Chapter 4 : Storm
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When I woke up, the light from the new morning was filtering through the windows and some of the students were beginning to stir.
I started as I felt hot breath against my neck, my eyes wide as I noticed the arm wrapped around my waist.
I turned slowly in his arms and felt my cheeks heat up as I came face to face with a sleeping Wood. His mouth was slightly open and a gentle snore punctuated his breaths every now and then. His arm was warm around my waist and I could feel his heartbeat from my position curled into his chest. And he smelt nice. Not of any particular scent, but a mix of broom polish and Wood's own personal smell.
I slowly untangled myself from his limbs, slipping away from him and rolling over to lie closer to Verity.
I smirked as I noticed Verity and Jake were sharing their sleeping bags between them, looking quite cosy.
I briefly wondered if Wood realised that he'd slept with his arm around me, but decided not to worry about it as I shuffled uncomfortably in my sleeping bag before sitting up and looking around the hall.
Orion waved me over from his sleeping bag near the doors.
I grinned and wriggled back into my jeans awkwardly, stepping out of my sleeping bag and slipping on my shoes as I padded over to where Orion and his girlfriend Jess were talking quietly.
"Hey," I whispered as I settled myself opposite them, leaning back against the wall.
"Nice bed hair Millie," Orion snorted and my hands quickly jumped up to fix the birds nest on top of my head.
"I know, I know," I rolled my eyes. "I always look a state in the morning."
"If you look a state then merlin forbid what I look like!" Jess grimaced, patting at her hair and grinning as Orion pressed a gentle kiss to her cheek.
"Don't," he murmured. "You know I like how you look when you wake up."
"Ew, too much couple," I moaned, before shooting the pair a cheeky grin.
After getting to know Orion during Prefect rounds I'd been quick to make friends with Jess to, just to reassure her that I wasn't out to steal her boyfriend.
Not that she really needed reassuring, Jess was stunning with her blonde curls and blue eyes. Not to mention Orion was absolutely besotted with her.
"Sorry," Jess smiled sheepishly, nudging me in the leg with her foot. "Were you ok last night? I saw Oliver Wood holding you up."
"Oh, I was just a bit shocked, really. I didn't expect a mass murderer to try and break into our common room last night," I snorted, making more of a joke out of it.
"Well I'm glad you're ok," she grinned. "Although, I was surprised to see Oliver holding you up! I thought you two didn't get on?"
"We do and we don't," I shrugged. "We still haven't figured it out yet."
"How did the date go?" Orion interrupted.
"Date?!" Jess squealed, her eyes wide.
"Not a date!" I corrected her hastily. "I just promised my cousin Alicia I'd spend the day with Wood so that he didn't see her on a date with the Hufflepuff Chaser, Maxwell. But he did, so it was sort of pointless."
"Did you have a good time?"
"It was... alright," I admitted, ignoring Orion's smirk. He and Verity were so similar.
"But you don't fancy him?" Jess pushed, looking a little disappointed.
"Godric, no!" I hissed, my cheeks colouring with a blush.
"Oh," Jess pouted. "I always thought you two would suit one another."
"I wouldn't lose hope completely, babe," Orion chuckled. "I feel that Millie is simply in denial."
"Oh, shut up Orion," I groaned, before turning to explain myself to Jess. "He's always going on about this, but there is no actual truth in it."
"Apart from your obvious feelings for one another," Orion rolled his eyes.
"Jess, I hate to be the one to tell you this but... your boyfriend is painfully deluded."
"Oh, I already know that," Jess laughed, wrapping an arm around Orion. "That's what I love about him."
I smiled as I watched the pair kiss quickly, giggling about something or another and feeling a bit more lonely than normal.
But then I thought about how much hassle boyfriends really are, and decided not to be jealous. I loved being single. Right?
"Percy says Black escaped before any teachers could find him," Jake gossiped over breakfast. "Apparently he'd legged it out after he slashed up the Fat Lady."
"Poor thing," Harriet mumbled sympathetically. "It was quite brave of her not to let him in, wasn't it?"
"Especially when he was carrying a great big dirty knife," Verity added solemnly.
