Prequel to Rebellion? Or Not?
Notes: Takes place during the trio's fourth year. That means the twins and the ladies are in their
sixth and Oliver in his seventh. Moment of Suspension of Belief: I figured out after I had written
it that Oliver should have graduated with Percy, so consider him staying for some extra training,
or he got held back along with Flint or didn't pass his owls. Sorry about that in advance but it
doesn't work any other way.
Summary: An exhibition game for the other school's benefit. Only, no one planned on the
problems that were going to occur.
Game, Set, Match.
Dumbledore looked at the two school's leaders, giving them a smile. "I suppose we could put on
an exhibition series for the students attending the tournament," he agreed. "We do have some
marvelous players on our teams. As do both of your schools."
Madam Maxime from Beaubaxton's snorted. "None of our girls here play."
The headmaster from Drumstrang nodded. "Only Viktor plays in my group," he agreed in his
deeply accented grumbling voice. "We cannot make a team out of what we have, but that does
not mean our students do not want the entertainment value of watching." He gave him a catty
look. "Besides, it could help the animosity in the halls, could it not?"
"Would Viktor like to play?" Dumbledore asked, ignoring the jibe.
The other headmaster shook his head. "He is concentrating, I want his mind on that. This is only
for entertainment." He shifted, crossing his feet. "We hear you have rivalries like our schools do
Dumbledore frowned. "That is true," he admitted. "Our houses have many rivalries, the most
heated between Slytherin and Gryffindor's houses, as you may have noticed in the halls." He
looked outside at the pitch, seeing the broken stands that one of Hagrid's creatures had run
through the week before. "We'll have to arrange for a pitch, our own won't be fixed for at least a
"That would be fine," Madam Maxime agreed delicately. "We can provide viewing spells if
necessary, that way we do not have to move so many students around." She waved a hand in the
air. "It is, how you say, inexcusable that such a travesty happened, but happen it does. Even in
the best of schools."
Dumbledore nodded. "I'll tell those two teams to practice and find them a pitch," he agreed. The
other leaders smiled and left, going back to announce it to their own students.
Oliver Wood looked up as the house elf popped in next to his elbow, giving it a smile as he took
the letter it was carrying. "Thank you," he said quietly, not wanting to interrupt anyone studying.
He released the blot of wax as he looked at the seal. The Headmaster had sent it. He carefully
opened it, expecting it to have been from the twins, who were bored out of their skulls without a
season to occupy them. His eyes slowly got wider and wider until he looked nearly comical as he
stood up and whooped. Everyone in the common room stared at him. "We're doing an
exhibition game!" he shouted. He was pounced by five large bodies, all of them extremely
happy. He looked around, the smaller body wasn't in the pile. "Harry!" he yelled.
"He's in his room," one of the twins said, hurrying up to get him. He slammed open the door,
making Harry jump and look around in fear. "We just got news. We're putting on an exhibition
game for the other schools," he said, pouncing Harry to hug him and carry him down the stairs.
Harry took the letter, smiling happily. This news just made his month. He looked at Oliver.
"When does practice start?"
Oliver clapped him on the back. "Spoken like a true seeker." He looked at the group, then out
the window. It was dark. He looked at his team, who were all shaking their heads. "Tomorrow
night. Harry, I know you have practice for the tournament, but please blow it off for us?"
"Of course. I consider this a lot better than being nagged," he said, glancing around. The twins
patted him on the back and gave him encouraging looks. "Tomorrow when?"
"Tomorrow after dinner," Oliver said patiently. "You've got a late class."
"Can't you get me out of it?" Harry asked.
Oliver smiled. "I'll try. It is McGonagall and she'll want us to win." He ruffled Harry's hair and
took back the letter to reread. "Everyone check their gear, get an early night, and Harry, no
books. Focus on the game during *our* practices." Harry nodded, hurrying to find Hermione
and Ron to share the good news. He looked at the rest of his team. "I will not have any of you
not sticking up for Potter," he said firmly. "It's clear that he didn't want to do this. We'll get
through this game then see what happens." They nodded, keeping their own opinions to
themselves. Oliver's word was law about the team. Oliver sat down, reading the missive for a
In the Slytherin common room, Marcus Flint was glaring at their house seeker, who had managed
to stay asleep even though he had been bellowed for five different times or so. He nodded at
Crabbe and Goyle to tip the couch, knocking him onto the floor. Malfoy came up with a snarl
and his wand raised. Flint sneered at him. "Try it, runt." He held out the missive, smirking at
him. "Think you can quit taking baby naps and practice?"
"Why? I can play, unlike some," Draco said, glaring at Flint. "I'll have you know I was not
napping, I was meditating on a new hex. Want to help me test it, Flint?" He glared at his guards,
who flinched and ran away before the pissed creature could get them. "When is practice?"
"This weekend. Wood's probably already booked what's left of the pitch." He looked over
Malfoy. "I want you to practice your ass off, boy. I won't have us lose in front of Drumstrang."
He stomped off, going to threaten the rest of his team into good behavior.
Draco flicked his wand at his captain's back, making him scream in pain as the hex hit him and
turned all his bones to jelly. "I told you I was meditating," he smirked when his captain canceled
it and turned to deal with him. "Do not interrupt me again." He laid back down and closed his
eyes, his wand in his hand just in case he needed it.
Flint snarled, "If we had another seeker, I'd kick you off the team so fast you'd feel the wind." He
stomped up to his room to pull out his notes on how Wood played. They would need to be
looked over. There wasn't any way the pitch was going to be fixed in time for them to play there
in three weeks.
Oliver looked at his team, smiling as they flew together, as a team, instead of individual players
flying in the same space. They hadn't lost it over the summer and the enforced time off, which
made him proud. Though one thing was bothering him; Harry was scowling at the air. The boy
was going to get his head knocked off by one of the twins soon if he wasn't careful. He winced
as Fred had to dodge quickly to get the bludger when Harry didn't shift to get out of its way.
"Potter!" he snapped, making Harry look back at him. He could see the worry in his eyes.
"Oliver, I'm thinking," he admitted. "I'm keeping an eye out for the snitch." He went back to his
usual pattern, clearly not fully on the game at hand.
Oliver watched him, deciding to talk to Granger and the younger Weasley. One of them would
know how to help him best, they were his best friends. They had gotten him through the first
task and the second wasn't even coming soon. He had time to study for that. Potter caught the
snitch and handed it over, making Oliver agree that it had been a decent catch, even though his
heart wasn't into it. Maybe he would have a talk with the boy himself. Half the school was down
on him because of that stupid article. It had to be something about that. He released the snitch
again and Potter tracked it he noticed, a good sign. When he finally called the practice, he put a
hand on Harry's shoulder, letting him know he was to stay behind. The boy looked up at him
once they were alone. "You can talk to me."
"No, I can't," Harry sighed. "It's dumb and the story was lies." He walked off, taking his broom
inside to polish it by the fire.
Oliver frowned at him. This was not a good sign. They couldn't beat Slytherin without everyone
being in their top form. They were just as anxious for a fight and their parents would be pushing
them to not look dumb in front of Drumstrang. Well, he'd have to do something about this. He
simply would. He walked inside, going to shower and change before hunting down the boy's
friends. Ron would know something. He found them in the library and gave the girl a smile as
he tugged on Ron's arm. "C'mere, we need to talk," he announced. Ron nodded, following him
out. "What's wrong with Harry?"
Ron grimaced. "Guess. There's only six things that could be wrong with him at any time. Today
I believe it was his scar hurt a bit, and that stupid story." He shrugged at Oliver's concerned look.
"He won't listen to us and it'll only get worse if he doesn't ignore it."
"I'll talk with him then, it might help," Oliver assured him.
