The redheaded woman stared at me, with an expression resembling something like wonder. Or shock.
I stared right back, but my face probably contained something more akin to confusion. Complete and utter confusion.
A few more moments passed as we stared at each other. The redhead was gazing at me, with her hand over her mouth in apparent shock. This was starting to creep me out. A lot.
My mind flew through several explanations for her actions, each sounding more unbelievable than the last. The one thing I could comprehend was that she knew my name, and she recognised me.
Only, I couldn't recall ever seeing her before. I was certain that we had never met. Then again, I was an amnesiac, so my recollections didn't really count for much...
Hold on a second. Of course! I had amnesia, so she could have known me before my accident…
"Do you know me?" I blurted out, before I could stop myself.
She seemed a bit taken aback by my question, but finally removed her hand from her mouth.
"Know you? Of course I do Lena…." She trailed off, watching me uncertainly. Her expression, which had become confused at my words, suddenly changed to one of understanding...
"You don't know me." she asserted. I nodded.
"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that I don't remember much about my life. Or anything really. At all. About my life I mean. Although I suppose there's other things." Oh my god. Did I usually ramble like this? It was a wonder she didn't turn around and run away, saying to just forget we ever met.
Thankfully the redhead (I really needed to get her name) didn't seem to notice, or care. In fact, she seemed to be in even more turmoil than I was, if her facial expressions were anything to go by.
After another few minutes of waiting for her to speak, I lost my patience. My mind was bursting with questions.. Who was she? Did she know my family? Where was I from? Who was she? What was my real name? What happened to me? Would she please say something? Who the bloody hell was she!?!
She suddenly looked up at me. Oops.. Did I say that last one out loud?
"We should sit." she said, and motioned towards one of the benches. I nodded, following her to the seat.
"So, Elena.." she began. "What exactly do you remember? Since you obviously don't remember me…"
Okay, well where to begin? "Umm.. Nothing."
Wow, what a riveting conversation.
"I can't actually remember anything from before a year ago. I woke up in a hospital near here.. The nurses said I was found on the side of the road one night - I had some really bad injuries. They suspected it was a hit and run."
"But you don't remember?"
"Not a thing. I was in a coma for a few weeks after the accident and when I woke up - blank. The only thing I could tell the doctors was that my name was Elena. I chose Palmer as my surname." I glanced at her. She was watching me with a strange expression. "Is that right?"
"Em, nope. Your real surname is Thomas."
Thomas. Elena Thomas.. I felt a trill of excitement. As soon as she said it, I knew. I recognised that name. I still couldn't remember a thing, but I knew that was my name.
I gave a small, nervous laugh. "Thank you. Wow, well that's basically all I know. I've spent the last year living here in Edinburgh, working in a local café. And that's about it." I took a deep breath. This was so surreal. Only a couple of minutes had passed since she had shouted my name.
"Soo… I think it's my turn to ask questions now?"
The redhead nodded. "Fire away."
Right. That was the first question. Time to stop calling her 'the redhead'. "Who are you?"
She smiled. "My name's Dominique. Dominique Weasley, but you call me Dom. We've been best friends since we were eleven."
"Right. Wow. I suppose it would be weird if I said 'nice to meet you', then.."
She laughed. "Very weird."
"Okay. Well I guess that means you know my family and..?" I trailed off. Dom's face had all of a sudden changed from laughing to uncertain.
"Yeah, I guess you could say I know them.." she sighed. "I'm afraid you didn't get on well with your family. I said we met when we were eleven. Well, we met at our boarding school. It's kind of an exclusive school, really exclusive, and occasionally parents have… issues with sending their child there."
I frowned. That didn't really make a lot of sense. But, before I could interrupt, Dom hurried on.
"You never told me everything about what went on at home but you spent every holiday except summer at the school in our first year. I assumed that whatever problem you were having with your parents would sort itself out. But then you told me you planned to stay the next Christmas too. I eventually convinced you to spend it at my house. And for the next few years, you spent nearly all the time we weren't at school with my family."
