Chapter 23 : In Which Quidditch is Played and Kenna and Oliver are Locked Inside a Dormitory
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For over two months, I ignored what had happened between Oliver and me. I didn’t want it to have happened, and he never brought it up, so I pretended that it had never occurred in the first place. But after we kissed, I spent the rest of the day and half the night worrying over whether or not I should tell Aidan. I didn’t want to lie to him, but somehow, I doubted he would believe me if I told him the truth; that Oliver and I had been excited about his Quidditch offers, that it had happened by accident, that it wouldn’t happen again. By the time I finally managed to fall asleep, I was still conflicted. If I told Aidan, he would almost certainly break up with me. But he didn’t deserve that.
I felt so repetitive, so sick of myself, justifying everything because I didn’t want to hurt either Aidan or Oliver. But I had nothing else. For two weeks, I battled with a decision, one that was ultimately taken out of my hands. Oliver never said a word about it to me or to Aidan, and if I’d waited that long to tell him, Aidan would think that I’d either been hiding it from him or that it was more than what it was. What it had to be, because I couldn’t accept anything else.
For the most part, Oliver and I pretended that everything was the same between us; we both felt the awkwardness, but I couldn’t really see a way of explaining it without raising more questions. When Oliver told the team that he’d been offered a spot with five professional teams, neither one of us mentioned the fact that I already knew. None of our friends were aware that I’d been there when he’d gotten the letters, and I preferred to keep it that way. I told myself that it wasn’t that important, that it didn’t really matter; after all, it wasn’t as if my dorm mates knew every little detail of my life. True, they knew almost everything, but I was entitled to my privacy.
Not that it mattered, since no one suspected a thing. Not that there was anything to suspect to begin with. If Aidan had sensed a change in my attitude, he didn’t comment on it. Just like he didn’t comment on the fact that I wore his bracelet, the one I hadn’t even wanted, every day or the fact that I’d moved again in Transfiguration so that I was once again seated next to him. He didn’t know that I never took the blasted bracelet off because it was my punishment for not being faithful emotionally--and I didn’t view the lone kiss with Oliver as strictly cheating since neither one of us had meant it to happen, and I would never do anything to hurt Aidan on purpose--and since my grades stayed up, McGonagall let us alone.
Oliver didn’t comment on my sudden desire to get far away from him either. If I was going to be honest, he stayed out of my way as much as I did his. When there were other people around, we managed to act normal enough; I frequently had to force myself to overreact to something he’d said or done just so no one would suspect that we were faking. But we no longer talked outside of Quidditch or our mutual friends, and I spent all my meals with Aidan at the Hufflepuff table, with the occasional visit from Riley.
But Oliver almost went out of his way to avoid me. Not that anyone could tell, since he’d pretty much left me alone since Aidan and I had started dating. And sure, part of me knew that he wasn’t just keeping his distance because of me; he had so much to think about that he had become distant with everyone. His spot on Puddlemere’s reserve team depended on two things. He had to make sure he didn’t get injured in the last match (and winning the Cup wouldn’t hurt), and he had to keep his grades up. Puddlemere expected him to earn every N.E.W.T he attempted. And while Oliver’s smart, he had enough pressure on him with Quidditch to worry about his grades and his problematic, emotionally frenzied ex-girlfriend. So I tried not to take it personally.
But the truth was, I missed him. Not just because I loved him, but because we’d always been such good friends and it was difficult for me to not be able to sit down and tease him or throw spoons at him or correct his idiotic opinions. I wanted to tell him that Nefertiti had finally learned how to use her litter box without making a huge mess, that she played fetch and loved playing with her little mouse. But that was something you told a friend, a significant other, and right now, Oliver was neither.
And I was worried about him. If anyone could captain us to victory over the Ravenclaws, it would be Oliver, and if anyone could manage not to completely crack due to upcoming exams, it would also be him. But every time I saw him at practice or in Potions class, where we managed to be partners but barely speak a word, he grew successively paler. The shadows under his eyes grew larger and darker, and I was truly afraid he was going to break. Two weeks before the Quidditch Final, and he still looked like death warmed over, only instead of ‘warm,’ he looked feverish. His eyes were too bright, his cheeks flushed, and without exerting any physical effort, his forehead would sweat like he’d been in a sauna. I couldn’t take it any longer, so I asked him about it the first chance I got, but he snapped at me and told me to mind my own business. He didn’t need friends who were only concerned if he looked like a ghost, friends that wouldn’t give him the time of day if he was in full health.
