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Keep Away by Mistress
Chapter 24 : After the Game
 
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Geez, early again! I'm getting into a habit. This one is for Tiny Dancer because of the wonderful poem she wrote me in a review :)






By the time the kiss broke, we were nearly to the ground. It was obvious no one was paying attention because I could hear Fred yelling to George as he handed off the Cup. All I could see was the deep brown color of Oliver’s eyes. I saw my own reflection in them and I looked shocked and scared and a little anxious.

I was breathing heavily as Oliver tipped me onto my feet. My legs wiggled under me and for a moment I thought they would buckle. Still, we did not take our eyes off of each other. I was vaguely aware of my mouth being lopsided at that point, but everything seemed blurred.

“Oi—Jane!

My head jerked around, probably too fast, and I rubbed my neck while meeting the eyes of Dan Ellis a few meters away. He was still in the wheelchair (Madam Pomfrey was next to him fixing Angelina’s arm), but he was holding the Quidditch Cup on his lap.

It was beautiful—something I had only seen from the stands years before. Polished silver filled out the shape of a large Cup and in tiny markings all around its base were the names of the previous players that had won the Cup. Oliver told me once that it dated back to when Quidditch started at Hogwarts. My name would be on there. Jane Perry. Quidditch Reserve Seeker by accident.

I smiled and Ellis handed the Cup to me. It was heavy. I lifted it high over my head to loud cheers all around me and smiled as I heard chants of “PERRY, PERRY” on the lips of my fellow Gryffindors. Me. That was me. Fred and George lifted me into the air with little effort (“I didn’t realize you were being serious when we caught you practicing your fall, Janey!” cried George) and I had to actually will the tears out of my eyes to stop myself from crying right there on the spot.

Months ago I was bitter, eating dirt on the Quidditch pitch because I had been too humiliated to ask for help to learn to fly properly. It felt like so long ago—loathing Oliver because he blackmailed me into learning to fly. And then, not even a year later, I was being lifted into the air with the Quidditch Cup over my head because I caught the game-winning Snitch in the Final. Me.

As I passed the Cup to a nearly sobbing Oliver, I realized how much he had done for me that year. By being horrible and blackmailing me, I tried out for his sodding team and he made me Reserve even though there were a few people far better than me. He pushed me to my limits—yelling at me, forcing me to do sprints, and planning retreats. Yet he was always there when I needed him—after Roger left during the Halloween dance, when Roger and I broke up, when any situation arose where I might need help. Particularly when I was going to play in my first Quidditch match while my father watched.

He looked great with the Cup and after Fred set me gently upon the grass, the twins lifted Oliver into the air, chanting about their Captain.

I smiled, finally realizing that there were bodies pressing against me to get closer to the team—they were following Oliver through the crowd and cheering for the scarlet and gold. It was nearly chaos until the one person showed up that could turn any situation into reality.

“Nice catch, Pumpkin.”

Beaming, I turned. “Thanks, Dad.”

My father was wearing a scarlet and gold scarf around his neck and his face was painted. He had jinxed his robes to flash the colors and he was holding a large “PERRY IS THE BEST” sign in his left hand. He looked out of breath from cheering and pulled me into an enormous embrace.

“How come you didn’t tell me you’d be playing?” he asked, still smiling.

“I didn’t know until last night,” I explained, hugging him again. “I was scared out of my mind.”

He was about to reply, but Roger showed up at his side looking livid. His fists were in tight balls and I could tell that his teeth were clenched without him having to open his mouth. Bollocks. Crap crap crapity crap.

“Jane, could I have a word?” he asked, obviously trying to mask his anger.

“Roger, this is my father. Dad, this is Roger Davies. He’s the Captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.” They shook hands.

Roger raised a brow at me, anger temporarily forgotten as he stared. “You didn’t tell me your father would be here.”

Pausing, I glanced at the ground. “You’re right. God, there’s just so much.” I frowned at him. “I sent him tickets a while ago when he found out I was the reserve.”

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I don’t know,” I replied honestly. “There’s just so much you don’t know…”

I could tell my dad was looking uncomfortable, so I was going to change the subject and tell Roger that we could meet another time to talk about what had happened, but then I felt a tap on my shoulder and someone rushed past me to my father.

“Mr. Perry! You made it, then! Good!” Oliver quickly took my father’s hand to shake it and I stared, wide-eyed. “I’m glad to see it—your daughter made quite a catch up there.”


