Chapter 1 : I
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Written by: Nina Beeney
James Potter, son of the wizarding world hero, Harry Potter, celebrates another victory with the Kenmare Kestrals by having a crazy night on the strip. He was spotted in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA “partying and drinking liquor,” a source tells us, with wild girl Roxy McGee.
This isn’t the first time he’s been seen with the actress. Just two weeks ago, the two were seen at a London restaurant sharing dinner and looking rather cozy. It seems that the ladies’ man has finally settled for a girl as wild as he is and is even considering popping the question.
James’ eyes scanned through the article warily, having become accustomed to the rubbish that tabloids produced on a daily basis. None of it was ever true and this article was no different. Roxy and James were good friends having been quidditch teammates for five years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Every once in a while the two enjoyed a night out or a bite to eat together simply to talk about their lives, politics, and have fun. Usually they managed to avoid the paparazzi, but the last two times, they’d been tactless. It was only a matter of time before a picture of nothing was turned into a picture of something.
“Why are you showing me this?” James asked his agent, Scott Wingfield, who had originally interrupted James’ morning coffee and newspaper reading to bring him the latest gossip. After receiving nothing but an eye roll, James stood up and threw the paper into the trash deeming the article useless. Why keep something that served no purpose other than to talk about issues that aren’t important?
“Don’t yeh get it James?” he heard Scott say condescendingly from behind him. James reluctantly turned knowing that Scott would be semi-glaring at him for his recklessness. As they stared each other down, James took note of Scott’s ever increasing wrinkles as the forty year old man continued to age a tad more every year. There were a few grey hairs splattered across a mane of brown. It was evident Scott was still in great physical health but the stress of managing the young and the reckless was getting to him and it showed. “Clearly yeh don’t. Ye need to tone it down. I’m nackered of spending most of my mornings trying to clear up whatever misconceptions the public is having about ye. Yeh need to get your act together, yer twenty-four. Grow up.” This wasn’t the first time Scott complained about James’ behavior, he’d often threatened to quit. They both knew he would never leave James though. The two of them had a great relationship that extended beyond simple business partners. Besides James paying him extremely well, Scott was a talented man who knew how to get things done. Scott even went so far as to magically make two newspaper articles that could have destroyed James quidditch career forever disappear. There was no way James was going to let him quit.
James continued with his cold stare in an attempt to intimidate Scott, but it had little effect. So Scott continued, “Oh whatever ye prick. Cop a day off tomorrow. Go to muggle London, get away from the chaos ye call life. I’ve got to go meet with another client, call me if ye need anything.”
The next moment, Scott was gone with a pop, leaving James standing by his couch alone in his condo. The sunlight beamed brightly into his face from the windows that surrounded him around the room. His eyes drifted wearily to the painting of a waterfall with a female silhouette emerging from its depths. “Is he gone?” the sultry voice of a woman said from behind him. James had forgotten about the lady he’d slept with the night before. She was beautiful with long legs, sleek long black hair, wonderfully tanned, and a Spanish accent that could seduce any unsuspecting man in minutes. She was a quidditch tournament coordinator who accompanied the team, captain and sponsors on a late night victory celebration the previous night. A few drinks later, James and her ended up in his flat to pursue a night of unprofessional behavior. It meant close to nothing and shouldn’t have happened. He assumed she’d have left when she received an unfriendly welcome that morning, “I was thinking we could—“
“We aren’t going to do anything or go anywhere. I’ve got to go. Please let yourself out Maria,” James said this as he pulled on his jacket and walked towards the door. He vaguely heard a defeated, “It’s Miranda,” before closing the door entirely behind him. His day off was going to come a little early, because muggle London sounded nice at the moment.
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
“Shit,” Ellie gasped as the alarm came on that morning disrupting a pleasant dream she was having. Her eyes fluttered open and the clock before her revealed the treacherous time that she had to rise at. 5:30. She was due to be at work by 6:00. She felt her body move before she could protest against it. Her hand hit the well memorized button that turned the alarm off. She slowly got out of bed and walked towards the loo for her morning pee.
Her movements were slow, sloppy, and careless. Her brain was functioning well enough for her to note her room was entirely too messy as she tripped over numerous clothes, shoes and books. Her mum would be appalled if she chose that moment to waltz into Ellie’s living spaces. She was neat freak and carried a can of Lysol in case there was a germ emergency. She spent her days cleaning the ins and outs of the house or watching the cooking channel on the television. She was the epitome of an OCD perfect house wife. Perhaps that’s why Ellie was so messy; the last thing she wanted was to be like was her neurotic mother.