Dom took a breath and glanced at me hesitantly. I nodded for her to continue, trying to absorb everything she was saying.
"You did go home sometimes, usually for a few weeks in summer. Then, the summer after our fifth year, something happened. I think you must have had a huge row about… well… something… Anyway, you wouldn't tell me the specifics but I got the gist. I don't know if you have seen your parents since." she looked at me apologetically. "I'm sorry, that probably wasn't the story you were hoping for."
"No, not really…" I murmured, politely. But in reality, I felt like screaming 'definitely not!'. It didn't take a genius to see that there were some massive, gaping holes in that story. I barely had time to ponder this new information, however, as she was talking again.
"But, you always had a family in us Weasleys. We sort of adopted you. You became an honorary Weasley, or an extra cousin - whichever way you want to look at it." Dom grinned. "You fit right in, you know. Everyone loved you, and it's rare we all agree on something!"
The way she was talking about her family, they sounded huge.
"How many are there, exactly, in your family?" I asked.
She laughed. "Oh, it's not just my immediate family I'm talking about. It would take too long to name everyone out to you now.. There's twelve of us cousins, but you and Teddy have been family so long we just call you our cousins now too!" she laughed again. "Our family's extremely crazy, just to warn you. A normal family dinner tends to include arguments, pranks, hysterical laughing, general chaos etc… etc..."
I grinned along with her, unable to help myself (and making a mental note to ask who Teddy was later). The family she was describing sounded like so much.. fun. And I was a part of it?
But Dominique had suddenly stopped grinning. She shook her head.
"Why am I even laughing? It was so horrible when you disappeared, Elena, you have no idea.. And now I've just bumped into you on the street. We thought.. Merlin, everyone's going to be so ecstatic that you're alive."
I felt a strange pang that I couldn't place, but I brushed it off, for the moment. There was another question weighing on my mind.
"Did you report me missing?" I asked out of curiosity. It struck me that although I was meant to be part of this fun, loving family, there hadn't been anyone fitting my description on the missing persons. Ever.
Dominique hesitated. "That's kind of a long story. You see.. Well I don’t think now is the best time to explain it." she glanced around our surroundings.
I looked around with her, and was momentarily startled to see the street around us. I had completely forgotten where we were in the short while that we had been talking. Dominique's voice brought my attention back to her.
"I think it's best if I come back tomorrow with... some more of us… There's a lot that needs to be explained, and I don’t want to pile it all on top of you at once. Plus, it's freezing out here." she added with a grin.
I nodded. I had noticed she wasn't wearing a coat, or even a scarf. She must be staying pretty close by. As I was thinking this, a strong gust of wind blew strands of my blonde hair into my face. I had quite nice hair, if I do say so myself, but it seemed rather lacklustre right now, compared to Dom's fiery locks.
She stood up and I noticed, despite what she had said about the cold, she didn't seem to be feeling it. I was shivering in my coat and scarf, yet she was standing there in a mere cardigan and didn't even look the slightest bit uncomfortable.
I shook off my thoughts for the moment, however, and we made plans to meet up the next day. While a part of me wanted to go with her right then and there, I knew it would be better not to rush and I willingly told her where my apartment was. We agreed to meet there and she'd bring 'them', whoever they were. All the other questions I had could wait until tomorrow, right?
I had a restless sleep that night. I bounced from excitement, to worry, to fear, to euphoria and back again. Every minute, I seemed to come up with a new question. I could not wait.
It was only at three o' clock in the morning, just before I finally fell asleep, that I suddenly remembered something from earlier. When Dom had been talking she had said 'Merlin'.
And I hadn't thought it was strange.
A/N- I'm not going to beg for reviews but if there's something you like about the story or something you think should be changed, don't be afraid to tell me. I have no problem with constructive criticism :) Thanks for reading!