I dropped the subject immediately.
Eventually, I got another letter from my parents. My father insisted on pulling Smith out of his Muggle school and bringing him, along with my mum, to come watch the final. My dad, a former Ravenclaw, swore up and down that he’d support me no matter what, but he also mentioned that he’d appreciate it if I didn’t refer to the Ravenclaw side as “those stinking, rotting, braniacs who are so cerebral that they forget the physical plane exists and then run into other players in midair.” And even though Cho Chang is an idiot who pays more attention to filing her nails than catching the Snitch, I managed to agree to a truce when I finally wrote back. I figured I could keep my snarky comments to myself for a few days.
Of course, if that sodding Chang twit ran into me again because she was too busy looking for Cedric, who she’d mysteriously managed to steal away from Katie once again about a month earlier, all bets were off, and I was going to make sure I took her down with me. After all, fair is fair. Plus, I still held a grudge- her idiotic flying was the reason Gryffindor didn’t take the Cup last year- and I just plain didn’t like her. So I figured it might be alright if I ‘accidentally’ ran into her a few times or aimed a couple of Confundus charms at her. Because everyone knows what Madame Hooch doesn’t see can’t hurt her. Right?
Then again, perhaps I should be trying to curb my more violent tendencies. But hey, I’ve managed not to hex any of the Slytherins in two weeks, and I haven’t called the Ravenclaw team a bunch of sodding prats in the last few days, so I figure I’m good.
Although...encouraging the Weasley twins to put itching powder in the Ravenclaws’ knickers probably isn’t the best way to curb any of my tendencies. Plus, they really don’t need another detention. McGonagall threatened to write their mum and kick them both off the team if she caught them ‘making mischief’ again before the match. Luckily, she said this last week, not around the time she read me the riot act. No one really believed she’d kick them off the team, because brilliant as he is, not even Oliver could find two such superb Beaters in a matter of days, train them, and get them used to the rest of the team in time for a match.
But back to my parents. Even though she’s a Muggle, my mum has lived in the magical world long enough to both understand and enjoy Quidditch. She’s almost as obsessed with it as my father. Almost. They bicker a lot because Dad supports the Arrows (gee, what a no-brainer), and Mum is absolutely insane for the Wasps. I sometimes wonder how they’ve managed to stay married this long.
Anyways, they’re both Quidditch mad. It’s no wonder I’m a bit...erm, fanatical...about the sport, what with the two of them reciting game scores, player rosters and League standings to me from the time I was an infant. Needless to say, they’ve always been supportive of my playing, Mum a bit less so, because she thinks I’ll attract fewer blokes if I’m constantly faster, more agile, and stronger than them. I tend to agree, but since I don’t really care, it’s beside the point. And anyways, Mum apparently got over that, since she evidently thinks Oliver’s in love with me. And that I’m in love with him.
Bollocks. She was at least half-right. I hate that.
Then again, maybe Oliver doesn’t count, because, well, I could train until my broom rotted, run until my legs turned to jelly, and lift those weird Muggle weights for the rest of my life and Oliver would still be stronger than me. So maybe I’m only attractive to Quidditch blokes. Except that doesn’t explain Aidan.
I just need to learn to accept that the minds of mums work in mysterious, inexplicable ways.
That and the fact that in our family, Smith’s a bit of a freak.
I say this not because he’s weird, which he is, or because he’s hyper, which he definitely is, but because Smith doesn’t really care for Quidditch. He doesn’t hate it, and if a match is on, he’ll watch with our parents, but his life would be perfectly fine without Quidditch in it.
As I said, in our family, he’s the weird one. Which makes me wonder why he wanted to come watch in the first place. Of course, he could just want to support me, which I doubt very much. More likely, he wants an opportunity to fawn over Oliver or drool over Riley. Or my parents just couldn’t find a sitter, which is highly likely. Smith has a bad habit of being highly annoying, and as a result, no one wants to look after him. Our grandmother, who, because she is a grandmother, is supposed to love us and spoil us and be utterly charmed by everything that we do, can’t even stand to be around Smith for longer than a few hours without supervision. She says he just wears her out, but I know she’s remembering the time she left him unattended a few years back and he ended up setting the neighbour’s bushes on fire completely by accident. Since said neighbour was a Muggle, it was a bit of a big deal.
