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Under Control (It's You)

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By the time Waverly Earp turns eleven years old and receives her Hogwarts letter, she knows exactly what to expect when she arrives at school.  She’s going to be in Ravenclaw, because that’s the smart house.  At least, that’s what her sister Wynonna tells her.  And because Waverly is a smart girl, it makes sense.

Waverly has accompanied her sister to Diagon Alley for years, but now it was her turn.  Her birthday is in mid-August, so part of her gift is a trip to Diagon Alley, where she is allowed to splurge a little on her first school shopping trip.  She gazes in awe at the countless interesting titles in Flourish and Blotts and can’t even stand still while being fitted for her robes.  She is far too excited.

Gus doesn’t let her get an owl, saying she’s too young and that she can just borrow Wynonna’s if she really needs it.  Speaking of Wynonna, she’s taking way too long inside Quality Quidditch Supplies.  Waverly knows everyone is supposed to love quidditch, but she doesn’t see anything too exciting inside the store.  Well, besides the young red headed girl who looks about her age, gazing at the broomsticks in wonder.  They meet eyes and Waverly offers her a smile.  The girl returns her smile timidly, and her cheeks tinge red.  Before Waverly can approach her, Gus drags her and Wynonna out of the shop and down the street to Ollivander’s.

This is the moment that Waverly has been waiting for.  She will finally have a wand of her own.  Sure, she can’t use it until she gets to school, but it will be hers.  They enter the dusty, old shop and Waverly is surprised to find that it is empty.  In the dim lights, she sees an old figure behind the counter smile at her.

“Welcome,” Ollivander says in his gravely voice that sends a chill down Waverly’s spine.  “Your first wand, I presume?”  He speaks directly to Waverly, and she appreciates that.  She nods.  People will usually talk to Gus or Wynonna about her, and pretend that she isn’t even there.  He waves his wand and a measuring tape floats over to Waverly and starts measuring various parts of her body, from her height to her foot size.

Ollivander disappears to the back and through the shelves of wands.  “Another Earp, I see…  Maybe we should start with something like your sister has.  Pine and phoenix feather, thirteen and a quarter inches, if I’m remembering correctly?”

“Yes sir,” Wynonna replies with pride.

“Ah, here we are.”  Ollivander pulls a long box out of the wall.  “This one is pine and unicorn, nine inches.”  He takes it out of the box and delicately hands it over to Waverly.  She stares at it, but feels nothing.  When she gives it a wave, nothing happens.  Waverly frowns and tries again.  A single page turns in the book on Ollivander’s desk, but that’s about it.  “Not to worry, let’s try something else.  Maybe Pine isn’t the right fit after all sorts …”

Ollivander sets Waverly up with a whole array of various wands to test out, most of which do absolutely nothing when she waves it, with the exception of a yew and phoenix feather wand that sets Wynonna’s sleeve on fire, much to Waverly’s amusement.  Waverly has just about given up hope, and a line of other first years is starting to form behind her, including the same red headed girl from Quality Quidditch Supplies.  Waverly tries to hide her frustration, but she didn’t think it would be this difficult to find a wand.

“Now there was one young wizard where it took nearly a week for us to find the right wand for him,” Ollivander reminisces.  Waverly fidgets and bites her fingernails.  What if this means she’s not going to be a good witch?  If not a single wand in this shop wants her, how is she supposed to ace all of her classes?  “That man grew up to become Minister of Magic for a time.  Sometimes it’s the most powerful sorcerers that are the most difficult to place.”

Waverly sighs.  It’s almost like he could read her mind.

“Let’s try…. This one.”  Ollivander pulls another box off the highest shelf in the shop.  He climbs down the ladder and hands it to Waverly.  Somehow, this wand feels different.  A shiver runs down her spine.  “Applewood with a phoenix feather in the core.  Ten and a half inches.  Give her a try.”

Waverly grasps the wand tight and gives it a wave.  Suddenly, she is engulfed in a warm light and a gentle breeze that surrounds her.  Ollivander smiles.  “Looks like we’ve done it.”

Waverly barely remembers what happens afterward as they pay for her new wand and finish up their shopping with ice cream from Florean Fortescue’s.

Waverly spends the next few weeks waiting in anticipation for September first, and for the school year to begin.  Her nightly reading of library books is replaced with her school textbooks.  She sleeps with her wand on the nightstand right next to her, and though she can not yet use it, she holds it and feels comforted.

September first comes along and Waverly is up bright and early.  She packed her bags the night before and spends most of the morning pestering Wynonna to hurry so they can get on the train.  Unfortunately, Wynonna isn’t as excited for school as Waverly is, and they arrive at King’s Cross with only ten minutes to reach Platform Nine and Three Quarters.

Wynonna pushes a trolley with both of their suitcases on it, and Waverly follows her through the wall.  They give Gus a hug goodbye and jump on the train to find someplace to sit.  Wynonna immediately goes to find her friends, leaving Waverly to fend for herself.

She finds car with a couple of other first years inside and goes to introduce herself.  “Hi,” she says excitedly.  “I’m Waverly.  Can I sit here?”

“Waverly, like, Wynonna Earp’s sister?” one boy asks.  Waverly nods hesitantly, and the boy laughs.  “If she’s anything like her sister, we’re better off without her,” he says to his friends.

Waverly glares at him.  “Well it’s not like I want to sit with you anyway,” she says, and storms out of there.

She gets similar reactions from a few other people afraid of the Earp family name, and begins to feel disheartened.  She didn’t think it would be this difficult to make friends, but if they don’t like her sister, then Waverly is sure she wouldn’t like them anyway.

Waverly spots the red headed girl she saw in Diagon Alley.  She sits in a cart with four other first years and one empty seat, but doesn’t talk to any of the other kids.  The red headed girl looks up and catches her eye.  She smiles.  Waverly starts to walk over, but another kid pushes her out of the way and takes the last empty seat.

Waverly frowns and walks away.  She’s practically given up when she feels a hand on her shoulder.  She looks up and sees her sister, towering over here.  “Come with me,” Wynonna says, and leads Waverly back to her own compartment to sit with her friends, Dolls and Doc.

“Why are we sitting with your kid sister?” Doc asks with a frown.

“It’s her first train ride,” Wynonna defends.  “She can’t sit by herself.  If you don’t want to sit with her, you can leave.”

Doc shuts up after that.

Dolls waves to her.  Waverly notices the blue and bronze prefect badge on his chest.  “Wynonna tells me you think you’ll be in Ravenclaw.”  Waverly nods.  Dolls grins.  “Well, let me be the first to welcome you to the best house.”

They chat amicably through the ride until Waverly falls asleep on Wynonna’s lap.  She does appreciate her sister letting her join them, but she wants to make her own friends too.

Wynonna shakes her awake once the sun has set when they’re almost to Hogsmeade station so that Waverly can change into her robes.  She gives her sister a hug goodbye when the train stops, and makes her way to find other first years for the boat trip to Hogwarts.

Waverly ends up on the same boat as the first boy who didn’t want to sit with her, as well as the red headed girl that she keeps seeing everywhere.  They don’t get a chance to speak, though, because Waverly’s breath is taken away at her first glimpse of the castle.

Wynonna had described it before, but no words could bring justice to the awe inspiring sight before her.  The way the lights in all the windows glistened on the reflection of the lake.  The ancient halls that tower in front of them were a mystery yet to be explored, and Waverly can’t wait to devour it and learn all the secrets Hogwarts had to offer.  She doesn’t realize herself leaning far over the edge of the boat until she falls, headfirst into the lake.

Almost immediately, Waverly hears a splash after her, and feels an arm tightly wrapped around her as she moves back toward the boat.  She blinks and sees the red headed girl dragging her to the boat.  She pushes Waverly in first and then climbs back in herself.

“T-thanks,” Waverly says through her chattering teeth as she shivers in her drenched robes.

“You’re welcome,” the girl says.

“I’m Waverly.”

“Nicole.”

That’s all they say to each other for the rest of the ride.  Mostly because they’re both too cold to form words.

As soon as they’re off the boats, Professor Flitwick scolds them for reckless swimming in the lake, but he mutters a few words and suddenly Waverly’s robes are dry and she feels a magical warmth growing inside of her.

The first years all move to the Great Hall, and Waverly loses sight of Nicole in the crowd.  She frowns, but continues on, and listens in as her classmates discuss which house they think they’ll be in.  Waverly feels her heart begin to race faster in anticipation of the sorting ceremony.  Soon enough, she and the other students file into the Great Hall, surrounded by witches and wizards older than them, their future housemates.

The dull chatter in the hall slowly pitters out when Minerva McGonagall approaches the front of the room carrying a hat, a stool, and a list.  The hat bursts into a short song that briefly summarizes all the houses; Waverly assumes it’s for the muggle born students who know nothing about the houses already.  After the song, McGonagall begins to read off names and a student will go to the front and sit in front of everyone, until the hat calls out a house.  Waverly’s heart races in anticipation as her turn gets nearer and nearer.

“Earp, Waverly,” McGonagall calls out.  The hall goes silent once again.  There’s an eerie tension, as if there’s some sort of stigma that follows the Earp name.  Waverly already knows this, of course, with Wynonna as her sister.

Waverly takes a deep breath and pushes her way through the crowd toward the stool in front of her.  She sits down, and McGonagall places the hat atop her head.

Well, this is an easy one,” the hat murmurs into her ear.

Waverly grins, and says, “Of course, Ravenclaw,” while at the same time, the hat says quietly to her, “Hufflepuff.”

“What?” Waverly asks, shocked.  “I’m not a Hufflepuff.”

Dearie, I can see everything that you are,” the hat whispers.  “I know every thought you’ve ever had and all the potential you have.  You are a Hufflepuff.”

“But I thought- my sister said all the smart people go into Ravenclaw.  I’m smart, right?”

Waverly Earp, you are brilliant.”

“And I thought Hufflepuff was the good house.  I- I don’t think I would live up to that standard.”

I know you have insecurity in your heart, but that does not mean you are a bad person.  You have one of the most genuinely good hearts I have looked into.  Far better than your sister’s.”

Waverly can’t help but giggle at the hat comparing her to Wynonna.  “Well I could’ve told you that.”

I’m not trying to change your mind, I just want you to see the light in you,” the hat says.  “And I know you can as a Hufflepuff.”

Waverly takes a deep breath.  This is not how she thought her time at Hogwarts would go.  “Okay.”

She looks up at the crowd.  A few people look a little distressed.  The hat must have taken longer than she realized.  When the hat shouts out, “HUFFLEPUFF!” the hall is filled with a loud cheer, primarily from the Hufflepuff table.  Waverly grins and jumps off the stool to join the sea of yellow and black.  Almost immediately after she sits down and she’s showered in hugs and pats on the back, McGonagall calls out another name.

“Haught, Nicole.”

Waverly looks up and sees the girl who jumped in the lake after her walk up to the stool.  She trembles violently and looks like she might throw up, but almost the moment she sits down and the hat is placed on her head, it calls out, “HUFFLEPUFF!

The students around her erupt into another loud cheer, and Waverly joins in.  Nicole takes the empty seat next to her and they smile at each other.

“Did you get what you thought?” Waverly asks.

“I had no idea what to expect,” Nicole replies.  “But I’m happy I’m here.”

“Me too.”

The rest of the sorting goes by in a breeze, and Waverly stuffs her face in the feast after.  She hadn’t realized how hungry the train ride made her.  Nicole watches her in amusement, but also eats almost as much.

“What class are you excited to take?” Waverly asks her.

“I’m not sure,” Nicole says.  “I don’t know too much about the different subjects.”

“Well Transfiguration and Potions are probably the most difficult classes that first years take, but they’re really useful in the future.  History of Magic isn’t the most exciting cause my sister says the professor is dead boring, but I was reading the text and it’s actually really interesting.  People say charms and herbology are the easy ones but I think they’re vastly underrated.  Astronomy’s pretty self-explanatory.  And then you’ve got defense against the dark arts where you learn spells and enchantments for protection.”

Nicole stares at her in awe.  “Did you just read all the texts before you came here?”

Waverly blushes.  “Maybe.”

Nicole laughs.  “I should’ve done that.  Maybe then I wouldn’t be so lost.  I guess that’s what happens when you had no idea magic even existed for eleven years.”

“You don’t have a magic family?” Waverly asks.                                   

Nicole shrugs.  “I’m not sure.  I was adopted, so I don’t know my family.”

Waverly doesn’t know what to say to that, but she’s saved when the school is dismissed from dinner to return to their dormitories.  She and Nicole stick together when the swarm of new Hufflepuffs struggle to find their prefects to show them the common room.

Other houses go up the stairs, but their prefect takes them down to the basement.  They walk down a large corridor covered in paintings of food, and keep walking until they turn a corner to find a pile of barrels.  He demonstrates how to tap the barrel two from the bottom in the middle row, and a passage opens up.  The students crawl in one by one until Nicole and Waverly are the only ones left.

“After you,” Nicole says, and Waverly crawls into her new home for the next seven years.

When she emerges into the common room her first thought is home.  The room is bright and the couches look comfortable and the fire crackles peacefully in the corner.  The high, round windows look out onto fields outside the castle and Waverly can see the stars.

The prefects usher them into empty dormitories where they find their belongings already up and next to their beds.  Waverly finds her suitcase and sits down on her bed.  Nicole is across the room from her.  She waves, and Waverly smiles.  She gets up and saunters across the room to sit on Nicole’s bed.