Ron shook his head. "It won't help. I've tried, Hermione's tried. McGonagall tried. You might
be able to take his mind off things, but I doubt it's going to be done while those articles are
spread around and everyone's going off about him again." He grimaced. "I'm surprised he made
it to practice."
"Oh, he ran out eager enough but his head wasn't in the game tonight. You try to talk to him and
I'll have him pulled out of Potions tomorrow. That should make him happier for a bit." He
walked off, going to talk to McGonagall. Maybe she could help stop those bloody articles that
were so annoying their seeker.
Harry looked up as the Potion's classroom door opened, giving Oliver a faint smile before going
back to his work.
"Professor Snape, if I may?" he asked pleasantly enough. Snape walked out, closing the door
behind him. "I have our official practice schedule," he said, handing over a form. "I also need to
pull Potter out for a talk."
"You can't do this on your own time?" Snape sneered at the boy.
Oliver swallowed because even he was scared of the dour professor. "I would, but since his
present problem is in your class and neither of us really want to see *both* seekers in the
infirmary this week, I'd rather take the urge for them to brawl away."
Snape snorted. "You may have him after class, Mr. Wood."
"Professor McGonagall gave me permission, sir." He handed over that form as well. "For
counseling." Snape glared at the form, crumpling it in his hands. "It's either me or Pomfrey."
"Fine." He flung open the door, making the students jump. "Potter, you're dismissed. Leave.
Now." Harry hurried to put everything up and leave. He glared at Malfoy. "You will not
*brawl* with Potter, Mr. Malfoy. While the other schools are here, we will maintain the facade
that you are a decent student who knows what the word control means." He sniffed. "Weasley,
make sure Potter knows he is to have this potion finished. I'm sure he can find time tonight to
finish it." He went back to his desk, looking over the practice form. Wood had applied for every
night that week, leaving the weekends that Flint usually liked alone. He was sure the lack of
practice would do Mr. Potter well.
Harry looked at Oliver. "You're going to get me picked on worse, Oliver."
Wood pushed him into a room and closed the door. "It's either me or Pomfrey, Harry. Choose."
He sat himself down and pointed at the chair. "McGonagall decided you needed someone older
and wiser to talk to, a confidant and counselor as it were." Harry groaned and held his head,
sitting down so he could curl up in a miserable ball. "This isn't about practice or the game. You
need it and I agree with her."
Harry looked at him. "Oliver, you don't know a thing about what I'm going through."
Oliver raised an eye. "Really? It's not like I've watched you for the last few years or anything,
right? Or that I don't have eyes and ears?" Harry shook his head. "You think I don't?"
"I think you're trying to bite off a small corner of a large problem and you're going to choke,"
Harry said firmly, standing up again. "I'm fine."
"Is that why even Snape agreed that you could use the counseling?"
"What!" Harry stared at him in shock. "You told him why you called me out?"
"I had to," Oliver said calmly. "Sit!" Harry sat, looking even more miserable. "He's not allowed
to tell. The form empties itself after being presented and read. No one else has to know."
"I'm not psychotic or whatever that beast said I am," Harry complained.
"Of course not, but that doesn't mean you're not upset by it and don't need someone to talk to
about the slights that have been coming recently." He smirked when the boy glared at him. "It
was obvious. Even the twins noted it last week and asked me to talk to you about it." He leaned
forward. "Harry, I'm not just your captain, I'm your friend if you'll let me be. Just tell me. You
know I don't talk to the press."
Harry sighed and shook his head. "Thanks, Oliver, but I don't need it."
"You can't get out unless I open the door, Harry, and I can call for dinner and breakfast in here."
Harry groaned. "The rest of them can practice without us, they'll have to pick a new captain next
year anyway. This way they'll get to see who has the best chance of continuing our streak."
Harry slumped down, looking the most miserable yet. "Fine. I'll tell you what I'm going through
so we can leave."
"Thank you." He gave the boy an encouraging smile. "Remember, I'm the nice guy who taught
you how to play seeker, Harry. I can help ease this pain too if you tell me."
"Sure you can, because you can make the Slytherins shut up and leave me alone?"
"Wouldn't beating them help that?"
"No, it tends to piss them off and make them do worse," Harry reminded him dryly.
"Hmm, but they can't do some things. It's not like you've deserved it so far." Harry gave him a
grateful look. "This year is supposed to be trying for anyone, only you've got more stresses than
most fourth years. I spent my whole fourth year in a daze because I discovered what girls are
"Girls are a distraction I don't need," Harry assured him.
"Good," Oliver said happily. "See, you're already one step beyond the usual problems." Harry
looked at him. "You are. And next year, you'll have to fight that battle all over again, find a
comfortable medium between girls and the game."
"Sure, Oliver, if you say so." Harry looked up at the ceiling again. "It's just stress."
"Stress can kill, Harry, all the muggle doctors say so."
"Yeah, they do," Harry agreed dryly. "It gets worse when you're hounded by the other houses."
"McGonagall's trying to intervene with the articles but she's not sure how things are getting to
them." He shrugged at Harry's look. "We're trying, Harry."
"Maybe if I dropped out," Harry said quietly.
"No one'd allow that and you know it."
"Yeah, I know," Harry sighed. "That's why I'm stressed."
"Then think about kicking their butts on the field as a way to get out the anger at them. The
twins might even teach you how to play beater for a few days if it'd help."
"It might," Harry admitted lightly. He was starting to feel better. Oliver was trying, which was
more than Ron and Hermione were doing. Maybe this would get better by practicing harder. At
the very least he'd get to fly a lot more this year.
The next practice, Oliver watched Harry closely, nodding that he was doing very well when the
boy flew past him. How he missed that snitch sighting he wasn't sure but he managed to catch it
after a few more moments. Even the twins had seen that one. He waved Harry over. "Mind on
the game, Potter. Leave all the other worries in the dressing room. You can't be worrying about
them, they can't bring their flashing pins or anything up into the air." Harry nodded. "You need
a tougher hide this year, Potter, and I hope that you grow it soon."
Harry looked at him. "I've already got a tough hide, Oliver. That's why I don't bruise." He flew
off, going to take a turn with the bludgers. Whichever twin he took the bat off looked startled
but he whacked them both a few good times, sending the balls off and away from the chasers.
He noticed the twins looking at Oliver, who shook his head. He handed back the bat with a small
smile. "Thanks, I needed that."
"You need more than that," the other twin told him. "Can't you beat them in the halls?"
"And get suspended for the game?" Harry reminded him.
"Good point," the first twin sighed, shaking his head. "What if we intervene on your behalf with
Harry looked at them, a bland, emotionless look on his face. "I know where they got the spell to
do the flashing buttons." He flew off, going to zip around the other end of the field for a bit, just
to fly by himself.
"That had better not be true," Alicia Spinnet said from behind the twins. They flinched. "How
"We only sold the charm to a Hufflepuff," the first told her.
"We didn't know what they were going to use it for," the second finished.
She sighed and looked down at Harry, but he wasn't there anymore. "Wood, he's gone!" she
"He'll be back," Bell said, nodding when everyone looked at her. "He went for a solo fly to get it
out of his system. He'll be in top form for the game because it means he can rub their noses in
the crap they're doing to him." She looked at Oliver. "You had him pulled from Potions for
He blanched. "How did you hear?"
"Shit." He shook himself. "He'll kill me."
"Let's hope it doesn't make it into the next article," Alicia told him, flying off to the dressing
rooms. The other two followed her, though Angelina was still coughing a lot.
"Get that taken care of," Wood ordered. "It's due to rain tomorrow evening." He walked past
them, heading onto the men's side to change clothes and try to find Potter. The boy wouldn't
have been dumb enough to leave school grounds or go into the Dark Forest, would he? By the
time he was dressed and came out of the bathroom, Harry had come in and left again. He tracked
the boy back to the house and up to his room, going to talk to him again. "Harry."