“I knew she had it in her somewhere—determined since she was a kid not to play, but you made her do it.” He beamed. “Can’t thank you enough—you did a pretty good job too up there. Have you been picked up yet?”

“Had an offer, but had to back out at the last minute,” Oliver said with a characteristic grin. “Here—let me show you the Cup and I’ll tell you about the Brazil International team.” With a wink at me, Oliver steered my father in the other direction toward the mob of people surrounding the Quidditch Cup.

He got you into Quidditch?”

I sighed. “Merlin.” I sighed again, trying to prolong it. “There’s so much you don’t know about me, Roger. About my father—about my past. Hell, I never even told you my mother died chasing dragons when I was younger. You also didn’t know that until this year I couldn’t even fly.”

“What? Are you serious?

I nearly laughed. “Unfortunately. Oliver found out and blackmailed me into learning and trying out for his team. That’s how I made Reserve—because he wanted to torture me onto the team.”

Roger was not looking at me. He looked deep in thought as the crowd jostled around us. “I have no idea who you are.”

I sighed loudly. “Sad, isn’t it?” I said halfheartedly. “But we couldn’t keep Quidditch out of our relationship forever, could we?”

He made a face, anger seemingly forgotten. He now looked somber. “I suppose you’re right. I’m a horrible person—telling Eston if he was going to be a cheater and run you that he should at least force you in a roll since that’s your weakest spot.” He paused. “I didn’t tell him to do it though. I told him not to, but I still told him.”

“I believe you,” I replied, half-smiling. “I don’t blame you. I didn’t give you anything else to use against me—the most I ever told you about myself were my class scores and some tidbits about what went on in Gryffindor Tower. I don’t blame you.”

He took a deep breath, looking uncomfortable.

I half-smiled. “Yeah, I know what you mean. We had a good run, though, didn’t we?”

He shrugged and nodded a bit. This was clearly very awkward for both of us, especially since a few Gryffindors had walked by booing Roger for being on the Ravenclaw team.

“That was a great catch for someone that recently learned to fly,” he said finally.

“Thanks, Roger.” I paused and hugged him. He put his arms around me and squeezed me tight for a moment before letting go and biting his lip. “I mean it.”

And with that, he nodded to me and made his way through the crowd toward the Ravenclaw locker room. I frowned, watching the space he occupied fill up with cheering Gryffindors. For a moment, I wondered if we had made the right choice, but that was driven from my mind when my father appeared at my side again.

“Jane—there you are! I’ve been trying to get back over here.” He squeezed my shoulder tight and handed me my Nimbus. “That nice boy gave it to me—said they found it under the right Keeper hoop. I thought you’d like to have it back considering I paid a hefty amount of money for it.”

“Thanks, Dad.” There were so many people jostling around us that it took me a few seconds before I realized that I was close to the Gryffindor locker rooms. “Do you want to stay for a while—I could show you the improvements since your day and all that.”

He smiled warmly. “No, no, I wouldn’t dare. I’m not naïve enough to think there isn’t a party going on upstairs. No, you go get changed and have fun and owl me tomorrow, okay? I’ve got to go back home and put the cat out.”

How did my dad know me so well? Laughing, I hugged him tight and we parted ways, him shifting back into the crowd toward the Cup Fred was holding high above the group and I made my way toward the locker room to take a nicely deserved shower.

“Wait up!” Angelina rushed toward me, her face flushed and a huge smile planted on her face. “Jane, you were brilliant!”

“More than brilliant!” cried Alicia, thumping me on the back.

“More than more than brilliant!” Katie shouted and I gave her a look so there were no more brilliants.

I pulled open the door to the locker room and smiled. “Thanks, guys. I was pretty much horrified the entire time.”

“Except when you rolled over to avoid Kamikaze Seeker,” muttered Alicia and we laughed.

I peeled off my robes and placed my wand in the top compartment of the locker. Grabbing a towel, I headed into the showers.

“So did Roger find you afterward?” said Alicia, getting into a shower stall next to me. I watched her adjust her hair over the short wall. “I figured he’d come congratulate you before going off to sulk with the other Ravenclaws.”

“Poor sad sods,” said Angelina as her and Katie turned on their own showers.

“Roger and I broke up.”

“What?” said Alicia. “Because of the win? I thought the two of you didn’t talk Quidditch.”

I paused. “No, because Oliver snogged me after he saved me from falling on my face.”