“This place is so cool,” Nicole sighs, and sits down next to her.

“It’s more than I could’ve imagined,” Waverly admits.  And she’s imagined Hogwarts many, many times.

Their roommates all get ready for bed, but Waverly is too filled with excitement to sleep.  Instead, she and Nicole return to the common room and stay up talking until they’re too tired to keep their eyes open.

Waverly goes to sleep, ready to conquer Hogwarts, and content knowing that she has a new friend.

Chapter Text

In her second year of school, Waverly Earp is used to people judging her without even knowing her.  She always remembers that first boy she met on the train who didn’t want to sit with her because she’s Wynonna Earp’s sister.  Champ, is his name.  He’s in Gryffindor now, so thankfully Waverly doesn’t have to see him too much, but in her second year, she has double Herbology with Gryffindor, and Waverly can’t think of a worse way to spend her Friday afternoons.

At least she has Nicole.  Nicole, her only friend, the only person in the whole school who didn’t judge her right of the bat.

Granted, that could be because Nicole wasn’t raised by a magical family and therefore had never heard the name Earp before meeting Waverly.  She could have listened to the other students who didn’t want anything to do with another Earp girl, but she didn’t.  Nicole put up with the teasing that was directed at Waverly but often reflected onto her as well.

Everyone knows Wynonna can hold her own, and she had gotten in trouble more often than not for defending herself.  Waverly does not want to take the same path as her sister.

However, one fateful day in Herbology, Waverly has to take the incessant comments from Champ once again.

“Everybody, find a partner for this next project,” Professor Sprout announces.

“We’d better hurry so we don’t get stuck with Waverly Earp,” Champ says, just loud enough for Waverly to hear, but just quiet enough for it to go unnoticed by Professor Sprout.  Waverly simply rolls her eyes, but Nicole glares at him.

“Come on, Wave,” Nicole says.  “I’ll be your partner.”

Today’s lesson is on Mandrakes, so while Waverly and Nicole take turns potting the plant, their earmuffs fully muffle any comments that Champ might have been making next to her.  All Waverly has to focus on is the mandrakes in front of her and her friend next to her.

It’s not until Professor Sprout gives them the signal to all take off their earmuffs that things start to go wrong.

“I’m surprised Waverly didn’t get us all killed, she’s got it in her blood after all,” Champ commented.

“Really?  And how would I have done that?” Waverly confronted him, tired of sitting on the sidelines.  “The cry of a baby Mandrake can’t kill you, idiot.”

“I’m sure you would’ve figured out something,” Champ replied.  “I mean, the only person you can get to hang out with you is a mudblood who doesn’t know your great granddad’s legacy.”

His friends laugh, not at Waverly, but at Nicole, and Waverly feels something rise up in her that she can’t control.  The next thing she knows, her fist is in Champ’s face as she punches him in the nose.  He falls to the ground, crying, blood pouring from his nose.

That’s when Professor Sprout intervenes.  “Oh, be quiet,” she mutters to Champ.  “I’m sure Madame Pomfrey can fix that in a jiff.  Would someone care to escort him to the infirmary while I deal with Miss Earp?”

Waverly stares at her feet as she follows Professor Sprout out of the greenhouse.  When Sprout is sure no one is eaves dropping, she turns to Waverly.  “He deserved it,” she whispers.  “But next time, try not to punch him in the face.  I’m sure he’ll try to provoke you out of my class, and other professors aren’t as forgiving as I am.”

Waverly sighs in relief.  “Thank you, professor.”  She loves Professor Sprout’s soft spot for Hufflepuff students.

After class is over, they are done for the weekend, so Waverly and Nicole walk down to the lake.  It’s a nice day out, with a cool breeze, and they want to enjoy it a little longer.  Neither of them says anything until they find a nice rock to sit on by the like shore.

“I’m sorry they tease you all the time,” Nicole says quietly.                                              

Waverly laughs.  “I don’t care what they say about me,” she says.  “But when he called you a… I couldn’t just do nothing.”  Waverly sighs.  “I’m sorry.  You deserve a better friend than me.”

Nicole turns to her and takes her hands.  “Don’t say that, Wave!  You’re the best friend I could’ve asked for.”  Waverly smiles.  They stare at each other for a moment, before Nicole continues.  “I don’t really know what that word means,” she admits.

Waverly frowns.  “It’s a not nice thing to call someone without magic parents.”

“Oh,” Nicole says, and looks down.  After a moment, she says, “Thank you.  For sticking up for me.”

Waverly shrugs.  “What are friends for?” she says bashfully, and Nicole smiles at her.

And then, Nicole leans in and presses her lips softly to Waverly’s.  It’s brief and innocent, but Waverly’s lips tingle.

“What was that for?” Waverly asks.

“It was just a thank you,” Nicole says.  “We should get inside for dinner.”

And just like that, the subject changes, and the kiss lays in the past, forgotten.

What hasn’t been forgotten is Waverly’s incident with Champ, and news travels fast at Hogwarts.  When Waverly walks into the Great Hall with Nicole, the entire room of students bursts into applause.

She’s tackled with a hug a second later and is surprised to see Wynonna showing her affection in public.

“Heard about Champ,” Wynonna says.  “Is it true you broke his nose?  That’s awesome!”

“I, uhh, I don’t know,” Waverly replies.  “He cried though.”

Wynonna laughs.  “I can’t believe my baby sister is a badass.”

“Thanks?” Waverly says hesitantly.  She looks at Nicole, who shrugs.  They make their way down to find a spot at a table when someone waves them over.  Steph and Chrissy, another Hufflepuff and Slytherin girl from their year.  Neither of them had made fun of her before, but they also had never wanted to hang out with her before either.

“Waverly!” Steph calls.  “Over here!”

Waverly is very confused but sits down across from them regardless, and Nicole sits down next to her.

“What you did to Champ, that was really cool,” Chrissy says.  “Steph just told me everything.”

“You did?” Waverly asks, looking at Steph, who nods.

“And you didn’t even get a detention?  Wow.  I’m so impressed.”

Waverly grins.  As weird as it is, she kind of likes the attention she is getting.  “Thanks.”

“Champ is a jerk anyway,” Steph says.  “Someone had to teach him a lesson.”

Waverly fills her plate with food as Steph and Chrissy talk to her.  They are pretty cool, and people were finally talking to her without bringing up her granddad, or her sister.  It was nice.

In her bliss, Waverly doesn’t notice Nicole’s discomfort as Steph and Chrissy practically ignore her.

They talk for a long while, and Nicole eventually excuses herself to go to bed.  Waverly immediately stands up too.  “Oh, I’ll go with you,” she says.

“No, it’s fine,” Nicole says and pushes her to sit down again.  “You’re having fun, I’m just tired.  I’ll see you later.”

“Are you sure?” Waverly asks.  Nicole nods, and leaves Waverly with her new friends.

Waverly doesn’t get back to the common room until just before curfew that night, and she’s still with Steph.  She doesn’t notice Nicole on the sofa, reading, and instead heads straight to their dormitory.

Nicole sighs and buries her face in her book once again.

The next morning, Waverly wakes up early and heads out to the common room to find Nicole asleep on the sofa with a book on her face.  She pokes her friend awake.

“Did you sleep out here?” Waverly asks when Nicole’s eyes flutter open.

Nicole blinks a few times and looks around.  “I guess I did,” she yawns.  “This couch is surprisingly comfy.”

Waverly laughs.  “That’s good.”

Nicole sits up.  “You can still help me with my potions homework today, right?” she asks.

Waverly’s eyes widen.  “Shoot,” she says.  “I completely forgot.  I told Steph and Chrissy I would hang out with them.  Can we do that tomorrow instead?”

“Sure,” Nicole shrugs.  “Essay’s due on Monday though.”

“I know, I know,” Waverly says.  “I’m so sorry.  I’m a terrible friend!”

“No, you’re not.”  Nicole smiles at her, and Waverly looks away bashfully.

“Wavey!” a voice calls from the stairwell.  Steph steps into the common room.  “You ready?”  Waverly nods and joins Steph.  “Good to see you Nikki!” Steph calls as they leave the room.

“It’s Nicole,” Nicole mutters, but they’ve already left.

A pattern emerges over the next few weeks, as Waverly continues to spend time with Chrissy and Steph.  She pushes back plans with Nicole in favor of her new friends, and eventually blows her off altogether.  Waverly doesn’t even notice how her behavior is affecting Nicole.

It’s not until one day in potions class when they receive their marks for their last essay.  Waverly gets a nice, shiny Outstanding, as usual, while the paper placed in front of Nicole has Dreadful written across the top.

“How’d you do?” Waverly asks her friend, curious.

“Why do you care?’ Nicole snaps, and shoves her paper into her bag.  She gets up and storms out of the classroom.

Waverly quickly packs up her stuff and follows after her.  Steph tries to catch her attention, but Waverly ignores her.

When she gets out of the dungeon, she sees the flash of Nicole’s red hair heading outside, despite it being a remarkably cold day.  Waverly puts on a brave face, and without gloves or a scarf, she follows Nicole outside.

She finds Nicole sitting on the same rock as that day after Herbology class when Waverly punched Champ and sits down next to her.

“What’s wrong?”

Nicole sighs.  “I know you’re not obligated to help me with stuff, but you promised you would.  You’re good at potions.  I’m not.  And I thought that you were my friend and you’d keep your promise.”

“I am your friend,” Waverly defends.

“It doesn’t feel like it anymore,” Nicole says.  “You don’t even have time for me anymore.  Not just to study, but even hanging out together as friends, like we used to.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize—“

“It’s fine, just go hang out with your new best friends,” Nicole says.

“Hey!” Waverly frowns.  “You’re my best friend.  Nothing’s gonna change that.”

Nicole blinks.  Waverly can see her breath in the air, but she still says nothing, so Waverly continues.

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t realize I was doing it so much.  I guess I got caught up in people treating me like a person and not just another Earp for the first time.  But you’ve always treated me like a person.”

Waverly looks at Nicole, and for a moment, it’s quiet between them.  But finally, Nicole speaks up.  “You’re my best friend too.”

And at that, Waverly smiles.  She pulls Nicole in and gives her best friend a tight hug.  They sit on that rock, embracing each other, until rain drops spoil their moment.  They break apart while it’s only sprinkling.

“I guess we should get back inside,” Nicole says, and Waverly nods in agreement.

As they make their way back up to the castle, the rain begins to pour down on them.  “Hurry!” Waverly shouts.  She grabs Nicole’s hand and starts to run, giggling the whole way until they’re inside and safe from the downpour.

Waverly Earp never cancels plans with her best friend ever again.

Chapter Text

Waverly Earp is excited to start her third year at Hogwarts because it’s a year of Hogsmeade trips and electives.  But mostly, she can’t wait to see her best friend Nicole Haught again.

Every year Wynonna is always the one that makes them almost late for the train, and this year is no different.  Waverly has to run alongside the train to jump on before it leaves her behind, and she turns around to hoist her sister up as well.

Waverly expects to find Nicole crammed in some crowded compartment where she’ll squeeze in next to her, but what she doesn’t expect is for Nicole to be waiting for her, saving a private compartment just for the two of them.  Waverly’s face lights up the moment she sees her friend.  She opens the compartment door and plops down across from Nicole.

“You would not believe the morning I’ve had,” Waverly starts.

“Missed you too, Wave,” Nicole says with a smirk.

“You know I missed you!” Waverly replies earnestly.  “But my sister—“

Waverly is cut off when a white furry creature pounces on her lap.  She shrieks and falls backwards.  Nicole laughs at her.  When Waverly inspects the being on her chest she finds a tiny white kitten staring back at her.

“What the hell?” she gasps.                                                

“Surprise,” Nicole says with a shrug.  “I got a cat.”

“You sure did,” Waverly says, as she picks up the fluff ball and places it on the seat next to her.  It lets out the softest meow and Waverly gasps again.  “She’s so cute!”

Nicole lets out a sigh of relief.  “So you like her?”

“Of course!  What’s her name?”

“Marshmallow.”

Marshmallow?  That’s adorable!” Waverly squeals.

They spend most of the train ride playing with Marshmallow and catching up because they haven’t seen each other in months.  Waverly orders some snacks to share from the trolley, and they take turns trying mysterious flavors of Bertie Bott’s beans.

Eventually the discussion turns to the upcoming year.  “What electives are you taking?” Waverly asks.

“Just Care of Magical Creatures and Divination,” Nicole answers.  “You?”

“I’m taking both of those too!” Waverly says.  “Also Muggle Studies, Ancient Runes, and Arithmancy.”

“Are you trying to kill yourself this year, Wave?” Nicole asks, baffled.  “How are you going to have time for all those classes, plus your mandatory ones?”

“I can do it.  I’m the top student and none of the classes overlap,” Waverly says indignantly.  “You worry too much.”

“Only about you,” Nicole replies, teasing.

The next day when classes start, Waverly starts to realize that she may have made a mistake taking on too many classes.  Immediately after potions, she has to run to the opposite end of the castle to make it to her arithmancy class on time.

On Wednesday, she accidentally brings her Ancient Runes homework to Herbology.  Thankfully she is one of Professor Sprout’s favorite students and Sprout allows her to run back to her dormitory to retrieve the correct paper before the end of class.

Thursday is their first Care of Magical Creatures class, and Waverly and Nicole are very excited for it.  They arrive at a patch near the Forbidden Forest where Professor Hagrid waits for them.  When the class has finished gathering round, he begins.  “I’m startin yeh off with a fun class today,” he says excitedly.  “Now get in pairs so yeh can start today’s lesson.”

