Chapter 3 : sweat.
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"Percy Weasley, you ladykiller, you." Charlie Weasley said, laughing.
"So you're not mad?" Percy asked, a bit confused at his older brother.
"Nope, I think it's hilarious, and just like you to do something dumb like that--"
"No offence. Bill and Fleur, on the other hand, have lost a dear friend."
"That's really too bad.."
"Don't be sarcastic, okay? I just got back from Romania and I don't know if you're joking or not, I'm tired, got it?"
"Kind of." Percy said, trying to balance talking and eating ice cream. "Don't tell me you've hooked me up with a Romanian girl, Camille the boring French girl was annoying enough.."
"Nope, not Romanian, not Hungarian, either. She's my neighbour here, she's pretty, smart--"
"She's smart? That's good, the other one was really stupid!"
"She was Fleur's best mate, what can you expect?" Charlie said. "But first, you'll need to know how to do some sort of.. outdoor activity."
"Why?" asked Percy, who couldn't recall the last time he went outside to exercise.
"She's an Olympic hopeful, that's all. She might want to run or something with you or something."
"OLYMPIC HOPEFUL? She's way out of my league!" Percy screeched, spitting Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream into Charlie's ponytail.
"You could get a silver medal in being an arse," Charlie said, generating a groan of protest from Percy, "But trust me, she wants to date you."
"Is she mental?"
"I had to lie a little. I told her you played sports."
"Dear me, Charlie, dear me."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Percy shrugged. "I don't know how to sport."
"I know. We all know."
"You're going on a date with an Olympic athlete, and you don't do any exercise?" Oliver Wood asked, thumbing through Percy's books. "That's not a problem."
"Try swimming!" Penelope said with faked enthusiasm, for she and Percy were watching Doctor Who and did not care to be interrupted.
"DOOOOOO WEEEEE OOOOOH!" Percy sang loudly. "Huh, what? Yeah, I don't know how to swim. It's not really wizard activity, you know."
"I'm a wizard and I know how to swim." Oliver curiously inspected 10 Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches. "Get a scooterboard and I'll show you."
"You're right, I happen to have two scooterboards laying around here."
"Perce, don't be rude, we can take you swimming or something, I'm sure Pen can help us." Rolf said, trying to understand what was on the screen.
"Well, that was a fail," Penelope said soothingly, as Percy coughed up water all over her face. "It's okay, you should start breathing soon."
"That's good that Pen was there to save you." Oliver said, attempting to use a drying spell that backfired and turned Percy's arm hair green. "Otherwise, you'd be dead."
"Yeah, and that would be really bad." Penelope said, and shared a smile with Oliver, and continued trying to pump water out of Percy's lungs.
"So I almost died? Does that make me like a hero or something?" asked Percy, shaking excess water out of his hair.
"Perce," Penelope said, "You put your head underwater in the kiddie pool. Not heroic at all."
"Swimming? Not a good idea." Oliver said, now trying to reverse Percy's flashing arm hair with the help of Rolf. "We gotta try something else, or blimey, you're screwed!"
"How-- much-- longer?" Percy panted obnoxiously, his already greasy face slicked with sweat.
"Not -- sure --" Penelope moaned. "I have a bloody side-cramp!" For some reason, she had leg-warmers on, even though it was May.
"Whose-- idea-- was-- this?" Rolf barely made out. He was almost completely covered in sweat, grass, blood, and for some reason, barbecue sauce. His normally well-cared-for hair was pushed to one side and greasy.
"MINE!" Oliver barked into a megaphone. "Everyone, faster! Perce, you're slowing the group down. Pen, good work. Rolf: leave your hair alone and keep running!"
The four mature adults continued to jog down Diagon Alley. Actually, Rolf Scamander was licking his arm and trying to keep moving, Penelope was breathing loudly and commenting on how she was going to "burn up into a crisp because I forgot sunscreen", Percy was turning a funny shade of violet and forcing himself not to lag too far behind, and Oliver was sprinting backwards and not tired in the slightest bit.
"I-- want-- my-- Dihydrogen-- Monoxide--" Rolf wheezed.
"What?" Oliver yelled, attracting the attention of a large group of teenage witches, batting their eyelashes at Oliver and laughing the Percy, who was at least a block behind.
"Water!!" Penelope yelled, and Oliver laughed and barked at them to turn left at the next block.
