Chapter 3 : Chapter 3 - Belinda
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A week passed since I first arrived in London, and my new home. Monkey seemed to be settling in well; he liked the evening walks we went on, and the morning runs, though Muggle London was not the ideal place for a Crup to be.
I loved the house, and enjoyed my work and even made a friend. Her name was Ella and she was a few years younger than me, working a summer job. She helped out on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
I really liked Ella, even though she was still Hogwarts age she made me laugh and she had a sweet personality, she even invited me to her boyfriend’s family End-Of-Summer party, though I still wasn’t sure if I should go or not.
I was contemplating this party as I ran through the pouring rain one Saturday afternoon; I may have been blessed with good weather the first few days I’d been in London but since then it had been nothing but grey skies and ugly summer showers. Monkey, however, thought this was ideal weather. He snapped at the falling raindrops gleefully and splashed through every puddle we past.
I went for a run every day with Monkey, we both needed exercise and the park a mere few blocks from my house was perfect; green and spacious.
Monkey had been in a great mood since we arrived, I’d expected him to miss my family but he seemed to love it here almost as much as I did.
I turned my head skyward, admiring the fluffy grey clouds that covered the sky as far as I could see and felt my hair, tied in a messy ponytail, brush the small of my back. I’d given up trying to keep my blue tank top and jogging shorts dry in less than a minute and I actually enjoyed the feel of raindrops pelting my skin. That was until I collided with a very human like shape as Monkey unexpectedly darted off to the left, chasing a stray pigeon.
‘Oh Merlin, I’m so sorry!’ I squealed, only then noticing the person who’s coffee I’d just knocked all down their front. ‘Holy Cow, I’m so sorry, I’m such a clutz, I really have no idea what I was-’
‘Don’t worry,’ the guy looked up, I was slightly taken aback to see it was a familiar face.
‘It’s you,’ I burst out, and then clamped my hand over my mouth, trying to take back the rude sounding statement.
‘It’s me?’ he echoed, then raised an eyebrow. He looked different today, he’d was clean shaven and was wearing a dark jumper over a collared shirt and trousers.
‘I’m sorry, you’re the guy I tripped over in the Leaky Cauldron,’ I lowered my voice a little, very aware of the surrounding Muggles; though there were few in this foul weather.
‘Ahh,’ he sighed knowingly, ‘I thought I recognised you...’ he paused and looked around worriedly, it seemed like he was waiting for someone to jump out and curse him, or something ridiculous like that, but we were quite alone, ‘I’m sorry I left so abruptly, I had somewhere to go.’
I didn’t really know how to respond, living in a new place had been such a blur I barely remembered, so instead I added again, ‘I’m really sorry about your shirt... and your coffee, I’d offer to clean it up but it wouldn’t be that great an idea in a street full of Muggles.’
‘Don’t worry,’ he said, ‘I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself.’ He sounded a little bitter and wouldn’t look directly at me.
‘Well my apartment is only round the corner, do you want to come there and dry off.’
I was pretty sure he was going to refuse but a grim smile broke out on his face as he turned his head towards the trees on the right, ‘you’re inviting me home and you don’t even know my name,’ he said sceptically.
I held out my hand in reply, ‘I’m Belinda Waterstone, and you are...?’
‘Al,’ he replied, ‘just Al.’
‘Well, just Al,’ I beamed, ‘are you coming?’
‘Yeah why not,’ he sat back on the balls of his feet and held a hand out to Monkey, who had been sitting in a puddle wagging his magically concealed forked tail while I spoke to Al.
Al walked beside me in silence along the path and round the corner. We came to the back door in the wall that hid the steps up to the other apartments in my building, along with my own and Al pushed it open for me. I lead him up the stairs and attempted to make conversation.
‘You know, you aren’t very chatty,’ I said, when by the time we reached my door I’d learnt that Al was a nickname for Albus and he went to Hogwarts... and that was it.
‘I know,’ he grinned, flicking his wand and drying his wet clothes. He then stripped off his jumper to hang over by the door and examined his white shirt beneath which now was decorated with an ugly brown coffee stain.
‘Oh no,’ I whispered, biting my lip and staring at it, this even got him to laugh.
‘Don’t worry,’ he repeated, unbuttoning his shirt and wriggling out of it, folding it and leaving him topless in my living room. ‘Would clean it but I’m shit at spells like that.’
I am proud to say I forgot all about drying myself off and tidying my hair so it didn’t just hang limply around my face, and I stared without shame at those abs.
