A brown haired boy ran out of a small home, a broom in one hand and a blue jumper in the other.
“Oliver aren't you going to have lunch?” Called out his mother, running out into the garden after him. He turned around, holding up his broom impatiently.
“I'm late mum!” He called back slipping on his jumper. His mother gave up, shaking her head. Her son was always enthusiastic when it came to flying.
“Alright,” she began as he mounted on his broom. “But please come back home right after your done.”
“Okay mum!” He yelled, his hands holding his broom tightly. Giving his mother one last wave, he flew off towards the other side of the valley where the other kids were waiting to play a game of Quidditch.
If he made it maybe, just maybe, they'd let him play on the team rather than reserve. Oliver smiled to himself, he was sure that he was good enough. After all, he had practiced everyday for the past few months. The wind whipped through his hair as he felt his smile grow wider.
Already he could see the pitch get closer, Oliver began to lower his height. Below him there was already a large group of kids.
As usual, the kids were divided into two groups. Those dressed in blue lived on the northern side of the valley those dressed in silver lived on the southern side. All of them held their brooms and watched as Oliver ran towards them.
Some scoffed, others chuckled. One of the boys though, snorted.
“Really Cromwell, this is who we were waiting for?” Asked the tall eleven year old. He swung his bat as if trying to intimidate Oliver who, although small for his age, stood up to him.
“You got a problem with that?” Asked a boy from behind him who was also dressed in blue. He was skinny with bright blue eyes and dark hair. He narrowed his eyes at the blonde boy who scoffed.
Oliver frowned pushing his way in between the two boys. “Hanyes,” he said to the boy who held the bat. “Ashdown!” The boy with the blue eyes scoffed.
“It's Elliot, Oliver!”
Oliver scoffed turning to Haynes who smirked.
“So he's gonna be your Keeper, Cromwell?”
The other eleven year old nodded his dark eyes, determined. The other group of boys walked away leaving a small girl behind. She wore purple robes and had curly brown hair.
Laura Waters, the one whose family lived right in the middle of the two sides hence she was always their referee.
“Okay, five minutes to get a plan going then I'm letting go of the snitch!” Yelled the bossy six year-old sitting on top of large brown crate.
“Oh shut up, Laura!” yelled Elliot as he was pulled away by an overexcited Oliver who currently followed their captain to the other side of the pitch.
The pitch wasn't like the ones used in the league, but it was something. It used to be for Quadpot, until some had the brilliant idea to modify it so the children could play Quidditch, something Oliver would be forever grateful for.
The group of seven stood together huddled in a circle. “Kevin can we just play?” Asked little Sophia Kerr who was currently their seeker. Kevin frowned.
“NO!” He yelled, causing her to pout. Kevin turned to a pair of boys who were whispering amongst themselves. “Lynch! Adrian!”
They looked up, smiling. “Yes, Kevin?” Said Adrian, holding his bat to his chest.
“Just stop joking around! I'd like to win for once!” He turned to Oliver who simply stood there waiting for instructions.
Oliver nodded fervently. Elliot snickered.
“Okay, you ever played Keeper before?”
Oliver opened his mouth to speak. Usually, his dad just charmed an old Quaffle they had to try and get past Oliver, but that didn't count as playing did it?
Kevin slid his hand down his face letting out a string of words that made Oliver blush and Elliot laugh even louder.
“So what Kevin, let the boy show us what he's got,” said one of the chasers, a ten year-old that live next to Oliver by the name of Harold Kerr, their seekers older brother.
Laura sounded the whistle and the team went into their positions.
Nervously, Oliver took his place at his side of the pitch, trying to avoid Kevin's glare. It was his chance to show them that he wasn't some little kid.
The whistle was blown again; the snitch was released and the quaffle was thrown into the air.
Chasers collided into each other, each trying to get their hands on the small red ball. Kevin had it and skillfully wove his way through the crowd.
He attempted a shot and succeeded, though the quaffle landed in the hands of Ian Haynes who darted his way in Oliver's direction. He tightened the grip on his broom, remembering his father's words.
“Remember, Oliver, a Keeper has to have the ability to observe a chaser's behavior, learn how to pick that up quickly and you'll get better in no time.”
The boy took a deep breath as Ian lifted the quaffle over his head. He was going to throw to the right, but at the last moment Oliver took a risk and stayed rooted to where he stood.
It hit his chest hard knocking the wind out of him and almost knocked Oliver off his broom.
He smiled as Haynes simply floated in the air, his mouth hung open. He raised the quaffle over his head and threw it over to Harold who whistled.
“Told ya Kevin!”