Their assignment today is to search for a Bowtruckle at the edge of the forest and, if they are successful in finding one, to observe it and take notes.  If they cannot find one, they have to turn in an essay next week detailing Bowtruckle behavior.

Waverly and Nicole wander off together in search of one of these creatures.  They expect it to be a rather difficult assignment, as Hagrid informed them that Bowtruckles are not the easiest to spot.  However, five minutes into class, Nicole holds out an arm to stop Waverly.

“Wave,” she whispers.  “Look.”

Waverly scans the area but sees nothing.  “Do you see one?  Where is it?”

“The base of the tree on my left,” Nicole replies.

Neither one dares to speak in more than a whisper.

Waverly scans the base of the tree and sees nothing.   She frowns.  Suddenly, a slight movement catches her eye.  The Bowtruckle blends into the tree trunk, but she can just barely spot it moving.

“How the hell did you see that?” Waverly breathes.

“Just lucky, I guess,” Nicole says.  “Come on, let’s find a good place to watch from.”

They find a nice log about twenty feet away from the Bowtruckle’s tree and study it, taking notes whenever it moves.  After about an hour and a half, Waverly asks, “Do you think we’ve got enough now?”

Nicole shrugs, “Probably.  We can head back now.”

When they return to find the rest of their class, Waverly and Nicole discover that they are the only group to successfully find a Bowtruckle.  Hagrid is impressed.  Waverly is glad to have Nicole as her partner.

Things seem to be going well for Waverly, despite her heavy load of classes.  She gets her homework done, manages her schedule, and is acing care of magical creatures because Nicole is apparently brilliant with magical creatures.  Waverly doesn’t know how she does it, but she watches in awe at every interaction Nicole has with a new creature.

However, things start to turn a little sour for her when she gets back the marks for her first exam in Arithmancy to find Poor written across the top.

Waverly is almost in tears when she returns to the common room.  The moment Nicole sees her she jumps off the sofa and approaches Waverly.  “You okay?” she asks.

“I got a P,” Waverly gasps.  She slumps down onto the couch in front of the fire and drops her bag on the floor.  “I, Waverly Earp, got a P on an exam.”  She shakes her head.  “I haven’t gotten lower than Exceeds Expectations in all my time here.”

Nicole puts an arm around her, and Marshmallow jumps onto Waverly’s lap and purrs softly.  Waverly strokes her fur.  “It’s just one bad grade, Wave, I’m sure it’s fine.”

Waverly shakes her head.  “It’s not fine!  This is the opposite of fine, this is completely un-fine!”

“I don’t think that’s a word.”

“I have to go to the library,” Waverly says, and immediately grabs her bag again and stands up.  Marshmallow falls to the ground as she stands, and hisses at her.  “I have to study more.”

“Don’t you think you should take a break for a second?” Nicole asks.  She reaches down to grab her cat, who just swats at hand and hisses again.  Nicole frowns.

“Can’t,” Waverly says, as she leaves the common room.  “I just need to study more so I do better next time.  I don’t have time for a break.”

Waverly spends the next few weeks holed up in the library, studying.  When Nicole can’t find Waverly, she usually just checks the library and finds her next to a giant pile of books.  Waverly starts taking to skipping meals for the sake of studying.  If not for Nicole bringing her food, she probably wouldn’t eat at all.

When the first Hogsmeade trip comes along, Nicole is determined to get Waverly to take a break.  She finds Waverly’s table in the library a few days before the trip with some food to bribe her.

“So,” Nicole starts.

“Hm?” Waverly mumbles, still reading.

“The first Hogsmeade trip is coming up,” Nicole continues.  “You should come with me.”

“That’s nice,” Waverly says absently, her eyes never leaving the page in front of her.

“Waverly, I’m worried about you,” Nicole snaps.  Someone shushes her, but it gets Waverly to look up.

“Why’s that?” Waverly asks.

“When was the last time you left this library for something other than class or sleep?”

“Uhh…” Waverly struggles to find an answer.

“Exactly,” Nicole says.  “Come to Hogsmeade with me.  Get some fresh air.  Grab a butterbeer.  Just take a break from all this work.”

Nicole looks at her hopefully and for a moment, she thinks Waverly is going to say no, but then Waverly softens and sighs.  “You’re right,” she says.

“So you’ll come with me?” Nicole asks with a grin.

“Yes, I’ll go with you.”

“Meet me outside at 10 on Saturday?”

“Of course.”

Nicole can’t wipe the grin off her face for the rest of the day.  Neither can Waverly.

Saturday rolls around, and Nicole goes outside to wait for Waverly.  Twenty minutes pass, then thirty, then an hour, but Waverly is nowhere to be found.  Slightly annoyed, but suspicious of why Waverly is so late, Nicole heads back inside and to the library.

When Nicole enters the library, she finds Waverly at her usual table, fast asleep.  At the sight of Waverly Earp drooling on her books, Nicole forgets why she was annoyed and smiles endearingly at the girl in front of her.  She shakes her head, then heads to the Great Hall, hoping to get some extra breakfast for her friend.

The next time Waverly fails an arithmancy exam, she has a breakdown in the bathroom.  Nicole wouldn’t have known about it if not for Steph telling her that she heard Waverly crying in the bathroom.  Nicole abandons her dinner and runs for the nearest bathroom.  She hears the sound of sobs coming from a stall at the end.

Nicole knocks lightly on the door and the crying stops suddenly.  “Wave?” Nicole says softly.  “It’s me.  Can I come in?”

The silence lasts a moment, before she hears the door unlock, followed by a quiet sniffle.  Nicole pushes the door open to find Waverly sitting on the toilet, eyes red and puffy.  Nicole sits on the floor by her feet.

“Do you wanna talk about it?” she asks.  Waverly shakes her head.

Nicole doesn’t mind.  She continues to sit on the floor until Waverly is done crying.

When they get back to the common room, it’s empty.  Everyone is still at dinner.

“I know it’s not my place,” Nicole starts, “but I really think you should drop a few electives.  You’re way too stressed, and the amount of sleep you’ve been getting can’t be healthy.  I just… I worry about you.”

She holds Waverly’s gaze until she sees her resolve break.  “You’re right,” Waverly sighs.  They sit down on the couch, but after a few minutes, Waverly falls asleep.  People start to file in because dinner has ended, but Nicole realizes that she never finished dinner, and Waverly hasn’t eaten anything.

She wanders up to the Great Hall, but the plates have been cleared already.  Nicole frowns and wanders back into the basement corridor.  She leans against one of the paintings and folds her arms, wondering what to do.  As she adjusts her arms, her elbow brushes against the pear in the painting behind her, and suddenly something shifts.  The painting swings open to reveal a doorway.

Nicole follows the passageway down and finds herself surrounded by a sea of house elves, the smell of food overwhelming her senses.  It’s the kitchen.

It barely takes two words with the closest house elf for her to have her arms full with more food than she can carry.  She thanks them and heads back up to the common room, where Waverly is still asleep on the couch.  When she wakes up ten minutes later, her stomach growls audibly, and Nicole offers her some food.  Waverly mutters her thanks.

After Waverly has eaten and rested, Nicole convinces her to toss her failed exam in the fire.  They watch it burn in delight.

By the end of the week, Waverly has dropped Arithmancy and Muggle Studies.  She spends far less time in the library and far more time in the common room, playing with Marshmallow.

Nicole even convinces Waverly to join her on the next Hogsmeade trip.  It’s a beautiful Saturday morning in early December with a fresh coat of snow on the ground, and the village looks like something out of a Christmas card.  They have a butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks, and enjoy a fun day out.  When they step out into the cold again, Waverly wraps her scarf tighter around herself.  The cold wind whips her face and turns her nose red.

Nicole looks at her and thinks that she would love to kiss this girl again.  Instead, oblivious Waverly takes Nicole’s hand and drags her into Zonko’s Joke Shop.

Chapter Text

Waverly Earp’s fourth year at Hogwarts is also her first year without her sister there.

It’s a little weird.  She gets to Platform Nine and Three Quarters half an hour early because Wynonna isn’t there to slow her down in the morning.  She gets a prime compartment in the back of the train for herself, Nicole, and Marshmallow.

Waverly hears a knock on her compartment door.  She expects it to be Nicole, but when she glances up, she finds Champ leaning against the doorframe with an obnoxious grin on his face.

“How’s it going, Earp?” he asks.

“Why do you care?” Waverly retorts.

“Jeez, why so cold?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s because you called my best friend a you know what,” Waverly says with a glare.

Champ’s face turns white.  “Shit,” he mutters.  “Forgot about that.”

“Well I didn’t.”

There’s an awkward silence.  “For the record, I’m sorry,” Champ says.  “I was just a kid and I didn’t really know what the word meant.  I know it’s no excuse, but still.”

Waverly blinks, a little surprised.  He sounds genuine, but she’s let her years of hatred towards him fester, so she just shrugs.  “Ok.”

Champ lingers and continues to make small talk with Waverly until Nicole arrives and the train starts to leave.

“Hey, Nicole,” Champ says.  “Sorry about what I said second year.  I didn’t mean it.”

Nicole raises an eyebrow at him.  “Um, thanks?”  And with that, Champ leaves.  Nicole closes the compartment door behind him.  She turns to Waverly.  “What was that about?” she asks.

Waverly just shrugs as she looks out the door after Champ’s retreating figure.  “I have no idea.”

It takes Waverly about four weeks to realize why Champ is acting so weird.  It’s been four weeks of Champ saying hi to her in the halls, asking for help in Herbology, and trying to make small talk at dinner.  Poor, oblivious Waverly doesn’t figure it out until Champ asks her to go to Hogsmeade with her this weekend.  She says yes without thinking about it, but it’s not until later that night, sitting in the common room with Nicole, that it hits her.

“I think Champ asked me out?” she says, stunned.

Nicole freezes.  “What did you say?”

“I said yes,” Waverly says.  “I didn’t realize he was asking me out though.”

“Please, he’s been flirting with you all month,” Nicole pouts.

“What are you talking about?” Waverly scoffs.  “Champ has not been flirting with me.”  Nicole just looks at her incredulously and raises an eyebrow.  Waverly gasps.  “Oh my god, Champ has been flirting with me!”

“Are you gonna go out with him?” Nicole asks.

“Well, I have to I guess,” Waverly says, “I already said yes!  I can’t just change my answer, that would be mean.”

“True,” Nicole agrees.

“I’ll just go on this one date with him and then tell him that I don’t want to do it again,” Waverly says.  “That’s it.  Easy peesy.”

They drop the subject and don’t speak about Champ again.

Easy peesy isn’t as easy as Waverly assumed it would be.  Champ is actually kind of sweet now.  She’s pretty sure it’s his first date with a girl because he’s a little nervous and fumbling and not sure what to do.  He takes them to Madame Puddifoot’s, which is filled with a bunch of older kids also on dates.  He buys her chocolate from Honeydukes.  He’s very clearly trying to impress her.

Champ doesn’t even make a single snide remark about Wynonna.  He must have changed a little.

That’s why, on their walk back to Hogwarts when Champ asks Waverly if she’ll have dinner with him on Monday, she finds herself saying yes.  She’s just not quite sure how to tell Nicole.

When Waverly arrives back at the common room, she finds Nicole playing chess with a third year student.  That is, until Marshmallow jumps onto the table and attacks the board, scattering the pieces across the room.

Nicole groans and grabs the white ball of fluff before she can cause more damage.  “Why did I get stuck with the worst cat in existence?” she sighs.  Waverly shrugs.  “So how was your date?  How’d he take it when you told him you didn’t want to go out with him again?  Ooh, did he cry?”

Waverly figures there’s no beating around the bush, so she just says it.  “Actually, Nicole, I’m having dinner with Champ on Monday,” she says.

“What?” Nicole asks, shocked.

“Well, I don’t know, I had a really nice time,” Waverly says.  “He’s not a jerk anymore.”

“Once a jerk always a jerk,” Nicole huffs.

Before Waverly can say anything, Marshmallow squeezes out of Nicole’s arms and pounces on Waverly, claws and all.  “Ouch!  Marshmallow!  Get!  Off!” Waverly gasps between scratches.

“Sorry,” Nicole says, and pulls her cat off of Waverly.

Waverly stands up.  “It’s fine.  Look, I’m a little tired, so I’m just going to turn in.  Goodnight, Nicole.”

“’Night,” Nicole replies.  She watches as Waverly disappears toward the dormitories.  Then, she glances back down at her cat, who purrs innocently.  “You know, I take back what I said before.  You’re not too bad, Marshmallow.”

After every date with Champ, Waverly is surprised to find herself agreeing to go out with him again.  Granted, most of their dates consist of getting dinner in the Great Hall, but she still finds that she enjoys his company.

After about a week of having dinner together every night, he invites her to go for a walk.  They find themselves walking along the shore of the lake, watching as the sun sets.  When they’ve found a spot out of the direct view of the castle, Champ pushes Waverly up against a tree.

“What are you doing?” Waverly asks him.

Instead of answering, Champ leans in and kisses her.

Waverly wouldn’t say that she doesn’t enjoy it, because she does.  She likes the hard press of his mouth against hers, but when his tongue tries to pry its way into her mouth, she turns her head.  He looks like a kicked puppy, so she leans in and kisses him again.  Champ grins this time.

