Fiona Wild stretched and opened her eyes. Pipit, her tawny owl, gave a small hoot as Fiona turned over in her direction to look at the clock. It was an ordinary Muggle one, which said that the time was 8:30. Fiona yawned, and stretched again before swinging her legs over the edge of the bed, and standing up. She opened her green curtains and stared out of the window to the countryside surrounding her house.
She lived in a small village not far outside Glasgow. There were not many houses in it at all, and, when they met, Muggles and Wizards intermingled quite well. All the Muggles were concentrated at one end of the village, and this meant that magic could be used with discretion.
Fiona smiled as she thought back on the times she and her friend Oliver Wood had got into trouble for provoking other wizards into using their magic. Oliver had turned seventeen over the summer holidays, and Fiona was soon to have her birthday. Then they would have tremendous fun, for they would both be allowed to use magic at all times, not just while they were at school.
Fiona and Oliver were going to be entering their final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the only magical school in Britain, and today was their last day of freedom. Fiona smiled wryly. She didn't think of going to school as a chore, though. In fact, she knew she was going to miss it once she left.
Most Hogwarts students caught the Hogwarts Express from London, but as the school was situated in Scotland somewhere (its true whereabouts was unknown, due to the wards placed upon it), Fiona, Oliver, and the other Hogwarts students that lived closer to the school used Floo Powder to get to Hogsmeade, a village close to Hogwarts. It was the only magical village in Britain. They then walked up to the school from the village.
Since the train didn't arrive until the evening, none of the students were expected until then, and as using the Floo Network took minutes, Fiona didn't have to rush around, getting ready to leave. Instead, she stretched again, and tied the curtains back, the light flashing off her necklace as she turned away from the window. She absentmindedly fingered the three gold hoops that hung, fused, from the silver chain around her neck, as she surveyed her room. Fiona figured that she might as well start packing before getting dressed, that way if she got hot and sweaty, as she was bound to do since her cauldron was quite heavy, she wouldn't be taking two showers.
She quickly made her bed, and began to pack her books into her cauldron, along with her spare robes and Muggle clothes. She was eternally grateful that seventh year students were allowed to wear Muggle clothing, as long as they wore their school robes. Muggle clothing was much more comfortable than the Hogwarts uniform, in Fiona's opinion.
Soon, her trunk was packed, and her broomstick, a Nimbus Seventeen Hundred, was resting on top of it She nodded her head in satisfaction, and then grabbed her dressing gown before racing to get to the bathroom before her younger sister, Morna.
Feeling refreshed from her shower, Fiona walked happily down the corridor to her bedroom, drying her long hair as she went. Her hazel eyes grew greener as she thought back over the summer's adventures. When she was happy, her eyes always took on a green tinge. As she entered her room, she saw Pipit chattering away noisily to a barn owl. It was Gryffin, Oliver's owl, and when he saw her, he flew over to deliver Oliver's note.
"Thanks, Gryffin." Fiona stroked his soft, pale-brown feathers before he returned to Pipit's perch.
Hi, Fiona, once you get your lazy arse out of bed, want to bring your stuff over here, so we can Floo together?
Fiona rolled her eyes at the lazy arse comment. She knew that he'd probably only just got out of bed himself. After all, he had to make up the sleep he lost during term time due to his gruelling Quidditch schedule somehow.
She scribbled a note back, saying she'd be over within the hour, and to leave some food for her. Fiona attached it to the leg that Gryffin offered her, and watched the barn owl wing his way across the woods to Oliver's house.
She finished drying her brown-red waist length hair, and put it into a practical braid. Putting on her black jeans and a soft green top, she then began to heft her trunk down the stairs.
She met Morna at the bottom. "Where are you going so early?" her sister asked, her green eyes curious.
"Help me with this and I'll tell you," Fiona instructed, and the two girls heaved the trunk into the living room.
"Oliver, huh?" Morna said, with a sparkle in her eye. "The gorgeous Quidditch captain?" she smirked. "Whose necklace I noticed you haven't taken off since he gave it to you?"
Fiona just looked at her. "I don't know what you're going on about. I've been friends with him since we were five." She pointed to the fireplace. "Could you light that so I can Floo over to his place? I'm going to get my broomstick and Pipit's cage."
