Chapter 27 : Luxe Bevington and Shrimp
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For Gaiapet. Even though she's not on board with GeoKat.
Oliver and I had sex again. This time on the sofa. I didn’t mind the plaid pillow this time. My back was getting used to it.
Afterward, we watched a couple movies and made salad for dinner.
Sure, we bickered about how much dressing was involved, but it was perfect.
Now, if only someone else’s relationship could be as stubbornly perfect as ours.
While Oliver went to practices for the benefit game, I returned home to spend time with Dad. Lou and Amanda were there a decent amount of the time, especially when I didn’t want them to be, but who was I to pick and chose when Dad wanted to see his girlfriend? That still sounded weird.
Though every evening after they left so Amanda could watch her television show at home after supper, I spent quality Jane/Dad time with him on the sofa, chatting and just being us. It was nice since we spent every summer doing that up to this point. We talked about everything—about my friends, about Katie and George and how Fred was doing on the new gum that was thinner and emitted smoke. We discussed Quidditch and Valerie Gig and the slew of business cards I had stacked up in my bedroom promising lunches.
I couldn’t help it, though, my mind was on Katie and George. I hadn’t heard from Oliver yet about what George said in reply. Later at Katie’s I had seen a small unfamiliar shoe box in the corner of her second floor lounge, which upon further investigation when she was in the loo, told me she still had all of the George pictures she treasured while they were dating.
The plan was for everyone (except Katie and George) to meet at Oliver’s before. I was thankful considering I had far too little time with Fred and Lee the past several weeks. I got there early so I could snog Oliver in peace, but unfortunately so did Alicia (not to snog, obviously) so I poked her in the ribs.
It was only around eight and there was still fog on the street.
“I brought supplies,” Alicia said, whipping out a bag as Oliver watched the coverage of a Finches open practice on television. “Let’s see. I have makeup in case Katie looks like a slob. Napkins in case I have to slap both of them with one. A Puddlemere shirt I made myself.” She held it up and it looked like she made it herself. Alicia needed to paint inside the lines. “Oh, and I have a horn to cheer on the team.”
I snickered just as someone knocked on the door. “I think Katie might go nuts if she sees another green napkin. At least she’s back to normal. Not thinking clearly, but back to being Katie.”
“Oy,” said Oliver, pulling open the door, “rest of the lot are here.”
Fred walked in, pulling Angelina by her arm, and Lee followed up with flowers for Alicia. I recognized the flowers from the curb garden outside. Romantic sod.
“Nice flat, mate,” said Fred, immediately walking around to examine the place. “Love the big screen. Nice magazine collection—are those figurines?”
“Shut your hole, Weasley,” Oliver said. “They’re collectables.”
“Not worth much with the arm torn of that Canons bloke, eh?”
“I’m going to throw you out the window,” he said, sounding a lot like me. “All right, we need to hash out this plan before we meet them there.”
“George said he would be a couple minutes late. He promised to paint Mum’s fence this morning,” said Fred. “Thankfully, too, or I’d have to help.”
“All right, so you lot will get there—I’ve gotten you one of Puddlemere’s boxes around the stadium—and Katie either should already be there or almost be there. She’s always early though so I’m going to assume she’ll be tapping her foot waiting for you.” He laughed at his own cleverness. “So you will all get along and George will get there and I’m sure there will be some sort of dumbstruck moment. We know what that’s like, don’t we, Jane?”
“All too well, I’m afraid.”
“They don’t have to sit next to each other. In the same room is fine. Just don’t let them leave.” Oliver was now leafing through his play book. “There are plenty of reasons for them not to leave.” He pointed at himself. “So that shouldn’t be too difficult.”
“So the plan is we don’t have much of a plan other than to keep them in the same room?” Lee raised a brow.
“Think of it as improv,” Alicia said cheerfully. “We can all play characters! I’ll be mysterious, yet light and airy since no one knows I really hold lots of secrets in my full, luxurious head of shiny hair.”
We all stared.
“Or you can just be Alicia,” Angelina said. “I think we’d like that a lot more.”
“Suit yourself. I already had a name for my character. Luxe Bevington. How does that sound?”
We then ignored her.
“Everyone ready to get a bite to eat and then do this?” Oliver said, grabbing his play book and stuffing it into his already packed bag.
“So ready for all of this rubbish to be over,” Lee said.
“Janey, where’s your skirt?” Fred said. Angelina punched him. “Just wondering, just wondering.”
