- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
If We Ever Meet Again
The Puddlemere United Quiddich team cheerfully entered the Leaky Cauldron after their most recent victory against the Chudly Cannons. They had, unsurprisingly, beat them by a landslide score of 320-30, once again proving that Puddlemere was unbeatable, or maybe just that the Cannons were simply terrible. Either way, the victory was a cause to celebrate.
The team pushed together enough tables so that they all could sit together. After that, they started in on their first round of fire whiskey. Even though the snowy weather outside was treacherous enough to make anyone feel a little low, the team was intent on celebrating their victory, or more specifically the outrageous saves their captain and MVP for the past three years, Oliver Wood, made. Most of the team was looking to have more than a bit of alcohol. Even the bar tender, Tom, could tell this was going to be a long night and made sure to reserve just enough rooms for the few he knew were smart enough not to try to go home.
Two hours and several fire whiskey rounds later, the team was pretty fairly intoxicated. Some of them were getting rowdy, but not bad enough as to disturb anyone, really. Over across the bar was a less cheerful group consisting of none other than Harry and Ginny Potter, George Weasley, and Hermione Granger.
"Honestly, I don't know what my brother was thinking, stupid cad…I mean, Lavender is just so infuriating…and I mean of course you know she'll be over all the time now because she needs to be close to her Won Won…it'll just be like fifth year, all over again! It is just so revolting!" the Mrs. Potter said. She had been going on for the past twenty minutes about what a fool her brother was, Harry and George nodding in agreement every so often. Hermione was leaning on her elbow on the table waiting for her friend's tirade to end.
"Hey, Gin, exactly how do you expect to take Hermione's mind off our dear idiot of a brother when you have been talking about him nonstop?" George asked with a bored edge to his voice, receiving a glare from Ginny in response.
"Well, I think I'm going to get us all another round of Butterbeers…" Harry said, moving to stand up. Hermione jumped up.
"No, let me do it. Please," she said, practically running to the bar. She got there at sat on one of the stools, placing her elbows on the counter and burying her face in her hands. Tom walked over and asked her what she would like.
"Can I just get a gillywater? Thanks." She could not go back to that table, at least not for a little bit. She heard loud cheering coming from behind her. She turned around to see a large group of people cheering, half of them obviously almost past their point. She sighed and waited for her gillywater.
"Another round of fire whisky, Tom," a man said, coming up to the counter a few seats down from Hermione. Hermione glanced at the man and did a double take.
"Oliver? Oliver Wood?" she asked. The tall man looked over to see who had called his name. His eyes settled on Hermione and his eyes widened.
"Hermione Granger? Is that really you?" he asked, walking towards her. "Oh my God, it's been ages!" he asked, pulling her into a quick hug.
"Last time I saw you, well in person, that is, you were a tiny little third year!" Oliver exclaimed.
"Yeah, well, you'd be surprised what 10 years and a war can do to a person." She smiled at him. He nodded a little and returned the smile. The war was still a tough topic for much of the Wizarding World.
"So, who did you come here with? Weasley worked up the nerve to ask you out yet?" he teased her. She laughed a little and looked away. Oliver then slapped a hand to his forehead. "Sorry, love, I forgot. You two got married, didn't you? And if I remember reading correctly, you have a couple kids of your own now, right?"
"Um, actually, things didn't really work out for Ronald and I. That's sort of why I'm here…Ginny seems to think it is her civic duty to make me forget about him. And she dragged Harry and George here with her."
"George is here? And if the little one is anything like her mother then I'm surprised you haven't hexed her yet!" he joked. "How many times has Gin commented on Ron's stupidity?" He laughed when Hermione groaned.
"Honestly, I've lost count! And she's brought up at least a dozen different men she could introduce me to," Hermione replied disdainfully. Oliver grimaced at the thought. No doubt the same thing Mrs. Weasley was doing to the poor girl. He had been friends with the Weasley's long enough to know that if you wanted to live through a breakup, especially a particularly bad one, you needed to make sure the Weasley matriarch never caught wind of your status as single.
Just then Tom appeared with Oliver's drinks. Oliver paid him and Hermione ordered four butterbeers. Even after her drinks arrived, the two sat there talking for a few more minutes.
"Oi! Wood! What's taking you?" one of his teammates yelled.
"Yeah! We're getting damn old waiting on you!" another yelled. Oliver looked at Hermione sheepishly.
"I guess I should be getting back before they get any worse…" he said, his voice trailing off at the end.
"Yeah, I should be heading back too…Ginny is probably driving the boys absolutely mad," she said. An awkward silence followed. They both turned around to head back, feeling a little different than they had before. Oliver suddenly stopped and turned back around.