Morna stuck her tongue out at her sister and tossed her head, throwing her dark hair over a shoulder. Fiona just gave her sister a dirty look and walked out. By the time Fiona returned with Pipit flying in front of her, there was a roaring fire.
Fiona put the broomstick and cage down beside her trunk, and entered the kitchen, to see her mother reading the Daily Prophet. "Oh, morning, Fiona. Ready for your last year?" Then she frowned. "I'm not sure about letting Morna go, though."
Fiona looked worried, and Morna looked outraged. "Why not?" the younger sister demanded.
"Because of Sirius Black, that's why," her mother shot back.
Fiona put a comforting hand on her mother's shoulder. "Don't worry, Mum. Nobody's going to get into Hogwarts with Dumbledore as Headmaster. And besides, they're bound to catch Black soon, aren't they?"
Mrs Wild's face brightened slightly. "You're right, Fiona. Still, I want you to keep an eye on Morna. You will, won't you?"
Morna snorted. "She won't have time, she'll be too busy keeping both eyes on our Keeper."
Fiona rolled her eyes. "Morna…" she started.
Mrs Wild looked startled. "Keeper? You mean, Oliver? You could do worse, Fiona. He's a nice-looking boy, and he has prospects."
Fiona groaned. "Mum, stop it. Of course, I'll keep an eye on Morna, although I think it's more Harry Potter Black'll be after."
Morna frowned. "Why?" Suddenly, her face dropped. "Heavens, Ginny won't be happy about that." Morna was going into her second year, where she was a friend of Ginny Weasley, who, it was widely known, had had a crush on Harry since last year.
"I shouldn't imagine Harry would be, either," Mrs Wild retorted. "You're right again, though, Fiona. That poor boy always seems to attract trouble."
"It's not his fault, though, Mum," Morna defended. "He can't help what happened when he was one."
Fiona smiled behind her hand. She knew that Morna had probably heard that directly from Ginny. But she also knew that the little redhead, and indeed her own sister, were right. Fiona admired the boy for putting up with it all while managing to keep his head.
"Well, whoever he's after, keep an eye on your sister."
Fiona smiled, and gave her mother a small kiss. "I always do, Mum. Don't worry, she'll be fine. She's quite adept at hexes now, you know. I saw her sic one on a Slytherin classmate last year. It was quite impressive."
"Morna!" Mrs Wild turned to her youngest child, as Fiona grinned at her sister's chagrined face.
"Mum," she said, before her mother could start on a tirade, "I'm heading over to Oliver's. I'll get something to eat there. I'm taking my stuff with me now, since we're planning to Floo from his house."
"Okay, dear," her mother agreed readily. "I'll see you at Christmas," she said absently as she turned to Morna again.
Fiona grinned, and made her escape before her mother realised that she had left. Sending Pipit flying out the window, and placing the owl's cage and her broom precariously on top of her trunk, she grabbed a handle, took a pinch of Floo Powder, and yelled, "Wood House."
She emerged at Oliver's house, coughing and gasping. Despite having to use the Floo Network a lot, Fiona always hated it. It made her feel as though she couldn't breathe. She couldn't wait until she could Apparate.
Brushing herself down, she looked up into Oliver's amused grey eyes. "Hello, Fiona. Have a nice trip?"
Fiona just growled at him and let Pipit in through the living room window. "You got any food, Wood, 'cause I'm starving. I had to make my escape without breakfast."
Oliver stood up straighter. "Food, Wild? You must be joking. You would have eaten hours ago, if you'd got up at a reasonable hour."
Fiona just raised an eyebrow, and pushed past him to go to the kitchen. Oliver turned to follow her, looking slightly abashed when Fiona looked around the kitchen, noticing the bread out, ready for toasting. "I see. So, were you preparing an early lunch, then, Oliver?" she grinned.
Oliver smiled then and held his hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay. This was the last day I could lie in, all right?"
Fiona grinned, and grabbed a piece of bread, buttering it quickly. "Where's your Mum?"
Oliver joined her at the table, reaching for the jam. "She's outside, gardening. Did you get to see your Dad before he left?"
Fiona shook her head, and swallowed. "I got up early enough," she glanced pointedly at him, but Oliver ignored her, "but then I packed, so I didn't get a chance. You?"
"No, me neither. I think with this Black business, they're a bit overworked at the Ministry," Oliver replied.
