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On the Brink of Insanity by ericajen
Chapter 7 : It's Practically Theft
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 22

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Amazing chapter image by Sundrops at TDA.

A/N: Sorry I've been kind of a slow updater. Can I use the excuse of a busy summer? Anyway, thanks for sticking around and reading. Also, I've posted a new short story called Into the Night if anyone is interested. I think you guys will like this chapter. Lots of Oliver.

Also, I do not own Harry Potter. If I did, I would be on a yacht in the Pacific right about now, getting my tan on.

Roger had been making Quidditch practice a pretty intense affair, but I was enjoying it. No matter how hard he pushed us and no matter how much it hurt, I still loved Quidditch. And besides, I completely agreed with him that we needed to get ready for our match against Hufflepuff which would happen after the Gryffindors played the Slytherins in a couple of weeks. That would be a fun game. Gryffindor and Slytherin were pretty evenly matched.

But not as good as we Ravens, of course.

“Alright everyone!” Roger called out. “We’re going to play a game of Half Pitch. Basically, just do your job. Nick, you’ll defend the goals while Channing, Hollie, and I try to score. Wes and Topher, you guys will hit the Bludgers at us like you would in a normal game, and Cho, just try to find the Snitch. And if you do, let it go and find it again. Okay? Go!”

We played it for a long time. All the way up until the Hufflepuffs came and kicked us off the pitch. They tried to be all threatening and stuff. Those Puffs are just adorable, don’t you think?

Anyway, we headed back to our tower to shower and such. It was a Saturday, so we weren’t in any particular hurry which suited me just fine because I was feeling a bit sleepy. We showered (I beat Channing to the shower. Take that!) and then I laid down in bed and closed my eyes, falling asleep soon afterward. Channing, who wasn’t as tired as me, had gone ahead downstairs, presumably where Jade and the boys were.

It was a few hours later when I woke up. I had slept through dinnertime, but that was okay because I was feeling refreshed and I happened to have a stash of Chocolate Frogs under my bed. After stretching thoroughly and rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I popped one of the candies into my mouth with a happy smile. Nothing makes you smile like chocolate.

I padded into the bathroom and glanced at my reflection in the mirror. And then regretted that action immediately.


Sleeping with my hair sopping wet had not been a good decision. It was puffy and frizzy and more than a little bit out of control. Frowning, I piled it up on top of my head and secured it with an elastic band. There was just no hope for my poor head of hair to ever be normal.

I decided that doing some homework was in order, so I grabbed my Astronomy book and telescope, popped a Sugar Quill in my mouth, and went downstairs where I found the rest of the group.

Jade looked affronted, Channing looked mildly amused, and all four boys were laughing their heads off. Well, it wasn’t a surprising sight, but I was curious as to what had spurred this range of emotions.

“What’s going on?” I asked them.

“SNATCHES!” Topher yelled and flicked his wand in my direction. My Astronomy book went flying from my hands and into Topher’s. He had cast a silent Accio at me. What the hippogriff?

My face must have expressed my confusion because Wes offered up an explanation, “Snatches is the new game we came up with.”

Nick grinned and continued where Wes had left off, “If someone says ‘Snatches’ and then Accios the object they want to have, it’s theirs.”

Jade glared at Nick ferociously. I was slightly concerned that she might spontaneously combust. Or that she might make Nick spontaneously combust.

“I want my makeup back,” she growled.

Nick met her livid stare. “You look better without it,” he replied evenly.

“He didn’t?” I asked Channing warily.

She nodded. “He did.”

“Oh, Nick,” I sighed heavily.


“You don’t know the first thing about girls, do you? Jade in particular,” I added.

“Oi! I know a thing or two about girls, okay?” he insisted.

I shook my head, giving up on that conversation and moving back to the main object of discussion. “So what exactly is the point to this stupid game?” I asked.

“Getting what you want,” Roger answered easily.

“It’s practically theft!” Jade shouted indignantly.

“Can I have my book back?” I asked, trying to sound polite. I really wanted to get my homework done.

Topher shook his head. “No can do, Hollie Dollie. That’s not in the rules of the game.”

“But why do you even want my Astronomy book?” I whined.

“I want to look at the pictures,” he replied and I scowled.

Suddenly, I had an idea. It should have occurred to me a while before that, but silly me had not thought of the obvious.

My wand. 
I reached in my back pocket for my wand… and it wasn’t there. I had left it upstairs. I didn’t feel like going and getting it. I figured I could head over to the library on my way to the Astronomy Tower to see if they had a copy of the book.

“This game is stupid,” I commented snappily before strutting out of the common room.

That’s right. I strutted. I knew my friends didn’t take my anger seriously, and they shouldn’t. I can’t help that I’m not a particularly angry person. But still. Point made… right?

Let’s just not think about that too much in case my ego gets wounded.

