For a few seconds of stunned silence, both Oliver and Cody stood there at the door, absolutely frozen in mute horror. Unable to move, to speak, or to give any indication of being alive other than heaving breaths and sprinting pulses.
Cody pushed the door open a little further; the door squeaked and groaned loudly in protest.
“This is a joke... right?” asked Cody weakly.
Dumbfounded, Oliver took a few tentative steps into the room, feeling very much like he was foraging into dangerous territory. “You have got to be kidding me.”
Cody entered the room after him, glancing around nervously. “Wow... shabby digs.” She spotted their luggage piled haphazardly over in the corner, and sighed. Indicating her latest observation, she said stoutly, “guess it’s not a joke, then.”
The door swung shut squeakily the moment that Cody released the knob. “Erm...”
“Come on,” said Oliver suddenly. “Let’s go.
Cody simply looked at him strangely. “Go where?”
“I can’t stay in this room any longer than necessary. Let’s go down to the pub – maybe Hipshook’s still down there somewhere. Or maybe we could see if any last minute openings came up. And I could really use a butterbeer – Firewhisky would be best, of course – right now.”
Cody gaped at him in shock. Talk about rapid mood change. Besides, “What about all that preaching about being in optimal shape for Quidditch and laying off of non-athlete condusive foods?”
He gestured grandly to their surroundings. “Well, I’m not staying in here for anything other than the hours absolutely needed for sleep, and I’m sure as hell not sleepy yet.”
Cody grinned. “Okay.” Who knew Oliver Wood had a little bit of rebel in him?
After a few tours of the lower level of the hotel however, both were beginning to lose hope. Dejection set in, at about the same time as exhaustion, as the high from winning the match began to wear off. A heated discussion with the owner had yielded no better results either.
Tiredly, Cody sank down on a bar stool, and Oliver plopped down heavily beside her. She cocked a grin at her captain. “I would’ve thought that the whole Quidditch player status would’ve come with some better perks than this.”
“Don’t,” he said, a little annoyed. He sighed, rubbing his temples. “Usually, it does. We’ve never had to deal with such accommodations before. Although—we can’t really judge what kind of rooms the rest of the team have.”
A burly looking man leaned over the counter at Cody. “What can I get cha?”
“A butterbeer is fine.”
“I’ll take a Firewhiskey,” said Oliver, prompting a curious glance from Cody. “I wasn’t kidding—this is pretty aggravating. Damn Hipshook—can’t believe he still has our wands. I mean, special circumstances and all considered, it really would’ve helped. Having magic, that is. Because then we could probably whip the room into presentable shape.”
Cody punched his arm playfully. “Hey now—Mr. Cocky-No-Problem-Day-Without-Magic, look what you’ve gotten us all into. Besides, if you did that, for one thing, it would be cheating, and for another, you would technically forfeit the bet.”
“Technically. But you can't really dock a lose for a technicality.” He gave an amused smirk.
“Here you go,” said the bartender gruffly, sliding two glass mugs across the counter, and turning away to help somebody else. The mugs didn’t look particularly clean, but Cody took a huge swig anyway. It tickled slightly going down her throat, but the butterbeer filled her with a fuzzy dullness.
“Bottoms up,” said Oliver grumpily, chugging a good deal in one huge gulp.
Cody looked at him, taking in his chiselled profile from this angle. This close proximity. Oliver let out a loud belch, and a cloud of foul smelling alcohol vapour wafted straight into her face. “Gross,” she ground out through her teeth, trying to not breathe too deeply.
Well. This wasn’t awkward at all.
Cody searched desperately for something to say, but now Oliver seemed to be regarding her in a strange way, his head cocked to the side and eyebrow raised contemplatively. A little spooked by it all, Cody raised her mug and took a large sip of butterbeer.
And promptly choked.
She coughed violently a few times, spraying some onto the counter.
The bartender rushed over and gave her an evil look before soaking it up with a greasy dirty rag. “Whoa lady—how much have you had to drink?”
“Too much,” chuckled Oliver, a mischievous look on his lips. “She already had some before coming here, I’d advise you not to give her any more.”
“Well,” said the bartender. “I would appreciate if you did not dispel regurgitated alcohol all over the place.”
“Sorry,” said Cody sheepishly, “but I’m really not drunk or anything. This is my first butterbeer of the night, I swear! That was a total accident—”
Oliver just shook with barely contained laughter beside her.
Bastard. “Really sorry,” Cody repeated to the bartender, who was still glaring at her. He finally grunted something that might’ve been an “it’s okay” and walked away.
Cody rounded on Oliver angrily. “Dude, what was up with that?”
“Dude?” he asked, looking at her questioningly.
“Don’t dodge the question,” she said, giving him a rather hard shove. He nearly fell off the stool, but managed to regain his balance just in time. “Thanks a lot,” she said, sarcasm heavily coating her tone.
“Oh, you’re very welcome. Really, it was no problem at all.”
“Jerk,” Cody muttered under her breath. She downed the rest of her butterbeer, sloshing a little out of the corner of her mouth and onto her shirt in her haste. “Damn,” she said, looking down at the unattractive wet splotches.
