Disclaimer: I own nothing, but JKR owns my life.
By the amazingly talented Gambit at TDA
Queerditch’s was, most definitely, not an awe inspiring place. Located above a nondescript shop in Diagon Alley, it did not have a particularly appealing façade, despite the fact that the flight of stairs which led up to it was always spic and span. However, this was not all down to some sort of unfortunate error on the part of a less than satisfactory tradesman, no, not at all. Queerditch’s was one of those rare establishments that did not need to beg for your custom.
The sign, which hung above the unassuming front door, was penned in fine black letters and its simplicity oozed class and finesse, but inside this unremarkable building existed a place where remarkable things happened. The wooden stairs were made of fine oak, the walls were papered with elegant pattern in a soothing shade of French grey and the door operated on a recognition-only basis; if it hadn’t been programmed to let you in, then you certainly wouldn’t manage to get in.
Behind that door was the place where many famous faces frequented, threw tantrums and dissolved into tears. The woman who worked there was reported to be the best in the business; Alicia Spinnet, psychologist for all things quidditch. And the man currently seated in the plush waiting room was Viktor Krum.
‘I do not know vy I must be kept waiting for all this time,’ he said, sighing irritably from the comfort of his chair.
‘Yes, we’re awfully sorry Mr. Krum, but, as I’ve said numerous times, you can’t just turn up without an appointment.’
Ruby, the receptionist, a girl of about twenty, possessed endless amounts of hair, which seemed very perceptive to stress. She would arrive at work in the morning, her hair swept up into the perfect bun, but frazzled strands of it gradually escaped throughout the day - all of their own accord. If that day happened to involve Viktor Krum, in any way at all, she tended to give her hair up as a lost cause.
She momentarily glanced up from the mound of paperwork on her desk to observe the petulant man in front of her. He had a surly expression on his face, so much so that his thick eyebrows must have blurred his vision, and his arms were folded mutinously across his chest.
‘I do not think that you understand. I do not need appointments. Anyver.’
‘I’m sure you don’t, and if Healer Spinnet wasn’t already with a client, she would be happy to see you,’ Ruby said as she smiled sweetly at Krum whilst gripping her quill very tightly.
‘I vould like to think so.’
A silence ensued punctuated only by the occasion scratch of a quill, until Viktor began drumming his fingers incessantly on the cushioned arm of his chair. The clenches that Ruby performed with her jaw were almost imperceptible, although they coincided perfectly with the moment when Viktor began tapping.
After a few more minutes, Gwenog Jones appeared from a corridor down the left of the reception desk, closely followed by Alicia.
‘You talked even more shit than usual today,’ Gwenog said as she strode towards the exit, not ever bothering to turn around and face Alicia in order to speak to her.
‘We managed to discuss some major issues! It was a very effective session,’ Alicia called after her.
Gwenog just looked back over her shoulder at Alicia, who was at this point leaning on the high counter of the reception desk, and opened her mouth to speak. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, Viktor Krum got there first.
‘I haf been vaiting here for at least an hour. Does nobody care?’
‘No, Krum, nobody gives a fuck, so shut your bloody mouth before I do it for you,’ Gwenog spat.
She then proceeded to storm out of the room, leaving a pissed off Krum, a mildly shocked looking receptionist and a knowing Alicia in her wake. Gwenog Jones’ rage issues were abundantly clear.
‘So, what can I do for you Viktor?’ Alicia asked, noticing her unscheduled guest.
‘It is an emergency. I must see you now.’
Alicia let her face form a slight smile at the thought of a Viktor Krum ‘emergency’.
There had not been an occasion when he had turned up here unannounced for an actual emergency, and she’d be surprised if today was going to change that pattern.
‘Alicia? My day’s supposed to end now…’ Ruby interjected.
Ruby was looking at Alicia with wide eyes and Alicia knew that if she didn’t want to take Krum on tonight she could just make her excuses and leave, but denying their best customer would be detrimental in more ways than it was worth.
‘I’ll lock up, you can go on,’ Alicia said smiling.
As soon as the words had left her lips, Ruby began firing her possessions into her handbag as fast as was possible when one was trying to maintain an air of professionalism. She shot Alicia a grateful smile and headed out the door.
‘See you tomorrow!’ Ruby called brightly.
‘Bye,’ Alicia said before turning to face Krum who, in an act of defiance at being ignored thus far, had flung the magazine he had been perusing down with more force than necessary.
‘Your receptionist is very rude. I think that you should fire her. She does not know how to treat clients.’
‘Mmm, yes, that’s definitely something to think about.’
Viktor nodded and stood up from the chair he had been sitting in for a maximum of ten minutes. He wasn’t terribly tall or hulking for a sportsman, but he was muscularly lithe in the sort of way that only a seeker could be.