Fiona nodded. Both Mr Wood and Mr Wild worked at the Ministry for Magic. Her father worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and Mr Wood worked in the Department of Accidental Magic Reversal. The escape of Sirius Black had meant that all departments of the Ministry were required to put in more hours, and they hadn't seen their fathers much over the recent months.
"Well, we'll be safe enough once we get to Hogwarts," Fiona said, draining her glass of milk.
"Hogwarts." Oliver's eyes misted over. "You know, it's our last year to win the Quidditch Cup."
Fiona smiled softly. You couldn't be around Oliver for very long without the conversation turning to Quidditch. She didn't mind, though, she liked the game almost as much as her friend did.
"They stand a good chance next year as well, as long as they can find a good enough Keeper," Fiona pointed out.
Oliver's face fell, until she added, "Of course, we're bound to win this year. We should've won it the last two years, ever since Harry's been on the team, but it's just been bad luck."
Oliver perked up at Harry's name. "He's such a wonderful Seeker. I've never seen his equal." Then he placed his chin on his right hand, and he frowned. "Still, with Black loose, there's no doubt he'll try and get to Harry. That's the trouble with being so famous. Hopefully, it won't distract him, but maybe you'd better put the Reserves through more Seeker training."
Fiona groaned. She was the Reserve Keeper for Gryffindor, and captain of the Reserve team. They had a whole Reserve team, apart from a Seeker, so she'd hit upon the idea of training up the members of the Reserve who had a bit of talent when it came to Seeking, in case anything should happen to Harry.
Two years ago, Harry had caught Professor Quirrell attempting to steal the Philosopher's Stone, and ended up unconscious while the Quidditch Final took place. They had been going to play Mary Price, who normally played as a Chaser, as Seeker. Unfortunately, Mary had come down with a bad case of the flu, and couldn't play. So Gryffindor had had to play one player short, and were steamrollered. Both Oliver and Fiona were hoping that, should they have to substitute another Seeker again, the results would be better than last time.
Still, when it came to Quidditch, Oliver was a hard taskmaster, and that meant, as Reserve Captain, Fiona had to be as well. She didn't know how he kept it up. Every year, she ended up exhausted. And, since Oliver was a brilliant Keeper, and had never been injured enough to be taken off the pitch whilst she'd been the Reserve Keeper, Fiona had never actually played in a match. Still, she preferred it that way, if it meant Oliver was safe and well. She remembered the fear that stopped up her throat when, the first time he had played Quidditch for Gryffindor, he'd ended up in the hospital wing for a week.
The previous year, Quidditch had been cancelled due to the suspicious attacks and other goings-on that been occurring at school. Oliver had been furious, and Fiona hadn't been much happier. Again, Harry Potter had discovered that it had been You-Know-Who's doing, and everything had turned out right in the end, but, as Oliver pointed out, it meant that this year was the last year that Gryffindor, with him as Captain, could win the Quidditch Cup. Fiona hoped with all her heart that Black wouldn't somehow interfere with that.
She looked up into Oliver's serious grey eyes. "I'll do my best, but there isn't anyone on that team who's any better than Mary. Guess I'll just have to take a leaf out of your book and push her." She smiled at him, but he didn't rise to the teasing, and instead remained serious.
"Fiona," he said, "you're not that bad as a Seeker, you know."
Fiona looked horrified. "What? I've always been a Keeper, you know that. And, if I ever had to play another position, it was Beater. Admittedly, I'm a better Seeker than a Chaser, but that's not saying much."
Oliver grinned. "You're right, you really are bloody awful as a Chaser, but it's not a Chaser we need. You're slight enough to be a Seeker, and all those tricks you used to pull on a broomstick when we were younger certainly show your agility. And, I've seen you putting Mary through her paces. You're better than her, at any rate."
A light suddenly shone in Fiona's eyes. "You reckon? Hmm, maybe. I'll think about it, although, we might get a brilliant Seeker for the Reserves from the trials."
Oliver shrugged. "You're in charge of them this year, aren't you? We don't need anyone else for the team, so I guess it's up to you."
Fiona nodded. "We'll see. I don't hold out too much hope, though. Everyone knows they'll only end up on the Reserve team, anyway, but I guess we should think about what happens next year, once we're gone." She laughed. "They're going to be lost without their captains!"
