Summary: Angelina Johnson has a very odd day. (Wherein Oliver is a drama queen, two different boys are in love with her, there’s a betting pool about her relationship status, rock, paper, scissors is used to make important life decisions, dementors are attacking the school, and the only thing that’s normal is the cuddle pile in the Gryffindor common room.)
Technically an outtake of chapter nine from A Trio of Tricksters: Eclipse the Past, Usurp the Future, but can be read alone.
Disclaimer: I feel like these are a moot point, but it’s a tradition that helps me boost my word count during NaNoWriMo, so I’ll say it again in case you didn’t realize: I don’t own the Harry Potter universe, though I’ll do my best to mess around with it as much as possible, like a puppy rolling around in fall leaves.
A/N: Thanks to Transreal_Clouden for reminding me how much I liked writing about Angelina Johnson when I was in a moment of self-doubt and writer’s block, as well as for the betaing from both Transreal_Clouden and cyborg-goddess. Note again that this is a spinoff of my fanfic A Trio of Tricksters: Eclipse the Past, Usurp the Future. Without that context the second paragraph of this fic and a few bits toward the end won’t make as much sense, but this is otherwise a perfectly decent standalone, or at least I think it is. For those of you familiar with AToT, this takes place after chapter seven, a little bit within chapter nine. Now, onto the show!
Angelina’s Unusual Day
Angelina Johnson was having a very odd day.
Days at Hogwarts were always fairly odd to the outside view, given that it was a school of witchcraft, wizardry, and dubious pedagogy, and today had been especially odd because halfway through the school had gotten turned into a refugee camp, and the faculty had gone to war with a horde of soul-sucking monsters, but even before all that things had been weird for Angelina.
The first bit of oddness had to do with the fact that there was no Quidditch practice. Oliver Wood had gotten injured at the start of term, taking a bludger to the head in such a bad way that Madam Pomfrey said that if he didn’t take the whole month off practice he might have to miss the entire semester if he got hurt again.
Given that this was Oliver’s last year, he wasn’t going to miss his last chance at the Quidditch cup as captain on a head injury, and so agreed to not hold physical practice until October, though he still called the team in for biweekly Quidditch tactic discussions to “keep things sharp.” Angelina, now a fifth year, had been on the team since her second, and remembered the captain they’d had before Oliver took over in her third year. Richard Miller had liked Quidditch, but he didn’t have the passion that Ollie did, and while Angelina sometimes took part in teasing Oliver about his eccentricity, she couldn’t help but admire his love for the sport. Said love was infectious, and Angelina quickly became Oliver’s protegee, as he took her under his wing, training her as a reserve keeper and vice-captain in addition to being lead chaser. While Angelina was close with Katie and Alicia, she adored Oliver, and looked up to him as a mentor figure, and later a friend. Oliver was very fond and protective of her as well.
Their openness with one another and easy friendship led many people to make assumptions about them, but Angelina and Oliver always dismissed them out of hand, Angelina insisting that she didn’t see him that way, and that Oliver cared much more for Quidditch than for romance. The reality of the matter was that Oliver had confessed years ago he had rather inconvenient feelings for a stuck up redhead that would not go away and lamented about it to Angelina constantly and she, like a good friend, alternated between listening with sympathy and bitching at him to confess to the object of his affections and not her for the umpteenth time.
For all that she criticized Oliver, though, Angelina hadn’t exactly been open about her affections either. She hadn’t even been open with Oliver, close as they were, because the feelings she had were ones that had the potential to disturb that which he valued even more than breathing: the success of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Because Angelina had a problem, and her problem was that she had a crush, or more precisely two crushes, on the two Weasley twins, Fred and George. Despite her best efforts to narrow it down, Angelina liked them both quite equally in different and dynamic ways, and she couldn’t sort out a preference, despite the fact that she could tell them apart as easily as night and day. At this point, the problem was over a year old, and she had decided that the best option was to shove it at the back of her mind and pretend it wasn’t happening, and reject any feelings she had for either twin.