"That was such a fun aerobic activity!" Percy said, trying to figure out if his heart rate was normal. "Let's never do that again! Oh, such good fun!"
"Nope. I hate exercise." said Penelope, who somehow managed to be rather skinny even though she rarely stepped foot outside.
"What was the point of that inhumane torture, Wood?" Rolf asked, throwing grass on Percy, who in turn declared an all-out grass war.
"To boost Percy's morale. I assumed if we all ran together - well, you almost died, and I ran - that maybe he'd feel better about running!"
"I haven't ran as much as that since Hogwarts, when I attempted to run from bullies for seven years.." Percy stated.
"Nah, we didn't get bullied in seventh year, did we? Just a bit?" Penelope smiled sadly.
"How long did we run for? Just curious--" Rolf asked.
"According to Pen's watch, you three lasted one minute, twenty-nine seconds."
"Wood, you are out of your bloody mind! Really?" Penelope snapped.
"Sure, my mum told me about it, it's like Quiddich but stupid--"
"I know bloody well what THIS is, I'm a Muggle-born, remember?"
"Cool it, you two." Rolf smirked. "Shin guards, elbow pads, arm covers.. Pen, where's your helmet? And why can't we do a real sport, like Quiddich?"
"QUIDDICH!!" Oliver bellowed, and they did some sort of Quiddich-fist-pump that only Quiddich fans know.
"Because," said Percy miserably. "She's a Muggle. Charlie told me."
"Can we start now? Please?" Rolf said, trying to fit his sticky-uppy hair inside a helmet. "Percy almost drowning and actually exercising was bad enough, now this?"
"I don't want to go rollerblading," Percy complained loudly. "And how is rollerblading like Quiddich?"
"Not sure." Oliver shrugged and glided off.
"Is he good at every aerobic activity?" Percy asked.
"Pretty much." Rolf said miserably, as they watched Oliver do figure eights in the park, and then watched in shock as Oliver tripped over someone's stroller, fell on the concrete, and a loud snap was audible.
"Am I a bad person for laughing?" said Percy as Oliver was flat on his stomach, blood rushing from his head.
Rolf was too busy laughing to answer.
"While I took a trip to the ladies', Oliver fell on his skates and broke his wrist and cracked his head? All in five minutes?" Penelope asked once the three friends dragged the unconscious Wood back to Percy's flat.
"Pretty much," Percy said, sucking up blood through his wand.
"And you stood and laughed?"
"That's what I would've done." Pen said finally, mending Oliver's bones.
"And I could just see it in my mind." Rolf yelled, sweeping his arms in what was supposed to be in a dramatic fashion, "Front page of the Quibbler and Prophet. Death by Rollerblades: Quiddich Hero Dies a Tragic Death."
"He's not dead," Percy said, "but we've got bigger problems."
"Bigger problems? More important than Oliver being hurt and bleeding all over your damn floor, and your damn cats are licking up the damn blood?" Penelope snapped.
"Oh dear, I believe it's that time of the month." Rolf said, and Percy laughed so hard that he spit his Butterbeer all over Penelope, leaving her not only cross, but very sticky as well.
"In all seriousness, my date is tomorrow, and we didn't accomplish anything; we actually went backwards with our progress. So many near-deaths in a day!"
"I know! So many near-deaths, it's like Hanukkah came early!" Rolf said.
"That's sick." Penelope said at last, after a pair of brown eyes and a pair of blue eyes were glued on Rolf for nearly a minute, "But true."
Percy felt a little draft being blown into his ear.
Why was there wind in his ear? He wondered.
The draft went into his other ear.
Get it away, his subconscious mind said.
Half-asleep, he slapped at his right ear.
"Damn you, Percy!" someone shrieked, almost waking him up.
"That's about the sixth near-death today!" someone else yelled.
"If-- I weren't -- on the floor -- bleeding -- l would be -- quite more appreciative of that -- fact --"
Percy blinked to see Rolf clutching his face and Penelope standing over him with an oh-dear-not-again look.
"Date tomorrow, two out of three mates are bleeding, Pen is cross at me, I think life hates me." Percy said miserably. "Hey, at least there's cake in the fridge!"
Anything you recognise belongs to its respective source.
Well. I'm almost done with Chapter Six right now, and let me say, this has been extremely fun to write. Thanks to all who review because that makes me so happy! :) Dedicated to Arielle like always.
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