The Puddlemere stadium was located in southern England, where it was actually rather sunny with cloudless skies. That might have an effect on Oliver’s ability to see the Quaffle, but he was wonderful so I didn’t doubt him.
It was absolutely enormous, but I knew that since we’d been to the Open Practice, though hearing Ang and the others talk about it was fun. Alicia walked around like she owned the place.
“Yeah, I was over here already. This is where we did lunch after the practice,” she said arrogantly and I laughed.
“You’re in box two forty-three,” said Oliver as we shifted through people. Since it was a benefit game most people were dressed nice with the exception of heels. Unless they were in a box, people weren’t trekking up to the second tier with stilettos on. “I have to head to the locker rooms, but you all have your passes.” He checked his watch. “Yeah, Katie should be there already. There’s food and booze there too, but there’s an after party at a bar down the street. To celebrate the new season.”
“Not a win?” I asked.
“I’m not getting my hopes up. You’ve seen the Magpies play.” Oliver kissed me and even though I was jostled by a few passing people, I melted into his arms.
“You’ll be great,” I said.
“See you lot afterward! Good luck!” With that, he was off in the other direction to start in his first professional Quidditch game ever.
I watched him go, mostly his rear end, and smiled. He was amazing.
“All right, gang!” said Alicia. “Let’s play matchmaker! We got them together once. And for Merlin’s sake, we’re going to do it again.”
Oliver was right. Katie was waiting in the box alone when we arrived. There was food laid out on banquet tables near the back and a small bar in the corner. Both were manned by blokes in black ties with funny mustaches. She whipped around upon hearing the door open.
“Hey!” Katie said cheerfully. “About time! I’ve been watching people file into their seats—look at that lady over there. Big sky-scraper heels.” She looked stunning—Katie, not Empire State Heels—so Alicia’s prepared makeup bag wasn’t necessary. Katie always seemed to look good, but today especially in a yellow sundress and sandals.
“Hey there, yourself,” said Lee, forcing Katie to her feet and wrapping her in a hug. “You look beautiful. Did you do that on purpose? Because I’m dating Alicia, you know, and she won’t be fond of me cheating with you.” He winked in that silly Lee-way and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Oh, hush,” Katie said. “I wanted to look good for Oliver’s big day. Is he prepared?”
“As prepared as he’s going to get. He doesn’t have false hope, but I think his skills are going to surprise him.” I took a seat next to her and Fred sat on my other side, still disappointed in my Capri pants.
“Who wants liquor?” Lee asked, laughing. “Let’s get this party started!”
That was short-lived, considering George walked in right when we all turned to see what he bar menu was. He looked great too in a collared blue shirt that made his eyes look fiery. His hair was a little messy, but he would have looked weird too put together anyway.
Cue dramatic pause.
“What is he doing here?!” Katie said, leaping to her feet.
Maybe this wasn’t the best idea Oliver ever had.
“He’s here to support Oliver,” Angelina said in that tone she always had. That shut the heck up and pay attention tone. I was incapable of making that noise, but she was good enough for the both of us. “Speaking of which—look, it’s him!”
The teams were flying onto the pitch and I saw my beau waving to the waves of supporters. He looked fantastic, but I could see his muscles were tense.
George was almost back out the door when Fred stopped him. “I didn’t know she was going to be here,” he hissed. Katie was back to talking to Angelina. Well, yelling, but who could tell? “Conveniently left that out, did you?”
“Shut up. You weren’t going to skip Wood’s first game over not wanting to see your ex.” Fred grabbed him by the arm and dragged him to a seat a few away from Katie.
“I can’t believe you,” said Katie to the three of us girls. “This is so underhanded.”
“You’re being dramatic,” Alicia said. Funny, coming from her. “This is about Oliver and we’re all here for him.”
“I would have appreciated a head’s up! I would have still come!”
I cocked a brow. “Seriously? Because I don’t think you would have.”
“Well, no. I mean, I would have sat in a different section…”
“You’re hopeless,” said Ang. “I need a drink.”
“By all means,” muttered Katie. “Just get me one while you’re up.”
It didn’t get easier through the pregame announcements. While they were announcing the sponsors, Katie kept shooting dark glances past me, Fred, and Angelina to George, who returned them in a very un-George-like manner. While telling the audience who was who for the Magpies (was Roger here?) Katie left to get another drink and some snacks. George muttered a few things to Ang, who slapped him on the back of the head.
