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Courage and Ambition

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When Oliver woke up that morning, his bed sheet tangled around his and Marcus’s ankles. The sun was peeking through the shoddy blinds of their tiny flat, falling on to their bed, making Oliver throw his arm over his eyes, turning away from the window.

He didn’t want to get out of bed today. He wanted to stay in this bed, with Marcus by his side, for as long as possible. He knew today was coming. He’d been trying to emotionally prepare for this day, but no matter how much he tried knowing what today was hurt.

He heard Marcus shuffle behind him as he awoke, moving closer to him, kissing his shoulder before nuzzling his face into Oliver’s hair.

Their relationship hadn’t exactly been smooth. Their rivalry was ironically the jumping point. You could only have so much tension with someone before it became more than it just being about Quidditch.

“Wood!” Flint snarled at Oliver, walking across the Qudditch grounds to him, Pucey and Montague close behind. He looked up from his text book, noticing the annoyed look on Percy’s face next to him.

“What, Flint,” he muttered.

“Ready for our match?” he grinned.

Something Flint definitely got too much joy out of was Slytherin’s winning streak. When Harry joined the team two years ago he was sure they would’ve won but the past two years had events that were apparently much more important than Quidditch. Oliver disagreed but few were as passionate about the sport as he was.

“You mean ready to win?” he asked, narrowing his eyes at him. “Yes, definitely.”

“Well, hopefully no Dementors will scare Potter this time,” he jeered.

“I think we’ll be fine since you and Malfoy will be occupied with the game,” he replied, narrowing his eyes at Flint.

He saw behind Flint, Pucey and Montague look at each other and roll their eyes. They were clearly only brought to intimidate Oliver but they clearly didn’t care that much. Pucey was a fair player, Montague not so much, but either way they clearly weren’t in the mood to gang up on him.

“Well, if you win you’d sure be lucky,” Flint sneered back.

“Well, I plan to leave this school with the house cup.”

“Then I guess it’s going to be a while until you graduate.”

Flint’s eyes were a storm, looking down on him. Oliver set his book to the side and stood up. They were about the same height, so it put them on an equal ground.

He’d noticed Flint had changed over the summer holidays. He had to admit that Flint had grown into his looks. His jaw had grown sharper, making his teeth look less large than they had the last year. He was still burly but in a good way, he had to admit. If he looked at his face long enough, he couldn’t ignore the attractive features in him. Because he was attractive, even in his own way.

He pushed away that thought, this wasn’t a time to think like that. “I think we’ll do fine,” Oliver replied. “We’re not the sort to resort to cheating like others.”

Flint gave him an innocent smile. “I don’t know what you mean, Wood.”

“Marcus, c’mon,” Pucey muttered, looking apologetically at Oliver. “We have to study for exams,” he said.

“Yeah, c’mon, I want to actually pass them,” Montague added. They weren’t even trying to hide how ridiculous they thought the situation was. There was really no reason for Flint to intimidate Oliver in the middle of the day like this.

Oliver turned around in Marcus’s grasp, wrapping his arms around his strong biceps. Pretending to be in their own world was the only thing they could do right now. They could lay in bed, pretending that everything happening in the wizarding world wasn’t happening. They could pretend You-Know-Who wasn’t alive and that they were in a war. That Professor Snape was aligned with him and all the Muggle borns were being thrown into Azkaban.

That Marcus’s parents were making him run off to America with them for safety.

Sometimes he regretted they were in this relationship, for nothing other than the pain they were putting each other through. He loved Marcus but their relationship was complicated. He was surprised they had made it this far.

Funny thing was, he never would’ve thought they would even have meant this much to each other.

No one wanted to come and practice with Oliver so he was alone on the Quidditch field and had charmed the quaffle to shoot itself at the hoops. He was getting good practice in but it wasn’t exactly the same as playing against a real person.

And as if his mind had somehow been read, he heard a holler from the ground.

“What’re you doing, Wood?”

He almost fell off his broom at the roar of that voice. He looked down and he saw Flint zooming up to him.

“Practicing, what about you?” he asked, narrowing his eyes at him.

“I came to practice but I guess the quaffle is already being used,” he said, eying the charmed quaffle.

“So why’d you come up then?” he asked, cocking his head to the side.

Flint seemed to hesitate for a moment. “I guess we can practice together – if you want I mean.”

Something changed in his demeanour. He wasn’t scowling, he wasn’t sneering, he seemed to genuinely want to practice with him.

He looked at the charmed quaffle, then back at Flint. His teeth were sinking into his bottom lip, like… he was nervous.

He took out his wand and undid the charm, then used the levitation charm to fling it to Flint.

“Fine.” And he flew back into position, readying himself for Flint to take a shot.

