Day 1

Title: Day 1
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG-13/R
Pairing: Oliver Wood/Marcus Flint?
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my 'verse. I don't get paid a cent to play. Please don't sue and make things worse.
Summary: Oliver and Marcus must cope with being forced to share a flat.
Note: Part of the 12 Ficlets in 12 Days project 2010-2011. Requested by x-posed-again


Day 1

Sherman Smith had been one of the best keepers in the British league, and Oliver Wood couldn't imagine Puddlemere United now that he was gone. Trades were just a part of the career of a professional athlete, but that didn't mean they were easy to deal with.

Trading Smith came with both good and bad points. The good was that Oliver was now the starting keeper for Puddlemere. They had acquired a rookie named Jeremy Jeffries in the trade, and the kid was going to need serious training before he was up to snuff. Oliver had never mentored a fellow keeper before, but Smith had been good to him and he planned to be just as helpful to Jeffries.

The bad of the situation was that, included in the trade, was the acquisition of none other than Marcus Flint. Flint hadn't been doing so well on the Bats lately, so they were more than happy to unload him off on the first team to actually want him. Oliver wasn't sure why that team had to be his, and he wasn't at all looking forward to working with Flint for a change instead of against him, but he was willing to endure it if his coaches and the owners thought it really was for the good of the team.

Oliver heard the click as a spell sprang the lock on the door open. He looked up from his copy of Quidditch Weekly, putting on a warm smile to welcome Jeffries to the flat.

But it wasn't Jeffries who walked in the door. Marcus, dragging several bags of equipment and belongings, stopped just inside. He stared at Oliver and Oliver stared at him. And then, below his breath, Marcus muttered, “Oh Merlin no.”

Those were Oliver's sentiments precisely. “You've got to be kidding me. You're living here? What about Jeffries?”

Marcus shrugged. “How the fuck should I know? I was told to clear out of Ballycastle—where they don't make us share rooms—and move into the Puddlemere complex forthwith. When I got here, they gave me a room number and didn't lift a finger to help me with my luggage. I don't see you helping me either, by the way.”

Feeling that there must have been some horrible mix-up, but not wanting to be rude, Oliver rose. He could at least help Flint carry the things back down where he would get his proper room assignment. But when he got closer, Marcus grabbed his bags and pulled them out of Oliver's reach. “Like I want you touching my stuff? Stay out of my way, Gryffindor.”

With a look of annoyance permanently etched on his face, he shuffled and huffed his way down the hall. Oliver heard the sound of a door being opened then a “Fuck” which meant Marcus had stumbled upon the bathroom, not his bedroom. Another door opened and another “Fuck” had Marcus locating Oliver's bedroom. One last door opened and then slammed shut a moment later.

Oliver sunk back onto the couch and closed his eyes. Finally getting to be the starting keeper was not worth this—not by a long shot. Now he'd have to have his defenses up all the time just to deal with him.


Day 2

“What's that smell?” Oliver headed out of his bedroom, shaking the sleep off quickly. He'd always been something of a morning person, but waking up to the stench of smoke and something burning was not pleasing. He got to the kitchen to see Marcus in nothing but boxers, trying to scrape black off a piece of toast. “Can't even make a piece of toast, Flint?”

“Your toaster's broken. Normal toasters pop the piece up when it's done.”

“My toaster's fine. You just have to take the toast out when it makes that clunk sound.”

“That's messed up.”

“Hey, it's not my fault if you can't even figure out how to use a simple toaster. I've never had any trouble with it.” Which was a complete lie.

Marcus glared at him then looked down at the toast, suddenly unable to salvage it.

“Just pitch that and make another piece,” Oliver suggested.

“We're out of bread,” Marcus muttered, tossing the ruined food into the bin and storming off without any breakfast.


Day 5

“I never had to pick up like this after Smith,” Oliver muttered, gathering up several stinking socks and a sweatshirt that had been strewn about the living room. He poked a pair of cream-colored boxers with the tip of his want, not wanting to physically touch them. “You haven't even been here a week. This is disgusting.”

