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Chapter 3 : Assumptions
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“Seriously Nana you’re going to give me a heart attack if you keep that up.”
“It’s just so convenient darling… I am terribly sorry, but I need you to get yourself prepared for the day. We have customers downstairs and I need you to tend to them. I’m still mending the binding on that Lockhart novel I found.”
Vivian smiled, her grandmother loved Lockhart novels. He was a wizard author that had gone crazy, but had a good knack for writing. She had only read a couple of his pieces, but they were both filled with adventure. She finished her coffee quickly and changed into jeans and a couple layered shirts. She found her way down the stairs to the store with a yawn. The light from the windows caused her to squint her eyes as she found her way to the counter, the storm had obviously dissipated.
“Did you find everything okay?”
She asked the customer as she rung up the books. The woman nodded and smiled before leaving. There were still a couple people fumbling around the books looking for something that interested them, for an old bookshop, it really did maintain popularity. Vivian pushed her hair back waiting for another customer to approach the counter. She opened the book that had been sitting near her and began to read it while she waited. She yawned again before looking up from her book at the next customer. To her surprise the consumer was under the age of forty, which were their usual guests. He was also male, which was completely out of protocol. He had jet black hair that hung in his face and curled around the edges. He was tall, six foot easy, but it was his eyes that gave him away, two abrupt green orbs that pierced into her gaze.
“The counter is for customers only…and you don’t seem to be interested in anything.”
She spoke noticing there weren’t any books in his hands. She couldn’t help but smile when she saw the corner of his mouth curl into a grin.
“Believe me I’m interested…I just think I could use some help deciding.”
He spoke in a casual tone, leaning onto the counter in an attempt to look cool, but his nervousness caused him to slip off the end and practically fall over. Vivian laughed at his antics before closing her book and stepping out from behind the counter.
“So James, what are you torn between?”
She asked looking around at the multitude of books that littered the space.
“Adventure and Mystery…Comedy and Drama perhaps”
He spoke following behind her as she lifted books and read the title before sitting it back in its place.
“I was thinking either coffee or tea…”
Vivian was caught off guard and practically dropped the book that was in her hand. Was he asking her out? She laughed lightly at his ‘smooth’ approach. She replied, loving how he was being so bashful about this.
“I’ve had my caffeine for the day…”
She saw the smirk on his face melt away and knew he thought he had lost her. He lowered his head and looked kicked at a loose nail on the ground as he tried to think of something to save his game.
“Ya gotta help me out here…I’m sinking.”
He spoke as he looked back up with a laugh. Vivian couldn’t help but smile at his honesty.
“I’ll tell you what…people stop poking their heads in here about five...I sometimes go to the Red Lion Pub around then…maybe I’ll let you buy me a drink.”
She turned to walk away, satisfied with her save. She stopped and turned back around when she heard his confused tone.
She gave him a look of disbelief.
“You’ve not heard of the Red Lion Pub? It’s just down the street…It’s the most popular pub in this part of town…”
He shrugged before replying with his original smirk.
“I don’t get out much…”
“Get out? It’s just down the street…you’ve had to pass it to get to Big Ben.”
James crinkled his nose and shrugged again.
“Yeh…haven’t made it there either…I’ve been meaning to see the palace too, but haven’t found the time.”
“You’re joking. You live in London and haven’t seen Big Ben or Buckingham Palace?”
He shook his head ‘No’ and watched as she turned and headed towards another customer.
“Hi, I’m sorry but we’re closing early…”
She spoke as she rushed the two older women out of the store, posting a closed sign in the window before headed towards the back room. She came back out and grabbed James by the hand, pulling him out the front door. She turned and locked it before continuing down the road, leaving James standing awe-struck under their sign.
“What’s going on?”
He asked not sure what had just transpired. Vivian placed her keys in her back pocket and turned back towards James.
“I’m going to show you London”
“I don’t even know your name and you want me to follow you around one of the busiest towns in England?”
“My name is Vivian. Does that make everything better?”
“It’s a start…you still could be some sort of killer.”
Vivian took James by the hand again and pulled him towards the streets that had risen with the sun and filled with busy people and cars on their way to somewhere.
“Well if I am you’ll know soon enough.”