Flint flew back a little and readied himself to take a shot. He flew forward and threw towards the middle hoop. Easy.

Oliver darted to the middle hoop and deflected it with the end of his broom. He looked over at Flint, who didn’t seem too disappointed, and wiggled his eyebrows at him. The disappointed look vanished and Flint… smiled? It didn’t look like a smirk from what he could see. And it was different from how he’d usually scowl at him.

When he had retrieved the quaffle, Flint took another shot. This time though, Oliver didn’t save it.

“Not bad!” he called out to him and went to retrieve the ball.

They played for a little longer, not really exchanging words. This was weird, this wasn’t their relationship. They’re rivals, you didn’t practice Quidditch with your rival.

When it was getting dark, they seemed to make a silent agreement to stop practicing, flying down to the ground, putting the quaffle back into his place, and storing away their brooms.

“Hey, I was curious, do you like firewhiskey?” Flint spoke up.

Oliver stared at him confused. “Yeah but why would you have that?”

Flint smiled. “Snuck it in.”

“I’m pretty sure it’s not allowed on the premises,” Oliver smiled.

“What, where’s that Gryffindor bravery?” Flint said, almost like a challenge.

Oliver thought about it for a moment. He was old enough to drink, they just had to make sure they weren’t caught with it.

“Okay, sure, but if we get into trouble I’m putting all blame on you.”

Flint grinned. “Hm, not as much of a buzzkill as Weasley?”

Oliver snorted. He cared about Percy, sure. They were friends. But he doubted he’d talk to him once they’d graduated. “We’re not really close friends,” he admited. “He’s kind of a pain in the ass.”

Flint laughs. That’s probably the first time he’d heard him laugh in a non-maniacal way. “Well, there’s a spot in a corridor that’s a good place to drink.”

Oliver nodded and allowed Flint to go down to his common room to get the bottle. He returned quickly and he followed him upstairs to a more secluded part of the castle, not too far from the Divination room.

They sat together, passing the bottle back and forth as they drank, in a comfortable silence.

Oliver had always been good at reading people, or he at least thought he was good at it. He could tell from Flint’s body language that something was on his mind, something he wanted to speak about. Maybe not particularly to him but to somebody.

“Y’know, it’s funny,” Flint spoke up.

“What?” Oliver asked, cocking his head to the side.

“My dad was a Gryffindor and my mum was a Ravenclaw.”

Oliver looked at Flint. He wasn’t aware of that at all. Flint had a sad smile on his lips, like he was relieved to have finally got it off his chest but that it was also difficult to talk about.

When Oliver didn’t respond, he continued. “I felt so ashamed of myself when I got into Slytherin,” he continued. “I’m obviously not a Ravenclaw, not with my performance in class. But I guess I’m not a Gryffindor either, I’m not brave in any sense of the word. And I knew my dad was hoping for Gryffindor, I was too. But obviously I’m not good enough for that house. I’m only good enough for the children of fucking death eaters. I’m pretty sure they would’ve been happy with Hufflepuff too, at least that implies being a good person. They’re the least likely to be absolute wankers in my experience.”

Oliver bit his lip, and said the one thing that came to mind. “But, being in Slytherin means you’re ambitious,” he said. “Which you are. I mean, you try really hard at Quidditch.”

He snorted, looking down at his lap. “If only I could apply that ambition to my studies,” he said softly.

He’d never seen this side of Flint. This side that was… vulnerable, scared, weak, and soft. “Why are you telling me this?”

Flint looked at him, and Oliver had never seen his eyes so soft. “I don’t know; I guess because you’re here and we’ve been drinking.”

Oliver bit his lip as they looked at each other. He wasn’t sure how he felt about being under Flint’s gaze like this. His developed looks were becoming more and more clear to him.

“I better get back to my common room,” he said instead, not letting his mind wander too far.

Flint broke their eye contact and nodded. “Right, me too.”

Marcus had told him he really wished he’d kissed him that day. But he was the one who said he wasn’t brave. Oliver still wondered what would’ve happened if he’d been the one to kiss him that day, if he had known the ways he was noticing Marcus that night was the result of that desire.

They were a good match, he liked to think. They levelled each other out, even if they could get competitive over the smallest things. Their personalities were so opposite that they almost drew together like magnates. Although, the more they spent time together the more Marcus showed him his softness, and it made Oliver feel pretty good that Marcus trusted him enough to show that side of him; the sweet, vulnerable side. He knew times like this, times where Marcus held him, wasn’t a side he’d want his friends to see. Marcus had way too much pride in him but when he did bring that down around him, it felt special.

Oliver was still a little thrown off by what Flint had told him last night. He still didn’t understand why Flint felt to need to share that much about his life to him. They hadn’t gotten along in the past by no means.

