Author's notes: Okay so had this idea for this story, sort of fallen back into Harry Potter since the talks of possible sequel films. I've always been a strong Oliver W./Cho C. shipper, well next to Cedric/Cho. So anyways. So I wasn't even sure if I wanted to publish this or not. Was constantly tossing around whether or not it was worth it to continue. I know there are not a lot of Cho fans out there so it seemed like maybe it would be wasted time and energy. But I already wrote a chapters worth. SO I figure I'll let you guys read it and see if anyone is interested in more.
I have to give mad props to Phaedra's story One to Keep. s/1334278/1/The-One-to-Keep
I loved this unfinished story, really wanted to pull from it that Cedric and Cho were very close friends from years before the Triwizard cup. Also One to Keep is a great Cho/Cedric/Oliver piece but if you read it be forewarned the last chapter leaves you on the most agonizing cliffhanger, and that was published 10years ago. MY HEART! I do feel I'm writing this because I'm so caught up on these characters thanks to Phaedra!
JK Rowling, obviously owns all these characters and this universe. I just want to borrow them and play a little in her world because it's so good!
STORY NOTES: I am keeping that Cho is Scottish. I didn't exactly like how she was portrayed in the movies, she really didn't say much or have much personality. The setting is probably around 8-9 years after the Battle at Hogwarts/end of Deathly Hallows. And uh.. no apparating.. at least close to Hogwarts.
Oliver Wood sat quietly at the pub gripping his whiskey in one hand with an unfolded yellowed paper in his other. He raised the glass to his lips and took another sip of the amber liquid. The majority of the patrons were watching a muggle game on the TV, shouting and cheering at random according to what was happening on the field. A funny muggle sport where they used their feet to bounce a ball around on some grass. It was amusingly simple in his option. Another cheer rang out in the bar as one of the players successfully kicked the ball into a rectangular net. A slight smirk turned up the corner of his mouth at the thought that all fans seemed to be the same be they wizard or muggle. He was happy that his friend Edward had taken him out and shown him around the muggle world. He'd returned to the same pub several times since, and he felt comfortable now. He was growing accustom to all the oddities surrounding the non-wizarding world and no longer sat around gaping and staring.
These days he found himself often keeping to this particular muggle pub just to be able to get a drink unrecognized. As the former Keeper of Puddlemere United, it was hard for him to walk into a wizard's pub without being harassed even though he had left professional Quidditch years ago. It was a thought which made him take another drink and simultaneously have to remind himself as a grown man he shouldn't cry about it.
To an outside onlooker he would probably look like a man silently enjoying a drink to himself, however inside he was a bit of a nervous wreck. Having just made a life-changing decision recently, he now found that he stood before an unknown future, and despite being a Gryffindor he felt, the slightest bit of anxiety about his choice.
He looked down and read over the parchment in his hand for what seemed like the 10th time that morning.
Dear Mr. Wood,
Thank you for accepting position of Flying Instructor and Quidditch Coach at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Although we are saddened that our current instructor, Madame R. Hooch, will be moving on to other endeavors, we are extremely excited that you will be joining the staff at Hogwarts. I have no doubt that your exceptional skills and experience will help add to our most honored and prestigious school.
Please be prepared to arrive at Hogwarts on August 16th with all of your necessary belongings. There will be an official welcoming banquet for all staff that evening in the Great Hall. Teacher preparation will be set for the week after, followed by one week off before school starts and students arrive on September 1st.
I feel that I can openly say on behalf of all of the staff, that we look forward to working with you in the next year.
Head Mistress Minerva McGonagall
He smiled slightly as his memory of then Professor McGonagall popped into his head. She was the head of Gryffindor back when he had attended Hogwarts, and a great witch and fan of Quidditch. Though the school had undergone a lot of changes in the last few years he couldn't help but feel that McGonagall would not have. Though he fondly remembered his time at Hogwarts, he still wasn't sure that he had made the right decision. Come on, Oliver, is this really what you want to do for the rest of your life?