She spoke coyly as she started to pull him across one of the streets, headed towards the large clock tower at the end of the block. She let go of his hand, suddenly realize the intimacy of it. She hoped she hadn’t scared him off with her forwardness, but couldn’t help herself. There was something different about this boy. He wasn’t like the ones she had gone to school with, or even the ones she met at the Pub. There was something about him that peeked her curiosity and she was going to find out what it was.
James followed Vivian all around London. First they went to Big Ben, and then made their way to Buckingham Palace. It took almost the whole day, the sun was setting when the wound their way back around to the shop. Instead of calling it quits, however, they entered into the Red Lion Pub. Within the first ten minutes of their adventure Vivian had bought a disposable camera at one of the booths meant for tourists. They had used up all the film and Vivian was anxious to see them developed. She looked over at James while he took a drink of his beer. He made a face, most likely at the bitterness of the taste.
“Interesting…I really pegged you as a beer guy.”
“It’s not exactly my style of spirits…”
Vivian laughed after taking a drink of her own.
“Beer is beer James…that’s how it tastes no matter where you get it.”
James smiled back, wanting so badly to prove her wrong but knowing he couldn’t reveal anything about the Wizarding world to a Muggle. And that’s what she was right? She seemed to be near the same age as him so surly he would have seen her around Hogwarts…surely he would remember her.
“So how is it you live in London and you’ve never seen any of the sites? You might as been one of the Yankees out there today.”
They both laughed before James answered the question. He thought of his reply, trying not to lie, simply leave parts out.
“I grew up near Devon…a lot of my family lives out there…I moved here after school, so I’m still pretty new to London...”
“So what are you doing now a day that has you so busy? Fancy University…juggling three girlfriends…crime spree perhaps?”
Vivian asked with a smirk. Throughout their adventure around the city they had talked a lot, but it was simple things, favorite color, music, their likes and dislikes. James had some strange answers, but she hadn’t thought much of them. She was ready to get to the tougher questions…how had he lived down the street for over a year and they never crossed paths before?
“No crime spree…I’d have been caught before it became a spree…No University either, I’m actually doing sort of an internship…I suppose that’s what you’d call it…and as for girlfriends…I was recently dumped”
Vivian’s smirk faded and she looked down at the Pub’s countertop. She hesitated before looking back up at him.
“Sorry…that’s too bad.”
“It’s nothing big…and it was definitely for the best…you ever feel like people care more about your reputation than about you? Like whatever you’ve been labeled is automatically who you are supposed to be?”
Vivian’s smirk returned; it was like he had read her mind.
“Yeh…I think I know the feeling.”
They both looked at one another in a moment of complete clarity. It had been one day, well one day and a thunderstorm, but James was completely taken by this girl. He broke the connection when he began to ask questions.
“So what about you? How did you find time to become such a great tour guide with your busy life at the bookshop? You have your boyfriend watch the shop while you site see?”
“No boyfriend for me…you see most guys run away from a girl dancing in a thunderstorm, not towards her.”
They both laughed again before Vivian continued.
“The shop is never really busy…it’s popular enough to keep in business…but I mean you’ve seen it…it’s a wreck…it’s been just me and Nana since my grand-dad died…it was his shop.”
“That must be hard…losing someone so close to you…I couldn’t even imagine.”
Vivian could tell the mood was dwindling down by the last few comments, so she tried to liven it back up.
“Tell me about your family…they sound like a lot to handle.”
“Well there’s a lot of them…I only have two siblings, but cousins are endless…and we’re all pretty close…like I said before we grew up together.”
“And Devon…do you prefer it there or here in the city?”
“Honesty…they’re like two completely different worlds.”
He spoke, not stretching the truth at all…they were two different worlds. In his world, he was a wizard, the heir to the Potter fortune, a famous Quidditch Player and so much more…but here…in her world he wasn’t a Potter…here he was just James…and he was starting to thoroughly enjoy it.
James stretched in his bed with a yawn before fully waking up. He rolled over and looked at the clock, noticing it was late afternoon. He began to climb out of his bed when he heard a thud in one of the rooms below. He froze, being sure to stay very quiet as he listened for more noise from the suspected intruder. He picked up his wand from his dresser and held it at his side as if a dagger ready to attack anyone that had invaded his home. He clung near the wall as he walked down in steps and turned the corner into his kitchen. He aimed his wand at the shadow snooping through his cupboard and shouted out his most practiced spell.