“Be my girlfriend?” he asks.

Waverly feels herself nodding yes.  Champ lets out a whoop of joy and kisses her again.  This time, she lets him use tongue.

They don’t make it back to the castle until just after curfew and have to sneak inside as to not get caught.  Waverly finds Nicole in the common room.  She grabs her hand, and drags her to their dormitory, which is much more empty.

“Champ kissed me,” Waverly says.

Nicole blinks.  Waverly can’t read her expression.  “How was it?” Nicole asks.

“It was nice,” Waverly says.

That’s all they say on the matter.  Nicole doesn’t ask anymore, and Waverly doesn’t share anymore.

Over the weeks, Waverly’s relationship with Champ turns into sort of a barrier between the two friends.  Neither girl says more than a few words to each other about the boy.  Nicole is clearly unhappy, but Waverly isn’t really sure why.  It’s not like their second year, when she would ditch Nicole to spend time with Steph and Chrissy.  Waverly always keeps her plans with Nicole, she just spends time with Champ, too.

Waverly likes Champ well enough.  He’s a good kisser and he isn’t a complete jerk anymore.  Sometimes, he makes comments that irk her.  He will say things like, “How can you be so smart and so pretty at the same time?”  It’s usually just little things like that that rub Waverly the wrong way, but she knows that Champ doesn’t mean them to be harmful.

It’s early November and they’re sitting out by the lake, making out, when Champ says, “It’s quidditch tomorrow.”

“Uh-huh,” Waverly mumbles, and leans in, trying to kiss him again, but he moves away.

“So, are you coming?” he asks.

Waverly blinks.  “Why would I do that?”

“Cause I’m playing!” Champ says proudly.

“Oh, right,” Waverly frowns.  “See, Champ, the thing is, I’m not really a big sports person.  I’d love to go see you but I’m just gonna be lost the whole time, so what’s the point, right?”

Champ shrugs.  “I guess.”  He has a frown on his face, so Waverly grabs the front of his robes and pulls him in for another kiss.

The next day, Waverly does homework in the common room, when Nicole comes in.  “You’re not at the game?” she asks.

Waverly shakes her head.  “Homework.”

“But I thought Champ was playing,” she says.

“He is,” Waverly says.  “I’m just not a big fan of quidditch.”

Nicole blinks.  “Okay, weirdo.”  She plops down on the couch next to Waverly and pulls out homework.  They spend the rest of the day joking and talking and doing homework together.

Despite her distaste for quidditch, Waverly and Champ only grow closer over the following weeks, soon enough, Valentine’s Day is coming up.  There is already a Hogsmeade trip scheduled for the day, so Waverly plans to go with Champ, but she feels bad when Nicole asks her if she has plans.

“I’m sorry, I’m already going with Champ,” Waverly says.

“Right.  Valentine’s Day.  Relationship,” Nicole sighs.  “I guess I have to find another single person to go with.”

“I’m really sorry,” Waverly says again.

Nicole shakes her head.  “Don’t worry about it.”

After two incredibly awkward trips to Madame Puddifoot’s, Waverly and Champ have vowed to never step foot in the tea shop ever again, so instead they have their date at The Three Broomsticks.  It’s a little crowded, but overall, a more pleasant environment.

They have a nice meal and are finishing off a couple of butterbeers when Waverly sees Nicole walk in with a friend.  She waves them over.

“Sit with us!”

“Waves, baby, we’re on a date,” Champ says.

Waverly rolls her eyes.  “We’re almost finished.  And it’s crowded today, it’ll take forever to get a table.  Just sit here, it’s fine.”

Nicole’s friend is a chaser on the Hufflepuff quidditch team, who apparently has a grudge against Champ for sending a stray bludger her way and breaking her broomstick.  Champ just shrugs.

They chat pleasantly for a few minutes, but then Champ puts an arm around Waverly.  No one notices Nicole’s grip tighten on her butterbeer.

Champ gradually leans in a little closer to Waverly so that he’s close enough to kiss her, and he does.

There’s a crash as Nicole’s mug of butterbeer slips out of her hands and onto the ground; her glass shatters and the drink spills everywhere.  She’s red in the face.

“You okay?” Waverly asks, as she pushes Champ off of her.

“Fine,” Nicole grunts.

“Maybe we should go,” Champ says.  He stands up and pulls Waverly up with her.

“Are you sure we can’t stay a little longer?” Waverly asks.

“No, we should leave,” he repeats, and practically drags her out of The Three Broomsticks.  Waverly looks over her shoulder at Nicole, whose eyes are glued to the table in front of her.

An unspoken agreement begins that day between Nicole and Waverly to never talk about Champ with each other.  Instead of telling Nicole that she can’t hang out because she had a date with Champ, Waverly just says she that she’s busy.  Waverly no longer gives Nicole the brief updates on her relationship, and there is a large chasm that forms in their friendship.

With the end of the year approaching, Waverly becomes antsy.  She loves being at Hogwarts, but she also misses home, and she misses her sister.  Waverly and Champ lie on the grass on a warm spring afternoon, kissing.  He gropes her awkwardly, and Waverly’s too nice to ask him to stop, so instead she pulls herself off of him and sits.

“I’m so ready to go home,” she says.

“Yeah, but won’t you miss me?” he asks.

“Of course,” Waverly giggles.  “Not as much as I miss my family right now, though.  I haven’t seen my sister since Christmas!”

Champ sighs.  “How is the crazy Earp?”

Waverly stares at him.  “Excuse me?”

Champ blinks.  “What?”

“What do you mean ‘what’?” Waverly asks.  “That’s my sister you’re talking about.”

“Yeah.  And she’s crazy.  Everyone knows that.”

Waverly stands up quickly.  “Have you just been holding back rude comments about the people I love the whole time we’ve been together?”

“Not the whole time,” Champ says, “Just when I think of them.”

Waverly scoffs.  “You are so stupid!  No, wait, I’m stupid.  Because I thought you’d changed!”

“Baby, I did change!”

Waverly shakes her head, and she can’t believe what a fool she’s been.  She puts up with his snide comments, and hasn’t had a real conversation with Nicole in weeks.  “No you didn’t.  You’ve spent all these months talking down to me and censoring yourself and driving me away from my best friend!”

“What are you talking about?”

“Oh, don’t think I didn’t notice that you’d always drape yourself over me when Nicole’s around.”

“Well it’s not my fault she’s in love with you!”

This gets Waverly to shut up for a second.  “W-what?”

“Sorry if I’m a little insecure cause I don’t want my girlfriend to run off with someone else!”

“What are you talking about?” Waverly shakes her head, confused.  “Nicole is not in love with me.”

“Of course she is!” Champ exclaims.  “God, you’re an idiot to not see that!”

And as quickly as it had dissipated, the anger returns.  “That’s it, we’re done.”  She walks away.  Champ calls after her, but she doesn’t look back.

Once Waverly is back in the castle, she runs for the basement, climbs into the common room, and wipes away tears as she rushes to her dormitory.  She collapses on her bed and cries.

Less than a minute later, the door creaks open, and Waverly feels a dip in her bed as someone sits down.  She knows it’s Nicole without looking.  She recognizes the smell of spearmint and crackling fire that always coats her.

Nicole doesn’t say anything.  She puts a comforting hand on her leg and lets Waverly cry.  After a moment, Waverly tugs on Nicole’s sleeve.

Nicole lays down next to her in bed, and Waverly wraps her arms around her friend.  She cries, and cries, and Nicole holds her, never asking for anything in return.

Chapter Text

Waverly Earp begins her fifth year at Hogwarts with very low expectations.  She assumes that most of her free time will be used to study for O.W.L.s.  Even though they aren’t until April, she knows how easy it is to get behind in studying.  She had witnessed her sister Wynonna have a breakdown about a week before her exams because she had barely studied.  And if Waverly was known for anything, it was for not following in her sister’s footsteps.

One thing that does surprise her, though, is the owl that delivers her a prefect badge just before school starts.

Wynonna swipes the badge out of Waverly’s hands.  “What the fuck?!” she exclaims.  “My baby sister is a prefect?”

“I guess so,” Waverly says.

Somehow, Nicole already knows the news before Waverly can tell her.  She greets Waverly with the biggest hug and a warm, “Congrats!”

“How’d you know?” Waverly asks.

“Who else would it be?  You practically scream ‘prefect’,” Nicole says.  “Don’t you have to be with the other prefects though?”

“They already sent us to patrol, but I snuck off to see you,” Waverly says with a laugh.  “Anyway, when we get to school, I have to introduce you to my new friend.”  Nicole raises an eyebrow at her.  “Gus bought me an owl as a congratulations!  His name is Stan.”

“Stan?”

“She wouldn’t let me call him Satan.”

“Oh, ok.”

They spend the rest of the train ride catching up on their summers, as if they hadn’t been sending owls back and forth twice a week.

It’s when they’re almost at Hogwarts that Nicole admits something to her that she was clearly holding in for a while.  “I’m going to go out for quidditch this year,” she says.

“You are?” Waverly asks.  Nicole nods.  “Dude, that is awesome!”

“Really?” Nicole asks.  “I thought you hated quidditch.”

“I do, but I don’t hate you,” Waverly says.  She misses the way Nicole blushes at this.  “What are you trying out for?”

“Keeper, I think,” Nicole says.

“I’m going to be honest with you,” Waverly gulps.  “I have no idea what that means.”

Nicole laughs.  “It’s fine.”

The two girls laugh and joke together the rest of the train ride, enjoying possibly their last moment of bliss together before the school year hits them like a semi-truck.

Waverly realizes more quickly than she would have liked how busy her prefect duties will keep her this year.  Half of her nights are spent on patrol out on the grounds, making sure no students are out of bed.  The other half are spent holed up in the library, studying her ass off.  It’s like third year all over again.  Waverly feels like the only times she actually gets to sit and relax in the common room are when Nicole is out practicing for quidditch tryouts.  She misses her friend, so when she hears word of when tryouts are, Waverly decides to go.

Waverly makes the trek up to the quidditch pitch that she has only done once before, during her first year.  The stands are filled with other Hufflepuff students, curious to see the outcome of tryouts, as well as a few players from other houses here to check out the competition.

She squints into the field, but can’t make out which tiny figure is her friend.  This is why she never liked watching games in the first place.

Soon enough, all the people trying out jump onto their brooms and takeoff into the sky.  They do a couple of warm-up laps around the field, and when they fly overhead is when Waverly finally spots Nicole in the crowd.  She waves to her friend, and when Nicole sees her, she’s so surprised that her hands slip and she almost loses grip on her broom.  Nicole turns bright red and flies off, taking her place in front of the goal posts.  It looks like there’s another person trying out for the same position as her, and he flies to the other set of goalposts.

Waverly will gladly admit that she has no idea what is going on, but it seems like Nicole is doing well, and people in the stands clap when she catches the ball, so that must be a good thing.

Despite being completely lost, Waverly watches tryouts until they’re finished, when she heads down to the field entrance to meet Nicole, who greets her with a hug.

“What are you doing here?” Nicole asks, with a grin on her face.

“I wanted to support you,” Waverly says.

“But you hate quidditch!”

“But I don’t hate you,” Waverly repeats her words from the train, and Nicole blushes again.

“Well, I made the team,” Nicole says bashfully.

“What?” Waverly shouts and hugs her friend again.  “That is fantastic! We have to celebrate!”

“I think I have something in mind,” Nicole says.  “Tonight, after dinner.  Don’t eat too much.”  Waverly nods enthusiastically.  “Also, I’m going to go take a bath because I’m sweaty and disgusting.”

Later that night, after dinner, Waverly follows Nicole out of the common room and down the hall to a painting of a fruit bowl.

“What’s this?” Waverly asks.  Nicole just smirks and tickles the pear.  Waverly is pretty sure her friend is insane, when the pear starts to laugh and then the painting swings open to reveal a doorway.

“After you,” Nicole says, gesturing for Waverly to go first.

“You’re not going to murder me back here, are you?” Waverly asks, only half joking, as she descends the steps.  She looks around in awe when she sees the kitchen in front of her.  “Wow,” she breathes.  “How the fuck did you find this place?” she asks Nicole.

“On accident,” Nicole replies with a shrug.

“More importantly, how long have you been keeping this a secret?!

“Umm…” Nicole’s eyes grow wide and she looks away from Waverly.  “I was waiting for the right time to tell you?”

“Yeah, right.  I’m onto you, Haught!  What other secrets are you keeping from me?”

Nicole blushes at this, but Waverly is too distracted by all the goings-on in the kitchen to notice.

It only takes a few minutes for both Nicole and Waverly to have arms full of food, but instead of going back to the common room, Nicole heads outside.

“Nicole!” Waverly exclaims.  “It’s almost curfew!”

“I won’t get in trouble if I’m with a prefect, will I?” Nicole calls over her shoulder.  Waverly shakes her head, but smiles and follows after her friend.

They have a picnic out by the edge of the forest, talking and laughing.  Nicole points out all the magical creatures she sees, much to Waverly’s excitement.  They don’t make it back inside until the moon is high up in the sky and the rest of the castle is fast asleep.

It’s not often that Waverly and Nicole can spend time together with no other pressing matters.  Usually Waverly is busy with prefect duties or studying for O.W.L.s, and Nicole has quidditch practice.  When they’re not busy, the most they do together is homework.

