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Chapter 12 : All You Need Is Love
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All You Need Is Love
I sent a terrified look unashamedly to Sirius. My eyes were wide with panic and I silently willed my companion to do something about this newly frightening situation.
Hogwarts. He knew. This waiter…Ivan? Was that what he called himself? But how could he possibly be aware? Hogwarts was a close kept secret. Carefully guarded by generations of magic and tight lipped wizards armed with memory charms.
Nothing in Muggle Studies or even life in the Muggle world itself had ever prepared me for a predicament such as this. How were we to ever deter this man away from something he should know nothing about, if we didn’t know how he knew about it?
Fine. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have worn a shirt emblazoned with the school crest in public. But, it wasn’t as though it clearly stated “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”. Just the mark of all the houses, a large letter H, and the Latin motto.
I chewed my lip furiously. Hogwarts wasn’t exactly what one would consider a common name either. It wasn’t as if my shirt was plastered on with the name of something average like…I dunno…St. Andrew’s Academy or something. Hogwarts was a completely original name.
But!, I thought frantically to myself, perhaps he had just thrown together two seemingly unrelated words and they just happened to come out in the name of my school. Yes! It was perfectly reasonable that he actually meant to say Lizardpimples…or…or Cowpocks…Pigfarts, perhaps.
“Hogwarts, eh? Never heard of it,” Sirius lied easily.
Ivan chuckled darkly. “Really? Because I swear that you have the features of a member of the Black family. What with the light eyes, dark hair, pale complexion, and haughty look.” Sirius’s jaw tightened. “And that looks rather like a wand in your pocket.”
I was about to have a heart attack. I could tell that Sirius was thinking the same thing, though he seemed to be able to keep his cool with far less effort than me. Ivan, on the other hand, seemed amused by the whole situation.
“What house are you all in? I was a Ravenclaw back in the day.”
“How utterly fascinating,” Sirius drawled through bored eyes.
“How very rude of me, though. Proper introductions are necessary, I believe. After all, it’s not every day that you meet someone in a Muggle café that shares the same alma mater. I am Ivan Symanski.”
“Pleasure,” I led. “Elaina Marshelle.” I stuck out my hand, but instead of capturing it for a shake he brought it to his lips. “The pleasure is all mine,” he cooed.
“And Sirius Black.” He didn’t offer his own hand…perhaps for fear that a similar act would follow for him.
“Delightful, delightful. I rather remember you, you know.” He directed his phrase to Sirius.
I felt a part of me drop. I, for some utterly absurd reason, had been hoping that he remembered me. After all, while he lacked the sculpted and classical good looks of the boy across from me, Ivan was quite far from being unfortunate looking.
Actually, everything about Ivan was the anti-Sirius. Where Sirius had shaggy dark hair, Ivan’s was short, styled, and blonde. Even the stubble that grew upon his jaw was tingled with the light colour. Beneath that were smooth tanned skin and a more rounded chin. His nose was slightly curved, but not nearly enough to be considered beaky or Snape like. Eyes that were as dark as the root beer I was sipping were deep set into his face.
“Really? I don’t recall you,” Sirius replied coolly.
Ivan let out a loud laugh. Several people at other tables turned to look for the source of the noise. “I wouldn’t expect you to, mate. If memory serves, you were that Black that was sorted into Gryffindor, yeah?” Sirius nodded. “Well, I was a seventh year when that happened. I remember that rather well. It’s not every day you see something like that happen. A Malfoy going into Hufflepuff would have been less shocking.”
My stomach turned in on itself. He went to Hogwarts before the truth about my father had been revealed. He was one of the few people that were close to my age but didn’t know anything about my past. He just became even more appealing to me.
But…then again…he had been seventeen when I was eleven. That made him currently at least twenty-three, depending strictly on when his birthday fell. An age difference of six years seemed rather steep to me. I made a mental note to ask Sirius about the ages of his parents and what could be considered the social norm.
But I was getting rather ahead of myself, wasn’t I? What proof was there that he would want to start a relationship with me? I mean, there wasn’t even the slightest hint of romantic feelings towards me…at least, not that I could tell. There was definitely some sign of interest somehow…something that showed…captivation.
But that could honestly mean anything.
Sirius gave a tight smile and nodded along again. I let out an uncharacteristically girly giggle which then caused my companion to give me a bemused look.