But all reasons aside, Smith was coming with them. I don’t know which Headmaster wrote the rule that says parents are allowed to invade the castle on ‘special occasions,’ but it’s pretty much complete bollocks. It would be one thing if my family was going to stay in Hogsmeade like normal people. But no. They’re staying inside the castle because Dumbledore approved it.
There are one hundred and forty two staircases at Hogwarts. One hundred and forty two. And that’s just staircases. There are way too many broom closets, doors that lead to nowhere, several empty corridors and numerous empty classrooms. Smith’s capacity for mischief is unparalleled at home, where we have two floors, neither with an empty room in sight. I shudder to imagine just what he could do if given free reign inside the castle, or Merlin forbid, the Grounds.
And of course, Smith has never been to Hogwarts before. So he’ll get stuck in the vanishing stairs, meet Peeves, and then the castle will burn down. When that happens, I’m planning on telling Dumbledore “I told you so.”
My parents, however, will be just as bad. Dad, of course, actually attended Hogwarts, so he won’t constantly be asking questions about the castle. Mum, however, has only been twice. Both experiences turned out to be bad ones. She might have been sent a couple of angry letters from McGonagall in the last seven years.
And by might, I mean that it’s happened twice. During fourth year, Oliver and I stole all of Percy’s robes and gave them to Fred and George. We naturally told McGonagall that we didn’t know what had happened to them; it was true. The twins never told us what they were going to do and we never asked. McGonagall was not amused, not even when the robes turned up after my parents’ visit. She might have been unhappy because they were bright pink. Or maybe I’m just wrong.
And then there was the time in fifth year where I convinced the whole team to play “Transfigure the Tail on the Quidditch Captain” with me. Oliver ended up stuck with a donkey’s tail for two days.
Needless to say, Mum wasn’t very happy to be called to Hogwarts to help ‘knock some sense into her incorrigible daughter.’ McGonagall’s words, not mine.
She hasn’t been back since. And she’s never seen me play. For that matter, Dad hasn’t seen me play either. Not anywhere other than at home during the summer when I’d get bored and start doing drills just to keep myself sane.
So there was that, too. My parents were coming, and my younger brother was going to be given free rein to torment all of the school’s inhabitants.
Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe Smith could be convinced to use his powers for good instead of evil. Or evil on the side of good anyways. Maybe he could infiltrate the Slytherin common room and pour honey in all their beds. Maybe he could accidentally force Snape to bathe.
Maybe he could convince Flint to confess his love for Oliver again. Now that would be awesome.
Hmmph. Yeah right. And maybe Oliver could wake up tomorrow morning, the day my parents are supposed to arrive, and suddenly realize he’s madly in love with me. Maybe he would finally fight for me instead of letting me be such a bloody ninny.
Ha. Like that will ever happen.
I’m more likely to jump off the Astronomy Tower declaring my undying love for Percy Weasley. And since I know that is never going to happen, I’m pretty sure Oliver won’t suddenly realize he’s passionately and eternally infatuated with my person.
Kill. Me. Now.
My parents, not to mention Smith, showed up yesterday afternoon, right on schedule. Smith, contrary to my previous way of thinking, did absolutely nothing to harm anyone or anything in the castle.
Unless, like me, you count him following me around all day in class and asking me why I hadn’t broken up with that weird blonde bloke yet, because Oliver was obviously pining for me. Which I did.
Oliver laughed at that all three times Smith made his announcement. I wanted to wallop them both. Oliver for suddenly being in a good mood and looking like he’d both eaten and slept, and Smith for being an embarrassing little twit of a younger brother.
Aidan, of course, took it all in stride, which made me want to hit him, too, for being so damned pleasant. It was unnatural.
Then, of course, Smith ruined my day further by running into McGonagall and charming her socks off. Apparently, she thought he was absolutely splendid, because she set up an appointment for him with Professor Dumbledore later in the afternoon to determine his intelligence.
Let’s just say that Smith came back knowing that he’s got the brains of a Ravenclaw on crack. And, of course, he was carrying an armload of books, all titled things like “How to Challenge Your Precocious Magical Genius Child” and “Elemental Magic for Highly Advanced Children.”