I didn’t care what they did during the announcement of the Puddlemere players, simply because I was screaming so loud for Oliver. He really did look great out there. It was so different from seeing him on the Hogwarts pitch, but not different in the sense that he looked plain hot. Like, hair flying in the wind hot. I narrowed my eyes at the screaming girls. Jerks.
Oliver was right about the Magpies supporters. It was clear they were the favorites judging by the shirts in the crowd and giant cheers when they were announced. I felt for him since it was home pitch advantage. Bugger on the Magpies (‘cept Roger).
The Quaffle was up and the Chasers were flying and I suddenly wondered how the heck I got up there at the open practice with how fast and good they were. I mean, the girls could have (and Alicia did) held their own, but I was probably so out of place. I spotted Liam streak up the pitch with the Quaffle and settled back into my seat.
“Can’t believe he’s here,” Katie whispered into my ear.
“Really?” I said. “You thought Oliver would exclude him from his special day?”
She mumbled something.
“I do like that shirt he’s wearing, though,” I said, practically thinking out loud. “Brings out his pretty Weasley eyes.”
“What about my eyes?” Fred asked, batting his eyelashes playfully.
“I do love them,” I replied with a smile.
“Yeah, whatever,” Katie said in a grumpy voice.
I turned away from Fred and put a hand on Katie’s shoulder. “Look, there’s no point in being a jerk about it. You’re going to support Oliver so just let it go, okay? Besides, isn’t it kind of nice to see him again after all the time you’ve spent doing cardio? By the way, your bod looks fantastic.”
She smirked. “Yeah, it does, doesn’t it?” She paused. “I don’t want to see him, though. I’m glad he can clean up nice and he’s doing okay, but I still don’t want to see him. It just…it brings back everything, you know?”
“Oh, trust me, out of everyone here, I know.”
Katie reached over and hugged me. “Sorry I’ve been such a git.”
After that, though she didn’t run up and hug George, she did get back to being Katie (sans Weasley love). During the game we drank, ate, and were pretty darn merry. Puddlemere was doing far better than I (or they) thought they would, scoring multiple times. Oliver was a beast in front of the hoops. The Magpies, as everyone thought, were amazing. They were clearly bitter about not winning the Cup and it showed on every face as they stole the Quaffle and swung bats at Bludgers.
The party inside the box was heating up with Fred doing impressions and Lee swinging Alicia around. We were joined by some people from another box (per Fred’s drunken invite) and most of them were quite nice, though they ate all of my shrimp. There were a few cute boys and some skinny girls, but luckily no sighting of Bridget, girl who planned to take me down. Still had no idea what she meant.
As the game wore on and there was still no sign of the Snitch, more drinks were consumed and the cheers got louder. Fred stood on the banquet table pretending to be a Keeper. George, who hadn’t taken in as much alcohol as he was used to (probably still recovering from his post-breakup drinking binge), was trying to get him down while saving the snacks, and Lee was making out with Alicia by the bar. Angelina and I were hovering at the edge of the box trying to see if Liam was as gorgeous far away as he was up close.
I saw Katie chatting with some of the remaining people from the box next door. One of which was a tall handsome boy with dark hair and a pretty Swedish accent. He was leaning in a way that suggested he was holding up the wall. Oliver had already mastered that technique.
“Do you think he’s talked to Michelle yet?” Angelina asked, bringing me back to Quidditch-land.
“I have no idea. You couldn’t tell at all by the way they play. I wonder.” I paused. “That’s what we need. The lack of ability to tell who is snogging who on the Gryffindor team.”
“Yeah right, Fred and I blow kisses to each other on the pitch,” Ang replied.
“I remember one game where it was bats instead of kisses…”
I glanced back to see Katie looking slightly uncomfortable now that the Swedish boy was the only one there. He was obviously plastered, though still realistically suave, and kept pushing pieces of her hair behind her ears. She blushed, but kept stepping back.
“Think we should intervene?” I asked Angelina.
“Let it go for a minute,” she said. “Katie can take care of herself. I mean, sometimes she’s too nice, like right now, but she’ll make it obvious when she needs us.”
The boy then grabbed her shoulders and kissed her. Katie pushed against his torso, but he wasn’t let up. I could barely see her scrunched up face.
Ding ding ding.