In all honesty he had never really given much thought to his life beyond playing Quidditch professionally. Quidditch had been his whole world. He'd lived and breathed it for as long as he could remember. Never once had he thought about what he would do if he couldn't play Quidditch, but that dreadful day had finally come. Age, and the cumulative hits from years of being a keeper for a pro-Quidditch team were starting to wear on him. Though he didn't feel it, it was starting to show in his stats, or at least that's what people were saying. Most of all Rigel Rickshaw, the Puddlemere U manager, as he dismissed him. Remember grown man, no crying. He had to remind himself again.
For the past year or two he'd taken up being a personal trainer. If it hadn't been for the fact that McGonagall had asked him to also assume a position as Hogwarts new Quidditch coach and referee, he may have just politely declined the offer and remained a trainer to the next pro-Quidditch prospects. Although he had to be honest with himself, he was getting quite tired of his current profession. Though he was happy he was able to remain so immersed in Quidditch as a trainer, dealing with these big-headed aspiring professionals was starting to get on his nerves. He really hoped that he was never so aggravatingly confident and cocky.
Plus it wasn't as if he'd never get to play Quidditch again, schools got lots of holidays, and he would always be welcome to pop back over for a friendly match or two with some of his professional friends and former teammates. He took another sip of his drink and decided that perhaps the change would not be so bad in the end. His hesitation came more from fearing change than fearing in his capabilities as a professor. In the back of his mind was also the fact that he hadn't been back to the Hogwarts grounds since the battle against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Years had passed since then, but a part of him wasn't sure how he would respond to seeing his old school again. It was a place that was once filled with so many happy and good memories. His years spent there as a student had been full of fun and youthful excitement, but now those memories were tarnished with the horrible ones from that final battle. Most of the school as he knew it was destroyed in the battle, and had since then been rebuilt. He didn't even know how much of the Hogwarts that he remembered was still there.
Right then. On with it you pansy. He downed the last of his drink and stole a glimpse at the time. He had best make his way to the station or he'd miss the train. With an audible sigh, he folded up the parchment and put it back in his pocket before grabbing his stuff to leave.
The pub was only a couple blocks from the train station, and he managed to arrive before the train itself. As he stepped out onto the platform with his trunk and bag, he couldn't help but feel like he was 11 years old again and setting out for Hogwarts for the first time. The whiskey wasn't helping as much as he had hoped and he was still feeling more than a little nervous. You would think after as many Quidditch matches before roaring crowds as Oliver had played in, he'd have developed steelier nerves. Unfortunately anxiety wasn't something he was ever able to easily shake, and the tightness and apprehension he was feeling now felt just as if he were about to step onto the pitch before a big game.
He double checked his ticket in his pocket, silently he was constantly telling himself that he had made the right choice and that there was no going back now. As the 8AM train from London approached the platform Oliver knew it was coming down to the line. Now or never, had come and gone. Backing out now would let down Professor McGonagall, correction Head Mistress McGonagall. He swallowed again. Oliver what are you getting yourself into?
He was snapped back to reality when the crowd of people started getting up from their seats to make their way closer to the train. A mass of bodies was starting to form along the platform each eager to board.
While he was glancing over the crowd he caught sight of the end of another trunk like his. He suddenly stood a little straighter, his anxiety subsiding slightly in light of this. Instantly his mind was processing that trunks like these weren't commonly toted around by muggles. It must be another witch or wizard! He really hoped it was a person from the wizarding world, he would much rather be forced into some polite small talk then be stuck in his own head the whole ride to London. He couldn't quite see who the owner of the trunk was from his current angle, and more and more people were starting to crowd the platform.
He grabbed the handle of his trunk and made an effort to move a little closer. As he politely excused himself through the crowd, he managed to determine the owner of the other trunk was a woman with raven hair. At present her back was turned toward him as she looked in the opposite direction watching the train approach. He walked up along side her to get a better look. As the witch turned her head, eyes following the train as it pulled up to the platform and came to a stop. He realized that he knew the young woman. Cho. That was her name if he remembered correctly. Cho Chang.
"Cho Chang?" Oliver said inquisitively from her right. He hoped that was her and that he hadn't mistaken her name. Merlin, that would be embarrassing. But I'm pretty sure that was the Ravenclaw seeker's name.
She looked up at him and he saw a smile brighten her face as she recognized who had spoken to her. Oliver was now positive it was the woman. Wow, she looks incredible. It looks as though she hasn't aged a day! She looked just as he remembered her. Her soft Asian features and complexion making it hard to place the woman's age.
