The Sugar Quill
Author: Jillie (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Constellations  Chapter: Default
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Constellations

Constellations

Yours, Jillie

 

Summary: Brotherhood of good ol Oliver and wee little Harry. First year fic, because people hate writing them due to lack of sexual drive and/or emotional maturity at age 11. 

 

Disclaimer: Dont own the awewsomeness of Oliver Wood, the  OKness of Harry Potter, and the massiveness of their whole world.

 

 

It was just another night, with a similar sunset and bright moonlight.

But Harry tossed and turned restlessly beneath his duvet, trying—and failing—to fall asleep. He’d had his first Quidditch practice earlier that day, and it had been, despite his assumptions, quite a success. Everyone seemed not only friendly, but very eager to have him on the team and he, despite his lack of any kind of physical skill in the Muggle world, seemed destined to be decent at flying. 

He thought of McGonagall’s uninhibited surprise—imagine, little Harry Potter a good flier! Having grown up in a house of the biggest Muggles you’d ever find! And the youngest player in a century…must get it from his dad!

The thought made Harry grin to himself. His dad was a distant memory—or rather, not a memory at all, for he couldn’t recall the man if his life depended on it. But he had a mental image: a tall, strapping man, who looked nearly identical to him—just with brown eyes. Or maybe hazel. Though possibly gray, or blue. But not green; those were from his mum. But if he could be like his father…everyone seemed to like him quite a bit. Maybe I’ll be like him! I wonder what kind of legacy he left here?  

Harry sat up straight in his bed, wide awake. He looked at each of his fellow Gryffindors and saw sadly that they were all asleep—and appeared to have been for quite awhile. Ron was snoring and his mouth was hanging wide open; Neville was curled up in a tight ball and had his hands beneath his cheek; Seamus had an arm hanging loosely off the end of his four-poster bed and alternated between a heavy breath and a sniffle; and then Dean lay on his back, his arms over his blankets, the only boy sleeping normally. Harry smiled at his friends and quietly climbed out of his own bed. He looked out the window next to one of his bed’s dark wood posters; the night was clear and crisp, and stars twinkled, scintillant and beautiful, against a velvet curtain of navy and black. It had to be far past midnight.

Harry got himself a cup and walked over to the water jug; he filled it halfway and took a long sip and then waited, as if the water might have some sort of soporific effect on him. It didn’t.

Oh, what was I expecting, anyway? Harry thought to himself. He sighed quietly. I wonder if anyone’s up at this hour? He reached into his trunk—he accidentally kicked the water jug and Seamus made a very unusual noise—and pulled out a pair of slippers and a sweater. Very stealthily—he found that some of the floorboards squeaked on occasion—he tiptoed past the other beds and opened the heavy door. After closing the door behind him, he pulled the blue sweater over his head and slipped into the slippers and headed down the stairs.

To his surprise people were still lounging in the common room. The clock reads 12:30…but look, there’s a bloke on that far side. And there’re two people in that corner—ohhhh…

Harry shook his head and continued down the stairs. The couple in the corner didn’t look up at him; two other people near the fire, with large books stretched in their laps, glanced up at him for only a brief time. Harry gave a small smile to the studying students and finally reached the bottom of the stairs.

Now, what to do?  I hate being this awake.

“Potter! What in Merlin’s name are you doing up so late?”

Harry looked to the sound of the voice and said, quite eagerly, “Wood! Hey!”

Wood chuckled and eyed Harry amusedly. “I would’ve thought that practice would’ve worn you out, Potter.”

Me, too! “I guess not,” Harry said, shrugging. “I’m not tired in the least bit.”

Wood shook his head. “Nah, I suppose not. Maybe I didn’t work you hard enough.”

“I don’t think that’s it,” Harry said hastily. “I’m kind of excited, actually.”

“For what?”

“I dunno. Just about the team and everything. About being the youngest player or whatever…it’s just exciting. And I did better than I thought I would today.”

“I must admit I am impressed, Potter. You’ll get the hang of it in no time. Just a matter of ‘getting into the game,’ if you understand what I’m saying.”

“Er…”

Wood chuckled again. “You know, I was up working on some strategies and whatnot”—he showed Harry a moving diagram of players on broomsticks, dashing so messily and quickly that Harry had to look away—“but I think I may put it to rest. I got excited too after practice. C’mon, let’s go outside, clear our heads a bit.”

I don’t want to get caught! Harry thought. I mean—

“Don’t worry about anything,” Wood said, translating the look on Harry’s face. “We won’t get caught. I mean—well, you know, at other schools their Quidditch players get the special treatment that they deserve…really, McGonagall ought to take a leaf out of that book, honestly…’cause if Filch catches us, we’re—anyway,” Oliver stopped rambling, “I’ve done this a million times before. Just follow me—but be quiet, alright?”

