Chapter 3 : everybody's free....to eat ice cream
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The boys were seated at a table under the multi-colored umbrellas that covered the patio outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream parlor with ice creams in front of them for the girls and one for each of them, a cooling charm keeping them from melting. Marcus and Fred talked about nothing important, football and quidditch mostly, while James had his own conversation inside his head about the girl who he couldn’t seem to get out of his mind.
James was pulled out of his reverie by the appearance of said girl and the rest of his friends. They automatically took a seat, the girls obviously pushing Leila to James’ side. James passed Leila her ice cream their fingers brushing as he did, she looked up and murmured a thank you to him before picking up her spoon and digging in. There wasn’t much talking as the girls ate their ice creams, just general conversation about the year to come. Then the conversation changed to James’ upcoming birthday and the massive party that was sure to come with it. Leila quickly learned that James’ birthday was the social event of the summer for the upper year students of Hogwarts, and while the others were talking James leaned over and whispered “it’s really not a big deal just a bunch of people at ours, swimming, dancing, food, your usual party type deal. Parents and kids are invited so that Dad doesn’t feel old, even though half of them are family he likes having everyone there. I’ll make sure you’re on the guest list, invites went out last week but I’ll get mum to send one over with the morning post.”
Leila looked up and smiled at him, the two of them quickly falling into their own world, not noticing that the others had stopped talking and were staring at the two. Leila noticed first, and murmured a quick thank you, before turning to the others and asking “What?”
“Hmm? Oh nothing, what were we talking about?” Fred asked before stealing a spoonful of Calla’s ice cream and filling his mouth with it so he didn’t say anything else.
Talk at the table quickly went back to normal as the friends realized it wasn’t a topic to be discussed in their large group. Bethan gave Leila a look however making sure that she was aware a conversation would be happening in the near future. Leila gave an imperceptible nod, then looked down at her cell phone noting that it was nearing 10pm, the group noticed her look then went to check their own watches and as one they wordlessly got up from the table and made their way back to the Leaky to floo home. Once there the girls parted ways promising to meet up again soon, and to write until then. James gave Leila a quick hug and stepped back as she flooed away first, then she was gone with a quick wave and a flash of flame.
James marvelled at how quickly her presence had changed her world, he just couldn’t get her off his mind, and suddenly was very excited for a party that had, in his mind, become a revolutionized event beyond all of his others. They boys jumped into James’ car and drove away, laughing over a well spent day.
Leila stepped out of the fireplace in her living room, grabbing the bags she’d had banished here, and heading over to her room, calling out a hello to her dad as she went. She felt happy, for the first time since their move to London, Leila was truly excited to be there. She put her school stuff into her trunk leaving the defense against the dark arts book on her beside table. She grabbed her remote, pointed it at her CD player and sang along to the song that came pouring out of the speakers, it was one of her mother’s favourites, a song she’d actually made her own while out on tour before Leila was born. She looked over to the moving picture she kept on her bedside table always, a photo of a woman with brilliant red hair onstage singing to a crowd of thousands. Her mother’s past, was something she didn’t really talk about and most people didn’t associate her with her mother so it didn’t really come up, but Leila’s mother had been a great artist, touring worldwide and racking up a number of number one hits on both the muggle and magical charts. Until the day she’d met Leila’s father on a tour in London, Haley James had lived the life most people only dreamed of, but once she became pregnant with Leila she had slowed down taking time off for her family.
Once Leila had entered into the academy, her mother decided to try and get back into the music scene and she’d done well for a few years, creating hits under her new name Haley James Scott, but then she’d gotten sick and the cancer that infested her body had spread fast until one day she simply faded away, leaving Leila and her father to cope with the loss.
Leila looked up then and noticed her dad in the doorway with a sad smile on his face. “I miss her too,” he said, walking into the room to take a seat on the end of Leila’s bed. She smiled at him and he continued, “did you have fun today, Lei?”
“Yeah Dad I did, I finally feel like I have friends here, you know?”
“That’s good Lei, I’m glad you found some people to fit in with.”
Leila laughed, “Yeah they’re great fun, I think the girls and I will be fast friends. I got invited to a party at the Potter’s too.”