But then today happened and Angelina was a hot mess.
It had started off normally enough — wake up, shower, head to breakfast. At breakfast she had been sandwiched by the twins, who arrived a little later than her, but that also wasn’t too unusual. Everyone on the Quidditch team was close, and they often teased her about a number of things, among them being a younger, more feminine Oliver when it came to Quidditch, her obsession with anything lemon flavored, and, of course, her grouchiness in the morning.
This particular morning, Angelina was actually mostly awake, but she was still grouchy and only begrudgingly amused by the twins’ antics. It was because she was awake, though, that she realized that for all the silliness, there was also a level of care that they were taking. They never actually sought to seriously agitate Angelina, and looking back, they never had. None of their pranks were more than mildly irritating, and they weren’t even that embarrassing. They were almost sweet, cute even. And the twins were cute too, both of them, down to the freckles on their noses (which weren’t actually identical, the freckles, that is. The noses were fairly similar, otherwise.)
Today, though, the twins were being uncommonly sweet, and somewhat… flirty? Angelina couldn’t quite fathom why that would be the case, because she couldn’t see a reason for why the twins would both be flirting with her, except as a joke, and that didn’t seem like it was in character, or at least it wasn’t what she had come to expect from them. Besides, the whole Quidditch team was very tactile and friendly with one another, and so the frequent touches she was experiencing in that moment weren’t really that out of the ordinary, but they still felt that way for some reason that she couldn’t quite discern.
Shaking off the odd feelings coursing through her, Angelina managed to finish her breakfast with as normal a front as possible before leaving for Transfiguration. Despite her best efforts to focus on the lesson, she couldn’t help but think of the twins, and couldn’t rid herself of the sensation that there was something she was missing. There had definitely been something odd about breakfast, but could she bring herself to talk to them about it? Musing on the thought, and blatantly ignoring the lecture, Angelina decided that, no, she was a Gryffindor, and she was brave, and she was going to confront the twins about this.
The issue was, as soon as she made that decision it was taken out of her hands because class was over and the twins were gone. They were the first out the door, leaving an infuriated Angelina to be held back and scolded by McGonagall, who of course noticed the errant fifth year not paying attention to her lecture on Gamp’s laws of transfiguration. Once Angelina was finally free of that distraction, she left the classroom, but had almost no hope of finding the twins because it was a free period and they could be anywhere in the castle by now. That said, she knew where they spent the majority of their time, and she made her way to the fourth floor, and let herself into the twins’ secret lair, AKA the formerly collapsed passageway behind a mirror.
Technically, the passageway was still collapsed, but the ceiling was stabilized, and a decent amount of space had been carved out, creating the perfect space for the twins to have to themselves. And Angelina, who had discovered the place last year, much to their initial chagrin, as she was certain that not even Lee knew about this place. That said, they warmed up to her knowing their secret, and had even let her help them plan some of the work that was going in to their idea for their joke shop.
As she approached, Angelina was surprised to see that the mirror was slightly open, meaning that their entrance had been hasty, and perhaps not all of the concealing and protection charms were up. That was particularly dangerous for them given that since they didn’t have the map anymore they wouldn’t be able to tell if someone was creeping up on their hiding place. Exactly like I’m doing. Angelina batted the thought away, and opened the mirror fully and entered before closing it carefully behind her so that no one else would be able to retrace as she had. Preparing to announce herself as she walked toward where the passageway opened up into the main chamber they had carved out Angelina paused upon hearing their conversation.
“— how are you even sure that is something she would want?”
“I don’t know if that’s what she wants or doesn’t want, George. But I want her to be able to make that decision with all the facts.”
“We’re both in love with her, and we are equally interested in a relationship with her, and we would be open to her dating both of us — separately of course, but we both want to be with her, however she wants to be with us?” as Fred spoke his voice faltered. “I have no idea how she’ll react to that though.
