Astronomy Tower
Harry Potter
Romance Slash
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire
Published: 12/15/2001
Updated: 12/15/2001
Words: 2,021
Chapters: 1
Hits: 5,456

Dreams Of Quidditch


Story Summary:
There are more important things in life than winning.

Author's Note:
Set during PoA, immediately after the Gryffindor-Hufflepuff match in which Harry blacked out because of the Dementors. That makes Harry thirteen years old, and Oliver, seventeen; so, Harry is technically underage, although the rating for this story is a very tame PG. But if it still ruffles your feathers, just pass this one up.

Dreams of Quidditch

Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day

-Joni Mitchell, 'Both Sides Now'

It wasn't late; it was just going on ten o'clock, and on any other Saturday night, Harry would usually still be awake, either doing homework or lazing around in the Gryffindor common room. But at this hour, the hospital wing had already dimmed the lights, and a solitary torch bracketed on the far wall blazed steadily, casting an amber glow across the room. It was very quiet; he was the only one there.

Harry tried to get some rest, but sleep fled from behind his closed lids; all that lingered was a persistent, unsettled feeling that he simply couldn't shrug off. It wasn't physical fatigue; Madam Pomfrey's medicine worked wonders, and he felt perfectly fine. No, it was something else, altogether — and what was worst, Harry knew exactly what it was.

Fred's voice echoed in his mind: Still in the showers; we think he's trying to drown himself.

Those words had hurt when Fred had said them, even in an offhanded tone; and recalling them now, Harry felt the hollow, twisting pain start all over again. He couldn't ignore Oliver's absence during the team's visit — not that he blamed him for it.

To fail yourself is hard enough, Harry realised, with a bitter sadness. But to fail someone else is even worse.

Especially when that someone was Oliver.

Harry had always admired Oliver. The Gryffindor captain exuded warmth and energy with his every move, seemingly effortless; he possessed poise, and confidence, and an inspirational charisma that Harry had been intrigued by from the very first day he'd been introduced to Oliver, by Professor McGonagall. Oliver's zest for Quidditch was contagious — and Harry admitted to himself that part of his motivation to win was drawn constantly on Oliver's unwavering passion, his determination to make the Gryffindor team the best it could ever be.

And Harry knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that he had let Oliver down today, utterly. He had failed to catch the Snitch; instead, he'd blacked out at the most crucial moment, and had thrown the game away. He still remembered racing after Cedric Diggory, drawing level with him; and he'd been that close to catching the Snitch, to seeing Oliver's radiant smile of happiness at him, along with the special, indescribable joy that brought.

"Mind if I come in?"

Harry snapped out of his rueful reverie; he was startled to see Oliver standing in the doorway. He'd been so deep in thought that he hadn't even heard the door open. Harry stared at Oliver for a moment, before he found the presence of mind to say, "Uh, sure. Come on in."

"Thanks." Oliver slipped into the room, and closed the door softly behind him; he walked up to Harry's bed, and drew to a halt by his side. Harry watched him with a wide-eyed gaze, and said nothing.


Oliver paused, and looked at his young Seeker. Harry's green eyes were bright and alert, a reflection of the eagerness and enthusiasm that he always radiated. Oliver found it hard to imagine that only hours before, Harry had been lying motionless on the ground, his dark hair splayed in striking contrast to the green grass of the pitch; the sheer terror that had lanced through Oliver in that moment was still stark in his mind.

He gazed at Harry; he looked small and vulnerable, leaning back against the clinical white hospital bed sheets. Oliver also saw that Harry was worrying the edge of the sheets with his hands, and seemed awkward and strangely nervous; he wondered why.

"How are you?" Oliver asked, his voice surprisingly gentle. He took a step forward, and sat down at the edge of Harry's bed, resting a hand on the sheets. "You've got some colour back — are you feeling any better?"

"Yes," Harry answered quickly, nodding.

Oliver couldn't help noticing that Harry's hand trembled slightly as he pushed his unruly fringe away from his eyes; he also noticed the way the flickering torchlight fell across Harry's face, highlighting his delicate features in gold shadows.

"You all right, Harry?" he inquired again, his manner unobtrusive. Oliver found that it troubled him deeply, to see Harry look so despondent and weary. "Seems like you have a lot on your mind."


Harry bit his lower lip, and kept his eyes averted. He was almost afraid to look up, to see the clear disappointment which must fill Oliver's eyes, which he couldn't hide even if he tried. He knew Oliver was that way — everything he felt would filter through unchecked onto his outward expression, elation and sorrow alike. But he also knew what he had to say to Oliver, no matter how hard it was.

"I'm sorry, Oliver," Harry said contritely, finally raising his eyes to meet Oliver's.

"Sorry for what?" Oliver gave a wry little smile. "What happened wasn't your fault at all, it was because of the Dementors. There's nothing for you to apologise for."

"No," Harry shook his head seriously. "There is. The Dementors may have appeared, but no one else had the same reaction I did — I let something that's entirely personal get in the way of the team's performance. There may have been nothing I could do about it — but there's something wrong with me, and I let you down."

"Look, Harry," Oliver leaned closer, and instinctively took Harry's hand in his. Harry was surprised, pleasantly so; he didn't pull away. Oliver took a deep breath, and continued, "Each of us has our own weaknesses. But we still make a team, and a thumping good one at that. And if I had to choose a Seeker for our next game, I'd still choose you. No doubt about that."