"Oliver, leave," Ron told him firmly. "We love you like one of us, but he's already upset
enough." He pointed at the closed bed curtains. "Please," he said more quietly.
"I'm sorry, Harry, I didn't think Snape would tell."
"He told?" Harry called.
"Alicia said she heard it from the Slytherins."
"Fuck me," Ron sighed as he sat on his own bed. "We've still got that test tomorrow."
"Fuck school, Ron," Harry called.
"Harry, if you don't keep your grades up, you can't play," Oliver said gently.
"Then maybe they'll take me out of the tournament first," he said lightly. "Please go away. I'm
"Fine. Remember, I'm not the one who spread it around and my door is open." He left them
alone, going up to his own room. He slammed the door and kicked it, an uncharacteristic thing
for him to do, but he hated this sort of thing. He couldn't stand the idiots in Slytherin but they
never really picked on him. Only Harry. It had to be about his past, it couldn't relate to anything
else. And for his own teammates to not stick up for Harry was inexcusable. He got an idea, a
brilliant one, and sat down to write out a letter to an older friend, one who did equipment
management for a small professional team that really didn't have a lot of fans.
Dumbledore smiled at the students the two mornings later. "As you all know, there is an
exhibition game between Gryffindor and Slytherin in two weeks time," he announced. The
students clapped politely. "Late last night, we received an offer from a small regional team to
use their pitch since ours is so horribly damaged at the moment." That got more applause.
"Since we can not, in good conscience or without straining ourselves, move you all there for the
game, we will be setting up viewing areas in each house and in the Great Hall if you feel the need
to be with a larger group. Only the teams and a few select people may go with each team, and we
will be making arrangements with the staff the day before." He held up a hand at the team's
applause, that meant they got out of class. "We do want to remind you to play fairly and well,
you are standing up for Hogwarts and showing them what sort of students we train here." He
glanced at the Slytherin table. "As of this moment, all petty bickering between the houses over
the matter of the tournament will cease and desist because of that. We shall consider the
tournament put on hold until after this game because, frankly, the rivalry and anger some of you
show is upsetting *me*." He sat down again. "Eat."
Harry looked down at Oliver, who honestly shrugged. It hadn't been him. He looked at the
twins, who shook their heads, but one of the girls ducked away from his gaze. So it had been one
of them. Maybe this would help? No, it wouldn't; the little brats over there would find all new
ways of picking on Harry because they'd think he had something to do with this. He glanced up
at the table, catching McGonagall's eye. She shook her head and looked at the Headmaster. She
looked at Snape, who shrugged. He obviously wasn't going to stop his brats. Oliver looked
down at Harry again and shrugged. They'd deal, they always did. Harry gave him a grim look
and pretended to eat. Katie Bell kicked him under the table so he looked at her. "Yes?"
"Leave him alone, Oliver. It's not going to get any easier," she said quietly, not loud enough for
anyone else to have heard them.
"I wish he hadn't made that announcement."
"Well, he did," Katie pointed out. "We'll simply have to shield the kid." She looked at the other
older teammates. "We're protecting the seeker," she told the nearest one, her voice barely coming
out. They could all read lips due to communicating on the field. It was a brilliant idea the ladies
had come up with during their first year on the team. Angelina nodded, then sneezed.
"Infirmary, now," Oliver ordered. "We can't have you sick." She glared at him. "I mean it!"
"Fine," she wheezed, heading up to get something for her allergies.
Alicia was spreading the news down the table, 'protect Harry without letting him know'.
Everyone got a grim look on their face but understood the message. Dumbledore had just made
their star player a moving, unhappy target.
Harry looked up as Snape stopped beside his workspace. "I'm done," he pointed out.
"Do you believe that is the correct color for that potion, Mr. Potter?" Snape hissed.
Harry flipped open his book, then held it out. "Yes, I do, sir. According to the book."
"You're a smart-aleck, Mr. Potter. Fifteen points off."
"Fine," Harry sighed, pushing his things out of the way so he could put his head down.
"What do you think you are doing?" he asked, outraged.
"I'm sitting here quietly while you look over everyone else's work," he said, looking confused.
"Did you want me to chat with someone, sir?"
Snape glared at him. "That's another twenty points off for your smart mouth."
"I think he was being serious," Malfoy snorted. "He was trying to be good, but we all know he's
not capable of doing so." He sneered at Harry's glare. "Does that upset you? Want to kick my
"No, Malfoy, I'm too damn tired to kick your ass this week," Harry told him. "I'm saving it for
the game." He put his head back down and stared straight ahead, running over strategies in his
mind. That's why he didn't hear Snape belittling him until he was shoved off his stool. He nearly
glared at the teacher, but got a smirk for his self-control instead. "Sorry, sir, running over more
pleasant things. Like being tortured." Snape stomped off, not able to say anything about that
one. Harry sat on his stool again, and noticed Ron glancing at him every few seconds. "I'm
fine," he whispered. "Work on your potion." He went back to reviewing his spells. He'd
probably need them before the day was out.
Madam Pomfrey walked into the Headmaster's office, glaring at him. "Why have I seen most of
Slytherin today?" she demanded. "Every last one of them outside the quidditch team."
"Because Gryffindor is protecting their own players," he sighed. "I had no idea that my
announcement would make them try to harm each other worse."
"You should have known better, Headmaster. Of course they're going to get more mean and
nasty with each other. If you tell a teenager no, they do it twice as hard." She glared at him,
making him flinch this time. "You taught the little beasts too many years to not know what effect
your words were going to have. Stop them, before I have to stop someone from killing someone
else." She stormed off, going back to her full infirmary.
Dumbledore sighed, shaking his head. "I've already done what I could," he said sadly. "They'll
have to live through this like all the other trials of life.
Harry looked at his house that night as he walked in. "Can I have a moment please?" he called.
Everyone looked at him. "Thank you. Stop it. Whoever was picking on the Slytherins on my
behalf, just stop it. I've had enough! I've gotten six detentions and they're threatening to suspend
me from the game if you don't!" He stomped up to his room and slammed the door, making a
number of people wince.
"It's our turn now," Fred announced. He looked at Hermione. "It has come to our attention that
you have something that will be useful in this circumstance." She looked clueless.
"The gold bottle, dearie," George said in imitation of his mother. Her eyes bulged, and she
slowly shook her head. "Yes, Ms. Granger, or we'll have to turn you in for having it."
Oliver coughed. "What's in this gold bottle?"
"Let us handle it. You've not got the delicate touch," George told him, catching Hermione and
together they walked her upstairs to take it from her stock of potions. If Snape knew what was in
the bottom of her trunk, she would be expelled. They knew that and so did she, that's why she
handed it over.
"Thank you," Fred said, heading over to Harry's room. They found Ron trying to talk him out of
the bathroom. "Out." Ron glared at him. "We've got a plan. Out." Ron sighed and stomped out,
slamming the door behind him. "Harry, it's me. Come here."
"No!" The door opened. "You and your bloody plans are about to get me suspended. How do
you expect us to win without a seeker!" he shouted. "I'm going to play that game even if I have
to disable the both of you and take your fucking place!"
"Calm down. We're going to go after the head of the problem," Fred said, talking like he would
to a stray animal that was wounded and he was trying to help. "I only need three things from
you. A bit of hair. You to put on your cloak tomorrow. And you not to go to class tomorrow."
Harry shook his head. "Impossible. I've got a test."
"So? One grade won't matter. I promise." Fred gave him a hopeful look. "I'm going to make a
lot of people shut up very quickly. George and I have been planning this one for a while now.