“It is a bit of a leap to ask that of someone,” George sighed, and while she couldn’t quite see them from where she was lurking, feeling more and more like she was intruding on something she really shouldn’t be, she could very well sense that he was running a hand through his hair and clenching it into a fist in the way that he did.
“I suppose it might be better to not mention it to her at all. I just — I really like her. And I know you do too, and it wouldn’t be fair if only one of us made a move,” Fred also sighed, and Angelina realized that he must have been standing because she heard the sound of him sitting down.
“But what if she’s only interested in one of us? That could wind up even more uncomfortable than if she liked neither of us.”
For not the first time since starting to listen to this conversation, Angelina began to wonder who the girl they were discussing was, not daring to let herself hope. It was silly and improbable that it could be the case, if nothing else than because she couldn’t really believe that not one but both of the boys that she liked would also like her.
“It could create tension,” Fred admitted. “And I don’t even want to think of how Oliver would react if things went badly and we put the structure of the Quidditch team at risk.”
Angelina’s breath caught in her throat. The amount of girls in the school that they could be discussion had just narrowed with a laser focus. But which chaser were they talking about?
“I don’t think she is the type who would let an uncomfortable thing like us liking her affect playing performance. Angelina —” George began, but paused when he processed the sound of Angelina letting loose a squeak when hearing her name. “You did close the mirror behind us, right?” he continued in a quieter tone.
“I thought I did,” Fred replied with no small amount of uncertainty.
There was a pregnant silence before Angelina crept out into the main chamber from where she had been lurking.
“Hi guys,” she greeted them with no small amount of sheepishness, and an uncharacteristic shyness. “How goes?”
The twins stared at her with no small amount of shock, and their faces quickly reddened.
“How much of that did you hear?” Fred asked.
“Enough,” Angelina bit her lip. “Enough to be fairly certain that your flirtations are not in jest, and that you both have an interest in dating me.” She watched their apprehensive expressions carefully. Their usual joking manner seemed to have disappeared.
“And how do you feel about that?” George asked carefully.
“I feel… conflicted. I won’t deny that I am interested, and I have been interested in the two of you for a while,” she quirked her lip into a rueful smile. “I also didn’t say anything for fear of Oliver’s reaction to how it would affect Quidditch. But this would be complicated,” she took a deep breath. “But I’d want to try, if you both would.”
AUD AUD AUD
And thus Angelina found herself with two boyfriends before lunchtime. They skipped their third period class, because romance was more important than charms (besides, Flitwick was a softy) in order to negotiate the dynamics of how they were going to go about having a relationship that would probably be looked upon quite critically. Quite quickly they realized that Angelina dating both of them publicly would probably be a bad idea, and instead devised the solution that she would only date one of them, but they would take turns acting the role of that twin. Unconventional, but practical, and after a game of rock, paper, scissors, it was decided that, if anyone asked, Angelina was dating Fred. George admitted no hard feelings, as he was generally the more private of the two twins in the first place, though he could easily act the part of his brother when the situation required via the mask they presented to the world.
Still, it was with nervousness that Angelina entered the great hall for lunch while holding Fred’s hand, not that anyone paid particular attention, other than her fellow chasers, who stared at them with calculating gazes. The Quidditch team ate most of their meals together, so it wasn’t surprising for them to all sit together. What was surprising was Katie sighing and giving three sickles to a cackling Alicia when it was announced that Angelina and Fred were dating. Apparently the running bet was whether Angelina would date Fred or George, the revelation of which nearly made Angelina choke on her pumpkin juice.
The most surprising thing of all, though, was Oliver’s complete lack of a reaction. The older boy was sitting and simply staring at his food, not eating anything, and looking back, Angelina realized that she hadn’t noticed him at breakfast.
“Oliver, are you OK?” she asked concerned.
“I’m fine,” he said in an uncharacteristically high voice. As he looked over toward her he seemed to notice something that made him freeze, before he got up rapidly and left the hall, still not having eaten anything. Angelina frowned, putting down her utensils on her own half eaten food before slinging her rucksack across her back and getting up herself.