“They're just clothes,” Marcus growled, swooping in to grab them all. “It's not like I wanked on the couch and left my spunk around to dry. ”

Oliver pulled a face, not sure he could visualize anything more disgusting than that. Unmoving, he let Marcus pluck the items of clothing from his grip.

“Because I always clean up my spunk after I have a wank on the couch,” he said, casually, before turning to take his clothes to his room.

Oliver looked in horror at the couch he was sure he would now never sit on again.


Day 9

“Thanks again for helping me fit in here,” Jeremy told Oliver as they walked back to the locker rooms after their extra session of practice. “I know it must have been difficult for you to lose Smith. He was amazing.”

“You'll be amazing one day,” Oliver said. “You've got some great keeping instincts, and your reflexes are impressive.”

Jeremy beamed from the compliment. As they walked in, they ran into Marcus walking out. Once again, Marcus and Oliver stood staring at each other. Then Marcus pushed past them in the doorway. “I'll be home late,” he muttered without needing to; Marcus was always home late.

Jeremy looked from Oliver to Marcus' retreating form. “He's not fitting in as well,” the young keeper observed.

“No kidding,” Oliver said. Most of the team had yet to warm up to the aggressive, moody, egotistical chaser. “He thinks he's too good to play third string for Puddlemere.”

Jeremy nodded and quickened his pace. “That's because he is.” He sped past Oliver and headed straight for the showers.


Day 14

A spate of colds and injuries plagued the Puddlemere United in the first week of December. Team healers were unable to find a version of the Pepper-up potion that would effectively prevent or treat the illnesses, and most of the injuries could not be hurried to heal with accelerants. Healthy players were suddenly a precious commodity.

One that Oliver was no longer a part of. “Hitchufffff!” He snuffled miserably into his handkerchief and rolled from his side onto his back in bed, taking his stuffed sinuses by surprise. They drained and tickled and protested by sending him into a fit of sneezes and coughs. When he opened his eyes, he saw Marcus creepily standing in the bedroom doorway and gave a start. “What do you wadt?” Oliver asked, his voice muffled slightly through the hanky.

“You sound awful,” Marcus said. “Need me to owl one of the healers?”

“There's dothing they cad do.” He closed his eyes. “I'll just suffer through this at bractice add—”

“Like Hell you will! If you set one foot into the locker room in this state you'll give that cold to the rest of us, and we can't afford that three days before a game. You're staying right here and resting. I'll tell Coach Matthews you're ill.” He closed the door before Oliver had a chance to raise an objection, leaving Oliver lying in bed, miserable and alone, without even the hope of Quidditch to make him feel better.


Day 17

heh… hehITChhh!” Oliver was standing in the kitchen, making toast, when the familiar pop of an apparation caught his ear. It was followed by an unrestrained scream.

Pulling his wand out of the pocket of his pajamas, Oliver ran to the living room to find Marcus lowering himself onto the couch gingerly. His leg was wrapped up, knee exposed amidst the bandages. That little bit of exposed skin was covered in purple and brown bruises. Marcus' cheeks were red and there were tears in his eyes. At first, Oliver thought the man must be feeling sorry for himself. But then Oliver realized it wasn't pity but severe pain. Every time Marcus breathed in, he winced.

“What habbed?” Oliver asked abruptly, making Marcus jump.

“Bloody Bats wanted to teach me a lesson for scoring on them so much.” He reached down to feel his leg and retracted his hand with a sharp intake of breath. “Shit.” Tears danced in his eyes; Oliver pretended not to see. 

“You should ice that. I'll get you—”

“Oliver?” Marcus cut him off, clearing his throat. “Something's burning.”

Oliver brought him an ice pack from the freezer, and then he sat in the chair by the couch, plate balanced on his lap, as he scraped the black, charred parts off the entirely ruined piece of toast.

Marcus raised his eyebrows at the food but didn't say anything. He adjusted the ice pack until it was in a bearable position. Then he closed his eyes. “Healers gave me some potions but say it's going to take a few days to a week to get better. I'm not supposed to use it.”

The realization sunk in: until Oliver's cold cleared up and Marcus' leg healed, they would be stuck in the flat together.