"Oliver Wood! What are you doin' here?" She looked around confused, wondering if there were other witches or wizards around.
He chuckled slightly thinking how Edinburgh Waverley was probably the last place she was expecting to run into anyone from the wizarding world. It was exactly what he had been thinking moments before running into her. "I could ask you the same question! I haven't seen you since..." THE battle, is what he wanted to say, but cringed a little even thinking about it. "since.. Hogwarts." There was a brief stumble before he continued. "How have you been?"
He saw a flicker in her eye at his pause and knew that she was reminded of the war as well. She politely smiled and answered. "I've been good, good. How about you? I haven't seen you much in the media since you left Puddlemere United."
His smile faltered a bit. "Yeah, I've been well. I guess. I've mostly been working as a professional trainer these days. I'd much rather have kept playing, but I guess eventually age catches up with us all." He hefted his pack on his shoulder a little more squarely. "It seems there's always going to be younger, faster athletes waiting for their moment in the sun." He gave a shrug that spoke to the inevitability of his statement. Then quickly smiled in the hopes that he wasn't showing too much of his own personal disappointment.
"Oh. I'm sorry. I know how much Quidditch meant to you." She replied with a sincere smile.
He laughed. "Yeah.. I think everyone knew."
"This is true. I don't think I've ever heard 'Oliver Wood' uttered in a sentence that didn't also include Quidditch." They both laughed thinking back to the fun times at Hogwarts where Oliver's reputation was merely: Oliver Wood, Quidditch-obsessed.
"So where are you headed? Diagon Alley?" He asked her politely.
"Really?" His eye widened a little. "Are you an instructor?"
"Aye. I've been teaching Charms for the last, oh geez, 5-6 years."
"You don't say! What happened to Professor Flitwick?"
"Oh he retired, after the war and everything, he decided he wanted to see and do more in the world. He's been off globe trotting as I hear it."
"Wow. Good for him."
"Yeah, it's great he sends me postcards every now and then with tips on teaching."
By now the people who were already on the train were done filing out and the waiting crowd was starting to shuffle their way onto the train.
Oliver gestured toward the train. "Well I'm bound for Hogwarts as well, if you don't mind the company."
Her eyes went wide and a spark of realization lit in them, and then she laughed again. "So YOU are Madam Hooch's replacement! Wow, I can already see those kids freaking out over Oliver Wood, Puddlemere U's former Keeper teaching at Hogwarts!" She laughed loudly and then playfully hit his arm. "I guess I should be jealous. Ahh, I'll miss being the favorite."
He couldn't help but laugh as well, he was finding her laugh infectious.
"I'm just kidding of course, I have absolutely no chance of being any students favorite. I was a Ravenclaw after all. The only students who would like me are those who love homework and long lectures." She sighed, "Honestly, I think most consider my class another chance to catch up on sleep, next to good old History of Magic." They shared another laugh.
I don't believe it. She would certainly be my favorite if I were back at Hogwarts. She's young, pretty, likes Quidditch, or at least she used to and has a sense of humor. Now I see why Diggory and Potter were interested. They noticed at this point that the crowd was starting to thin out and begin the boarding process.
"Here let me help you." He said reaching down to grab her trunk.
"Oh that's not necessary." She smiled again, then she leaned in closer to whisper. "It's enchanted, hardly weighs a thing." She reached down and grabbed a handle and pulled the trunk behind her. He noticed as she did so, it glided low to the ground as if on wheels. She stopped and smiled back at him. His heart leap a little.
"You need to teach me that trick." He said wishing he had paid a little more attention in school. He watched as she glanced around making sure no one was looking then, ever so subtly from in her purse pointed a wand at his trunk.
"Levitas motum." She muttered under her breath masking the flick of her wand by pretending to re-position her purse on her shoulder. She nodded toward the train. As he went to pull his trunk he overestimated the amount of force needed to pull something so light, and lost his balance partially falling onto her trunk before hitting the pavement in a sprawling mess of bags and limbs. She laughed loudly, and Oliver felt himself blush. "Alright there Wood?" She asked between laughs.
