Breakfast wafted into my nose early the following morning and I squinted slightly, unable to recall where I was and why my neck hurt so damn bad. It took me a while to realize I was still on the sofa with a blanket pulled up to my neck and Oliver was on the other side of me with a bit of drool leaking out of the corner of his mouth. And no shirt on.
I could never get tired of that.
But I smelled breakfast.
Quietly, I stood up and adjusted my shirt and flattened my hair. I wandered into the kitchen to see Dad standing over the stove with eggs in a pan in front of him and bacon spread out on the counter.
“What’re you doing?” I said, rubbing my eyes and making a face that clearly signaled being awake early in the morning was not for me.
“Making breakfast. What’re you doing?”
I wrinkled my nose. “Being awake. What time is it?”
I groaned. “Why are you up? You got in late.”
“How do you know?”
“Because you weren’t here when I went to bed,” I snapped, folding my arms. “What’s the deal with this breakfast? Why isn’t it leftover tacos or cold pizza?”
“I thought I’d make a decent breakfast since Quidditch Superstar is sleeping on my sofa with no clothes on.”
“He has clothes!” I cried, nearly forgetting that Oliver was still asleep. “It was raining when he got here and his Quidditch robes were soaked!”
Dad smiled. “I know, I saw them drying in the bathroom. Nice quality robes.” He moved around the eggs with a spatula.
“So you don’t care?” I pulled out a chair and plopped down on it.
“Why should I? I told you I had my intentions speech memorized.”
He smiled again. “No, I don’t care. I was out late anyway—who am I to tell you that you have to sit alone in a boring man-flat and watch TV?”
“Good.” I folded my arms again.
“Are you going to wake him up for food or eat all of it yourself?”
“Just when I thought you were nice,” I muttered and shuffled back into the living room. Oliver was still there, now with the blanket pulled onto his chest. “Oliver?” I whispered and he groaned. “Erm, you have to wake up now. My dad already saw you with no clothes on.”
“I have clothes,” he muttered, not opening his eyes.
“Yeah, I know. He made breakfast. Do you know how to answer the intentions question?”
“No,” he groaned. “Do I have to?”
I smiled and kissed his forehead. “That and you have to answer if we’re having sex out by the lake at Hogwarts.”
His eyes snapped open as he choked. “I have to—what?”
“Nothing, I’m kidding.” I rushed into the bathroom and found his dry clothes and then returned them to him. “I’ll be in the kitchen.” Chuckling, I returned to the breakfast-smelling area and flopped back down at the table. “There. Is the food ready yet?”
Dad scooped some eggs onto a plate and nodded. “Now I know why I don’t wake you up early in the morning. You annoy me.”
“I always annoy you.”
“I wouldn’t wake you up at all if I didn’t have to.”
I tossed a piece of fruit at him and stood up to get my own plate. Oliver walked in with tossed hair and I handed him a china plate as well.
“Good morning,” Dad said with a cocky smile. I knew where I got my horrible sense of humor.
“Morning, Mr. Perry.” Oliver’s voice was stiff and terrified. Clearly he thought either Dad wouldn’t be home in the morning or he simply ignored the concept of it at all.
I shoveled some food onto both of our plates and we sat across from each other at the table, each equally as nervous even though I knew my dad posed no threat and was not about to call Oliver “riffraff” or cut me off of money. Not that he gave me any to begin with.
“So, Oliver,” Dad started and I concentrated hard on picking up each individual piece of scrambled egg with a prong on my fork. “Tell me, what are your intentions with my daughter? Arm candy? Whole body candy? Sex candy? Quidditch assistant? Girl you can use and throw away once you get all of your groupies drunk at your flat one Saturday night?”
Oliver’s face was redder than it was in his dormitory after the match. “Um…erm,” he stammered, not even bothering to push his food around with his fork. He was on the spot and obviously petrified since neither of us thought those specific phrases would ever come out of my father’s mouth. “I can assure you, sir, erm, that I…” God, it was breakfast and he was getting questions.
I, on the other hand, found this entire situation particularly hilarious. I almost kept a straight face, but when Oliver’s voice reached a pitch only dog could hear, I started laughing loudly and my fork fell into my ketchup.
Oliver’s head wheeled around to look at me.
“Dad, come on,” I said loudly, laughing. “Leave the poor guy alone. He just woke up.”
Dad smirked devilishly at me. “All right, Pumpkin, but I’m going to show him some embarrassing pictures of you later to make up for it.”
“But—wait,” Oliver said suddenly, completely abandoning the very thought of food. “That was a joke?”
Dad nodded. “A good one, I think, considering the look on your face.”
