ONE: THE OPENER
Waverly Earp hates Quidditch.
Well, it’s not really that she hates it so much as it is that her sisters always bullied her into playing Keeper while they played each other in more and more violent ways. And Willa always came up with an excuse to throw the Quaffle directly at Waverly’s face.
It was the only reason she regretted being Sorted into Gryffindor, the same House as her sisters. Once she was there, she had no good reason not to attend their matches.
As she sits down at the Gryffindor table, Wynonna hugs her with such enthusiasm that the regret goes away.
“Welcome to the best House, baby girl,” her big sister mumbles in her ear, while Willa, barely even looking up from the potions textbook she’s already reading, gives her a half-bored-acknowledgement, half-mildly-proud nod.
Wynonna continues to hold her as a tall redhead joins Ravenclaw, as the daughter of the Head of Hufflepuff joins his House, as kid after kid files from the line of new students into the tables of established Houses.
Her big sister squeezes her briefly. “Are you ready?”
Waverly takes in a deep breath. “For anything.”
TWO: THE COME AROUND
Chrissy Nedley is walking with her to Defense Against the Dark Arts, joking about the ridiculous questions she plans to ask her father to get him to forget to give them homework, the first time Waverly notices the redheaded girl from the Sorting Ceremony again.
She’s leaning against the wall outside of Muggle Studies, spinning her wand between her fingers and looking bored.
Chrissy snickers. “Did you get kicked out again, Nicole?”
“It’s not my fault the professor has never met a Muggle in his life. I was raised by two of them. I know how a television works.” The girl’s brown eyes shift to Waverly, and she feels a faint chill run up her spine. “I’m not sure we’ve been introduced.” She holds out a hand. “Nicole Haught.”
Waverly takes her hand, and feels that chill again, and for a moment forgets that she’s supposed to introduce herself.
“I know it’s a stupid name, but I’ve gotten used to it.” Nicole beams at her with more sunshine than has probably ever fallen on England, and Waverly actually forgets her own damn name.
“I-It’s not stupid. Uh.” She shakes it off before she embarrasses herself or Chrissy notices the sudden lack of ability to speak. “I’m Waverly Earp.”
“No relation to the two terrors I’ve heard of from Gryffindor’s Quidditch team, I hope?”
Waverly gives an embarrassed chuckle. “They’re my sisters.”
“Ah.” Nicole grins. “That’s a shame. Here I thought we could be friends.”
“Very.” Nicole straightens off the wall and sticks her wand in the pocket of her robes. “I’m gonna be on Ravenclaw’s team next year.”
Chrissy laughs. “Know that already, huh?”
“Do you doubt me, Nedley?”
“Not in the slightest.” Chrissy nudges Waverly lightly. “We have to go, Wave. We’ll be late.”
“Right. Of course. Let’s go.” Waverly manages one of her trademark smiles in Nicole’s direction, and is unnecessarily pleased with herself when she sees Nicole flush just a tiny bit red. “It was nice to meet you, Nicole.”
“You too, Waverly.”
Waverly hurries after Chrissy down the hall, ignoring the smirk on the Hufflepuff’s lips, hoping that she doesn’t find herself thinking about Nicole Haught through her entire lesson.
And in the very back of her mind, she starts to hate Quidditch just a little bit less.
THREE: THE BUMP AND RUN
She runs into Nicole again at the first Quidditch match of the season, between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
Like, literally runs into her.
Waverly is late heading down to the pitch, she got caught up in her Transfiguration homework, and if she doesn’t make it down for the start of the match Wynonna will never let her hear the end of it. She’s in a rush, and running, and not paying attention, and rounds a corner directly into Nicole.
She lets out a tiny squeak of surprise, her hand immediately going to her wand in her pocket (at a more dignified moment she’d acknowledge how freaking Gryffindor of a move that is), and sticks it directly in Nicole Haught’s face.
The other girl is remarkably calm about it, not even flinching as Waverly all but threatens her life (actual physical life or social life, depending on what kind of curse was about to exit Waverly’s mouth). “You’re a bit of a jumpy one, aren’t you?”
Waverly flushes red and quickly lowers her wand. “I prefer ‘prepared’, personally.”
“Are you okay?”
“For now. If I don’t get to that match, though, my sisters will actually murder me.”
