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Prior Engagement by shewhomustnotbenamed_
Chapter 3 : A Cup of Coffee and a Confession.
 
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 When I proposed to Ashleigh that I would find her sister for her, she was over the moon. It was like I’d actually proposed to her all over again.

The only problem was… I wouldn’t have told her about my little idea, if I’d have known how hard it would be to bloody find her.

The girl was like a ghost. No she was a ghost. Actually, ghosts were easier to find, she was bloody invisible.

I’d enlisted Al’s help. It had the bonus of the fact he actually knew her, well he used to. They were in the same year at Hogwarts; he said they shared a few lessons together. But even then he said she mostly kept to herself, so maybe in that sense it was even less to go on. Either way we’d turned his apartment into a hideout, actually not so much a hideout, more of a den. Let’s call it the Potter Cave. We had a drawing board, of everything we knew of her:

Her Name was Noah Emma Lightwood. Her appearance, from what we have to go on is an eight year old photo - Brown hair, brown eyes and slim build. But like I said, our last photo of her was eight years old, a lot can happen to a person in eight years. She could be blonde now for all we know.

Her last sighting was six years ago and that was a heated argument with her father and boyfriend. Al had suggested that maybe they had murdered her. That was the auror and pessimistic in him coming out. I told him to shut up; I was remaining hopeful - for Ashleigh and her family’s sake.

Finding Lucas Eaton though was incredibly easy. He was working in Law enforcement, within the ministry. He was actually in Aunt Hermione’s division. Al had found that out straight away and in an hour we were going to be meeting him. To discuss what happened when she ‘went missing’.

In an hour was because I had quidditch practise this morning, and I was still in dire need of a shower.  We were meeting him at a coffee shop, just around the corner from Al’s. I was kind of excited if I’m honest, I know it’s a long shot but it’s like we’re getting a little closer to finding her.

I think the thing that amuses me the most is; we’re doing all of this while Ashleigh and her team are planning the wedding of the century. It’s like we all have our own missions - with the exact same deadline. Well it probably would be preferable to find Noah before the wedding, six years is a lot to catch up on…

When I was finally showered and dressed, I apparated into the alley by Little Lane’s coffee shop. I walked in, opening the jade green door, as I did a little bell chimed, I smiled at the gimmick. My eyes scanned the place.

I was mildly surprised when I saw Freddie sitting next to Al in corner booth. I wasn’t angry or anything, I just didn’t think Freddie would be interested in this. Well saying that there’s a girl at the end of the line, of course he’s going to be interested. Still didn’t stop me from asking why though.

“What are you doing here?” I asked picking up the cup in front of me, I looked inside and Al nodded informing me that it was in fact mine. Coffee black, just like my soul – I’m joking of course. I have to add shit loads of sugar to it, because obviously I’m not sweet enough. Nor is the coffee for that matter.

“I couldn’t let you two Hardy Boys over here have all of the fun, now could I?” Al rolled his eyes at the comment and I just laughed it off. Freddie being part of the hunt would certainly have its benefits. He knew a hell of a lot of people and all we really need is a friend of friend.

 The doorbell chimed, and all three of our eyes darted towards the door. A man walked through. He had sandy long curly hair and slight stubble. “Is that him?” I asked Al. I was trying to think back to what Lucas looked like back at Hogwarts, but all I could remember was how he played on the quidditch pitch, not his face. In my memories he was a blur in blue, so pretty useless in all honesty.

“I think” Al mumbled, staring at him intently.

“Well if you two pussies aren’t going to do it. I will,” Freddie announced as he called “Lucas!” His voice at an uncomfortable loud volume for such a quiet coffee shop but it worked, the boy in question turned straight around – looking for who was shouting. He spotted us and the colour in his face drained. Hey maybe we are intimidating after all. He smiled at us weakly as he made his way over.

“Hi” he said nervously, I smiled at him as I moved over to the next seat down, welcoming him to sit down.

“Do you want a drink?” Freddie asked him politely. He nodded, he attempted to get back up and get it himself, but Freddie was having none of it, after getting his order he left the three of us. So I and Al tactically decided to get straight to the point.

“So about Noah…” Al drawled.

Lucas ran his hand through his unruly hair. “Look, I don’t know what to say, I haven’t spoken to her in six years. I’m not sure what help I’ll be to you. Actually I’m not sure why I came here today if I’m perfectly honest,” I put my hand up signalling for him to stop. We’d already presumed that he wouldn’t have spoken to her in six years, if Noah hadn’t spoken to her family, she didn’t seem like the type to have loose ends like leaving a boyfriend behind.

“We already guessed that,” Al said. Freddie returned with Lucas’ drink placing it down in front of him. He thanked Freddie and picked it up, taking a sip. I have to applaud the man – I would never drink coffee that hot.

“Then why am I here?” Lucas asked a puzzled look replacing his distressed one.

“We want to know what happened the night she left” I said it trying to hide my judgemental tone.

