Games & After Parties

We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.

Marilyn Monroe

Games & After Parties

Sam sat back in her chair, watching the match play out. Puddlemere's reserves team was up against the Wasps' reserves and it had been a back and forth between the chasers for the first half. But now Puddlemere was pulling ahead, with Oliver blocking all the shots coming his way. He had only let through about three prior to that. A small smile played across her face.

"What's this? Not getting smug dating the next top keeper in the league, are we?" Alicia said, looking over at her.

"Course not," Sam said, not taking her eyes off the game. "But he very well could be." Alicia rolled her eyes. "Caught your match on the wireless the other day. Nice work. Suspect it won't be long before you're on first string."

"Not likely… chasers are still young on the Harpies. And just when are you going to make it to one of my matches?" Alicia asked. Sam frowned and looked over at her.

"I made it to one last month," she replied. "And you know how hard it is with my rehearsal and performance schedule. I'm only here because the next production hasn't started showing yet."

"I know. Just don't forget my tickets to the big opening night in June," Alicia said, smiling.

"I wouldn't," Sam replied. Suddenly she was on her feet, clapping loudly. "GOOD SAVE!"

"Abbott! Sit down! We can't see!" someone shouted from behind. Sam glanced over her shoulder and smiled, seeing a few of the first string Puddlemere players - namely the seeker Benjy Williams and right chaser Lionel Skell.

"Shut it, Benjy," she shouted back before sitting down.

"We know you love him, but the rest of us would like to see what we'll be working with next season," Benjy yelled back. Sam just rolled her eyes as Alicia chuckled.

"That lot coming as well?" she asked. Sam nodded.

"Been popping by here and there," Sam said, sitting up in her chair. "Woodsie's been spending a fair amount of time with them outside of practice. Plus Coach has him over working with them a few practices a week rather than the reserves."

"Take it that means Oliver's definitely transferring up?" Alicia asked.

"Looking that way," Sam said, smiling slightly. "Adrian too." Alicia whipped her head over, eyes wide.

"Seriously?" she asked. Sam nodded.

"Said Larkin's been in talks to transfer," she said. "Means left chaser'll be open if he goes. Word has it the Arrows are offering him a pretty good deal. Plus Adrian's had a strong season. If he doesn't get promoted, I wouldn't be surprised if he started getting transfer offers when his reserves deal is up next year." Alicia sat back in her chair and nodded.

"He and Wood seem to have gotten close," she commented. "I did not see that coming."

"I knew those two would get along from the very beginning. It's been good for both of them, especially since Adrian was cut off from most of his old friends after he left home. And with things being weird with Percy… Oliver needs a good friend," Sam said.

"Seriously cannot believe Perce," Alicia said. "I mean, he's always been a big stickler for the rules, but it's mad that he's actually siding with the ministry on this. Won't even talk to his own family. Fred and George were still going on about it in their last letter." Sam sighed.

"None of us want to believe that You Know Who is actually back," she said softly, leaning towards Alicia.

"I know, but still! You'd think he'd see the logic in it! Harry wouldn't just make that up. Nor would Dumbledore," Alicia nearly shouted. Sam rolled her eyes.

"Can we not get into this now?" she groaned.

"Sorry, can't help it," Alicia replied. "Just… doesn't seem the same without Perce around, you know?"

"I know," Sam said with a sigh. "But I'm still holding out hope he'll come around. He's got a good heart."

"Did you hear that he and Penny split?" Alicia asked, glancing at her. Sam nodded.

"Ran into her the other day while I was out shopping. Ended up going out for a few drinks and she told me the whole story," she said. The two were silent a few moments, watching the game.

"Blimey, can we move on to happier subjects?" Sam asked, looking over at her best friend. Alicia smiled slightly and nodded.

"Where's Ellie and Moira? Thought you got them tickets," she said.

"Couldn't get them box seats. They're out in the stands with Finn and Logan," Sam said. "We'll see them at the party later."

"Finn still got it bad for Ellie?" Alicia asked with a grin.

"Never seen him like this. Never dated in Hogwarts and first day at Watsworths he falls head over heels for Ellie," Sam said, chuckling.