“Well, if I don’t get to that match, I’ll hate myself for, like, a full year, so I can understand that.”
“Guess we should stop standing around and get going then,” Waverly says, trying to avoid the awkwardness of how close they still are to each other.
“Guess so.” Nicole grins that stupid grin again. “Bet I get there first.” With a high, playful laugh, she turns and bolts off towards the Quidditch pitch.
“That’s not fair, Nicole!” Waverly yells, taking off after her.
They get there at the same time, so Waverly knows that Nicole actually slowed down for her. It’s sweet, really. Even if that annoying chill is in Waverly’s spine again.
“Well, it’s time for us to be mortal enemies,” Nicole says, not even a little bit out of breath.
“Indeed it is. May the best team win.”
Nicole’s brown eyes sparkle mischievously. “We will.”
FOUR: THE DIG
Somehow, Nicole becomes best friends with Wynonna.
They’re completely different years and completely different Houses but for some reason Wynonna takes a liking to the smartass Ravenclaw with a love for Quidditch.
(Wait, there it is, that’s why they’re best friends.)
The friendship takes a turn towards amicable trashtalk when it becomes clear that the Quidditch Cup is coming down to Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
Their debates are friendly enough until Willa gets involved and almost always turns them nasty, at which point Ravenclaw Chaser Xavier Dolls butts in to even the fight.
Waverly is positive that, unless she, somehow, really sucks at Quidditch, Nicole is going to be pretty safe when it comes to her dream of joining the team in their second year.
At the final match of the year, she and Nicole sit at the very edge of their respective cheering sections so that they can represent their Houses while still being near each other. Waverly cheers when her sisters hit particularly well-aimed bludgers, but spends just a little too much time smiling at Nicole’s enthusiasm. She almost forgets herself and almost applauds when Xavier scores.
She can’t help but laugh when the Gryffindor Seeker catches the Snitch and wins the game, and Nicole starts swearing more than Waverly thought she had in her.
“You bet on this match with my sister, didn’t you?” Waverly asks.
“That would be illegal,” Nicole says. She sighs and starts twirling her wand between her fingers again. “Yes,” she mutters.
“Not very smart for a Ravenclaw,” Waverly snickers.
Nicole just groans and puts her head in her hands.
FIVE: THE TRIAL
Nicole comes over their house once during the summer break, at Wynonna’s request. Ward Earp just wakes up one day and discovers a small gang of magical children in his living room- Nicole, Xavier, Chrissy, and that weird Slytherin fifth year (sixth year? Waverly was never sure what year to consider people in the in-between months) who called himself ‘Doc’ but whose name was John Henry Holliday.
Ward is too drunk to make them leave, but he also doesn’t want them in the house, so he kicks them all out to the backyard.
“I have an idea,” Wynonna says. “Nicole’s always claiming that she’s good at Quidditch. Let’s make her put her money where her smartass mouth is.” She picks up the battered Quaffle that lives in the yard and tosses it at Nicole’s chest. “One-on-one, you against Xavier. Willa and I will Keep.”
“We will?” Willa asks.
“Be a sport, Will,” Wynonna replies.
“Wouldn’t one-on-one Quidditch just kind of be that whoever gets the Quaffle first wins?” Nicole asks hesitantly.
“Not if you’re fast enough. And unafraid to elbow someone in the face.” Wynonna smirks and glances at her older sister. “Have Willa tell you about the broken nose she got when she was nine.”
“This sounds like a horrible idea.” Xavier’s arms are folded across his chest, and he’s looking at Wynonna with a stern expression. “This is how people get hurt.”
“You’re cute when you’re being an authoritarian dickhead, but you’re also no fun. Play the damn game.”
Waverly could swear that she sees the ghost of a smile flicker across Xavier’s face as he picks up a broom. She looks at Doc and dryly says, “You’re a ‘doctor’, right? How good are you at healing spells?”
“I tried one once and all I did was make myself see only in shades of pink for a week.”
“How do you even… You know what, never mind, you aren’t touching any of them even if they’re actually bleeding to death.”
When the playful match starts, Waverly can’t help but grin broadly at how quickly Nicole is able to utterly trounce Xavier Dolls, Actual Ravenclaw Chaser.
“I don’t get it,” Xavier says as he lands. “I don’t get it. You’re a Muggleborn. I respect that, but how did you even learn Quidditch?”