I shuddered again and blushed as I caught Wood's watchful eye.
"Have you met Sir Cadagon yet?" Lydia groaned to the boys.
They all shook their heads as they'd opted for an extra half an hour in bed before breakfast rather than a shower in the dormitory.
"Why, what's he like?"
"Absolute nutcase," I answered with a small smile. "He's too busy trying to mount his pony and falling on his arse to ask you the password half the time."
"I can tell he's going to be an absolute nightmare," Verity sighed as she dug into her cereal with extra vigour.
"What's the rush?" I asked my best friend, wrinkling my nose at the speed at which she was shovelling her breakfast down her throat.
"Charms essay," she mumbled through her full mouthful. "Didn't get to do it last night like I planned, and it's in first thing."
"V!" I rolled my eyes. "Professor Flitwick set that three weeks ago!"
"Well, I've been busy," she shrugged as she stood up quickly from the table, brushing her uniform down. "I'm off to do this essay then..."
We all watched her and said nothing.
She turned to Harriet with a hopeful smile plastered across her face. "Harriet, would you mind...?"
"Fine," she rolled her eyes, fully aware of how she gave into Verity all the time, but being unable to stop herself.
She was just too nice for her own good.
"But you can't just copy mine like last time..." Harriet muttered as the pair disappeared off together.
"So, Millie, how was the date with our Ollie?" Jake grinned as he ruffled a disgruntled looking Wood's hair.
"Not a date," I groaned, refusing to look at Wood. "But it was fine."
"Only fine?!" Jake gasped. "Sorry, Ol, sounds like you won't be getting a second chance!"
"Oh, sod off Lynch," Wood scowled, glaring at his best fiend as Jake began to laugh.
"Morning dearest cousin," Alicia sang happily, slipping onto the bench beside me and nicking my buttered toast.
"Oi!" I exclaimed through a mouthful, smacking my cousin on the arm.
"But I'm running late..." she batted her eyelids at me, holding the toast closer to her mouth.
"And that means you can't butter your own toast?"
Alicia shrugged and stuffed the toast in her mouth with a cheeky grin. "How was Hogsmeade?"
"How was your date with the Hufflepuff, Spinnet?" Wood interrupted with a playful raise of his eyebrows.
Alicia immediately started spluttering as she turned bright red. "You told him?" she stared accusingly at me.
"No!" I was quick to defend myself. "He saw the pair of you, despite my best efforts."
"Don't you tell me I'm not allowed to see him..." Alicia turned to Wood with a frightening face.
"Don't speak to your Captain like that again and I won't," he replied tersely. "Or laps."
With a satisfied smile, Alicia gave me a quick hug and darted off to chase after Maxwell, who was just leaving the Hall.
"She's a right piece of work your cousin," Wood huffed.
"I know," I sighed. "Not sure where she gets it from."
"I dunno," Jake laughed. "I can see the similarities between you when you start yelling at Oliver."
I felt myself go red and shot Jake a look. "I don't even do that anymore."
"It's only been a few weeks actually, Mills," Lydia piped up, as her and Mark had returned to our conversation.
"Yeah, Oliver hasn't had the chance to do anything yet!" Jake added, as if trying to defend him.
"Guys..." Wood groaned.
"I'm going to class," I announced, shooting Lydia a look. "You coming Lyds?"
Lydia looked startled, glancing at Mark for a moment before noting my expression and hastily getting up from the table to leave with me.
"Are you alright?" She slid her arm through mine after a moments silence.
"Fine," I sighed, closing my eyes for a moment and breathing slowly. "Just a bit tired from last night."
"I know what you mean," Lydia nodded. "I wish they'd let us have the day off. Mondays are the worst lessons as well."
I nodded quickly before turning to my friend with a smile. "So, anyway... you never got the chance to tell us how it went with Mark..."
By Wednesday, I'd already had enough of the week. Last nights Prefect rounds had been mind bendingly boring as Orion had ditched me to sit with Jess in the hospital wing, as she'd had some sort of accident in Transfiguration that day.