"Hits us all at different times, I suppose," Alicia said with a sigh. "And must of just been waiting for the right one."

"Speaking of, how was the date?" Sam asked. Alicia rolled her eyes.

"The next time I say I'm going on a date with someone who plays quidditch, kill me," she replied.

"That bad?" Sam asked.

"Some days I think you and Oliver have it right. Just date someone from Hogwarts," Alicia said. Sam rolled her eyes.

"That does not always work out. Look at Lucy and Michael," she replied. "They only made it a couple weeks after school ended." Alicia just snorted.

"We all knew that was not going to work," she replied. "Plus it's Lucy. I'm surprised they dated as long as they did... How long did the last one go on for?"

"A month. She's seeing Withers now," Sam said, her eyes back on the match. Alicia looked over at her, eyes wide.

"Withers as in that Withers?" Alicia asked, pointing to the field.

"As riveting as your gossip session has been, I suggest you pay better attention to the match or you'll miss your man winning it for us," Benjy said from right behind them, causing both women to jump.

"Christ? When did you move seats?" Sam nearly shouted.

"Somewhere around Alicia's date," the seeker replied, grinning. Alicia shot him a look.

"Shut it, Williams," she said with a huff. Sam just chuckled.

"Got a point. Looks like the match is nearly over…"

Sam laughed as she walked over to the cooler to get another beer before walking back to where Oliver was standing with Benjy and Alicia. She knew she'd have to put extra time working out that weekend due to the party, but figured with things going as well as they were, she deserved a bit of a cheat day. Thank Merlin she still retained a relatively high metabolism.

"All I'm saying is Jones is brilliant," Alicia said.

"I'm not arguing with you," Benjy said. "But we'll have a great lineup next season that will give the Harpies a run for their money." Alicia snorted.

"Not unless you get better plays," she countered.

"We'll have Wood next season. And likely Pucey," Benjy said.

"Two players. That doesn't change much, no offense, Wood," Alicia replied.

"None taken," Oliver said, chuckling at the two. He looked down at Sam. "Why haven't those two gotten together yet?" he whispered to her. Sam just rolled her eyes and motioned him to step away with her. Alicia and Benjy were still caught up in their discussion and didn't register that they had moved.

"She's swearing off quidditch players apparently," Sam said, her eyes twinkling.

"That won't last long," Oliver said, looking back over at them.

"Playing matchmaker, are you?" Sam asked. Oliver looked down at her and shrugged.

"Only stating the obvious," he said. "Only a matter of time before Benjy asks her out."

"Sam!" Lucy shouted, making her way through the crowded apartment, still in her work robes and a pair of bright red stilettos. "Feel like I only see you when I'm working on a layout."

"I'm not in Witch Weekly," Sam said, frowning slightly as Lucy hugged her.

"You made last issue. Photo of you and Oliver on a date. And well, you'll likely be in there all the time after the show premieres and the world sees just what Sam Abbott can do," Lucy said, stepping back as she grinned. Sam looked over at Oliver and back at Lucy.

"Why would they want a photo of us?" she asked.

"Well, with all the rumors about Wood making first string at the end of the season. Not to mention he's already made quite the name for himself on reserves," the blonde replied. "Best get used to it…"

"Keeping the rumor mill running, I see," Oliver said, smiling down at her. Lucy shrugged.

"Someone's got to do it. Might as well put my talent to use," she said, scanning the room. "Ah, see Logan's here."

"What happened to Withers?" Oliver asked, frowning as he glanced over at his teammate, who was watching the trio from a corner with a forlorn look on his face. Lucy waved her hand in the air.

"Broke up last week," she said, already moving towards the group of dancers. Sam sighed and looked over at Oliver.

"She'll never change," Sam said.

"At least she gets paid for gossiping now," Oliver said with a shrug. Sam chuckled.

"By the way, brilliant match today," she said, wrapping her arms around his neck.

"I rather like looking over and seeing you in the box watching me," he said, leaning towards her.

"Wish I could make more," she said.

"Nah, you need to be on stage making your own name," he replied.