Nicole shrugs. “It’s basically just basketball but people can hit you with things. Plus I was told that I was a witch, like, a whole year before I came to Hogwarts. I started learning everything about the world I could possibly learn, and Quidditch was the thing that caught my interest the most.” She smiles shyly. “And I might’ve broken into the shed storing the practice brooms at school more than a few times.”
“Your complete and utter disregard for rules sometimes makes me wonder whether you shouuld’ve ended up in Gryffindor, Haught,” Wynonna says with a laugh.
Chrissy snorts. “I’m pretty sure that’s just as much of a Ravenclaw trait, too. You’re both trouble.”
“Oi, I don’t see you listening to your Head of House,” Wynonna snaps.
“It’s my dad.”
“Fair point.” Wynonna bites her lip briefly before yelling, “Alright! Me and Nicole versus Willa and Xavier!”
“Why isn’t it split by House?” Xavier argues immediately.
“Uh, because she’s my best friend, and she kicked your ass.”
As they bicker, Nicole walks over to Waverly and shrugs. “Told you.”
“You did tell me,” Waverly admits. “And you were good.”
“Guess you’re gonna have to start liking Quidditch, Earp,” Nicole says with a grin as she heads back to the cluster of arguing Quidditch players.
Waverly doesn’t think that she flushes, but Chrissy smirks at her. “What?”
Her friend keeps her voice low but teasing. “You have a crush on Nicole Haught.”
“I do not,” Waverly protests.
“Mhm. Sure. Whatever you say, Waves.”
Waverly does not have a crush on Nicole.
She catches herself watching only the Ravenclaw as she spins around Willa and seamlessly tosses the Quaffle to Wynonna.
She does not have a crush on Nicole.
SIX: THE PAIN GAME
The first match of the season between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw is an exciting one, with so many people Waverly cares about on the pitch. She’s excited when Wynonna or Willa gets a particularly good hit in with a bludger, and she allows herself to be excited when Xavier or Nicole scores a goal.
Nicole does particular well in the game, until the last five minutes.
When a bludger from Wynonna accidentally hits her square in the head.
Waverly hovers in the doorway of the Hospital Wing when Nicole finally wakes up again, wanting to be out of the way while her friend’s teammates congratulate her on her first serious injury. When they’re shooed out five minutes later, she creeps in, nervously adjusting her red and gold tie.
“You scared the hell out of me, Haught,” she says softly.
Nicole turns to her and gives a soft smile and suddenly looks not unlike a puppy. Waverly’s breath catches in her throat when she finally gets a good look at the thick bruise (already fading, naturally, because magic) on Nicole’s temple.
“S’not really that bad.”
“My sister hit you in the face with a bludger.”
Nicole shrugs. “M’sure she feels bad ‘bout it.”
Waverly can’t help the soft chuckle as she sits down at the foot of Nicole’s hospital bed. “You’re a little bit concussed, aren’t you?”
“I’m glad you’re okay.”
“You’re glad we lost,” Nicole teases, her smile getting a grin’s edge.
Waverly laughs. “Sure, Nicole. That’s totally more important than your well-being.” They stare at each other for a long moment, before Waverly repeats in a whisper, “I’m glad you’re okay.”
“Thank you,” Nicole murmurs.
The moment is interrupted when Wynonna hurricanes her way into the room, not even changed out of her uniform yet. “Still breathing, Nic?”
“No thanks t’you,” Nicole retorts.
“I swear I didn’t try to kill you,” Wynonna says. She pauses. “Intentionally.”
Waverly rubs the back of her neck awkwardly and stands. “I, uh, have some homework to finish up. That paper on the farming ban of 1435.”
Nicole frowns. “Oh. I haven’t started that yet.”
“It’s due tomorrow, Nicole.”
She shrugs innocently. “Oops.”
“There were like fifty more interesting things for me to be doing.” Nicole shrugs again. “And now I have an excuse. Thanks, Wy.”
Wynonna high-fives her. “Any time, dude.”
“Can you guys not joke about this?” Waverly snaps.
When they stare at her, she almost flushes. Not even she knows where the rush of anger is coming from, but she lets it out in a rush of frustration anyway.