Alicia had been snogging Maxwell around the castle and I'd been tempted to give her a detention for it. But I knew she'd write home and then I'd get a bollocking from my mum for being mean. So I tried to ignore it.
I'd also been set ridiculous amounts of homework this week, which I wasn't even able to start this evening because Percy and Penelope had (annoyingly) arranged a Prefects meeting.
"Firstly, I would like to say thank you for your efforts on Halloween evening, most of you set a good example to the rest of the school," he shot me a pointed look and I scowled at him.
"We also want to make sure that everyone is happy with the round schedules, as we're aware that Quidditch season is upon us. If anybody has a problem can they come to either Percy or I, and we'll see what we can sort out," Penelope beamed around the room and I tried not to smile back at her.
She was just so nice. I wondered if she and Harriet had ever properly met, knowing they'd get on well.
"And on the subject of Quidditch," Percy interjected pompously. "As the first game of the season is coming up everyone may be getting a little excitable, and we are all aware of how there is, ah..." Percy broke off to shoot the Slytherin's a careful glance. "Tension... between Gryffindor and Slytherin - so I ask you all to ensure that an acceptable level of behaviour is enforced between the students during the upcoming weeks until the game. Although I know you can all be trusted, there have been previous incidents..." Percy eyed the Gryffindor and Slytherin sixth year Prefects, Jack and Charles meaningfully.
The Prefect meeting before the Gryffindor-Slytherin match last year had resulted in Jack and Charles punching the living daylights out of each other over who was going to win Quidditch, whilst the rest of us had sat in shock.
Percy, ever trying to prove himself as the next Head Boy, and jumped into the fight to pull them apart, only to receive a right hook to the nose. That was when I'd started laughing.
All in all, considering my current dislike for Percy Weasley, I wasn't all that against a repeat of the incident.
"All we're asking is that you all treat one another with respect as expected at all times regardless of Quidditch, as well as punishing other students if they partake in any anti-social behaviour. As always, we expect your responsibilities as a Prefect to guide you more than your house loyalty."
The majority of us scoffed at Penelope's words. Percy was the only one who seemed to relish in taking points from his own house - the rest of us were slightly more proud. I'd even see Penelope turn a blind eye over a Ravenclaw's misdoings once or twice.
"Other than that, there's nothing else to discuss," Penelope looked to Percy for confirmation, and he nodded graciously. "You're all welcome to leave now."
The others began to chat around me as we filtered out of the room, well aware that Penelope and Percy were probably about to have a snog on the table we'd just vacated.
They'd been caught at it one too many times by some poor fifth year who was still in the overly-keen stage of being a Prefect.
Orion walked with me up the main flights of stairs before we parted for our separate towers. He didn't say much, I think he'd noticed my bad mood and knew better than to pester me about it until I'd simmered for a while.
Just as I stepped through the portrait hole after disappointing Sir Cadagon for actually knowing this weeks password (he changed them frequently and it was incredibly annoying), I was greeted with a burst of chatter from the common room.
Something was up.
I spotted Wood over by the fire and started to walk towards him before I was stopped by Angelina.
"I wouldn't go over there if I were you," she warned me. I glanced over to Wood and frowned.
"Why, what's up?"
"We just had practise and Wood told us that Flint came to see him, claiming that Malfoy wasn't able to play. So now we're playing Hufflepuff instead."
"Are you serious?" I rolled my eyes. "The Slytherin's are so pathetic, it's obviously because it's going to be bad weather for the match..." as if on que, both Angelina and I glanced out of the window to watch the storm raging outside.
"I know, Harry says that Malfoy's completely faking it as well."
"Not surprised," I pulled a face. "But surely Wood can't be that angry? I mean, you guys usually flatten Hufflepuff."
"We tried to tell him that, but you know what he's like," she rolled her eyes. "We've spent all this time training to play for Slytherin, whilst Hufflepuff play an entirely different game to them."
"You'll all be fine though, everyone knows Hufflepuff are shit."
"Not as awful these days," Angelina admitted with a small frown. "They've got a new Captain, Cedric Diggory."
"The good looking one in your year?"
Angelina nodded with a small smile playing at her lips. "He's gorgeous. Not to mention he's a decent Seeker."