“So you don’t want to know my intentions with your daughter?”
“Don’t get me wrong,” Dad said offhandedly, now munching on his bacon, “if you so much as hurt one hair on her head, I’ll make sure you can’t get on a broom for the rest of your life, but for now my little girl is happy with you and I don’t want to get her mad at me for drilling her new boyfriend.”
Oliver breathed easier for the rest of the meal, especially since Dad then asked him all about Puddlemere and how the program as going through an overhaul.
After breakfast Dad left for work and Oliver and I spent the morning watching the beginning of the second round of the Quidditch Cup playoffs. The Finches and the Tornadoes were on and I could see Oliver twitch every time the Finches scored.
“Do we have any plans for the rest of the day?” I asked around noon, stretching and smoothing out the wrinkles in my pajama pants.
“I have to go to practice at three.” He yawned.
“Today? Aww, don’t they ever let you off the hook?”
“Never. I’m a star now, love.” Oliver smiled warmly and stood up, making his way to the bathroom to get his dry robes. “I have to go show them that I’m the best damn Keeper they’ve ever seen so I can stay up in the major leagues and maybe visit Bastian next season.”
“Do you think that would be weird? Seeing Bastian again after what happened with Alicia?”
“I don’t think it will,” he said thoughtfully, slipping on the robes. “I think he’ll be level-headed about it. He’s a good bloke. Good Seeker. I’m pulling for them in the playoffs.” Oliver flipped off the television and sat down beside me. “So will you be okay once I leave?”
“You’re spoiling me with all of this extra time,” I muttered, thinking of how alone and bored I was the previous day. “Now you’re going to go off to practice and I won’t see you for the longest time. What am I supposed to do?”
“Go have tea with my mum?”
I snorted. “Nice try. I’ll try owling the girls again I think.”
He kissed me lightly and ran a finger down my cheek. “See you later, then.”
“Show them who’s boss,” I said with a smile. “And try not to act too much like a captain.”
He raised a brow. “No promises,” he replied and left.
I was alone again.
Ten minutes later I was still alone, though the kiss from Oliver had since faded and I was now bored again. I paced around the living room and turned the Finches/Tornadoes game back on. The Finches were winning by twenty. I went into the kitchen and cleaned out the pot Dad cooked eggs in that morning.
Then I returned to my room and fell onto my bed in anguish. “Eugh!” I cried, desperately clinging to the hope that Kiki had delivered my letters by then and was on her way back with long, juicy replies from the girls.
My hopes were deemed true when I saw the owl tap against the window. I rushed across the room, tripping once again over my trunk that seemed almost strategically placed there so my shin could be injured, and threw open the window.
It was from Angelina.
Get a life.
Only joking. I’m at home with the fam for a bit and they’re driving me nuts. I can’t have a moment’s peace without my baby sister rushing in here asking me if I want to play Quidditch in the back garden or help her collect rocks. I don’t want to collect rocks. Please don’t make me.
As for Fred, I haven’t seen him since break started because he’s been with his family and Katie at the Burrow. Yes, she told me she’s staying there for a week just to get to know the family more than she already does. She hasn’t decided on a Maid of Honor yet, but that choice will come later.
I hope we can all see each other soon. I’m sure we can go stay with Katie for a while after she spends time getting chubby because of Mrs. Weasley’s cooking.
How is dear Oliver? Did you two fight and hex each other to bits yet?
Hopefully see you soon,
I made a face. Though she gave me a few bits of information to cling to in my sad lack of a social life, this was still nothing. I wanted a baby sister to rush in here and ask me to collect rocks. I would gladly go to some park and collect rocks.
Perhaps that was what I should start. Rock collecting. Maybe there was a gallery or something in London that would display really wicked-looking rocks. Probably the museum.
As for Fred, my gut felt a sudden pang of guilt. I had already seen Oliver a couple times since break started and I was being a horrible whiner about not seeing him every hour of every day like when we were lounging outside of Hogwarts in the sun. Poor Angelina hadn’t even gotten to snog her boyfriend’s face off in nearly a week! The shame.
And the Maid of Honor—I hadn’t even thought of that. Who would she pick? Katie had three best friends. Angelina would love it—she’d be a fantastic pick for going shopping for dresses and making invitations. As for Alicia, she would be a lovely Maid of Honor too considering she knew how to plan the best parties and her speech would be one to remember. And then me—well, if Ang or Alicia wanted it really bad, I would concede, but I figure I would be good too because I wasn’t crazy like either of them.
Well, on my good days.