The shadow shouted back as he turned and whipped his wand quickly with his wrist. James’ wand was tossed from his hand and into the sink as the spell took its toll. He tensed up, defenseless without his wand gripped in his hands. He squinted his eyes to see the shadow’s movements in the blackness of the house, until suddenly light filled the room. He blinked rapidly to adjust to the light, hearing the intruder before seeing him. The laugh was so recognizable, the voice so familiar.
“You aren’t going to make it as an auror with that attack little Potter.”
Once his eyes finally adjusted, he could see his closest friend, Teddy Lupin, leaning against the counter. James picked his wand out of the sink and held it loosely at his side.
“It’s odd Teddy…for someone in magical law enforcement to be such like a criminal…enjoying your stolen apple are you?”
James asked with a smirk as Teddy bit into one of the fruits James had sitting on his table. Teddy smiled back.
“Forbidden fruit is always the best.”
The two laughed and hugged one another with a pat on the back before Teddy spoke again, another bite of apple in his mouth.
“So what has kept the eldest Potter out late that has him sleeping until noon?”
Teddy asked as he pointed his wand at the lamps in the living room, lighting them up without a word or touch. He plopped onto the sofa, still munching on his stolen fruit.
“Do you mind? I still have to live here when you’re done destroying it.”
James spoke as he knocked Teddy’s feet off of the coffee table. He and teddy had always been close; they both lived in the spotlight of the Potter name and endured the challenges of living in the lime light. James took a seat in the armchair across from Teddy listening to Teddy’s stories of his job at the ministry and his adventures since leaving the comfort of his gram’s cottage.
“How about you James? How is London treating you? How is the ministry treating you?”
“I’ve been offered to start training in the next few weeks…but I’m still not sure if it’s what I want.”
Teddy nodded. He understood James’ confusion; he had experienced it only a few years before.
“How about girls mate?”
Teddy asked. He took note of James’ expression and couldn’t help but smile.
“Things with Sophie are going that good huh?”
James’ smile faded, but a smirk remained. He had remembered how Sophie had hurt him, but after his date with Vivian yesterday he couldn’t help but smirk when he thought of her.
“Things with Sophie didn’t exactly pan out…”
Teddy was intrigued. He had been the one to set James up with Sophie. They had completely hit it off and seemed to be perfect together the last he saw them.
“Then who has you smiling mate? Do I know her? She’s a quidditch player isn’t she? One of the Harpies?”
Teddy went on and on, but James knew he would never guess. He took a deep breath before speaking again. He had to truly trust Teddy to tell him about Vivian; while it was acceptable to marry Muggles in his family it wasn’t expected.
“I’m pretty sure you don’t know her…and she doesn’t play quidditch.”
“Well give me something James… Is she still at Hogwarts? Oh. She’s a veela isn’t she?”
“She works at a bookstore.”
“Flourish and Blots? Is she part of the owner’s family? Any sisters?”
Teddy asked nudging James as he asked. James bit his bottom lip while he thought of whether he should say anything more or not.
“Actually she lives here in London…showed me around yesterday…there’s something magical about her Teddy…I can’t put my finger on it...she’s just real you know?”
“Sounds like someone was slipped a love potion”
Teddy spoke nudging James again. He had never heard his friend talk about a girl like this. Even when he was dating Sophie he didn’t have this joy in his eyes when he spoke of her.
“She doesn’t know how to make a love potion Teddy.”
James spoke trying to tell Teddy without flat out telling him.
“Well that won’t do. Can’t have the eldest Potter, pride and joy of the Wizarding world dating someone who can’t even manage a simple potion.”
“No Teddy…I mean she wouldn’t know how…I don’t think she’s a witch.”
Teddy didn’t speak for a moment. When he did speak it was with a cautious tone.
“What do you mean you don’t think? You don’t know?”
“Well it’s not something I can just ask a girl Teddy...but I’m pretty sure she’s not. I’ve never seen her before so she didn’t go to Hogwarts…I mean she helps her gran run a clustered bookstore in London…not to mention she had no idea who I was…doesn’t exactly sound like someone from the Wizarding world.”
Teddy hesitated again before he spoke.
“If she makes you happy…than there’s nothing wrong with her…but you need to find out James. If she’s from our world…there’s a reason you haven’t heard of her.”
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