Nice, Oliver, real nice. He quickly stood up and brushed himself off, trying to play off his clumsiness. He went went to straighten their trunks and her extra bags and hoped his cheeks were not turning as red as he imagined. Was it supposed to be warm today, it sure felt it.
They continued boarding the train and Oliver couldn't help thinking that already his fears about teaching at Hogwarts were dissipating. The fall although hugely embarrassing to his ego, had been a great ice breaker. She had a very friendly personality, and though they hardly knew one another, he felt completely comfortable talking to her. They sat across from one another on the muggle train, bound for London where they could transfer over to the Hogwarts Express for the rest of the trip up the Scottish highlands. The trip which had once been something he was dreading had now turned into something he was looking forward to.
They spent most of the ride catching up on their lives after the war. Cho told Oliver a little bit about what it was like as a professor, giving him notes on what she found worked versus what didn't. They argued about Quidditch teams, Cho defending her love of Tutshill Tornadoes. They talked about his life playing for Puddlemere United, and the pros and cons of being famous.
Oliver explained how his friend had shown him around some muggle pubs, and after retiring he had started frequenting the Muggle world to avoid the fame, and then it kind of stuck. She explained how her mother came from a Muggle family and had just been in town visiting them, deciding to take a Muggle train for old time's sake.
"So mind if I ask you something?" Cho looked up puzzled. He could tell she was trying to guess what his question would be. "Why didn't you continue playing Quidditch? As I remember, you were quite good back when we were students."
"Really? You thought so?" She smiled and now it was her turn to blush. "I never thought I was that good. I mean I played, but there were always better Seekers out there. I had an abhorrent streak against Ginny Weasley after You-Know-Who had come back." She fiddled with the food she had ordered on the train. Oliver couldn't help but notice something in her tone had changed. She was obviously revisiting a dark time. "But I figured I didn't really even stand a chance, so I never tried out." She continued. "Although Terrance is always telling me that I could have played professionally, but I think he's being nice."
Oliver's heart sank a little. And there you have it. I knew it was too good to be true, a beautiful and fun bird like her would probably be somebody's girl for sure. "Terrance? Is that your boyfriend?" He couldn't help but pry further. He wanted to know more about her.
She laughed again. The sound filled the car, and he smiled, her response giving him hope. "Terrance, oh no, we're not together! Terrance Higgs, he's another professor at the school. He teaches Potions. He was a Seeker for Slytherin for a year, before Draco Malfoy bought his way on the team. We sometimes go out on the pitch and play a friendly game or two of Seeker vs Seeker." Oliver had been so happy to hear the news that she wasn't seeing this Terrance fellow and that she was still playing Quidditch that he almost wanted to whoop in excitement.
"So you still play! That's fantastic!" He just barely managed to keep the thrill from his voice from sounding too enthusiastic.
"Oh yeah, I'm on the pitch all the time." She replied happily. Oliver couldn't help but feel she was after his heart, and from just the time he'd spent with her that afternoon he was ready to hand it over. "Yeah it's still Cedric and I's favorite thing to do."
That's it end chapter 1.
SO yeah what'd you think?
So apologies and also a disclaimer: There were and probably will be things that you are like "what? Um that definitely didn't happen, etc" or "hey that's not right." As far as little details go.
I'm roughly new to writing, so I'm already getting too caught up in all the facts. I read the books years ago and have really only been watching the movies since, so some of the finer details have been lost. I was trying to stay accurate but found I was having to stop every 5 minutes to verify things online, and it was taking me forever to write. I just want to tell the story. So things maybe slightly different for the sake of story.
Also, I'm not from the UK and I apologize profusely if this sounds like a stupid American's idea of how British people speak. I watched some videos to try and get the Scottish slang and sp down, but obviously I am not at all versed in the the speech. Most of what I know is what I've seen on TV, in books or in movies. I really tried at first to write in their accents, but it was also driving me crazy and putting a hitch in my process. So I threw the Scottish speak slang out, I was worried that if I wasn't familiar with it others would also be thrown off. Sorry I guess there isn't really any sign of either of them being Scottish. THEY are.. if you can do a Scottish accent please feel free to translate my dialogue. Yeah see the many reasons I was going to drop this fic.
Please read and review and let me know what you think. Still on the fence about this one. Have some good ideas but not sure if I should spend anymore time on it.