand on his back startled him.
"What the--" he yelled as he turned, moving for his wand (which, he realised later, was extremely unhelpful, when one considered his wand was sitting on his bedside table beside a rumpled Gryffindor tie) - expecting a Slytherin, perhaps - probably Flint, come to gloat - or someone who had equally little right to be in the Gryffindor changing room. But instead he was met by a reddening Cedric Diggory, stammering excuses as he brought his hand up to shield his eyes modestly. Oliver blinked, forgetting his situation. "Diggory?"
"Wood-- I'm sorry, I am, didn't realize you'd be-- only I heard you'd stayed here all afternoon, wanted to, I'll go now, sorry."
Oliver scowled, storming past Cedric to get his robes, throwing them on and hugging his arms around himself, trying to ignore the way he was shaking. He glared at Diggory, waiting for an explanation. Of all the people likely to walk in on him in the shower (and the list was very, very short) - Diggory was one he'd never have guessed. Or wanted, for the moment.
"Uh--" Diggory fidgeted, still red.
"What are you doing?" Oliver snapped, glaring at him. "Shouldn't you be off celebrating? Planning how you're going to beat Slytherin and win the Quidditch Cup, lead your country to glory in the World Cup and then dance on my grave?"
"C'mon, Wood, that's not fair--"
"You're *right*. It's *not*." Still glaring, Oliver waited for an explanation.
Still shifting on the spot, Diggory offered his hand. "Look, you played a good game."
Oliver ignored the offered hand.
"I just... was worried. Wanted to see that you're okay."
Cedric nodded. "Right. I'll be. Off, then." He offered Oliver a smile, which wasn't even ghosted on Wood's face.
Oliver stood there expectantly, waiting for Cedric to leave, but the other boy just stood there, rooted to the spot. He smiled again, awkwardly. Oliver didn't smile back. Cedric coughed a little. Oliver wondered what on earth was going on. And Cedric suddenly took hold of Oliver's shoulders, kissing him.
Stunned into silence, Oliver let himself be kissed, eyes wide open and wondering what on earth Cedric thought he was doing. Well, that was a bit obvious, the answer being 'kissing Oliver Wood', but Oliver still had no idea what was really going on. And really, this close up, it occurred to him that it was ridiculous that Cedric was so big when he was a Seeker, wasn't it? He'd make a much better Beater or head Chaser.
And then, abruptly, Cedric took a step back. And started apologising again. "Sorry-- Wood, bloody sorry, don't know what I... didn't mean to, really, I just--"
Forgetting the kiss, Oliver felt his anger flare up again. "You just what, you just caught the Snitch and Potter happened to be off his broom? You *meant* to, Diggory, you're a Seeker, that's what you *do*. So don't give me that."
After a stunned silence, Diggory just shook his head a little incredulously, opened his mouth to say something - decided against it, closed his mouth again, opened it again and closed it, opened it, said "you don't honestly think--", stopped talking, turned on his heel and walked out.
Oliver glared at Diggory's back, glad the other boy had left. He grabbed his towel, started rubbing his hair angrily, and set about planning how they were going to beat Ravenclaw by the largest margin in Hogwarts Quidditch history.