“No, it’s fine, I’ll see what’s wrong,” she told the rest of the team. This day had already been weird, she might as well see what was bothering Oliver too, because the only thing that had been behind her was Percy Weasley, and that spelled drama .
AUD AUD AUD
Some might say that Angelina was particularly good at finding people who were in distress, but actually it was just that she knew her friends very well, and the only place that Oliver would have gone was the Quidditch pitch. He was flying in aimless loops around the goalpost, and gave a start, but was skilled enough to not fall off the broom when she flew toward him.
“How did I know you would find me?” he asked with a wry smile as she pulled her broom alongside his.
“Because I always know where to find you. You’re very predictable,” Angelina shrugged. “It’s actually quite convenient. So what happened with you and Percy?”
“Is it that obvious?” Oliver sighed.
“Oliver, you left the hall as soon as he showed up, and you have been out of it all day. What happened?”
Oliver responded with a series of mumbles lost to the wind.
“You know I can’t hear you while you mumble as we’re a hundred feet in the air,” Angelina replied patiently.
“I told him I was in love with him, OK! I told him I had been in love with him for years and that I didn’t expect him to like me back, but I couldn’t not tell him anymore!” Oliver burst out.
Angelina did her best not to let her jaw actually drop. “Damn. That takes some nerve, that I didn’t even expect you to act on. What prompted this? And how did he take it?”
Oliver was silent for another moment, collecting his words as they continued their slow loops. “He was asking me for advice on how to approach Penny and tell her that they should maybe open their relationship to see other people since he felt like he was holding her back, without making it seem like he was breaking up with her since he actually does also want to continue to be in a relationship with her, and it just sort of… spilled out.”
“Percy was asking you for relationship advice?” At this point Angelina thought the weirdness should be sliding off of the day, but she was still getting more curveballs.
“I know,” Oliver laughed. “Apparently he thought since I had more friends that were girls, and we’re roommates, it was something that made sense to ask me. I mean, he doesn’t really have a lot of friends, you know? But he wasn’t expecting a romantic confession from me, and he just sort of ended up freezing up and not really responding, and then our other roommates came in to the room. And that was last night. Then this morning was so awkward because we ran into each other in the showers after not addressing any of this, like literally collided and were in a mess of naked limbs —” [Angelina was deeply concerned about where this was going and whether or not she wanted to hear more of this, but Oliver was her friend, and she was also curious in a trainwreck kind of way] “— and then he was on top of me, naked, and it was so inconvenient, for you know, reasons —” [Angelina’s uncertainty and curiosity both increased exponentially] “— and then he kissed me, before going completely red, running out of the bathroom, and has refused to speak to me since.”
Angelina was without words. What even was today? “…but he’s still dating Penny? Has he talked to her about any of this, do you think?” she asked slowly.
“I have no idea!” Oliver’s voice was pitched up again. “But why on earth would he do that? He kissed me! He kissed me ! Like, what the hell?”
“I have no idea what to tell you, mate. I don’t think avoiding him is the answer, though? He definitely has some explaining to do.”
“You know, I think you have some explaining to do as well.”
The abrupt shift took Angelina aback.
“Yes, you. Dating another member of the team? What are you thinking?!”
Angelina rolled her eyes. But of course this was coming, she should have expected. She would save the full explanation for when they were on solid ground and Oliver had worked out his Percy drama. No need to give him a coronary in the air. In the meantime, she settled in for a lecture that she was fully prepared to ignore.
….and that was when there was an explosion on the other side of the grounds and what had been merely an unusual day (albeit the most unusual of unusual days) went straight to hell. The wards around the castle flared, and the two students began to fly back to the castle, before noting that there were carriages, which appeared to be full of Hogsmeade residents, entering the school. A horde of dementors was surrounding the fully erected wards, which was only allowing passage for the carriages, and a swarm of patroni was attempting to corral the dementors that were persisting and appeared to be turning toward the villagers. Controlling the patroni were the senior professors, along with third years Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Luna Lovegood, who Angelina knew had been one of the first people to skip a year at Hogwarts in over a century. Flying down to where other professors and students were helping the villagers out of the carriages, Angelina and Oliver immediately began to lend their aid.