“NO!” cried Angelina. “Are you serious?”

“How could we not SEE?” shouted Katie.

I shrugged and tried not to meet their eyes over the tops of the shower walls that came to the top of my collar bones. “The Cup was coming out, wasn’t it?”

“Blimey—I don’t know what to say,” said Alicia. “What happened afterward? What did he say? What did he look like?”

“I don’t know,” I said slowly. “We didn’t say anything. We just kissed for a minute and then we got back to the ground and Ellis passed me the Cup…I remember passing the Cup to him, but then I found my dad and Roger was there—but then he came back and took my dad over to see the Cup so Roger and I could have a minute…” I paused, not knowing what to think. “To be honest, I’m not really sure what it meant. It was so random—but it wasn’t to get me to shut up and he wasn’t drunk…”

“Wow,” whispered Angelina. “Just…wow.”

“I know,” I muttered. “Weird, huh? I suppose I’ll have to talk to him later about it. There was just so much going on after the match.”

The girls were quiet for a moment and I could tell they were comparing Oliver and me as a couple. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but I hadn’t pictured it like that before. He’d always been so—he was so infuriating. Gorgeous, yes, but Fred wasn’t exactly ugly and I’d rather cut off my pinky finger than be with him. But Oliver—for the last few years I had done nothing but hate him. We told secrets. We went behind each other’s backs. We blackmailed. We fought. How could we possibly be a couple?

Sure, that kiss was nice. Hell, it was more than nice since my knees nearly buckled under me afterward, but there was no way it could lead to anything like that.

Right?

Right, Jane?

“Coming?” Alicia shut off her shower next to me.

“Nah, I think I’m going to stay under the water for a bit longer,” I said and heard two other showers shut off. “I’ll meet you lot upstairs, okay?”

“Sure thing—see you at the party!”

I let the hot water rush over my skin and I closed my eyes, thinking of what I had just been through. The pressure—had I really gone to the hospital wing and shook Ellis? It seemed like ages ago. I was exhausted, remembering I hadn’t gone to sleep the previous night. But I couldn’t deny it had been quite a day. Puking in the bushes. Puking in the trash can. Nearly getting decapitated. Catching the Snitch.

Catching the Snitch.

I really did it. After never being able to fly and falling on my face for months, I caught the Snitch. Even though I fell right afterward, I still caught it.

Smiling, I switched off the shower and grabbed a towel. It was a good, relieving feeling to be finished with it all. There were no more matches that year and I didn’t have to worry about Ellis being hexed and me having to stay up all night cramming in Quidditch to get the job done. Never had I studied that hard before and I made a mental note not to admit it to McGonagall.

After dressing in my school robes and using my wand to dry my hair, I left the locker room. The pitch was empty now and I could see where the grass had been trod on by too many Gryffindors to count. Following the path of the cheering students, I made my way out of the stadium and back toward the castle. The wind whipped through my hair as I walked, positively beaming.

The quiet was nice. It let me think about the happiness lighting my father’s face when he hugged me. My father and I always had a close relationship (despite my girly differences), but I had never seen him so proud. I supposed that by me playing Quidditch it opened up another link between us—something that combined the sport he loved and obsessed over with my…well, with my playing it even though I didn’t want to.

But it was fun.

I ambled through the castle and was surprised that I couldn’t see many people even though it was close to exams. My shoes clicked on the stone floors and I pulled open the portrait hole only to be blown backward by the noise.

To say it was a party would be an understatement. I could hardly hear myself think as two fourth years pulled me inside. Vaguely, I heard people chanting my name. Looking around, I noticed one of the Ravenclaw signs hanging above the fireplace: Perry for Prez.

“Hey, Jane!”

I turned. Ellis was close to the portrait hole, still in his wheel chair and smiling with a mug of butterbeer in hand. He motioned for me to come over.

“Nice catch,” he said.

“I tried to do it fast, but I had some problems considering I’ve never played a game of Quidditch in my life,” I said, laughing and he joined me.

“Right, I saw that Snitch right when Pomfrey wheeled me out.” He cocked a brow. “George found out who hexed me by the way,” he said. “It was that Ravenclaw Seeker—forgot the git’s name—and apparently he thought that by taking me out he’d have a good chance against you. I woulda thought he’d take us both out, but apparently he’s not that bright, huh?”

I frowned. “I’m so sorry about that, Dan. I wish I could have been a better replacement.”

