When Beatrice awoke the next morning she immediately knew she wasn’t in her own bed.
Well, Beatrice couldn’t really say her ‘own bed’ as she didn’t really have one of those. She hadn’t slept in her bed in her childhood home since she was seventeen, and the bed she’d had in Australia had been one she’d shared with Alex, and that definitely wasn’t this one. The bed she’d been sleeping in recently belonged to the Leaky Cauldron, and she knew she wasn’t there, because she couldn’t afford to stay there any longer.
Actually, after a lot of wiggling her limbs and blinking rapidly, Beatrice decided that she wasn’t even on a bed, she was on a couch. She recognised couches rather well; after all, she’d spent much of the past three years sleeping on one.
When she opened her eyes, Beatrice found she didn’t recognise the pokey flat that the couch (that she also didn’t recognise) was situated in. Her heart filled with panic, whose couch was this? Even in her first eighteen months living the wild European life she had never slept on somebody’s couch if they were a stranger. With her heart drumming loudly in her ears, she tugged a hand through her messy brown hair and shifted the blanket off her legs, swinging them off the couch and standing up, glancing around wildly for another presence. She didn’t have a clue what had happened last night, she’d drank too much just like she always did, and had a wicked hangover to punish her for it too.
Beatrice whipped around to face the source of the amused, male voice and her eyes widened as she found herself face to face with a half-naked, clad in only a white towel, extremely attractive man.
“Oh, er… good morning” Beatrice smiled, raising her hand to give him a jaunty wave as her eyes constantly flickered down to observe his fantastic stomach muscles.
He raised his eyebrows at her, a small smile playing at the corners of his lips. “Good morning Beatrice.”
“It’s, um… you’re Louis Weasley, right?” Beatrice bit her lip, her cheeks colouring as embarrassment clouded her thoughts. Merlin, he was hot. Even though she’d met many a Veela on her travels, it didn’t mean she still didn’t go weak at the knees when she met a man even an eighth Veela, as Louis was. She always had actually, ever since her school days when she and her friends had giggled every time he walked past them. She was surprised she hadn’t recognised him last night even, she’d never been in a hurry to forget Louis Weasley’s face, especially after he finished Hogwarts two years ahead of her.
“Yes, although Mr Barman was a nice, mysterious name.”
“Well, I… thanks for letting me stay, but I best be off now, so-“
“Have you got somewhere else to stay?” Louis asked, quite sharply as he stepped towards her.
Beatrice gulped, her eyes casting downwards at his naked chest, and took a nervous step backwards.
“Oh, er… not yet, but I’m sure I’ll find somewhere, some friend or…”
“You told me last night you didn’t have any friends in London anymore” Louis smirked.
Beatrice felt a tinge of anger shudder through her at his words. “Well” she replied coolly. “I’m sure I said a lot of things last night that aren’t necessarily true.”
“You don’t have any money. You’re afraid to tell your family you’re living in London because you don’t want to see them. You left all your old friends behind and you desperately wished you hadn’t because they deserved a lot more than that from you. Your boyfriend Alex broke up with you because you refused to let him meet your family. You say you still love him. You don’t have anywhere to stay and you don’t have a job. Anything untrue there, Beatrice?”
Beatrice pursed her lips and frowned deeply at Louis Weasley, who was smirking broadly now, his arms folded and biceps bulging.
“No, that’s all true.”
“Of course it’s all true; a drunken mouth speaks a sober mind, love.”
“Well, that’s just brilliant. Thanks for the couch Mr Barman, but this has been embarrassing enough for me this morning and I’d really rather leave now” Beatrice turned to pull on her coat, which was hanging on the side of the couch, and slip on her shoes, checking her pockets for her belongings (they were all there) and grabbing her wand without a backward glance.
“I was actually going to offer you my couch for a longer period of time, Beatrice, if you’d like that of course.”
Louis’ offer stopped Beatrice in her hasty tracks, her mind disbelieving what her ears had heard just a moment ago. Slowly, she turned to face his insufferable smirk and half-naked body.
“You can stay with me if you’d like.”