After doing her fifteen minute morning routine, Ellie waltzed out the front door of her apartment in her Coffee Shop uniform. The sun peeked over the horizon lighting the sky in a bright orange and pink. She enjoyed walking on mornings where people were sparser and the air was fresh—or as fresh as city air can be. She was given time to reminisce on her past days and fantasize about her future. Occasionally she would make eye contact with some of the ever increasing strangers walking past her, but she’d make no move to greet them. In the city, friendliness to others on the sidewalk was frowned upon, unless the other person was attractive. In that case, “rules” were meant to be broken.
Ellie reached the subway station that would take her to work. She struggled to get down the stairs as others made their ways up, but when she did get to the bottom floor and through the gates she was greeted by her newly arrived train. It was luck of the draw for the train to already be at the station ready for her to board. Too many days had she arrived just to watch it travel along the tracks without her on it. She smiled slightly as she stepped on, Today is going to be a good day. She squeezed through a mass of bodies and held onto a pole as the train made its move. She was uncomfortably close to a man doused in a sweaty grey shirt and basketball shorts. He’d apparently forgotten his deodorant on his morning jog and was allowing the whole train to be consumed by his must making it hard to breath. Ellie tried to hold in her breath as long as possible. She was fortunate she had only two stops left.
“You’re late!” yelled her overly peppy, morning person coworker, Adelaid Sphincter as she walked in. Ellie said nothing to her and quickly walked to the back of the store. It was entirely too early to work with Adelaid. She was sweet as pie, but sweet as pie and loud weren’t good combinations at six o’clock in the morning.
“Morning Ellie.” This voice was from her friend and coworker Jim, who’d just revealed himself through the back entrance door.
Ellie glanced at him and smiled slightly, “Already out for a cigarette break? You’ve been here for not but an hour and a half.”
“Yeah, well, you try opening the store with ‘I’m-Too-Happy-And-Won’t-Shut-Up-Adelaid.’ God she is way too annoying for this job,” he said as he washed his hands.
She frowned at him, “Stop being an arse. Adelaid is great when it’s not an abnormal hour of the day. Aren’t you supposed to be quitting cigarettes?”
“Easier said than done Love.”
“Right,” she said rolling my eyes then heading out to the front to make myself a cup of strong coffee before helping customers.
*Four hours and a two hundred variety of coffee blends later.*
“Hi, welcome to Café Coffee! What can I help you with today?” greeted a falsely enthusiastic Ellie to a customer.
The customer held a stiff, serious face as she glanced at the menu. She was clearly a business woman, with a long pencil skirt, a button up blue shirt, and two inch heels. It was a conservative outfit that one would wear to work in order to blend in to the office scene. “Give me a Grande Cinammon Dulce Frappacino, make it vegan, hold the whipped crème and add a shot of espresso. Make that two. My name is Monique.”
“Anything else for you Monique?” She shook her head stiffly and walked to the serving line to wait for her drink. Ellie placed the order onto the counter behind her and just as she was about to head to the back for a break, the entrance door opened and the bell rang, letting all the employees know there was another customer to serve. She cringed, having not had a break of any sort for three hours, and turned around, a fake smile plastered to her face.
The smile diminished as she saw who was standing at the door, it was a man. He was young, approximately in his twenties, with messy light brown hair. He had a single dimple on the right side of his face as he smiled briefly at her while his eyes wondered over the store. His pants sagged slightly below his hips and he wore a dark grey shirt with sunglasses propped on top of his head. He looked to be in excellent physical condition as his shirt clung to his arms and pectorals subtly. In short: he was extremely attractive. He began making his way up to her at the ordering bar and looked up at the menu.
She looked up at him and noticed he stood a foot higher than her 5’3” frame. He finally looked down at her, allowing her to take in his emerald green eyes that glistened as the sun hit them. “Uh…” she heard herself utter dumbly as she temporarily forgot her greeting routine.
“Hey,” he emitted a deep voice and smiled.
“Oh,” Ellie laughed quietly, cheeks reddening, “What can I have with you today?”
He looked at her briefly, “Er, what?”
Realizing her mistake, Ellie quickly corrected herself, “What can I get for you today?”
He glanced behind the counter and then up at the menu, “I don’t know. I just want something tasty. What coffee drink do you usually get?”
Ellie would usually respond with a ’Our most popular is the Pumpkin Spice Latte or plain coffee prepared however you like it,’ but something about this guy’s casual and friendly stance made her answer differently. “Well, I’m probably not the person to ask. I’m not a huge fan of coffee.”
His eyes squinted down at her, a small smile growing on his lips. He was amused, “How do you not like coffee?”
“It’s bitter, not very good for you, and turned my father’s teeth yellow,” Ellie said bluntly. She didn’t have time to go in depth on her childhood trauma where she’d tasted her dad’s coffee then accidentally dropped it on her chest. After that day, she never went near coffee again.
Green Eyes laughed, “I guess that’s an acceptable reason. Let me rephrase my question then. What do you usually get?”
“Cake, biscuits, the fattening stuff that is so good it doesn’t matter,” Ellie grinned.