Great. I spent all of two minutes going through the details of the letter and thinking them over. Then nothing. No more news. I rushed back into the living room and checked the score. The Finches were still up by twenty. What kind of game was this?!
My entire life was dull and lifeless and boring.
This was simply absurd. Where was Dan Ellis? What about Libby—why wasn’t she just popping out of the woodwork to stab me in the eyeball or tell me that Oliver was too good for me? And Mandy—what a twit! She could just knock on the door and come inside and watch the Finches/Tornadoes game with me and shoot insults at me for dating Roger and ruining her chances with him.
Pfft—Hell, I’d welcome Roger Davies through the door right now. That was desperation. Not because I hated him, because I didn’t, just because I figured that would be ridiculously awkward and might pain my physically.
Luckily, before I could go too stir crazy, Dad walked through the door with a bag of groceries and a smile.
“Bored?” he asked, noticing me standing less than a meter from the television.
“A bit,” I muttered, grabbing the back and walking into the kitchen. I took out the apples and oranges, placing them in the wicker basket on our table. “I thought summer was going to be different this year.”
“Different from what? All the other years you’ve spent weeks away from your friends and whined about it every day?” Dad made a face. “The only difference is now you have a boyfriend you’re going to whine about. I need ear plugs.”
“Do you want to watch the replay of the game later tonight? The announcers said it would be on.” I closed the fridge and smiled.
“Actually, I won’t be here later on. Do you want some money to go out and do something fun?”
“What’re you doing? It’s not a weekend. What do you have to do?”
“Do you want some money or not?”
“I want to watch Quidditch with my dad,” I muttered, releasing a bit of my teenage angst that had been building up over the past few days. Usually, I wasn’t one to give in to all that rubbish about teens lashing out at their parents, but at that particular moment I wanted to throw an orange at the wall and shout about how I needed the Finches to lose so Oliver could be happy and I needed to spend time with the only person that wasn’t far away from me—my dad.
“I understand, Pumpkin,” Dad said slowly, as if carefully considering every word that came out of his mouth. “I have plans tonight. Why don’t you go see a movie?”
“The Muggle movies all sound stupid.”
“How about you wait up for Oliver and the two of you can chat and write mean letters to the girls?”
“I can’t see Oliver until tomorrow.”
“What about that letter thing?”
I frowned even more than I already was. “Did that already.”
“Well, you can just clean out the toilet then.” Dad tossed the bag in the garbage impatiently and walked out of the room. I heard the television flip on in the other room.
Annoyed, I left the kitchen and isolated myself in my own room. There was no use trying to talk to him now. He was irritated. I was mad.
I suppose I just wanted to spend time with someone other than the wallpaper and my wonky quilt.
Pulling said wonky quilt up over my chest, I sighed in aggravation. This was a disaster. This summer was a disaster.
The worst part was my dad was right.
Though I never got around to scrubbing the toilet, I did get a good night’s sleep. The following morning I dressed quietly and pulled my hair back into a pony tail. I left my room with a new sense of self and of rest. That, and my neck didn’t hurt at last so I was less swallowed by irritation than I was the day before.
Dad was sitting at the kitchen table reading The Daily Prophet with the paper propped in with one hand and an apple in the other. He shuffled it and glanced at me. “Good morning,” he said cheerfully.
“Morning,” I said, just as joyful. I tossed a piece of bread in the toaster and flopped down next to him. “How was your night out?”
“Fine, thanks,” he said, going back to reading the paper.
“Going to work soon?”
“Yeah.” He straightened the paper again. “What are your plans for the day?”
“I’m headed to Oliver’s for a while I think.” This put a smile on my pathetic, summer-hating face. “He might starve if he is relying on cooking meals to get him by.”
“Can’t he just cook things by magic?”
I made a face. “He never bothered to learn any spell that would do him good in life.” I chuckled and grabbed my toast as it flew into the air. “Though he did learn several hexes to use in the Entrance Hall…”
“All right. Be home early.” Dad smiled widely and flipped to the next section of the paper.
“What has you in such a good mood?”
“The weather is nice today.”
“You’re a bad liar.”
“At least I know you got that trait from me.” He smiled again, this time a little more maliciously.
“Are you going to send me off to finishing school to learn how to curtsey and hold forks properly, because I’m going to have to protest.”
“Am I going to—what?”
“That look in your eye. I see it.” I shoved the toast in my mouth and narrowed my eyes, walking out of the room and back into my bedroom.
That look was trouble. I had seen it before. Before he sent me off to the Magical Creatures Camp instead of anywhere cool when I was younger. Before he brought the interior designer to repaint the walls I had so skillfully painted a puke green. When he had just received tickets for the Quidditch World Cup through his office. That was a face I knew all too well. It was something I needed to know, but something he wouldn’t tell me until the last possible second.
