[EN] Finders Keepers
Ik heb een ding geschreven! Hier is het ding. Veel plezier ermee.
De titel komt van een nummer van You Me At Six en heeft nergens iets mee te maken, behalve dat het een stiekeme Oliver pun is, wat beter leek dan "Random 1k aan fluff". Misschien dat ik dit ooit nog vertaal naar het Nederlands, maar op dit moment heb ik er even geen tijd voor, want ik had eigenlijk ook geen tijd om dit te schrijven, ahem. :'D
The first word his fellow Hogwarts students use to describe Percy Weasley is usually something that is either on the following list, or a synonym: boring, stuck-up, rigid, pompous, wanker, teacher’s pet, overbearing, oh-no-it’s-that-Weasley. Percy has learned to make his peace with this well-known fact. As long as it doesn’t interfere with his five year plan to becoming the youngest Minister for Magic in recorded history, he can’t be bothered to care whether people think he’s stuffy.
The first word Oliver Wood uses to describe Percy Weasley is not on the aforementioned list, nor is it a synonym to one of the items. Not in any dictionary Percy has ever seen, anyway (and he considers himself to be something of an expert on the subject, having once read the Oxford Dictionary cover to cover during a summer holiday). He is not quite sure how to react to this information.
“What?” he says, purely because the only other response that comes to mind is “urghuh”, and comparatively, “what” sounds positively eloquent.
“Cute,” Oliver repeats. He’s still sitting on his own bed in his muddy Quidditch robes, where he is polishing every inch of his broom like the fate of the entire world might depend on it. He’s been at it for at least half an hour. Probably longer, but Percy only entered their dormitory thirty minutes ago. “That’s the first word I’d use.”
Percy is unsure about a lot of things right at that moment. He’s not completely free from doubt as to why he’s perched on the edge of his own bed, talking to Oliver, when he had only meant to pick up that book he needed for the Charms essay he is writing in the common room. Nor is he entirely in the clear on how their conversation had landed on the subject of Percy’s social reputation, of all things, or why Oliver is offering his mystifying opinion on the subject.
One thing he is very certain of, however, is that Oliver must have suffered some undetected head injury during his Quidditch practice this morning.
“Are you quite well?”
Oliver, miracle of miracles, takes this moment to gently place his broom on a fluffed-up piece of his duvet and shove his cleaning supplies off the end of the bed. They land in a heap on the floor. He glances up at Percy, confusion (and a little apprehension, perhaps?) written clear on his face. “Sure. Are you?”
“Yes?” Percy attempts to sound self assured, or failing that, just boring or pompous, but he fails miserably. He feels like maybe he’s been the one who received a bludger to the nogger all along.
Oliver seems satisfied with his own efforts at tidying up. The full force of his attention is suddenly on Percy, and what’s worse, he looks faintly worried.
What has this world come to?
“I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable,” Oliver offers.
“No, not at all,” Percy hears himself say. “I’m just surprised. I don’t think anyone has ever called me that before voluntarily.”
“Really?” Oliver squashes his hands between his own knees. Now he’s the one looking surprised, while also slowly turning red. “But you were dating that Ravenclaw girl a while back. Penelope? Surely she must have said something along those lines.”
“Not really. Penny and I didn’t talk very much, frankly. Our relationship was based mostly on studying in the library until she got bored, followed by snogging in empty classrooms.”
“Oh,” Oliver says. “Well, that sounds nice too.”
Percy knows, he knows, that Oliver is his friend and that he doesn’t mean for that to come across the way Percy’s brain is making it sound for a moment, but the question slips out anyway. He adds a little huff that could pass for a laugh to cover up his insecurity with fake haughtiness. There is a reason for the general public’s opinion of him, after all. “Not talking to me sounds nice?”
Oliver looks scandalised at that suggestion. “No! I meant snogging you.”
Percy might stare a little (or a lot, especially when Oliver flushes more and frees his hands from his knees only to flail and sit on them).
“So, uh,” Oliver continues, after what must surely be the better part of an eternity, “when I was on my broom this morning I was thinking, you know, about how Quidditch is always best when it’s honest and everybody knows where they stand, and also about how quickly a game can be over and how life is just like that, really, and how every player needs to take every chance they get and stuff, because that’s what legendary games, like the really truly good ones, are made of, and how that’s the kind of person that I want to be, honest, I mean, not necessarily legendary, although legendary would be nice too, but mostly broom safety is also really important and -”
Oliver falls silent as suddenly as Quidditch matches can end. Percy only realizes why when he notices he has put his own hand up. He decides to pretend he had consciously planned to stop Oliver’s word vomit, and not reflexively raised his arm to wait for his turn to speak. He fidgets a little and then feels very sheepish about it. “Ask me,” he says.
Oliver, a little wide-eyed, does. Sort of. “Will you be my date to Hogsmeade this weekend?”
Percy had been expecting “what is the first word you would use to describe me”. He once again feels like that imaginary bludger has whacked him, and it can’t be healthy to sustain this much brain damage during a single conversation, but it’s a good kind of brain damage, somehow (and just the simple fact of that thought entering his head probably confirms his fears about the state of his grey matter). His heart is hammering like mad, as if it doesn’t want to be left out. He spares a brief moment to wonder whether Oliver could actually be killing him, and then to decide if he cares, and then to sternly remind himself that he does, because his five year plan to become the youngest Minister for Magic takes precedence over dating. (He thinks.)
In the end, Percy forgets Oliver can’t read his mind and doesn’t even agree before he says: “Please tell me you don’t have a reservation for a table at Madam Puddifoot’s.”
Oliver shakes his head. “No, Merlin, no. I thought we could go to Tomes and Scrolls, and maybe Scrivenshaft’s and the Three Broomsticks for a Butterbeer, if you want.”
“Yes, I would like that,” Percy says, heart in his throat now. His anatomy is determined to not make this easy for him. He thinks back to Oliver’s unintelligible philosophizing about Quidditch, and then blurts: “And I think you’re cute too. Just for the record.”
“Just for the record,” Oliver repeats, delighted.
And here’s the thing: Percy is absolutely, decidedly sure that the first words people use to describe Oliver Wood don’t even come near those on his list. Oliver’s words don’t live in the same neighbourhood, or perhaps even the same country. Percy has personally overheard Oliver’s praises being sung much more elaborately and accurately than a mere one-word description that isn’t even an original thought.
But Oliver doesn’t seem to care. He smiles, and then he grins, and he looks like Percy said something amazing. It makes Percy feel light and floaty and exhilarated, and so he adds: “And- And thank you for saying that thing you said. I appreciate it.”
Oliver nods eagerly. “I appreciate your appreciation.”
“Good,” Percy says, and nods as well.
“Good,” Oliver repeats, and then they’re just nodding at each other like those bobblehead toys Fred and George wanted to buy for dad’s car. It’s good, because it allows Percy to get some perspective.
He comes to two conclusions. The first is that Oliver, with all his sincerity and Quidditch fanaticism, would make a great First Husband, so certain long-term plans should be no hindrance to recent developments. The second is that he could live with an addition to the list of his contemporaries’ first impressions of him, as long as it would then go something like this: boring, stuck-up, rigid, pompous, wanker, teacher’s pet, overbearing, oh-no-it’s-that-Weasley, wow-that’s-Oliver-Wood’s-boyfriend.
He might even end up liking a list that looked like that.