With my telescope under my arm and looking slightly like a mental case, I strode to the library and began searching for the Astronomy book I needed. After a fruitless search and while I was feeling a bit exasperated, I went to ask Madam Pince if there were any copies in the library.

She said, “No, there are no copies of that book so why don’t you just go borrow one from another student and quit bothering me in the peace of the library?” She was also eyeing my telescope warily, as if something awful was going to happen because of it.

Madam Pince is not my biggest fan. There had been an incident with the Ravenclaw group during fifth year that left a furious librarian and some scorch marks in its wake.

Honestly, I don’t know how those things happen. I’m a victim of freak accidents, I swear.

Despite the angry warning from Madam Pince, I went to search for the book again. Surely there was a copy of it somewhere. She had probably lied to me because she wanted me out of her sanctuary. Silly librarian.

“Why do you have your telescope with you?”

Oliver Wood came to stand by me. He always shows up at the strangest times. He was wearing Muggle clothing: jeans and a sweatshirt. It was irritating how nice he looked.

“I’m going to do my Astronomy homework,” I replied, feeling self-conscious of my crazy hair all of a sudden. I patted at it absently and I heard him stifle a chuckle. My cheeks burned.

“Why are you in the library then?” he asked. He certainly liked to ask questions.

“Topher stole my book. I was looking for another copy.”

“Well, I have my copy with me and I need to do the homework, too. Want to head up to the tower? We can both use my book,” he offered.

I smiled at him. “That sounds great. Thank you.”

He shrugged and took my telescope from me, carrying it easily under one arm and he slung his other over my shoulders to lead me out of the library and to the Astronomy Tower.

If I weren’t such a err, respectable and independent woman, I would have swooned. But of course, that is not the case. I don’t swoon. I’m too awesome to swoon. Swooning is for girls… who... are not me. Yep.

When we got to the tower, we set up the telescope and opened up the book.

“I don’t think it’s dark enough yet,” I commented, staring up at the sky.

The sky was dark gray, but not quite the blue black that would reveal all the stars. It was always better to do the work when it was darker out. I didn’t like getting faulty results and I definitely didn’t like getting points taken off for having faulty results. It doesn’t mesh with my Ravenclaw lifestyle.

“Then we can wait,” Oliver sighed and fell back into a lying down position. “What happened to your hair?”

I scowled at him. Fiercely, if I may add.

“Relax, I’m kidding,” he added.

“Well maybe you shouldn’t kid so much,” I suggested politely. Or maybe not so politely. Whatever.

He stared at me, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable. If his brown eyes hadn’t been so intense, this might not have been a problem.

“You’re different. Completely, and hopelessly different,” he said as if that was the conclusion to his staring.

“So I’ve been told,” I muttered.

“It’s a good thing. A great thing, even,” he insisted.

I smiled. Getting paid compliments was always a reason to smile. Although sometimes it seems like the compliments I get are all for being a funny mental case. I guess you just have to take what you can get.

“Well. Thank you,” I replied.

“Tell me about yourself,” he suggested a few moments later. “I feel like I don’t know much about you.”

“And you want to?” I asked.

He nodded. “I suppose I do.”

“Alright. Well. I’m blonde…”

He laughed. “Tell me something that’s not completely obvious.”

“I have a pet bunny at home. His name is Buttons.”

I missed Buttons. He was brown, fat, and fluffy as can be. We weren’t allowed to have pet rabbits at Hogwarts, which saddened me quite a bit because I was very attached to little Buttons. Also, I didn’t like the idea of him being at my house all the time because who knows how well he’s being taken care of. Poor Buttons.

“A rabbit named Buttons,” he repeated. “I wish I were surprised.”

I shrugged. “You tell me something about you now.”

“I’m a vampire,” he deadpanned.

“What?!” I exclaimed.

He chuckled. “You’re gullible. I’m not a vampire.”

I frowned. “You sounded serious. Lying is mean.”

“Yes, it is. I’m quite sorry I lied to you, Hollie.”

“Now you’re just being sarcastic,” I shot back.

“Oh, caught on to that, did you?” he teased.

“You’re horrible,” I tried to say seriously but a small smile crept onto my face anyway.

Oliver seemed to have the smiling-happy type of effect on me. Bloody prat. Always making me happy. How dare he?

Ah. I almost had myself fooled there.

I wish I could fool myself. It’s quite difficult, though. That’s why I’ll never be an actress. Not that I want to be. It doesn’t seem all that enjoyable. Plus, there’s always attention on you. I’d get sick of that after awhile. On the other hand, I do like to be dramatic. But only in a joking way.

Yeah. I’m not cut out for being an actress.

“You still there, Hollie? Or do I need to hit you around the head a bit?”

“I’m here,” I answered. “I was just lost in my thoughts.”

He grinned. “Really? What were you thinking about then?”

“How bad of an actress I would be.”

“You never cease to amaze me, Hollie.”