"So..." Harry's thoughts were mildly disjointed, and he was helplessly distracted by the comfortable warmth of Oliver's fingers closed over his own; Oliver seemed so perfectly natural about it, and Harry hoped that he wouldn't let go. "So, you aren't mad at me?"

"Mad at you?" Oliver looked thoroughly appalled at that suggestion. "Why would I be angry at you because the Dementors hurt you and made you black out and fall over?" He gave Harry an injured look. "When I say things like 'get the Snitch or die trying', I'm not entirely serious — I thought you knew that."

"I do," Harry said hurriedly. "It's only that you weren't around when the team came up here just now, and Fred said you were in the showers, trying to drown yourself —" Harry suddenly realised what he'd said, and turned red; Oliver, however, started to laugh.

"And the Weasley twins are better exaggerators than they are Beaters." Oliver smiled at Harry, although he looked slightly anxious. "You didn't actually think that was the real reason why I didn't come up with the team, though? That I was angry at you?"

"Not really," Harry answered, although the relief that showed on his face belied his answer. Oliver noticed that, and gave a sigh; he squeezed Harry's hand lightly.

"Harry," he said patiently. "I know sometimes, I come across as being too keen on winning a game, rather than the welfare of the players. I get carried away, all excited about the match..." he trailed off, and looked remorseful. "I know I pressurise you a lot — which I really shouldn't, since you already have the most expectations heaped on you. That's what I was sitting in the Quidditch changing room all afternoon, thinking about — as well as what a horrid thing it would've been, if you got killed."

Harry broke into a smile, and mildly teased, "Because you don't want to lose your Seeker, especially in the middle of the season?"

"No." Oliver held Harry's gaze evenly, sincere emotion burning in his eyes. "Because I don't want to lose you."

Harry blinked, not quite believing his ears. Did Oliver — did Oliver just say...

And Oliver, seeing the amazement and confusion that shimmered in Harry's emerald eyes, leaned forward and made his point crystal clear without even having to say a word; lightly touching a hand to Harry's left cheek to tilt his face toward his own, Oliver kissed Harry gently on the lips.

Harry let out a soft gasp as Oliver's mouth touched his own; it was so surreal, so dreamlike, the articulation of something he had always wanted, but hadn't even known how much he did. Oliver's fingers brushed gently against his face, and the kiss they shared was sweet and tender and seemed to last for a rush of eternity caught up within a single moment, before Oliver finally pulled away.

Harry's eyes fluttered open, and he was breathless, almost not daring to believe what just happened was real; Oliver looked at Harry with concern, and asked, "You all right, Harry?"

"Yes," Harry managed to whisper; and he meant it, so truthfully.

Oliver still looked uncertain. "If I made you feel uncomfortable, I —"

"No," Harry cut him off, and shook his head intently. "You didn't — in fact, I've... I've never felt so... comfortable, like this, with anyone before."

Oliver smiled at Harry's halting words, and sat back. They shared a few quiet moments; pensive, but not at all awkward. Finally, Oliver broke the silence.

"Today, when I saw you lying on the pitch, unconscious," he started, his voice quivering slightly. "I was so, so scared — I've seen Quidditch accidents before, but none of them struck me the way yours did. George reached you first; I was second, and... well, I don't remember exactly how I reacted, only that the next minute, Alicia and Katie were pulling me back and yelling at me to stop being hysterical."

"You, hysterical?" Harry gave a secret grin. "Not all that hard to imagine, though."

"I think it was hysteria on a completely different level," Oliver gave him a look, and then continued. "But I do remember what kept going through my mind — that I should've been the one to protect you. I'm a Keeper, after all — that's my job. And I thought of all the times before, when you almost got hurt during a game, but always managed to survive; I guess I took all those for granted, until what happened today. Then I realised how seriously things could go awry, and that I should have made sure you would be safe."

"There's nothing you could've done, Oliver," Harry assured him.

"Maybe so," Oliver said staunchly. "But I'm not going to let you get hurt again. I promise you."

Harry smiled; that promise from Oliver was all he needed to feel safe, and all that ever mattered.

"Thanks, Oliver," he said, genuine feeling in his voice. "That means a whole lot to me. It really does."

Oliver returned his smile, and then got to his feet.

"You need some rest," he told Harry, "to get back your strength. I should go now, and let you catch up on some sleep."

Harry nodded. "Okay. Thanks again, for dropping by."

Oliver said nothing; he only tilted his head slightly, and looked at Harry for a moment. Then he took a few steps forward, and leaned down; gently brushing Harry's fringe away with one hand, he kissed Harry lightly on his forehead, the touch of his lips soft against Harry's skin.

Then, he straightened up, and gave Harry a grin, filled with warmth, and... love.

"Good night, Harry," he said, and winked; then he turned, and slipped out the door, and was gone.

Harry stared after him, still disbelieving — but the exhilaration and happiness flooding through him was too real to be just a figment of feverish imagination; and he didn't think he was delirious, yet.

"Good night, Oliver," he said softly, into the silence. He took off his glasses, and set them on the bedside table; then he closed his eyes, a smile curling the edges of his lips, and let himself drift off into a contented sleep filled with dreams of Quidditch, and Oliver.