Chapter 27 : Once Oliver Wood, Always a Captain
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I expected Saturday morning to be more exciting, but I found myself a little sad to be leaving. Sure, I wanted to see my dad more than anything, but I also wanted to have another night next to the lake snogging Oliver Wood like I had the previous evening. My poor outfit was covered in grass stains when I crept in around two that morning.
Needless to say I was a bit groggy when I finished my packing, stuffing my broomstick on top of my shirts and my Quidditch robes to the left. The other girls were just as tired seeing as all three of them spent the evening with their boyfriends as well. Alicia and Lee camped out by on the Quidditch pitch and stared at the stars. Angelina and Fred went to an empty classroom and she wouldn’t tell anyone what went on. Katie and George stayed in their dormitory and read. Or something like that.
“Well, one more year,” muttered Angelina, closing the top of her trunk and locking it.
“You lot will have to come stay sometime this summer,” said Katie. “I feel like the house just keeps getting bigger and bigger with no one else in it but my stupid family.”
“Of course we will,” said Alicia. “And weekly letters. None of this—oh, I was busy—rubbish.”
“Obviously,” said Angelina. “Especially since Jane is dating Oliver and we’ll all want the details.”
I rolled my eyes. “If you’re not careful I’m going to give you way too many details!”
“Between best friends there is no such thing as too many details,” said Alicia.
“Speak for yourself,” I said with a grimace. “There are some things I just don’t want to know.”
We surprisingly made it to breakfast on time and took seats with the rest of the Quidditch team (minus Ellis who was several seats down with Elizabeth).
“All packed?” asked Fred lightly, putting jam on a piece of toast.
“All packed,” echoed Angelina. “Not that I want to be anyway.”
I watched George fumble with his bread for a moment before dropping it into some butter as Katie put her hand on his arm.
“Up for an extra Quidditch practice?” said Oliver and she threw a croissant at him.
I paused for a moment, staring up at the owls soaring above us. They were so pretty. Seeing them made me want to get one for the following year. Maybe it would help me forget about Oliver not being there. Pfft. Nothing would make me forget about that considering my three best stupid friends would have their beaus.
I was then caught off guard by the numerous owls dropping things in front of various Gryffindors. I caught a letter and raised a brow. Oliver had four in his lap and the other girls had one. Fred had two. George had one as well.
“What the hell?” I said, tearing my own letter open.
“Blimey!” cried Oliver, an enormous grin erupting across his face. “Scouts! The Scouts that were at our game!”
“What?” I said stupidly, staring at my own letter.
It was an offer to play on the Tornadoes reserve team the following year.
The Tornadoes. My dad’s favorite Quidditch team. Playing for their reserve team. I nearly lost my breakfast right there.
Angelina was screaming. “The Finches! They want me to be on their reserve team! Holy Merlin this is insane!”
“I’ve got the Finches too,” said Katie breathlessly. “What about you, Alicia?”
“Finches,” she echoed, staring at her parchment with her jaw nearly hitting the bench. “Apparently they had to call a bunch of their players up to the big leagues and they need new minors players.”
“I’ve got the Finches and the Tornadoes,” said Fred brightly.
“I’ve only got the Tornadoes,” said George, narrowing his eyes at his brother. “It’s probably because I’m better-looking.”
“Eh?” said Fred.
“Yeah. I’d be jealous if I were you and I had to hang out with someone as handsome as me.”
Katie elbowed him. George blushed and I raised a puzzled brow.
I glanced over at Oliver. “What did you get?”
He handed me four separate letters.
The Finches. The Tornadoes. The Irish International Team. And Puddlemere United.
I scanned the parchment and when I got to Puddlemere I let out a scream.
“What—poison?” said Fred loudly.
“They want Oliver on their actual team!” I cried, holding up the letter. “Not their reserve team like the others—they want him full time! Paid! International spotlight!”
I thought for a moment he was going to faint.
“This might mean that spread in Quidditch Weekly after all,” said Alicia, giggling.
“I’ll buy it,” said Angelina.
I grabbed Oliver and hugged him tight, finishing with a hard kiss. “This is amazing, Oliver! You got what you wanted after all.”
