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Chapter 2: Meetings
James looked around the leaky cauldron as the barmaid handed him his butter beer.
“It’s on the house hon…least I can do for your family”
She spoke with a sweet smile. James smiled back, digging in his pocket for a few spare Knuts.
“That’s very sweet of you, but I insist.”
He laid the money on the counter and walked away before she could argue with him. He looked back and forth around the smoky room for someone to talk to, trying to overlook the entire crowd staring back at him. He sighed, regretting his decision to go out tonight and turned towards the door. He barely made it two steps out the door when he was stopped by two girls, both of them younger than him.
“I told you it was him Allie…I knew it was, you said it couldn’t be, but he was so easy to recognize. He looks just like he did on the cover of Witches Weekly last issue!”
One of them went on and on about the tabloid and how telling it had been. The other then got in on the conversation, being sure to apologize repeatedly for ever doubting her friend. James shook his head back and forth before maneuvering around the two teens who were now arguing over which of his hairstyles was best. He managed to escape their sights as he headed down the street. He noticed flashes around the corners and rolled his eyes at the journalists, if that’s even what you could call them. James preferred stalkers. They were constantly following him, wanting to know every detail of his life. For a society that tried to distance themselves from the Muggle world, they certainly took notes on the Muggle entertainment industry…apparently James was entertaining. He bowed his head to look at the ground as he walked so they couldn’t get a picture they could use.
“James? James Potter?”
He stopped, hanging his head in annoyance, even in the dark they recognized him. He was approached by a man, medium build, about the age of his friend Teddy Lupin.
“Hey man could I get your autograph? Maybe a picture? I loved your snitch catch against the Harpies last spring, classic man.”
James stopped walking. He turned around excitedly. Of all the people that stopped and wanted to talk to the James Potter the ones he enjoyed were Quidditch fans.
“Sure. So you like Quidditch? What’s your name so I can sign this?”
James asked as he took the marker the man provided and prepared to write on the notebook. He was practically giddy with joy. During his time on the Puddlemere United team he, as well as other members of the team, were always asked for autographs. It was a nice change from the witches and wizards who just wanted a glance at the child of Harry Potter.
“Actually, could you sign it for my girlfriend? She loves you.”
“A girl who likes Quidditch…don’t let go of her.”
James spoke with a smile at his joke, but the smile faded straight from his face when the man spoke again.
“Actually she can’t stand the sport…but boy will she be excited that I have James Potter’s autograph…She swears she’s shook hands with your dad, but she has no proof…not like this.”
James practically dropped the marker he still held in his hands, but managed instead to hand it to the man.
“I guess you win then.”
James spoke with a spiteful tone.
The man replied, not even realizing the anger that was growing within the young Potter. James shook his head and rubbed his forehead as he turned around. He continued down the road, turning sharply down a corner into a dark alley. There were no photographers here; they wouldn’t dare enter for fear of who they may meet. James, however, knew there was nothing dark or sinister down the alley, there was only a portal. The alleyway came to a dead end, which was a brick building a couple stories high. James knocked on four bricks, in a particular order the way Hagrid had shown him and stood back, watching the multitude of bricks turn and twist, forming an archway to an average London street. He stepped through and clicked his fingers, not staying to watch the stones morph back to their normal shape. He looked up and down the street, making sure no one had watched his entrance, not that Muggles could even see. He took in a deep breath of the silence before noticing the rain dropping onto his head. He heard a loud crash of thunder, followed by a bolt of lightning. He laughed lightly to himself when he looked down the street and saw a girl dancing in the storm. Muggles were so abnormal.
“Excuse me. You do realize there is a terrible storm occurring?”
He shouted down the street, awaiting a reply as he walked towards the girl. She jumped, obviously startled by his appearance.
“No I hadn’t? You think that’s why the sky keeps making that loud ‘Boom’ sound?”
She asked while she continued to spin, not even phased by the stranger’s comment. James laughed again at her sarcasm.
“So you’re willingly standing in the middle of the road in a thunderstorm?”
She stopped spinning, her back to him and took in a deep breath as the water dripped from her soaked clothing.
“There’s something magical about the rain don’t you think?”
She asked before turning around, holding her hands out to catch every drop that fell near her.
James cringed, waiting for her to recognize him, just waiting for his momentary normalcy to vanish.
“You’re shivering…you should probably get inside.”
James relaxed and showed a shocked expression. His hair hung in front of his eyes from the water and he felt his clothes getting heavier from the extra weight. He noticed the shivering the girl had been talking about and looked over to his apartment.
“You don’t know who I am?”
He asked, deciding to stay shivering rather than the warmth that was only meters away.
She asked taking a couple steps towards him as the thunder crashed again overhead.
“No…I suppose not…what’s your name?”
He asked intrigued. This girl was different from others he had met, for one she had no idea who he was, but it was more than that. She wasn’t afraid of saying what she thought.
“You mean you don’t know who I am?”
She asked in a sarcastic tone, lightning flashing above them, flashing a moment of light that lit up her face. James smiled again, unable to hide his curiosity.
He held out his hand as he made his introduction.
The girl accepted the gesture with a smile and opened her mouth to say something; however she hesitated and looked up at the sky. The rain had stopped falling although the clouds still filled the nightscape. They could still hearing rolling thunder in the distance, but there were no more raindrops.
“Sorry James…I suppose that’s all the magic for tonight.”
She smiled pulling her hand back. She then used it to push her long hair behind her ears. In another flash of lightning James saw her biting her bottom lip in thought as she walked towards a nearby building with a sign swinging in the wind. James smiled to himself as he looked down at his damp clothes. Muggles were so abnormal…and he couldn’t help but envy them.
Vivian closed the door behind her and remained standing, dripping in that spot, leaning against the door as she thought. James. It had a nice ring to it.
“You’re going to catch a cold if you don’t change out of those wet clothes darling.”
Her grandmother spoke as she walked up the stairs of the shop into her small apartment that sat above it. Vivian smiled to herself as she headed towards the stairs. She closed the apartment door and headed for her room, passing her grandmother’s room when she was stopped by her voice again.
“Who is he?”
Vivian asked trying to hide the smile that she still wore.
“The boy who has you grinning from ear to ear”
“No one Nana…just a stranger in the night”
Vivian spoke before turning into her room; she still heard her Nana talking as she closed her bedroom door.
“I’ve told that girl about talking to strangers…I’ve told her twice about standing in the middle of a storm…there’s just no getting through to her…maybe if I wrote it in a book she’d listen.”
Vivian shook her head at her senile Nana. She looked at her dresser and contemplated changing her damp clothes, but instead her eyes wandered to the window. She walked to it and gazed at the boy who kicked a puddle as if disappointed in it. He had pulled off his jacket and was ringing it out as he walked down the street in the opposite direction of her. She sighed, knowing she would probably never see him again. Why hadn’t she told him her name? He was funny, and obviously took to her sarcastic ways. He wasn’t too hard on the eyes either, as her Nana would say. In fact, his eyes were what intrigued her the most. Though she could only see them when the lightning flashed, she could tell they were a piercing green.
(I know not much has happened yet, but I promise the story is going to pick up in the next couple of chapters! Hang in there with me!)