"Well, the Weasleys would make good joint captains, despite taking nothing seriously," Oliver reflected. "Still, I think it might be Alicia. She's got a good head on her shoulders."
"Yeah, she'd make a good Captain, if only for a couple of years," Fiona agreed. Alicia was one of their friends, and it was Fiona's training that had advanced her level of playing to a top-notch Chaser, enabling Oliver to choose her for the third Chaser's position a couple of years ago. "But, in a few years time, Harry'll be the only one left of the current team. Guess that makes him Captain by default."
"He'll make a good Captain," Oliver said. "He's got guts, and talent, and determination."
"He might go a little easier on his team than you, though," Fiona chuckled, and then stopped at Oliver's glare. "Oh, probably not, though, after all, he's been taught by the best."
Oliver had the grace to blush slightly, and then looked out the window. The clouds were rolling in, covering what had been a clear blue sky with dark grey clouds. "Looks like the weather's taking a turn for the worse just as school starts," he commented.
Fiona turned, and groaned. "Great. I don't fancy lugging my trunk, broom, and Pipit up to Hogwarts from Hogsmeade in that." She glared at the clouds. "Why do we always have to arrive so early that we miss the carriages?"
"More time to case the place out for tricks, remember?" Oliver said, grinning. "Why don't we just let Pipit and Gryffin fly to Hogwarts?" he suggested. "It's not like we'd use the cages when we're there anyway, and we're close enough for them to fly it, no problem."
Fiona brightened. "That's a good idea. Phew, I was dreading dragging her through the rain. It's been great having her, though. I can't imagine how we managed without owls before." Both she and Oliver had got their owls for their last year at Hogwarts, their parents hoping that their children would keep in touch with them more often.
Oliver grinned. "We just got more exercise, and surprised each other more, that's all." All summer, the two of them had been owling each other their plans. Before, as Oliver said, they ran over to each other's houses, without knowing whether the other was there or not.
"As for getting rained on, we don't have to worry about that," Oliver smirked.
"Why? I don't have enough arms to carry an umbrella as well, Ollie," Fiona said, a twinkle in her eyes. She knew he hated being called Ollie.
"You forget, dear Fifi, that I'm already of age, and can easily cast a spell over us both," he answered, returning the favour of a hated name.
Fiona grinned. "You're right, I had forgotten. I can't wait until I'm seventeen as well, although, of course, I'll be at Hogwarts, so it won't make any difference, but I think I'll feel better, somehow."
"I know what you mean," Oliver agreed. He glanced out of the window again. "You want to have a quick fly around before it starts to pour?"
Fiona rolled her eyes. "You starting on me already, Captain?" She laughed. "All right, it'll be a laugh. And this time, I'll get one past you."
The two friends joked with each other as they went outside into the Woods' back garden, meeting his mother on her way in. "Hello, Fiona," she greeted her. "Don't you two stay out too long. We wouldn't want you getting a cold before you've even got to Hogwarts."
Fiona snorted as Mrs Wood went in. "Obviously, she doesn't know what you put your team through."
Oliver smiled beatifically. "But Gryffindor are the hardiest team there is, thanks to me."
"Aha, finally, you admit it! You do put your team through hell," Fiona laughed as she mounted her broom.
"Now, I never mentioned hell." Oliver grinned, and he soared up into the air, looping around the Quidditch hoops at the furthest end of the garden. Fiona swooped down and grabbed the Quaffle with one hand. She did her best to score, but Oliver blocked each and every attempt.
"This is ridiculous," Fiona gasped, after half an hour of playing. "I think I'm getting worse!" She hadn't scored once, and was tired of throwing the Quaffle, only to have to go chasing after it once Oliver had hit it away. She always tried to catch it before it hit the ground. Many a time before, they'd spent a few good hours searching for the Quaffle when it'd landed and got lost amongst the thick grass that surrounded the pitch.
She retuned to the hoops, where Oliver was grinning. "What are you smiling at?"
"Your catching ability's getting better. You'd make a half decent Seeker, I tell you," Oliver answered.
"Here." She threw the Quaffle at him. "Your turn. I still have to be the second best Keeper Gryffindor has. Give me your best shot."
Oliver complied, and Fiona fielded it easily. Oliver managed to get a few goals, but, as he was a better Chaser, there wasn't actually much to set them apart in their Keeping ability.