“Don’t be stupid—you did great and Elizabeth is practically pampering me.” He paused and raised his glass to the thought. “Besides, George just went to take care of the bloke. Apparently he let it slip to Davies after the game and George was nearby to hear it. He said Davies nearly took him out but George wanted to do the honors. I can’t wait to hear what sprouts off of his head when he goes to the hospital wing.” He looked positively giddy at the thought.

I patted him awkwardly on the shoulder and made my way toward the other side of the common room. Angelina hugged me tight and whispered into my ear, “hey, I’m telling the girls later on about…you know…with Fred…just so you know.” She was smiling again and I gave her an extra hug before I made my way over to the refreshments table.

“Way to go, Perry!”

“Great catch, Jane!”

“Perry for Prez!”

Laughing, I looked at my options for drinks. The standards were there—I spotted my sour mix near the back and Alicia reached over me to nick the bottle of rum. I saw various bottles in different colors.

“You should have seen the look on their faces, Perry!”

“Nice one!”

“Wicked catch! I’m glad you were the reserve!”

But what to drink? Which one was worthy of my nerves finally being over?

“Fancy some red wine?”

Smiling, I turned. Oliver was standing behind me, wearing the I’m-a-hot-Quidditch-bloke smirk I knew all too well. His arms were folded and he had the bottle of wine in his hand.

“I thought we hated wine,” I said lightly.

“We did. Once upon a time.” Shrugging, he turned to see if anyone was watching. Finally deciding that they were all tending to their own fun, he veered back around to face me. “Look—can we talk?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I was about to ask you the same thing—where do you want to go?”

“Let’s just go upstairs—don’t want people to overhear, you know.” With the wine in hand, Oliver led the way up the boys’ spiral staircase. His body looked a bit tense as he opened the door and I followed him inside.

The room looked the same it had after Oliver and Libby’s breakup. The beds were messy and a few of Oliver’s socks were strewn about the floor. I stood awkwardly by his trunk as he placed the wine on his bedside stand.

“Look, I’m really sorry about earlier,” he said, twisting his hands together as he turned back around. “I just—I got carried away. The pressure of the game…and then you caught the Snitch and then you fell and I saved you and—and the Cup—and you—and…” He was stumbling over his words, finally looking more nervous than I had ever seen him.

I watched him for a moment, the way he bit his lip between phrases and the way he reached up and tousled his hair before talking about saving me. It was adorable.

At last he lifted his eyes to mine, looking apologetic and anxious.

I smirked and he raised a brow.

Then I ran at him, put my arms around his neck, and kissed him intensely.

Now that was what a kiss was supposed to feel like. I wasn’t thinking about anything except our lips, his hair as I ran my hands through it, and the touch of his hand on my lower back.

Oliver pulled me close to him, nearly squeezing me as we fell backward onto his bed and I was on top of him, kissing him as my hair fell onto his face. This lasted for quite a while, my head spinning and my entire body going numb as his Quidditch arms pulled me closer against his chest and his breathing grew ragged.

At long last, for lack of breathing, I broke the kiss and allowed my eyes to open, staring directly into his. They were brown and wide and I had no idea what I had done—what he was thinking. I just…I let my body just think for me. I didn’t think that kiss through. Oh, blimey. This was my Quidditch Captain I was snogging!

But it was good.

Well, of course it was good.

“What’re you thinkin’ about?” Oliver whispered gruffly, blinking a bit. He was smiling.

I blushed immediately. “I can’t tell you that.”

“Come on, I’ll tell you if you tell me.”

I made a face. Something about that comment didn’t sit well with me, but I chuckled. “All right,” I said at last, not moving. My hands were still on either side of his head and I tried to stop myself from breathing so hard. “I’m thinking that I just did that without thinking about it before hand.”

“Is that so bad?” he asked quietly. Why did he have to sound so…sexy?

“I’m not sure,” I said. “So what are you thinking about?”

He smirked. Damn.That.Smirk. Then he placed his hands on my neck and kissed me again, this time gentle and for only a brief moment.

“I was thinking about that.”

My mind felt fuzzy. Never before had I…it was just so…couldn’t even think straight.

After trying to regain my balance over him but failing, I rolled off onto the bed beside him and stared at the top of Oliver’s four-poster. Breathing hard, I glanced over. “So…” I said slowly.