"Hey, Hermione!" he called. She turned back around and looked at him questioningly. "Would you like to join me for a drink? Well, and the rest of the team, but with me. Well—"
"Sure, I'd love to," she cut him off, smiling. "Anything to escape Ginny," she added, laughing. Hermione turned around and asked Tom if he could send the drinks over to where her friends were sitting. Oliver offered her his arm and then led her to the table. When his teammates saw him, they cheered.
"About bloody time! We were getting worried there for awhile!" one of his teammates said.
"Yeah, although now we can see what was keeping you. If I met a beautiful girl like that, I wouldn't have come back for the whole night!" Hermione could feel her face heating up.
"Say, you look familiar," another one piped in.
"Guys, this is Hermione Granger. Hermione this is…well…everyone." Hermione gave a small, shy, half wave at everyone while it dawned on them who she was.
"Oi! Wood! What kind of introduction is that for such a beautiful bird?"
"Hermione Granger? You're one of the ones who helped Potter defeat You-Know-Who, aren't you?" She gave a small nod.
"Well, Ollie, how the heck did a daft bludger head like you meet such a brilliant, beautiful young lady like Miss Granger here?" one of the teammates yelled, earning a round of laughter from everyone else. Hermione knew that she was most definitely blushing now. As Oliver went over and grabbed her a chair form another table, one of the players close to her said, noticing her discomfort, "Hey now, we're only just joking around with Ollie." Hermione smiled weakly at him and nodded.
Once the table had resumed their previous conversations, Oliver leaned over towards Hermione.
"Don't mind them now," he said, whispering in her ear. "They're all a bunch of cads, but they mean well, really. But they are right. You look lovely tonight."
Hermione felt chills fun down her spine.
Must be all the alcohol…she thought.
Any fleeting thought of her condition was soon forgotten, however, as pretty soon Hermione was laughing, joking, and drinking with Puddlemere United, something that a great deal of women, and some men, would kill to be doing. Her and Oliver talked about their lives in the past 10 years since they'd seen each other. Upon graduating Hogwarts, Oliver had been picked up by Puddlemere and within a few years, he had worked his way up from reserve to starting keeper and eventually team captain. For the past couple of years, he had even been voted league MVP! Although he nearly choked on his drink when she told him she went to the Yule Ball with none other than Viktor Krum.
"Okay, so how about the last person to finish this shot has to buy the next round, deal?" Hermione proposed, sticking out her hand. Oliver laughed and took her hand to shake it. He held on a little longer than one would expect of two old acquaintances, and when Hermione tried to pull her hand away, Oliver held it a little tighter. She looked up at him questioningly. He was smiling down at her, and when their eyes met, it was like they couldn't look away.
Okay, must be his alcohol…Hermione thought.
"Hermione?" Their hands ripped apart, startled, and they turned to see Harry, George, and Ginny staring at them in confusion.
"Ollie? It's good to see you, mate!" George exclaimed, clapping him on the back.
"Hey Wood," Harry greeted him. "It's been awhile."
"George! Potter! It has been some time! We'll have to get together some time an' catch up," Oliver said, happy to see two of his old friends.
"I see you're the one who stole Hermione from us," Harry laughed, "but 'Mione, we're—"
"Going to go back home now, Oliver, could you be a dear and make sure Hermione gets home safe?" Ginny asked sweetly, an idea forming in her head. Harry and George looked at her questioningly. Oliver looked at Hermione, seemingly at a loss for words. Hermione gave him a small smile which he happily returned.
"Um…sure," Oliver replied.
"Great! Well, we're off now. Oliver, it was nice seeing you again! Hermione, I'll see you tomorrow. Oh, and by the way, Rose and Hugo are spending the night with Harry and I tonight," Ginny said giddily as she flounced away, a dumbstruck Harry and George following after her. After they left, Hermione and Oliver sat there looking at each other awkwardly for a few moments.
"Well…this is slightly awkward, now, isn't it?" Oliver asked, smiling. Hermione laughed. "Should we be reminiscing about our Hogwarts days together?" he joked. Hermione smiled.
"You know, I don't believe I did anything in Hogwarts that didn't involve helping Harry and Ron with something. Even third year when I had the time turner, eventually we used it so save Buckbeak and Sirius," Hermione said, wonder etched in her voice.
"Do you remember that one Quiddich game my last year of Hogwarts?" Oliver asked. Hermione laughed.
"That one Quiddich game? I seem to remember going to many Quiddich games."
"No, no, no, none of that sarcasm! It was my last year and the weather was simply wretched. You put a spell on Harry's glasses to repel water," he clarified.
"Oh, that game! I think I do, although there were quite a lot of games that had bad weather. That may've been the only one that I actually left the stands during, though."
"You know, I almost kissed you after you did that," he said. Hermione looked at him in surprise. "It was an important match, and you doing that spectacular idea of yours was pretty much the reason we made it as far as we did. I was so ecstatic that I probably would have, too, if you hadn't hightailed it out of there so soon." Hermione gave a little laugh and smiled at him.