Because they don’t get to spend a lot of time together, when November rolls around along with Nicole’s first quidditch match, Waverly finds herself making her way up to the stands along with every other student in school.  She still can’t quite figure out what is happening, but the crowd is gasping and cheering, and Waverly thinks she can pick up the gist of it.

Nicole is amazing, she thinks, although Waverly might be a little biased in that thought.  She lets a few goals slip through the cracks, but Hufflepuff is still beating Ravenclaw by a decent margin.  That is, until the Ravenclaw seeker catches the snitch, and they win the match.

When Waverly heads down to find Nicole, her friend is upset.

“If only I had stopped those goals…” she mutters.  Waverly puts an arm around Nicole.

“You were great!  Ravenclaw caught the snitch,” one of Nicole’s teammates says.  “There was nothing you could do.”

They slowly trek back toward the castle when a voice behind them calls out, “Waves?”

Waverly turns around to find Champ behind her, looking very confused.  “What is it, Champ?” she asks.

“I thought you hated quidditch,” he says.  “You never came when we were dating.”

“Maybe I just never liked you as much as you thought I did,” Waverly says, and she walks away faster, dragging Nicole along with her.

They get back to the common room, and Nicole has recovered a little.  She turns to Waverly and says, “Thanks.  For coming.”

Waverly smiles.  “Of course I came.”

“I know you don’t like quidditch.”

“Maybe I like it a little more when the keeper is my best friend,” Waverly says, eliciting a blush from Nicole.  “I will be honest though, I have no idea what was going on.”  Nicole laughs.  Waverly laughs too.  “I mean, how the hell did they win?  You guys were way ahead!  That’s some bullshit.”

“I could teach you,” Nicole offers.

“About quidditch?”  Waverly blinks.  Nicole nods.  She never bothered to actually learn how the sport was played.  Then again, she never really wanted to before.  “Sure.”

That’s how, a few weeks later, on a cold Saturday, Waverly finds herself out on the quidditch pitch with Nicole, two broomsticks, and a crate with the proper equipment.

“Let’s start with the balls,” Nicole says.

“That’s what she said,” Waverly replies, without thinking.  Nicole raises an eyebrow at her friend, and the two laugh.  “Sorry, continue.”

Nicole bends over and opens the crate.  She pulls out a scarlet ball and tosses it to Waverly.  “This is the quaffle.  This is what the chasers pass back and forth to score with.”

“Quaffle, got it,” Waverly says, and hastily tacks on, “Did you know that this ball actually originates from some ancient games such as StichStock and Swivenhodge, and it used to be an inflated bladder?  Either dragon’s or pig’s.”

Nicole raises an eyebrow.  “I did not know that.”  Waverly bites her lip, nervous, but Nicole just smirks and continues.  “I’m not going to let them out, but these guys are the bludgers.”  Nicole picks up a small bat off the ground and shows it to Waverly.  “Bludgers fly around wreaking havoc, and the beaters use these things to aim them at other players.”

“Early bludgers were called blooders and they were just enchanted rocks,” Waverly quickly adds in.  “But the rocks could be smashed by the bats, so they had to change it because games often ended with players being chased by flying gravel.”

Nicole laughs.  “That’s actually kind of funny.”

Waverly smiles too.  “Yeah,” she says, with a giggle.

Nicole bends down again to retrieve the last ball.  “This one is the golden snitch,” she says, holding the walnut-sized ball out for Waverly to view.

“It actually used to be a bird called the golden snidget,” Waverly says.  “But the human grip was enough to kill the bird, and so when it was listed as endangered, they made the switch to a ball.”

“I surprisingly did know that one,” Nicole replies with a smile.

Waverly pouts.  “Well the name quidditch comes from Queerditch Marsh, where the first game took place!”

“Waverly,” Nicole says.                                           

“Yes?”

“Did you like, research the history of quidditch before today?” she asks.

Waverly hesitates.  “Maybe,” she says.  “I’m sorry, I just wanted to impress you.  I’m an idiot, I know nothing about quidditch.”

“Wave,” Nicole says again, with a growing smile on her face.

“Yes?”

“You’re cute.”

Waverly feels her cheeks tinge red, but a small smile captures her lips.  She looks at the ground and scuffs her shoe on the grass, then tosses the quaffle back to Nicole.  “So are we gonna play or what?”

The rest of the afternoon is spent tossing the quaffle back and forth while Nicole tries to explain to Waverly the basics of the game.  Waverly tries to pay attention, she really does, but she’s too preoccupied with making sure she doesn’t fall off her broom to certain death.  Nicole continually reassures her that she will be fine, but Waverly still refuses to fly more than twenty feet off the ground.

After this, Waverly is at least slightly more knowledgeable about quidditch, and when Hufflepuff plays Slytherin in January, she actually knows why she’s cheering along with the crowd.  And when Hufflepuff obliterates Slytherin two hundred to twenty, Waverly is the first one to congratulate Nicole for her good game.

There’s a party in the Hufflepuff common room that night.  Nicole steals some food from the kitchens and once everyone younger than fifteen goes to bed, the seeker breaks out his stash of firewhisky.  Everyone forgets about classes and exams and O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s for a night to let loose and have fun.  Music blares on the enchanted radio in the corner.  After a couple shots of firewhisky, Waverly gets a little fuzzy, but she remembers dancing with every single member of the Hufflepuff quidditch team.

Waverly wakes up the next morning still in the common room, sprawled on top of Nicole on the couch in front of the fire.  Her head is killing her, and she’s far too tired to care that Nicole’s arms are wrapped tightly around her, so Waverly just closes her eyes and lets her head fall against Nicole’s chest as she drifts off to sleep once again.

With quidditch semi-finals coming up, Nicole spends most of her free time in practice, but Waverly starts to worry.  O.W.L. exams are only six weeks away and she barely remembers her friend studying at all.  It takes a lot of bribery and Waverly’s signature pout to convince Nicole to spend just one night a week in the library with her, studying.

The quidditch semi-final comes up before their O.W.L.s, and despite the fact that Waverly has spent almost 48 hours straight in the library, she figures that she’s further ahead on studying than all of her classmates and gives herself a break to attend the match.

It’s Hufflepuff versus Gryffindor in a showdown to see which house will go head to head with Ravenclaw in the final.  Waverly arrives early so she can have a perfect seat at the front of the stands, and is ready with her binoculars to watch her best friend.

The two teams enter the field and do a lap overhead.  Waverly catches sight of her ex, Champ, in his scarlet and gold quidditch robes, but then directs her attention to Nicole as she takes her place at the goal posts.

Hufflepuff starts off with a bang, scoring two goals right off the bat.  Nicole does her job well and blocks every ball aimed at the goal posts, and Waverly lets out a loud cheer of joy whenever Nicole makes a great save.

About twenty minutes into the match, Hufflepuff is up seventy to zero, and the Gryffindor team is clearly getting frustrated.  Nicole is unstoppable, blocking goal after goal, and Waverly watches with pride.

A bludger flies a little too close to the stands.  Waverly and her classmates duck to not get hit by it.  That’s when Champ appears from behind the stands and hits the bludger with a nice crack.  It heads straight for the Hufflepuff goal posts and nails Nicole in the chest.

“NICOLE!” Waverly shrieks.  The world slows down for a moment.  Nicole flies off her broom and her head slams against the goalpost behind her, then she falls to the ground.  Waverly blinks and suddenly the momentum has slowed and Nicole lands on the ground gently.

Waverly shoves her way out of the stands to climb down to the field.  Her vision is blurred by the tears spilling from her eyes as she shoves past every person who gets in her way.  Professor Flitwick stands guard at the entrance to the field, but Waverly sprints past him, and runs for the small crowd forming on the ground around Nicole.

The match continues on above them, but nobody cares that Gryffindor is scoring goals left and right when all the attention is focused on the ground.  Waverly shoves through the crowd and kneels next to Nicole, who lays unconscious on the grass.

The next few hours are a bit of a blur for Waverly.  She remembers people trying to pull her away from Nicole, but she refuses to leave the girl’s side.  Somehow she ends up in the hospital wing sitting in a chair next to Nicole’s bed.  Once the game ends (Gryffindor wins, two hundred fifty to one hundred seventy), the entire Hufflepuff quidditch team comes in to visit, as well as a handful of spectators.  Unfortunately, Nicole doesn’t wake up, and eventually Madame Pomfrey shoos them out because this is an infirmary, not a party.

She lets Waverly stay, though.  One of Nicole’s teammates brings her dinner, but she can’t get herself to eat.  Waverly isn’t even looking at the clock but eventually the sun disappears, bringing nightfall, and she falls asleep in the hospital wing, still refusing to leave Nicole’s side.

Waverly wakes up a few hours later to the softest brush of fingers against her own.  Her eyes flutter open and she sees Nicole, finally awake, looking exhausted.

“Wave?” she says weakly.

Waverly sits up straighter and moves her chair closer to Nicole’s bed.  She reaches out and grips her friend’s hand tightly.  “I’m here,” she says.

Nicole tries to sit up, but Waverly gets up and stops her.  “What happened?”

“You took a hit from a bludger,” Waverly says.  “Pomfrey says you have a concussion and some bruised ribs.  She fixed up the ribs, but you should rest a couple of days until you’re over the concussion.”

Nicole nods.  “Yep, that’s what it feels like.”  She chuckles a little, but Waverly frowns.  “What is it?” Nicole asks, concerned.

Waverly shakes her head and looks away.  She retracts a hand to wipe away a few tears.  “I was so scared.”

Nicole doesn’t know what to say, so she grabs Waverly’s hand again and squeezes it as tight as she can.

Waverly ends up sleeping next to Nicole in her hospital bed, one arm draped across her waist, but her other hand still intertwined with Nicole’s.

Chapter Text

When Waverly Earp receives the results of her O.W.L. exams, she’s a nervous wreck.  She gazes at the envelope in fear.  Wynonna rolls her eyes.  “O.W.L.s aren’t a big deal, Wave,” she says.

“Easy for you to say when you only passed half your exams,” Waverly retorts.

She takes a deep breath and rips the envelope open to pull out the paper with her results.  She scans the grades seeing mostly O’s and E’s, but suddenly gasps.

Wynonna jumps up to look over her shoulder.  “What is it?”

Next to Divination is written Acceptable.  “Acceptable?” Waverly groans.  “Acceptable?!  I’m Waverly Earp, I don’t get Acceptables!”

“Earps get acceptables all the time,” Wynonna says.

“Well Acceptable isn’t enough to get me into the N.E.W.T. level class!”

“Really?” Wynonna scoffs.  “What are you going to do with divination?  Become a fortune teller?  You passed everything else.  You’re officially the smartest Earp.  Congratulations.”

Waverly rolls her eyes, but still has a satisfied smile on her face.

Back at school for her sixth year, she gets to take a slightly easier class load if she wants, but that all depends on what career she wants to have in the future.  Waverly and Nicole sit across from each other on the train discussing the pros and cons of the classes they could take.

Nicole got Exceeds Expectations in her divination class and Waverly pretends she doesn’t care.

“I honestly don’t know what I want to do,” Nicole says.  “I thought I wanted to be an Auror, but I only got Acceptable on my Potions exam, so I guess that’s a no go.”

“I don’t know what I want to do either,” Waverly says.  “Maybe work for the ministry doing something?  Ooh, you’re good with animals, you could do some sort of… creature training.  Maybe dragons or something!”

Nicole laughs.  “I don’t think I want to work with dragons.  They’re a little too intense for me.”

“Honestly,” Waverly starts, “It would be really cool to come back and teach at Hogwarts, but there’s never any openings.  And what would I even teach?  I love all the subjects too much to pick one.”

“I guess at this point we’ve just gotta take what we can and keep our options open.”

“I guess,” Waverly sighs.

“You’re still taking care of magical creatures with me, right?” Nicole asks.

Waverly grins and kicks her friend affectionately.  “Of course!”

Overall, after a few weeks, Waverly realizes that sixth year is going to be quite a bit easier than fifth year.  Mostly because they don’t have to worry about studying for O.W.L.s the whole year, but her workload is also one class lighter, and she is no longer the one of the youngest prefects and can therefore defer some duties to her new counterparts.

Nicole, however, is still just as busy with quidditch practice.  Hufflepuff was so close to finals last year that their new captain is determined to win the cup this year, and her plan consists of extra practices, nearly every day at the crack of dawn.  Every morning, when Waverly wakes up, Nicole’s bed is already empty.

All the extra practice pays off, though, because Hufflepuff creams Gryffindor in their first game of the year, winning three hundred to ten.  Gryffindor’s only goal slips through due to another Hufflepuff player trying to intercept the quaffle and accidentally running into Nicole instead, otherwise it would have been a shut-out.

Instead of heading directly back to the Hufflepuff common room for the raging party bound to be happening, Waverly and Nicole ditch everyone and head down to the lake.  Nicole is still covered in a sheen of sweat from her game, but Waverly doesn’t care when she hugs her.

“Congrats!” Waverly exclaims.  “At least you don’t keep ditching me for nothing.  All that practice has paid off.”

Nicole sighs.  “You know I’d much rather be with you, Wave,” she says.  “Although, it does feel pretty good to win.  Especially after our face-off with Gryffindor last year.”

“Promise that won’t happen again?” Waverly asks seriously, remembering how helpless she felt seeing Nicole in that hospital bed.

“I promise,” Nicole says with a laugh.

Spending time down by the lake becomes sort of a weekly tradition for Waverly and Nicole.  After Nicole’s Saturday practices, or after days spent in Hogsmeade, before they head back to the common room, they’ll spend some time by the lake, just the two of them.  They try to enjoy their time together when Waverly isn’t busy with prefect duties and Nicole isn’t busy with practice.