That day for the first time the children of the north won a Quidditch game.
Oliver groaned to himself as his mother spoke to a blonde witch. Madam Malkin's Robes was full of soon to be first years, all of them there to get their robes too.
He turned to his right; there was a blonde boy who too, wore a bored expression as he stared at himself in the mirror. His robes looked like they were made from an expensive material.
“What are you
staring at?” Oliver looked away. Embarrassed, he shook his head.
“Nothing, I was just bored.” Oliver answered biting his bottom lip. “I'm Oliver Wood. What's your name?”
“Terrence Higgs,” answered the blonde boy wearing a smug look he looked at himself in the mirror again. “So, are going to Hogwarts too?”
Oliver nodded as Madam Malkin walked past them.
“What house were your parents in?”
“Everyone in my family has been in Ravenclaw,” answered Oliver, quietly taking a glance at his mother who smiled politely at something the witch had said. Terrence nodded.
“Well, I want to be in Slytherin,” said the boy proudly. “It's where the truly brilliant are.” Oliver turned over to the mirror. It was the first time he had asked himself where would he end up.
Ravenclaw? No he wasn't nearly clever enough.
Slytherin? He shuddered at the thought.
Hufflepuff? It didn't sound too bad; they were kind and hard working.
Gryffindor? He stared at his reflection, it was the house for the brave or as his father said, 'the reckless.'
Oliver felt himself smile, he liked the sound of that. “I want to be in Gryffindor, or Hufflepuff,” he said tilting his head a bit.
Terrence snorted. “It's full of mudbloods!”
Oliver turned so quickly he fell from his stool. Mudblood was a disgusting word, one he was raised to never use or tolerate.
Terrence laughed as Oliver stood up trying not to fall over the excess of his robes. “How could you even say that?” Yelled the young Scot furiously. He felt someone tap his shoulder.
“Sorry, is this where I can get my robes?” He turned to face a small red-haired girl her face was lightly freckled and she had big green eyes. She blushed, turning towards Terrence. “It's my first time here.” She explained, running her fingers through her hair.
“Torn clothes,” observed Terrence, tilting his head. “No knowledge of wizards...”
“Shut up, Higgs!” Roared Oliver, suddenly jumping at the boy before he could go on. The girl screamed, bringing the attention of the two women that stood outside.
“OLIVER WOOD!” He heard his mother bellow as punched the boy who was currently choking him.
“This is outrageous!” Yelled Madam Malkin, dropping what she held. Pulling out her wand, with a flick she separated the boys.
Oliver felt blood drip from his nose as his mother grabbed him. Before he could speak, Terrence pointed at him, yelling.
“Mother, he hit me!” Terrance yelled. The blonde woman glared at Oliver’s mother as her son went on. “All because I simply said-”
“You said the 'M' word!” He turned to his mother who frowned.
“ M-word dear?” she asked. Oliver nodded fervently.
“The bad one for muggle-borns!”
Madam Malkin gasped when she realized what was happening.
The red haired girl snapped her fingers.
“You mean Mudblood!”
The way she said it, the witches knew she knew nothing of its meaning. “It’s what some people have been calling me all day!”
“Out! I cannot believe this vocabulary!”
Mrs. Higgs pulled her son out of the shop, glaring at Mrs.Wood and Madam Malkin. “Gladly!”
“Don't call yourself that dear,” said Oliver's mother, kneeling to stand level with the small girl. “It's an awful word.”
“Really? Wow, people are mean,” she said turning to Oliver who held his nose.
“Mum?” She pulled out her wand and with a flick Oliver's nose had stopped bleeding.
“Listen, my name is Elaine Wood and this is my son Oliver,” she held the small girl's hand. “What's your name?”
“Me? Oh, I'm Robin Watson” Oliver saw his mother's eyes soften.
“I'm here alone-”
“Then don't worry, Oliver and I will help you-”
“Me?” Asked Oliver. His mother turned to him with a frown.
“Yes, Oliver Holden Wood,” She whispered so low only he could hear. Oliver nodded with a strained smile. “Now, come dear so we can get your robes.”
Oliver sighed. Today was going to a long day.
And he was right. They walked up and down Diagon Alley to get their school supplies. Elaine even bought Oliver and Robin each a bowl of ice cream. At first the redhead refused to take it but at Mrs. Wood's insistence, she agreed.
At nightfall, Mrs. Wood walked out to muggle London where she met up with a rather sour-looking woman. Oliver watched Robin wave good-bye as she walked away with all her bags in hand.