Harry nodded. “But—where’re you taking me?”

“Just relax. It’s not like I’m leading you into the Forbidden Forest—though I suppose we might be coming close.” Wood laughed heartily.

Yeah, okay, nutters, Harry thought amusingly. “Let’s just go…before it gets too late.”

“Right.” Wood nodded his head in the direction of the door and walked over to the exit of the tower. He pushed the door open. “Now starts the quiet time. That’s an order from your captain, okay, Potter?”

Harry nodded. Even off the pitch Wood had a bit of a maniacal streak to him. 

The Fat Lady grumbled audibly after being disturbed by the two athletes, but refrained from lecturing them (she did, however, eye them evilly). Wood put a finger to his lips and took off into the dark corridors. Harry first tried to tiptoe, but found that his small steps couldn’t keep him close to the burly fifth-year, and nearly had to jog to keep up with him.

Wood seemed to enjoy being surreptitious; he crouched over dramatically, exaggerated looking around the corner, and took amplified steps, always making sure to land on his tiptoes. It was quite ballet-like, Harry found, and that nearly made him burst out laughing, because Wood was as far removed from a ballet stage as Neville was from a Quidditch pitch. Harry gathered that Wood, despite his burliness and height, was probably no bigger than he was when he was younger; he seemed to have grown a lot in a short amount of time—probably just over the summer—which was why, Harry thought, he seemed to think he could get away with being a lithe little lurker.

Wood led him through a few more corridors and down a couple more stairways until Harry realized they were heading in the direction of the Quidditch pitch.  A couple of times he thought he saw Filch or another teacher patrolling, but it was just the flames dancing against the stone walls.  After what seemed like hours, the two finally got outside of the castle and into the pitch.

“Well, Wood…what are we doing out here in the middle of the night?” Harry asked, glad that Wood was no longer shushing him every time he so much as breathed too loudly.

Wood shrugged. “Just…you know…hanging.”

Harry’s shoulders slumped. “That’s it? You dragged me all the way out here just to—look at the sky, or something?”

Wood grinned. “That’s a great idea, Harry!” He walked over to Harry, put both hands on the boy’s shoulders, and pushed him onto the ground. Harry connected to the short grass with a solid thud and rubbed his bottom.

“Thanks, Wood,” Harry muttered. “Can’t wait to ride on a broomstick now.”

Wood grinned again. “Sorry.” He pulled out his wand, waved it lazily, called out “Accio broom!” and then tucked it away.

“What’d you do?”

“Get my broom. Like to have it with me outdoors; gets me into the spirit of the game.”

Harry laughed and leaned back on his hands. He gazed around at the pitch until he heard a very sharp whizzing noise shoot right past his head—quickly he moved to the left and heard Wood laugh.

“Sorry, Potter. Didn’t mean to make you wet your pants.”

Harry looked up at Wood and saw that his captain held his broomstick in both hands. Wood stretched and then put the broomstick across the back of his neck and rested his hands over the handle. Wood raised his eyebrows playfully, and then turned away from Harry, looking up at the sky.

Why’d he bring me out here? I’m really not “getting into the game,” if that’s what he wanted. They sat in silence, not wholly comfortable, for a few more minutes—Harry wishing fervently that he were anywhere else, even back in his bed—until Wood commented, “Stars’re pretty tonight, eh?”

“Sure,” Harry said nonchalantly. Astronomy wasn’t really his favorite subject—and Wood hardly seemed like he cared much about school at all, let alone about the fate of some glinting diamond-white spheres, millions of kilometers away. “Astronomy’s alright, I s’pose.”

“Sinistra can be rough at times,” Wood commented. “Takes her stuff seriously. I mean—they all do, but it’s like Binns…most people don’t really care that much.”

“Yeah,” Harry said. “She’s drilling the basics into our heads now. Constellations and such—but September’s not really a pretty month for viewing the stars.”

“Yeah, the constellations aren’t all that inspirational or aesthetic. They get better in October though.” Wood chuckled.

“You like Astronomy or something?” Harry asked.

“It’s okay. Well—actually—no, not really. Not Sinistra’s astronomy. I like the idea of playing Quidditch in the night sky. But making it out to be a difficult subject—nah, not a fan of that. I had a hell of a lot of trouble trying to keep all the constellations straight. Confused me to no end.”

“Really? But all your plays are…well, like what you showed me…they’re more confusing than the stars.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Wood chuckled. “I had to make up my own names for the constellations to pass Astronomy first year.”

Harry laughed. “Clever!”

“No, seriously,” Wood said. “Like…okay…that group of stars right there, to the right…”

“Capricornus?”

“Sure. Anyway, that’s Meaghan McCormack—Keeper for the Pride of Portree.”