“You’re early.” Oliver pulled open the door. He was still in his pajamas since it was his day off and he had a glass of orange juice in his right hand.
“My dad has a secret,” I muttered, tossing my bag of oddities on the sofa and following it absentmindedly. “He has a secret and he won’t tell me and it’s not just an I-didn’t-floss-today secret, it’s something big. Jerk.”
He smiled and sat down beside me. “That’s a good thing then.”
“It got you here early.” Oliver kissed me lightly and I suddenly remembered that I had a devilishly good-looking Quidditch star boyfriend that I could snog all I wanted. Who cared about my dad’s silly dad-weirdness secret? I didn’t. I cared about snogging my boyfriend.
And so I did.
We were on the couch for a while, my back against the mismatched throw pillows and my arms tangled around Oliver’s neck. His arms were on either side of me, his chest pressing against mine as we kissed. It was nice—wonderfully clichéd fireworks every time his lips touched mine and sooner than I expected my breathing was ragged and we were pressed together so forcefully that I was sure there was a plaid imprint in my back from one of the pillows.
Oliver pulled away for a second, letting his eyes slip open lazily so I could see the light reflecting off of their brown surface. He stared at me for a moment before whispering, “How did we fight all sodding year instead of doing that?”
“It seemed easier,” I muttered, smiling. “Why bother exposing feelings and going through red tape when you can just hex someone in the Entrance Hall?”
“Too right you are,” he said and kissed me again. “Do I have to get up?”
“Did I say you had to get up?” I pulled him back closer to me and he scooted next to me on the couch so his arm was draped across my stomach. We lay there for a moment, each completely silent. “What’re you thinking about?” I said finally, unable to bear the awkwardness that surrounded that sofa.
“Nothing.” He blushed. When I say he blushed, I mean he was the color of the Gryffindor hangings behind us.
“If you were thinking about Quidditch or the texture of the carpet, you wouldn’t be that shade of red. Oliver, what were you thinking about?”
“Nothing. I was—the orange juice on the table.”
I spun around to face him. Our faces were so close my lips almost brushed his neck. I could feel the heat off of his skin and that made me smile. “Oliver Wood. What in Merlin’s name are you thinking about? Is it about another woman because so help me God if the word Libby comes out of your mouth—”
He took a moment to make a horrifying gagging noise at the very thought. “Don’t worry, Jane, it’s about you.”
“What is it? My devilish good looks? How I’m like an angel falling from the sky and I make your life so much better every day I grace you with my presence?” I beamed girlishly and he chuckled. “I bet you were thinking that I should become a professional Quidditch player and play for Puddlemere so we can travel the world together forever and get married on a Quidditch pitch—oh, Hell.”
“What? Realized that talking about marriage is the last thing we should be doing?”
I shook my head. “I realized I can’t be a Quidditch player.”
“Well, besides the obvious reasons, why not?” He seemed to be humoring me so I would continue to change the subject. Stupid boy.
“Because I’ve sworn to make your parents continue to think of me as riffraff,” I said and Oliver laughed loudly. “I can’t very well do something they would like, could I?”
He shook his head. “Of course not. No Quidditch for you.”
“Tell you what?”
“Don’t make me break out the red wine and get you drunk enough to tell me.”
Oliver raised a brow. “You might get more than you bargained for.”
“Oliver Wood, what do you mean by that?” I gaped at him. What a perv.
“I’M SICK OF YOUR CRAP.”
He nearly fell on top of me laughing as hard as he was. “All right, all right! Don’t hurt me!” He tried to catch his breath and his face was redder than ever. “Earlier I was thinking about you…well, I was thinking about you and me and…well, you get the picture.”
“What?” I made a face. What was he getting at?
“No, I don’t know.”
“Seriously…you know, it.”
“It what? Who’s it?”
Oliver’s expression was strained. “Erm, it.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“SEX, JANE. I WAS THINKING ABOUT SEX.”
My face went pale. “Oh.” I cleared my throat. “And you were talking about the same thing a second ago?”
“I was actually talking about copping a feel, but same thing.” Oliver seemed to regain his confidence once mine went missing.
He started laughing again.
“Shut up.” I turned over and he pulled me hard against his chest. “Jerk.”
“Oh, come on, Jane. Don’t be like that.” He was snickering.
“I’ll be like whatever I want.”
“Do you want to have sex?”
If I would have been drinking something, it would have been spit all over the coffee table and probably over onto the television as well. Instead, I choked loudly and had to sit up, still choking, before fixing him with a completely horrified expression.