The good thing about all of that is that Smith is being sent off to a special wizarding primary school for the incredibly gifted, and he has to go to their special ‘camp’ all summer, meaning that I won’t have to deal with him.
At least there’s some justice in the world!
Except Oliver, of course, found it all hysterically funny. Smith, as per usual, spent the entire time where he wasn’t driving me crazy by charming everyone and making them think he’s so perfect, following Oliver around like a demented little puppy. They had a long, involved discussion about how they were brilliant for getting me Nefertiti because she’s a pure-bred Turkish Angora and apparently they’re really good cats. Then nothing would do but for Oliver to tell Smith how to get into my dormitory so he could check on Nefertiti for himself. Of course, no one consulted me or my dorm mates, so it was lucky Smith didn’t stumble in on Riley coming out of the bath or he’d have been tongue-tied for a week, not to mention all the drool we’d have to clean up.
Having Smith around put me in a bad mood. Even when he wasn’t being super annoying, he drove me crazy. Maybe it was because everyone started thinking I’d been exaggerating every time I told stories about him. Or maybe it was because all my teachers thought he was the most brilliant child they’d seen in years.
Or maybe it was because Oliver liked him better.
It was childish and stupid and completely unfair to both of them, but that was how I felt. Oliver couldn’t be bothered to spare a word for me to let me know that he was just nervous about the Cup instead of dying of some mysterious disease, but the moment my insane family showed up with my crazy brother in tow, he was all smiles and chattering like we were best mates.
Which I suppose we were, at one point, but honestly, can you call someone your mate if you haven’t bothered to talk to them in two months? Sure, it would make sense if we lived on different continents or had jobs that kept us both busy. But for Merlin’s sake, we go to the same boarding school. We’re on the same bloody Quidditch team, in the same House, and we’re in all the same classes.
You have to really work hard in order to ignore a friend at Hogwarts because there are so many opportunities to be around people. And Oliver had definitely been working at it.
Which was why I was annoyed that his attitude improved when Smith came around.
If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Smith’s stupid boy-crush on Oliver was mutual (if it weren’t for that whole age difference/cradle robbing thing).
Except I know for a fact that Oliver is completely not homosexual (I mean, I’ve had a first-hand demonstration myself, and got to watch one with him and Katie, so I should know). Smith, I’m not so sure about; I mean, I know he’s not in love with Oliver, but he’s still somewhat in love with him. It’s weird. It’s really weird to think that my younger brother has a completely platonic crush/hero worship on the bloke I’m completely in love with.
So, needless to say, I haven’t been my normal cheery self in the past twenty-four hours.
My parents think it’s that time of the month. I haven’t bothered to correct them, even though it makes my dad feel more than a bit weird to think of his little girl all grown up and physically able to conceive little minions all her own. In that vein, it’s been sort of interesting to be around him whenever he runs into Aidan. During Christmas, Aidan could do no wrong. But I think Dad has just now realized that he sent his daughter to a boarding school with boys and that teenagers have hormones and all that lovely stuff. So now Dad’s wondering if Aidan and I have....enjoyed sexual favours...with each other, or if we really are as completely sex-starved as we ‘pretend’ to be.
Mum, of course, thinks no such thing. But that’s because she’s my mum, and I believe her when she says she has eyes in the back of her head. If I were having sex, she would know, and I would get enough grief about it to last for years.
I’m just glad none of them are staying in Gryffindor Tower. If they were, I’d probably have to go kill myself. Or Oliver. And probably Smith. So really, it’s a very good thing that my happy family will be sleeping on the other side of the castle, because otherwise, everyone would die. And as has been drummed into my head from a very young age, the killing of people is frowned upon, even if it’s by accident.
Twenty minutes before the biggest match of our lives, the Gryffindor Quidditch team stood in the lockers, listening to Oliver’s last pre-game pep talk. As usual, he was being overly solemn and annoying, but I figured that since it was his last match as Captain for the foreseeable future, he had a pretty good excuse.
“...And remember, team, Bradley leans slightly to the right every time he’s going to attempt a pass.” Oliver finished.
“We know.” Fred said exasperatedly. “He’s been leaning slightly to the right for three years now.” Oliver shot him a glare, and Angelina kicked him in the shin. “Oi!” He glared right back at her. “What was that for?” Angelina just sniffed.