Hufflepuff’s second quidditch game of the year is a shut out, mostly because they catch the snitch ten minutes in, but Nicole gets in a few saves before the end.  When Waverly climbs down the stairs to greet her friend down on the field, she sees Nicole walk out of the players’ tent with the Hufflepuff seeker, talking.  Waverly frowns and walks up to them.

As soon as Nicole sees Waverly, her attention falls from the boy.  She bids him goodbye and walks down to the lake with her friend.

“What was that about?” Waverly asks as they walk side by side to their usual spot.

“What was what about?” Nicole says, confused.

“Pete, the seeker,” Waverly says.  “What was he talking to you about?”

“Oh, that,” Nicole says with a shrug.  “He asked me out.”

“What?” Waverly practically spits.  “Why?”

Nicole shrugs again.  “I guess he likes me.”

“Well what did you say?” Waverly asks.

“I said I’d think about it.”

Waverly frowns.  Is this how Nicole felt when she dated Champ?  Because it isn’t a good feeling.  Maybe Waverly is just selfish and wants her best friend all to herself.

They drop the subject, but the air is thick between them.  Even down at the lake, neither girl says anything.  It’s a cold day out, and Waverly wraps her scarf tighter around herself and shivers.

“It’s cold,” she says, breaking the silence after a while.  “Let’s get back inside.”

Nicole agrees, and they walk back to the castle, but this time Waverly doesn’t let their shoulders brush.

Nicole doesn’t tell Waverly when she has her date with Pete.  Waverly finds out when she walks past them by the quidditch pitch and sees Pete kiss her.  Waverly freezes in her tracks.  She forgets what she wanted to do in the first place and heads straight for the library, drowning her thoughts in her homework.

Later that night, when she returns to the common room, she finds Nicole on the couch with Marshmallow asleep on her lap.  Nicole looks up, and when she sees Waverly, she smiles.  “Hey.”

Waverly says nothing, but sits on the couch next to her and folds her arms across her chest.  “I saw you with Pete earlier,” she says.

“Oh.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you were going out with him?” Waverly asks.

Nicole shrugs and looks down at Marshmallow on her lap.  “I don’t know,” she says.  “You didn’t seem too excited when I told you he asked me out.”

“I know, but you’re my best friend!” Waverly says.  “And he kissed you!”

Nicole goes quiet.  “So you saw that,” she says.  It’s not a question.

“Nicole, I want you to tell me things,” Waverly says.  “I told you when Champ asked me out!  I told you when he kissed me!”

“Well maybe I didn’t want you to tell me about Champ!” Nicole says.

Waverly knows they’re getting a little too loud when other students look in their direction.  She glares at Nicole, then stands up and heads to the dormitories without another word.

Waverly changes into her pajamas and gets into bed, but she can’t do more than lay there, under the covers, mind racing.  She hears when Nicole comes in, twenty minutes later.

Neither of them sleeps very well that night.  They don’t talk to each other the next day either.

Their fight lasts longer than Waverly would care to admit.  They no longer study together, or sit together at meals.  Their weekly trips down to the lake are no more.

Waverly has a hard time focusing in classes anymore.  When she thinks of a funny comment, she no longer has Nicole sitting next to her to hear it.  She tries to do homework, but instead focuses on the intrusive thought of Pete kissing Nicole, that pops into her head far too often.

Waverly doesn’t attend the semifinal quidditch match.  It’s the first Hufflepuff match she’s missed since Nicole joined the team.  Instead she stays in the common room and writes a letter to Wynonna.  The common room is empty since everyone is already at the game.

The trek up to the owlery is lonely and quiet, though Waverly can hear the distant cheers from the quidditch pitch.  She finds Stan, her handsome barn owl, and ties the parchment to his leg.  “For Wynonna, ok?” she mutters.  Stan squawks in affirmation, and she gives him a treat for the road.  He flies off and Waverly steps outside to watch him disappear into the overcast, early spring sky.

The grounds are much less empty when Waverly heads back to the castle.  Students make their way from the quidditch pitch where the match has ended, and return to their common rooms, or to the Great Hall for food.  Waverly lets her curiosity get the best of her and she intercepts a random student.  “Excuse me,” she says.  “Who won?”

“Hufflepuff,” he says.  “But just barely.  Their keeper was shit today.  I wonder whose broom is up her ass…”

Waverly doesn’t let him finish.  She walks down to the lake, where she used to meet with Nicole every week, hoping to find her there.  She spots a flash of red hair, where Nicole sits by herself on a rock, head in her hands.  Waverly approaches from behind, her feet crunching on the dry grass.

Nicole doesn’t look up when she hears Waverly approach.  Waverly stops in her tracks.  Even without seeing her, Nicole knows who it is.

“You weren’t there,” Nicole says.

“We’re fighting,” Waverly replies.  “I didn’t think you’d want me there.”

“I always want you there.”              

Waverly sighs.  “How’s your boyfriend?” she asks.

“Who, Pete?” Nicole says with a laugh.  “He’s not my boyfriend.  If you’d bothered to listen to me I would’ve told you that I only went out with him that one time.  Not my type.”

Waverly feels regret wash over her.  “Oh,” she sighs, surpised.  “Sorry.”

“Whatever,” Nicole snaps.

“Hey,” Waverly says with a frown.  “Don’t pin this all on me, you were the one keeping things from me.  Maybe if you didn’t keep secrets we would still be talking.”

Nicole stands up and faces Waverly with a glare.  “You wanna know the truth?” she asks, and Waverly nods.  “Fine.”

The last thing Waverly expects is for Nicole to lean in and kiss her, but that’s exactly what happens.  Waverly suddenly flashes back to second year, after she punched Champ in the face, when Nicole kissed her for the first time at this exact spot, soft and innocent and brief.

This kiss is nothing like that.  Nicole kisses her hard and angry.  She grabs Waverly’s head and pulls her closer.  Waverly’s hands grasp Nicole’s biceps and she kisses back, just for a moment, before Nicole pulls away.

Waverly breathes heavily, mouth still hanging open in shock as she stares at Nicole.  She doesn’t know what to do, what to think, what to say, so she just stares.

Nicole looks at her feet and scuffs her shoe against the ground.  “Sorry,” she mutters.  “I shouldn’t have done that.  I’m sorry.”  She walks off and leaves Waverly standing by herself next to the lake.  Waverly’s lips still tingle where Nicole was pressed against her.

Nicole avoids her for a while after that.  When they pass each other in the halls, Nicole changes direction.  When Waverly comes into an empty common room, except for Nicole, Nicole will immediately pack her things and return to her dormitory.  It begins to frustrate Waverly.

It’s not like she knows what she would even say to her friend.  She’s never quite thought about Nicole in that way before.  All she knows is that she misses her best friend.

One day, when Waverly can’t take it anymore, she corners Nicole by the forest after care of magical creatures class.

“What is it, Waverly?” Nicole asks.  Waverly frowns.  Nicole never used to use her full name.

“I miss you,” Waverly sighs.  “I don’t think I want… anything more.  Not now, at least.  I don’t know.  All I know is that I miss you.”

Waverly’s words hang heavy in the air as she waits for her friend to say… something.

“I miss you too,” Nicole replies quietly.

Waverly almost sighs in relief.  “Can we be friends again?” she asks.  She feels a single tear fall down her cheek.  “Please?”

Slowly, Nicole nods.  Waverly runs over and wraps her arms around Nicole in a tight hug, who immediately hugs her back.  They stay like that for a while, wrapped in the comfort of having each other.

Things return to almost normal between then afterward.  Their weekly trips down to the lake resume, and they do homework together and have meals together again.  However, there is still an awkward tension between them.  Now that Waverly knows how Nicole feels about her, it’s difficult to ignore.  Nicole has been her best friend for six years, but Waverly can’t stop thinking about the feel of Nicole’s lips on hers and Nicole’s body pressed against her own.  She’s happy to have Nicole as a friend again, and she was telling the truth when she said she didn’t want anything more, but why does just friendship feel like not enough?

The final quidditch match of the year approaches – Hufflepuff versus Slytherin, and the whole school is hyped up the entire week before.  Waverly sees less and less of Nicole when she gets stuck in back to back practices, day after day.  Friday night, Waverly stays up with the rest of Hufflepuff house making banners for the match tomorrow.

Saturday morning rolls around and Waverly joins her house in the stands.  Every Hufflepuff student has their faces painted in their house colors of yellow and black, and various signs and banners are held above the crowd for the team to see.

The players make their way onto the field and the crowd goes wild.  Waverly spots Nicole immediately, and cheers.

The match itself is intense, long, and grueling, but Nicole doesn’t let a single goal slip through.  She’s precise, fierce, and one hell of a keeper.  The crowd goes wild.  Hufflepuff house starts a chant of, “HAUGHT DAMN!  HAUGHT DAMN!  HAUGHT DAMN!” that makes its way throughout the stadium whenever Nicole makes another spectacular save, and Waverly looks on with pride.

Hufflepuff takes a huge blow when a bludger whacks their seeker, Pete, in the head, and he’s escorted from the field.  They’re up one hundred forty to zero, but now that they’re out a seeker, all it takes is for Slytherin to catch the snitch and Hufflepuff loses.  They would be toast if not for Nicole, still making save after save.

Hufflepuff scores another goal when the Slytherin seeker spots the snitch and streaks down the field after it.  Nicole blocks Slytherin from scoring and tosses the quaffle to a chaser who does a tricky maneuver to avoid a bludger.  She tosses it to the captain who rounds the field and goes for another goal.  The Slytherin keeper blocks it.

The seeker reaches out his hand as he nears the snitch.

The keeper tosses the quaffle to a Slytherin chaser, but Hufflepuff intercepts and rebounds it just past the keeper’s fingertips and into a goalpost.  Almost immediately after, the seeker’s fingers close around the snitch.  The game is over and the crowd goes wild.

Hufflepuff wins the cup, one hundred sixty to one hundred fifty, all thanks to their keeper.

The crowd reignites its chant of, “HAUGHT DAMN!” as the team rushes onto the field to receive the cup.

Waverly and the rest of Hufflepuff house run out of the stands to greet the team as they leave.  Waverly pushes through the crowd so she can greet Nicole, but when she gets to the front, she sees Nicole and the team captain hoisted onto people’s shoulders, being carried back to the castle.

“Nicole!” Waverly calls.

Nicole turns her head and sees Waverly in the crowd.  She waves, a huge grin on her face.  “Sorry!” she calls out.  “See you at the party!”

Waverly smiles as she watches her friend disappear, carried off by the crowd.  Everyone rushes back to the castle, ready to get the party started in the Hufflepuff common room that’s sure to last all night.  Waverly follows with the crowd, in no rush to get back.

Nicole was incredible out there, and because of the drastic turnaround from the last game, Waverly couldn’t help but think that it had something to do with her.  Maybe she brings out the best in Nicole, just like Nicole brings out the best in her.

The crowd starts to dissipate when she gets to the basement, and Waverly is only surrounded by Hufflepuff students.  Some are already drunk, some are heading to the kitchen for more food, but everyone is dancing and excited, and running back to the common room where the center of the party is.

Waverly climbs through the barrel and into the common room.  Her eyes scan the room for her friend, and she spots Nicole in the middle of the room, still in her quidditch robes.  Her red hair is pulled back with yellow and black ribbons braided into it, and she laughs and talks with her teammates.  Nicole turns her head and spots Waverly at the entrance to the common room and her eyes light up.  She looks so beautiful, Waverly thinks.

Determined and giddy and high on excitement, Waverly marches to the center of the room, pushing through the crowd.  She throws her arms around Nicole’s neck and kisses her without any hesitation.  The entire room erupts into a loud cheer.  After a brief moment of shock, Nicole’s arms wrap around Waverly’s waist as she pulls her closer and kisses back before she pulls away.  Neither one really cares that the entire Hufflepuff house watches them as they rest their foreheads together.

“What happened to friends?” Nicole asks.

Waverly shakes her head.  “I don’t want to be friends,” she says.  “I want you.”

If Waverly thought that Nicole’s smile couldn’t get any bigger, she is proven wrong when Nicole’s grin grows even wider.  Waverly wants nothing more than to kiss that grin off her face, and so she does.

A few hours later, Nicole and Waverly sneak away from the party and out of the castle.  They walk across the grounds and toward the lake.  Waverly reaches out her and grasps Nicole’s hand in her own, intertwining their fingers.

The party is fun and filled with excitement, but Waverly is happy to get a moment of peace and quiet, alone with Nicole, finally.  They find their usual spot next to the lake and sit down, still holding hands.  Nicole looks at her with a wide-eyed wonderment that makes Waverly’s heart feel like it’s about to burst.  She leans in and kisses Nicole again, placing a hand on her cheek to feel the soft skin beneath her fingertips.  Nicole sighs into her mouth and smiles into the kiss.  They kiss gently and softly in content for what feels like hours.  Nicole’s tongue lightly brushes Waverly’s lip, but that’s as far as they go.

Waverly only breaks away when air becomes a necessity, but she doesn’t move more than a few inches from Nicole’s lips.

“Are you sure about this?” Nicole asks.  She bites her lip, clearly nervous.

Waverly smiles, and gives Nicole the softest, briefest kiss.  “Of course,” she whispers.  “It’s you.  It’s always been you.”