I nearly leapt over a chair to get to them and show that Swedish bloke what I’d learned in Hogwarts, but George beat me there. He, apparently, had no desire to show the guy any sort of painful hexes or jinxes. His fist met the jaw bone of Swedish Meatball and the bloke went flying right into the wall. Katie lost her balance for a moment and George grabbed her arm, steadying her.
I stopped, leg still draped over a chair. So did everyone else.
Katie and George looked into each other’s eyes.
“Sorry,” George said quickly. “I just reacted. That guy looked—looks—like a bleeding tool.” He looked down at Swedish Meatball. “Get out.”
“No, that’s fine,” Katie said, taking her arm away and flattening her hair. “Yeah, I guess I needed a little help there, huh? Thanks. I appreciate it.” With the weirdest, awkwardest smile she could muster, Katie returned to her seat in the front of the box and sat, back straight, to watch the game. I could tell by her glazed eyes that she wasn’t thinking about the Quaffle, Bludgers, or even Oliver in his hoop glory.
“Well, that was awkward,” Alicia said to me a little later after she had ripped her lips from Lee’s. “Think that’s the last time they speak?”
“Nope,” I said. “Not one bit.” I was thinking like Oliver. This was a retreat and they were forced to be in the same room together. “I have an idea.”
Ang went to find the people that would bring us more shrimp, so I told Alicia to dance with Lee (so what there was no music?) and I asked a very intoxicated Fred to dance. We twirled around the box as the bartender watched and laughed and I noted Fred was a surprisingly good dancer while he was drunk.
That left Katie and George. Obviously they didn’t jump up and tango, but George did go over and sit one seat away from Katie. He commented about something. She nodded. She said something. He laughed. It was silent for a while until he pointed out something on the pitch. I heard her say, “Oh, yeah! Yeah, I see that!”
The Magpies were winning, but not by much at that point.
“Excuse you?” Angelina said, laughing, as she grabbed Fred’s arm. “Keeping my ginger busy while I was away—there’s more shrimp by the way.”
“Yep. Just doing a little plotting.” I smiled. “Hold his left side, though, he keeps veering left.”
With that, and while laughing since Ang almost dropped Fred, I returned to the front of the box to watch the rest of the game. Katie and George were still talking every once in a while in calm voices, which was a small victory for Team GeoKat.
It was clear everyone on the pitch was exhausted. It was the middle of the afternoon and the game had been going for hours. I could see the front of Liam’s robes were soaked in sweat and some of the Magpies players were flying slower than usual. Oliver, however, looked completely solid. He had let in several Quaffles, there was no doubt in that, but for the amount of hours they had been playing, it was minuscule. Clearly the Magpies were not seeing this as a positive thing.
I turned for a minute, making sure my friends were still alive. Alicia and Lee were back to snogging, Fred was gorging himself on shrimp while leaning heavily on the table. Angelina had taken to getting another drink. Katie was sitting with both her arms and legs crossed. George’s expression told me he wasn’t the least bit clued in on the game.
That became obvious when he had no reaction to the huge crowd erupting around me when Puddlemere caught the Snitch.
I threw my hands in the air, turning fast enough to see Oliver join his teammates in a bone-crunching hug. “We won!” I cried. “Take that, Magpies! You didn’t get a Cup and you didn’t get the benefit win!” I knew it didn’t count toward the regular season, but it put Oliver on the map. He played amazing, though I wasn’t watching every single moment.
He would understand. The Katie/George nonsense was his idea after all.
“Oh, did we win?” said Fred. “You know what else won? This bleeding shrimp. So good. Like, succulent and stuff. Fucking mouth-watering except when you have it in your mouth then it’s just saliva.”
Angelina covered his mouth and steered him out so we could meet Oliver.
“What a wild game!” Oliver said, not fazed by the fact the game was hours upon hours long. He wrapped me in a hug and ordered a round of drinks for everyone.
The pub was packed with Puddlemere supporters, most of them the friends and family of players. The last thing some of them needed was more alcohol, but I wasn’t bothered. Ang could mop up Fred later.
“How do you feel?” I asked Oliver when we had a chance to finally talk.
“Exhilarated!” he cried over the music. “Bleeding fantastic—can’t believe we won! Did you see my one save on that git Michaels? Like he was getting past me—boom! Boom! Save!”
“I saw a lot of them,” I replied with an impressed smile. “I was also working on some other things.” I jerked my head in the direction of Katie and George, who were chatting at the next table.
“Wonder what they’re saying.”
“Probably how much they want to kick each other.”