Hermione glanced at the clock and groaned. 12:24.
"I really should be going now, I've been out too late already," she said to Oliver. "It was nice seeing you again!"
"Yeah, I should get going too. Maybe we could see each other again sometime?" he said hopefully as Hermione stood up.
"I'd like that," she said, then stumbled a little when she walked. She giggled a little, which ended in a hiccup. "You know, I don't believe I am in any condition to go home," she said, and then started laughing. Oliver laughed along with her as he stood up, himself also being a little wobbly.
"Here, I'm sure Tom would be more than happy to give you a room for the night." Oliver led her over to the bar and requested a room for her. While they were up there, Tom also gave Oliver a key for a room, knowing that he wasn't stupid enough to attempt apparating or flooing. Not again, anyway. Last time he did drunk apparating, he ended up in Bulgaria. The time after that, when he tried drunk flooing, we ended up at some crazy insane fan girls house. It took three Aurors to get him out.
The two made their way up the stairs and down the hall way until they found Hermione's room, the whole time talking and laughing together as they had been the entire night.
"I had a really nice time tonight," Hermione said, suddenly aware of how close they were standing to one another.
"Me too," he said, smiling down at her. He pushed a piece of stray hair behind her ears. He took her room key from her hand and reached around her to unlock the door, his arm brushing her shoulder. Hermione's breath became more shallow as, once again, she realized how close they were. It seemed like Oliver noticed too. He reached out and put his hand on her cheek.
"Oliver…" Hermione started, her voice trailing off.
"Shh…lass," He said pushing some stray hair behind her ear. He leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips. They looked at each other, a little startled, or confused maybe, at what had just happened.
"Hermione," he said, hesitantly. "May I come in?"
She looked at him, half dazed, and nodded her head. He turned the knob, opening the door, and back Hermione into the room. As soon as the door closed, he leaned down and kissed her again, this time with more force. If only Ron could see her now, what would he think? It hadn't even been a half a day since she'd left him, and she was already kssing another man!
"Oliver, wait," Hermione said, pulling back. Oliver looked at her questioningly. Their eyes met and suddenly she did not care what Ron thought.
"What's wrong Hermione?" he asked. "Do you want to stop?" Hermione shook her head.
"Never mind. We've got some catching up to do." Hermione smiled at him. She snaked her arms around his neck and pulled him in for another searing kiss.
When Oliver woke up this morning, he would have never thought he would be with Hermione Granger. Drinking with Hermione Granger, joking with Hermione Granger, laughing with Hermione Granger, kissing Hermione Granger in her room at the Leaky Cauldron, just being with Hermione Granger…she certainly was not the bushy haired, ingenious, little third year he had left behind at Hogwarts. He pulled her down onto the bed with him, deciding he liked doing all those things with Hermione Granger.
Oliver woke up the next morning, still wearing his clothes from the night before, with a grueling headache. He sat up on the edge of his bed and rubbed his eyes in hopes of waking up. Oh, good Merlin, what happened last night? he asked himself. Then it all came back.
His head shot up and he looked around his room. Everything was still, and there was no evidence of the brilliant witch ever being here. Maybe he had just made it all up. Maybe Hermione had never really been at the Leaky Cauldron last night. But why would his subconscious make him imagine up the little third year know-it-all whom was always with Potter?
That was when he saw it.
On the desk over by the window was piece of ripped parchment. He walked over there and picked it up, carefully examining it. The writing was practically chicken scratch, obviously hurried
If you're reading this, I'm sorry for leaving in such a rush. You looked so peaceful in your sleep I did not want to wake you. I wasn't quite sure how you would react if you woke up and saw me there. I really just wanted to say what a great time I had last night. It really did help me forget about Ronald for a little while. Who knows, maybe there is still hope for me yet?
To be honest, for only about the second time in my life, I don't really know what to say, or really what we are now for that matter. For you, this was probably nothing. But I do know one thing. Last night, I don't know if it was the alcohol or just my own wounded ego or something else altogether, but I felt something. Which sounds terribly childish after reading it on parchment, but I don't know how else to describe it.
If we ever meet again,
Well, let's just leave it at that.
If we ever meet again,
Oliver cursed under his breath and dropped the parchment. He performed a quick spell so he at least did not smell like he had had all the alcohol that his head was telling him he did. He ran down stairs to the fireplaces in the Leaky Cauldron bar for the Floo system. If Hermione and Ron had just broken up yesterday, and Hermione was out with Ginny, Harry, and George, then no doubt Ron was on the outs with the Weasley family, at least until he apologized to Hermione for whatever he did. Oliver tossed some Floo powder into the fireplace.
"To the Burrow!" he called, stepping into the fireplace and disappearing in the green flames, Hermione’s words still echoing in his mind:
If we ever meet again.