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Oliver loved Hogwarts. He loved the castle, the evermoving staircases, the Great Hall. He loved the grounds, the quidditch pitch, the lake and the squid. He loved Gryffindor tower, going to Hogsmeade, sitting in the common room with his friends. He loved everything about it, from the smallest details to the grandest parts.

However.

There was one thing he didn't love about Hogwarts. He didn't just not love it, but he hated it. That one thing was Percy Weasley.

Merlin, he was infuriating. From the first day that Oliver had arrived at Hogwarts, Percy Weasley had been a thorn in his side. A thorn that, unfortunately, that Oliver shared a room and nearly all of his classes with.

It wasn't as if the hatred wasn't reciprocated. Percy had made it very clear how he felt about the constant state of untidiness Oliver's side of the room was in, the way that Oliver never took notes in class, how he always asked Percy for a quill or some ink or some parchment or—

But it wasn't like Percy was any kind of saint either. And he definitely abused his prefect powers, mostly to take points from Oliver for inconsequential things, like his shirt being untucked or making too much noise in the common room. And, of course, no Gryffindor party was complete without Percy Weasley tattling to Professor McGonagall and ending everyone's fun. Still, Percy was just one small thing in a very large school. Oliver could deal with him if that was the price he had to pay.

"Oliver, how have you managed to make such a mess in two hours?"

Or maybe this price was just a little too high.

Oliver didn't bother turning around. "It's all on my side of the room, Percy." he replied tersely. Oliver had managed to go the entire train ride and feast without having to see Percy, but he supposed it was inevitable that they run into each other.

Oliver heard Percy's footsteps as he made his way across the room. "I wasn't telling you to pick it up, I was just pointing it out." Percy said. 

Oliver felt annoyance prickle through him and sighed, looking up from the magazine he was flicking through. "Don't pretend—"

Oliver froze, cutting off halfway through his sentence.

"What?" Percy asked self-consciously. "What are you looking at?"

Oliver only vaguely heard the words, because he was too busy gaping at Percy. Or... at least he thought it was Percy. From what he remembered, Percy wasn't ridiculously good looking, or tall, or... cute?

Oliver shuddered violently, trying to rid himself of the traitorous thoughts. Percy was his enemy, the bane of his existence. Just because he'd... grown up a little over the break, didn't mean that that had changed.

"What are you doing?" Oliver was startled from his musings by Percy's slightly concerned, slightly annoyed voice. Oliver decided to focus on the annoyed part, and quickly calmed himself.

"Nothing." he said stiffly.

"Hm." Percy replied, turning away to his own bed.

Oliver released a breath, gripping the magazine tightly in his hands, wrinkling the thin paper. He quickly shoved all thoughts of Percy from his mind, forcing himself to stare down at the magazine, focusing very hard on reading the same line over and over again.

No, this would not do at all.

~

"Oliver."

"Oliver."

"O-li-ver."

"Oliver!"

Oliver snapped from his reverie and looked up, finding Angelina and Katie staring expectantly at him, Katie's eyebrow raised.

"Uhhhhhhhh... yes?" he said.

Angelina scowled. "We were asking how your break was." she drawled, unimpressed.

"Fine." Oliver said. "My cousin got married."

They looked at him, probably expecting him to elaborate about all of the quidditch he'd played, or all of the new strategies he'd come up with, but Oliver's attention was already drifting.

Angelina snapped her fingers in front of his face, making him flinch. "What's going on with you?" she asked. 

Oliver bit at his lip contemplatively. "Listen... I'm going to ask you something, and it's going to sound strange. But just hear me out."

Katie nodded. "Alright. What is it?"

"Have you noticed something different about Percy?" he asked hesitantly, looking down at the floor.

Both Angelina and Katie burst into laughter at this, causing Oliver to look up, alarmed. "What?" he asked. "What is it?"

Angelina recovered first. "Do you mean how he's gotten hot over the summer?"

Oliver paled. "Oh, is that it? I hadn't noticed." he fibbed, fooling no one.

"Uh-huh." Katie said flatly.

Oliver said nothing, letting a moment of excruciating silence pass. Then another, then another.

Finally, he cleared his throat and stood. "Well, I'd better be off to lunch. See you later, then." And, trying to act as natural as possible, he turned and left.

~

"Professor McGonagall, I found him."

Oliver jolted as the silence was broken by Percy's deep husky annoying voice, and a lithe hand wrapped around his arm.

Oliver tried to ignore how Percy's hand was sending electric tingles throughout his entire body, and wrenched it away, scowling.

He blinked as the tip of Professor McGonnagall's wand lit up, illuminating the scene. Which, Oliver had to admit, was rather incriminating for him. It was about 1 in the morning, and he was currently attempting to sneak out of the castle to practice some Quidditch. The key word there was attempting.

"Mr. Wood, what on Earth are you doing out at this hour?" Professor McGonnagall hissed, her eyes narrowing dangerously.

"Er—" 

Before Oliver could formulate an excuse, she was talking again. "Do you have any idea how dangerous it is, with the dementors, and a murderer on the loose?" she demanded. "I would have expected some more sense from my Quidditch captain—" Percy could not hide the little snort he let out at this. "—not to mention, a seventh year. Honestly, I should strip you of your title!"