‘Follow me, please,’ Alicia said as she led him down the short corridor to her office.
As you may have gathered, Viktor was quite a regular visitor to Queerditch’s and so he could probably have found his way to Alicia’s office blindfolded, but formalities were exchanged none the less.
No more than a few paces had them at a cream painted door bearing a golden plaque, which read Healer Spinnet. Alicia opened the door and motioned Viktor in and he did so willingly, pulling out his usual chair in front of her desk and sitting down in it as if he had been walking for miles.
The décor in this room was in the same style as the rest of the office, but in a pastel blue theme. It was all perfectly conventional and suiting to a psychiatrist’s office. Alicia was not a conventional woman, but as she sat behind her desk, reading glasses perched on her nose and clothed in freshly starched robes she played the part well.
‘Would you like to share this emergency with me?’ Alicia asked as she conjured a folder labelled Krum, Viktor.
‘Of course I vud. Vy else do you think I am in your vaiting room for three hours?’ Viktor said.
Alicia clasped her hands in front of her, ‘Is there any chance that this is to do with Hermione Granger? Because, and we’ve been over this before, she is not quidditch related.’
Viktor exhaled loudly and made himself comfortable by extending his legs and propping them up on top of Alicia’s desk. He was settling in for a long ride – Alicia seemed to have some sort of mental block where Hermione was concerned.
‘This is not professional behaviour, but anyvay, I haf just heard that she’s engaged! Is this true?’
‘Where did you hear this?’
‘Vell,’ Viktor said, revelling in his storytelling, ‘apparently everyvun is knowing, but I do not believe it. They say she is marrying that Veasley vith the red hair.’
Alicia listened attentively, occasionally noting something down in her file labelled Viktor Krum. It currently read: that narrowed it down.
‘And this bothers you?’
‘No! Nobody is saying that it bothered me. I do not care at all.’
‘And yet, you consider it an emergency?’
‘For her. Not for me. She has made a bad choice – he is very ugly. Real men haf beards.’
Viktor subconsciously stroked his own mane of facial hair as he had been doing every few seconds since he arrived. This explained a lot. Alicia glanced at the folder to observe her work so far. It now also read: men=beards, Viktor=obsessive.
‘Do you ever feel strong feelings of hatred towards this man?’
‘He supports the Chudley Cannons. They are a terrible team,’ Viktor said, scoffing at such a show of underachievement as if it was Ron Weasley himself who couldn’t win a thing.
‘Yes, and while that may be true, it still doesn’t exactly constitute as an emergency.’
‘The truth is, I vant you to do me a favour.’
Alicia visibly slumped at this. Her day had been hectic and now Viktor Krum, Bulgarian quidditch hero and egotistical tosser, was about to ask her to stalk Hermione Granger for his own perverse satisfaction.
‘I vant you to talk to Hermione Granger and find out vy she is marrying this ridiculous beardless man,’ Viktor said as he caressed his own bearded chin.
‘Now, I would like you to look deep down inside yourself and find out if there is a little part of you screaming that this is irrational.’
As much as she tried not to, Alicia soon found herself tearing a spare piece of paper on her desk to shreds. If Viktor Krum could shred the nerves of any person he came into contact with, then she could shred a bloody piece of paper.
‘I do not understand vot you are trying to say,’ Viktor said, his eyes being obscured by the bushy brows above them as he frowned.
‘Probably best,’ Alicia muttered. ‘Alright, I’ll see what I can do for you, Viktor.’
‘Good. I must go now. You haf kept me back.’
Viktor swung his legs off the desk and exited the room, leaving Alicia with nothing more to do than write surly bastard in his file and vanish it back into the cabinet.
Less than half an hour later, at quarter past six in the evening, Alicia wheeled her bicycle through the Leaky Cauldron and out onto the bustling Charing Cross Road. She barged into the grotty pub door with her left shoulder and, like every other evening, mounted her old black bicycle.
As per usual, the streets were teeming with people and many of them spilled out onto the chaotically busy roads. Alicia pedalled her bike to the side of the footpath and waited for a large red bus to pass her before pushing off onto the road – she was quite fond of her bum, and didn’t particularly want to have it knocked off thanks to the maniacal driver of a double decker.
Cycling had a calming effect on her, and as Alicia’s hair whipped around her in the brisk March breeze, it seemed to shake the cares of the day out of her system. Gwenog Jones hurling Alicia’s own stapler at her, with all the force of a beater, for suggesting she should try using lavender shower gel was a far distant memory. If she didn’t have a large red welt on her arm, then it was almost certain that Alicia would not remember it at all.