AUD AUD AUD
Hours later, when the villagers were settled in, the Gryffindor Quidditch team (minus Harry, who was in the hospital wing along with Hermione and Luna for magical exhaustion based on the extreme feat they had performed today) huddled together in a corner of the common room, eating their dinners particularly cozily as they balanced them on the individual trays they had been given, in light of not being able to use the great hall as an eating venue for the time being. The team ate in a tired but mostly comfortable silence, and once finished piled their trays together and assembled into their standard cuddle pile near the fire. It was a mass of tangled limbs, but it worked.
“Angelina, I thought you were dating Fred, not George?” Katie asked with a raised eyebrow, noticing that Angelina was nestled solidly in George’s arms. Angelina froze for a split second before George cut in.
“What are you talking about Katie? I am Fred?” he replied, in a very confused tone, and Angelina almost did a double take as he did sound almost like Fred.
“Yeah, Katie, that’s Fred, I’m George. And you’re usually so good at telling us apart,” Fred interjected, shaking his head, and sounding incredibly like George, though Angelina could still sense that there was something off.
Katie looked at the three of them with narrowed eyes and pursed lips, her head on top of Alicia’s, the other girl also looking at them curiously. “There is something fishy about this.” She said, finally.
“Is there?” Angelina asked, with as innocent as a tone as possible. Unfortunately it was not enough to fool Oliver, who had known her far too well for far too long.
“Yes, there is,” Oliver paused. “I think I might have won the bet. Alicia, Katie, pay up.”
“What are you talking about? I won the bet.” Alicia protested. “She’s dating Fred!”
“No, I know Angelina better than any of you, except perhaps her boyfriends, which they both are, so pay up,” Oliver replied lazily from where he way laying across both Alicia and Fred’s laps.
Angelina tried to summon up outrage, but it wasn’t like they were going to be able to keep things from the team for long. “Just, don’t spread it around, OK? As far as the rest of the castle knows I’m only dating Fred,” Angelina sighed before leaning into George again.
“And that’s because…?” Katie trailed off.
“I suck at rock, paper, scissors,” George shrugged. “And you three and Harry are probably the only one’s outside our family who can tell us apart. Percy might make a fuss, but he’ll come around eventually. Even if he might have trouble with the concept of a poly relationship at first —”
Oliver’s burst of hysterical laughter made George pause, as did Angelina’s snort.
“Ollie, are you OK?” Alicia asked, concerned.
“Oliver is just expressing himself,” Angelina started petting their captain gently, as if he were an anxious cat. “It’s been an unusual day.”
Author’s note: Reminder that this is a spinoff of my main fic A Trio of Tricksters: Eclipse the Past, Usurp the Future, so if you want to know what the explosion was and why a bunch of dementors went nuts that’s where the explanation is, but I really just wanted to write this to have a moment to focus on Angelina and the twins, and a little bit on Ollie because the main fic only really sees things from Percy’s perspective (at the time of writing this author’s note, that is) and I also wanted this little insight into the Gryffindor Quidditch team dynamic, even if we don’t see how Harry quite fits into it yet. Anyway, this fic was originally part of chapter nine of the main fic, but I cut it when I realized how incredibly little it actually involved the plot of the story since it’s mostly a character piece.
Fic recommendation: Hiding in Plain Sight by Clell65619 on FFN. “The summer prior to 6th year Harry deals with Tom in a decisive, if accidental manner. That summer Harry gets a girl friend in Susan Bones, and sets about some self improvement. It is after this change to himself he discovers something a bit disturbing about the Wizarding World, something that Hermione Granger is determined to use to her advantage.” Harry Potter is Clark Kent the Hufflepuff and it’s a rather fun romp.