Oliver Wood kicked the ball-box shut with an air of satisfaction.
His earlier encounter with Professor McGonagall had set him in good
spirits; Charlie Weasley’s vacated position on the team was finally
filled, very ably by the sound of it. Practice with the remaining team
members from last year had gone extremely well, despite being minus
a Chaser and a Seeker. He pulled a crumpled piece of parchment from
his pocket and squinted in the dusky twilight.
“Beaters – Weasley and Weasley – in place,” he muttered grinning.
“Keeper – Wood. Present and correct.”
“Seeker – Potter. Yes.” He paused.
“Chasers…Johnson – check, Bell- Check. Spinnet…”. Oliver pursed his
lips. Alicia. Reserve last year. Massive improvements since then. Flew
marvellously, concentrated on the game, great team player. All he had
to do was ask.
The trouble was the funny sensation that occurred in his insides when
he was near her often seemed to spread to his vocal cords. He resigned
himself to the inevitable.
He turned to the stands where he knew she’d be sitting and hastily
folded up the parchment. He proceeded to run a hand through his hair.
Dragging the ball-box behind him, he headed in the direction of the
distant blonde head.
Alicia watched as Oliver picked up the box and made his way towards
her. She felt the beginnings of the familiar tug at her insides, the
gentle thud of her stomach as he drew nearer and tried in vain to push
them aside. She tensed as he moved into the stands next to her.
“Er…Spinnet,” he nodded formally. Alicia fought back a giggle.
“Wood,” she replied equally formal. Oliver sat stiffly, staring at
a spot some feet left of her. After a while, Alicia fidgeted nervously.
“Um…Wood – Oliver?” He snapped to attention.
“Yes? Yes!” he said loudly suddenly alert.
“Well…” she ventured.
“Right. Well indeed. Well, Quidditch. Yes, Quidditch team. I’d like
you to play this year. Chaser.” He smiled nervously. Alicia gawped.
The bottom had dropped clean out of her stomach. Play. Chaser. She couldn’t
find the words. Oliver stared at her. Alicia was too shocked to register
“You mean it?” she asked softly. He nodded encouragingly. She pressed
her lips together to suppress a shriek.
“So…you’ll do it?” he asked hopefully. Alicia threw her arms round
his neck and shrieked into his shoulder.
“YES!” Oliver’s eyes rounded in shock. Alicia drew back and grinned
wildly at him.
“Thank you! Thank you SO MUCH!” she gasped happily. She kissed his
cheek and Oliver flushed. Her grin faded as she detected something imperceptible
in his gaze. He held her gaze for a long moment. Alicia realised her
arms were still round his neck. Hastily she made to move them away but
before they could settle at her sides Oliver had grabbed her forearms.
“Spinnet…” he said hoarsely. Alicia nodded. Oliver took a shaky breath
and quickly leaned into her, his lips meeting hers in a soft kiss that
lasted seconds. He pulled back just as hastily. He let go of her arms
and coloured a vivid crimson. Alicia closed her eyes briefly, breathing
deeply, her lips burning. When she looked up, Oliver was standing again.
He looked up to the sky.
“Practice tomorrow, seven p.m.,” he said stiffly, back in official
mode. He set off at a quick pace, box in tow. He paused to turn back.
“Yes Oliver?” she said exasperated.
“Well done.” He caught her eye. They grinned foolishly at each other
for a while. Then Alicia stood up and together they set off back for
the castle above them.