Oliver shrugged. “I wouldn’t put it past them.”
I stopped to look, craning my neck a little. Katie’s eyes were narrowed. George rolled his own. That wasn’t a good sign. In fact, it was far from good. I heard her raise her voice. He threw his hands in the air. Shit.
“Not good,” Oliver mumbled, leaning across the table to place a delicate kiss on my cheek.
“Oh, you’re so ridiculous!” Katie cried, getting up from the table so fast her chair almost fell over. “How could you say I overreacted? Maybe I did a little, but you never take any responsibility for your actions!”
“What?” George said. “That’s not true! I took responsibility for you being such a git!”
Katie gasped. She slammed back her drink, gave him her meanest, least feminine face, and turned on heel. Then she was suddenly at our table huffing and puffing and just plain livid.
“I think I’m going to go,” Katie said.
“Oh, no you don’t,” I replied slyly, even though I knew my plan was hopeless at this point. “This is about Oliver’s night, not you. Don’t pull an Ang and make it that way.”
“Shut up!” Ang cried from the bar. Fred was dancing the sprinkler.
Katie huffed again and stomped over to the bar, ordering something with a lot of liquor.
“At least you got her to stay,” Oliver said, placing his hand on mine. “I’m starting to think this might be hopeless.”
“It’s not,” I said. “I think we’re getting somewhere with them. Even if George just threw back four shots. Someone should watch him—oh, there’s Lee, heading over.”
The bar was getting louder and darker. There were empty glasses all over the bar, where we joined Fred, Ang, Leesh, and Katie. I wasn’t hammered like the others, but I couldn’t pretend I didn’t have to stabilize myself before moving to my next destination. George and Lee were dancing in the middle of the bar to cheers.
“Here’s to Puddlemere!” Katie cried, giggling. I hadn’t seen her drink that much in a long time. She raised two glasses and tried to drink from both.
“To Puddlemere!” People I didn’t even know chanted this. I was trying to find my drink. Fred was kissing the cheeks of guys with Puddlemere numbers painted on them. Everything was blurry.
Music was thumping in my ears and Alicia yelled something about Lee’s bum. Katie was moving back and forth with the beat. She was laughing. Then she caught sight of George. I should have rethought the letting-her-drink thing.
“Oy!” she cried, marching up to George, who had stopped dancing. Lee was left waving his arms around stupidly between tables, but a few people got up to join him.
“Oy, what, woman?” George said, his hands clumsily on his hips.
“Oy, you’re a right git, you know that?” she shouted, jabbing him with her index finger. Ang made to get her away from the situation, but she fell part-way there and Fred grabbed her for some dancing time.
“Yeah, I bleeding know that!” George shouted back. “What do you expect?” He grabbed someone else’s shot and took it.
“I expected you to come talk to me about it!”
“Like you came and talked to me about it?”
She raised a brow. “What did you do anyway?”
“I did a lot!” George said defensively. “Drank myself into idiocy, cleaned out the gardens, made Fred do everything for me.”
To my surprise (and the surprise of everyone else paying attention), Katie smirked. “I did cardio.”
George choked. “Alone?”
“Made the other girls do it too.”
He motioned to me. “Jane did cardio?”
“Jane attempted cardio.”
I took offense to that.
“Oy!” Lee grabbed his arm and dragged him back into dancing.
“That invite still stands, you know!” George shouted back to Katie as he started dancing again. Angelina and Fred joined them and the conversation was no more.
“Sod off!” Katie said, but she was smiling and laughing.
I looked over to Oliver and he had several more eyes than before. “What invite?” I said.
“You got me,” he said, finishing his drink. “What do you say we put a few more back and get out of here?”
“Read my mind.”
Lips locked, completely unaware of where I was going, Oliver and I finally managed to find his flat. I threw him against the door, which he unlocked with his wand, and we fell inside, snogging until I didn’t know when in the morning.
A/N: I hope you all enjoyed the latest chapter! Finally we got Katie and George in the same room. For an extended period of time too! And more Jane Oliver snog time! Gotta love it. Anyway, let me know what you think :) Is there still hope for Katie and George? Or, as Jane would say, Team GeoKat?
Favorite quotes? Favorite...Fred quotes? haha. Hope everyone's soon-to-be-autumn is going fabulous. I'm in the mood for some apple cider and a corn maze! xoxo
UP NEXT: Money, that invitation, shopping with someone unexpected, and some formality.
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