“If I may continue...” Oliver said imperiously. I sort of wanted to kick him in the shin, but I resisted. “Now, Fred, George, keep after Davies. He’s their best Chaser, and the Ravenclaws...well, they’re ninnies. Take out the Captain and they won’t know what to do.” Fred and George grinned evilly at one another, and I almost felt sorry for poor Roger Davies. Except he was a prat Ravenclaw and there was no way I would ever feel sorry for him. “And Kenna.” Oliver snapped. I forced my attention back to him.
“Yes, Captain?” I snapped back. What? It wasn’t my fault Oliver’s speeches were long-winded and boring.
“Focus.” he continued to glare at me. “If you don’t focus on the match instead of thinking about how much fun you’ll be having with Montgomery when you’re in the broom closet, so help me Merlin, I’ll kill you.”
Well. Apparently my family’s visit hadn’t put him in such a good mood after all.
“Unlike you, Wood, I can multitask.” I said dryly. Oliver’s ears turned pink. “So how about you worry about making sure that the Ravenclaws don’t score, and I’ll worry about the Snitch.” I knew the moment I said it that I shouldn’t have, but it was too late. Even Fred and George were glaring at me now. I had to stop letting Oliver get to me. Easier said than done.
“I wouldn’t have to worry about it if Chang didn’t have a tendency to be an airheaded twit. You know she crashes into people so much because she’s never paying attention. If you don’t keep your mind on the game, that idiot Ravenclaw’ll keep us from winning the Cup. Again.”
If anything, I felt more ashamed. He wasn’t trying to be an arse. He was just trying to make sure everyone on the team made it out of the match in one piece. “Sorry, Wood.” I mumbled. He just shrugged it off.
The rest of his speech was nothing out of the ordinary. Alicia had bet me ten galleons that Oliver would get emotional and cry, so it was a small bright spot to know that I wouldn’t be the one paying up after the match. But I was too nervous to enjoy the small victory, and when we finally made our way out onto the Pitch, my stomach was threatening to throw a fit.
Almost immediately, I spotted my parents. I couldn’t suppress a groan. They were holding a huge scarlet and gold banner that had my name flashing all over it.
Smith wasn’t anywhere near them. As Madame Hooch barked at the two captains to shake hands, I finally spotted him surrounded by twittering Ravenclaw girls. Typical.
And then the whistle blew, and there was no room to think about my embarrassing parents or traitorous younger brother.
“And they’re off!” Lee Jordan’s voice boomed across the stadium. “Gryffindor in possession, with Katie Bell in the lead. Bell passes to Spinnet, Spinnet back to Bell, but...oh, the Quaffle is intercepted by Kevin Entwhistle, Ravenclaw’s rookie Chaser. Entwhistle shoots off towards the Gryffindor Keeper, passes off to Davies. Davies; well, would you look at that?” Lee was laughing hysterically. “It seems that Gryffindor’s Beaters, Wonder Twins Fred and George Weasley, have managed to send a Bludger directly for the captain’s ars—“
“Jordan!” McGonagall shrieked.
I barely heard Lee’s apology. I was too busy searching for the Snitch. So far, it hadn’t made an appearance, but Cho Chang certainly had. She was hovering about twenty feet away from me, apparently unconcerned about the match going on around her, because it looked like she was painting her nails.
Ten minutes into the match, I saw a glitter of gold near Davies’ elbow. Chang was still clear across the field and appeared to be searching for Cedric in the crowds. I took off, trying not to think about the play surrounding me.
“And it looks like Appleby, Gryffindor’s superb Seeker, has seen the Snitch!” Lee announced excitedly. Roger Davies saw me coming for him and fled.
But not before he called over his shoulder “Chang, you idiot! She’s about to catch the bloody Snitch! Would someone please pretend to be the Seeker??”
His movements caused the Snitch to fly off in a hurry. Chang, who’d finally decided to rejoin the game, was right on my tail. Dimly, I heard cheering in the Gryffindor stands, but then the Snitch made a dive and I followed it.
