“It was just a hunch I had, but until you called me this morning I thought that you had no intention of ever seeing me again,” Ed said, pulling a hand through his glinting hair. I widened my eyes at his comment.
“Oh?” I said, biting my lip, “What made you think that?” Stupid question with an obvious answer. But I had nothing else to say.
Eddie grinned crookedly, and sent me a raised eyebrow look of surprise, “Well, you bolted the next morning before I could even offer you toast, and didn’t attempt to contact at me in anyway afterwards. And, you know, there was that parting comment of yours…” He trailed off, looking slightly amused. I stared at the ground and blushed.
“I guess ‘have a nice life’ isn’t the best thing to say in that situation, is it?” I sighed, grinning slightly. I fingered the edge of my coat as Eddie shook his head and chuckled.
“It’s not ideal,” He agreed, shoving his hands in his jeans pocket. He sent a glance behind him at the semi crowded tables. “Want to get a seat?”
I nodded and followed him as he weaved through the tables. This was turning out to be less awkward than I had expected; it was like we had never even had sex at all.
Kind of. I still had to refrain myself from picturing him naked.
“So what have you been doing?” I asked him, slipping off my coat and placing it on the back of my chair. We had chosen a two seater table in the corner by the window with a wide view of the bustling street. “Other than nursing the pain of my alienation, that is.”
“I’ve barely slept,” Eddie deadpanned, placing a hand to his heart. He slid into the seat across from me, “The agony was nearly unbearable; my only consolation has been a tub of chocolate ice-cream.”
“Oh dear,” I declared, looking concerned, “Your mother must have worried herself sick!”
“It was tragic.”
“I fear I shall never recover.”
“Can you ever forgive me?”
Ed broke into a suggestive smile and raised his eyebrows, “That depends…” He murmured, very seriously. I leaned in close and looked expectant, “On if you’re willing to pay for coffee.”
I rolled my eyes and laughed. “So is this how it’s going to be from now on?” I asked him, crossing my arms, “All for one belated phone call?”
“You did break my heart.” Ed pointed out, shrugging helplessly.
“Oh, that’s right,” I answered, nodding, “But you’re one of many, my friend. Imagine if I went around buying coffee for all the hearts I’ve broken? I would go broke within a week.”
Eddie laughed and pretended to look shocked, before breaking into a wide grin, his dark blue eyes lighting up kindly. I smiled back, feeling happy and relaxed. He seemed to have that effect on me; it was the same as being around Dom. Glumness was impossible when faced with such a smile.
“Are you ready to order?” Asked the waiter who had just approached us. I glanced up, but it was not Pierre who accosted us. This young lad was lanky and moustacheless, and beautifully accent free.
“Ah, yes,” I said, glancing at the drink menu placed in the middle of our table, “I’ll have a green tea please,”
The waiter scribbled my order down on his little notepad and turned to face Ed. The latter leant back in his chair and thought, before saying;
“A hot chocolate for me, thanks.” Waiter Man nodded again, scribbled some more, and was off.
“So how have you really been?” I asked again, turning back to face my date. Eddie dropped the front two legs of his chair back on the ground and placed his elbows on the table top.
“I’ve been splendid. Work gets busy over Christmas, what with all the prank presents and family feuds going around, but other than that life’s been great. How about you? You Weasley’s must have crazy Christmas dinners.”
I nodded vigorously, “You have no idea,” I said, “Do you know how many presents I need to buy each Christmas?”
“Thirty five!” Ed guessed, and I shook my head.
“Twenty eight,” I corrected, “Which now seems pitifully small after your wild guess...”
“Well, in my family at Christmas time, I have to purchase a grand total of…” Ed paused and quirked an eyebrow, “Drumroll please…” I dutifully tapped a rhythm on the table with my hand, “… Four presents!”
I stared, agape. “Four?”
“Did everyone die?” I widened my eyes at my comment. It sounded a lot lighter in my head. But Eddie just laughed.
“No, I just have a small family. Me, my mum, my grandmother, and my two sisters.” He answered, with a small shrug. I grinned.
“All girls, huh? No wonder you’re so great with women,” I mused, smirking a little. Ed glanced at me with slightly widened eyes. I noticed a faint blush tinging his cheeks.