“And you got the girl,” said Fred.
“Wow, I can’t believe it,” Oliver breathed, beaming.
“And without a tryout—what happened at the other three, mate?” asked Fred and Oliver colored instantly. “Malfunction? Broom problems?”
He sighed loudly. “I got nervous. Tried to make some saves a little too big for me.”
“The great Oliver Wood got nervous?” said Angelina, nearly choking on her breakfast.
He threw a piece of bread at her. “Yes, the great one got nervous. Don’t spread it around.” He smirked.
“But you got it this time.” Fred chuckled and finished his toast.
“Four times.” Oliver nodded. “And Puddlemere is in England—southern part if I remember right. Are any of you going to go for it?”
“I’m coming back to school next year,” said Angelina and the other two Chasers nodded, along with the twins.
“Well, we don’t give a fart about Quidditch after we graduate since we’ll be opening our joke shop,” said George. “And bad luck, Lee. No offers for you. You can have one of Fred’s if you like.”
“I’ll take the Tornadoes one. I want to play with Janey and her legs.” Lee was pointing to the piece of parchment sitting on the table.
“You got one too?” said Oliver, gaping at me.
“Apparently they saw that catch and fall and figured I was worth being on a Quidditch team.” I raised a brow. “Sound familiar?”
He smirked. “So are you going to do it?”
I crumpled the parchment up. “I think I’m happier from the sidelines.” I glanced over at Ellis. “You’d better be playing next year, twit, because there’s no way I’ll be back in the air!”
He laughed and gave me a thumbs-up.
“That reminds me!” Oliver said loudly. “I talked to McGonagall earlier and we’ve named the Captain for next year. It’s you, Angelina.”
She beamed. No one was shocked.
Angelina cleared her throat and I laughed, thinking the damage she would do next year as Captain. It would be like a second Oliver Wood, though the meetings would probably go faster since she was sleeping with one of the Beaters. I smiled at the thought of not having to wake up at the crack of dawn for practice when I wasn’t going to play.
“That’s great,” she said. “I suppose I’ll keep everyone—with a few tweaks of course. Jane, you’re the reserve Seeker for next year.”
I gaped at her and then threw my toast at her as the group roared with laughter. “Ha ha!” I said sarcastically, rolling my eyes.
“I’m not kidding.”
It was hard fitting into one compartment, but somehow all eight of us managed it with the twins sitting on the floor and Lee stuffed by the window. I had a book out and Angelina was discussing boring Captaining things with Oliver.
“Tryouts will be a nightmare I bet. I’m sure there will be loads of people going out for the team. But I’ll need to find a new Chaser,” she said sadly.
Alicia and Katie lifted their heads.
“What?” said Katie, her head flying around wildly. “We’ll all be back I thought!”
“Well, with Alicia going to Keeper we’ll have an opening,” said Angelina fondly.
Alicia rolled her eyes and I thought for a moment she might hex her new Captain. “Oliver, can I borrow your Keeper gloves?”
I smiled warmly.
This was the team I loved—my best friends (and Quidditch-obsessed boyfriend of course). The group that had all come from different worlds and had united under the banner of sports to make friends. Heck, even before Fred and Angelina started snogging in broom closets they were at each others’ throats. And then Lee, waiting months to make a move on Alicia, enduring taunts about his lack of Quidditch skills and having to watch her happy with a different bloke. And Katie and George, who realized part way through the year that they were perfect for each other. I almost wanted to smack them since they had zero problems that year and had confided in each other for everything. They seemed like a beacon of hope in our dysfunctional circle of friends.
I glanced over at Oliver who was laughing at Alicia’s scowl. He looked so grown up, so adult now that school was over and he was off on his own. He was going to play for a real team and have his name on the back of Puddlemere robes. I was the girlfriend of an International Quidditch Keeper. Pfft. Just try to keep me away from that.
“So did you write Bastian back yet?” Katie asked quietly, closing the magazine she was holding as she stared curiously at Alicia.
“Bastian wrote to you?” snapped Lee. He looked scandalized.
Alicia rolled her eyes. “Yes, he wrote to me.”
“What did he say—does he know about us? I could take him, you know!”