He got to his Defence Against the Dark Arts class, one of the classes he took with the Slytherins. Flint was with his friends as per usual, Oliver himself with Percy. He still questioned why he hung out with him, the bloke didn’t even seem to understand Oliver’s love for Quidditch, putting most of his focus into his studies, and scoffed at the fact Oliver wanted to get into the pros.

Professor Lupin was a good teacher. Hopefully he’d be able to not succumb to the infamous Defence Against the Dark Arts curse. He definitely liked him better than Quirrell and the joke Lockheart was.

They’d been working on their Patronus all year. It was difficult but most people were able to get a little bit of one at this point. Percy had achieved a full one, much to his delight.

The memory Oliver had been focussing on was when he became captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. That was definitely his happiest memory but so far, he’d only been able to produce a partial Patronus. Maybe he wasn’t focussing enough on the memory.

He looked over at Flint, who looked pretty distressed. He kept shouting the spell but Oliver didn’t miss the frustration in his voice. His friends seemed to have left him on his own, so he was alone waving his wand around.

He glanced at Percy he seemed to be in his own world as he casted the spell, smiling proudly. He rolled his eyes at him and walked over to Flint. When he was closer to him, he could see his distressed look was more angry than anything.

“Hey,” he said carefully, getting his attention.

He glanced at Oliver and his angry expression disappeared and turned into a surprised one. “Uh, hey,” he replied.

“You okay?”

Flint looked away from him, his gaze falling to his feet. “Can’t do this bullshit,” he mumbled. “But I’m a pretty shit wizard, so that doesn’t help.”

Oliver frowned. Sure, Flint was his rival but he didn’t like seeing him distressed like this.

“Try to relax, you’re not going to do anything if you’re not speaking clear,” he said.

“I know!” he exasperated. If Oliver hadn’t known Flint as well as he did, which even wasn’t too well, he probably would’ve flinched. But he knew Flint wasn’t the type to throw a punch, the worst he’d do was get a little violent during a Quidditch game. “Sorry,” he mumbled, nevertheless. “I’m just stressing.”

“Well how’re you supposed to focus on a happy memory if you’re upset?”

He expected Flint to make some smart remark back, it was what he was used to from him. Instead, he took a deep breath and nodded. “You’re right, sorry, I just get stressed easily.”

Oliver watched as Flint took a few deep breaths and held out his wand. “Expecto patronum!”

Oliver saw a tiny spark of the spell. It died quickly but he didn’t miss the look of delight on Flint’s face.

“Nice try,” he said in encouragement.

“Thanks,” he replied grinning at him. “You should try; I want to see if you’re just as terrible as I am.”

There was the sense of their rivalry he was used to. Being kind to each other was too weird. He held out his wand, closed his eyes, and focussed on the moment he became Quidditch captain.

“Expecto patronum!”

He opened his eyes and his jaw dropped. Coming right from his wand was a raven, soaring around the room.

“Well, now I feel one-upped,” he heard Flint mutter.

Before he could tell him that this was the first time he’d formed a full Patronus, Professor Lupin ran over to congratulate him, grabbing other students’ attention. Other students, namely Gryffindors, came over to congratulate him and stare in awe at the raven.

He glanced to where Flint was, and was disappointed to see he had moved away. Right when they were getting along a little, tension was brought back between them.

Marcus always had his insecurities when it came to his magical ability. Oliver himself wasn’t in anyway particularly talented at magic himself but Marcus had always struggled at more complicated spells. It wasn’t from a lack of trying but his hot headed nature made casting spells harder for him. He’d improved after they left Hogwarts, getting better control of his emotions and not allowing them to distract him while casting a spell.

His head was still laid next to Marcus’s, both still holding the other. They had to get up soon, they had to say their good byes, and they had to cry about it later.

As if reading his mind, Marcus mumbled to him, breaking the silence. “We have to get up, Ollie.”

“Don’t wanna,” he mumbled.

He heard Marcus sniffle. “I don’t want to either,” he said softly.

Oliver put his hand on Marcus’s cheek, stroking his cheek bone gently with his thumb. He pressed his lips gently against Marcus’s and felt his lips quiver against his. Marcus was clearly close to crying and even that thought alone made Oliver close to crying.

“I’m sorry,” Marcus said softly and he moved away, getting out of their bed. He looked up at him, and Oliver could see the tears in his eyes.

This wasn’t okay, he didn’t want Marcus to leave. He wanted him and Marcus to be together forever and live in a universe where there wasn’t some bullshit war tearing them apart.

“Ollie, please don’t cry,” Marcus said softly.

“Then stop crying too,” he replied, letting his tears fall onto his pillow.