Oliver stiffened, panic zipping through him. "No!" he burst out. "Please, professor. I swear I won't do it again. Honestly, on my mother's grave. Just please... don't." He clasped his hands together, heart beating wildly as he watched the miniscule changes in Professor McGonnagall's face that meant she was contemplating.

Thankfully for him, her Quidditch-loving side won out. "Very well, Mr. Wood. You may keep your title. However, this cannot go unpunished. You will have a detention this Saturday. Mr. Weasley will supervise."

Oliver didn't need to look at Percy to know the face he was making. "Professor, wouldn't it be better if—" Percy started, but he cut off suddenly when Professor McGonnagall sent him a sharp look. "Yes, professor." He muttered.

Oliver normally would've been thrilled to see Percy chastised, by his favorite professor nonetheless, but the prospect of having to spend his Saturday with Percy was dampening any joy he would have felt.

"Good." Professor McGonnagall bit out. "Now get to bed, the both of you." She turned and marched off, the light of her wand fading into the distance.

There were a few moments of silence before Oliver finally spoke. "Thanks a lot, Percy." 

Percy said nothing, simply turned and started walking down the corridor, back to Gryffindor tower. Oliver followed him.

"You know, you don't have to be such a teachers pet all the time. If you—" Oliver muttered, feeling Percy's anger build up beside him.

Finally, Percy interrupted him. "I don't know what you were thinking, Oliver. There is a literal murderer out there! You could have been hurt, or the dementors could have gotten to you! I was worr—" he stopped sharply. "You could've been hurt." he finished lamely.

Oliver cleared his throat, trying to find the words to dispel the awkwardness. "I won't do it again," was all he could manage to come up with.

They didn't speak the rest of the walk back.

~

Saturday had finally arrived. The rest of the castle woke fresh-faced, ready for a break after the exhausting first week of school. Oliver, on the other hand, woke up with a brick of dread lodged firmly in his stomach. He'd received a note entailing the details of his detention the day before, which had only served to worsen his mood. According to the note, he would be cleaning the potions lab. 

The entire thing.

All by himself.

Oliver knew a handful of cleaning spells, but this would still be a several hours long endeavour. One, Oliver recalled bitterly, that he would spend with Percy.

They'd tiptoed around each other for the last week, but the inevitable had finally arrived. The dreaded detention didn't start until 11, so Oliver used his precious morning time the best he could, seating himself at the Gryffindor table between Katie and Angelina.

"Angelina," he said between mouthfuls of food. "I can't come to Quidditch practice today, so you're in charge. You know the routine. Just get warmed up and do drills, try to get back into shape from the summer."

Angelina raised an eyebrow. "You're not coming to practice? Is something wrong?"

Oliver scowled. "I have detention." he spat out the word.

"Already?" Katie cut in. "That was fast. What did you do?"

Oliver rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. Thanks to the power of hindsight, he'd realized that he probably shouldn't have snuck out, and that it was an incredibly stupid idea to break rules with Sirius Black on the prowl. "Ah... snuck out of bed after hours." he admitted.

Angelina snorted. "Don't tell me you were going down to the Quidditch pitch. Even you wouldn't be that..." she trailed off, seeing Oliver's ashamed expression. "Oliver, you didn't." she groaned.

Katie's mouth dropped open. "Are you aware that there is a fugitive on the loose?" she asked, looking genuinely concerned that he didn't.

Oliver frowned at them. "Yes, I do." he said. "It was an error of judgement, alright? I wasn't thinking straight."

"No shit." Angelina stabbed some egg with her fork, glaring at Oliver from the corner of her eye.

Oliver sensed that this conversation would probably not go in a favorable direction for him, so he laid his hands on the table, pushing himself up. "Well, I've got to go for my detention." he lied. "Remember, just run simple drills for practice."

Angelina's only response was a short nod.

~

"You're early?" Percy's voice was tinged with surprise.

Oliver shrugged. "Let's just get this over with." He avoided looking at Percy, knowing that gazing at those eyes would probably make him weak in his knees. He made his way over to the cauldrons piled in the corner, pulled out his wand, and started muttering spells, slowly cutting through the layers of grime and congealed potion.

To his surprise, Percy joined him even though it was technically Oliver's detention and they worked in a... well it wasn't a comfortable silence, exactly, but it wasn't hostile either.

The time slipped away, and before Oliver knew it, an hour had passed and they were nearly done with the cauldrons. Oliver hissed as he accidently cast a spell a little too powerfully, causing a crack to appear in the bottom of the cauldron.

Percy was at his side at once, examining the damage and correcting it with a spell of his own. "Sorry," Oliver muttered. "That was my fault."

"It's alright," Percy responded. "I've always thought those should be thicker, actually. Cauldron bottoms."

Oliver bit his lip. "I guess so."

A few moments passed, neither of them moving, until Percy finally cleared his throat.

"I can finish the cauldrons, if you'd like. You can start on organizing the ingredients." he pointed to the shelves of ingredients, where jars and vials were placed messily, some missing stoppers, some missing labels.