His mother turned to him. “Now for you young man-”
“Mum, I'm sorry,” began Oliver as she sighed, even if school started in only a week he didn't want to spend that time locked in his room. “But he was going to call her a you-know-what and I had-”
“Oliver dear it's alright,” she put her hand on his shoulder and squeezed it a bit. “That was very noble of you, just try not to use your fist next time.”
He nodded as she took his hand looking sideways they both vanished.
September 1st 1987
Oliver stood on the platform, staring at the great scarlet steam engine. The whistle blew as he began to board. Behind him people called out to their parents, others were already talking to their friends about their holidays.
He knew his parents were watching and with one last glance over his shoulder he waved his last good-bye, only to see they were already gone.
“Move already!” He heard a voice yell as they pushed him inside. Oliver landed flat on his face in the middle of the hall bringing laughter to those around him.
He felt his face turn red as he stood up with a bit of help from a tall lanky boy in front of him. “Thank you,” he muttered, noticing the silver badge on his black jumper.
Oliver looked up at the boy, he had flaming red hair that was barely past his ears and bright blue eyes. “It's okay,” he said kindly. “Just so you know not everyone's like that, I'm Bill.”
Bill walked past him. “I have to go now but in case anything happens,” he pointed to his badge “I'm Prefect, so just let me know!”
Oliver waved as he walked away now looking for a compartment. Perhaps he could even find Sophia and Harold.
Fifteen minutes later, he managed to find Sophia who sat alone eating what seemed to be her weight in chocolate frogs. “Hello, Ollie!” She yelled, a little to excited. He sat across from her staring down at the pile of sweets.
“Sophia, you’re not going to eat all that, are you?”
She looked up at him, her light eyes filled up with water. “I-I do-d-don't know.” Sophia began taking short breaths. Oliver simply stared, frozen.
“What if I end up in the w-w-w-rong hou-u-use?” She sniffled, offering Oliver a chocolate. He shook his head deciding she was more in need than he. Oliver knew that whatever house she ended up in her parents who be proud. Unlike his father who would be disappointed if he became anything other than a Ravenclaw.
“I don't think-”
“What house do you want to be in?” She asked, biting back her tears. Oliver turned towards the window.
“I don't know.”
The castle was far more majestic than he had imagined. He could only stared as they sailed towards it under the night sky. Under them the water reflected the beautiful starry night, causing some to keep their eyes on the water, except for one boy who sat behind Oliver reciting spells under his breath.
“Could you stop, it's annoying,” snapped the Scot as they walked off the boats. The skinny boy frowned wearing a smug look.
“Let's see what you'll do when we get sorted!”
He walked past Oliver who followed the first years up into the castle. Inside, a few gasped and some laughed at the portraits. Some even stopped to speak to them until a strict looking woman called for them to group up.
“Welcome to your first year at Hogwarts,” she began looking at them over her glasses. Oliver reminded himself to never cross this woman.
“Wonder how we get sorted?” asked Sophia, pulling on his robes. Oliver shrugged as he his head become light and his mouth begin to dry.
It was now or never.
The door before them opened ,welcoming them in to the Great Hall were the other students sat all of the staring at … a hat.
An old leather hat on a stool, Oliver taken aback stared until the hat opened it's mouth and broke out in song.
“That is so wicked!” Squealed Sophia who had gotten over her anxiety attack from the train ride. “A singing hat!”
“Will you two shut up?” Again it was the boy with glasses. Sophia raised her eyebrow at him as he spun around.
“Idiot.” Huffed Sophia, sticking out her tongue.
“Sophia!” Hissed Oliver pulling on her robe.
Professor McGonagall, as she called herself earlier pulled out a list and began calling out names. Oliver clenched his jaw. Great, he'd be last.
“Gryffindor!” The blue eyed boy ran off to hix table and took a seat next to a dark haired boy.
The list went on: Perreginn Derrick was a Slytherin, Garden Lane a Hufflepuff, Terrence Higgs, the boy from the robe shop, was a Slytherin.
Oliver was already feeling queasy.
Sophia pushed Oliver, almost knocking him over as she ran to the stool, only to be declared a Ravenclaw.
The list went on until there were only three left. A red haired girl, a flaming orange haired boy, and Oliver.
“Watson, Robin.” It took a minute before she was declared at Gryffindor and another before Weasley, Percy too was a Gryffindor.
He walked up to the stool, slowly dreading what his fate would be.
Determined, hard-working, and honest...
Oliver swallowed taking a glance at Sophia who smiled, then one at Elliot who gave him a quick thumbs up.
He could hear his own heartbeat as he smiled wildly.
Oliver Wood the newest addition to Gryffindor house.
He had to admit it had a nice ring to it.