“Great with women?” He repeated, sounding pleased. I nodded solemnly.
“Yes. You’re quiet the charmer.” Why was I talking about this? Why was I bringing it up? Why was still picturing him naked? What a thing to say, shit girl.
His face broke out into a wide smile. “Yeah,” He said, his eyes sparking a little, “That was awesome.”
I glanced at him in surprise, caught slightly off guard. “What was?” I asked.
“Sleeping with you,” Eddie stated, smiling suggestively. My mouth fell open slightly, but I closed it quickly, tucking my lower lip under my teeth. Oh dear. Why was he so good at being seductive? I was ready to go home with him already and my green tea hadn’t even arrived yet.
No. I told myself. Rose, you are not going to sleep with him again. You are not. You will part at the end of this date fully clothed without having exchanged saliva or seen eachother naked. Exercise your self-control.
“That’s not what I meant when I said you were good with women, but yes… That was pretty awesome,” I smiled lightly and directed all of my pent up energy into bouncing my leg under the table.
“What did you mean?” Eddie asked me, still smiling. I cocked my head to the side and stared at him thoughtfully.
“I don’t want to inflate your ego too much here…” I began, and Ed laughed. “But you’re polite, friendly, considerate… I don’t know, you just know how to have an actual conversation with a girl. You’re not like those Quidditch idiots who stare at your chest open mouthed the whole time and grunt ‘That’s hot…’ to everything you say. I like it.”
“Seems like you haven’t spent much time around nice guys.” Ed commented, in a surprisingly serious way. I nodded in agreement.
“I guess you’re right,” I said slowly, “Well, apart from my many cousins. They’re all brilliant.” I shrugged at this, and quirked an eyebrow at the boy sitting across from me. “Don’t look too smug there.”
“I can’t help it, you’re saying some pretty flattering things, you know.”
Our drinks arrived at this stage, carried on a tray by the same young Waiter. We thanked him and he departed, off to tend to one of the many customers waiting to be served. The café had filled considerably since we had entered, and was almost freeseat-less.
“So what do you do when you’re not shopping for Christmas presents or breaking hearts?” Ed asked me, dropping a marshmallow into his hot chocolate. I filled my cup with steaming tea from my pot, and bit my lip.
“I work the streets. I’m a criminal.” I answered, taking a small sip and scalding my tongue. “No, sorry. I’m a Cook at the Leaky cauldron, I babysit my niece and nephew and the Malfoy’s, I work part time at Flourish & Blott’s and I waiter at the Three Broomsticks. I also enjoy painting, baking, and collecting socks.”
“You live a busy life,” Ed commented, chuckling, “And I knew about the Three Broomsticks. I don’t know if you remember, but you served me there once. I thought you were incredibly sexy, but I was on a date so couldn’t do anything about it.”
I laughed, “I don’t remember, but I wish I did. I could have used that to counteract your earlier accusations of heart-breaking.”
“Yeah? How so?”
“I would have said; Hey, remember that time you checked me out when you were on a date with that blonde bimbo? I’ll bet you broke her heart that night.”
Eddie laughed at this, eyes smiling. I suddenly realized what it was that I liked so much about him: When he laughed, smiled, frowned, sighed, his eyes did all of that with him. They were so blue and they held so much emotion that it nearly made me dizzy to stare at them for too long. I felt like I was strangely intruding on something private between him and his peepers.
That’s a weird thought.
“Who says she was a blonde bimbo?” Ed counteracted, quirking an eyebrow.
I shrugged lightly, “I just assumed.”
“Well she wasn’t. She was a lovely young lass by the name of Cassie.”
“Edward… something, are you trying to make me jealous?”
“Shamelessly. I still see her regularly, she’s very crazy about me.”
I laughed. “Do you really?” I asked lightly. Ed shook his head.
“No, not at all. We cross in the hallways at work sometimes, it’s the most awkward thing.”
“How did you guys break up?”
“I drugged her dog and set her grandmothers hair on fire.”
I closely avoided spraying my mouthful of tea on the table in front of me, and opened my eyes wide. “Shit. Not on purpose, surely?”
“Oh God no. The whole thing was a terrible accident.”
“Well, I can’t say I blame the girl for ending things with you.”