Ivan cleared his throat loudly. “So, what are you guys doing in London? If my counting is correct, you should only be seventh years now. What on earth did you do to get stuffy ol’ Dumbledore to give you permission to leave the grounds? Or…well, did you get permission?”
Again, there was a panicked look from me and some quick thinking on Sirius’s part.
“No, no. Your counting is impeccable. However, you did not take into account that if you take your NEWTs early, you are perfectly allowed to graduate early. Elaina and I both did such.”
Ivan’s eyes became as round as the plates on the table. “I didn’t know you could do that!”
Sirius shrugged. “Not many people do. Little known secret. Most don’t feel like taking the OWLs and the Newts in consecutive years, especially with the extra classes required to do so.”
I found myself struggling to keep a neutral face and look as though I agreed with Sirius. Truthfully, though, I was wondering if it really was possible to do what Sirius was saying. It certainly made a pretty tale, but I didn’t know if there was an inkling of honesty behind his words or just some rather clever thinking and wit.
“And it looks nice on a job application too,” I added. “We both wanted to check out some job opportunities at the Ministry and decided to come together. As friends,” I quickly inserted.
Ivan began to rub his stubbly jaw and a frown appeared upon his face. “Ah. I see. So you two are quite straight laced.”
“Not at all,” Sirius urged just as I decided to nod my head in agreement with Ivan’s statement.
“Quite a pity. A buddy of mine is having this party tonight. I thought you two might be interested, but I can see that you have future careers on the line. Not all of us are so ambitious,” he gave a wicked grin partnered with a wink.
“Well, you know, our tours aren’t until the day after tomorrow. So we’d be more than alright by then. Wouldn’t you say, Elaina?” Sirius insisted. He even accompanied his words with a kick to my shin under the table.
I gritted my teeth and attempted to return the favour, but my foot only came in contact with the leg of his chair.
I was about to snap that there was absolutely no way that such a thing was possible, until a certain phrase began to resonate within my head. A buddy of mine is having a party. That…that meant that Ivan would be present as well. I was more than pleased with the thought of becoming better acquainted with the older wizard.
“Yes. Yes, of course.” I sent what I hoped to be a flirtatious smile to Ivan.
“Brilliant!” He scribbled an address onto his pad of paper and handed it to me. “That’s where it’s going to be. Now, what can I get you two?” he finished as he switched back into waiter-mode.
“I’ll have the special,” Sirius replied promptly as he snapped his menu shut. I, meanwhile, looked down and ordered the first thing my gaze fell upon. “The chicken fingers, please.”
Ivan nodded and pressed his pen to the paper once again. As he began to walk away and with every step he took, I could feel my confidence seeping away. What the hell had I been thinking? There was absolutely no way that I could go to a party. I couldn’t even make it to a fucking Quidditch match much less a full swing, un-chaperoned party in the middle of London.
“Holy balls.” Sirius simply quirked an eyebrow. “Sirius, I can’t go to that.”
“Go to what?”
“That party! I-I can’t even go to Hogsmeade!”
He gave a yawn. “Eh. No time like the present to get started. You know what they say, ‘go big or go home’.”
“Then I will be going home, thank you very much!”
“Look, I don’t see what the big deal is. You just said that you want to start doing normal things. This is the perfect opportunity. You can eat or feed or whatever beforehand and then I’ll be there if something goes wrong. To kiss you or something. Whatever Moony did.”
I’d never heard anything less romantic.
“We’ll see,” I said stiffly, but we both knew that I was lying through my teeth.
“Whatever. I’m probably going to end up going either way though.”
I frowned. Leave it to Sirius Black to abandon me in London after volunteering to take me here in the first place to make up for the guilt he had for nearly pushing fast forward on my demise. Lovely.
Unsurprisingly, a silence ensued that was filled only with my anger and annoyance and Sirius’s obviousness. It was only broken when Ivan came back a few minutes later to provide a refill on our drinks.
Sirius nodded his thanks whilst I felt my cheeks burn red and stammered over a clumsy sentence. As he sauntered away, I followed his precession to a table with some of his other customers, trying to covertly analyse his every move.
“Well,” Sirius started loudly, making me jump abruptly enough to shake the silverware on the table. “Congratulations. It looks as though someone has her first crush.”