Once again, I had been thwarted. Oliver doubled over laughing, using the pillow to muffle the sound since it got so loud.
“Oh really sodding funny!” I shouted, smacking him on the back of the head. “That’s ridiculous.”
“Why? Because it’s so completely out of the question? Should I tell Fred I’m not getting any?”
Where was this coming from?!
“Because we’ve been together for two weeks, that’s why!” I shouted in reply, my face now bordering the color of the red window hangings. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore—and tell Fred anything you want. Just don’t include me in it.”
“Who should I include? Libby?”
I threw a pillow at him. “I loathe you.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” With that, Oliver sat up, lunged himself at me, and we were back to snogging on the sofa.
A while later our clothing was wrinkled against our skin and we were both staring up at the ceiling, breathing hard. Making out was a hard task. Surely Angelina knew all about it. My lips felt tingly and my fingers were intertwined with Oliver’s.
“Is this what we’re going to do all day?” I asked quietly into the dead air.
“Is that a bad thing?”
“I didn’t say that.”
Oliver smiled and kissed my cheek. “It’s all I had planned. I don’t get to kiss you often enough.”
“You’re such a cheese,” I muttered. “What happened to the Oliver that made me run laps?”
“Let’s just say you’re lucky we’re not on a Quidditch pitch.”
I groaned. “You’d probably make me run a lap and then snog you…run a lap, snog you…and so on.”
“Yeah, probably.” His voice faded off and once again we were left to our own thoughts.
I couldn’t help but let mine wander off to where his had been earlier in the day. Not because I wanted it to go there, but because he mentioned it. Obviously neither of us was ready for a step like that. Well, he was a bloke so he was probably ready at the drop of a hat, but it was something I hadn’t even considered. He was Oliver Wood, after all. I was pretty sure he’d get all sorts of offers from pretty girls in bikinis or something while on the Quidditch trail.
Was he expecting that from me?
No, Oliver wasn’t stupid. If he hadn’t expected it from Libby…
Shit. Had he expected it from Libby?
The thought hadn’t even come up in my relationship with Roger. Even after Angelina told me about her and Fred I hadn’t given it a second thought in relation to myself. I should really have been thinking about that. Now Oliver was next to me letting his mind wander to my sexiness and other things highly inappropriate to anyone under thirteen.
I made a face. This was weird.
“Are you thinking about something different now?” I asked suddenly and he laughed.
“I’m thinking about Quidditch training. Why?”
“No reason. Just wanted to know.” My lips were pressed together hard.
“You look good naked in my head.”
“OLIVER WOOD!” I smacked him again. “Cut that out!”
“Relax, Jane, I’m only kidding with you.” He ran his fingers down my arm calmly and smiled. “It’s freaking you out and I take great pleasure in freaking you out.”
“Apparently,” I muttered darkly, but didn’t move because it felt so good just lounging beside him. “Did you have sex with Libby?”
This time, Oliver choked. He had to sit up and I patted him on the back for a moment before he responded.
“Did I—are you serious? Bleeding NO, I didn’t have sex with Libby.” He choked again. “Jane, you have to warn me when you’re about to say something like that.”
I smiled triumphantly. Not only did he not, but I also got a good response from him.
He calmly slid back down next to me and caught his breath.
“Sex with Libby,” I whispered quickly.
He coughed again, his eyes growing wide and my smile even wider.
I giggled. There was a small tapping noise as I kissed Oliver on the cheek and I looked around. Kiki was at the window.
Rushing over to the other side of the room, I opened the window and let her fly through. I recognized the handwriting on the envelope immediately as Alicia’s. “Finally,” I said bitterly. “I thought I’d have to wait until the end of the summer to hear back from her, the sod.”
Oliver sat up on the sofa and smiled. “Alicia then?”
I nodded and tore it open. Flopping back down next to him, I unfolded the parchment. The writing was scratchy and hurried.
Please get here immediately.
I’m staying at my uncle’s in the country.
Lee is still in Russia.
Bastian is here.
A/N: Sorry, no chapter image this time because I thought you'd want the chapter now instead of in a few days. So...what do you think? I'm sorry that most of it was a filler, but I had to get to that ending. Speaking of which...how about that?
Don't you just adore the crap I put my characters through?
Also, quickly, I wanted to thank EVERYONE that checked out my James II story, Breaking the Quidditch Code and those who reviewed. Thanks so much and the story is turning into greatness so far--so thanks! And I put the second chapter up of that one!
So major love to all of you! Favorite quotes? What do you think Alicia is going to do?
...most importantly...what the heck is LEE going to do?!
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