Ed grinned and shrugged, seeming to agree with my comment. He took a slow sip of his hot chocolate.
“So. Edward… something, hey?” He said finally, quirking an amused brow. I shrugged helplessly.
“What is your last name?” I asked him, frowning slightly. I wondered if he had gone to Hogwarts with any of my cousins, or if he had gone to Hogwarts at all. There must be other wizarding schools around, surely? It surprised me that I had never really thought of that before.
“Call me Green. Edward Green.”
I held out my hand and he took it grandly, shaking it. “Nice to meet you Green, Edward Green.” I said formally, letting his hand drop. “And I stand by what I said the other night; You are a total dork.”
“Am I really?”
“Completely. You’re practically radiating waves of dorketude.”
“Well that’s fine, because you’re a dork as well.”
“I’m a cool dork,” I corrected with a cheeky smile. He stared at me thoughtfully for a moment.
“What’s the difference?” He asked.
“Well, I don’t dye my hair for starters,” I began, checking it off on my fingers and ignoring his cry of protest, “And I don’t work in a spell specialising ministry department. And I don’t own a Black Dragons T-shirt,” I gave a pointed look at his choice of a shirt with a smirk. He ruffled his hair and smiled guiltily.
“First of all, I do not dye my hair,” He protested, “I really don’t; I was just born with awesome highlights. And I get a lot of compliments for this shirt.”
“Let me guess; They come from twelve year old boys you meet on the street,”
Ed shhd me and placed a gentle finger on my lips. I stared at his hand in silence and mentally berated myself into not wanting to kiss him right then and there.
“And third, working at the ministry is most definitely not dorky. It’s actually quite awesome. You should join us. Why haven’t you?”
I pushed his finger away with the back of my hand and sighed.
“I just haven’t figured out what I want to do,” I explained, “When I do, I’ll definitely go for it, but I don’t know yet.”
“So?” Eddie replied, “I don’t know what I want to do, but in the meantime… It’s not so bad”.
I shrugged and took another sip of my tea.
“You know, there is an opening in my department. If you gave me your resume I could hand it in with my recommendations. How would you like to work in the AMRS?”
“AMRS?” I repeated, stifling my laugh, “Is that what you put on your motivational flyers?”
Eddie rolled his eyes, “Come on, hand in your resume. What’s the worst that can happen? You get the job and have to see my handsome mug every day?”
“No, I don’t think-”
“This is not a questionable matter, Weasley.”
I sighed. “Fine.” I said, shooting him an exasperated glare. He looked ecstatic, so it wasn’t long before I was smiling as well.
“Brilliant. If you hate it you can just quit, but a least you would have tried.”
“I had a nice time,” I said, grinning up at Eddie. We were standing outside La Praline, soft snowflakes beginning to drift down from the sky, spreading a fresh layer of white over the half melted slush that lined the road. “I’m glad I called.”
“Me, too,” Agreed Ed sincerely, reaching out to push an escaped curl behind my ear. I held my breath. You are not going to sleep with him. “Don’t wait so long next time, yeah?”
“You could grow a pair and call me, you know.” I pointed out, watching as a couple of light snowflakes gathered in his dark hair. It seemed to change colour all the time.
“I already have a pair!” He protested earnestly, “As you should know, too, I mean-”
“Alright!” I interrupted with a cough, “I’ll talk to you soon, then?”
“Yeah. Next time will sort of be our third date, too,” He waggled his eyebrows, “You know what that means.”
“Too bad we’ve already been there,” I sighed, wishing I could kiss him now. But I shouldn’t. If I kissed him, my resolve would break down entirely and he wouldn’t have to wait for the third ate.
Eddie’s eyes widened. “So you’re saying - ?”
I raised my eyebrows at him and crinkled my nose. It was starting to get numb. Ed coughed and blushed and shrugged.
“Bye, Rose,” He said sweetly. I nodded and grinned.
He leant over, and I froze, thinking that we were going to snog after all, but he just placed a soft kiss on my cold cheek. He smiled slightly when he leant back, and pushed his hands into his coat pockets. I bit my lip.
“Heya Luc,” I greeted, stepping into our warm apartment. Lucy was sitting cross-legged on the floor, garbed in a baggy purple jumper and her silver lycra tights, Moth and the household’s two other cats, Mia Wallace and Roger, purring against her legs. She was scribbling something on a sketchpad with her tongue between her teeth.