Marcus wiped his nose with the back of his hand. “Remember how I mentioned we should break up?”

Of course he remembered, Marcus knew he remembered. That’s what hurt the most. Marcus told him he felt it was best that, for now at least, they broke up. Marcus had insisted that if the Death Eaters somehow found out he was connected to Marcus they would find a way to hurt him for information. Marcus’s parents fought in the first war but decided they didn’t want to risk their children’s lives. It sounded pretty cowardice but Marcus tried to explain his parents’ motives. It hurt either way, and Marcus clearly didn’t want to break up with him unless he had to.

“Ollie?” he asked, reaching his hand forward to wiped away the tears that had fallen, gently stroking his thumb across his face.

“I know, Marcus,” he said softly. “I know.”

“I’m not doing it because I don’t love you.”

“I know,” he replied softly. It hurt either way.

“If we can, we can get back together after the war…” he trailed off, he didn’t need to say the obvious. There was no way of telling how long the war would last for, how long they won’t see each other for.

“Ollie,” he said. “I promise; I still want to be with you. But it’s just not the right circumstance.”

He sighed and sat up. “Why not stay and fight?” he asked, looking pleadingly at him.

“Ollie-“ he began but Oliver cut him off.

“Don’t call me that,” he snapped. He didn’t mean to but he was genuinely hurt, and it hurt to hear the affectionate pet name when they were technically broken up. He didn’t mean for his hurt to turn into anger, but he wasn’t too good at controlling his emotions when he got overwhelmed.

Marcus’s reaction was like he was slapped. They’d had arguments before, but they were just spats. Usually not beyond who’s a better Quidditch player or who’s team – Puddlemere for Oliver, Montrose Magpies for Marcus – was better. Nothing like this though, nothing where each word felt like a blow in the stomach.

“Oliver,” he said, trying to say what he’d wanted to before. “I’m not making the decision; I have to think of my family first.”

Like a true motherfucking Slytherin, looking out for your family even if it wasn’t the most selfless decision.

“You know what?” he said, with a small grunt. “Maybe you are meant to be a Slytherin.”

“I’m not a Death Eater, Oliver, if that’s what you’re trying to tell me,” he said, narrowing his eyes at him.

“It’s not,” Oliver said flatly. “But you’re not fighting in this war.”

“My parents are the ones making me run!” he shot back, his arms waving to his side. “People are dying and they don’t want me to be one of them.”

“Maybe sometimes you should think what’s better for the greater good, and yeah, it’s dangerous but it’s what’s right!”

“’The greater good’?” Marcus scoffed. “Who do you think you are? Fucking Dumbledore or some shit?”

“No,” he snapped. “It’s just the selfless thing to do.”

“No, it’s your bullocks Gryffindor hero complex,” he growled. “My parents were in the first war, tell that greater good crap to their PTSD, or their dead friends.”

Oliver dropped his glare and stared at Marcus. He didn’t know any of those things. But he refused to admit he was wrong. It wasn’t a hero complex, and he didn’t ask for this damn war to happen but if they were caught up in this war they had to fight.

“Marcus, that’s not what I’m trying to tell you,” he said. “My parents fought in the war too. I’m still going to fight.”

“And I’m going to look out for my family first.”


He waited for Marcus to say something else. Anything as small has a ‘bye’ would’ve been enough. He wanted a kiss and a hug and to whisper to him how much he loved him, but he didn’t get anything. Because they were broken up, because he’d pushed them into this stupid fight. Because they were a mess of a couple.

Fights weren’t unique to them but they were at least slightly better at communicating than they were as kids.

Oliver and Flint hadn’t spoken since their Defence Against the Dark Arts class. If he saw him in class or the corridor, Flint would avoid him. He hadn’t tried to talk to him, it was too weird. It was Marcus bloody Flint. He wasn’t supposed to get along with him or be friendly with him. He wasn’t supposed to share a bottle of firewhiskey with him while Flint dumped things he’d seemed to be hiding onto him.

Flint was his rival. Not his friend, his fucking rival.

So why was he considering to try and talk to him? To apologise for what happened in class? He hadn’t gotten a full Patronus previously so he didn’t understand why he got it that one time.

He had to talk to him, at least try to. He didn’t know why he cared, it was just Flint. But he had to admit, it was nice being on sort of friendly terms with him.

When he got to his potions class, Flint was alone at a table. He looked like he was trying to isolate himself, sitting in the back corner. Percy made his way to their usual desk and looked back at him, furrowing his eyebrows.

“What?” he asked.

He tore his eyes away from Flint. He hoped Percy hadn’t noticed him staring at him.

“Nothing,” he said and followed Percy to their usual desk.