"Yeah, but we've got Harry," I grinned. "That boy's never lost us a Quidditch match yet."
"Don't jinx it!" Angelina yelped, hurriedly leaning to touch the wood of the bookcase behind her.
I rolled my eyes but didn't comment on her theatrics. "Where's my cousin then?"
"Maxwell," Angelina groaned. "Where else?"
"Can you talk to her about the public snogging?" I sniggered. "She won't listen to me, but I know that when you get a bit stern she usually does what you want."
Angelina grinned and nodded sympathetically. "Sure. It's doing all our of nut in anyway. Did you see them snogging at the dinner table the other night? Lee was right next to them, he said he almost regurgitated his dinner because of the noises they were making."
"Gross," I shuddered, rolling my eyes at my cousins' behaviour. "So, how long do you reckon I should stay away from Wood for?"
"Only until tomorrow. By then he'll have come up with an intense practise for us to do to get us into shape for Hufflepuff," she groaned, but I knew Angelina would put up with it. If there was one thing that girl loved, it was playing Quidditch.
"Thanks Angelina, see you later," I grinned as she gave me a little wave before rejoining her cluster of giggling friends.
"How was the meeting?" Verity asked as I entered our dormitory.
"Percy was being a prat."
"Nothing out of the ordinary then," Verity smirked, before tossing a magazine onto my bed. "Read it."
I fell back against my headboard and began to read what I assumed was the latest edition of Witch Weekly.
"How to snag the boy you never thought you'd like..." I read out in a dubious tone as Verity joined me on my bed.
"You think it'll work on Jake?" she asked eagerly.
"Verity!" I groaned, waggling the article in front of her face. "This is getting ridiculous. If you like Jake so much, then just bloody tell him!"
"See, Millie agrees with me!" Lydia interjected, appearing at the end of me bed and glaring at Verity. I assumed they'd already had a heated debate about it before I'd appeared.
"You cannot use you and Mark as an example, though!" Verity protested. "You told him you liked him after he'd asked you to Hogsmeade and you'd had a nice time with him. I can't just bloody march up to Jake during breakfast and declare my undying love for him!"
"Who said anything about undying love?" I gaped at her.
"I was being dramatic," Verity grumbled, before yanking the article out of my grasp. "Besides, Witch Weekly has worked before. Their plans are foolproof."
"A foolproof way to mess with a boys mind," Lydia corrected her. "Come on, Verity, haven't you known Jake long enough to see how dense he is? Mark told me that Jake didn't even know Charlotte Dawkins liked him until she serenaded him on Valentines Day."
"Seriously?" I laughed at the memory of Jake's appalled face. "But she used to trail after him like a pathetic little puppy. She even used to do his shoelaces up for him!"
"I just want him to ask me!" Verity pouted. "It's more romantic that way! I can't bear the thought of having to do it myself."
"Then try to make it as bleeding obvious as possible," I rolled my eyes. "Hell, get Mark to tell him for you or something so Jake'll go after you. Just don't use Witch Weekly. It's not tailored for Jake, so it most definitely will not work."
"I hate boys!" Verity groaned as she threw herself down on her bed dramatically.
"Don't we all," I replied dryly, ignoring Lydia's smug smile as she returned to her bed. Thinking of how perfect things things with Mark were, no doubt.
As much as I loved to see my friends happy, or 'in like', it was kind of shitty when every single one of them (even quiet little Harriet) had a boy on the go whilst I was all on my lonesome.
If they ended up getting together with their boys I'd end up stranded in Gryffindor tower with only Wood and Percy Weasley to keep me company.
Oh dear merlin I need to find myself a man.
The thundery morning of the Quidditch match arrived, and I'd been woken up extra early by Verity, who wanted to wish the team good luck before they left for the pitch.
Trying not to get too angry about her waking me up at seven in the morning on a Saturday, because I did want to wish the team well, I hastily jumped into the shower and got ready for the day. When I had dried and dressed myself, performing a minor drying spell on my hair and frowning at the way it frizzed, I wandered back into the dormitory to find Verity had disappeared.