As Alicia pedalled, the buildings around her gradually diminished in size until she reached a leafy, residential area where all houses averaged three stories tall. Alicia rounded a few more corners and slowed down, before pulling up outside the end house in a block of terraces. The house was divided up into two flats, and Alicia’s consisted of the top floor and the converted attic space, which she accessed via a set of steps down a small alleyway.
She hastily chained her bike to the iron railings that lined either side of the steps, and took the stairs in twos in order to be able to collapse on her sofa with a glass of wine, sooner rather than later.
Alicia scrambled about in her bag for a couple of seconds before catching hold of her keys and twisting open the lock on her front door – it was too risky to use Alohamora in this muggle neighbourhood. She dumped her things by the hall table and made her way into the living room.
And there she screamed. There was a man sitting on her sofa watching television.
‘What in the name of Merlin?!’ Alicia exclaimed, her voice uncomfortably high-pitched.
The unidentified man on the sofa jumped in shock, ‘Bloody hell, Alicia, you almost frightened the life out of me… Er, what are you playing at?’
In her fright, Alicia had grabbed the nearest heavy object to attack the intruder with, but now that it turned out Oliver Wood had let himself into her house, she looked like a bit of an idiot brandishing a lamp above her head. Under any other circumstances, it would have been perfectly acceptable.
‘Ahem, nothing, nothing,’ Alicia said as she replaced the lamp on its little table. ‘Fancy telling me what you’re doing here? Or maybe how you got in?’
‘Couldn’t get into my flat.’
Alicia casually sat on the back of the sofa and swung her legs over it so that she could slump down onto it herself. She scrunched herself into the far corner and stretched out her legs so that they were lying in Oliver’s lap, before continuing the conversation.
‘Forget your keys again? You pureblood wizards need to get yourselves some life skills.’
‘No, I literally couldn’t get in. There were all these… girls blocking the door and I’ve already had to put up Apparition wards and close off the Floo network, so it was either stay outside or come to yours.’
Oliver shifted in his seat uncomfortably. He was well used to his female following by now, but it seemed a lot different when he talked about it with his friends from Hogwarts. Most other quidditch players got similar treatment, but otherwise it was just too bizarre.
Alicia yawned and pondered for a moment, ‘I bet it was that interview with Witch Weekly, they’re always more vicious when they get new information. Was your single status mentioned at all?’
‘It may have been…’
‘Well, that’s it then! You’ve brought it upon yourself, mate. You shouldn’t have mentioned the ‘separation’.’
Oliver shot Alicia a filthy look, but she had her eyes closed from sheer exhaustion and didn’t notice at all.
‘They would’ve found out anyway.’
‘I know, I know. You know what this calls for, Wood? And I’ll give you a clue – it’s not drowning yourself in the shower.’
‘Multiple restraining orders?’
‘No, alcohol. Wine’s in the usual place and ring for a pizza while you’re at it. Muggle money is in a jar beside the phone.’
‘And I suppose I have to bloody go and get it?’ Oliver grumbled, although he was already heaving himself up from the sofa, allowing Alicia’s legs to fall onto it haphazardly.
‘Yes, my dear, you do.’
Oliver ambled off to the kitchen muttering curses under his breath, but really quite desperate for a drink. Alicia sprawled out even further on the sofa. The apartment was as different to Alicia’s office as it could possibly be. It was less clinically fashionable and more comfortable, but that was just the way she liked it.
Nothing matched. The items of furniture didn’t match each other, the walls were a violent shade of pink and various little knick knacks were strewn across every available surface. Yet, somehow, it all tied in together. It was Alicia.
At Hogwarts she’d been the one who could see reason and the defender of the underdog, but she hadn’t had the same passion for quidditch that Angelina and Oliver had possessed in abundance, so she never made Quidditch Captain. She was glad of it though; it drove those two past the brink of sanity many times, but it had inspired her to take up her current job. There were more than enough maniacs playing professional quidditch needing therapy, but [and] Alicia was the original provider of it.
‘D’you want the big glass or the small glass?’
Oliver had reappeared carrying two glasses of wine, and since Alicia wasn’t likely to buy a set of anything in her life, they were different sizes.
‘Is that a joke? The big one.’
‘Well you can think again, I was only being polite. You don’t deserve the big one,’ Oliver declared as Alicia moved her legs out of the way and he resumed his place of the sofa. He then proceeded to hand Alicia the smaller of the two glasses, but she held her palm out flat to him.
‘Just wait until you hear about my day and you won’t be saying that.’
‘Oh, go on then, take it. Spill.’
Oliver begrudgingly handed over the marginally larger glass of wine, and Alicia took a substantial gulp before she placed it beside her on the floor.