Part way through their potions class, he glanced at Flint again. He was still alone but he definitely looked distressed. If he hadn’t had his own work, he would’ve went over to help him.

“Is he even trying?” he heard Percy say next to him.

“You mean Flint?”

“Who else?”

He definitely looked like he was trying, to Oliver at least. If anything, he looked like he was struggling. He frowned at him, he clearly struggled in classes. A lot, actually.

How had he not noticed until now?

“He’s probably not going to pass his N.E.W.Ts,” Percy continued. Before Oliver could tell him he should stop grumbling, Snape cut in.

“I’m sure you could help him, Mr. Weasley,” his cold voice said. Percy’s face went pale and he bit his lip. “I’m sure as Head Boy, you would love to.”

“I… uh…”

“Or how about you, Mr. Wood?” Snape continued, his gaze going to Oliver. “It’s not a quidditch match so don’t turn into a competition. Mr Weasley can clean up your station.”

Oliver flushed. “Oh no, uh… it’s fine sir-“



He hastily grabbed his things and made his way over to Flint. Flint seemed to hear him coming because he looked in his direction, confusion in his eyes.

“Snape sent me over,” he said.

“Oh,” he said, his cheek flushing in what was most likely embarrassment. “Uh, no, it’s fine. I don’t need you to show me up in another class.”

“I didn’t-“ he cut himself off, and sighed. “I’m sorry,” he said instead. “That wasn’t my intention, I hadn’t gotten close to a full Patronus before.”

“So you’re saying you somehow did a full Patronus while showing me?” he raised an eyebrow in suspicion.

“You’re not cutting the root small enough,” he said, looking at the root in front of Flint.

“What?” he grunted.

“They… uh need to be smaller than that,” he said, chewing his lip.

Flint looked down at his root then back at Oliver. “Well then you cut them if you’re so smart.”

“I’m just… trying to help,” he mumbled.

“Because Snape told you to.”

“I… I would’ve without being told, honestly.” Merlin, why was he like this? It’s just Flint.

Flint didn’t scowl at him, instead he pressed his lips together and looked down at his cauldron.

“Thanks,” he said softly, a small smile tugging on his lips.

As he did help him out and offered advice, there was a weird tension between them. Not their usual tension at least. Flint kept glancing at him and he would glance back. He wasn’t sure how he felt about it.

When he glanced at Flint again, it was when Flint had turned to glance at him. They held eye contact for a moment, until Flint looked away, his cheeks burning red.

“Something wrong?” Oliver asked, his teeth sinking into his lip.

“Did you want to practise together again?” Flint swallowed after he asked, running his a hand through his hair.

“Oh,” Oliver said. “Uh… sure, okay.”

Flint smiled again. He’d been seeing Flint smile a lot, he’d seemed to be smiling more in the past couple of days than he had in the time they’d known each other.

He liked that a lot, but he wasn’t sure why.

“I promise,” Marcus said finally speaking. “I will contact you when this ends, I don’t want you to get hurt either.”

“Marcus…” he trailed off, his teeth sinking into his bottom lip as his eyes welled with tears.

“I promise,” he repeated. “That’s the Slytherin in me I guess, I’ll do anything to protect you, even if that includes breaking up with you.”

That’s it, that made him burst into tears. “Well, it still fucking hurts,” he sobbed out.

“It hurts me too, Ollie – I mean, Oliver.” Great, now Marcus was crying too, which pushed Oliver to cry harder.

“You can call me Ollie, I was just upset before,” he said, wiping his tears away. “Can you at least kiss me before you go?”

Marcus shook his head. “It’ll hurt too much,” he said softly.

“Right,” he replied, his voice cracking.

He felt a pang in his heart when the crack of Marcus Dissaparating out of the room rang in his ears.

He never thought he’d miss their relationship when they were still at Hogwarts.

They seemed to have started some sort of trend. Whenever Oliver would block Flint’s shots, he would playfully wiggle his eye brows at him. Flint seemed to have decided to mock him by doing the same thing whenever he scored.

He was having fun. He was having fun with Flint of all people.

“I think you’re going easy on me, Wood,” Flint hollers to him, who was grinning after scoring another goal.

“What?” Oliver smirked. “No eyebrow wiggle at my expense?”

With a smirk, Flint did an exaggerated eyebrow wiggle and Oliver burst into laughter. Flint burst into laughter too and it took them a moment to recover.

They played for a little longer, until it was definitely too dark to play anymore. When they were on the ground, he noticed something about Flint. The moonlight shone on his face, and it made his grey eyes look quite nice.

Why was he thinking like this? He shouldn’t be thinking about bloody Flint like this.

Flint, who had been his rival ever since he joined the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

Flint, who had tried to scare Harry with Malfoy.