“Bullfuck, Rose, you scared me!” She cursed, and glanced up at me in surprise, placing a hand on her heart. “Oh, how was your date!?”
I hung up my coat and pulled off my heels, before trudging over to my favourite couch and dropping into it.
“It was lovely. Ed’s such a great guy. Hey, what are you drawing?” I leant over the arm of my chair to catch a glimpse of what was on her sketchpad. It looked like a large red squiggle with a faintly four legged shape. “What the fuck is that supposed to be?”
“It’s Roger!” Lucy explained, gesturing at our ginger cat, who was meowing mournfully. I raised my eyebrows sceptically.
“Roger after he’s been through the blender, maybe…” I muttered doubtfully. Lucy scowled.
“It’s postmodern.” She stated. “Everything looks like this these days.”
“Sweet mother of Merlin I’m tired,” I groaned, stretching my arms above my head. I let out a loud yawn. Lucy glanced at me over her shoulder with a sly look in her eye.
“All that sex you’ve been having?” She asked me, winking.
“I did not,” I told her carefully, scratching Moth behind her ears as she leapt onto my lap, “We didn’t even kiss.”
“Oh I’ll bet you loved that.”
“I hate you. How did that dinner with Cedric go last night?”
Lucy sighed and glanced back down at her drawing, “It was perfect. Too perfect. I can’t actually have a serious relationship with this guy, we have nothing in common!”
“You’re both drama divas,” I pointed out, tucking my legs underneath myself. I wanted very strongly to have a nice, long sleep right now. “And who cares if he’s a bit of a geek? Is he good looking?”
“In a cute, scruffy way,” Lucy sighed thoughtfully, biting her lip. “But dude, we haven’t even snogged yet. How long does the idiot want to wait?”
“I guess he’s just waiting for the right woman,” I suggested, smiling wryly. Lucy pulled a face, making me laugh.
“Hey guys.” Ivy had just walked in, dressed in one of Al’s shirts and a pair of cupcake decorated boxers, her hair in a messy bun. We turned around and smiled at her, but she didn’t seem to notice. She was staring at Lucy’s picture.
“Luc, dear, why are you drawing a picture of a dead cat? I thought you liked cats.” She said, frowning slightly. She dropped into the chair across from mine and stretched her long legs out to rest on our picture decorated coffee table. Lucy scoffed something intelligible, and added an extra squiggle to her drawing.
“How did the big exams go?” I asked Ivy, noticing her tired demeanour. She looked about as bad as I felt.
“Don’t even,” She sighed, shaking her head, “My brain is not capable of processing anything but small thoughts at the moment, or it may implode.” She groaned and pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes. “What did you do today? How was work?”
“Oh, work was-”
“She went on a date with Eddie!” Lucy interrupted, swivelling around suddenly so she was facing the both of us. “She just got back.”
“Eddie!” Ivy looked at me happily, “Why have I not heard about this?”
“I just called him this morning,” I explained, pulling the hair tie out of my hair and shaking it out, massaging my scalp slightly. Ivy’s eyes lit up excitedly.
“So how did it go? Did you guys… do the deed?”
“Do the deed?” I repeated, staring at her, “You and Al do the deed every day and you can’t even speak of it in normal terms?”
“How would you know how often we do it?” Ivy asked me, raising an elegant brow. I just rolled my eyes, and Lucy scoffed.
“Iv, you and Al aren’t exactly discreet about your sex life.” I told her.
Ivy shrugged, “That’s true.” She said, matter of fact. I nodded, and Lucy shook her head.
“Do you not recall the detail with which you described to us your first time? He is very much related to us, dear,” Luc told our friend, shuddering slightly. I nodded silently again, and Ivy scowled.
“Anyway,” She said, turning to me, “Are you going to see him again?”
I nodded slowly. “Hopefully. I had a nice time.”
At my words, Lucy began to do some form of a victory dance down on the floor, and Ivy and I watched her fondly, stifling our laughter. It was nice to be hanging out with just these two girls for once. We never got much time just to sit and relax the three of us these days. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it.