I sputtered. “I…that is not true. I don’t like him.” Sirius gave me a look that told me he didn’t have any troubles what so ever seeing through my extremely flimsy lie. “Besides,” I continued with a sniff, “how would you even know if he was my first?”
He rolled his eyes. “How about the blatant obviousness with which you’ve been watching him. Honestly, I’ve seen first years be coyer.”
I gave what I hoped was a graceful toss of my hair, and brushed off his comment airily. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“If it makes you feel any better,” he said whilst examining the prongs of his fork, “I rather think that Mr. Ravenclaw over there might fancy you a bit too.” I felt my eyes go wide and Sirius gave a heavy sigh before continuing on. “I don’t see why you’re so shocked. I mean, you are quite pretty. And he doesn’t know anything about the dementor thing. Plus, we all went to the same school. And he invited us to that party. So, maybe. It’s quite possible.” He finished with a shrug.
“B-but I didn’t feel anything like that from him.” This was true. I continued on to list what I’d felt from him – joy, shock, excitement, and perhaps even a little bit of doubt at our feeble excuse for being in London.
Sirius rubbed the stubble along his jaw as he turned this over in his mind. “Do you think it would have been possible to not have sensed that emotion – of sexual interest that is – underneath all those. I mean, it’s quite a list you’ve go there.” I shrugged. “Or,” he said slowly as he cocked his head to one side. “Have you ever seen someone early in the stage of liking someone? Perhaps it starts off innocent enough and then creeps into something more passionate.”
I licked my lips in thought. “I don’t know. I mean, it could be anything really. But I don’t think he likes me. I didn’t catch love or lust from him.”
Sirius looked at me seriously. “I think you’re wrong. You rely solely on this talent of yours when reading people. His movements and reactions showed that he was interested. And you might not know it, but there are other components to liking someone than just ‘love or lust’. Actual feelings exist along with it too.”
I didn’t have a response to that, so I simply waved it off and racked my brain for another topic. I wanted to ask him if that’s the way it was with all the girls he hooked up with. Did he feel the same way with Felicity? With Arina? Any of them? But my mouth and manners kept me from asking such a prying question. Instead, it spurted out something else that was on my mind: “Typically, what is the age difference between couples?” And, more secretly, was the gap between Ivan and me too much?
He shrugged. “Well, it was only four years between my mother and father. ‘Course, my mum was older than my dad, which is odd. And they were second cousins. So that automatically adds about 50 years of absurdity to the relationship. Fuck. It’s a wonder that I turned out so normal. Not to mention so breathtakingly handsome.”
I chewed upon my thumb nail as I turned numbers over in my head. Ivan was a lot more than four years older than me. Of course, we obviously weren’t related, but was the age difference too great for a relationship?
With a start, I shook my head to clear it. This was ridiculous. I couldn’t even be sure that Ivan liked me much less that I would ever see him again after this, yet here I was, calculating whether it would be acceptable for us to form a relationship with each other. Honestly, if he liked me, that could be bloody brilliant. But I would worry about that when the time came. For now, I was content to just stare down the attractive waiter and day dream about jumping his bones.
Yo, homies. What did you think about this chapter? About Elaina? Sirius? Ivan? Give me some feedback -- I live for reviews.
Also, this summer I'm studying abroad in Greece! Exciting, I know. But I'm not sure about my writing and how it will be affected there. I'm probably going to get super inspired though (I always do when I go somewhere new), so expect a lot of writing when I get back. It could be more for this story...or maybe more one-shots XD
Oh, speaking of one-shots, I'll have a new one coming out here soon. It's a bit different from my usual stuff but I hope you'll still give it a read :)
~The Forgotten Muse
P. S. Oh yeah. The chapter picture this time is of Ivan. But you were probably smart enough to know that :D
--UPDATE 7/31/2012-- Okay, first, a very Happy Birthday to the lovely JKR and the infamous Harry Potter. Now, some bitter news. Right before I left Greece, I spilled peach juice on my laptop and now it's fried. I have to get a new motherboard for it, so I fear that everything I had on there is now gone. Sadly, this includes many pieces of writing, both fanfiction and original. So, please bear with me if it takes a lot longer than usual for me to get stuff up and out. I know you might be disappointed by this, but I literally feel as though my entire life is a mess now. Thanks for sticking with me, faithful readers.
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