Let us have some hair and we'll get right on it."
Harry leaned against the door frame. "What makes you think this one will work, Fred?"
"Because I know it will," Fred said with a smile. "Trust me, Harry, I know it will. The victim
won't even have to ingest it. All you have to do is not go anywhere tomorrow and stay hidden.
You can even sneak down tonight and cage some food if you don't want to depend on Ron to get
you some. All I need is a little bit of your hair."
Fred grinned. "Polyjuice." Harry shuddered, making him grin more. "We heard about your foray
into Slytherin. We both thought it was brilliant."
"Ron told you?"
"No," Fred scoffed. "We hear all the juiciest gossip eventually. That tidbit came from one of the
paintings that saw you leaving." He gave him a wink. "Now, hand over a few pieces of hair."
"Fine," Harry sighed. "But if I get suspended, you're going down, not me. I need this outlet this
"Fine," Fred agreed, stepping carefully closer to take the few hairs they'd need. He winked. "Can
I borrow the map for ten minutes?"
"Sure," Harry sighed, going back into the bathroom to take a long soak and sulk.
Fred grabbed the map and the invisibility cloak, it would make it easier to plant the plan.
Dumbledore knocked on Severus' door, frowning as he walked in. "Severus, I just received an
anonymous note saying that you're going to do something vile and have it blamed on a student."
He held up the note, keeping it away from the other teacher. "I don't know who sent it, but I will
be examining the evidence. This is a heinous charge."
"Then I should be able to defend myself," Snape said, snatching the note to read it for himself.
"This doesn't look like any handwriting I know."
"We figured out it was done by a Quik-Quote Quill," Dumbledore said, looking around the room.
"I'll need to see your personal potions cabinet I'm afraid."
Snape looked at him, stunned beyond belief. "You're believing this piece of fiction?"
"Yes. We all know how you feel about Lucius, and while I might like him to drop dead, I cannot
allow you to parade as a student when you do so. If nothing turns up, then nothing turns up. If
something does, then you will have the chance to defend yourself." He watched as the younger
man stood up, shaking badly. "I'm sorry, Severus, but you know we have to check."
"I cannot believe you think this ill of me."
"I don't want to, but I know that only you have the password to your private cabinet." Snape
nodded, whispering it. He found the clear bottle with the potion in it and shook his head.
"Severus, how could you?" he said quietly, looking at the stunned man.
"I did not make that! It...it's not even my sort of bottle!"
"You have always been smart enough to make accessory plans." Dumbledore pulled his wand,
testing the potion. "Polyjuice." He looked through the rest of the cabinet, coming up with a few
baggies of hair. "Mr. Longbottom's. Mr. Potter's. The Weasley twins?" he asked, looking at the
still man. "Mr. Malfoy's himself?"
"I did not make that," Snape reasserted.
"Then how did it get in there, Severus? Not even I have the password to your personal cabinet.
No one in the school does. You've said many times that this cabinet is the most secure spot in
this school." He took the baggies and the potion, putting them into a box he pulled out of his
pocket and enlarged. "What are we going to do about this, Severus?"
Snape's eyes narrowed. "You are not Dumbledore," he hissed.
George canceled the illusion, smirking at him. "You're right." He pointed the little viewing
portal on his lapel at him. "Say cheese." Snape reared back. "Here's the deal. You leave Harry
alone, for good. Because if you make him kill himself, you're going to be one of the first who
dies. We're not losing our families for your attitude."
"How dare you," Snape started.
George held up a hand. "Of course I dare. Who do you think you're speaking to?" He held up
the box with a smile. "I dare many things. The same as I dare to stick up for a boy who said that
torture was more pleasant than dealing with your godson." He tipped his head off to the side.
"You should know we recorded the other end of this portal, Professor. If one more thing happens
against Harry before the exhibition game, then this will be mailed off, suitably edited of course."
"I'll have you expelled."
"Why? Can you prove it?" George asked. Snape's eyes narrowed. "Really, Professor, we are a
bit more thoughtful than that. We're not asking for a total end, just until after the exhibition
game. We have no doubt that the stupid sayings they're giving out are hardwired into their puny
brains, but we will not have to put the rest of them in the hospital if they stop. That means a
three-week truce. Agreed?"
"I can prove it, Weasley."
"Then do so," George said, holding up the potion. "Test it, sir?"
Snape snatched it and tested it, groaning when he found out it really was Polyjuice. "That is
"True. And we can prove we found it in *your* cabinet, the one that only you have the password
to. Not even Fred and I have it." He smiled pleasantly. "Thank you for your cooperation, sir.
We expect there to be business as usual, with the exception of this insufferable campaign to get
Harry to jump off somewhere high. Think about what he's already done and consider what may
be coming up if the rumors are true." He walked off, taking the potion back to his twin's trunk.
They had many uses for a spot of polyjuice now and again.
Snape sat down with a moan of anger and pain. "How did he know?" he hissed to the empty
room. He had no doubt that the twins would pass that little bit of information to the headmaster
and his job would be in jeopardy. All he had to do was to get his house to stop the hate campaign
before the game? He could do that. It was easier than finding a new job. Besides, it wasn't like
they had asked to have their future miserable grades raised.
The thought came to him and he went to check his stores. The potion ingredients hadn't come
from his stock. Whoever had done this had planned well in advance. He nearly felt pride that
someone had bested him in the manipulation game, but he would prove that he was better. No
mere twin, and certainly not a Weasley, would best him.
Harry looked around at breakfast as everyone ignored him. "Was there another article?" he asked
Hermione. George had told him it was all right for him to come down like normal. The plan had
gone flawlessly and the victim was snared.
She handed over her paper. "Not a bit about the school at all," she promised. She watched as he
flipped through it. "What's wrong?"
"No one's made fun of me yet," he said quietly.
She smiled at him. "Of course not. The Headmaster must have implemented a new plan."
Harry's head popped up at that and she smiled. "What?" she asked innocently.
"What was this plan?" Harry asked too casually.
She shrugged. "I have no idea. After all, it wasn't our house who was at fault this time, was it?"
She went back to her breakfast, taking her paper back to finish the puzzle.
Harry glanced around the room. No one was looking his way. No one was whispering mean
things. Nothing bad was happening. He looked down at the twins, giving them a hesitant smile.
One of them saluted him with their glass of juice. "Practice tonight, Harry."
Harry nodded. "Yeah, there is." He dug into the food in front of him, eating with the usual
amount of zeal a teenage boy had for his breakfast.
That was noted at the headtable by a number of teachers, all of whom were silently thankful that
something had stopped the quarreling for now. Though they all knew it would be restarting in a
Oliver looked at his team as they walked out with their bags and brooms. "Remember, we've got
to keep this closeness," he instructed as he held out the portkey. "This is a new field and we'll
only get one practice before the game." They all nodded. "Good. Grab on." They grabbed on
and it activated as soon as the last one of them was attached. They landed inside a small house,
and Oliver smiled at his old friend. "Hello, Hal." They gave each other manly hugs and pulled
apart. "These are my team. Harry, Fred, George, Alicia, Angelina, and Katie." He pointed at
each one in turn, though only waved at the twins. They preferred it that way. "Do you know
when we get practice time?"
"Tomorrow morning," the other man said in a thicker Scottish accent. "Both teams get tomorrow
then the game's the next day." He smiled at the ladies. "I've got to say, if I had to play with
them, I'd never keep my eye on the game." They giggled and blushed. "C'mon. Oliver, I know
you were hoping we'd have more room, but we're in the middle of renovations thanks to that
grant last year." Oliver groaned. "Don't worry, we've got enough space for your whole team and
the other guys." He glanced at the ladies. "Do they have girls?"