Oliver nodded. "Alright."

Somehow, the silence that had been perfectly fine before was now becoming immeasurably boring, and Oliver scraped desperately for a conversation topic.

"So...." he started awkwardly. "How did you know I was sneaking out?" 

Percy turned his head, causing one of his red curls to fall, covering his eye. "You're not very sneaky, Oliver."

Oliver's fingers itched wildly to brush that lock of hair away from Percy's face, but he hastily shoved the thought away, voicing the first thing that popped into his head. "Oh, right, because you just always have to tattle, just like when there's a party in the common room." Oliver winced internally at how bitter he sounded.

Percy turned away, hunching over the cauldron once more. "The only reason I tattled this time was because of Sirius Black. I know you've been sneaking out since third year. And I only end parties after someone gets hurt. At last year's end-of-school party, Colin Creevy got hit by a stray spell and cut his arm. But you probably didn't notice that, since you were too busy having fun." His tone was even and emotionless, but his arm was tensed, knuckles white from gripping his wand.

Oliver, in fact, hadn't noticed that Colin Creevy had been hurt, and he felt a pang of shame as he realized this. "Oh."

Percy didn't respond, and Oliver took this as a sign that the conversation was over, examining the bottle in his hand, searching for a label but finding none. He peered inside, not recognizing the silvery powder.

Realizing what this meant, Oliver's shoulders sagged. He cleared his throat awkwardly. "Ah...Percy. Do you know what this is?"

Percy turned, walking forward and taking the bottle. "Powdered unicorn horn." he said after a moment, handing the bottle back to Oliver and returning to the cauldrons.

Oliver didn't know what drove him to do it. Maybe it was the boredom and monotony of organizing bottles. Maybe it was something he'd eaten. Maybe he wanted to find out more about this side of Percy that he'd never seen before. "Why do you always act so...?" he trailed off, trying to find a nice way to put it.

"Stuck up?"

"Uh...yes." Oliver admitted

"Why do you always act so laid back?" Percy countered.

"I'm not acting." Oliver told him. "I really am laid back."

Percy turned his head, the corners of his mouth lifting up. "Uh huh." He raised a skeptical eyebrow.

Oliver felt a wave of gay panic crash over him. Percy had to be doing that on purpose, right? The combination of the almost-smile and the eyebrow-raise wasn't something people just went around doing. He had to know how dangerous it was.

Apparently, for Percy, it was, because he simply continued speaking. "To answer your question, I act like this because I think that rules are important. They keep order, and trust me, it's much better than chaos."

Oliver imagined Percy knew what he was talking about, considering his endless supply of siblings.

"I see." Oliver paused, trying to come up with something else to say, but before he could, Percy spoke again.

"Done." he held up the final cauldron. "What about you?"

Oliver examined the shelf, surprised to find that he was nearly done. He adjusted some of the bottles and stood, brushing off his knees. "Done as well." he answered. Surprisingly, they actually made a pretty good team.

Oliver wondered what that meant.

Percy nodded and strode to the door. "I'll tell McGonagall you finished your detention. You can go to Quidditch if you'd like." With a final nod, he opened the door and stepped into the corridor.

Oliver found himself wishing it wasn't over, wishing he could spend a little more time at detention, which was a very foregin thought to him, considering the alternative was Quidditch.

"Percy, wait!" he called out. Percy turned, allowing Oliver to catch up to him. "Listen..." he started. "I..." he licked his lips. "I just wanted to say that—I'm sorry."

Percy tilted his head. "What?"

"I'm sorry I treated you badly for all these years without even trying to get to know you. And for being annoying." he hesitated, holding out his hand to shake. "Friends?"

Percy opened his mouth, then closed it, looking down at Oliver's hand. "Friends." He agreed, shaking Oliver's hand. Percy's hand was warm. It was lithe, and slender, a complete opposite to Oliver's rough, calloused hand.

But still.

Their hands fit together perfectly.

A moment passed, then another, then another. They were still shaking hands, looking at each other. "Friends." Oliver repeated vaguely.

"Right," Percy breathed, his voice hardly a whisper. "Friends."

They moved toward each other in the exact same moment, Oliver dropping his hands to Percy's waist as Percy cupped Oliver's face, pulling him down into a kiss. Oliver felt goosebumps erupt all down his arms as their lips finally met in a kiss, moving against each other in a perfect way.

Oliver didn't know if it was a million years or a millisecond before they pulled away, only that his heart was close to beating out of his chest, his head was spinning from the majesty, the sheer wonder of that kiss.

Before he could even finish the thought, they were kissing again, fingers tangling in hair, and Oliver was lost yet again in the feeling of it.

~

Oliver loved Hogwarts. He loved the castle, the evermoving staircases, the Great Hall. He loved the grounds, the quidditch pitch, the lake and the squid. He loved Gryffindor tower, going to Hogsmeade, sitting in the common room with his friends. He loved everything about it, from the smallest details to the grandest parts.

However.

There was one thing he loved the most about Hogwarts. He didn't just like it, he loved it. That one thing was Percy Weasley.