She held up a hand. “There’s no need for that. He wrote to ask me if I wanted to stay with him in Brazil for the summer.”
Lee gasped. “What did you say?” he said quickly.
“I told him of course I would love to stay just wait for a few minutes to come pick me up so I can break up with my git of a boyfriend.” She slapped him hard on the back of the head. “Don’t be daft. I told him I was sorry and that I had found someone else and I was really quite happy.” She beamed. “But don’t go spreading that around. I like the idea of people knowing I was with a Quidditch star and got my heart broken.”
Angelina snickered and put her feet on Fred as he groaned from the floor. “Good. Sorry you had to do it. Pfft, who would have thought poor single Alicia from the start of the year would turn into the desirable, fought-over Alicia of today?”
I shrugged. “I knew it.”
Oliver snorted. “You couldn’t have known it, Jane.”
“I knew it,” I repeated.
“How could you possibly know?”
“I knew because it was only right that we got so much stupid attention at the beginning of the year so she gets it at the end. It’s just the way Hogwarts works.” I smiled.
Oliver, however, rolled his eyes. “Well, if anyone else has any crazy revelations, please don’t hesitate because as of right now Jane has you all beat.” He laughed and George cleared his throat.
“Actually, I do have a small little something,” he said quietly, his hands twisting together as he stared at his feet.
“Did you find Wood’s brownie recipe?” asked Fred. “Because I’ve been trying to get that for ages and if you got it without me I’m going to kick your arse.”
George shook his head. “No, I didn’t get the recipe. Don’t you think I would have told you before now?” He narrowed his eyes and Fred backed up a few feet. “It’s something different.”
“What is it then?” asked Alicia, folding her arms and propping herself against Lee.
“I wanted to…well, I was thinking,” he said quietly and the sound of the steam engine almost overpowered his voice. “I went into Hogsmeade after my exam on Thursday and I was looking around and I started thinking, you know?”
“Thinking is never good,” muttered Fred and George shot him a look of daggers.
“I started thinking about all of us. How far we’ve come. I mean, Alicia being crazy and single and fighting with everyone because she couldn’t get a date and Lee moping about because he wouldn’t listen to us and actually make a move on her. Then there’s Ang and Fred, terrified of commitment but the first to…you know…”
Fred smirked and Ang hit him.
“And then Wood and Jane of course—obviously I think they came the furthest out of all of us because they had to fight their way out of stupidity to see that they fancied each other.” The group laughed and I narrowed my eyes. Oliver put an arm around me. George shifted on the floor to look at Katie. “And then there’s us. I knew for years that I loved you. Pfft, I knew when we tried out for the team and I tripped over myself getting onto my broom. I’m a Weasley. I don’t trip over myself because of girls. I trip over myself because of…love.” He paused so the girls could chime in with a simultaneous “awww”. Then George sighed. “I finally plucked up enough courage to ask you on a date and then…well, it’s been perfect. Sure, we bicker, but who doesn’t? We probably had the least amount of problems out of everyone this year and I think that makes you and I sort of a constant, don’t you think?”
“I guess so,” said Katie, shrugging a bit.
“I just think we’re perfect,” breathed George and Fred elbowed Angelina’s leg. “So when I was in Hogsmeade I was thinking about everyone and how much things have changed and how we’ve become such different people—especially Oliver, actually committing to one woman. That dog. But anyway…I happened to pass this store.” He reached into his pocket. “And I happened to see something that I thought you might like.” He pulled out a blue box. “So I was just…” George opened the box and used his other hand to ruffle his hair nervously. “I was just wondering if you might do me the honor of marrying me, Katie.”
We should have waited for Katie to answer, but seeing as her eyes welled up with tears as she nodded, the girls and I took our cue and decided shrieking would be appropriate (Oliver covered his ears). I leapt up and just after Katie and George pulled apart from their tear-soaked embrace, I grabbed Katie and pulled her over to Ang, Alicia, and me.
We hugged for a minute, Katie crying all over my robes, and as I opened my eyes I caught the smallest glimpse of George. He was beaming, a few tear tracks marking his freckled face. He was glowing as Fred shook his hand.
That was happiness.