For a moment I thought he was just going to lay there and not say anything, but then he propped himself up on his elbows and scooted closer to me. Then he put an arm around my shoulders and pulled me to him so that my cheek was pressed against his chest (somewhat like it had been during the retreat). I beamed to myself, snuggling up against him.

“Eugh,” he muttered and I looked up. “The wine is all the way over there.”

“Where’s your wand?”

“All the way over there.” He cursed under his breath. “And I’ll be damned if I’m getting up.” After sighing, he chuckled and ran his fingers up and down my arm.

I shuddered. “So…where does this leave us, Oliver Wood?”

He shrugged. “What do you think?”

“I don’t know,” I muttered, feeling like an idiot for asking such a question. “Can I get your opinion before I give mine?”

“Why?”

“Because…because…” I made a face. “Because I told you what I was thinking first! So you have to go first on this one! Ha!”

I could almost feel him rolling his eyes. “How very…Jane of you.” Laughing, he moved his hand to my back and I closed my eyes, content. “I don’t know where this leaves us. I mean…it’s a weird situation, isn’t it? You and me…going from hating each other to…well, snogging in my dormitory.”

“Don’t kid yourself,” I said, trying to mask my laughter. “I still hate you.”

“Oh, is that right? Blimey, Jane, I thought I kissed better than that.”

“Okay, well, I guess that’s true.”

He chuckled. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” I said lightly, my eyes still closed as he ran his fingers up and down my spine.

“Should I be worried about what Dodger is going to say about this?”

“Why?”

“Because—well, isn’t he your boyfriend? I’m not one to force women into affairs and all that rubbish just because I’m devilishly good-looking…”

I nearly snorted. “Oliver, Roger and I broke up at the game.”

“Why? Did he see the kiss? Shit, I shouldn’t have done that…not that I’m mad I did because I hate that stupid git…”

“No, because I sort of realized he had no idea who I was,” I explained quietly. “I never even told him my dad would be at the game. We sort of just parted ways.”

Oliver was quiet for a moment. “Good. Because I hate him.”

“Seriously? I didn’t realize. You should have made it more obvious and then maybe I would have broken up with him sooner.” I smiled.

“I tried!” Oliver said. “On Halloween I snuck into the prat’s dormitory to try and find something to get you to realize that he was using you!”

“But he wasn’t—and hey! That was you? He had to leave the party because of that and he told me later it was only his Charms notes.”

“Did he tell you he takes Charms notes in a journal?” Oliver asked. “I thought for sure if he wrote in a sodding journal he’d spill all of his secrets about just wanting you to get to the Gryffindors and all that…but I saw some spellwork and rubbish.”

“I can’t believe you did that,” I said, but I was laughing.

“Yes, you can,” he said and kissed the top of my head.

I placed my palm over his stomach and gently rubbed my fingers over his abdomen. “You’re right. I can. What else have you done to try and sabotage my relationship?”

“Oh, nothing much. Just hexed Davies a few times to get him to not go see you…and of course I talked to your dad.”

“There’s another thing!” I said loudly, slapping his stomach. “How did you possibly—you were here the entire time!”

“Actually I went to London for a few hours on McGonagalls orders so I could meet my dad there. He wanted to ask me about my latest try out for the Finches and after he realized I messed up pretty bad he left early. So I went to the Leaky Cauldron for a few drinks and at the bar I heard your dad talking about how you went to Hogwarts and all that.” Oliver smiled, pausing for a moment. “So I talked to him and told him I knew you and told him all about how I was the Quidditch Captain and you were my Reserve Seeker. He seemed quite impressed and sad that you didn’t tell him, but I covered pretty well for you—said you’d been busy and all that. But we talked about professional Quidditch and the game coming up and I told him I’d keep in contact. Then he asked me if you needed anything since you were a reserve and I said a broom would probably be nice because you’d borrowed mine and the schools’ so he said he’d get you one. That’s where the Nimbus came from.”

“Eugh, I hate you.”

“Bet you’re glad you didn’t have to compete on a school broom, though, right?” he said, laughing.

“I could have just borrowed your broom since you left,” I muttered.

“Low blow, Jane Perry,” he said and ran a finger up my spine. I shivered. “I came back and you know it.”

“I still can’t believe you did it. I don’t know if I could have.”

“I just got all the way there and just couldn’t take it. I knew that in a little bit you’d be waking up—”

“I never even went to sleep.”