“Folks, we’re fifteen minutes in, and it looks like Appleby is going to—oh, for the love of Merlin!” Lee’s excited statement turned into outrage as a Bludger hit me square in the back. I had to swerve to keep from hitting the ground, and when I looked over my shoulder, I saw Eric Chambers, one of Ravenclaw’s Beaters, staring directly at me with a sly smirk. I shot him a rude hand gesture that Peeves had shown me once.
“Is that even legal, Professor?” Lee was asking over his magical microphone. The answer appeared to be yes. “Fine then. Ravenclaw’s Beaters, in an unsportsmanlike move that could have killed the Gryffindor Seeker—“
“The match, Jordan!”
“Sorry, Professor.” Lee didn’t sound sorry at all. “Gryffindor regains possession of the Quaffle, and the Chasers are off, headed towards the Ravenclaw Keeper.”
I blocked out Lee’s voice, for the most part. The Snitch hadn’t yet reappeared, but I wanted to be ready when it did. Vaguely, I noticed that Gryffindor had a lead of twenty points, and that Cho Chang had gone back to acting like a real Seeker instead of a boy-crazy airhead. I heard McGonagall yell again at Lee when he started commenting on Katie’s love life, or lack thereof. She didn’t seem amused that Lee chose to ask out one of her Chasers during the middle of a match.
An hour later, when the Snitch still hadn’t made an appearance, I was starting to get antsy. Oliver had told Fred to tell me to do something, and I was still trying to figure out what. Chang had decided to follow me around instead of looking for the Snitch herself (stupid lazy braniac bint), and it was getting highly annoying. Our Chasers had managed to turn the score more in our favour—the last time I had checked, the score was 210-140, and Fred and George managed to retaliate against Chambers for Bludgering me in the back, but it wasn’t enough.
And then I saw it. Floating above Chang’s head like some demented halo was the Snitch. And she was completely unaware of it.
For about two seconds, I just hovered, unsure of what to do. She was far enough away to catch on if I made any sudden moves toward her, and close enough to the rest of the players that someone would clue her in if I didn’t make a move fast.
So I dove and hoped she would follow.
I normally dislike feinting, especially around Chang, who has a tendency to run into people who stop suddenly. But there was no other way.
Sure enough, she fell for it. So did everyone else.
“And the Seekers are going neck and neck, Appleby slightly ahead, in their search to capture the Golden Snitch.” Lee was shouting. “Oh, they’re getting close—much further and they’ll both crash. And they’re going, going, go—Appleby has pulled out of the dive!!” The crowd got to its feet. “It seems that clever girl attempted to pull a Wronski Feint...sadly, Chang didn’t fall for it.” McGonagall coughed. “Erm, I mean, those clever Ravenclaws didn’t fall for our girl’s tricks!”
I hadn’t been attempting a Wronski Feint...I just wanted Chang to follow me. If she crashed, that was great, but I knew exactly where the Snitch was, and hopefully, pulling out of that dive would give me enough of a lead so that I could get back to it.
“Johnson passes to Spinnet, Spinnet to Bell and Bell rockets off towards—good God, she really did see the Snitch! Look at that girl go!” The crowd was a dull roar in my ear, and I saw it again, that little golden glitter that meant the difference between a win and a loss.
Chang, for all that she’s an idiot, is no dummy. She was right back on my tail ten seconds after I pulled out, and she, too, was rocketing towards the Snitch, now hovering right beside Oliver and the Gryffindor goal posts. I had two choices; I could fly into Chang and hope that caused enough trouble that the Snitch had time to move elsewhere, or I could fly in the middle of the action and possibly take Oliver out in my attempt to reach the Snitch.
Really, it wasn’t a tough decision to make. But by the time I had, Chang had actually seen the Snitch for herself and was flying towards Oliver. I don’t think I’ve ever flown as hard as I did then. The Snitch was inside the middle hoop and Cho was still ahead of me.
“Come on, come on.” I muttered to myself. “Just a little bit more...”
It was no use. I couldn’t catch up with her. Ravenclaw was going to win, and there was nothing I could do; no matter what, I was going to be five seconds too late. Chang slowed just a bit to avoid one of the goal posts, arm outstretched, and then...
“Hey, pretty lady!” I heard a young boy’s voice call out loudly. I didn’t have to look to see that it was Smith. He somehow convinced his Ravenclaw groupies to start shouting Chang’s name at the top of their lungs, and then “Look, it’s Diggory!”
Cho looked because she heard them loud and clear.