"How did I get so lucky to have such a wonderful, supportive boyfriend?" Sam asked.

"Gag me," Alicia said, walking up to them again with a frown on her face.

"Who won?" Sam asked, looking at her with a grin, noticing that Benjy was still smiling at the chaser from where he stood with Lionel. Alicia huffed.

"No one," she said, looking around the room.

"Sam!" someone shouted. The group looked over, seeing Robert walking up with a beer and a grin. Sam suppressed a groan.

"Who invited him?" she muttered.

"Be nice," Oliver said, straightening up to his full height, which was a good few inches taller than Robert. He looked down at Sam, smiling slightly. She just rolled her eyes.

"And Orson," Robert said, looking at Oliver.

"Oliver," he said, his smile immediately turning into a frown. Sam started to giggle but covered it up with a cough.

"Right. Heard you won the match today," he said.

"It was a great game," Sam said, looking up at Oliver.

"Yea, shame you couldn't be there," Ellie said, stepping up to the group with a frowning Moira, Finn and Logan not far behind. "Sam and Oliver got us tickets." Robert looked at the redhead and then back at Sam as Oliver slid an arm around her waist. Sam glanced at him, raising an eyebrow. He had told her to be nice and now here he was acting protective.

"Who invited you?" Moira asked, still frowning at Robert.

"Thought it was open to whoever," Robert said, glancing at her. "Isn't that how these things go?"

"Come now, it's a party. Let's play nice," Ellie said, grinning at the two. She looked over at Oliver. "Hear it won't be long until you're on first string."

"Next season, I believe," he replied. "Heard Sam's been making a splash at the company." He glanced down at her as she blushed slightly.

"What's this?" Robert asked, looking at Sam.

"Christopher's mentioned he wants her for the lead in his next production," Finn said, earning a frown from Sam.

"Depends on how the summer show goes," she added quickly. "It's not for sure just yet…" Robert grinned.

"Seems we might be partnering exclusively soon," he said. Moira rolled her eyes.

"Watch it, Sam. He's likely to cop a feel and say his hand slipped," she said, scowling at Robert. He frowned at her.

"You know, you'd probably get better roles if you removed the giant stick from your a-"

"And that's enough for now," Ellie said loudly, interrupting the two as she stepped in between them. "Come, Robert. Make me one of your famous cocktails." She started leading him off, leaving a huffing Moira and disappointed Finn in her wake.

"Couldn't you at least try to get along with him, Moira?" Logan asked. Moira glared at him and then walked off to the balcony.

"I'll go talk to her," Sam offered, following her out. She took a deep breath before stepping up to her. "I know you two used to date, but hasn't it been a while?"

Moira looked over at Sam and sighed before returning to looking down over the street.

"Some things aren't easy to move on from," she replied. "Just looking at him makes me angry."

"What happened?" Sam asked.

"The usual. Thought he was a great guy and then he turned out to be an asshole," Moira said blandly.

"Feel like it's something a bit more than that," Sam replied, leaning against the railing. Moira looked over at her.

"We were together nearly three years," she said. "Met in school even though he was a few years ahead of me. We didn't start dating until I joined Watsworths." Sam nodded, silently encouraging her to continue. "He was my first serious boyfriend and I guess I got caught up in the moment. Thought maybe we'd get married at some point… but… he had other ideas."

"Why did you break up?" Sam asked. "If you don't mind telling me." Moira laughed darkly.

"He cheated on me. And then I, being the idiot that I am, believed him when he said it was a one-time thing and it'd never happen again. Cannot believe I took him back," she said.

"He cheated again," Sam said. Moira nodded.

"I knew he had a reputation as a player. But thought perhaps he'd be different with me," she said, her voice taking on a wistful quality. "How naive was I? Figured the best thing I could do was warn off any of the other dancers he tried to hook up with."

"Wouldn't be the first woman to believe a man when he says he won't cheat again," Sam said before taking a drink. Moira looked over at her.

"Oliver would never cheat on you," she said quickly.

"Oh, I know. But I had a boyfriend sixth year that cheated quite a lot. And I stupidly believed him when he said it'd never happen again," Sam said, laughing softly. "This was before Oliver. Before Adrian, actually." Moira frowned slightly.