“Potter’s? As in Harry and Ginny’s?”
“Yeah Dad, how many other Potter’s do you know?”
“Very funny Lei. Well anyway I’m off to bed, night Lei Lei.”
“Goodnight Daddy.” Leila blew him a kiss as he left her room, which he caught, she smiled at their nightly ritual, shaking her head as she grabbed her pyjamas and went into her bathroom to get ready for bed. Coming back she tossed an owl treat to Lizzie her brown owl, gave her a few strokes on the beak, and crawled into bed. Thinking that it had been a good day, she fell asleep the last thought in her mind James Potter’s eyes as he smiled at her.
Leila woke the next morning to a tapping on her window, after a few minutes of telling the noise to go away and leave her alone so she could sleep for a few more hours she rolled out of bed and made her way over to let the owl in. Once she opened the window, the tawny coloured owl flew in dropped a letter on her desk and continued over to join Lizzie on her perch. Leila looked at the owl’s behaviour for a few minutes before moving past it and picking up the letter. It was from James:
So like promised here’s the invite to the party, I think mum sent out the others like a week ago, but no worries. It’s just a small end of summer thing, celebrate the birthday and chill out. The invite’s a little stuffy for a barbeque but that’s mum for you, so I figured I’d throw in a letter from your new favourite person. Your dad’s cool to come too since there’ll be a lot of parent types there. Anyway I'm off football practice today you know the drill.
Leila laughed at “your new favourite person.”Enclosed with the letter from James was a formal invitation card in very nice handwriting:
James Sirius Potter’s seventeenth birthday
August 17th 2pm
RSVP by floo or owl
Lelia grabbed a bit of parchment and her quill and penned a quick thank you and see you there note to James, signing it with your favourite person Leila, and as an afterthought she added a xo to the end. Hoping that it wasn’t too much she attached it to the owl she assumed was James’ and sent it off. She then wrote another letter to Bethan asking her what the deal was for James’ little party, clothes and what not, and sent it off with Lizzie. Then she made her way into her bathroom to take a shower and get ready for the day.
Meanwhile James Potter was seated at the kitchen table eating his breakfast with his siblings while his mother, Ginny, puttered around the room finalizing details for the party which would happen in two weeks.
“I invited one more person mum, so you know.”
Ginny turned, “you did? Who?”
“Just a girl, her name is Leila, she’s a transfer, met her yesterday. Apparently her dad’s working with dad.”
Lily piped up “is this the girl your with on the cover of WitchGirl?”
“Oh Lily, I thought I told you to stop reading that magazine, it’s a load of trash.” Ginny said.
“I’m not the one who’s constantly on the cover mum.”
“What are you on about Princess?” James had always had a soft spot for his little sister.
“Your on the front cover again, it’s you and your friends and this new girl. They did well on the headline.” She tossed him the magazine
HAS THE ULTIMATE BACHELOR FINALLY FOUND LOVE?
Followed by a picture of him and Leila caught in an intimate looking glance while the others stared.
“Sorry mum, it’s just Leila’s gonna flip when she sees this, she doesn’t really strike me as the type to revel in attention. Besides its nothing like that, I mean ya she’s cute, but I just met her.”
“Well James you know the way these magazines are, that’s why your father and I prepared you for the types of things they would write about you. Heavens knows we’ve had to deal with it enough over the years. They’ll tire of it after a bit.”
James shrugged “well I might as well see what they’re saying about me now,” he opened up the magazine and went back to his breakfast while reading it. His owl Eddie swooped through the window carrying a letter in his beak he dropped it off beside James’ plate and swooped off to grab a nap up in the James’ room. James closed the article and opened up his letter she made her way into her bathroom to take a shower and get ready for the day.u there note to james once and leave her alon. It was from Leila, he smiled, “mum she’s coming.”
“Good dear, what did you say her name was again?”
“Allright I’ll add her to the list”
“Ok, I think her dad might be coming too, I figured it might make her more comfortable.”
Lily snorted, “You so like her.”