“Are you serious?” Harry asked, incredulous.

“Shut it, Potter—that group over there…er…Cygnus?...yeah, that’s Fabius Watkin…Chaser for the Montrose Magpies. And that’s Delphinus right there—I call that one Quigley, one of the Beaters for Ireland.”

“What about Equus? And Pavo?”

“…Roderick Plumpton, Seeker for the Tutshill Tornadoes…and…Pavo? Barry Ryan, Keeper for Ireland.”

“Aquila, then?”

“Heh.”

“No…seriously…who’s Aquila?”

Wood smiled and shook his head; Harry could’ve sworn that he saw a faint blush creep over his square features.

“Ah, well—Aquila—Aquila’s Charlie...Charlie Weasley.”

“Ron’s brother?” Harry blurted out.

“Yeah, and the twins’ and Percy’s…the whole lot of ‘em.”

“But he’s not a famous—”

“He should’ve been!” Wood interjected. “Could’ve played for any team he wanted—he was that good—we just weren’t able to keep up with him…but we’re going to do him good; we’re going to make it this year, and we’ll do it for him, since I…” Wood trailed off, looking up at the stars.

Couldn’t do it for him, Harry finished mentally. “I’m—I’ll do it for us, Wood. I mean it.”

“Yeah, why else would I let a little bloke like you on the team?” Wood said jokingly. “Heh.” He tapped his fingers on his broom’s handle absentmindedly.

“It really means a lot to you, doesn’t it?” Harry said quietly.

Wood didn’t reply immediately.

“I mean—it does for me too…this is the first thing that’s so new to me that I’m actually—not a total mess over, you know?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Wood said bracingly. “Katie Bell’s a Muggle-born, and Angelina Johnson’s half—and both of them play better than some of the lot who grew up with Quidditch everywhere around them.”

Harry nodded, not totally convinced. “But—what if—what if I’m just…you know…lucky?”

“Don’t have that kind of attitude!” Wood commanded, glowering. “That’s the kind of attitude that makes us LOSE! And I told you already—I’m not looking for a losing team this year—we don’t deserve one…”

“But what about your first match? Your first season?”

“I joined my third year. Second year I was about 28 kilograms less than I am now; my hand-eye coordination was alright, but I could barely stay on my broom. Finally third year—Charlie let me on the team—and I swear I worked elbows over arse for that team but still—we still lost.” He swallowed. “I hated it. But I loved the game.”

Is he remembering? Harry wondered. About that season? About…letting too many Quaffles into the goals?

“That’s what’s really important,” Harry said quietly.

“Maybe. But Charlie bloody deserved to win that cup,” Wood said darkly. There was a note of finality in his tone that told Harry he was finished on the subject; Harry waited a few minutes before speaking again.

“You know…we’ll do it.”

“Yeah, I’ve got a good feeling.”

“Well, I do too. And you know—I’m gonna—I’m not going to…I mean to say…I’ll do it for you and the rest of the team. Maybe you’re doing it for Charlie and the other people on your team, but I’ll do it for you. Because you deserve it too.”

Wood laughed heartily at that—Harry had a feeling he was trying to cover up some other feeling. He pulled out his wand again and hollered, “Accio SNITCH!” and then put both of his hands over his broomstick again. “Thanks, Potter.”

Harry looked down at the ground. I want to do good. He gazed down at the ground a little while longer until he heard that familiar whizzing noise—this time he was prepared to dodge from whatever was flying towards him—until he realized that it was the Snitch Wood had magicked. It flew over to the two and fluttered in front of Harry, winking in the moonlight and starlight.

“The Snitch,” Harry muttered to himself. He reached out his hand; like an eager hummingbird it flitted quickly and playfully around him and danced through his outstretched fingers.

“You catch that thing, alright, Potter?”

“Yes, Captian!”

There was a smile in Wood’s voice. “Yeah, who knows? Maybe someday my divvy of a son who can’t name constellations either will be thinking that Phoenix is the world-renowned Seeker Harry Potter.”

Harry grinned—and felt like a right idiot—and stood up. The Snitch circled around his body a few times and then fluttered above Wood’s head. He looked up at it expectantly and then looked back at Harry, smiling. “Sure!” he chuckled. “Not before he thinks that Orion is Oliver Wood—and maybe Dad didn’t even have to tell him that.”

Wood smiled a very wry and appreciative smile and held out his right hand, palm facing Harry. Grinning, Harry brought his opposite hand to Wood’s; they clasped briefly and then shook fiercely. It seemed to Harry some kind of ritual of sorts; almost like a welcoming onto the Quidditch team—or maybe a sign of Wood’s approval.

Harry dropped his hand and looked up at the constellations one last time. “Thanks…Oliver.”

“Thank you…Harry.”

 

 

 

 

 

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