"One," Oliver said with a shrug. "Why?"
"We've only got two rooms habitable." The ladies groaned. "I'll leave it up to you lot. I can't
make that decision for you."
Katie gave Oliver's back a shove. "You didn't mention we were sleeping together."
"I didn't know," he admitted. "I thought we'd have two rooms for each team." He grinned at
them. "You all know we're gentlemen. I'll even be the dividing line, me and Harry here since
he's too young to care about such things." He winked at Harry. "Deal?"
The girls huddled, whispering about it. Then they looked and nodded. "Fine," Angelina agreed.
"But we'll get one side or the outside of the bed." She looked at Hal. "Do we have one large bed
or should we floo back for blankets and stuff?"
"Oh, nah, lass, we've got one huge bed for each team," he said happily. "We do this ourselves
when we're in residence." He opened a door and let them inside. "Here you are. The necessary's
through that painted door. The closet's free and locking so you can store your brooms without
worry. We'll be doing dinner at six prompt. My wife don't like stragglers so try to be on time."
He waved and closed the door, heading down to tell his wife the news. They were players, they
could handle a bit of cuddling. That's the way strong and quidditch-focused women were. He
watched as the other team came in, one coming later with a trunk of supplies and the balls.
"Hello," he said happily. "Oliver didn't know so you probably don't either. We're renovating."
The team looked horrified. "Nah, there's no sleepin' on the floor, but we've only got one room."
He nodded at their female player. "The other team said that you could handle all bein' together?"
"Of course we can," Malfoy said smoothly. "We'll figure it out on our own." The man nodded
and led them up to their room, showing them everything and the locking closet. Malfoy glared at
the door once it was closed. "How are we divvying up the bed? Time share or not?"
"I can sleep on the floor," the female player offered.
Marcus Flint looked at her. "Why? Malfoy can have it." He shoved Malfoy. "Don't even try to
protest." He looked around. "I guess it's *homey*."
Malfoy laid in the middle of the bed, crossing his feet and putting his arms behind his head. "I'm
for a nap. If the rest of you want to curl up to my magnificence, you may. I have no desire for
any of you." He closed his eyes.
Flint started to move closer but he saw Draco's wand in his hand. The brat was very good at
hexing from all the duels his mouth got him into. He looked at Natalie, their female member.
She walked over and picked up Draco, letting Flint get the window, then tossed him outside into
the dirt. She glared at the men. "The first grope I feel, we'll need replacement players," she
ground out, laying down in her chosen spot. On the edge because she didn't trust any of them
further than she could throw Malfoy.
Oliver looked out the window as the blur went past. "They've chucked Malfoy out," he snorted,
smiling at his team. "Can we handle this?" They nodded patiently. "Good. Who's up for a nap
or for a strategy meeting? We can go look at the pitch and get a feel for the wind currents."
"I'm for a nap," Harry offered, yawning to show he wasn't begging out of the trip to the pitch.
"McGonagall gave her test anyway."
"That's fine, Harry, you rest," Angelina said with a gentle smile.
"I'm with him," Katie said, laying down facing Harry so she could watch over him. The boy
kicked from what Ron had been muttering last week after they had fallen asleep in front of the
fireplace while studying. Harry gave her a quick grin and closed his eyes.
Oliver clapped his hands together. "That's fine then, the rest of you put your things down and
we'll trot on over there." They put their brooms into the closet and locked it, the twins putting
their own locks on the door as well, then they left the napping buddies there.
"I'm sorry if I babble," Harry said quietly. "Ron says I talk in my sleep."
"That's not a problem, Harry. Oliver snores." She gave him a pat on the shoulder. "Sleep, now."
He nodded and snuggled down to rest, eyes squeezed tightly shut. She watched as he fell asleep,
giving him a gentle smile since he couldn't see it. The little guy was so relaxed when he was
asleep. She let herself drift off as well, not realizing a truth about Harry, he cuddled up to the
nearest warm thing in the bed with him. It was an instinctive need for comfort.
When the rest of the team came back, the twins grinned and nudged Oliver, who had the rear
guard position. Oliver smiled and took the camera from Alicia's bag, snapping a quick picture.
He let her stow it away before either napper could wake up. Then he checked his watch. "We've
got an hour," he said quietly.
"I'm for a nap," Alicia announced, curling up behind Katie.
Oliver looked at everyone else. "That fine with you?" They shrugged so he got the position on
Harry's other side, having more hormonal control than the twins. They took the spots behind
him, and Angelina took the other side of the bed. It was more than roomy enough for all of them.
He let Harry snuggle up against his chest, controlling his amazed smile. The boy really did think
of him like a big brother. His talks must have helped some. He drifted off feeling proud of
himself for helping the young man. Unfortunately he was woken up a bit later by someone
mumbling against his throat. "Harry," he whispered, giving him a nudge. "Talk later, mate."
"Shh," one of the twins said in his ear. "Ron said he talks in his sleep. We can boost his self-image while he's like this. Ron said he has." He looked down at Harry's face. "You're a
wonderful man, Harry Potter. Your father would be proud and your mother would cry with joy at
how good you are."
The other one leaned over his twin's shoulder. "You're a wonderful seeker and an even better
wizard," he agreed gently.
Oliver looked at them, then at the women, who were nodding for him to say something. He
grimaced, trying hard to come up with something.
Katie shifted over Angelina to get closer. "Harry, your mother is so proud of you," she said in his
ear. "You are a treat to her good name and a chip off your father's block. You're the best of both
of them and they're smiling down at you for it." Harry shifted, moaning a little bit. She looked at
"Harry, you're a brilliant wizard. Even if you didn't have Granger you'd still find just the right
spell in the nick of time," he said gently. Katie gave him a shove and he shrugged the arm that he
had thrown across Harry's chest sometime during his short nap. "He is," he mouthed.
Alicia rolled her eyes. "You do very well for not knowing about anything before you started
school." She blinked at Oliver, nodding at him to try some more.
"You're a brilliant seeker, Harry Potter, and I know you'll do your parents proud by catching the
snitch in two days and every other game where it's humanly possible. Not that they'll mind if you
fail," he said to ease the frown the twins were giving him.
"I think that's enough," Angelina told them. She stroked over Harry's hair. "Sleep, little one.
You're safe and protected. No one and nothing can hurt you without us defending you. You will
always have defenders." Harry sighed and sniffled into Oliver's throat, nuzzling him before
falling back into a deeper sleep. "Really, Oliver," she chastised.
"I'm not a girl, I can't come up with good stuff to say on cue," he defended.
"Fine, think about it. I'm sure we'll have another chance tonight," Katie told him. She snuggled
in between her friends, getting comfortable. "You can pass him over if you want, Oliver."
"He's fine. It's like holding my nephew." They gave him a look. "It is. I'm perfectly
comfortable with this." Harry shifted and his eyes widened when he felt the stiffie the boy was
growing. "Here, you have him," he said, handing him off and moving to the edge of the bed.
That was a bit much for him to deal with it.
Fred shrugged and moved up behind Harry, snuggling in with Angelina. George got Katie, and
Alicia slid over to help calm Oliver down. "It's only about a half-hour before dinner," he put in.
"Not hungry," Harry told him.
Fred gave him a nudge with his knee. "Tough, you've still got to eat," he said when Harry
opened one eye to look at him.
"I mentioned dinner and you said you weren't hungry," he said with a grin.
Harry groaned and pulled the pillow over his head. "I hate it when I talk in my sleep. Did I say
anything else that was dumb?"
"You said I was very pretty and that Katie was ravishing," George teased. Harry blushed all the
way down to his fingertips, the one holding the pillow over his face.
"He's teasing you," Katie assured him, lifting the pillow to peek at him. "I promise, you didn't say
a thing about how stunning we three wise women are."