“Waking up to go play a game that you’d never played in front of a crazy crowd you’d never performed in front of,” he finished. “I couldn’t do it. I had to come back.”

“Usually people don’t leave their life-long dream to go help out a girl they hate.”

“Who said I hated you?” He kissed the top of my head again.

“You might have mentioned it…once or twice,” I said with a chuckle. I realized then as I breathed in deeply that Oliver smelled quite good. Like shampoo and cologne. “Seriously though, you told me in the Astronomy Tower that playing International Quidditch was your dream…”

“I changed my mind,” he said nonchalantly. “I still want it, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not the kind of person that leaves other people out to dry. Especially not people that like my brownies.”

“Is that the reason you kissed me tonight? Because I like your brownies and caught the Snitch?”

“Well, it helped,” Oliver laughed. “Of course not though. I guess I just realized tonight that I’ve sort of started to take a fancy to you—not on purpose of course, but just being around you.” He stopped for a moment and I could tell he was blushing.

“Go on,” I said, snickering.

“Don’t get a big head now!” he said, but kissed me again. “It was mostly on Christmas—when you came up to the Astronomy Tower even though you just had a row with Dodger…and then the wine and brownies and…well, the mistletoe. When I had that feeling in my stomach…right when I saw that mistletoe I had the urge to kiss you. Of course I had no idea what that meant considering all we did was argue and fight about Dodger…but I still knew I wanted to do it—took the chance when you and git-face broke up and I had to shut your arse up.”

I smiled, remembering the mistletoe above us when Oliver convinced me to calm down and kissed me.

He sighed loudly, probably expecting me to respond but I said nothing. “And then there was that game and the retreat—you knew exactly what I wanted to do. You knew I wanted to go in there with a mangled bunch of sodding players and come out with a team and in the margins I wanted to get Ang and Fred back together because they were getting on my sodding nerves. And you helped me. I started to fail and everyone started to hate me with those stupid team building activities—but then you got them all into the locker room I had my team back.” He took a deep breath and continued. “Obviously right after that Libby and I broke up. She just started to be sort of an annoying girl that followed me around and tried to understand Quidditch.”

“Can’t say I didn’t tell you so,” I said in a sing-song voice.

“Don’t push your luck, I told you so about Dodger,” he said. “But even though I wanted to ring your neck for saying that she broke up with me—I know, don’t give me that look—I kept thinking about you all the time. It was annoying at the time because I really had no idea what it meant. I just thought it was because I was so furious with you. But I knew when you started dating Dodger again. It was that feeling—that horrible pang of jealousy.”

“I can’t believe you just said ‘pang of jealousy’,” I said, laughing.

He poked me in the ribs. “That’s it. I’m done. I’m not saying anymore.”

“No, no!” I whined, giggling as he poked me. “Finish the story. I started dating Roger again and you had a pang of jealousy. I remember.”

“Fine,” Oliver groaned. “When you started dating Dodger again I knew right away. That’s why when you told me that I had kissed you when I was drunk—I felt like an idiot. I didn’t want it to happen like that. I wanted it to happen like…”

“Like after I caught the Snitch and won the Quidditch Cup?” I ventured.

“Just like that,” he replied with a chuckle. “Which is why I had to come back. I couldn’t just leave you—especially when I fancied you as much as I did.”

“How did I not know this?” I said, groaning.

“So you really felt nothing for me until I snogged you on my broom?”

I turned over, letting my elbow prop me up and I trailed my fingers along Oliver’s jaw bone. There was a bit of stubble there and he smiled, his eyes leaking into mine.

“If I said yes that would be a lie,” I replied.

“So when?”

“If I told you, wouldn’t that ruin the mystery, Oliver Wood?” I bent down and kissed him softly on the lips.

He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me closer. I could feel his chest rising and falling rapidly against me.

Oliver wouldn’t let me break the kiss.





A/N: Whoohoo, chapter 24! I hope you all enjoyed it. I want to take time out to say THANK YOU for everyone that left reviews on the last chapter. I was completely floored and overwhelmed with gratitude--50+! Wow. They were all wonderful. That really fueled the edit-process for this chapter and was one of the reasons it got out so early.

Also, thanks to everyone that wrote on my Meet the Author topic. I love answering questions about Keep Away :)

I wanted to tell you that Keep Away will be 27 chapters, so stay tuned for more goodness :) Sooooo what do you think? Favorite quotes? Still squeeing?


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