Rating: PG-13 for implied sexuality and language
Summary: Angelina arrives at Gilbertfield Castle and begins to talk strategy with Oliver, learning a bit more about him in the process.
Thanks to hermionewithdarkhair from FictionAlley Park for the beta.
Angelina blinked into existence in front of Gilbertfield Castle. She had recently learned to apparate, and her apparition was as precise as she was. She appeared facing the front door, her broom over her shoulder and the handle of her feather-light trunk in the other hand. She knocked on the door, and was surprised to see Oliver himself opening it.
“Hullo, Angelina!” he exclaimed, throwing an arm around her shoulder and pulling her and her effects into the foyer.
“Hi, Oliver,” said Angelina, shrugging off his arm. “Don’t you have house elves to answer the door in a place as big as this?”
“We used to have one – Hilda – but she was getting old, so Mum and Da brought her back to our house in the city proper. They’re just old softies, really. The house in the city is much smaller and in better repair, so Hilda doesn’t have as much to do there. So I stumble around this drafty old place by myself, although the grounds are lovely for Quidditch. I’m glad I could get the team to come out for the summer.”
“Yes, they’re very excited, too,” she replied, a trace of resentment in her voice.
“Oh, Angie, don’t be sore that they wanted to train with me. You’ll have them to yourself for a whole year.”
“I’d thank you not to call me Angie, Ollie.”
Oliver coughed. “Right, of course, sorry. Your room?”
Oliver slung her trunk over his shoulder and climbed the stairs to the second floor. Angelina followed him, admiring the castle that he had termed a “drafty old place.” Angelina was Muggleborn, and the only castle with which she had significant experience was Hogwarts. She was used to that after six years, but it still astounded her that one family – or in this case, one person – could possibly make use of so much space.
The pair climbed another set of stairs after the first, and upon reaching the third floor, Oliver stopped. Opening a heavy wooden door banded with iron, he waved Angelina in.
“Your room, Angelina.”
Angelina stepped in, and Oliver set her trunk down on the floor.
“The rest of the team won’t be here until after dinner. I thought we could have a working meal, talk strategy,” he said.
She met Oliver in one of the large first floor rooms. It was equipped with a long table that was, at that moment, set with a bowl of bread and a soup tureen, and covered besides with playbooks and other Quidditch paraphernalia. A fire blazed in the hearth at the end of the narrow room, and the masonry walls were covered with chalked diagrams of the Quidditch pitch, crisscrossed with x’s and o’s. Oliver had apparently already been at work.
“I have a lot of ideas,” he said, gesturing at the diagrams. “I’ve learned so much working with Puddlemere. But obviously, if you have other ideas, feel free to – “
“I will, thank you,” Angelina cut in. “I have definite plans for the year. I want to base the strategy largely around the chaser line. I think all of our previous focus on the seeker put too much pressure on Harry and left us vulnerable when he was out of the picture, which seems to happen a lot – ”
“Angelina! I respect that you don’t agree with the way I set up the team in the past, but at least let me voice some ideas. I’m playing with a professional team now!”
“Yeah, in reserves,” Angelina muttered.
“What was that, Angie?”
“Damn it, Oliver, that was just too – ”
Angelina and Oliver were distracted at that moment by a ‘pop’ from the edge of the room as Harry emerged from the fireplace. Unwilling to continue the argument in front of the seeker, Angelina was relegated to staring furiously but silently at Oliver.
“Fred and George are right behind me,” said Harry, brushing himself off and stepping out of the way, dragging his trunk along. This proved to be a good move, as George – or was it Fred? – barreled through the fireplace right behind Harry. He was followed swiftly by the other twin who, true to his showy nature, somersaulted out of the fireplace and struck a pose.
“Angelina, darling,” said Fred (or possibly George), approaching her and slinging an arm around her shoulder, “I hope you weren’t too terribly lonely here with just old Oliver for company. Are Katie and Alicia here yet?”
“No, not yet. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t glad to see you boys,” she sniffed in Oliver’s direction. “Ollie, maybe you should help them to their rooms.”
Oliver cast one more livid glance at Angelina, then led Harry and the twins to the stairs.