Day 18

“Hurry up, or I won't be able to make it,” Marcus said gruffly, leaning on Oliver for support as they navigated down the hall to the bathroom.

“If you have ad accidedt, I'll hex you,” Oliver replied, the words catching in his throat. Oliver paused to cough a little, his head still filled with congestion, shaking Marcus as well as his own body as he did so.

“And cut that out.”

“Thidk I like gettig ub at all hours to get you thigs or to helb you to the bathroob? If you dod't shut ub, you're od your owd, Flidt.”

“Fine by me!” Marcus snapped. He pulled himself free from Oliver's grip, colliding with the wall and wincing in pain. He hopped forward on one leg, using the walls to steady himself. He repeated the action, making slow progress but progress just the same, though he wobbled, looking like he might fall over at any moment. And then, just a foot from the door to the bathroom, he did lose his balance. He flailed helplessly and, instinctively, put his other foot down to keep from ending up on the floor. The resulting pain was so intense he screamed. But when Oliver moved to grab him, he batted Oliver's hand away, cursing.

Oliver stepped back, watching the man struggling for a moment until the door slammed. When Marcus was finished in the bathroom, Oliver didn't go back to collect him, though it was a battle with himself to keep from doing so every time he heard the man yelp or swear.

Several hours later, one of the team healers arrived to check on the patients. She looked in Oliver's eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. She clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth in disapproval. “You haven't been resting as much as you were told to, have you?”

Oliver paused, wondering how to answer. He had been sleeping more than usual, but with needing to help Marcus all the time, of course he wasn't getting much rest.

Marcus answered for him. “He's always in bed resting.”


Marcus nodded with conviction. “Absolutely.”

The healer looked doubtful but let the subject drop as she moved on to tend to Marcus' injury. The healer applied some sort of salve to the considerable bruises on Marcus' leg before bandaging the limb back up again. “It's not healing as quickly as I had hoped.”

Oliver came over, offering a mug of coffee to the healer and the same to Marcus. The healer gave Oliver a suspicious look. “He's not using his leg, is he?”

Oliver remembered seeing Marcus put his weight on his leg not an hour ago and wondered if that was the first time it had happened. He wondered if it were his fault. “Of course he's not,” Oliver answered.

The healer gave Oliver a sleeping draught and Marcus several potions for healing. And when the healer was gone, and Oliver and Marcus were alone, the two men smiled at each other. “Sorry for gettig adgry with you this bordig.”

Marcus nodded. “Ditto. This stupid injury is so frustrating. I just want to get better so I can get back to playing. At least on the pitch all I have to do is play well to prove myself.”

Oliver spoke quietly, “I thidk you broved yourself all right just dow.”


Day 19

If the standards of the columnists for Quidditch Weekly weren't getting progressively lower, Oliver would eat a quaffle. In this month's issue, someone had the audacity to say that it looked like Puddlemere United was so bad it might actually end up dead last at the end of the season. Appalled, Oliver ripped the article right out and tossed the magazine and loose pages off his bed. It wouldn't have been so bad to read if he'd been healthy and could be out there doing something about the team's state. But here, feeling miserable and useless, restless and pointless, things seemed ten times worse than they probably were. And then that article had to go and—

Thunk! “Nngahhh!”

Oliver scrambled out of bed. He'd thought Marcus had fallen asleep an hour ago. But he found the man lying face-down on the hallway carpet. He rushed over immediately. “What were ye thidkig?” Oliver asked, trying to help the man into at least a sitting position. The man looked at him blankly, apparently too tired to think about much of anything. “Your leg, Flidt…”

“Oh,” Marcus nodded. “I didn't want to bother you. Thought you'd be asleep by now.” Marcus being considerate? The thought made Oliver's head ache and the rest of him feel kind of warm. But the man went on. “Don't want that stupid healer busting my balls tomorrow if you're feeling worse. You need your sleep.”

With a sigh, “I also deed to give Berdie Hedshaw a good kick in the arse.”