‘Well,’ she said, curling her legs up beneath her and sitting up a little to explain, ‘first client of the day was Ludo Bagman. Apparently the Healers at St. Mungo’s referred him, and he’s a complete nut job.’
‘Are you serious, Ludo Bagman?!’
‘Yes, but as you well know I can’t discuss it with you,’ Alicia said as she stuck her tongue out at Oliver. ‘Anyway, he was basically trying to flirt with Ruby in reception, and then he came onto me during his session. Never again.’
Oliver roared with laughter at the disgusted look on Alicia’s face, so much so that he managed to snort in the middle of it.
‘If only your fangirls could see you now, Olly boy.’
‘Believe me, nothing puts them off,’ Oliver said, sobering up and rubbing his hands over his face.
‘Worse than having a man old enough to be your Dad and ten times more disgusting ask you your star sign?’ Alicia said. Ludo Bagman had been unbearable that morning – he made Krum look like the world’s biggest gentleman and that was a huge feat. Alicia shivered at the thought.
‘You have no idea, if they could see me right now they’d probably be trying to maul you.’
‘I don’t doubt it, you’re quite the babe magnet,’ Alicia said, waggling her eyebrows.
‘Piss off, Spinnet,’ Oliver said, chucking a pillow directly at Alicia.
Alicia bobbed her head out of the way slightly, but it was unnecessary as the pillow went at least a foot wide of its target, ricocheting off the wall and flopping to the floor instead.
‘A piece of advice? Stick to keeping.’
Alicia was grinning and since he wasn’t actually on the pitch Oliver took the mocking in his stride.
‘Whatever you do to me, just don’t start any of your psychobabble,’ Oliver said, stretching out and swinging his legs up onto the sofa so that they were parallel with Alicia’s.
She kicked him.
‘Psychobabble, my arse, if it weren’t for me there’d be even more lunatics like you roaming the streets.’
‘Ah, the world would be perfect…’
Alicia merely scoffed at Oliver’s remark and snuggled further into her cavernous sofa. Oliver was many things, but full of himself or even being overly confident in his own skills weren’t traits he possessed. He saw himself working well within a team, but on his own he didn’t consider himself to be anything special.
Truth be told, he was hot property. He was easily one of the best keepers in the world and everyone knew it; other teams were constantly putting outrageous bids on him to call him their own, girls followed and fawned over him and when Viktor Krum wasn’t moaning about Hermione Granger, he was moaning about the unwarranted attention ‘Oliver Vud’ got.
Of course, Viktor was only sore because he wasn’t half as good looking, but nobody was going to bring that point up with him.
‘Oi, I was joking you know,’ Oliver said, feeling the need to fill in the silence.
‘I know, but I’m absolutely wrecked and couldn’t be bothered telling you that if all blokes were like you then it wouldn’t be so bad, only to have you argue back at me.’
‘Is this about Davies again?’
Alicia let an unintelligible noise escape her, ‘We’re just a couple of saddos now.’
‘I’ve never seen a psychiatrist like you,’ Oliver said smiling wryly. ‘Should we not be out burning the exes’ personal belongings to cleanse ourselves or something.’
‘I dread to think what psychiatrists you’ve encountered who get on like that…’
Oliver tapped Alicia, who had fully closed her eyes now, on the side of the leg, ‘C’mon, cheer up. Your boyfriend was a bastard; my girlfriend was a bitch and is probably attempting to sell her story to the papers right now. Life couldn’t be any better.’
This managed to draw a laugh from Alicia, and Oliver smiled back at her, even though her eyes were firmly shut.
‘He was a bastard. He can go and jump off a cliff for all I care.’
‘And I would much rather be sitting in here being a saddo with you than out at some pretentious party with Anna.’
‘So really it’s all worked out for the best,’ Alicia mused.
‘It has, but tomorrow morning it’ll be back to stress, so we should enjoy it while it lasts.’
At that moment the doorbell rang, and Oliver got up to go and collect the pizza he’d ordered earlier. He was almost at the door, fishing a couple of galleons out of his pocket, when Alicia called after him.
‘Muggle money’s in the jar by the phone!’
A/N: And now it's time for the thank yous! The summary is a combined effort from PenguinsWillReignSupreme, Snitchsnatcher, Inti and myself, and without them I doubt anyone would even have bothered to check out the chapter. My summary skills are dire. I would also like to thank all of the above and marinahill for convincing me to call this story 'Viktor Krum: Sex God?'. I never envisioned that the title for a help needed topic would go down so well :P.
And last, but definitely not least, I would like to thank my NaNo mummies Shadowycorner and GubraithianFire. This would never have appeared without all your encouragement! Thank you so much!
So, basically, Jack, Rachel, Marina, Molly, Liz and Gubby, I adore you all and this is for you ^_^