Flintwood and 144?? :D
144. “You’re proud of me?”
Oliver sat in the abandoned classroom on the fifth floor, their usual meeting place, thinking this had all been a very bad idea. They had agreed to meet up today no matter who won the Quidditch Cup, but Oliver knew that when they made that arrangement neither of them actually thought they would be the one to lose. But Marcus and his team had lost – that was a fact Oliver had almost overlooked in the euphoria of his own team winning. There was no way Marcus was going to show.
Restlessness getting the better of him, Oliver stood and started pacing the small room. He’d wait another ten minutes– no five minutes– then he would leave. He wondered vaguely if he’d ever see Marcus again. Sure, maybe in the halls or in class, but if he didn’t show up now Oliver had a feeling they were over.
He stopped pacing. That was a weird thought. And one that didn’t seem to sit well in Oliver’s chest. He had never been sure what to make of this… thing that had developed between him and Marcus after so many years of mutual animosity, but the thought of it coming to an end was… Oliver didn’t want to think about it. He started pacing again.
Unfortunately when he promised himself he’d only wait another five minutes, Oliver had forgotten to check the time, so now he had no idea how much time had passed. He groaned. This was ridiculous. Marcus wasn’t going to show. Oliver headed towards the door.
He reached out to grab the handle, when suddenly it met him halfway and the door was pushed open from the outside. Standing there was Marcus Flint.
Oliver just stared. Marcus stared back. Then his eyes looked over to where Oliver’s hand disappeared behind the door. He looked back up.
“Leaving?” Marcus asked. Oliver let go of the door handle.
“N-no,” he stammered, retreating back into the classroom. Marcus followed him in and closed the door behind him. Oliver started pacing again.
“Look, I know you’re pissed,” Oliver said, alternating between wringing his hands and running them through his hair. “I would be too. I know you’re going to punch me and fine, whatever, but it was a fair match. Well, our side played fair. Mostly. Okay, maybe not a fair match. But our Seeker outflew yours and–”
“I’m proud of you.”
“–even after that dirty stunt that–” Oliver stopped and turned to Marcus. “Wait, what?”
Marcus looked embarrassed now that Oliver’s attention was on him. He avoided eye contact and gave a little cough. “I’m not repeating it,” he muttered at the ground.
“You’re proud of me?” Oliver said, unable to keep the shock from his voice as he repeated Marcus’ words. He expected Marcus to be feeling a lot of things towards him right now. Pride wasn’t one of them.
“I mean,” Marcus said, chancing a quick glance at Oliver who was now approaching him, “I know how hard you worked for this. Do I wish I could have left school on a winning season? Of course. But we threw everything at you and you still came out on top.” This time when Marcus looked up, his eyes stayed fixed on Oliver. “Did you really think I was going to fault you for that?”
“I didn’t– I mean…” Now it was Oliver’s turn to be embarrassed. He realized now that he hadn’t given Marcus enough credit. Somewhere along the way – between the rivalry and the sneaking off and the stolen kisses and the late nights – Marcus had matured without Oliver noticing. He thought he had gotten to know Marcus after all these years, but he had just been scratching the surface.
“You thought I was coming here to punch you,” Marcus said. Oliver expected him to be offended, but instead he just sounded amused. Even more proof Oliver didn’t know Marcus as well as he thought.
“Sorry about that,” Oliver mumbled. Marcus extended him a hand.
Oliver slid his hand into Marcus’ and let Marcus pull him closer.
“I wanna know what it’s like to kiss a Quidditch Cup winner,” Marcus said with a crooked grin. Oliver smiled back.
“That can be arranged.”