Oliver Wood sat alone in the bar, savouring the dregs of his pint. He didn't want to leave the Cauldron. It was warm here and he could, with the help of several drinks, almost forget. The other people in the bar largely ignored him. They were used to the handsome man who came to drown himself every evening. The press had long since forgotten him, another fallen Quidditch star, it was hardly unusual and they had other things to write about. Other things... that reminded him, Oliver reached his hand across the table to smooth his copy of the Prophet. On its front cover was a shot of Ron and Hermione Weasley on their wedding day. The news of their first-born child was front page of every paper (even the Quibbler, well it's new editor was the baby's godmother). Harry Weasley, the baby born nine months after the war, the child that represented hope for the broken wizarding world. 'Poor bugger,' thought Oliver, 'that was what killed his namesake'. Staring into the happy eyes of the new parents Oliver felt the years fall away and saw them storm the pitch after their victory in the House Cup. Their greatest hour as a team, a team that no longer existed; now there was only a captain left, all alone, remembering.
Katie had been the first to die. The summer before her seventh year she had been unlucky enough to be out shopping in Birmingham's premier wizard department store when the Death Eaters had attacked. Apparently it had just been an exercise to shake the wizarding world; well it had worked. Katie had been killed alongside her brothers and 12 other wizards and witches of varying ages and backgrounds. She'd never stood a chance. At her funeral Angie and Alicia had clung to each other as though they were frightened to let go. They had expected to find life outside school without their sister chaser to be hard, but they had not been prepared to lose her altogether. Oliver had felt so helpless in the face of their grief; even the Twins had been subdued for once. Harry hadn't been allowed to be amongst so many people, but there was a letter from him. It sounded empty and numb just like everything else. Oliver had spent countless nights with the Katie swooping across the pitch in his mind.
Alicia had gone into training as an Auror after Katie's death; she said she had thought about it before but now she knew she had to do it. Oliver had thought she was brave, he felt ashamed that he couldn't do the same. He could see the same emotion in Harry's eyes when he visited the school for the first match of the year. The feeling that they should be doing something. Angie hated it. She begged Oliver to stop Alicia, she wrote to the Twins and even Harry asking for their support. In the end it was Angie herself who died next, in the attack on Hogsmeade on July the 31st. Harry saw her die, he saw them all die. Held by the Death Eaters, he'd watched helplessly as 10 students, several bystanders and Angelina had been massacred by Voldemort's forces. His subsequent escape was part of his legend now. Oliver often wondered how Harry could keep going after seeing that. For him, just seeing the coffin at the funeral had brought him to his knees, another innocent, crushed on the way to victory or defeat. Fred had broken down at the graveside, he hadn't moved, not even for George. Eventually he did leave, Harry had said something to him, Oliver never knew what.
After that Alicia had lost all her will to go on. They'd all seen it. Fred had asked her to come and work in the shop. George had taken her flowers and joke candies. Oliver had visited whenever he could and he was fairly certain that even Harry, with the salvation of the world on his shoulders, had sent her letters. She was killed in the battle for Diagon Alley. Everyone had said she was a hero and everyone had known that meant she had been reckless. Oliver found it hard to mourn her, knowing how much she had felt the deaths of the other girls. Sometimes, during that long winter, he had stared at the picture of his team on the wall and tried to believe that his girls were alright, smiling and laughing just as they were in the picture, and not lying under the cold hard earth.
By Easter the Oliver's world seemed to have descended into anarchy. He couldn't bear to open the paper to see the new names of the dead. The Quidditch League had been suspended and so he had spent his days wandering around muggle London, trying to work out how a war that was tearing him apart could be so invisible from this side. He had known he could have been doing something more helpful but he had been scared and alone. He saw the death of Percy Weasley announced and went to his funeral. The only ones there had been the Weasleys. He had stood at the back and watched them, remembering his room-mate and wondering how it had come to this. That was the last time he saw the twins alive. They were brave to the last. Apparently they had been working undercover for Dumbledore since leaving school but with their usual exuberance they had failed to take proper precautions when spying on a group of Death Eater novices and had been used as training aids. Oliver had been there when they're bodies were dragged from Knockturn Alley. He heard their screams in his sleep. He saw their mangled bodies in front of him wherever he went.
Harry had saved the day of course. He'd killed the bad guy and delivered the world from the grip of a madman. He died doing it though. There was never a detailed report of the events of that summer day. The only witnesses had been Ron and Hermione and they had kept quiet. Remus Lupin had told him at the funeral that Harry had survived the battle. That he had seen Harry walking away from Voldemort's fallen body. There were whispers that Harry had been found on his own, away from the scene of carnage that had been his final stand, his wand pointing at his own temple. Oliver didn't blame him. What was left for him? A life of knowing he had killed. A lifetime of nightmares watching those he failed to save. Oliver saw the crowds celebrating, he saw the people mourn their hero, he went to the pub and never left.
Oliver tried to think as little as possible, it was easier that way. He still wandered the streets of muggle London, looking for answers. He didn't return to his flat, he didn't want to see those faces on his wall; those smiling faces that accused him. Why are you alive? Why didn't you make a stand? Where's your team now captain?