“Nicole could’ve gotten seriously hurt if not killed and the two of you are acting like all that happened was a few minor scrapes!”
“I-I’m fine, Wave,” Nicole stammers.
“Yeah, well, you’re damn lucky that you are,” Waverly snarls. She surges to her feet and pushes past her big sister and leaves two of the most important people in her life behind her, utterly baffled.
SEVEN: THE BREAKER
Waverly spends the rest of her second year awkwardly trying to maintain her friendship with Nicole while simultaneously pretending that she hadn’t gotten unreasonably terrified by the other girl being injured on the Quidditch pitch.
Nicole maintains her friendship with Wynonna easily, but there’s something… uncomfortable between her and Waverly now. An unspoken uneasiness that neither of them feels able to address.
She sits down next to Waverly right before summer break, while Waverly is curled up by the lake studying for her Potions final.
For a long moment, she says nothing. Then, softly, “Are you going to ignore me all summer? All next year, too?”
Waverly tenses, doesn’t put her book down. “I haven’t been ignoring you.”
“Sure seems like it.”
“Well, you’re wrong.”
Nicole chuckles gently and starts spinning her wand. “I always am.” She rolls up the sleeves of her button-down, taps her wand against a rock on the ground, and mumbles a spell that turns it into the prettiest flower Waverly has ever seen. Before she can say anything, Nicole leans towards her and lowers her voice. “But sometimes you’re wrong, too.”
And with that she’s on her feet and halfway across the grounds back towards the castle.
And suddenly, that damn chill is back in Waverly’s spine once more.
EIGHT: THE HIDEOUT
In Waverly’s third year, some fool thought that making Wynonna Earp a Prefect would make her more responsible.
Xavier laughs for twenty minutes until her remembers that he is a Prefect, too, which ostensibly makes them colleagues of a sort.
Waverly joins Nicole and Doc and Chrissy and Willa and every other student in the entire school in the ‘this is a horrible idea’ club.
The problem ultimately is that Wynonna doesn’t take the job seriously and yet takes it entirely too seriously. She doesn’t so much care about the honor of being a Prefect as she does the fact that she can now bust other kids for every little thing that annoys her.
She’s also incredibly biased towards Gryffindors, which Nicole finds out with some irritation when she’s knocked points for jokingly threatening to duel Waverly in the middle of the hallway (Wynonna only likes duels when she’s invited) but Waverly doesn’t get docked any for agreeing.
None of them think that’s actually how the job is supposed to go, but they also love Wynonna too much to tell her off.
With the discomfort between her and Nicole eased off over the summer, Waverly has no interest in letting Wynonna bully their friend into avoiding them. So, whenever she walks to class with Nicole, they take to ducking into classrooms or hallways or the occasional secret passage whenever they see Wynonna coming.
It works well, until they duck into a broom closet at the same moment that Wynonna decides to stop Xavier outside of that broom closet and make out with him.
“Holy shit,” Waverly hisses under her breath.
Nicole leans against the shelves, trying not to make noise, her laugh coming silently as she almost falls over.
Waverly smacks her arm and gives her the sternest look she can muster while listening to her sister pin their friend to the door.
‘I’m sorry,’ Nicole mouths before doubling over, still silently laughing.
Waverly rolls her eyes.
At least they’re on speaking terms again.
NINE: THE FEINT
The Cup that year once again comes down to Ravenclaw versus Gryffindor. Chrissy sits next to Waverly in the stands with a Gryffindor pin clipped to her shirt, watching her friend out of the corner of her eye every time Nicole makes a particularly good play.
Doc is wearing both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw pins, excited no matter what happens but only cheering when Wynonna or Xavier does something even a little bit awesome.
After the match, once Wynonna has congratulated both Nicole and Xavier and then told them they aren’t allowed at the Earp house this summer on sheer principle, Waverly starts back to her Common Room alone and in silence.
It’s only a minute before she realizes Nicole is walking next to her, still in her blue Quidditch uniform, still looking windblown and, quite frankly, a bit too much like her surname.
“Shouldn’t you be celebrating?” Waverly asks softly. “You earned it.”
“They’ll be celebrating for hours,” Nicole replies, squinting with affection at the pile of her Housemates that was tumbling in the general direction of Ravenclaw’s tower. “I can take a few minutes.” Her eyes shifted to Waverly’s face. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah.” Waverly sighs. “I guess. I don’t know.”