"Thank you," he said with a small smile. "How long before we have to make nice with
"Just under twenty minutes if we want to be on time," George said, after checking Fred's watch
for him. Harry slithered out of the bed and walked into the bathroom, taking it first so he could
wash his face.
Oliver looked at the women. "Do not say anything else," he warned quietly. "He'll be
devastated." They all gave him patient nods and looks, like they were humoring the lunatic
again. "Then let's get ready. Should we dress?"
"I'm figuring clothes are enough," Katie told him. "Otherwise we'd have been told to bring real
clothes. They've got to be used to players coming in dirty and nasty after practices."
"Good point," Oliver agreed, getting up to take the bathroom next. Everyone knew guys were
faster in the loo, this would give the ladies more time to fix themselves up however they wanted.
George nudged Katie and Alicia when Harry started to mumble again, and they all looked down
at him. "Shh, Harry, it's all right. You're surrounded by people who adore you like a kid
brother," he soothed, reaching over to smooth down some of the uncooperative hair. Harry
shifted, pressing against his hand.
"That's it," Fred whispered. "I'm ordering Ron to curl up with him every other weekend." His
brother smiled at him and the girls snorted, waking the poor guy.
"Go back to sleep, Harry," Katie soothed, rubbing his back. "We've got a long day tomorrow."
Harry nodded, snuggling back against her shoulder. Then he shuddered and flipped over, but
repeated it when he ran into another girl. "Guys, shift so you're around him. Apparently girls are
giving him the willies."
"Girls bad," Harry agreed. "Nasty, icky things."
"They're actually rather fun," George assured him, smiling at the women.
"Girls scary," Harry whined. "No girls."
"Fine, you can curl up against me," Oliver sighed, shifting closer, but Fred stopped him.
"He can curl up between us. He's more used to being next to Ron when they fall asleep on the
couch together," George pointed out. They moved around Harry, making him sigh in relief.
"Hey, Harry?" Harry nuzzled his chest. "Do you like blokes?"
"Girls scary," Harry repeated. "Mean, nasty, vile creatures."
The ladies cracked up. "Give him a year," they agreed.
Oliver shook his head. "I don't think so. If you haven't noticed, Harry's afraid to be near girls.
This might be something to do with his family."
George accidentally nudged Harry again, making him wake up. "Sorry."
"What did I say this time?" Harry groaned, eyes squeezed tightly shut.
"Just that girls were nasty, icky, vile things," Fred soothed, patting him on the back. "We all
thought that at one point in time." Someone next door went flying out the window again, making
them all clap.
"Flying Malfoy, what a treat to behold," Angelina quipped. They all giggled and she reached
over to stroke over Harry's cheek. "Don't worry, Harry, you're supposed to be confused about
girls at your age. We're all supposed to be mystical creatures that confuse the hell outta you and
make you pout because you can't hope to figure us out."
"Remember that feeling, it will last," Katie added helpfully.
All the older men nodded in support of that, putting in various 'yups' and 'yeahs'.
Harry buried his head in the pillows. "I don't think I need to worry about that, I seem to be
asexual, so let's drop it, okay? Women are nice creatures, I simply don't like to have them curled
up around me some days. It's normal I guess." He looked at the twins. "And you two are creepy.
If you're supposed to be like my big brothers, wouldn't this be nearly incest?" They laughed and
hugged him between them.
"Please tell me you two aren't going to find one lover and put them between you," Alicia teased.
Fred looked at her. "Why? Interviewing for the part?" he asked.
"I'm sure we could do very well with her," George agreed, nodding quickly when she snorted.
"She tries so hard to understand us."
"Get off," Harry whined. "Let me sleep on the edge of the bed. I'm obviously having a bad effect
on your brains."
"No, that's hormones," Katie assured him. "They'll kick in for you some day, Harry." They did
let him shift over to the edge of the bed, watching as he settled in.
"We should sleep. We've got first practice," Oliver reminded them as he firmly closed his eyes.
"You know, the only person I've ever seen do that was Percy," George noted. Oliver picked up
his pillow and slammed both twins with it. "Sorry, Great Captain of ours."
"Thank you. Sleep, perverts."
"You mean you'd never go for Percy?" Fred asked.
Oliver propped himself up on one shoulder. "You both know I only like fun people to be around.
What part of Percy do you think fits my type of friend?"
"You talk a lot," Alicia noted.
Oliver rolled his eyes. "We're study buddies, really," he assured them. "Rumors aside, I could
never shag Percy. I don't think he'd understand what I was doing." From behind him came a
quiet gagging noise. "Sorry, Harry."
"Not you," he said swiftly, getting up to be sick.
"You all right?" Fred called. Someone pounded on the walls. "Fine, we'll do this the old-fashioned way," he said as he slid out of the bed, but Angelina beat him into the bathroom to help
the young man. Next door, a door slammed and then there was a lot more screaming, and a few
more thrown bodies flying past their window.
George laughed. "I think Malfoy got even. I wonder if he got all of them," he said as he snuck
out of the bed to look outside. "All but Natalie," he announced. His twin and Katie clapped.
"You don't think...those two?" Alicia asked.
"Those would be ugly children," Fred assured her, patting her gently.
Oliver groaned. "Trust me, children don't always result from such instances, and if they are, it's
no business of ours that they're wearing out their seeker. Harry?"
Angelina reappeared. "He's having a throbbing headache, Oliver. His scar."
Oliver grimaced. "The bastard couldn't pick a better time?"
"He probably wants Slytherin to win," Katie pointed out. "Harry, come cuddle, love, we'll
protect you from him." Harry apparently rinsed his mouth out and padded back out, giving her a
hug before going back to the edge of the bed. "Come on, you can curl up in the center." The
twins rearranged themselves and Alicia pulled Harry over, forcing him between them.
"We've got pretty good shields," Angelina promised him.
"Plus, we're protecting Ron's future lover," Fred told him.
"Yeah, Charlie and Bill have agreed, you're Ron's."
"Or he's his," Fred offered. "Depending on which one is the weaker party."
George's eyes widened as he felt Harry shift for a small reason. "Maybe we should go to sleep
and quit trying to soothe Harry," he said, nodding at his twin.
Fred's eyes went wide, then he grinned. "Hey, Harry? If you do take up with our family, you're
going to be a prank tester," he promised.
"Fine," Harry sighed. "Just let me get to sleep now and you can practice hexes on me tomorrow."
He closed his eyes and sighed again. "Please don't hold me so close?"
"Sure," Fred agreed, releasing him a bit. George let him go totally, so Fred pulled all the way
back, letting Harry arrange himself. They all waited while Harry went back to sleep. "Finally,"
he said with a touch of humor.
"Should we tell him about Ron's better attributes?" George asked. "Make sure he wants Ron?"
"Let him pick his own mates," Oliver said tiredly. "Go to sleep, the both of you, or I'm going to
put a chastity belt on you both." They looked horrified and grabbed their Harry cuddle to hold
tightly between them. "Thank you. Night, ladies."
"Good night, Oliver," Alicia said softly.
When they were woken by a scream a few minutes later, they all clapped for the good
Harry woke up in the morning feeling the most comfortable in his life. He was warm. He was
being cuddled. He was soothed by the body breathing against his neck and the familiar weight
against his stomach. Not even Ron cuddling up to him when they fell asleep in front of the fire
while studying was this nice to wake up to. He figured he must be between the twins, it was like
napping with Ron squared. He looked at them and smiled, he was right, it was the twins around
him. He then felt the thing poking him in the stomach and groaned. He tried to move to save
them some embarrassment but the one behind him pulled him closer and he felt he was ...up too.