Jake asked me if I wanted to walk down to breakfast with him. Sorry. Don't kill me!!!
I rolled my eyes at her obvious display of disloyalty, but decided to let it slide. After all, she seemed really into Jake and it'd be nice to see the pair of them together.
Preferably soon, so she'd stop bugging me about the best way to 'entice him'. Why Verity thought I was the kind of girl to ask about how to 'entice' a lad, I'll never know.
Once I'd applied a bit of make-up, I wrapped myself in a few more layers and began the walk down to the Great Hall.
As much as I loved being a Gryffindor, we had to walk such a long way to get anywhere in the castle. It was such an effort. Not to mention the fact that the flipping Hufflepuff's get to be right next door to the kitchens (so not fair). Although, it would explain why on average they're all a bit chubbier than the other houses.
My eyes glanced over the Great Hall before I spotted my friends sat just up from the Gryffindor team, who were huddled tightly together and all looking slightly sick.
Sliding onto the bench in between Wood and Harriet, I shot them all a small smile that only the Weasley twins seemed to see.
"Fancy placing a bet, Millie?" Jake waggled his eyebrows as he raised a money bag brimming with Sickles.
"Na, I'm poor," I shot him a small smile as he shoved the bag back in his pocket, disappointed. "Plus, there's no way in hell I'm betting against Gryffindor winning!"
I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Wood's lips twitched at that.
The team stood up to leave for the pitch whilst I was halfway through my cereal, but I quickly abandoned it and stepped in front of them before they could leave.
"Good luck everyone," I grinned before giving Alicia a quick hug. She squeezed me around the middle quickly, like she always did 'for luck' before linking arms with Angelina and Katie and marching out of the Hall.
"Good luck, Wood," I whispered shyly as he passed me, placing my hand on his forearm. "Don't miss those Quaffles."
"I'll try," he offered me a strained smile before following his team out of the Hall with a backward glance.
Verity was looking at me with an odd expression on her face.
"Nothing," she shook her head quickly. "It's just... last year's match you said you hoped Oliver fell fifty feet and got brain damage..."
"Yeah well, before the last match he'd called me an 'interfering bint' if I remember rightly," I scowled.
"And don't forget they're friends now," Harriet interjected with a sly smile I don't think I'd ever seen on her face.
"Oh, of course," Verity grinned gleefully. "I forgot about that."
I opened my mouth to tell her off, but I was interrupted by a roar of thunder from outside and a flash of lightening that spread across the dark clouds of the Great Hall's ceiling.
We all groaned simultaneously.
"It's times like these when I really wish I could perform a decent Bubble Head Charm," Lydia whined, patting at her hair whilst she shot Mark worried glances.
Verity and I simultaneously rolled our eyes whilst Harriet fought back a snigger.
"Ready to face the music ladies?" Jake grinned, brandishing a large black umbrella.
"Where'd you stash that earlier?" Verity gaped at him.
"Do you all think I'm incapable of Transfiguration?" Jake gasped, clutching a hand to his chest and shooting her a hurt look. "It was my spoon, now it is an umbrella."
"So essentially we're going to be sheltering underneath the dirty utensil covered in your spit that you ate your breakfast with," I shot him a repulsed look.
"Well, I know somebody will be complaining when they're soaked to the bone whilst the rest of us are underneath my spoon."
Verity snorted and Jake smirked proudly as I rolled my eyes and stepped closer to him as we huddled underneath the umbrella and braved the rain together.
Harriet, Mark and Lydia were under another umbrella, and although I'd originally thought I'd got the better deal - Jake and Verity's flirting was more nauseating to listen to than Mark and Lydia calling one another 'pookie' and 'sweetums'.
... Alright so the worst pet names they have are 'babe' and 'love' but still! I hate couples.
The wind whipped the umbrella inside out and Verity and I shrieked loudly as the rain hit our faces sharply before Jake wrestled it back into submission.
"Sorry ladies," he offered us an apologetic smile. "If it makes you feel any better, you both look divine wet."
Verity smacked him on the arm, but it was more flirtatious that violent. Hormones were to blame, as usual.