George took a seat where Katie had been, his face flushed, and motioned her onto his lap. It was crowded, but no one complained. I even heard Angelina whisper, “red bridesmaids dresses would go best with our complexions, you know.”
I couldn’t believe how beautiful the diamond was and the girls spent a few minutes just staring in awe at Katie’s left hand. Fred glanced nervously around the room and wrinkled his nose until Angelina made it quite clear she wasn’t ready for that sort of step. He breathed easier for the rest of the ride. Even after we changed the subject, Katie kept sneaking glances at the ring and kissing her fiancé while the topic strayed to summer plans.
“I’m headed to Russia for a few weeks on holiday,” said Lee, “but I’ll be back before you know it. It’s not like you lot fancy writing me anyway.”
“Why should we?” said Angelina. “All we get back is a crumpled letter with a few sentences about how horrible the food is. Why put effort into a proper letter?”
“Because it’s from the heart,” said Lee fondly. “It’s the thought that counts.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” Alicia muttered, “and you don’t put any thought into your letters.”
He wrinkled his nose.
“Well, I’ll be training,” said Oliver proudly, “since I’m going to take Puddlemere up on that offer and all.” He wrapped an arm around my shoulders and pulled me close to him.
“Getting a place down there then?” asked Katie, sneaking another peak at the diamond on her finger.
“No,” he replied slowly, his eyes floating out the window. “I’m going to get a place in London.”
“For the restaurants?” asked Angelina.
“Don’t be stupid,” said Fred. “For the girl.”
Oliver blushed. “Yes, for the girl.”
“You must really like this one,” said Lee with a raised brow.
He pulled me closer and kissed my temple lightly. “I think I do. I think I really lo…I think I do.”
I chanced a quick look at Oliver’s scarlet face and I smiled. I knew what he was thinking. Of course I did. And maybe I agreed. Internally.
Katie fell asleep in George’s arms about an hour later and Alicia and Lee drifted off while talking about the Muggle prime minister and how he looked a bit like a sheep if you squinted your eyes a certain way. Angelina tried to keep her eyes open as she surveyed Katie’s ring and probably mentally debated whether she really was ready for that step, but I watched her eyelids drop the same way they did during Potions and not even Fred could wake her up from that. I doubted he wanted to since the idea of marriage obviously scared the dung out of him. Instead, Fred went hunting for the food cart and came back with loads of sweets. Then he fell asleep halfway through a cauldron cake which then proceeded to melt all over his mouth and robes. It was very attractive.
I wasn’t tired at all. I felt exhilarated. It was the end of a year, but the beginning of something new and different. I read through Alicia’s Quidditch Weeky and chuckled as I saw yet another picture of Bastian making a fantastic Snitch-catch. He looked natural doing it. Just like Ellis and very unlike myself.
But that was the way I liked it. I didn’t need to be exactly like my friends to love them and I didn’t need to keep secrets from them so they wouldn’t hate me.
I glanced up at Oliver and noticed his eyelids were falling as well. I nudged him.
“Eh?” he muttered groggily.
“You can’t fall asleep on me too,” I whispered.
“Because I’m the only one awake, that’s why!”
He ran his fingers over my forearm and I grinned. “Why don’t you just take a nap then, love?”
I groaned. “Because I’m awake. That’s the concept of awakeness.”
Oliver kissed me lightly on my cheek. “Go to sleep.”
“Oh, give it a rest.”
“I’m trying,” he said. “You just won’t give it a rest so I can give it a rest.” He winked and I punched him on the arm. “I’m going to have to put up with you all sodding summer I need to take a breather here.”
“Put up with me, huh?” I said playfully. “What do you think that entails?”
“Listening to you talk,” Oliver replied. “And you’ll probably want to come and see some of my games once I’m a Quidditch star because all of the women will be begging me to sign parts of them you’d smack me for. Oh, and you’ll probably want me over for dinner because your dad suggested it. And you’ll want to come to my place for dinner—oh, blimey, you’ll be expecting me to cook, won’t you? I don’t really see that happening. You’ll expect the side of the bed toward the window in my flat and you can sod off if you think that’s happening.”
I cocked a brow. “I’m expecting all that?” I asked.