Oliver was laughing again, loud roaring peals of laughter that shook his large frame.
“Glad you find me so amusing,” said Cody icily, standing up. She brushed herself off as well as she could, pushing off the droplets of water. “It’s been a long day—I’m going to go back up to the room.”
“Wait up a minute,” said Oliver, holding up a finger, and draining the rest of the Firewhiskey. “We’ll have to figure out some sort of arrangement,” he said grimly.
Cody passed over the threshold of the room right on Oliver’s heels—literally, eliciting an “Ouch!”—desperately hoping that perhaps the small double bed she’d seen earlier had simply been another prank on Hipshook’s part.
No such luck. The tiny bed still stood solitarily in the middle of the room. All by its small lonesome.
“Well,” she said awkwardly.
“Well,” repeated Oliver.
The door swung shut behind them, accompanied by a symphony of squeaks.
“How’re we going to coordinate this?”
Oliver sighed heavily, internally debating. In the end, gentlemanly inclinations won out. “I’ll just... take a pillow and slum on the floor,” he said hollowly.
“You can’t do that,” said Cody automatically.
“No, really, I don’t mind.”
“You’re the captain of Puddlemere United, for Merlin’s sake,” protested Cody stubbornly, crossing her arms defensively. “We can’t have you slumming on the floor or anything,” she said, a slight mocking tone taking over.
“Well, what else can we do? Because, it’s not like I’m going to let the girl take the floor.”
“The girl? The girl? Um, that’s kind of sexist.”
Oliver gaped at Cody in shock. What in Merlin’s name was wrong with this girl? “I offered to take the floor and—”
“Because it’s the gentlemanly thing to do, right?” asked Cody, sounding a little bitter this time around.
Now he was just downright confused. “Well... yeah.”
Cody sighed deeply, and then closed her eyes for a couple seconds, as though she were trying very hard to control herself. Finally she opened her eyes again, and rocked forward onto the balls of her feet. “You can’t take the floor,” she said, sounding neutral, almost generic. Like she was functioning on autopilot. “Pretty big day tomorrow, what with the press conference and that charity event in the evening. You—both of us—are going to need a good night’s rest.”
“Honestly, it’s fine—” began Oliver, ever the persistent gentleman.
“Fine, you take the floor then!” said Oliver loudly, now annoyed with the whole situation. All that Firewhiskey in his system probably wasn’t helping matters either. “Damn it, Wronski, what else do you propose that we do?”
Suddenly a gigantic cockroach skittered scummily across the floor. The two Quidditch players looked at each other uneasily.
“Well, damn,” said Cody, a little too brightly, “there goes that plan.” She walked over to the bed, and took one of the pillows and laid it in the middle of the bed, effectively separating it into two very narrow strips. “There—problem solved.” She looked up at him with a petulant grin, then raised an index finger and squashed it against her nose.
Oliver couldn’t help but let out another hearty chuckle. “You look like an ugly pig like that,” he said.
Cody immediately released her nose, and a frosty expression took over her face. Abruptly she turned and grabbed her toiletries, then headed out the door and down the hall to prepare for the night.
At the time of proposing her idea, she’d appeared to be cocky and pleased with her idea. Now, in practise, with the two of them lying on the already cramped, sagging bed with a pillow between them, the situation was even more awkward.
She didn’t know about Oliver, but Cody was wide awake, facing the side of the bed, clutching the edge with stiff knuckles, trying her best not to fall off. Great. Just great.
Joining Puddlemere United, she had expected a great summer of playing Quidditch to take her mind off of waiting for a reply from Hippograph, awesome perks, getting to visit new places. Great hotel rooms—luxurious ones, four stars at least, if not five. But no, instead she was stuck here, in this dump.
Why couldn’t she fall asleep? Go to sleep already!
Damn, why was she still awake?
Wow, this was really awkward. She could hear Oliver breathing behind her. Honestly, he was her Quidditch captain, for crying out loud, and she barely knew him. And now they were stuck sharing sleeping quarters. This was definitely way too close for comfort.
How the hell was she going to get any sleep like this?
She was almost regretting coming up with the idea of having them share, with a pillow propped in between. Almost. But of course, that would be the wrong thing to think.
She pounded the pillow. Her mind was slightly fuzzy. Probably left over effects from the combination of the butterbeer and staying awake when lacking sleep.
And the next thing she knew, she was waking up, even though it was still very dark. Panic was consuming her; something was wrong. Very wrong. Note: Wow - A Summer Thing has reached over 200 reviews! Thanks a ton for all the great support and encouragement guys! In fact, this was such an exciting event that I even put off homework tonight and churned out this chapter.
A little worried about the characters being a little OOC in the opening, thoughts? In other news, i've found my original planning notes of AST, and wow - the plot line's deviated a fair bit! A bit of a cliffie leaving off here, mwahaha ;) Things are about to get deep though. A few of the earlier chapters now have images up, if you want to check them out.
As always, feedback, concrit, general comments & inquries greatly appreciated! They're very motivating. ;) *hint hint
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