"Guys?" he whispered. "Have to pee." The one in front shifted closer. "Please let me go before
you molest me," he whined. The one behind him snorted. "Please? I'm not a twin sandwich
filling. I promise to be good if you don't molest me."
"Sorry," the one behind him whispered.
"It's a natural biological function," the one in front agreed, smiling at him. "Go run and hide,
Harry." Harry was released and ran across the bed until he could hide in the bathroom. His
running woke everyone else up.
Oliver gave one mighty snore and woke himself up. "Why was the bed shaking? Surely you two
can do without for a day," he complained.
"It was Harry running from the morning stiffie," George told him.
"I'd run too," Angelina murmured, going back to sleep against Katie's chest.
Fred nudged her. "I'll remember that the next time you have a cramp and you ask for a backrub."
"Listen, you horny bastard, we're still trying to sleep," Katie told them. "If you want to jack off,
go to the bathroom but don't bother us. Your pitiful girths do not excite anyone this early in the
Harry moaned from the bathroom and everyone raised their heads. "All right, Harry?" Oliver
"Fine," Harry called back. "Just testing a bruise," he squeaked. Oliver frowned and got up,
tapping on the bathroom door. "NO!" Harry shouted.
"Let me in, if you're that sore we've got to pull out the liniment and stuff."
Harry opened the door enough to look at him. "A hot bath will cure it, Oliver, I promise." Oliver
blinked down at him. "I swear, it will."
"Maybe a cold one?" he asked with a touch of humor.
"Why?" Harry asked.
"Oh, for Merlin's sake," Angelina said as she forced herself to get up and walk over, having a
word in Harry's ear. He blushed and whispered something back. "That's not exactly normal from
what I understand, but I'm sure you can handle it. Alone. Like the other big boys around here.
We three beautiful ones are going to sleep now." She went back to the bed and kicked George
out of her way, making Fred fall off. "Thank you. Now I'm not squished." She laid down and
snuggled back into her former warm spot, making Katie laugh. "You too, shut it or I'm going to
"Sure, sweetie, you use me as your comfy pillow," Katie agreed, stroking her back.
"We need vaginas to understand you lot, don't we?" Fred said bitterly as he pushed himself off
"We can help you create one," Alicia offered sweetly.
"No thanks," the twins said in unison.
"I think we all like our personal version of equipment," Oliver said with a delicate cough.
"Harry, go hide in the closet for a few, give the rest of us a chance in the bathroom." Harry
scurried over and locked himself in the closet. "Thank you." He got in there first; he was closer
and neither twin managed to grab him.
Harry moaned again, this time it sounded more clear through the thinner door. "If you make a
mess, you clean it up, especially on the brooms," George said, knocking on the door. "You hear,
"I'm not doing that," Harry said, sounding outraged. "I'm having neck cramps."
"Sure you are," Fred snorted.
Harry opened the door and looked at him, pointing at his nether regions. "See!" He slammed the
door and locked it from the inside this time.
Oliver came out. "What's wrong now?" he asked the twins.
"Harry didn't like his time between us," George pouted, managing to pull Fred back and get in
there first. "Ha!" he shouted through the closed door.
Fred glared at the door for a second, then shrugged and looked at Oliver. "He wasn't stiff at all."
"Harry?" Oliver called gently, tapping on the broom closet door. "You okay in there?"
"Fine, having cramps," Harry told him.
"If you come out, we have stuff for that," Oliver offered.
"I brought my midol, just in case," Angelina offered.
"I don't think he's having that sort," Fred said dryly. "If he is, then there's a real problem in
Gryffindor and with the Sorting Hat." He found George's wand and flicked the door open, then
pushed his way into the bathroom to get his turn before George was done. They were twins, they
could share this time too.
Oliver pulled Harry out, looking at his cramping muscles. "What did you do? Sleep in a little
ball in someone's navel?" he scoffed, sitting the boy down to work on his back and neck. Harry
moaned and struggled to get free, but Oliver stopped him. "Don't even think about it. I won't do
a practice with anyone this uptight and in pain. A game is a different matter, but for a practice
this is not good." Harry went limp under his experienced hands, making him smile at his favorite
little kid. "Just relax, Harry, we've got time before we're due down there." Harry hung his head,
nodding slightly as it bounced. "Good boy." He finished as soon as he felt the muscles turn to the
texture of mozzarella cheese under his hands, then patted him on the back. "Take a warm
shower. That should finish it up." Harry nodded and slid in once the twins were done. "I wonder
what did that to him?"
"He had a few nightmares," George offered. "I remember being kicked a few times."
"It's probably about his...." Fred flicked his forehead. "What was the thing last night about?"
"Just one of those odd surges he gets I guess," Angelina told him, propping herself up. "How
many more nights of this?"
"Tonight, tomorrow if the game runs long," Oliver told her.
"So, if Harry's brilliant and we go under four hours, we can have our own bathrooms tomorrow
He nodded and grinned. "Exactly." Someone knocked on the door and he was closest so he
opened it, staring at Malfoy. "What do *you* want?"
"For you seven to shut up!" he said angrily. "Some of the rest of us need quiet to sleep. It's bad
enough we have to share a room." He stomped off, going back to his own room.
"Twenty knuts on him taking another header out the window without his broom," Katie said
Oliver smiled at her. "Remember, we can nap later."
Harry came out, wet but back in his pajamas. "What's going on? Is it breakfast yet?"
"Harry, do us all a favor and catch the snitch quickly tomorrow, 'kay?" Alicia said hoarsely.
"Otherwise we've got two more nights of protecting our virtue from the twins."
"I'll do what I can," he promised, grinning down at her. "The bathroom's free of nasty boy
"Good." They rushed, more than able to share.
Harry looked at Oliver. "When's breakfast?"
Fred looked at his twin's watch. "Probably in about an hour." George took his arm back. "Sorry.
You do it to me."
"You twisted the watch and it makes the hair lay funny," George protested. "Get dressed, Harry.
Those women never take less than half an hour in there." Harry nodded and grabbed his clothes,
retiring to the broom closet to change.
"We don't peek," Fred said with a bright grin.
"Funny, Ron said you did," Harry called back. He came out just as the Slytherin door slammed.
Oliver pulled on a shirt and opened the door, giving the person on the other side his usual
cheerful smile. "Pretty morning, isn't it?" he asked happily. "We'd best go down now, boys, so
the girls aren't forced to dress in the loo." He looked down at his pajama bottoms when George
did. "Oops, I was so pleased with the level of the light and wind I forgot about those. Give me a
mo." He grabbed some clothes and went into the closet to dress himself.
"What is wrong with him?" Flint demanded. "Is he high?"
"We all had a wonderful night's sleep," Harry told him, grinning madly. "I've never felt so
refreshed as I have this morning. It must be waking up with my teammates curled around me."
Flint's eyes narrowed so he looked at the twins. "Can I start out between you two tonight? It
seemed to work great last night. No nightmares. No funny talking in my sleep. None of it. It
was like napping with Ron, squared."
George shrugged. "Sure, if the ladies don't hog us for their own pillows," he agreed.
Fred nodded. "You were a frightfully good teddy, Harry. Though I will be tying your knees
together tonight, you kept trying to get back to Oliver by going through my stomach."
"Hey, what can I say, I'm a good cuddle," Oliver said as he reappeared, already dressed. "Ladies,
we're heading down, bring the brooms," he called. He walked past Flint, giving him a pat on the
arm. "Cooperation is wonderful. We worked all this out within seconds because we know each
other so well."
"You're sleeping with *all* of them?" Flint roared.
Oliver laughed. "Not hardly." He grinned again and started to whistle as they went down to
breakfast. "Good morning."