“I, er…” Beatrice stopped to consider his offer, knitting her eyebrows together in confusion as she observed his expression. “This isn’t some sort of trick is it? Like you’re not one of those madmen that will kill me later on or something?”
Louis laughed at that. “No” he shook his head. “Believe it or not, I’m a chivalrous Gryffindor doing this out of the good of my heart.”
“What’s the real reason?” Beatrice demanded with her arms crossed in a similar position to his.
Louis chuckled and brushed a few water droplets off his forehead, where his wet auburn hair had dripped. Beatrice followed the movements with a cautious, calculating expression. “Last year I was in exactly your position, Beatrice, but I had a surname that helped me get lucky and I’d like to help you out.”
“But I’m a stranger to you” she replied, bewildered.
“Hardly” Louis scoffed. “We spent loads of the holidays at the Burrow together, you were little Rosie’s friend, and not to mention we were both in the same house for five years. I know you’re not a weirdo.”
“I’ve been travelling for three years; I could easily be a weirdo” Beatrice counteracted.
“I went travelling for three years too” Louis raised his eyebrows competitively. “And I came back a failure, not a weirdo.”
“But there must be something in it, I can’t just live here for free” Beatrice replied stubbornly. “I don’t accept charity.”
“I wasn’t expecting you to” Louis smiled warmly. “Get cleaned up and get some fresh clothes on, we’re going to get you a job today.”
Beatrice didn’t even have a second to protest before Louis sauntered into his bedroom and shut the door with a heavy thud. Bloody hell, Beatrice wasn’t sure she could live with a man with that delicious a body.
“No” Beatrice pouted stubbornly. “There is absolutely no way I am getting a job in bloody Eeylops Owl Emporium, Louis!”
“Why not? What’ve you got against owls?”
“They’re… they’re… urgh!” Beatrice threw her hands into the air wildly as she tried to find the words she wanted. “I’d just be clearing up owl shit every day, and they’d be hooting like… a hooter and their claws…”
“Do you not like owls or something, Beatrice?” Louis sniggered, ruffling his hair and eyeing her with an amused expression.
“I’m not telling you.”
“Why not?” Louis laughed.
“In case you ambush me with an owl someday.”
“Why would I ambush you with an owl?” Louis asked in a surprised, yet still amused, tone as his eyes twinkled mischievously.
Beatrice shrugged and narrowed her eyes at an owl which had flown much too close to their heads a moment ago.
Louis rolled his eyes and pushed his sleeves up his forearms as he squinted around the bright sunshine that warmed Diagon Alley on this summer day.
“Well then, how about my last idea, huh?” Louis pointed in the direction of a shop just down the street. “What about Fortescue’s?”
“The ice cream parlour?” Beatrice wrinkled her nose.
“Don’t be fussy” Louis warned, smiling as Beatrice slowly nodded her head.
“Yeah, I suppose that’s an alright idea…”
“Alright?” Louis laughed. “I have two sisters, I know what you girls are like about ice cream!”
“Oh, and what’s that?” Beatrice raised her eyebrows at Louis, sounding unimpressed.
“Obsessed” he replied with a small smile. “I can’t even begin to count the amount of times Dom and Vic raided our fridge when one of their stupid boyfriends dumped them.”
“Can’t say I’ve ever done that before.”
Louis raised his eyebrows. “Want to then?” he suggested. “I’ll bet Florence will give you a discount if you work there!”
“And which boy am I going to cry over? And don’t you dare say Alex.”
Louis shrugged. “I was going to suggest you cry over how wonderful my abdominal muscles are.”
“You’re an idiot” Beatrice rolled her eyes, setting off down the street towards the ice-cream parlour.
“Beatrice, Beatrice, Beatrice” Louis smirked, tutting and swinging an arm around her shoulders playfully. “Don’t even pretend to say you weren’t checking those babies out this morning.”
Beatrice frowned and shot him an annoyed look. “Oh, shut up. It’s just a bit off-putting when you’re trying to have a conversation with a half-naked Weasley!”
