A/N: This is dedicated to thegirlwhowritesfics and juniperjane . No particular reason. None at all. It's not like they were the ones to anonymously request this! This is just a random dedication of my love to them!
Prompt: "Are you humming the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy?"
Word Count: 1.9K words
Playlist: Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy - Tchaikovsky
"Statistically speaking, that's impossible!" Her statement rang across several tables in the Great Hall.
She hadn't yelled, but her voice carried. All the chatter and buzz came to an immediate halt, nothing but the sound of a bench scraping across the floor. She didn't even bother looking up from the paper in her hand. She ducked her head down, rolling her lips together to hide the smirk growing. She chuckled to herself as she heard the collection of whispers make their way up the aisles between the tables.
He'd been arguing his point for weeks now, and while she appreciated his enthusiasm, it needed to end somewhere. Everyone knew it was impossible, himself included. Today seemed like a fine day to really rile him up. The final day of classes before Christmas hols, it was the perfect storm. It also helped that he was halfway there on his own anyway. His voice had been climbing up over the chatter from the Gryffindor table. She knew they were on his side. True to their namesake, the pride of lions always stuck together.
Regardless, she thoroughly enjoyed a good debate, especially with one such Gryffindor. Logic superseded a lot of their banter, but on this particular topic, he was a dog with a bone. Refusing to let go or give up. The sounds of his footfalls drifted up into the swirl of his robes while he walked. She knew he had a flair for the dramatic when he was on a tangent, and he was in peak form this morning.
Two of her classmates skirted in opposite directions on the bench across from her. Keen to avoid his approach. No one had ever challenged him in general. Not Oliver Wood, the headstrong Gryffindor. Not Oliver Wood, Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Not when it came to the one game he was being scouted for. The one game where his talent exceeded everyone's expectations. Smarts aside, quidditch was his and most definitely, not hers.
"Strong words coming from someone who doesn't even follow quidditch." He accused, his voice low and on the verge of shaking.
She lifted her eyes to regard him, her face a mask of indifference, "You think that just because I don't obsess over it, it means I don't keep track of the most popular wizarding sport?"
He scoffed at her, reaching down and pressing his palm flat over the paper she held. Their eyes connected as he hovered over the Ravenclaw table, pushing the paper down so that she would give him his undivided attention. She made a show of blinking innocently up at him. He narrowed his eyes briefly, starting to understand the game she was initiating.
"That's exactly what I'm saying." He determined, licking his bottom lip in irritation.
A collective gasp could be heard amongst the other students, even a few smug sniffs from the Gryffindor table. Head Girl and the Captain of the Gryffindor quidditch team in a tiff. In front of all to see. Every eye in the castle trained on the two of them. Even the teachers were straining to listen in. She chuckled to herself. She wondered how many of them were hedging their bets. It was common knowledge to the older students that the professors got a good laugh out of the typical house rivalries. They joined in on their own terms, always in good fun—a way to keep up morale and to encourage healthy competition.
She tugged her hand out from under his grip and finally lifted her head to acknowledge him fully. The torch he held for Portree was misguided in his patriotism, believing beyond any doubt that they were taking the world cup this year. It was the only time he became irrational about how the game really worked. She enjoyed his dedication to his country's national team and his childhood favourite team, but again, this argument was weeks old now, and they weren't advancing anywhere near the top of the league. Not this year.
"Puddlemere has a higher scoring average. Their Chasers score an average of 215 each game, without calculating in the caught snitch points. Even if Portree won their next game by 150 points, they're still fourth in the league overall." She dismissively explained, "You saying that they're on track to come first is like saying the Canons will win their next game. It's statistically impossible."
Everyone knew the Canons were just a filler team. They hadn't won a game in the last century and weren't likely to win one in the next. She gave him a smug grin as she laid it all out for him. He narrowed his eyes at her, curling his hand into a fist, his knuckles turning white. He knew she was right but didn't want to admit defeat. Oh no, not him. Not the quidditch all-knowing, Oliver Wood. He could never.
"Scoring average aside," He countered, "Their newest recruits for the season have played well beyond any expectations, and they still have chance on their side. If Puddlemere loses the next two games, regardless of points, they drop out of the winning and it makes room for the other teams to move up."
He stood up, straightening his back and crossed his arms over his chest. Proud of his statement, of his deductions. She let out a condescending laugh at his stance, looking back down at her empty plate for a second. When she glanced back up, she could see his resolve starting to crumble. He was doing the math in his head. He'd figured out that he was off base. That even though he had faith, the numbers weren't on his side.