I glanced over at Ivy, in her overlarge T-shirt, her legs crossed on the couch, strands of silky blonde hair falling out of her bun. I thought of telling her about the Malfoy situation, but was suddenly reluctant to admit it to anyone else. The date with Ed had gone so well, who knew? Maybe Malfoy would be behind me in less than a week.
I would keep my fingers crossed, and in the meantime, I could just push it to the back of my mind and pretend it wasn’t there.
Because that’s healthy.
“Hey, Rosie, it’s your birthday soon!” Lucy said suddenly, calming down somewhat and turning her smile to face me. She bounced up to her feet and brushed some dust off her silver garbed legs. “The big one-nine. What are you going to do?”
“Well first off, I’m going to ban you from wearing those tights to my party. Seriously, Luc, it’s starting to get worrying. Have you washed those in the past week?” I asked her, raising a dark brow. Lucy just looked affronted and dropped down into a cross-legged position again.
“Please organize your party better this year, Rose,” Ivy pleaded, shaking her head, “Remember last year? It got so wild that it took us about a week to clear the glitter and the alcohol off of every surface in the flat.”
“Yeah, and then another week to get that crazy pink haired wizard to vacate our bathroom. Did anyone actually know who he was?” Lucy added, cocking her head to the side. Ivy and I shook our heads slowly.
“He said he came with Jerry.” I supplied unhelpfully.
“Who’s Jerry?” Ivy asked me pointedly.
“My point exactly. I don’t want any strange insane wizards taking up house in our bathtub this year. Especially not following a five day party that we barely even spent half the time at.” Ivy said, “How about something calm and intimate for a change?”
“You know that party was only partially my doing. Fred organized most of it,” I felt the need to point out in my defence. “But I still want to go a little wild. Come on, Iv, think of your nineteenth. There was a bloody unicorn there!” I protested, giving her a pointed look. Ivy thought about my words for a moment, and nodded.
“Good point, dear. I’ll allow you to go crazy, but not too crazy. No firewhiskey fountain this time”
I rolled my eyes, “Yes, mother dearest,” I deadpanned, smirking slightly. Lucy laughed. “What about Gin’s New Years party? Are you guys going to that?”
Every New Years, Aunt Ginny held a party at the Potters, a rather extravagant event that varied in its fanciness from year to year. Sometimes it would be an intimate family gathering with a few close friends, sometimes it would resemble something close to a ball, with important ministry folk and waiters serving champagne. This year’s, by the sounds of it, was going to be closer to the latter.
“Do we have a choice?” Lucy sighed, grimacing. “Every galloping year it’s the same deal; we go by begrudging choice or get dragged there screaming by various relatives.” She shrugged. “I’d rather be begrudging.”
“How formal are we talking about?” Ivy asked us, looking a little annoyed. Iv was always dragged into these soppy family events with the rest of us, being Al’s girlfriend. If she wasn’t coming as our friend, she was coming as Al’s date and vice versa.
“Oh, it’s the whole deal,” I said seriously, pulling a hand through my hair. “Fancy dresses, pretty hair, and I’m pretty sure dates are compulsory.”
“Well, not for me,” She pointed out, “I am the date, technically.”
“Shitsticks!” Lucy exclaimed, jumping to her feet again. She stood with her arms hanging at her side for a few seconds before elaborating, “New Years is in two days! How do I find a date by then?”
Ivy and I sent her two are you fucking kidding me? looks. She stared back innocently, and sat down on the floor again. That girl had sat and stood so much in the past half hour that it nearly made me dizzy.
“What?” She asked us. I sighed grandly at her guileless ignorance, and Ivy patted her kindly on the head.
“You were on a date just yesterday, love,” Ivy explained, “And if I remember correctly, you enjoyed yourself immensely. So, you have a date, Luc, whether you like it or not.”
Lucy blushed but didn’t say anything. Seriously, the girl was in denial. Everyone else could see how much she was into this guy, why couldn’t she? Ivy and I were really going to have to knock some sense into her. I was excited to meet him, too. He must be one hell of a cute guy in a scruffy kind of way to make Luc blush so.
The talk of dates also brought another thought to my mind; Unless I wanted to find someone else on such short notice, it looked like I would be seeing Eddie again much sooner than I had anticipated. And I was not quite sure whether I was glad or not.