Flint, who was known to be incredibly shifty.

Flint, who was much more insecure than he would allow people to see.

Flint, who had a soft side that for some reason he let Oliver see.

Flint, who he was suddenly realising was really, really attractive.

Flint, who had been holding eye contact with him.

Flint, who stepped closer to him, grabbing him by his Quidditch robes and-

They were snogging.

Holy fuck Flint was kissing him.

And he was kissing him back.

Okay, he needed to process this.

While kissing Flint.

He… liked it.

Yeah, he liked kissing Flint.

It was sloppy, to say the least. He could feel how nervous Flint was. He was bloody nervous too. But neither of them pulled away. Flint still held him by his robes and Oliver’s hands had found their way into Flint’s hair.

Could he even still call him ‘Flint’ at this point? Were they on a first name basis? Fuck, what did this even mean for them? Was he Marcus or Flint? Fuck, they still had the house cup.

Fuck, they’re meant to be rivals and they’re kissing and neither is pulling away.

They kissed until Oliver felt like he would suffocate if he didn’t. He panted when he pulled away, resting his forehead against Flint’s (Marcus’s?), his hands still in his hair, Flint’s now holding him at the hips.

He looked Flint in the eye, and he could see the fear written in them. He was no doubt mirroring them.

Flint finally let go of him, stepping backwards. “I… uh… I…” he stumbled over his words, blushing like mad.

“You… think we should get back to our common rooms?” he asked. He didn’t want to. Fuck he actually really didn’t want to. But how else was he meant to relieve this really awkward tension?


Hogwarts was nothing like he remembered. It was depressing and by the look of it, most of the protection came from fucking teenagers.

Okay, to be fair, the weight of the world was on Harry who wasn’t even eighteen yet.

Harry had arrived back at Hogwarts and he was doing fuck knows what, while Oliver helped Neville Longbottom carry the deceased to the Great Hall. He was definitely taking a toll on him, it made him sick there was so much death around him. He set the body of Collin Creevy onto a foldup bed. That was last of the bodies they’d found, so he sat down to the side. He needed a moment to collect himself.

He looked around the Great Hall, seeing people crying over the deceased. He felt a pang in his chest when he saw the Weasleys crying over a dead body. Someone who was especially distressed was… George. Fuck, was Fred dead?

He looked away, he didn’t need to think about someone he was close to… dying. He swallowed the lump in his throat and his eyes fell on some students. Two were in Gryffindor robes, one dressed in regular clothes, and all three were crying over their deceased friend’s body. He vaguely recognised them, they were friends with Harry. The girl was sobbing over her friend’s body and the two boys were sitting closely. The one in his robes had his face buried in the other boy’s shoulder, both were quietly sobbing.

He remembered those two boys, they were pretty inseparable as kids. He assumed they made a jump into something different, with the way they were sitting.

It was selfish, but his mind jumped to Marcus. He wished he had Marcus here to comfort him.

Merlin, he missed Marcus.

Flint wouldn’t even look at him in class the next day. Not that it mattered, he wasn’t looking at him either.

He’d never put that much thought into his sexuality. He was too focussed on his Quidditch career to really think about it. He knew he wasn’t that into girls, and he sort of knew he was into blokes. Kissing Flint was definitely the confirmation of that.

During Defence Against the Dark Arts he glanced at Flint. That’s when he noticed the dark circles under his eyes. He clearly hadn’t gotten much sleep last night. So they were on a similar page. He hadn’t stopped thinking about how it felt to have Flint’s lips against his. The feeling of his pounding heart as Flint held him by his robes.

Why was he still thinking about it? What the hell was even going to happen now? Should he make Flint talk about it with him?

The Quidditch house cup was tomorrow. What were they meant to do?

“Are you paying attention?” Percy whispered to him.

He looked away from Flint and focussed back on Professor Lupin. “Yeah.”

“Hey,” a voice cut into his thoughts. He looked up to see Percy.

“Oh,” he said awkwardly. “Hi.”

“Long-time no see.”

“Percy, you don’t need to bother with formalities.” He didn’t mean to sound harsh but he probably did. He pretty much cut all ties with Percy. Percy did try sending him letters but they were always about himself. After not getting any replies he seemed to have gotten the message and stopped trying.

Percy swallowed and sat next to him. “I still haven’t totally processed what’s happening.”

He nodded. “Me wither,” he said.

“I just… I can’t believe Fred is…” he trailed off.

He nodded. “I know.”

“It should’ve been me.”

“Percy, no,” he said. “No one deserves to die.”

“I’ve been a dickhead though,” he said. “And, I guess a pretty shit friend.”

He glanced at him. “You weren’t a terrible friend.”

