Chapter 3 : Problem #3
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Hot like fire.
Take you higher.
You can't resist,
Kiss, kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss and kiss...
Hot Like Fire by the xx
"So are we still on for brunch on Sunday?" My cousin Alisha asked over the phone the next day.
"Yeah, I reckon so. Where are we going? The usual?" I asked, sitting at my desk filling in yet another form for the Wales Warlock case. The phone? Oh, yeah, my cousin is muggle, and I don’t have a regular phone at home, so I have to use my work phone to talk to her. There’s only one minor setback.
"Who are you talking to?" Asked James. "Is it your boyfriend?" Did I say minor setback? My mistake.
"Shut up James, it’s none of your bloody business. What was that?" I said to Alisha.
"Yeah, that little Frech place on the corner." She replied.
"That French what?" I asked, confused.
"Wait, you actually do have a boyfriend?" James continued.
"The restaurant, Alex, what did you think I meant?" Ali said, getting annoyed.
"Oh yeah, brunch. Um, nothing."
"Who’s your boyfriend?" James perservered. I rolled my eyes, giving him the bird.
"So, we’ll meet there at noon then?" Ali asked.
"Yep, see you then." I said, putting the phone down.
"So who’s your boyfriend then?" James asked persistantly.
"Haha, funny. No, seriously, who is it? I bet he’s a tool."
"You’re a tool James." I reminded him.
"Yeah, but I pull it off." It’s times like these that I’m not sure if he’s actually being serious.
"Right. Well, it’s none of your buisiness."
"Seriously Lex, who is it?" He actually sounded aggravated.
"No one, for Merlin’s sake." I said, frusturated.
"Oh. Never mind then." He sounded relieved. "It’s actually a bit of a shame."
"Mmm?" I sounded, not really paying attention.
"Well, I could have used this bit of information in my upcoming prank against you."
"Oh really?" I asked, still not captivated by this conversation.
"Yeah, but I suppose I already have that snake anyways…"
My head snapped up and around, nearly smacking my face into James’ armpit as he was currently leaning back in his chair and stretching out. "What was that? Did you say snakes?" I was nervous now.
Oh, I wasn’t afraid of snakes, it just so happened that I had aquired some for my next prank on James. Who knows, maybe it was a coincidence that we both planned on using snakes against each other.
"Oh, did I say snakes?" He said turning around to face me. "Oops, cat’s out of the bag. Or the snake is I suppose." I glared at him. "You’ll find out more about them later. I found them hidden in some storage closet by the way, if you know anyone who’s missing some snakes." He grinned.
I decided to ignore this and figure out a new prank as it seems that James had stolen mine, which I needed to look out for. Thank God it was Friday. I would have a whole weekend to figure out what form of torture to instill upon James next.
Later that night as I was leaving, I heard a soft hissing noise in the dark, empty office. My head snapped up, remembering James’ threats earlier. This couldn’t be good. I followed the sounds into the break room. It was dark except for the light coming from the refrigerator. I was about to leave when I heard the hissing sound again, this time coming from a cabinet under the sink.
Inside the cabinet was a huge crate that housed the snakes that James had stolen from me.
I smirked, shaking my head.
Oh James, you'll pay for this later- I promise.
"You did what with snakes?" Ali asked as we walked into the small muggle restaurant together on Sunday. I was explaining to her the bruise on my chin that came from when I was moving the snakes to a more convenient location.
"Never mind." I sighed, sensing her disgust. My cousin, Ali the muggle, was a very conservative person. As in, she grew up at the age of four. She was never one to make mud pies and play silly games like I did with James. She was a lawyer in downtown London, and a very successful one at that. She insisted on taking me out to brunch once or twice a month. She basically felt bad for me, not that I minded. I love pancakes and bacon. And eggs and sausage. And hash browns.
She wore a very prim, beigy-pink jacket and skirt with a crisp, white collared shirt. Her white-blonde hair fell perfectly straight down to her shoulders, her bangs uniform.
I had gone with wearing my cleanest pair of pants, which were jeans, a plain, somewhat rumpled yellow blazer, and my favorite sensible brown boots. It was one of the nicest outfits I owned, besides my work uniform, which was khaki pants and the red blazer that I had traded out today for the yellow one I had mentioned earlier. (I had figured that I could use an extra blazer while buying the red ones. Besides, they’re surprisingly comfortable. ) My hair, well, was my hair and I had worn it down today for once.