Marcus grinned. “Been reading Quidditch Weekly, too, have you?” He laughed that laugh Marcus remembered from their schoolboy days. It had been an irritating, grating sound back then but now… now it rather made Oliver smile. Or maybe it was the fact that, of all people he might be sitting on the floor of his flat at two in the morning with, of all the people he could side with about this, bloody Slytherin Marcus Flint would have been the last he'd chosen.

“Cobe,” Oliver said. “I'll brew us sub tea.”

Oliver stood in the kitchen, blowing his nose as the hot water boiled. He used a spell to speed the process up and cracked the door so he could look out at the couch where he had deposited Marcus. The pain showed in the man's face as he lay there, rubbing his knee.

Oliver brought the tea out, hanging Marcus one mug and keeping one for himself. He hesitated a moment, trying to decide where to sit.

Marcus looked up at him and laughed. “Oh, Wood, you're such a priss! I've never wanked on this couch. I was just having a laugh.”

Oliver felt his cheeks go red. “I… dew that.”

Marcus snorted.

“I did,” Oliver insisted, trying to convince himself that he'd known it was a joke. “I… just dod't wadt to disturb your leg.”

“Disturb it. You're sick. It's stupid for you to sit on the floor.” Oliver sat down on the couch, not feeling remotely as uncomfortable as he thought he would. They drank their tea together in silence for a little while, apart from Oliver's occasional sniffles.

“You're sounding better,” Marcus said. “Haven't heard you sneeze in—”

Hih… hih-Uhtchooo!

“—about one second.”

“Excuse be.” Oliver coughed and snuffled and almost jumped when Marcus offered a tissue from the box on the coffee table. “Thadks.” He wiped his nose and closed his eyes. “This wasd't how I ibagided thigs.”

Marcus swallowed some tea and gave a laugh. “And you think this is how I pictured things? Wood, I didn't even expect to have a roommate; I never had one before. Certainly didn't expect to be living here with you of all people.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“Well, you're still a Gryffindor.”

“Add you're a Slytherid. But we're both od the sabe teab dow.”

“Yeah. And that's why I'm trying to make an effort. Tissue?”

Smirking, Oliver nodded. He had been rubbing his finger at his nose, trying to head off a sneeze he felt coming on. “Sorry,” he apologized prematurely. “This cold's gettig the better of be.”

“Maybe you should lie down.” Marcus shifted over a little more on the couch. “You look exhausted… and cold.” He reached out and ran his hand over Oliver's arm. Oliver knew he had little chill bumps on his arm already, but to have Marcus touch him like that, he shivered. “Yeah, you should definitely lie down.”

Oliver shook his head. “I dod't thidk…”

But before he could lie down, Marcus sat up. “This is probably a bad idea.”

“A bad idea to bake ad effort?”

“No.” Marcus slid a hand against the back of Oliver's neck. “No, a bad idea to kiss you.”

“Kiss?” Oliver coughed, surprised.

“Yeah. Been wanting to. But…”

He'd been wanting to? Oliver's heart was pounding, racing. “But I hab a cold?”

“No.” Marcus narrowed his eyes. “Well, yes. Obviously you do have a cold. But I don't give a damn about that. If we have to live together, I don't want to fuck things up. You used to hate me so much and I don't want that again.”

Chuckling, “What bakes you thidk I don't hate you dow?”

Softly, “The fact that you want to kiss me too. I can see it in your eyes.”

He really should have protested. He should have insulted Marcus or insisted he didn't want anything of the sort. But, damn it, Flint was actually infuriatingly right. And as Flint leaned forward, lips getting dangerously close, Oliver shivered once again. Those lips. That face. And that kind of crooked smile that made something inside Oliver flutter.

Marcus tilted his head slightly and leaned close, lips almost against Oliver's, so close that Oliver could feel his breath, his featherlight touch. But then Oliver sniffled, his nose running, and seemed to come to his senses. “You cad't,” he said, pulling back just a little. “Flint, I hab a cold.”

“Yeah, I know,” Marcus said, that smile of his turning into a genuine grin. “And if I catch it from you, I get to stay home with you longer.” He moved forward in a sort of burst of energy, attacking Oliver with a kiss so aggressive, so strong, that Oliver didn't even thinking of putting up his defenses.