“Oh, my thoughts aren’t all that amazing. They just ramble and jumble and make themselves into a big mess,” I admitted lamely.

He shook his head. “That’s what makes them amazing.”

I wish he wasn’t so nice. It made me like him more. Which made me more confused. Which made me frustrated. Which made everything complicated. Worst chain reaction ever? Possibly.

My cheeks flushed, though. If you had asked me before that term if I thought Oliver was such a thoughtful, nice person, I would have called you mental and suggest you go see a therapist for some much needed assistance. But then he had to go and prove me wrong. It would have been much easier if I had just kept viewing him as a Quidditch opponent. Unfortunately, fate did not agree with that idea.

“I think it’s dark enough now to do the assignment,” I said quietly, effectively changing the subject.

“Alright. Let’s get to it.”

The assignment was simple enough as all Astronomy assignments are. To me, at least. Oliver didn’t find it as easy as me. I was patient, though, and I helped him through it. It was kind of fun being a teacher like that. Just helping someone out. I was good at that and it made me feel like a nice person.

“Did you find it?” I asked him. He was gazing through the telescope, trying to find the Lyra constellation.

“Uhh. I think so,” he replied uncertainly. He pointed on the map he was filling out to where he thought the constellation was.

“Close,” I told him. “But not quite. That’s Hercules. This one is Lyra,” I said, pointing to the correct place on the map. My hand accidentally brushed against his. Embarrassed and with flaming cheeks, I yanked it away. “Sorry,” I mumbled.

“Don’t worry about it,” he whispered and when I looked up, his face was dangerously close to mine and his eyes were burning with something I didn’t quite understand. I wanted that look in his eyes to go away as soon as possible but at the same time… I never wanted it to leave.

His hand reached up and cupped my cheek; his thumb stroked the surface of it. The ghostly touch sent shivers down my spine. I inched closer to him until I was close enough to snake one of my arms around his neck and pull myself even closer.

It was like my body had a mind of its own. All it wanted to do was get as close as possible to Oliver Wood. And maybe if I’m being honest with myself, my head agreed completely.

“Oliver,” I breathed, though I don’t even know why. I didn’t know what else to say. There was nothing to follow it up with.

His face became closer with each passing moment and it wasn’t long before I could feel his hot breath tickle my face.

It was just the two of us in the world at that moment. Just two teenagers sitting, facing one another at the top of a tower. I couldn’t have thought about anything else if I tried. My mind could only focus on one thing: Oliver Wood.

He leaned in and I knew it was only moments until our lips would meet in the middle. His nose grazed against mine and I was about to close the space between us when we were interrupted.

A giggling girl and a smirking boy crashed loudly through the door and into our area. They stopped when they saw us. It was Jeremy Jones and some girl I didn’t recognize, though I instantly felt bad for her. Well, I felt bad for her until I felt bad for me. They interrupted quite a moment.

“Whoops,” the girl chirped.

“’Ello dollface,” Jeremy greeted me with a cocky grin.

“Hi,” I muttered awkwardly and then stood up. “I should go.”

I began walking away without a backward glance at Oliver, whom I left sitting on the floor, though I did hear him call “Wait!” as I left. I wanted to turn around, but I didn’t. I had even left my telescope, but for some reason, all I could think to do was walk back to the common room.

I was feeling slightly more normal when I got to Ravenclaw tower. I had managed to calm myself down. So what if I almost snogged Oliver Wood? It was no big deal. Right?

The riddle was easy, thank Merlin, and I entered the common room without trouble. I was pulled completely out of my brooding thoughts when I caught sight of the scene in the common room.

There were several people in there; crowded around the other seventh years. The boys were all on their backs on the ground, quite obviously having been frozen there with a Petrificus Totalus. Their faces… oh dear Merlin, their faces. Jade was standing over them, a wand of mascara in one hand and a makeup brush in the other. She had obviously been working on the boys for quite awhile. They had on some very dramatic makeup. Channing was doubled up with laughter on the couch.

“You did this to them?” I asked Jade.

She turned to look at me. An amused, slightly manic smile on her gorgeous face.

“You bet. This is what they get for playing that idiotic game and stealing my makeup.”

I stepped closer and got a better look at the four boys on the ground. Their eyes were the only things moving, and they all looked absolutely horrified. Each one had mountains of blush on their cheeks, bright eye shadow, thick eyeliner, and enough mascara to choke a Blast-Ended Skrewt.

“So… funny…” Channing gasped out between fits of giggles.

Then I did the only thing one could possibly do in such a situation: I laughed until my sides hurt and tears streamed down my face. Then I laughed some more. 

A/N: Well, I hope you liked it! I had a lot of fun writing this chapter(: Cookies for reviews! I want to know what you think about the progress between Hollie and Oliver. Is it too soon or have you been waiting for it forever? Was throwing Jeremy in there completely and utterly cruel of me? Do you think the boys looked pretty in their makeup? Tell me anything!

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