"Adrian Pucey? You dated him?" she asked, glancing back into the flat. Sam nodded. "Never would have guessed. Thought you three were close friends from Hogwarts the way you hang out and get on."

"Not exactly… I dated Adrian the beginning of seventh year. We had a bit of a dramatic break up, but…," Sam paused, wondering just how to word the next bit. She didn't really want to share too much of his past. "We put it in the past and all became rather good friends after that."

"Why did you two break up, if you don't mind me asking?" Moira asked, glancing back into the flat. "Seems like a nice bloke."

"Just wasn't meant to be," Sam said lightly. "Besides, I ended up realizing I was in love with Oliver not long after that and we got together."

"If ever there were a more perfect couple," Moira said with a sigh and slight smile as she looked at Sam. Sam just laughed.

"We're far from perfect," she said.

"But still… you two have that… dunno… thing. Spark. Just something about you two," Moira said. "I want to find that someday."

"I'm sure you will," Sam said with a grin. Moira glanced back into the flat.

"So, tell me more about Adrian," she said. Sam laughed.

"Not getting any ideas, are you?" she asked. Moira shrugged.

"Always thought he was rather fit. And seems nice, though I don't know much about him. Always been on the quiet side," she said.

Sam stared at her a moment before looking into the flat. Truth be told, she had been considering setting him up with someone, but now that Moira was showing an interest, she felt her stomach start squirming for some reason. She pushed it aside, telling herself that she was being ridiculous. She knew that Moira was a good person.

"Suppose it couldn't hurt to ask him out," Sam replied, looking back at Moira. The woman smiled and turned.

"Reckon I'll give it a go. Wish me luck," she said, smiling as she walked back into the flat.

"Good luck," Sam said, watching her go.

The dark-haired woman walked straight up to Adrian, who had been talking with Benjy and Lionel. He stepped away from the two, smiling down at her. Sam tilted her head to the side, watching them curiously. Adrian laughed at something Moira said. Sam was so caught up in the scene, she didn't notice Alicia walk out onto the balcony.

"What's this about?" Alicia asked. Sam looked over at her, confused.

"What?" she asked.

"You look as though you swallowed flobberworms," Alicia replied with a chuckle. Sam shrugged and returned to watching Adrian and Moira. He was now leaning down closer to her. "What's going on there?"

"Moira told me she's had a bit of a crush on Adrian. Asked for my blessing to ask him out. Told her to go for it," Sam said, still watching the two. Alicia looked over at her and back at the couple.

"Don't look too excited," she said dryly. Sam frowned as she looked over at her best friend.

"If they want to date, they should date. Adrian's a good man. And Moira is a lot of fun and a good person as well," she said. "I'm sure they'll get along well." Alicia just shook her head, looping her arm through Sam's.

"Well, regardless as to whether your half-hearted attempts at matchmaking work, I do believe you have a rather wonderful boyfriend who is currently wondering as to your whereabouts and I need you to play defense with Williams," she said, leading Sam back into the party. "Let those two talk." Sam rolled her eyes and smiled.

"Lead away…"

So, ended up getting two chapters written yesterday and the entire rest of the story planned, so thought it was okay to go ahead and post again. If I keep writing one chapter a day, I can probably keep posting every day to every other day or so. Plus, I love chapter 14 and really want to get to posting that one. ^_^ At the moment, it's looking like about 42 chapters total unless I end up adding more as I go - always a possibility. Trying to balance out the dark with the light chapters and keep the story moving forward, but seeing as this takes place during the war, well, it's going to get dark here and there.

Camryn Kissel - There's more from Adrian's POV coming up! ^_^

cardiosurgeons - There is definitely more POV switches. This story goes from towards the end of the fifth book all the way to the end of book 7 and includes a lot of different characters who aren't always together, so definitely needs a switch here and there. The next chapter is completely from Adrian's POV and there's more from the Order and such. This is where my chapter planning comes in handy because I can look over the outline and see where the story is missing other perspectives and add that in.

Thanks everyone for following!