"You're getting better, Fiona," Oliver complimented. "It's a shame you've never had a chance to play in a match," he said, completely forgetting that that would've required him having a serious injury.
Fiona shrugged. "I wish I could've done, but there's no point in dwelling on it. The only way I could've done that was by being in another House, and I think I'd rather stay in Gryffindor, thanks."
As they'd been playing, the sky had darkened, unnoticed by them, and Oliver had just tossed the Quaffle to Fiona when they felt the first drops of rain. Oliver looked up. "Looks like we should head inside."
Fiona pretended to look amazed. "Excuse me, but did Captain Wood just suggest cutting short practice because of a little rain?" She held her hand to her heart, and flew without hands. "Why, good sir, you've revealed yourself. What have you done with the dastardly, but dashing, Oliver, that I know and love?"
Oliver flew over to her and snatched the Quaffle out of her hand, throwing her off balance. She ended up flying upside down. "Thanks, Oliver," she said sarcastically.
"You're welcome. And, just to prove it's me, the only reason I'm suggesting going inside is because we're not dressed to be out in the rain, and Gryffindor can't afford both of us to be ill as soon as we get there." Oliver smiled, and flew off to return the Quaffle to its box.
Fiona growled, "Bloody boy. Why I hang around with him, I'll never know." But, as she followed him to the ground, she knew in her heart the answer to that. He was her best friend. He was the only Wizarding child her age that lived in the village, so it was natural that they'd become friends. He'd developed in her a passion for Quidditch, and they'd spent each summer having a great time, playing tricks on the adults, and playing Quidditch from as soon as they'd got their first brooms. For the past few years, though, Fiona was beginning to realise that she didn't just like him as a friend. Although she ignored the ribbing that Morna always gave her concerning Oliver, Fiona had to reluctantly admit that her little sister was right. Oliver was gorgeous, and she did have a thing for him. A major thing.
But, Fiona reflected, I'm not about to tell him, and ruin our whole friendship. It's not like we have a lot of time left together, anyway. Just this year. Her heart sank as she thought about the end of an era at Hogwarts. She hadn't a clue what she was going to do once she'd left. She'd been in the top half of the year in classes, but the best thing she could do was play Quidditch, and, as Oliver had pointed out, she'd never played a match. Maybe she could be a coach. No, I'd have to have played first, Fiona told herself sadly. She'd always been Oliver's second, and, once he left and went on his way, which she was sure was going to involve playing professional Quidditch, she'd be on her own.
It was with these sad thoughts running through her head that she landed, and helped Oliver carry the Quidditch Ball box back into the garden shed. She couldn't stay in a bad mood for long around Oliver, though. He soon had her laughing and smiling again.
When they went inside, they found that Mrs Wood had prepared a nice lunch for them, and the three chatted happily in the kitchen. Until, that is, Mrs Wood brought up the future. Oliver grew quiet, and kept a close eye on Fiona. He knew he wanted to play Quidditch professionally, but he wasn't sure what Fiona wanted to do. She never talked about it. He knew her marks were good enough to be able to get a lot of jobs, but, he reflected, he couldn't imagine life without her. Whenever he'd been involved in anything to do with Quidditch, she was there, encouraging and helping him, challenging him. He knew he wouldn't be as good as he was without Fiona's help, although it worked both ways. They had had many an argument when she thought he had pushed her too hard. In the end, though, her accomplishments as a Keeper were because of his coaching.
Oliver noticed her frowning, and awaited her reply to his mother's question with bated breath. "I, uh, I don't know, exactly, Mrs Wood," she answered hesitantly. "All I've ever really been interested in was Quidditch, but I'm not good enough to join a team."
"Rubbish," Mrs Wood brushed aside Fiona's last comment. "I've seen you playing, and you're near as good as Oliver here. You could get on a team if you really tried." Oliver's mother had played professional Quidditch herself before she was married, so her opinion counted for a lot, and Oliver's first flight on a broom had been under her encouragement. His passion for the game had been originally fired by his mother, and he knew she respected Fiona's flying abilities.
Oliver watched as Fiona's face visibly brightened. "You really think so, Mrs Wood? I'd love that. Only, I don't want to leave…" she trailed off, glancing sideways at Oliver as she did so.
Mrs Wood noticed her look, and covered her hand with her own. "I'm sure it'll all work out all right in the end, Fiona. Maybe you'll end up on the same team, you never know."