He spluttered out his coffee. Freddie looked momentarily defensive, like Lucas was about to start having ago at him for getting his order wrong. “Why?” he asked us, as he began cleaning up the spilled coffee.

“Because what happened could give us a clue to where she went” Al offered weakly. He had his notebook out already, just ready to take notes to add to our board later.

“Have you asked her Dad? He was the last to see her,” why was he trying to change the subject?

“We’re getting to him next” Al said dismissively. I had to admit I was kind of impressed at how well he can lie; I mean maybe it wasn’t a lie. If this was a dead end we would have to go see her Dad eventually, we just didn’t want to jump in at the deep end just yet… “We want your account of what happened that night” Al went into his pocket. He pulled out his auror badge; he gave a quick glance to Lucas who was eyeing it up worriedly, before he returned to digging in his pocket. “Ah there it is” he pulled out a pack of tissues and smiled innocently at Lucas as he put the badge and tissues back in his pocket. That sly git I thought.

Lucas not realising this wasn’t actually a proper auror mission paled even more. “Ok, what do you want to know?” Al smiled wickedly at me. There was a reason he did what he did.

“Tell us everything that happened” and he did.

He closed his eyes like he was reliving in slowly in his mind, his fingers went to his eyes and he rubbed his forehead.

“We’d just left Hogwarts. We’d planning this trip for the whole year; we were going to travel the world. Take a year off before facing our problems you know?” I wanted to say that I didn’t care, just to get straight to the point, but I’m guessing this was leading to it.

“I was in love with her” he said defensively looking at us, we could see the honesty in his eyes, I believed him completely. “But not for the right reasons,” he added. “Her Dad, he was worried about her in sixth year. She’d changed completely drifting away from people, hiding, always defensive. She was becoming a ghost. Her Dad… he was friends with my Mum and Dad; he’d knew me since I was six. He knew what I was like…” he quietened down like he didn’t want to say the next line.

I looked at the rest of them. Al was staring intently at him, edging him to carry on. And Freddie… Freddie was eating fucking popcorn! Where the fuck did he get popcorn from? I wanted to ask for some, in all honesty but this guy was pouring out his heart, it didn’t seem like the right place, or time.

“He asked me to look out for her. To be her friend… to date her” my mouth dropped open, I was trying not to be too judging but I couldn’t help it. I didn’t know who was worse Mr Lightwood or Lucas for agreeing to it. “He paid me,” and it gets worse I thought.

“How much?” Freddie asked, through a mouthful of popcorn. I kicked him from under the table. He shot me a look that said ‘what like you weren’t thinking it’ and honestly I kind of was. I mean how much would you pay for someone to pretend to date your daughter?

“100,000 galleons” all three of our mouths dropped open.

“Holy shit” Al swore under his breath. I knew that the Lightwoods were filthy rich but that’s just excessive. Then again you can’t really blame Lucas for not wanting to turn it down. I have to admit I’d question my morals for it.

“Yeah… well…” Lucas shrugged.

“Continue” I said hopefully. He nodded at me, swallowing he continued with his confession.

“I said yes” obviously I thought “but you have to understand we dated for almost two years, yes at first it was about the money, but Noah she’s good. I fell for her. I planned on telling her but there was never the right time, every time I postponed it, it got harder. Impossible. Before, I had the chance to tell her she found out on herself”. Oh. Well that complicates things…

“Her Dad wanted her take over the family business; before we left for our trip she was doing some weekend work in the office. I don’t know how but she found the transactions. I was planning on using the money for us, for our year abroad. He’d already given it to me, I thought the least I could do was spend it on her.” I don’t know who I felt sorrier for Lucas or Noah. My loyalties went straight to Noah when I saw the gold band on Lucas’ left hand. He had loved and he had felt guilty but he’d clearly moved on.

“She confronted me and I admitted everything to her. I told her everything I told you: that I loved her and it wasn’t about the money. She laughed at me and she hit me, repeatedly”. Good on her I thought proudly.

“She apparated me against my will to her father… she confronted him too. Shouting, crying she couldn’t believe what either had us had done. She was embarrassed,” of course she was bloody embarrassed the two people who had loved her the most had betrayed her. How else was she supposed to feel?

“She told me to go. That she needed to cool off before she could speak to me again. I left. I don’t know what happened between her and her Dad. All I know when I got there the next day to speak to her, to grovel at her feet. Her Dad said she was gone and I haven’t spoken to her since”.

There it was. I looked over at Al he nodded informing that he’d gotten it all written down. We now knew why she’d run away. To where was an entirely different question – all we knew now was we had to go to our next line of contact. Noah’s last interaction: Mr Lightwood. 

 

_________________________

AN:

I don't own anything... other than plot line and OC's... 

Hardy boys belongs to Edward Stratemeyer... HP - J,K ... ect ect...

TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK? who do you feel sorry for Noah or Lucas? Is Lucas a tool? What do you think of Mr Lightwood?

Come on tell me what you think. - anything good or bad let me know!!! 


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