"You want to place your faith on the best team in the British league losing their next two games? Even after they've won every single one up until this point. You want to ride on the fact that they might choke? A maybe?" She cocked her head to the side, knowing that she had him right where she wanted him, "Care to place a wager on that?"
Her eyebrows lifted into her hairline as she stared at him, strongarming him to make the losing bet or admit defeat. The hall fell into a tense silence, waiting for the outcome. She was sure others had caught up with the data, the proof that Pride of Portree wasn't winning any cups this year.
He faltered, and everyone saw it. Everyone saw the fall in his confidence. The whispers grew again, as those who knew about quidditch were informing those who weren't avid fans. Oliver took a deep breath in and stared over at her, shocked that he'd been beaten at the game. Mostly because he'd been beaten by the least likely person he expected it from.
In hindsight, he should've known she'd be the only one to best him. She always did. She was the only person who could. It was why he loved her. She could go up against the best in any debate and come out victorious. Without a chance to rectify his downfall, the bells rang, signalling breakfast over and time to get on to their classes.
Excitement rose into the air as benches scratched along the stone floors and books were scraped up off the tables. She grinned up at Oliver, and he shook his head, a small smile creeping in. He turned around and headed back to his table to gather his effects before exiting the hall. He could feel the stares of the younger students were giving him. All the while, they were murmuring behind their hands to one another. The "it" couple of the year had a public row. Little did they all know, it was a ploy. One that she put into place to get him to see reality. There was never a hint of animosity between them, and even if there had been, it dissipated when she thoroughly bested him in his top subject.
Students continued to file out of the great hall, the volume of their conversations rising as they retold the events of breakfast. Several versions began circulating, all from a different house's perspective. She enjoyed hearing the snippets as she travelled along the sides of the table. Every version with its own telling features. Quite a few long sighs from the younger kids about how romantic it all was. A few chest thumps from the older ones who defended Wood's devotion. Almost everyone with a quiet whispered holiday wish that they would find someone to share in their passions as equally as they did with each other.
She found him standing a ways outside the opened doors and grinned over at him. In her glory, she kept up a quiet tune while she strolled in his direction. Something about the electricity in the air had her feeling light. Upon reaching him, she lifted up onto her tiptoes to press a kiss to his cheek.
"Are you humming the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy?" He asked, mystified at how her genuine good mood had him feeling uplifted even after that spectacular defeat, "It's incredibly ominous considering our current situation."
She laughed and shrugged her shoulders. He sighed but smiled over at her. She leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder while his arm slipped around her middle and clung to her. He tilted his head so that his laid on top of hers while they stood admiring the snowy grounds.
"I'm never going to live this down," He murmured to her.
She nodded, "Oh, I know."
He couldn't help but laugh. If there was anyone in this castle that could school him in the sport of his passion, it was her, hands down—the only person to be able to keep up with him on statistics and gameplay. Even the most die-hard fans couldn't retain the same amount of knowledge she did. There were times when even she gave him a run for his money. He had to give kudos to her house. She was most definitely sorted correctly. After a long moment, they both turned together and began walking down the corridor towards their next class.
"I guess I'll have to get you a new present now," He sighed, purposely sounding forlorn.
She furrowed her brows as she glanced up at him, "Why's that?"
He frowned, "I can't very well gift you with a Portree jersey that has my name emblazoned across the back when you don't even support the team, now can I."
She stopped abruptly and grabbed his hand, tugging him around to face her. He trained his face into a cool mask of disinterest, hoping that she could piece it together herself.
"Ollie, what are you saying?" She bit her lip, the shock of his statement settling in.
He smirked at her, and she squealed, jumping up to gather him in her arms.
"They signed you!" She whispered excitedly into his chest, "You got first draft! You're going to be the Keeper for Portree? To think, the term is barely over, and they've already committed!"
He laughed along with her, keeping his arms tight around her back. He held her close to him, enjoying how thrilled she was for his news. It was an anxiety he'd had since the end of last year, but thankfully all the extra training he put in over the summer and with the first few games of the year under his belt, the recruiters were impressed and offered him an early contract.
When she let go of him, she held his biceps tightly and grinned, "I'll proudly wear the losing team's jersey if it has your name on it."
His mouth dropped open in disbelief, but he couldn't help the laugh that escaped.
He took her hand in his, threading their fingers together and held his head high, "With me as their keeper, we won't be the losing team anymore."