Fiona blushed, and smiled at his mother, whilst Oliver looked bewildered between the two of them. He was sure something had passed between them that he'd missed. He shrugged inwardly, and then looked at the clock. It was pointing towards 'Get a move on, or you'll be late!'
"Right, we'd better get going." He jumped up, and pointed at the clock. "Come on, Fiona. We'd better find our owls, and tell them we're off."
Mrs Wood followed them into the living room. "I'll tell them you've gone, don't worry. Come here, Oliver." Her son made his way, somewhat reluctantly, over to his mother, who gave him a fierce hug. She then turned to Fiona, and gave her a hug as well. "Now, I don't want to hear that you two've got into trouble again." Oliver and Fiona glanced at each other, and smiled. "Still, I reckon you'll be too busy with Quidditch to worry about anything else. Don't forget you've got NEWTs to take this year as well."
Both teenagers groaned in unison, and Oliver said, "Mum, please don't mention them. We've got till June to worry about that."
Mrs Wood gave her son another quick hug, and said, as he grabbed a pinch of Floo Powder, "I want an owl winging its way here next summer, telling me you've won the Quidditch Cup this year, mind!"
Oliver grinned and said, "Count on it!" Then he jumped into the fire, yelling "Three Broomsticks" as he did so.
Fiona was about to follow him, when she felt his mother's hand on her shoulder. "Don't worry, dear. Oliver thinks more of you than even he realises at the moment. I have a feeling this year's going to bring him a few surprises." She winked and smiled warmly.
Fiona smiled back, and followed Oliver into the fire. He caught her as she came stumbling out, coughing. His hands held her arms firmly until she stopped coughing, and then he gave her a swift hug. Fiona rested her head for a moment on his hard chest, relishing the feeling of him breathing, and hearing his heart beating.
"You okay?" he then asked, pushing her away from him, and looking down into her eyes.
She nodded and silently wished that he wouldn't look straight at her when he was so worried about her. It made her melt. "I'll be fine. It's just, two trips in one day. Not good for the nerves."
"Here, dearie." Madam Rosmerta came striding up to them, holding a small glass of Butterbeer. "You get worse every year, Fiona Wild. I'll bet you'll be glad when you can Apparate."
Fiona laughed, and accepted the Butterbeer gratefully. "Thanks, Madam Rosmerta. Yes, I'm waiting with bated breath. Although, I'm bound to have to take the test dozens of times before I pass, but anything's better than the Floo Network."
Oliver still held one of Fiona's arms, relishing the feel of her muscles underneath his palm. "You'll pass first time, and you know it. You can do pretty much anything, if you put your mind to it." He smiled at her, and then let go of her arm. He tried to ignore the tingling feeling he'd experienced when she'd rested her head on his chest, and opened his trunk to fish out his school robes. "We'd better put these on."
Fiona nodded, and handed the unfinished Butterbeer to Oliver whilst she dug out her own. He finished the drink without question, and helped Fiona into her robes.
Madam Rosmerta observed silently, reflecting that the two people in front of her acted as though they'd been married for years. She'd thought that they'd end up with each other the first time that they'd burst into her bar, but it seemed they were taking their own sweet time about it. Perhaps, Madam Rosmerta thought, the thought of not seeing each other again after the end of school might kick-start things.
"We'll head up now, but Morna should be here soon. I think she'll probably wait for Sean, but could you please make sure she stays until everyone else arrives?" Fiona asked, naming another second year who was friends with Morna.
Madam Rosmerta nodded. "Of course, dearie, don't trouble yourself. Now, be off with you. Don't want you cluttering up the fireplace, now do we?" she smiled.
She watched as the two of them dragged their trunks towards the front door, holding their brooms in their other hand. "Thank you, and see you at the first weekend," they chorused, as they always had. She smiled in return, and watched as Oliver put a spell to deflect the rain from them on them.
Fiona looked up towards the castle, surrounded by black clouds, lightening cracking around it. "Looks impressive, doesn't it?"
Oliver agreed, and added, "Looks like we're early. The Hogwarts Express isn't here yet."
"Good, I'd rather get settled before everyone else arrives," Fiona said.
They trudged up the hill to the castle in silence. When they arrived, Professor McGonagall met them on the steps. "Welcome back, you two," she smiled. Despite her stern nature, McGonagall was quite fond of the pair, although she would never let this on to them. They would take terrible advantage of it. "I trust you're going to ensure that we win this year," she added quietly.