“Oliver, don’t act like you weren’t happy to finally shake me off,” he sighed. “Good for you for getting on Puddlemere.”

For the first time that day, he had the smallest smile. “Thanks, it’s pretty cool.”

“I heard through the Daily Prophet. Also, funny how Flint got onto Montrose.”

He looked away, down at his lap. His body went rigid. It’s the first time someone had spoken his name around him since he last saw him. Actually hearing his name was different. He missed him so much, seeing the other couple hurt enough.

“What? I thought you two were on good terms?”

Merlin, why was he so oblivious?

“Percy, no… I mean, we are on good terms… I… fuck, never mind,” he grumbled. What was he meant to tell him? They’re not even together anymore. Not technically, but Marcus promised him they’d get back together once the war was over.

“No, really, what?” Percy asked.

He hadn’t seen Percy since they left Hogwarts. How was he meant to explain everything after Hogwarts to Percy? How was he meant to explain their relationship after Hogwarts?

Why had they never told people beyond their families?

No, he knew why. Marcus was scared.

Everyone was revved up for the house cup. This time the Quidditch game wasn’t cancelled, thankfully, and he could actually try to win. He’d been working hard to get the team ready and they were to his best ability.

He just didn’t want to face Marcus – Flint? He still wasn’t sure what to call him.

“Captains, shake hands.”

Oliver heled out his hand for Flint to shake. He looked at him expectantly, and he finally shook his hand. It wasn’t tight like he used to do it, once almost trying to break his fingers, he barely held onto it today.

The actual game went well. He saved a lot of the shots but whenever he blocked Flint’s he didn’t do they eyebrow wiggle. When Flint did score goals he didn’t even stay to wiggle his own eyebrows. Instead flying out as fast as possible.

They won and he was happy, he put Harry onto his shoulders as he cheered. He let his mind focus on this, he won his last Quidditch game at Hogwarts while being captain.

He stayed in the showers longer than he should’ve. Maybe it was the hope Flint would come in. He didn’t know why he thought that. Harry, Fred, and George had all left and he was alone.

He had pulled on his trousers when he heard the door open. He glanced over and saw Flint walk in, looking nervous as hell.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t false hope.

Flint’s teeth were sinking into his lip, and his eyes fell onto Oliver’s bare chest. “Hi,” he said.

“Hey,” he replied, and swallowed. “Guess I finally won,” he smiled.

He nodded. “Yeah.”

He reached for his shirt and pulled it on. Without it, there was just tension. What kind of tension? He didn’t know but he wouldn’t deny he liked the way Flint had look at him.

“You did… good,” Flint said, his cheeks flushing, moving closer to him.

“Did you… come to say something? About…” he trailed off. They both knew when he was referring to.

Flint seemed to decide to answer by grabbing his by his shirt and pulled him to his lips. Oliver put his hands on his hips, and backed them to the wall, their lips still connected. It wasn’t as sloppy as their first but Flint definitely decided using his tongue was appropriate. Oliver really wasn’t complaining.

The kiss was much shorter than their first. Flint pulled away and instead of staying close, stepped away. He looked like he wanted to run but no, they weren’t avoiding it again.

“Why do you keep kissing me?”

Okay, that was the worst question he could ask.

“Why do you think, Wood?” he grumbled. “You’re the one that kissed me back.”

“Yeah, I guess I did,” Oliver replied. “What do you want to do about it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, how long have you fancied me?”

Flint looked down at his feet. He expected him to avoid the question again but to his surprise, he didn’t. “Fifth year.”

“Well damn, you’ve sure been waiting,” he joked and smiled when he got a small laugh from Flint.

“I don’t really want many people to know,” he said.

“About…” That they kissed? That Flint fancied him? That he was gay?

“I don’t know, whatever you want this,” he gestured between them. “to be.”

“So boyfriends?” Wow, that was definitely not something he thought he’d ask Flint today.

“I guess, and it’s not like our classmates we’ll never see again need to know. We’re about to graduate anyway.”

Oliver smiled. He reached out to Flint, pulling him closer to him. “We’re also not rivals anymore.”

Flint smiled. He placed his hands on Oliver’s hips, holding him steady. “Either way, a former Gryffindor and a former Slytherin would be quite scandalous.”

“I think two boys really ups it,” Oliver said, drawing Flint closer and closer.

“Why give them that story? Just tell those who matter.”

His hands found their way to the back of Flint’s neck. “Okay, Flint.”

“You can call me Marcus, y’know,” Flint – Marcus smiled at him. When did he get such a nice smile? When did his smile make his insides melt?

“Okay, Marcus,” he said softly.

“Okay, Ollie,” Marcus smiled back.

He smiled. “I like that nickname.” For some reason, the name made his stomach flutter.