“Shut it Lils, so what if I do, she’s cute. And she didn’t care who dad was”
Albus looked impressed, “Good thing I get to meet her then, since she passed your tests, looks like she’ll be sticking around for a while then.”
James ignored his two siblings, finished off his breakfast and finished reading the article about Leila and himself, luckily the writer hadn’t managed to get ahold of her name calling her the mysterious redhead who captured his attentions. James knew it was only a matter of time before they found out who she was and he figured they’d deal with it when it came to it. James pushed off from the table and headed out the door, “Bye Mum, I’ll see you after practice.”
“Bye, James drive safe.”
Leila was seated in a hammock in the Scott’s backyard in brown plaid shorts and a purple tshirt, reading a muggle novel, Pride and Prejudice, from which her owl Lizzie was named. When Lizzie returned carrying a letter and what looked like a magazine, she gave Lizzie a stroke and sent her off to sleep. She ignored the magazine and opened the letter from Bethan first.
So he invited you huh? Good move James, he’s totally into you, you know? Its so obvious. That and you passed his test, he doesn’t go for girls who associate him with his dad, he feels like they’re going for his dad, not him. I know its very deep, but that’s James. Anyway, about the party its not really a big deal, even though Ginny’s invite makes it seem that way, she just likes being able to afford the luxury, after all the Weasley’s weren’t all that rich before the last war, right?
But moving on, I’ll probably just wear a sun dress or skirt type thing. But remember to bring your bathing suit because we’ll defiantly be swimming, there’s a really nice lake in their backyard and they decked it out, boat and stuff.
Oh, so you know you’ve already made a splash over here, you’re on the cover of WitchGirl with James, they’ve tapped you as his newest love. That’s one of the drawbacks of being friends with James, actually it happens to all of us who had parents who were a big deal back in the wars. James gets it worse though because his Dad is Harry Potter, they follow him around with cameras any chance they get, so just be careful, and don’t worry whatever they print about you we know better.
Leila was slightly worried about the magazine now, she had figured she had gotten away from all that when they had moved overseas where people didn’t really know she was Haley James’ daughter. She sighed as she looked at the cover:
HAS THE ULTIMATE BACHELOR FINALLY FOUND LOVE?
Flipping it open she read through the article:
We spotted James Potter out to lunch with his usual group of friends, and a new face. Who is the mysterious red head who appears to have captured the attentions of London’s ultimate bachelor? Our sources tell us that she is new to the country, and is transferring to Hogwarts School where James attends. We wish this new girl luck with the man who has turned down many before her...
Leila tossed the article aside without finishing it, it wasn’t the first time she’d dealt with this kind of attention, her family had been followed around a fair bit because of the fame her mother had, she was just surprised that the writer hadn’t found out who she was, but knew it was a matter of time before someone did their research and her name would come out. Leila returned to her book and lounged out on her hammock firmly deciding to ignore the article until she had to deal with it, but reminding herself to let her dad know so he was aware of the situation.
Her cell phone rang then, and she picked it up glancing at the number as she did. She didn’t recognize the number so she was cautious as she said hello.
“Hey Leila, its James.”
“oh hey, sorry I thought you might be a reporter.”
“So you saw our picture huh, sorry about that.”
“its not a big deal, I’ve dealt with that stuff before.”
“yeah, back home, no worries, so whats up?”
“well I wanted to make sure you were ok after the article thing, and if you wanted to maybe get some lunch?”
“isn’t that like inviting trouble?”
“ya probably, but I don’t want to let them run my life, so you in? I know this great beachside diner place.”
“yeah sure, I’m in.”
“Cool, I’ll come pick you up.”
“ok, I’m on Jacobson Ave, 133.”
“k, see you in a few, bye”
Leila got up slightly flustered, and went into the house to grab her purse. She decided to change her shirt and put on a white lace tank top and a lavender ¾ sleeve sweater with white sandals. She shook out her hair from its pony tail and added some earrings. Then she grabbed her purse and headed to the door just as the doorbell rang. She opened the door to find James waiting.
“That was quick.”
He laughed, “I was in the neighbourhood, football practice remember?”
They walked out to James’ car and got in; they pulled out of the driveway and made their way to the beach.
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