Fiona and Oliver grinned and nodded. Professor McGonagall was Head of Gryffindor, and, whilst being a strict Housemistress, was also an avid Quidditch enthusiast, and wanted to win just as much as everyone else.
"Come inand leave your trunks in the corridor. Then you can head up to your dorms to settle in. Lucky Wood's of age now, otherwise you'd be soaking and freezing," she commented. "I can't think of what state the first years are going to be in after coming across the lake."
Fiona shuddered. She didn't want to think about it. It was bad enough out there with Oliver's spells surrounding them, but that lake had a vicious streak, she was sure. She was very thankful that the year they crossed the lake, it had been a gorgeous evening.
Fiona took out her wand, nine inches, yew, with a unicorn hair core, and levitated her trunk. Mounting her broom, she zoomed up to the Fat Lady's painting, Oliver and their trunks following, along with Professor McGonagall's voice yelling, "Wild, Wood, you've not been here two minutes, and already…. I don't know what to do with you!"
Fiona grinned as she dismounted, and then stood in front of the Fat Lady. "Um, Oliver, she didn't happen to tell you the password, did she?" she asked.
Oliver returned the grin. "Yes, luckily she did. It's Fortuna Major."
The Fat Lady swung open, and the pair walked into the Gryffindor common room. "The look on her face when you took off was priceless," Oliver laughed.
Fiona smiled. "I'm glad you saw it. I've been dying to do that for years, but never had the guts." She began to head up the stairs. "Meet down here in a minute, okay?"
They floated their trunks up the spiral staircases. Fiona smiled at her bed, the one with the window overlooking the Quidditch pitch, and shoved her trunk against the end of it. Taking a happy look around her dorm, she strode out, and met Oliver in the common room. Together, they made their way down the many stairs to see the rest of the school entering, wet and bedraggled.
Someone was talking about Dementors, and Fiona caught the tail end of a conversation that mentioned some being stationed at the entrance gates. "They must have got there just after we passed through. I certainly didn't feel anything," she commented to Oliver. She glanced round the Gryffindor table as they all sat down, looking for her sister. When she saw her, she was sitting with Ginny, who looked a little shaken, but Morna was fine. Fiona waved at her, and then sat with Oliver and their friends.
After the Sorting, which she and Oliver watched carefully to see whether there were any potential Quidditch players amongst the new Gryffindors, Fiona noticed Harry Potter and his friend, Hermione, enter the Great Hall with Professor McGonagall. Fiona frowned, but didn't think that much about it. Harry was always doing unusual things. She turned to the conversation Oliver had started with Joe O'Keefe, a Reserve Chaser, about, strangely enough, Quidditch.
Come along to Oliver and Fiona's , for discussion and new updates of Wood & Wild. The more the merrier.
A/N: Moey (from ) very kindly pointed out that in Order of the Phoenix, there's no evidence of there being a Reserve team when the Weasleys and Harry get banned from playing. My main excuse for writing about a Reserve team is that most of what I've written (I've got up to chapter 11 so far) was written before OotP was published, so I wasn't using that for canon. Fortunately, not much changed, except the Reserve problem. Also fortunately, solving it wasn't much of a problem, since the one of the Beaters is currently in 6th year, and so won't be in school for Harry's 5th year. The other Beater is currently in 4th year, but you can easily assume that he's given up being a Beater, or left or there's some other reason that he can't play.
As for a Seeker, well, I don't want to spoil subsequent chapters for you, but I have other plans for the Reserve Seeker that will come into fruition for the OotP timeline. [Yes, Wood & Wild has a sequel that will take place after Oliver and Fiona have left school, but Fiona will be getting updates from Morna about school, and obviously events that happen in GoF and OotP will be heard about throughout the Wizarding World.]
And, another thing, the whole walking to Hogwarts thing. Bascially, in case it didn't make sense, Oliver and Fiona arrive too early to catch the carriages because they want to get up to mischief before anyone else is there.
I know this is a hideously long A/N, but I hadn't realised that there was a big "plot hole" since I wrote this chapter over a year and a half ago.
So thank you very much to Moey for pointing out the plot holes, and also to Jen from , who also pointed out some very obvious things that I'd missed.