Waverly sighs again, mentally kicking herself for befriending a girl from a House that prides itself on curiosity and observation. “A part of me is starting to feel like I’m missing something.”
Nicole frowns, finds her wand in her bag, and starts spinning it through her fingers absentmindedly. “What do you mean?”
“I thought being a Gryffindor would help me feel like I was a real part of my family, you know? Like that would be enough. But I still don’t feel like it is, and I’m starting to wonder if it’s because I won’t admit…” She trails off, and Nicole doesn’t prompt her again. This, strangely, more than anything, gives her the strength to finish her thought. “I actually liked Quidditch, before my sisters made me hate it. And I… I’m pretty good at it, when I try.”
Nicole is silent for a long moment, and Waverly starts to wonder if her admission has annoyed her. Then, softly, “Have you ever wanted to play?”
Waverly laughs. “Oh, sure. Like Wynonna or Willa would ever buy that. Plus, I’m not sure I’m that good.”
“You, Waverly Earp, could be good at anything with enough practice.” Nicole stops and catches Waverly’s arm. “This summer. We’ll sneak out to some deserted field and you can see how good you really are.”
“Are you serious?”
“About you? Of course.” Nicole grins. “But I’m also serious about the Quidditch. Think about it.” She takes a small step back, nods her head, and starts towards her Common Room.
Waverly watches her go and shakes her head slowly.
Nicole Haught is far too smooth for a thirteen-year-old.
TEN: THE SAVE
When Waverly admits that she’s better at Quidditch than she previously claimed, Wynonna doesn’t believe her.
It pisses Waverly off enough that she shows up at try-outs, smaller than everybody else there including half of the second years but looking angry enough to hex the first person who tells her to sit down.
She saves every single attempted goal, and is named Keeper on the spot.
(Wynonna now owes her six bags of candy from Honeydukes.)
Waverly is happy about it until she realizes that she’s going to have to play against Nicole and Xavier. Wynonna never has a problem with it (in fact, despite the ‘bludger to Nicole’s face’ incident, she seems to enjoy purposefully aiming the damn things at people she considers her friends). But for some reason, the thought of suddenly being rivals with them… with being a rival to Nicole, specifically… makes Waverly’s stomach twist into knots.
She gets over it when Nicole walks over to her at dinner, leans on the table next to her, grins like a cocky asshole, and says, “I’ll enjoy scoring on you this year, Earp.”
It is either flirting, a challenge, or both, but Waverly doesn’t care.
“Nicole Haught, you are going down.”
The Ravenclaw’s grin twitches even wider, for just a moment, before she shrugs, winks, and goes back to her own House.
Waverly finally realizes that her awesome comeback sounded a lot better in her head.
ELEVEN: THE COMEBACK
Naturally, the first Quidditch match of the year for Gryffindor is against Ravenclaw. That is exactly how Waverly Earp’s life goes.
The only person who scores on her is Nicole, twice, and Waverly convinces herself that it’s just because Nicole is that good.
It has nothing to do with Nicole being really, really pretty on the Quidditch pitch.
“I told you I’d score on you, Wave,” Nicole teases after the match as they walk back to the castle.
“You guys lost. Badly. I wouldn’t brag too much, Nic.”
“I’m taking what I can get in this situation.” Nicole sighs heavily. “You need some practice though. All a team needs is a particularly awesome redhead on their team to do the scoring and you’re hopeless.”
A burst of irritation rushes through Waverly, and she folds her arms across her chest. “That’s how it is, huh?”
Nicole gets just a little bit too close as she grins. “That’s how it is.”
Waverly decides on the spot that Nicole Haught is never, ever, ever getting another goal past her again for the rest of their lives.
TWELVE: THE TWIST
It’s the last day before winter break, and Nicole is practically running through the halls, rambling about the witch trials. Waverly tosses a few of her own opinions into the debate, but she mostly just enjoys watching Nicole get excited about something. Normally, she’s the one doing all of the talking.
“It was such a violation of rights, like sure, they made it all legal, but it was bullshit! And people like us didn’t make it better by just saving themselves and letting the innocent Muggles burn to death, I mean honestly? I-”
“Nicole,” Waverly interrupts gently.