We raced into the the entrance to the stands, glorying in the sudden shelter as we climbed the stairs with sodden clothes and rain dripping down the back of our necks. Verity was frantically wiping the black mess beneath her eyes, cursing herself for not putting on waterproof mascara this morning.
I couldn't help but smirk at her panda eyes.
"Where's Mark and the girls?" Jake grimaced as we hovered at the entrance to the stands, watching the rain continuously pummel the crowds furiously.
"Look, there's Lyds!" Verity pointed, quickly retracting her hand as the rain hit it. "They're at the front."
"Come on then," I sucked in a deep breath as I stepped out into the rain, which was ironic as it felt as if I'd plunged into a freezing cold bathtub.
"We'll be lucky to even see the match," Mark grumbled as they moved over underneath the shelter of the umbrellas to let me in.
I smiled gratefully at Harriet who immediately cast a heating charm around our group once we'd all arrived. I felt my muscles instantly relax as I ceased my incessant shivering, raising an eyebrow at the hipflask Verity had passed to me.
It smelt suspiciously of Firewhiskey.
"You do realise I'm a Prefect don't you?" I snorted, gesturing to the hipflask in my hand.
"But you're a decent one," Jake snatched his flask from my grasp. "So you won't tell."
"Obviously not," I snorted. "Just be careful Percy doesn't catch you."
"You're not having any?" Verity eyed me with disapproval.
"I'll save it for the after-party, thanks," I tapped my Prefect badge self-importantly and relished in the way Verity wrinkled her nose in distaste.
"You're such a bore."
"And you're such a whore," I quipped, shooting her a cheeky grin as I returned my focus to the pitch.
You couldn't hear Lee Jordan's commentary over the wind, but I could vaguely make out the players who were arriving on the pitch. I watched as Wood and Diggory shook hands whilst their team looked on as they shivered from the cold.
Madame Hooch's whistle couldn't be heard, but it was evident the game had started as the teams leapt into action, with Angelina quickly grabbing the Quaffle and speeding down the pitch towards the Hufflepuff Keeper.
The match continued on with the downpour never ceasing, and I marvelled at how the players were still managing to stay on their brooms. Alicia looked like a drowned rat.
I looked over to Wood, who was frantically darting around the hoops, defending them spectacularly but also trying to keep on top of his team. He was trying to play all positions at once, and because of that he only just managed to block three, quite weak, Hufflepuff shots.
As the first flash of lightening rocketed across the sky, the teams suddenly flew to the ground and huddled in their respective corners.
"What's going on?" Lydia asked.
"They're not cancelling the game, are they?" Mark sounded horrified. "We're fifty points up."
"No, they wouldn't," Jake shook his head. "Oliver would do his nut. Reckon it's a time out or something."
"Look, they're flying back up," Verity pointed at the players who were mounting their brooms and then kicking off to resume their posts.
I watched eagerly as the match resumed, Alicia scoring an excellent shot whilst Wood was continuously blocking the Hufflepuff's attempts to score.
"He's playing really well," Jake muttered with a satisfied tone of voice. "I reckon we've got this one in the bag."
"Don't speak to soon," Mark warned as another flash of lightening illuminated the skies above us.
"Shit!" Verity squealed. "Look, Diggory's after the Snitch!"
"What's Harry doing? COME ON, HARRY!" Jake yelled as the third year instantly picked up the chase.
"Please, please, please, please..." I chanted under my breath as Harry began to catch up with Diggory in a matter of moments.
"Does anybody feel...?" Harriet interrupted our concentration with a sudden fearful tone.
It hit me within a moment and I gripped onto Verity's wrist as screams rippled through the crowd and the cold, an icy feeling filled my throat.
The Dementors swarmed into view as the crowd grew more fearful and it was as if the noise became nothingness as the panic took hold of me.
"Harry!" was squealed from behind me and I was shocked out of my frozen state to watch the black haired, bespectacled third year fall from his broom and towards the crowd in a mess of red and gold robes.
A/N - sorry it's a bit short and filler-ish, the next chapter has more Oliver/Millie in it - I promise :) thanks for reading!
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