“That stuff does look delicious,” he glanced around the menu, “You’re a bit of a contradiction then ‘aye? A girl who hates coffee working at a coffee shop and eats nothing but the bakery items. Why’d you do that to yourself?”
“Well, I needed a job to get me through university and this was the first place that hired me. It’s not like I went to every coffee shop in London simply because I dislike coffee.”
“You’re in school? Where at?”
“Imperial College London down a few blocks. I’m majoring in pre-med.”
He nodded slowly, crinkling in his brows together, “Pre…med?”
“Yeah. You know, pre-medicine. I’d like to become a doctor.”
His eyebrows crinkled a bit more, “You mean a healer?”
“Erm…I guess?” Ellie laughed awkwardly.
“Sorry, sorry, back home we call them healers. I forgot that in the mu—city they’re called doctors.”
“I guess that makes sense. Where’s home?” She folded her arms onto the counter and leant forward.
“Uh…” he said hesitantly, “Just, middle of nowhere England fifty miles south.”
“Oh, so it’s a small town? I don’t know if I’d be able to live somewhere where everyone knew my name,” Ellie said. “Speaking of which, what’s your name?”
“James, James Pot-Portland. It seems I’ve lost the ability to speak in your presence,” he laughed as her cheeks became rosy. He reached his hand out and Ellie gladly placed hers into his palm. She was surprised when he pulled it to his lips and placed a soft peck against her knuckle. She allowed a giggle to escape her lips and she looked at him through her lashes, “I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name?”
“It’s Ellie Addison.”
“Alright Ellie, I don’t think I’m going to order anything today, but I promise. I will be back for something not so bitter,” he grinned while walking out the entrance, before completely exiting, he yelled, “If not just to see you again.” Then he was gone.
I’ll look forward to that, she smiled to herself. She turned to the rest of her coworkers, “I’m going on break!”
“How was work?” Ellie’s roommate, Dominique Weasley, asked me as Ellie entered their apartment. Dominique sat in her chair looking extremely cozy in the leopard print Snuggie Ellie got her for Christmas. A textbook sat in her lap and glasses on her perfectly curved nose. Dominique had unnaturally beautiful features, with strawberry light blonde hair and a sprinkle of freckles across her nose. Her eyes were a striking light blue and her lips were rosier than a rose itself. She stood just above average height and her body was that of an hour glass.
Ellie simply stared at Dom as she walked into her room, “So, I guess that means it wasn’t that great?” Dominique laughed. She received no response.
“Oh!” Ellie yelled out excitedly. She ran back into the living room that Dom was currently in and sat next to her, “There was this one customer who was extremely cute.”
Dom arched her eyebrow, “Oh really? Even by your standards?”
“Yes, even by my standards. I’m really not as picky as everyone makes me out to be. I’m just immediately attracted to blokes that are gorgeous, as most girls are. It doesn’t mean I rule out every other man in the world you know,” Ellie ranted.
“I know. Did you have a point?”
Ellie stared at her for a moment, “Whatever. He was gorgeous. He was tall and had brown hair and he was built so well. I bet when he takes off his shirt, it’s just—“
“I think it’s his eyes that got me. They were this really beautiful shade of green. A greenish hazel I guess, but they were gorgeous.”
Dom gave her a questionable look, “What did you say his name was?”
“I didn’t, but it’s James Portland.”
Dom stared at Ellie for a moment nodding her head slowly, “Interesting…”
“Oh, nothing, I’m just trying to figure out why my cousin is in town today.”
Ellie raised her brows, “He’s your cousin? How do you know?”
“I mean, I don’t know for sure if it is,” Dominique shrugged, “It’s just a name that he sometimes uses when he wants to be—how do I put this?—someone else.”
“Well it could just be a coincidence Dominique. The world doesn’t revolve around you. I’m sure there are plenty of James Portlands that aren’t you cousin.”
“Yeah, well it sounds like him, it doesn’t matter though. Just know, if it is my cousin, you have to be careful around him. He’s a bit reckless.”
Ellie stood up, “Yeah, I’m always careful,” she began walking back to her room but stopped short of the door, “You know, he is kind of strange though.”
Ellie chuckled, “He just refers to doctors as healers,” Ellie looked at Dom whose facial expression didn’t change, “I don’t know, he said it was what everyone called doctors in his town. They’ve got to be a really small-out of the loop town not to know what a doctor is called. I mean the look he was giving me when I told him I was pre-medicine, he acted like that was the craziest thing he’d ever heard.”
Dominique shrugged, her eyes attempting to hide a mischievous glint, “Yeah, well his town is a lot different from England.”
“Whatever, I doubt he’s coming back again anyway,” Ellie walked away and into her room shutting the door behind her.
“If it is my cousin, his last name is Potter! Not Portland!”
“J’ai t’aime aussi!”
A/N: Reviews bring me inspiration! :D