Marcus pressed his lips against Oliver’s and he could feel him smiling. “Okay, Ollie.”

“Percy, forget it,” Oliver said, hugging his knees. “It doesn’t matter right now.”

Percy sighed. “Okay, fine, whatever.” Percy stood up and made his way to his family, who were still huddled around Fred’s body. He really regretted not appreciating Fred as anything more than a good beater.

He saw Percy say something to George, who still looked pretty distressed. Whatever it was, it made him decide to walk away from his twin’s body to where Oliver was sitting.

“Hey superstar,” he said.

He smiled at him. “Hey, George,” he said softly. “I’m so sorry about Fred.”

George nodded as a tear ran down his cheek. “He died laughing, he died after Percy made a joke,” he said, barely above a whisper.

Percy making a joke, that was weird. “That sounds like Fred,” he said instead.

George nodded. “So, lost anyone yourself?”

He shook his head. “No, thank Merlin. But I’ve definitely carried too many bodies today.”

George nodded. “Pretty fucking horrific.”

They fell into a silence. It was weird seeing his former teammate again. Their passions for Quidditch were definitely on different levels. Both Fred and George thought his passion was ridiculous but if he thought about it, if he wasn’t overly zealous about practicing he probably wouldn’t be with Marcus. At least, he and Marcus wouldn’t have had been together.

Fuck, he missed him.

He noticed George was looking somewhere passed him, but he didn’t look. He was too busy wallowing in his own thoughts. It was probably nothing. It was more bodies that he’d prefer not to see. His eyes fell back on the Gryffindor couple who he for the life of couldn’t remember were named. The taller had his arm around the shorter’s shoulders, holding each other’s right hand on the taller’s knee.

Merlin, did that make him miss Marcus. He missed being able to have someone to hold you intimately while they comforted you. He missed the simple times where they just played quidditch, whether it be at Hogwarts or the pros. He missed Marcus hands, taste, presence. He missed Marcus so bloody much. He-

“What the fuck his Flint doing here?” he heard George mutter.

Oliver whipped his head around to where George was staring. To his absolute shock he saw Marcus looking around the Great Hall. He was pale, probably from the sight of all the dead bodies. But he knew why Marcus was here, at least vaguely.

Finally, his eyes fell on him. They held eye contact for a moment before Marcus came running to him, his steps echoing throughout the Great Hall. Oliver couldn’t move, he was in absolute shock.

Before he reached him though, George stood up and threw out his wand, pointing it at Marcus.

“What’re you doing here, Flint?” he growled.

“Weasley, not now,” he grunted and tried to get passed him but George still blocked him, clearly not ready to back down. Okay, maybe Oliver vauley understood the Gryffindor hero complex Marcus mentioned.

“What? Running with the death eaters?”

“What?” Marcus asked, sounding genuinely shocked at the accusation.

“Let me see your arms.”

“Bloody hell,” he grumbled.

“George,” Oliver said. “It’s fi-“

“I’m just making sure, Wood,” George snapped. “We can’t trust these types.”

Marcus didn’t hide the blow he felt from the comment, but he pulled up his sleeves and showed George his arms. “See, no dark mark.”

Satisfied, George put his wand away. “Okay then, why were you running here then?” he asked, crossing his arms. “I’m pretty sure Wood’s tired of you.”

Marcus looked passed George, right at Oliver. He was clearly trying to be obvious but George didn’t seem to be catching on.

So instead, Oliver pushed George aside, grabbed Marcus by his shirt, and kissed him. Marcus didn’t pull back, instead, tears started to fall from his eyes. That would always be Oliver’s weakness, he would always cry when Marcus cried. When it got a little too wet and gross, they pulled away, opting for a tight hug.

“What’re you doing here?” he mumbled out.

“I was so scared you were dead,” he mumbled into his ear. He pulled away, wiping away Oliver’s tears with the back of his hand. “I kind of realised that not being here to fight with you, kind of ruined the whole sticking with those who are important.”

Oliver smiled. “And your parents?”

“Don’t know I’m here.”

Oliver laughed. There was the Slytherin. The Slytherin he loved so damn much.

George cleared his throat and they both looked at him. “I have to go find Lee, I owe him a galleon.”

He left the couple on their own and when he was gone, Marcus pulled him in for another hug.

“Really, how did you know to come?” Oliver asked.

“I… I don’t know. It just felt wrong being apart from you.

“So can I consider us, unbroken up?”

Marcus smiled. “Well, the war isn’t exactly over but honestly, I’ve already broken one rule.”

And he kissed him again and for the first time in too long, things felt right.

At their last Defence Against the Dark Arts class, Marcus cast the Patronus spell and a magpie flew from his wand, soaring with Oliver’s raven around the room.