“Yep” Beatrice shrugs. “It just feels bit unnatural, you know? Back in Hogwarts Rose always told me I was her friend because I was the only girl in our dormitory who didn’t fancy one of her cousins.”
“Really?” Louis raised his eyebrows in surprise and Beatrice made a scoffing noise at his big-headed attitude.
“No, actually. I completely lied to her; I used to have the biggest crush on your cousin Fred.”
“Fred?” Louis repeated in an incredulous voice.
“Yep” Beatrice shrugged. “There was just something about him, you know?” Beatrice laughed as she noticed Louis’ bewildered expression. “Hey! Don’t blame me! I was innocent in the world of boys, he was just naughty and popular and everybody fancied him.”
“Did anybody fancy me, then?”
“No” she replied shortly, and then burst into giggles at his disappointed expression. “Well… they may have sometimes gushed about how utterly wonderful you are, but I really don’t want to make your ego any worse by repeating them, Louis.”
“Knew it” he smirked. “I bet you joined in too, didn’t you?” he nudged her into the ice cream parlour with a cheeky wink and a smug smile.
Beatrice blushed, as a matter of fact; she had joined in on many of those conversations. Only when Rose hadn’t been there though, admittedly.
“There, job sorted” Louis grinned down at Beatrice as they stepped back into the warm June sunshine. “Happy, now?”
Beatrice smiled and gave Louis a quick hug as he held his arms out. “Thanks, Louis.”
“No problem! So, how did you like Florence?”
“She was lovely” Beatrice gushed. “Seriously, when she was telling us about her grandfather Florean teaching her the trade I was almost crying! But…” Beatrice raised a suggestive eyebrow. “How do you like her Louis?”
“She’s a pretty girl” Louis shrugged. “But not really my type.”
“You have a type?” Beatrice raised her eyebrows as they wandered down the busy street back to his little flat.
“Well, yeah, most guys do by the age of twenty-three, Beatrice” Louis rolled his eyes at her and tucked his hands into his shorts pockets. “She was a blonde, I’m not really one to go for girls that blonde, generally speaking.”
“Because it’s like finding my sisters attractive, isn’t it?” Louis shuddered. “Yeah, no thanks, that bright a blonde is reserved strictly for family. I’ve tried it before, and I could barely snog her, it was just too weird.”
“Is it the same for gingers then?”
“Yeah, sort of” Louis grinned. “But I’m a ginger, so I can’t be discriminating against my own kind, can I?”
“You’re hardly a ginger, Louis” Beatrice grinned, stretching on her tip-toes to ruffle Louis’ hair. “It’s more of a pretty auburn.”
“Pretty auburn?” Louis repeated with raised eyebrows. “That’s not very manly.”
“It wasn’t meant to be.”
“I think a nice rugged auburn would be a better description, love.”
Beatrice rolled her eyes and ran her hand through his hair again. “Nope. Definitely pretty.”
“You’re impossible, woman.”
Beatrice laughed and flashed Louis a charming smile. “So, Florence said she’d owl some stuff over” Beatrice shuddered slightly at the thought of the animal, then recovered quickly with a guilty grin. “Want to have an ice cream party to celebrate my life becoming less suckish?”
“Can we gush over how awesome my body is too?” Louis joked conceitedly and Beatrice snorted, slapping him in the abdomen and then smiling widely.
“Of course we can, Lou!”
“Lou?” He repeated with a worried expression. “No, Beatrice, just stop right there. Lou is much too girly for an ultra-rugged man such as me.”
“I like it. Short and sweet, right?”
“Fine then!” Louis pouted as they entered the flat building and headed down the corridor. “But I’m calling you Bea!”
“Go on then” she grinned. “I don’t mind what you call me, Lou.”
Louis groaned and followed Beatrice into the flat, where the owl loaded with the multiple tubs of ice cream sat on the windowsill.
A/N- apologies for the filler ending, some plotty stuff coming soon! And also, sorry about the spacing, it's annoying I know but hpff were being fussy and I just wanted to get this chapter posted instead of faffing about with it :) please leave a review and rell me how this is going, it spurs me on! :)