His friend Hal looked at him, then burst out laughing. "Got him good?" Oliver nodded, the
other guys backing him up. "We heard the Flying Wallenda moments last night."
"There was a bit of screaming as well," Fred said as he sat himself down on Harry's left, George
on Harry's right and Oliver across from them next to his friend.
"We simply had to clap for their performance," George added.
Harry giggled. "I bet they stuffed Malfoy in the closet after he came back." Oliver laughed as
well, smiling at him. He looked at each twin in turn. "I was being serious, it was like waking up
next to Ron after an all-nighter in front of the fireplace. You're very comforting. When you're
ready, you'll make great fathers to each other's kids."
"Hopefully their kids will be able to tell them apart better than that," Oliver snorted.
"Why?" George asked.
"No one else can."
"George, you've got a mole on your shoulder. Fred, you've got a hairier belly," Oliver said
simply. They groaned and shook their heads. "I've spent the last three years with you blokes, it's
"Plus Fred has the bluer eyes," Harry put in.
They looked at him in shock. "You've been staring into our eyes?" George asked.
"Harry, we're honored and all, but you're too young for our tastes."
"And male, let's not forget that we like the squishy, yet firm chests."
Hal laughed. "You two are kickers. Absolute pissers." He looked toward the kitchen. "My
wife's working on food now. It'll be a few."
"That's okay, we're retreating so our lovely ladies can get dressed without us," Harry told him.
Everyone looked at him so he blushed. "That's what everyone else calls them," he defended.
"Too true," Oliver agreed, nodding at the twins. "We do. Of course he picked it up." He looked
at Hal. "Our opposing Captain just accused us of sleeping together."
Hal burst out in giggles. "You, Oliver? They're fun and cute, but I sincerely doubt they're your
type." He stood up and went into the kitchen to check on food, bringing out some toast and
cheese. "The rest is coming up. The cheese is to melt into your eggs." They nodded, grabbing
toast first. "I'll tell her to put on more. I forgot what you young men eat like."
"Katie eats more than us combined," Oliver told him.
He smiled. "That's a good thing, a natural woman is a wonder to behold. That's why I took up
with my own woman." He went back into the kitchen, stealing a kiss before requesting she make
double what they thought was needed.
Ron watched the game, biting his lower lip. He had been allowed to come because he was family
of two players and the best friend of a third. Hermione was beside him as his 'date' and Lee
Jordan was just up from them, doing a broadcast for those here and back in the school. The
stands were really small, so they were all mashed against the front railing as the teams battled it
out in the air.
He was slightly afraid for Harry. The guy never slept well when he wasn't at the school.
Besides, how restful could sleeping with the entire team be? They were now in hour seven and
both teams had a low score. They were really fighting hard out there for the professional grade
balls they had been lent. The referee had called a lot of fouls. The keepers were being amazing,
Oliver was so good it was like he was a God of Keepers or something. Harry and Malfoy were
snarling at each other but Harry had faked him out twice already. Ron switched to sucking on his
top lip as Harry ducked a bludger and sped into an upward loop, turning completely around and
heading off at top speed. Draco had noticed and was right beside him. "Oh, bloody hell," he
whispered, grabbing what he thought was Hermione's hand. His was shaken loose and connected
with someone else's, not that he noticed. The boys were in a steep dive now. The snitch was
taunting them and Harry had that look of total concentration on his face. The one that meant he
couldn't see anything but the snitch. Not a bludger coming up behind him, not the other being
aimed at his side. Nothing but the snitch. His best friend was going to be sore! Harry managed
to catch it barely but the bludger to his side made him let it go and nearly fall off. Malfoy
sneered as he zipped past him, but Harry fought back and caught up when the snitch decided to
zag back his way. He caught it this time right behind Oliver, making them both duck before the
bludgers crashed into them from the other team's hits.
Ron jumped up and down, hugging and kissing anyone within range. He noticed he was kissing
Pansy and pulled back, wiping his mouth. "Sorry about that," he said magnanimously. He found
Hermione and picked her up to spin her around. "We won!" he shouted.
"Put me down!" she complained. He put her down, giving her a wicked grin. "Thank you." She
smoothed down her skirt. "You boys are so grabby."
"They can hear you, Granger," Lee Jordan called.
"Dirt!" She ran down to help Harry, smiling at him as she knelt beside him on the grass. "Where
does it hurt?"
"Everywhere," he complained. "Hermione, nurse," he told her. "Please? Before I tell people you
kissed Ron twice?" She blushed and went to get the nurse for him. He looked at his teammates.
"Why can't I drop out of school? I'm happy right now."
"Because people would track you down and break your wand," Oliver said tolerantly. "That was
a magnificent save, Harry. I'm proud of all you guys."
"Proud enough to let us pack up and go home tonight?" Alicia suggested slyly. "So we can soak
"Sure," he said with a grin. "If you don't want to have dinner out to celebrate. The Headmaster
gave us a ten-galleon prize if we won to spend the night at dinner."
"I'm for that and the Leaky's rooms," Katie put in.
Fred and George shrugged. "We don't care."
"That's because you're boys," Katie told him. "Who smell so move." She shoved the nearest one
downwind from her. "Thank you."
Harry held his side as he laughed. "Damn, I'm going to miss these days next year," he said, his
eyes tearing up.
"I'll come back to watch as often as possible," Oliver offered with a grin. "Give you lot free
advice and all that."
"You'd better or we'll have a lot of problems," Angelina said with a smile. She brushed the damp
hair off her forehead. "Where is the nurse?"
"Coming now," Fred said, pointing at her. "I'm surprised she wasn't already here."
"Promise me I don't have to go to the infirmary and I'll spring for a day at a spa myself," Harry
offered. "We deserve it and my aunt is always going on about how well it pampers those who
"They do," Alicia agreed with a smile for him. "We deserve it too." She looked at the nearest
twin's watch. "Seven hours and twenty minutes. Does this break the record, Oliver?"
He considered it. "Nope. We're short by an hour and a half." He smiled at the school's nurse.
"Harry offered to treat us if you'd fix him up here."
She snorted. "Fat chance, Mr. Potter." She lifted him onto the gurney. "The headmaster had a
house elf pack your things for the celebratory meal we're having tonight. The portkey is the
stretcher." They all grabbed their brooms and their outer robes, taking off with Harry to the
infirmary. The nurse shooed them to the special showers, the ones with the heads that blew
strong streams for sore muscles. They sighed as a group as it worked out all the kinks.
Oliver walked into the Headmaster's office, accepting the reward for winning. "Thank you, sir."
He sat down when a chair was pointed to. "Was there a problem?"
"Were you aware that the other team has lodged a complaint saying that you manipulated the
lodgings so they could not win?"
Oliver snorted. "Sure, I thought there'd be two rooms per team, but we did fine. I had gropey
twins and Harry in bed with me." He shifted. "If Flint couldn't get along with his team, then
that's his problem and he shouldn't be captain. We talked about the bedding and decided it'd be
fine within moments."
"Yes," Dumbledore agreed with a small smirk, "he's also accused you of sleeping with your
entire team, including the underaged members."
"Check them, sir, I've never laid an inappropriate hand on any of them, especially not Harry."
Dumbledore held up a hand. "I know, I felt the need to inform you. Tell Harry that I am very
proud of him and that I'll see him in a few days for tea. I'm sure by then the strangeness of
having to sleep in a bed with you six will have worn off."
"Frankly, sir, he could use someone to sleep with, he admitted it's been the best sleep he's been
getting recently," Oliver said he stood up. "He admitted that he felt safe and good after waking
up between the twins, like it was Ron squared according to his standards. Maybe you should
encourage that." He strolled out, convincing himself that he had spoken out of duty to his
teammate. He was a good captain and he cared about his people.