Waverly laughs quickly before stifling it. “You’ve made that argument three times now.”
Nicole flushes, fidgets with her tie. “Oh.” She attempts to make her tie look presentable, for some reason.
She’s such a mess. The older they’ve gotten the less Nicole has cared about making her uniform look, well, uniform. It used to be subtle, but now that they’re in their fourth year, Nicole’s shirt has three buttons unbuttoned and her tie’s knot is about two inches away from her throat.
Not that Waverly notices or anything.
Maybe a little.
Maybe… screw it.
“Nicole,” she murmurs.
The other girl notes the change in her voice. It confuses her, but she doesn’t get a chance to figure it out.
Because Waverly grabs her by her blue and bronze tie, drags her down to her level, and kisses her right on the mouth.
“H-Have a good Christmas,” Waverly stammers to Nicole’s look of bewildered shock, before turning on her heel and all but sprinting away.
THIRTEEN: THE GRAPPLE
Once they get back to school, Waverly manages to avoid Nicole for a whole three days.
Then, on her way to Arithmancy, she’s basically tackled into a broom closet.
“So,” Nicole says casually as she leans against the door. “Were you planning on avoiding me for the rest of the year?”
“I wasn’t avoiding you,” Waverly lies.
“I wasn’t!” Waverly shifts awkwardly, her hands buried in her pockets. “I was… uh… tactfully… monitoring… from a distance.”
Nicole smiles. “You were avoiding.”
“I kissed you, Nicole. I kissed you on the bloody mouth and then ran away. Any sane person would do some avoiding.”
“Only if it was terrible.” Nicole leans down, her eyes sparkling the same way they do when she’s playing Quidditch, the grin on her face the same one that once made Waverly forget her own name. “It wasn’t.”
The chill in Waverly’s spine is now less of a chill and more of a blizzard, and her breath catches in her throat. Before she realizes she’s doing it, she’s dragged Nicole to her again and they’re making out in the broom closet.
(They won’t realize it until later that it is the same one they were in when Wynonna was kissing Xavier.)
(Much, much later.)
FOURTEEN: THE GIVEAWAY
They keep it a secret, whatever ‘it’ is, for almost the entire rest of the school year, kissing only when no one can see them.
The Quidditch Cup that year comes down to Slytherin and Hufflepuff, so the last match between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw is really just a match to see which of them sucks the least.
(That is, at least, how Wynonna puts it.)
When Gryffindor wins, it’s bittersweet.
It’s Xavier’s last game before he leaves Hogwarts for good.
What would have been a Gryffindor celebration breaks off into what’s left of their little group gathering by the lake- Wynonna, Xavier, Waverly, Nicole, and Chrissy. Doc and Willa have already left. Xavier is leaving. Wynonna only has one more year.
Hogwarts is suddenly very, very small.
Waverly sneaks off when Wynonna starts a drinking game with Xavier and Chrissy, butterbeer bottles that she smuggled in from Hogsmede piled on the grass between them.
Nicole follows, and finds her behind one of the large trees.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Waverly says. “It’s just weird. We’re almost fifth years.”
“Oh, great, it’s almost summer and you’re already making me think of the O.W.L.S.”
Waverly looks up at her, grins, shakes her head. “Ravenclaw.”
“We’re the House of curiosity and wit. Trying to get us to learn stuff that doesn’t interest us is like herding cats.”
“Fair enough.” Waverly pats the grass next to her. “Sit.”
Nicole joins her, and they’re silent for what feels like an eternity.
“Nic?” Waverly finally whispers.
“I played really well tonight.”
Nicole laughs, loudly, and it’s a sound that feels better for Waverly than the victory. “You’re terrible.”
“It is the true Gryffindor trait.” Waverly pulls Nicole in. Kisses her.
Doesn’t notice that Wynonna has come over to find them.
“Oh… shit. I-I’m… so sorry,” Wynonna stammers awkwardly. She starts to head back towards the others in a panic.
Waverly rests her head on Nicole’s shoulder and groans. “Wynonna, no, it’s… it’s fine, come here.”
Nicole mumbles, “She can leave.”
“Stop it,” Waverly scolds under her breath.
Wynonna wanders back cautiously. “I didn’t mean to, uh, interrupt… anything.” She pauses. “But now that you’re done, really, Nicole? My sister?”