Nicole smiles shyly.  “So what does this mean?” she asks.  “For us?”

“Nicole, are you trying to ask me to be your girlfriend?” Waverly giggles.

“Maybe,” Nicole says.  “So?”

Instead of answering, Waverly kisses her again.  If being Nicole’s girlfriend means she gets to kiss her anytime she wants, Waverly is definitely on board.

Chapter Text

The summer before seventh year is the least lonely summer for Waverly Earp.  It could have something to do with the fact that her best friend of six years is now her girlfriend, or the fact that said girlfriend buys her a cell phone, which turns out to be a much more efficient means of communication than an owl.  Waverly had only read about phones in her muggle studies class third year, so actually using one is a much different experience, but exciting nonetheless.  And it lets her talk to Nicole every night.

Waverly turns seventeen mid-August and the moment she does, she apparates to visit her girlfriend, who doesn’t turn of age until November.

And Waverly can’t think of a better way to start off her last year of school than a steamy make-out session in a private compartment with the blinds shut on the Hogwarts Express.

Waverly doesn’t think she’ll ever get over the feel of Nicole’s lips on her own, or the way Nicole’s soft fingers trace delicate patterns on her taut stomach, or the press of Nicole’s tongue in her mouth.  She sighs in content as her fingers fist into Nicole’s robes, pulling her closer.  Nicole leaves her lips and latches her mouth to Waverly’s neck, eliciting a sharp intake of breath as she falls back against the seats.  When Nicole’s knee presses up between Waverly’s legs, Waverly’s eyes flutter and she lets out the softest moan.

Suddenly, the compartment door flies open.  “Anything from the trolley—oh my!”

Waverly and Nicole fly apart to sit on opposite ends of the compartment.  They look up to find the witch pushing the trolley mortified.

“No thanks,” Waverly squeaks out, cheeks more red than the train.  She adjusts the shiny Head Girl badge on her chest that had gone askew in their activities.

“Actually,” Nicole says.  “I’ll take a pack of Drooble’s.”  Still speechless, the witch hands over a pack of gum and Nicole drops a few knuts into her hand.  “Thanks.”

The trolley continues its way down the train, but the witch leaves their compartment door wide open.

“Subtle hint,” Waverly remarks with a pout.  “Well, it was fun while it lasted.”

“Don’t worry, Wave,” Nicole says.  “I’m sure we’ll find plenty of spots at Hogwarts to continue that.”  Waverly blushes again, but she can’t stop smiling.  “Anyway, I have some news.”

“How do you have news?” Waverly asks.  “We’ve been talking all summer!  I saw you three days ago.”

“I only just found out,” Nicole says.  She hesitates, and Waverly leans forward in anticipation.  “I’ve been made quidditch captain!”

Nicole has a proud smile on her face, and Waverly leans in and kisses her again.  “That’s amazing!” she says.  “I’m so proud of you, babe.”

“Thanks,” Nicole says sheepishly.  “I mean, I’ll be crazy busy, but I just can’t believe they picked me!”

“How could they not have picked you?  You killed it in the final last year!”

“I did, didn’t I?”  Nicole’s lips twitch up into a satisfied smirk.  As she leans in to kiss Waverly, Nicole kicks the compartment door closed again.

 

 

Waverly feels a little weird with the start of the school year.  All of her classmates know exactly what they want to do when they leave Hogwarts, and are either busy preparing for their N.E.W.T.s, or slacking off because their career choice doesn’t require N.E.W.T.s.  Waverly knows she will take the examinations, but since she still doesn’t know what to do she feels less motivated.

And now that Waverly’s best friend and girlfriend is now the captain of the Hufflepuff quidditch team, she sees less and less of her every week.  Nicole is busy working hard to ensure another quidditch cup victory for Hufflepuff house.

They take advantage of all the time they get together, and more often than not students, and even professors, stumble upon Nicole and Waverly making use of a vacant classroom.  Combined, they’ve lost upwards of one hundred house points and every professor except for Dumbledore has caught the two locking lips.  Waverly thinks he’s letting them get away with it on purpose.

However, unbeknownst to everyone, Waverly likes to abuse her powers as head girl, when she sneaks off with Nicole in the middle of the night to make out in an empty corridor or classroom where no one will find them.

Despite her busy schedule and various responsibilities and uncertainty about the future, Waverly is happier than she’s ever been.  She winds up spending a lot of spare time in Professor Babbling’s office, pouring over ancient texts and translating runes.  Not for study, but simply because she is intrigued by the material.

The first quidditch match passes with a sweet victory against Ravenclaw, and after the party, Waverly and Nicole sneak down to the lake so she could congratulate her girlfriend properly.  As they kiss under the moonlight, Waverly thinks that, even though she’s not sure what she wants to do with her life, she knows who she wants to do it with.  She smiles into a kiss and cups Nicole’s face to bring her closer.

 

 

For the Christmas holidays, Nicole goes home with Waverly.

Wynonna greets her with a wand to the face.

“Put that down, Wynonna!” Gus says.  She sounds exasperated.

Wynonna glares at Nicole, but slowly lowers her wand.  “If you hurt my baby sister I’ll kill you,” she says flatly.

If Nicole is scared, she doesn’t show it.  “Good thing I don’t plan on hurting her.”  Nicole offers a smile, and, satisfied, Wynonna’s face softens and she walks away like nothing happened.

Nicole has to sleep on the living room couch, and when they’re in Waverly’s room the door must remain fully open.  Waverly’s also pretty sure that Wynonna placed an extendable ear in her room somewhere, just for good measure.  There’s no privacy, but at least they’re together.

In the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, Waverly sneaks out to the living room with a wrapped parcel in her arms.  She’s surprised to find the couch empty, but shrugs and goes to place the gift next to it.

“Wave?”

Waverly almost jumps out of her skin in shock and drops the gift behind the couch.  “For the love of Merlin!” Waverly squeaks.  “Warn a girl!”

She turns around and finds Nicole laughing.  “Sorry,” Nicole says between giggles.  “What are you doing?”

Waverly picks up the present and shows it to her.  “Merry Christmas.”

Nicole’s smile lights up the entire room.  She quickly jumps onto the couch and unzips her suitcase.  After some rummaging through, she finds what she was looking for, and pulls out a wrapped package.  She offers it to Waverly.  “Merry Christmas.”

Waverly sits next to Nicole on the couch and they exchange gifts.  After much debate of who to go first, it ends up being Waverly.  She rips off the paper and finds a small, old book on her lap, the title in ancient runes, which she roughly translates in her head.  “Tales of Beedle the Bard?” she whispers.  She inspects inside the cover in awe.  “Babe, is this a first edition?”

Nicole nods, with a proud smile.  “You don’t even wanna know what I had to do to get that.”

Waverly looks up at her with the biggest smile on her face.  “I love it!”

“I thought you would,” Nicole says.

Waverly inspects the book one more time before setting it aside.  “Okay, your turn!”

She holds her breath as Nicole slowly opens the parcel.  Nicole pulls out a pair of gloves.  “Are these quidditch gloves?”

Waverly nods quickly.  “Yeah!  Because I noticed your old ones were falling apart and, well, shouldn’t the captain have nice gloves?  They have a gripping charm so even in the rain it’s easy to stay balanced on your broom.  I even had them embroidered!”

Nicole turns the gloves over to find NH, her initials, embroidered in gold on the wrist.  “God, these are beautiful.  Thank you!”

Waverly just shrugs.  “Oh, it was noth—mmf!”  She’s cut off when Nicole presses a deep kiss to her lips.  They both sigh in content.  Waverly throws her arms around Nicole’s neck and threads her fingers in red locks.  Nicole pushes back her down to lay on the couch, never disconnecting their lips.  She slides her hands up Waverly’s shirt, fingertips ghosting across her skin.  Waverly isn’t wearing a bra, and she trembles as Nicole’s fingers brush against her breasts.

Waverly gasps, and Nicole smiles against her lips.  “Shhh,” she mutters, and kisses her again.  Waverly grasps at the fabric Nicole’s sleepshirt, but her elbow knocks her new book onto the floor, and the thud echoes throughout the house.  They freeze.

After a moment, the sound of approaching footsteps makes them scramble.  Waverly rolls off the couch and onto the floor to hide from sight, and Nicole throws a blanket on top of her.

Wynonna appears in the hallway with her wand out, the tip glowing.  “Nicole?” she asks.  “Is someone out here?”

“Just me,” Nicole replies.

“I thought I heard something,” Wynonna comments.

“I dropped my book on the floor,” Nicole says.  “Maybe that’s it.”

“Book?”

“I was reading.”

Wynonna pauses and looks around.  “It’s pitch black out here.”                                  

Nicole’s eyes widen.  “I, uhh, put out my wand already.”

Wynonna chuckles.  “Whatever you say, Haught,” she says, and turns around to go back to sleep.  “Tell Waverly not to stay up too late.  And please don’t have sex on the couch.  People sit there.”

Waverly slowly peers out from under the blanket on the floor and meets eyes with Nicole.  They don’t stay up too late after that.

 

 

Hufflepuff loses in their second quidditch match of the year.  Badly.  Nicole was doing her best to stop goals, but Gryffindor’s new chasers were just… better.  It’s somber in the common room after the match.  Waverly kisses Nicole’s cheek and rubs her back comfortingly.  “Two hundred forty,” she whispers.  “That’s how many point we need to beat Slytherin by if we want to play in the final.”

“Ok, you can do that,” Waverly reassures.

“I don’t know, Wave,” Nicole sighs.  “Maybe I’m just a bad captain.”

“Don’t say that!” Waverly glares at her.  “You’re Nicole Haught!  You almost single handedly won the cup last year.  You’ve got this.”

Nicole schedules even more practices and works her team into the ground.  Every moment she’s not in class, she’s either in practice or thinking of strategies or giving a teammate a pep talk.

The match with Slytherin sneaks up on them, but her team is prepared.  Hufflepuff kills it, scoring goal after goal.  Nicole lets one slip through, and even from the stands, Waverly can see it affecting her, so she brings back the old chant from the final last year.  Soon enough, the crowd is screaming, “HAUGHT DAMN!” every time Nicole makes another save.

They’re up ninety to ten when the seekers zoom across the field, spotting the snitch.  Hufflepuff’s beater perfectly times a bludger aimed at the Slytherin keeper.  He has to duck out of the way right when a chaser comes up and throws the quaffle past him, scoring another goal for Hufflepuff.  The crowd screams.  All that’s left is catching the snitch.

It's a new seeker this year, and that’s what concerns Nicole, but she’s holding her own against Slytherin’s guy.  She’s smaller and more agile, and recovers quickly when they ram shoulders.  The seeker maneuvers in front of Slytherin and reaches out.  Her fingers grasp the snitch and the crowd goes wild.  Hufflepuff is going to the final.

 

 

There’s another party that night, but Nicole is drained and passes out in her dormitory while the party rages on in the common room.  She wakes up to a note from Waverly.

Nicole,
Great game yesterday!!!  I have some things to take care of today, but tonight at six, grab some food from the kitchens and meet me on the seventh floor, left hand corridor.
Waverly

Nicole smiles down at the note, then checks her watch to find that she slept through breakfast.  After lunch, she does homework in the library, where various students come up and congratulate her.  She idly kills time as she checks her watch every ten minutes.  By five-thirty, Nicole figures that it’s not too early to find Waverly.  She cleans up her books and papers from her table and leaves the library.

Nicole stashes her books back in her dormitory, and on her way out she stops in the kitchens.  Elves happily shove food in her bag, also congratulating her on a good game the day before.  News travels fast at Hogwarts, even to the house elves.

It’s not quite six yet when Nicole climbs the steps leading to the seventh floor and turns to the left corridor.  She figures Waverly of all people won’t mind the fact that she’s a little early.  There’s a rather abysmal tapestry of trolls dancing that Nicole raises an eyebrow at, but shrugs.

Nicole looks around for her girlfriend, but the corridor is empty.  Nicole frowns and looks at her watch.

“Nicole!” Waverly says from behind, startling her.  “You’re early!”

“Jesus, Wave, where did you even come from?” Nicole says as she turns around.  She spots the doorway that Waverly stands in and looks at it curiously.  “Was that door there before?”

Waverly just grins mischievously and takes Nicole’s hand, leading her into the dark room.

The door closes behind them, and Nicole’s eyes adjust to the dim light.  The ceiling is enchanted like in the Great Hall, and above them is the night sky full of stars, making the room feel much bigger than it actually is.  There’s a warm fire crackling on one end of the room, and comfortable, welcoming sofas and pillows next to it.  On the other end of the room is a fancy table with a candle flickering and a single rose in a vase, with place settings for two people.

“What’s this?” Nicole asks, not even bothering to hide the look of awe on her face.

“This is the Come and Go Room,” Waverly says.  “It’s one of the many secrets of Hogwarts.  I discovered it while doing some reading, and it took me a lot of research to figure out how it works and set this up, but it worked.”  She smiles.  Nicole blinks, still confused, waiting for more of an explanation.  “Basically, this room can be whatever you want.  All you have to do is pace back and forth in front of the wall three times, thinking about what you need, and it will appear.  Just for you.”

“Hogwarts,” Nicole mutters.  “Always full of surprises.”  Waverly nods.  “So what, did you ask it for a date spot?” she asks, with a soft chuckle.

“Basically.”

“How romantic,” Nicole says.  “And why was I in charge of the food?”

Waverly sighs.  “Yeah, that’s one of the five Principal Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration.”