"Well then, let’s go find a table." She said walking over to the host. "Hello, table for two please." She told the hostess politely. She nodded and said that it was a fifteen minute wait. "Okay, that works. Oh, I’m sorry Alex, I have to take this call, I’ll be right back." She told me, taking out her muggle cell phone. She walked outside to the patio, where she began talking and shouting into her phone, aggravated with another client. I sighed and sat down on the bench by the door.
The restaurant was very upscale, with pale yellow wallpaper, with gold trim. There was a lot of that same ornate trim around the old-fashioned windows, which were very tall, and reached the ground. There were many little tables situated around the floor, gold frames and white cushions. The curtains were a sort of beigy pink like Alisha’s suit. My bright yellow blazer stood out from all the beige and pale colors. Chandeliers adorned the ceiling, which was more ornate than the floor.
There were a lot of couples and people on business meetings sitting around the tables. I was watching a pretty red-haired woman sitting at one of the tables with two guys, obviously brothers by the same shade of hair that I saw the backs of. They looked like they might be her sons or something. The woman seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place her, because she was so far back in the restaurant, partially hidden from view by a plant, as were the two shaggy haired guys.
Then one of the guys turned around to call for a waiter. He was the shorter of the two, and when he locked eyes with me, I recognized him instantly. He had the same green eyes as his brother and father. It was Al Potter. He smiled and nodded to me, then turned back around. I saw the woman, Mrs. Potter, crane her neck to look at me, and I noticed James stiffen.
I groaned. "Everything allright, Alex?" Ali said as she sat down next to me.
"Yep, I just have to use the loo. Be right back." I said, getting up quickly. I walked to the back of the restaurant and went into the first restroom I could find. There was a line of sinks along the wall, and two entry ways on each side of the row of sinks that led to some stalls as far as I could see. I walked over to a sink and washed my hands, splashing some cold water on my face to get rid of the blush that had crept up my neck.
So what if James happened to be here? So what if Al and Mrs. Potter were here too? Al had already acknowledged me, so I didn’t need to confront them again. They probably wouldn’t even see me again once I got my table. The door opened, then shut again. Footsteps came from behind me as I continued to wash my hands. I looked up, then immediately wished I hadn’t.
"James, what are you doing in the girl’s bathroom?" I asked, confused.
He looked just as confused as I was, if not more. "What do you mean? This isn’t the girl’s bathroom. I should be asking you what you are doing here, in the men’s room." His eyebrows creased.
"No, this is the girl’s room." I insisted.
"No, it isn’t, you’re just too stubborn to admit it, and I’m guessing that you haven’t noticed the urinals either.
Darn. I glared at him.
"What are you doing here anyways?" He asked.
"Well James, sometimes, when someone has gotta go, they gotta go." I explained as simply as I could.
"I meant here, as in the restaurant." He clarified, rolling his eyes.
"I’m here with my cousin. She insists on taking me to brunch now and again." I explained. "Why do you care so much anyway?"
"No particular reason." He shrugged. "I’m here with my mum and Al. Al reckoned he saw you."
"Mmm. I thought that was him." I pondered.
"That’s a nice blazer you have on there." He said, somewhat awkwardly.
"Thank you." I said, just as awkwardly. "That’s a nice… um shirt." I said, looking at his collared shirt that he wore without a tie.
"Is that the same as the ones you have to wear to work?" He asked, looking at it still.
"Yes." I said, crossing my arms over my chest. He looked up. "I just happened to grab a couple extra ones while I had to get the ones for work." I explained.
"Ah, I see." He shifted weight to his other foot, looking at the floor tiles. "Err…, listen, about earlier this week…" He began awkwardly.
"Oh, yeah, I suppose we should talk about that, um…" I said, blushing.
"Yeah, err, while I was hoping that we could just-"
"Forget about it? Yeah that’s what I thought." I said, cutting him off. I bit my lip nervously.
"Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say. We should just, forget about it. I mean if that’s what you want." He said, looking up at me.
"Yep, that works for me!" I said, almost too chipper. "Well, unless…" I trailed off.
"Unless what?" He said, his brow creasing. I stepped closer, having no idea what I was doing.
"We could just…" I stepped even closer, despite my internal protests to run out of there, pronto.