“Yes, of course you are. You’re a woman.”
“I don’t think Angelina is expecting that much out of Fred,” I said, watching the pair of them sleep as Fred leaned against Angelina’s right leg (his mouth covered in melted chocolate). “I think she might be expecting some more sex and to have dinner with his family…but probably no Quidditch games or to have the side of the bed by the window.”
“Pfft, don’t think for a second I’m daft enough not to know that you’re expecting both of those things as well.” He winked. “But anyway, you’re a different kind of woman than Angelina.” Oliver closed one of his eyes.
I pried it open again with my finger. “What’s that supposed to mean? Am I super woman?”
“Pompous git, aren’t you?” He chuckled.
I hit him again. “No of course I’m not—what kind of woman?”
“You’re my woman,” he answered gruffly, kissing my gently on the lips. “And that means you’ll be expecting a lot more. I am the Quidditch Captain you know.”
“Not anymore—that’s Ang now,” I said flirtatiously, running my fingers down the stubble on his cheeks. I kissed him again and lingered for a moment on his bottom lip.
Oliver grabbed my shoulders and pulled me closer to him. Lee stirred beside us. Our noses were touching and I could feel his ragged breathing against my lips.
“I’m Captain until this train stops,” Oliver said breathlessly. He stole a tiny kiss. “And until then you have to obey my orders.”
I raised a brow. “Don’t you have someone else to boss around? Fifth year Shrieker girls? Ravenclaw Beaters? The rest of your bleeding team?”
“Kiss me, Perry,” Oliver said hoarsely.
I shook my head. “Oh, it’s Perry now, is it? So we’re back on the pitch, huh?”
He groaned. “I swear to Merlin, Jane, if you—”
Smirking, I kissed him calmly and he tensed up in my arms. I broke the kiss and stared into his steady brown eyes.
“Kiss me,” he whispered.
“My pleasure, Captain,” I breathed and kissed him again as the train continued its journey toward London, an entire Quidditch team captured in memories inside of one of its compartments, ready to grab life and shake the Seeker qualities out of it.
A/N: Okay, that's the end of Keep Away. Quickly, I wanted to say due to popular input and extraordinary ideas, I have decided to make a sequel. That's right--squee now. Go ahead, I'm letting you. [squee moment]. There will be a little teaser piece at the end of this author note.
I am also working on a James II/OC story and a Rose/Scorpius story and I strongly encourage you, if you enjoyed Keep Away, to check those out because they are both of the same substance humor-wise and have a great deal to do with dishy boys and Quidditch.
I also want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who read this story. It means so much to me that people followed this thing so loyally and really loved it. Especially the people who left feedback and allowed me to build off of what they said for future chapters. This entire story was just a wild ride where I fell more and more in love with both Oliver Wood and Jane in a way.
Quickly, I want to thank siriuslyhockey for everything she has contributed to this story and to all of my regular reviewers and the wonderful people that asked me questions on my Meet the Author thread. You lot are the best :) Please, pretty please, if you haven't reviewed yet, I would love to know what you thought of Keep Away.
So...favorite parts? What did you think of the ending? Of George and Katie? And most of all---what the heck do you think is going to show up in the sequel?!
And here I was. Sitting in my room under my quilt while my dad went and had fun doing adult stuff, my friends did fun friend things, and my boyfriend practiced with a professional Quidditch team.
No bleeding fair.
I rolled over and snatched a roll of parchment and quill off of my bedside stand.
Quit having more fun than me.
Summer is horrible.
Was that desperate enough?
Stop snogging Fred so you can write to me.
Well, it was the truth.
After you've taken Mrs. Weasley to St. Mungos for shock, write me back.
I’m horribly bored with Oliver training with Puddlmere.
Not that you’re a second resort.
Only you are.
That should just about do it. All of my friends would be forced to feel bad for me and at least write me a letter detailing how much they adore me and how much they miss me and that they will gladly cut their fun short just to spend loads of time with me.
The sequel will be available once I finish the first couple chapters and the James story will be up soon! Check back! Thank you all so much for everything you have done for me and all of the wonderful reviews!
So what do you think?
Along with other edits: THE SEQUEL IS NOW POSTED.