And I took the opportunity my genius of a brother had given me and made one last go for the Snitch.
She realized it was a trick soon enough.
But not before I slammed into Oliver and snatched the Snitch from beside his ear.
Our brooms got tangled together and we ended up falling in a heap to the ground. Oliver, of course, landed on top. He was livid.
“What the hell was that for??” he demanded. I groaned. When that didn’t work, I kicked him in the shin.
“Oi!” he rolled off of me. “Bloody hell, why are you trying to kill me? Never mind, don’t answer that. Do you realize you could have just cost us that match? Are you fucking insane?”
“Oliver.” I sat up. He was still talking. He didn’t seem to notice the cheers from around us. “Oliver.” I repeated. He still didn’t hear. “Bloody hell, Oliver, I caught the stupid thing!” I roared as I punched him in the stomach. He made a soft oof sound, and then—
“Wait.” he scrambled to his feet. “We won??”
Madame Pomfrey was heading towards us. Apparently in the chaos I’d caused, no one was really sure if the match was still going on or not.
I didn’t look at him as I remounted my broom. “We won.” I agreed, then I shoved a fist into the air, little Snitch wings protruding from between my fingers, and it was like a horde of locusts descended on us.
“AND SHE’S CAUGHT THE SNITCH, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. GRYFFINDOR WINS THE CUP! GRYFFINDOR WINS THE CUP!!”
“We won!” Oliver roared, and the team pretty much jumped on top of us, brooms and all.
All seven of us lay in our pile, laughing and crying and celebrating before McGonagall’s voice announced that this was immature and inappropriate behaviour for the winning team. She sounded smug.
Soon it wasn’t just the team celebrating. All of Gryffindor House, plus my parents and Smith, flooded onto the field to congratulate us.
Suddenly, nothing else mattered. Everyone was hugging everyone else, including me and Oliver. We were so ecstatic that it was like nothing had ever happened.
“We won, we won!” Oliver kept chanting, and for the second time in my memory, he picked me up and swung me around like a doll. “And it’s all because of you, you bloody brilliant bint, you!”
The laughter just kept on coming, even when someone tapped him on the shoulder.
“Can I cut in?” Aidan asked with a smile. Immediately, Oliver and I broke apart.
“No problem, mate.” Oliver said woodenly before the rest of the team came up to him and started carrying him around the pitch on their shoulders.
“Congratulations.” Aidan said warmly, and I tore my attention away from my friends to look at him.
“Um...thanks.” I rubbed my wrist where his bracelet had lain until I took it off that morning. Only an idiot played Quidditch wearing jewellery.
His smile fell. “Erm...right. So...is there...somewhere we could talk in private?” he asked. I looked at him warily.
“Not really. But it’s so loud out here that no one will be able to hear you to begin with.” I told him. He drew me to the edge of the crowd and just stared at me for a minute.
“This...isn’t working, is it?” he asked quietly.
“What do you mean?” I tried to keep to anxiety out of my voice. Had he somehow found out what had happened?
“I know, Kenna.” His voice was soft, but still, I felt a blush stain my cheeks.
“Know what?” I pretended to be confused. Please, God...
“You. Me. It was good for a while, but now...well.” Aidan cleared his throat. “I’ve seen the way you look at him. Wood, I mean.” He seemed unable to continue, but I had no idea what to say to that. After a few moments, he began again. “And I realized...well, I realized that you’ve never once looked at me like you do him.”
“Oh, please.” I scoffed. “If I look at Oliver a certain way, it’s because he drives me bloody crazy half the time.” I didn’t know why I was trying to preserve my relationship with Aidan. I only knew that I didn’t want things to end because he felt I thought he wasn’t good enough for me.
Aidan just looked at me, calm, quiet, composed. Just like he always was. When he smiled, it held a hint of chagrin. “You look at him in a way you’ll never see me.” he repeated. “And...well, I realized...I’ve never looked at you that way, either.” The protest fell away from my lips. “Don’t get me wrong, Kenna. You’re a very nice girl. It’s just...”
“Hold on.” I interrupted him. “You’re breaking up with me?”
He smiled again. “You sound surprised.”
“Of course I’m surprised!” I replied. “I had no idea—“
“That I knew you were in love with your Captain?” he finished for me. He even chuckled a bit as he said it. “Of course I knew.”