Nicole glances at Waverly. “Can I say that you kissed me first?”
“Shut up, Nicole.”
FIFTEEN: THE LIFE LINE
Between Quidditch and studying, their fifth year is a busy mess of anxiety and stress.
To ensure they can still spend time with each other, they take to studying together. Nicole is sprawled on the grass, holding a book over her face. Waverly is lying perpendicular to her, her head resting on Nicole’s stomach and her own book propped up on her chest. Whenever Nicole starts to drift in her attention, fidgeting with her wand or with Waverly’s braid, playing with her book instead of actually reading it, Waverly reaches up and gently taps her on the back of the hand.
They make it through the year only because they have each other to lean on when the workload gets too heavy.
SIXTEEN: THE GUT PUNCH
“You’re not my child,” Ward Earp snarls at the peak of one of his worst alcoholic rages, the summer between fifth year and sixth.
Waverly’s first thought is that her father has finally figured out what she really did with Nicole during that ‘study session’ over the last winter break.
The words that come next, however, are, somehow, even worse.
“If your whore mother thought I didn’t know she slept with a Muggle, she was even stupider than I thought she was.”
Waverly doesn’t even know what he’s saying at first, but she doesn’t need to worry. He makes it clear soon enough.
Ward Earp takes another long chug of fire whiskey and glares at the teenage girl in front of him. “I don’t know why I even bother to raise a bastard like you. Guess I’m better than I thought I was.”
He turns on his heels and stalks off towards the kitchen, leaving his not-daughter with nothing but agonizing questions she knows he’ll never answer.
When Nicole shows up later, bright grin and dark blue robes, she finds the youngest Earp (not-Earp?) sitting outside of her house in tears.
She doesn’t ask any questions. She just sits next to her, slowly spinning her wand between her fingers.
After twenty minutes, she whispers, “Want me to hex him?”
“Who?” Waverly sniffs.
The words hit harder than Nicole could possibly know, and it’s not her fault, so Waverly just ignores the way her stomach clenches painfully. “How did you know it was him?”
Nicole carefully puts her arm around Waverly’s shoulders, presses a soft kiss to the side of her head. “It’s always him.”
SEVENTEEN: THE WAVE
They get a reputation for making out behind the pitch after every Quidditch match one or both of them participates in. They really do not care.
The chronically desperate romance between Gryffindor’s Keeper and Ravenclaw’s Chaser is amusing, up until a match their sixth year where Nicole takes a bludger directly to the chest and falls a good thirty feet before one of the professors (Professor Nedley, watching from the stands with Chrissy) can react to slow her down.
Nicole has barely hit the ground when Waverly has landed next to her, fear so clear on her face that the spectators in the air can see it.
“I’m okay, Waves,” Nicole wheezes, waving her off as she crouches next to her.
“Are you hurt?” Waverly asks, desperation in her voice.
“Just my pride.” Nicole sits up slowly, winces. “And maybe my ribs.”
The referee heads over to them, and Nicole quickly squeezes Waverly’s hand. “I’m alright, Waverly. Get back on your broom.”
She does so, but as she gets back to the posts and sees the glances from her teammates, she knows that they know.
It’s not just kissing behind the pitch.
Oh, it’s so much more than that.
EIGHTEEN: THE VICTORY LAP
The Quidditch Cup in their seventh year is one of the most stressful moments of their entire relationship.
Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw.
Despite the fact that Waverly had once swore it would never happen, Nicole scores on Waverly three times during the match.
Unfortunately for her, it’s not enough.
As Gryffindor House celebrates on its way out of the Quidditch pitch, Waverly Earp breaks away, walks over to the Ravenclaw Chaser still in uniform, lingering in the shadows and watching.
“Are you okay?” Waverly asks.
“You know me. I’m not a sore loser.” Nicole grins at her, a slightly sad grin edged with the warmth of pride. “You were great. You should celebrate with your team.”
Waverly smiles slightly. “They’ll be celebrating for hours. I can take a few minutes.” She pulls Nicole down by her shirt and kisses her. “You’re sure you’re okay?”
“More than okay,” Nicole murmurs against Waverly’s lips.
“Good.” Waverly moves forward, wraps Nicole in a tight hug, closes her eyes.
And everything in that moment is calm.
Waverly Earp loves Quidditch.