“What’s that again?”

“You can’t create food out of nothing.”

Nicole nods in understanding and looks around at the room again, taking it all in.  She glances to Waverly who anxiously waits for her reaction.  She looks beautiful in the light of the fire.  They lock eyes and Nicole smiles timidly.  “I love it,” she sighs.

“Really?” Waverly asks, excited.  When Nicole nods, she squeals with joy.  “That’s good because you have no idea how long I’ve been trying to get this right.  It’s a lot harder than I anticipated to work with a magic room that seems to have a mind of its own!”

“Well remind me to thank the room, because this is perfect,” Nicole says.  She squeezes Waverly’s hand and tugs her closer, kissing her softly and smiling against her lips.  They break apart after a moment, the kiss leaving a tingle on both their lips.  Nicole holds up her bag filled with food from the kitchens.  “Should we eat?”

Dinner is a relaxing and romantic affair, and they’re extremely grateful for this private venue for their date.  It means that they can hold hands the entire time without the entire school staring at them, and that Nicole can lean over and kiss the crumbs off Waverly’s lips, and that Waverly can teasingly rub her foot against Nicole’s leg all throughout dinner, making the redhead squirm in her seat.

They wind up on the sofa next to the fire for dessert, where they share a plate of the most delicious cake they’ve ever tried.  Waverly sits with her feet tucked underneath her, leaning into Nicole’s side, and she steals bites from her fork.

“God, this is amazing,” Waverly moans with a mouthful of cake.

“You’re amazing,” Nicole says adoringly, making Waverly blush.  She sets the plate of cake gently on the floor and pulls Waverly closer by the scarf around her neck.  Nicole stares at her lips for a moment before looking back up into her eyes, their faces inches apart.  “You know, this is the most privacy we’ve had since we started dating.”

Waverly gulps and licks her lips.  “You don’t say?”  They share a timid smile, before Waverly surges forward, closing the distance between them and connecting their lips, the cake on the floor long forgotten.

Kissing Nicole is something that Waverly will never tire of.  Every time feels like the first time, like the butterflies in her stomach and the fire in her heart that makes her crave more.  She grabs fistfuls of Nicole’s robes to steady herself when Nicole’s tongue delves into her mouth to explore.  Nicole’s touch burns her skin in the best way and she wants more, always more.

Slowly, they shed their clothes until all that’s left is bare skin reflecting the dancing flames, exploring each other’s mouths and bodies.  Waverly learns so much about Nicole, for example, the spot on her neck that makes her squeak when Waverly bites down.  She learns what every freckle on Nicole’s toned stomach tastes like.  Most importantly, she learns exactly how to curl her fingers inside Nicole to make her come.

They stay in that room, wrapped in each other’s arms, glistening with sweat until they are both satisfied to exhaustion and the fire has been reduced to nothing but dying embers.

“I don’t want to move,” Waverly mutters into the skin of Nicole’s chest, a content smile on her face.  She lies on top of her girlfriend, and Nicole’s arms are wrapped loosely around her.

“I’m not sure I can move after that,” Nicole muses.  They both giggle, and Nicole places a soft kiss on Waverly’s forehead.  She strokes her hair with tired hands.

Waverly tilts her head so she rests her chin on a hand and looks up at Nicole.  “Hey,” she says.  “I love you.”

They had said the words many times before.  In fact, they had been saying those words for years without thinking twice about it.  They would say it offhandedly in lighthearted situations.  When Nicole would bring Waverly food the countless times she was holed up in the library, Waverly would mutter a grateful, “I love you!” as she scarfed down her meal.  When Waverly helped Nicole with her homework, the moment Nicole understood the material and the realization clicked, she would breathe out a thankful, “I love you,” because she wasn’t going to fail.  The words feel heavier this time, more full of meaning, now that Waverly knows exactly how much she means it when she says it.

Nicole looks at her adoringly and kisses her softly.  “I love you, too,” she breathes against Waverly’s lips.  They kiss a little longer, slow and soft, both girls content with the pace they’re at.

Eventually, Waverly moves to kiss Nicole’s cheeks, then her forehead, then her nose, then places one last peck on her lips.  “We really should get going, though,” Waverly sighs.  “We do have classes tomorrow.

Nicole groans.  “Why do you have to be responsible?”

“One of us needs to be the responsible one,” she says with a smile.  She slowly extracts herself from Nicole’s arms and starts picking up some of their clothes from the floor.  “I didn’t get this head girl badge by slacking off.”

They slowly dress themselves, lingering a little too long for kisses and light, playful touches, but eventually, they’re dressed and have all their belongings gathered.

They step out of the room and watch the door shrink and disappear after it closes behind them.  Nicole checks her watch and it’s very late by the time they head back to the common room.  If they get caught out at this hour, they’re dead.  Thankfully, Waverly knows all the patrol routes and leads them down seven flights of stairs without a single encounter.  That is, until they’re almost to the basement.

Waverly hears extra set of footsteps a little too late.  A voice calls, “Miss Earp?”

Waverly knows she’s caught, but she practically pushes Nicole down the stairs to the basement.  “Keep going,” she whispers.  “Don’t wait for me!”

Nicole nods and silently retreats downstairs as quickly as she can before Waverly turns around.  Of all the people to catch her out this late, of course it would be Argus Filch.

“Earp, you’re not on patrol tonight,” he says gruffly.

“I’m not?” Waverly fakes confusion.  “I must’ve gotten the schedules mixed up.  Sorry!  Won’t happen again!”  She tries to run off down the stairs before he can continue but to no avail.

“Who were you talking to earlier?” he asks, and Waverly freezes in place.

“Uhh, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she says.

“You were sneaking off with Haught, weren’t you?” he asks.

“Nope, absolutely not.  Why would you say that?”

“You know, just because you’re Head Girl, doesn’t mean you can get away with anything.”

“Yes, I’m aware Mr. Filch,” Waverly says.  “It won’t happen again, I promise.”

“It’s under my jurisdiction to issue a detention right now,” he says.

“What?!” Waverly exclaims.  “I’ve never had detention in my life!”

“Unless you’d rather me punish Miss Haught?”

“No, no, no,” Waverly shakes her head.  She sighs in defeat.  “I’m sorry.  I just—what’ll it be?”

Filch grins.  “I can always use some help polishing those old trophies.  How’s April 2nd sound?”

“April 2nd?  That’s the quidditch final!” Waverly frowns.  She will take the detention, but she’s not missing her girlfriend’s last quidditch match.

“Pity,” Filch says with a sneer.  “More details will follow, but for now, get to bed, Earp.”

And without another word, Filch trudges off, leaving Waverly panicked and upset.

When she gets back to the common room, Nicole is still waiting up for her.  Waverly hastily explains to her what happened, while holding back tears.

“I’m so sorry, Nicole,” Waverly chokes out through a sob.  “I can try to get the date changed but I don’t know if Filch will let up on this!”

“Hey, don’t worry about me,” Nicole says.  “It’s not a big deal, I promise.”  Waverly nods, and Nicole kisses her softly.  “Come on, let’s get to bed.”

Nicole sleeps in Waverly’s bed that night, holding her close.

 

 

After about a week, Waverly thinks that maybe Filch forgot about her detention because she has received no word from him.  But, alas, the day before the quidditch final, she gets an owl at morning mail informing her to join Filch in the trophy room at eleven in the morning for detention, which is the exact time that the match starts.

The next morning, Waverly makes sure to wake up extra early to catch Nicole before she heads down to the pitch early.  Nicole is already dressed for the day and throwing things into a bag when Waverly rolls out of bed.  She wraps her arms around Nicole’s waist from behind.  Startled, Nicole tenses for a moment, but then relaxes into her girlfriend’s touch.

“Morning,” Waverly mutters as Nicole turns around in her arms.  “How are you feeling?”

“Nervous,” Nicole mutters.  “Gryffindor creamed us last time.”  She looks down with a frown.

Waverly squeezes her arm affectionately.  “Hey,” she says.  “You’ve got this.”  She pulls Nicole down for a kiss.  Nicole smiles and sighs in content.  “I’m sorry I can’t be there.”

“It’s okay,” Nicole says.  She’s a little disappointed, Waverly can tell, but she grabs one last thing off her nightstand and holds it up to Waverly.  It’s the pair of gloves she got Nicole for Christmas.  “I’ll still have you with me.”

Waverly giggles.  “You’re a sap.”

“Yeah, but I’m your sap,” Nicole says with a grin, then kisses her again.  “Come to breakfast with me?”

Waverly nods, then slips out of Nicole’s arms to get dressed for the day.  It’s not long before they’re heading down to the Great Hall to eat.  Nicole mostly just plays with her food, not actually eating much, except for a couple bites that Waverly practically forces down her throat by threatening to withhold kisses.

Nicole takes off a little early to get dressed into her quidditch robes and give the team one last pep talk.  Waverly kisses her goodbye and wishes her good luck one last time.

Waverly finishes her breakfast slowly, dreading her detention with Filch, but knowing its inevitability she decides to get there a little early, hoping to start things off in his good graces.

It’s the longest two hours of Waverly’s life.  She probably glances at her watch every other minute, aching with each passing minute, not knowing what’s happening in the game.  Filch watches her intently as Waverly polishes each and every trophy in the room.  Even though Waverly enjoys cleaning, she doesn’t enjoy this.

It feels like an eternity later when the clock strikes one and Filch dismisses her.  Waverly wants to scream in anticipation.  The moment she steps out of the room, she sees the castle filled with students, so she knows the game is over.  She runs down the stairs to the basement to get to the common room, dying to know what happened.

As soon as she emerges into the common room, the loud sounds of cheering and screaming and blaring music fill her ears.  She spots Nicole immediately, hair disheveled, face paint smudged, and covered in sweat, but looking more beautiful than ever with the beaming grin on her face.

Waverly pushes through the crowd toward her girlfriend, who spots her a moment before Waverly throws her arms around her.

“You won?” she yells over the music.

“We won!” Nicole screams in excitement.

Instead of congratulating her, Waverly just kisses her.

Hours later, the party is still raging in the common room, but Waverly and Nicole slip out and head down to their usual spot by the lake to get some privacy.

Nicole is just bursting with excitement, and Waverly thinks it’s because of their win, so she’s very surprised when they sit down and Nicole confesses something.

“I got an offer, after the match,” Nicole explains.  “They want me to play for the Holyhead Harpies!”

“What?” Waverly gasps.  “Nicole, that’s amazing!  Are you going to do it?”  She nods her head vigorously.  “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

“I wanted you to be the first one to know,” Nicole says.  “I didn’t want to announce it to the whole house.”

“Babe, I’m so happy for you,” Waverly says earnestly.  Seeing Nicole this happy could always make Waverly smile.  She leans in and presses their lips together, and she tastes the sweat on Nicole’s lips and feels the grin in her cheeks and Waverly thinks that this is definitely one of her favorite kisses.

“There’s something else, though,” Nicole says as she breaks the kiss.

“What is it?”  Waverly tilts her head and looks at Nicole curiously.

Nicole takes a deep breath as she looks into Waverly’s eyes.  “I want you to come with me,” she says.  Waverly just blinks and doesn’t react, so Nicole continues.  “Holyhead, it’s a small town in northern Wales, and it’s on an island so that’s pretty cool.  I understand if you’d want to stay with Gus and Wynonna, I just, I know you’re still not sure what you want to do after we graduate but the one thing that I’m sure about is I want you in my life.”

In this moment, Waverly knows that no one has ever cared about her as much as Nicole Haught does.  Waverly doesn’t realize she’s crying until she feels a tear escape from the corner of her eye.  She tries to brush it away before Nicole notices, but is unsuccessful.

“Hey,” Nicole says, moving closer and taking Waverly’s hands.  “What is it?”  The concern laced in her voice almost makes Waverly want to cry even more.

Waverly shakes her head.  “Nothing, I just—of course I’ll come with you!” she sighs.  She reaches up and touches Nicole’s face gently, with a smile on her face.  She brushes a thumb across chapped lips.  “I love you, dummy.”

When Nicole kisses her again, Waverly changes her mind.  This is definitely her favorite kiss.  It’s a kiss that’s filled with joy and hope and the promise of a future together, and when Waverly tastes the salt of tears, she’s not even sure if it’s her own or Nicole’s.

 

 

Waverly approaches the last few weeks of school with a newfound vigor, now that she has some idea of what her life after Hogwarts will look like.  For the first time, she’s looking forward to leaving school, because leaving school means starting her life with Nicole.  Waverly aces all of her N.E.W.T.s, she just knows it.

Those extra hours in Professor Babbling’s office pay off when he offers Waverly a sort of apprentice job in helping him translate newly discovered ancient texts.  When he assures her that all her research can be done independently and all correspondence can be done by owl, she happily accepts.

On graduation day, Waverly stands next to Nicole and takes her hand before they board those same enchanted boats they did all those years ago when they first met, when Waverly fell into the lake and Nicole jumped in after her.  She catches Nicole’s eye, who smiles, and Waverly knows she’s thinking about the same thing.  Nicole places a quick kiss on her cheek, and then they step into the next available boat.  Their hands stay intertwined as they sail across the lake, watching Hogwarts castle disappear behind them.

Waverly Earp’s years at Hogwarts may not have gone according to plan, but they have also far surpassed her expectations, and that’s all thanks to her best friend, Nicole Haught.  She knows that, with Nicole by her side, they’ll be able to handle anything together.