I swallowed hard. “Since when?”
Aidan appeared to think about that for a moment. “A few months.” He even had the gall to shrug. “I figured it out after your birthday. You didn’t want to accept my gift, but you were perfectly willing to get one from him. It wasn’t that difficult to see.”
“Oh, Aidan.” I sighed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t...well, I didn’t know. I do like you, really I do, but—“ There was no way I was going to say I preferred kissing Oliver. That would just be mean.
“I know.” He patted my hand awkwardly. “Me too.”
“Really?” Aidan nodded. “So...does this mean we’re broken up?”
He smiled again. “I guess it does. But we can still be friends, right?”
“Of course.” I would have said more, but Smith chose that moment to run up to me and drag me off to the rest of the team.
“Thanks, kiddo.” I told him. My brother looked at me innocently.
“For what?” he asked.
“Distracting that idiot Chang for me. You do realize you’re the one who won this match for us, right?”
Smith looked smug. “You owe me big time.”
I groaned. “Why do you have to ruin my moment?” I asked. He stuck his tongue out.
“I thought it was my moment.” Cheeky little bastard.
After my parents hugged me, along with all my teammates, they said they were taking Smith back home. He looked mutinous, and I suspected he wanted to spend more time with Oliver, not to mention Riley, but surprisingly, he didn’t protest.
The rest of the House had filtered off the field until it was just the seven of us and Riley. She pulled me aside before the rest of the team could maul me.
“Brian said Aidan said he was breaking up with you.” She chewed her bottom lip worriedly.
“He did.” I said simply. This didn’t seem to reassure Riley.
“Are you okay? He didn’t break your heart, did he?”
I rolled my eyes. “No, Mum.” I said pointedly. “I’m fine. Now let me go celebrate with the team.”
“Well...alright. But if you need to talk, you know that—“
The rest of her words were cut off by someone pulling a bag over my head. Someone else petrified me, and from the muffled curses I heard, it seemed the same had just been done to Oliver. God, I hate my friends.
Seeing as I was completely motionless, it wasn’t difficult for them to transport me back up to Gryffindor Tower. Someone poked around in my pockets and stole my wand, and I felt myself being dumped onto someone’s bed.
Angelina ripped the bag off my head. “Don’t even start.” she grumbled. “It wasn’t my idea, it was Alicia’s. Besides, it’s for your own good.”
“Yeah.” Katie interjected as the twins dumped Oliver next to me on the bed. “We know you two have been fighting.”
“And seeing how you’re both idiots,” Alicia said sweetly. “We know you won’t tell us why.”
“So we figured we’d lock you two up together and let you figure it out yourselves.” Fred said cheerily.
“Of course, you’re both idiots, so we have to lock you in.” George continued. “And take your wands. So...have fun. Can’t have our two star players killing each other at the celebration feast tonight!”
“Mmphnga.” I tried to talk, but my mouth still wasn’t working.
“Oh, we know.” Katie replied brightly. “We love you, too! See you two later!” That was definitely not what I had been saying. Lucky for Katie that I couldn't move or I'd have broken her face.
And then, being the evil traitors they all are, everyone filtered out until Oliver and I lay alone in his dormitory (probably on his bed, too), locked in together, unable to move or talk, until our friends decided to have pity on us and let us out.
A/N: Well. What did you think??? I know it wasn't the greatest chapter in terms of dialogue, but again, it's REALLY long, so I hope that makes up for it. Well, that and that fact that Aidan/Kenna are no more. DUN DUN DUN. Oh, and because I feel bad for not getting this up sooner, a little tidbit from chapter 24.
Suddenly, he pulled back. I probably should have been grateful, because I’m pretty sure my knees would have given out if he’d kissed me just a few seconds longer. But even though his lips were no longer on mine, my head was spinning. And fate had just given me the perfect opportunity to finally tell Oliver the truth. Part of me wanted to collapse in relief because I was going to be able to get everything off my chest. Another part warned that admitting my feelings for him before he told me how he felt was asking for trouble. But the final part of me was screaming that I already knew his feelings—he’d been the one chasing me for over a year, after all—and I should just get it over with.
“We need to talk.” we both blurted out at the same moment.
Muahahahaha. So. After that, y'all BETTER leave some awesome reviews!! =] Thanks for reading!
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