Before I could stop myself, my head was slightly tilted, centimeters away from his. I could feel my heart pounding, his breath blowing against my face. We were like that one second, and the next, we were kissing. Again.
Things were heating up, his hands tangled in my hair, mine wrapped around his neck. I was just thinking how lucky we were that this bathroom was empty when we heard the doorknob turn.
"Shit, James, I’m not supposed to be in here." I whispered, panicked. The door opened, and James pulled me back quickly and shoved me into a stall with him.
"Here, stand up on here." He whispered, helping me stand up on the toliet seat. I was now standing about three inches taller than him.
"James?" A voice called. "Are you in here?" It was Al. Of course.
"Uh, yeah, I’m sort of busy, I’ll be back in a few minutes." He said, looking at me, obviously trying not to laugh.
"I told her he’d be occupied." I heard Al mumble.
Once we heard the door close, we burst out laughing. That was just so random, and for some reason, incredibly funny.
Oh, hahaha. We are not on anything! Really. Although I am still standing on a toilet with James hands resting on my waist, us leaning into one another, laughing like no tomorrow. And it was probably one of the most natural positions I had ever been in.
We sort of trailed off at the same time, staring at each other. "Well, I suppose I should get back soon." James said quietly.
"Yeah, same. My cousin is probably looking for me." I said, not wanting to leave and hoping that he would kiss me again.
"Yeah…" He trailed off. "Er, here." He helped me step down without falling into the toilet bowl, as I normally would, me being my clumsy self.
"Thanks." I said. "I should probably go first. You can head out in another minute. Don’t want people staring."
He scratched his neck nervously. "Yeah, see you later then."
"Yep. Catch ya later Alligator."
He chuckled at the old saying we used to say to each other every day when we were little. "After a while, crocodile." He smiled.
I grinned back, then left the loo, searching for Alisha. She was seated not too far off at a table, talking on the phone again. I headed over, taking a seat across from her, noticing that I was situated so that I could see Al’s face right behind Ali’s head. She smiled at my presence, acknowledging me. I picked up a menu to order, barely noticing James slip into a seat next to Al, so that I could see him and make clear eye contact, which we did as he sat down. I grinned behind my menu, holding back laughter at what had just gone on in the bathroom.
"There you are James, mum was getting worried about you." I heard Al say.
"Really no reason to. I was just in the bathroom." He said.
"Yeah, for nearly fifteen minutes." His mother said. "What the hell were you doing in there that took twenty minutes? I swear James, if you cause trouble today, I will be very disappointed in your lack of maturity." She scolded him. I held back laughter, silently shaking behind my menu.
"Relax, mum. It was nothing of that sort." He said, attempting to calm her.
"And what sort was it of?" She asked.
"That’s between me and my bladder, I’m afraid." He said, grinning. Mrs. Potter sighed.
I made the mistake of looking over at James, who was already looking at me. We made eye contact, and that was the end of it. I cracked up immediately, earning a quizzical and concerned look from Ali, who was still on the phone.
Then I tried to adjust my position on the smooth white silk cushion and slipped, causing my laughter to subside.
Of course it would be me who fell out of my chair. Ali made a sort of half-scream, half-squawk, causing everyone within a twenty-foot premise to look over at us, and me, sprawled on the floor with my leg sticking up across my seat. James and Al stood up to get a better look, their eyes concerning. Then James broke out laughing once I appeared to be okay. This caused me to crack up. Then Al began to chuckle, covering it up with a cough. Soon it was just the three of us laughing while everyone silently stared.
"I’m okay, everyone, go back to your waffles. Please." I said, between laughter. James and Al came over and helped me up, while Ali was looking on, confused.
I refused their help, standing up on my own, saying "I’m fine" repeatedly.
"Really guys, I’m fine." I said, dusting off my jeans, and readjusting my blazer.
"If you say so." Said James, chuckling. I glared at him. Al looked between the two of us suspiciously. "So, you guys work together now, is that right?" He asked.
"Yeah." I answered. "Hey, how are you here?" I asked. "Shouldn’t you be at Hogwarts?"
"Yeah, but I got out for the afternoon."
"Hmph." I grunted. "Wish I could have done that."
A/N: Hey! I hope you enjoyed this little chapter! I also hope that you review! Pretty please!!! I even have a question for you to answer: Would you like to see James' POV? It's a yes or no question-very easy! Let me know! I'll try to update pretty soon!
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