Al chuckled lightly as he swished his own wand again and I felt my clothes grow warm and light, as though they’d been sitting over a heater all day. That snapped me out of it.
‘Sorry,’ I mumbled, ‘would you like coffee or something, since you’re here.’ I ran my wand over my hair several times and scooped two scoops of coffee into a pot and switched the kettle on to boil. Oh how I love Muggle appliances.
‘Promise not to spill it on me this time,’ he joked.
‘I’m really sorry about that, I know a few spells to clean up coffee stains but they take a while to work,’ I sighed, ‘you could leave your shirt here if you like?’
‘Nah, I’ll take it home, Hannah can clean it up for me,’ he said, pulling out a chair from my dining table. I hurried round trying to organise my house for the evening; well aware I would be needed at work in an hour.
‘Do you mean Hannah Longbottom?’ I asked, surprised, shuffling into the kitchen and pouring hot water into the mugs. ‘I work for her!’
‘Yeah, I know, she talks about you a lot.’ He replied.
‘Are you her son?’
‘Merlin, no,’ he burst out a shout of laughter, ‘my mother is so different to her, I’m her Godson.’
‘Oh really, why do you live with her then?’ I asked carefully, hoping the answer wouldn’t be something depressing like his parents had died...
‘I don’t want to live with my parents,’ he replied simply, and getting the feeling he didn’t want to discuss the matter in any further detail, I remained silent until he said, ‘she really likes you, her and Neville... and Ella for that matter.’
‘You know Ella to?’ I placed a mug of coffee in his hands and went into the my bedroom to change out of the clothes that I was well aware stunk of sweat, listening to Al’s response all the while.
‘Yeah, I know her boyfriend well,’ he said.
‘Are you going to her Boyfriends families party tomorrow evening?’ I called out, pulling on a fresh pair of shorts and a loose shirt that I could easily go straight to work in. Al cursed and was pulling a face when I returned to the dining. It made me giggle in a very girly manner that I was not so impressed with. ‘I take that as a no?’
‘No, I’m going,’ he countered, running a hand through his damp hair, ‘I just don’t want to.’
‘Why not?’ I asked, sitting down opposite him and wrapping my hands around my own steaming cup of coffee. ‘It sounds nice.’
‘Yeah, I suppose, I’m just not really a people person...’ he trailed off.
‘So why don’t you stay at home?’ I asked quietly, after a very long silence.
‘Because,’ he said, looking up at me so my eyes drowned in his extremely green ones; they were very beautiful, ‘my family would never forgive me if I avoided them more than I do already.’
‘You sound like you have a complicated relationship,’ I bowed my head, ducking out of is gaze.
‘More than you would imagine,’ he grimaced, then changed the topic, ‘so you’re French?’
‘How did you know,’ I looked back up smiling, thinking of all the years I’d spent at my home in France.
‘The accent,’ he gave a half hearted smile, ‘after all the years I visited France as a child, I would know how to recognize it. Do you miss it?’
‘I’ve only been away from home a week, I’ve hardly had time to get my life straightened out here, let alone miss my old one,’ I laughed softly, though I failed to mention how desperately I missed my family and friends back home.
‘I loved it there, my cousins had a huge house and we used to go every year in the summer for a few weeks...’ his eyes were lost somewhere in some distant memory and the discontent in his face disappeared for a moment, before he snapped back to reality and something inside him changed, ‘feels like a lifetime ago.’ He stood and pushed back his chair, ‘I’m pretty sure you’re going to be late for work if we delay any longer.’ His voice abruptly sounded different and he refused to meet my eyes again, even as he pulled his jumper over his bare skin and took my hand, briefly.
‘You’re beginning to sound like a creepy stalker,’ I joked, trying to ease the tension. The smile brought to his lips seemed a little more forced than others I’d seen him wear.
‘I am a creepy stalker.’ He tipped his head and gave me just enough time to suck in a deep breath before my apartment and Monkey along with it disappeared and we arrived in an alley just around the corner from the Leaky Cauldron.
‘Thank you for your hospitality,’ he nodded, ‘I’m sure I’ll see you again.’
And with that he disappeared again, leaving me all alone in an alley.
Ok so third chappie's up. What do you guys think? Do you like it? The characters? Albus and his sexy abs? And his creepy stalkerishness? Please let me know.
Anyways I do not own anything that you might recognise. But I appreciate the reads.
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