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Chapter 2: 02
She had a new partner again she mused silently to herself. Astron had barely lasted three months. And this guy was younger than him. He seemed close to her age, his hair dark, and his blue eyes shining with excitement. "I've reviewed all your files."
That was new. He reviewed her files, and he still wanted to be her partner? She smiled up at him, taking in his appearance. He had on a suit-tie and all. "Is today your fist day?" she asked.
"No, I've been in the field for about six years. But I was free-lance. I just finished the training program, which was a load of rubbish." He smiled. "I've heard so much about you, Luna. I can't wait to work together."
"Of course," she said. "Where’s your office?"
"Right across the hall," he said excitedly.
She inwardly groaned. It would be weird to have him that close once he decided he didn't want to be her partner after all. "I can't wait to work with you," she said to him. "But I'm about to clock out for the day, so I guess I'll see you later."
"Unless you wanted to get dinner," he offered. "My treat. We could get to know each other, like partners should."
She wasn't sure what to say. She could accept, but she didn't know much about him.
"Oh, come on," he said, still smiling. He was really cheerful. "You know you want to. It's free food. Everyone likes free food."
She gave up thoughts of saying no. "I'd like that, Mr. Scamander," she said with a smile.
"Please, it's Rolf. "
They made it out of the Ministry and walked down the streets of London, side by side. "Where are we going?" she asked.
"This great place I know, it's a real hole-in-the-wall, but it's great." He lead her down a few more blocks and then turned into a small side alley. She stopped and peered in. It was the most well-light place. "It's right here, come on," he said, and walked right through the wall. His head poped back out a few seconds later, when he realized she wasn't there. "It's a great place to eat, I'm telling you."
Deciding to just go with it, she followed him.
Once she stepped through the brick, she looked around in amazement. "They copied the through-a-wall thing from Platform 9 ¾. But they have the best food." He looked around. "Oh look," he said, pointing to a corner, "there's a table. Come on."
The place was crowded. Luna didn't know how anyone had heard of this place, but it seemed very popular. He pulled out the seat at the table. "M'lady," he said, gesturing for her to take that seat.
"Thank you," she said. The people here looked to be around their age. The youngest being Hogwarts graduates, but no one seemed more than thirty.
A waitress was at their table quickly. "Rolf, it's great to see you." She smiled at him and then turned to Luna. "And you must be new, I can't say I've ever saw you here. What's your name?"
"Luna," she told the waitress.
"That's a great name," the waitress said. "I'm naming my daughter that." She absentmindedly held a hand to her stomach. "Do you know what you'll be having today?"
"We didn't get menu's," Luna said.
"Oh, we serve everything. From hamburgers to caviar. Whatever you want, we serve."
"I think I'd fish and chips," Rolf said. "Classic."
"I'll have the same," Luna said. "And a Butterbeer."
"Great," the waitress said with a smile. "It'll be right out."
"Jamie is a great girl," he said. "She's only nine-teen. But her boyfriend and her are getting married in the summer." He looked across the table to her. "But this is so we can know each other, isn't it? I guess you know my basics, my granddad wrote Magical Beast and Where to Find Them. He's really the one who got me interested in all this. And I know you're Luna Lovegood, friend of the 'Golden Trio'," he said, using his fingers to show the quotations around Golden Trio. "But really, that's all just media hype. I want to know you."
Suddenly, she felt like she was seventeen again and being questioned by journalist from everywhere. How had she kept her spirits up while being held captive? What made her so important that Harry Potter saved her?
She must have shown her discomfort, because Rolf changed immediately. "Of course, I do not want to know about the war," he said, lowering his voice from the excited pitch it had been. "I imagine you'd like to put all that behind you. I just want to know what makes you you, if that makes sense." He sighed, running his fingers back though his thick hair. "I've messed it up, haven't I? I've finally found someone who I would like to talk to, and I've messed it up."
"No, you've not," she said. "It's alright, really. I'm just not so use to people really wanting to know me, I guess," she told him.
"Okay…so, what's your favorite band?" he asked.
"The Hedge Monkeys, without a doubt," she answered.
He smiled. "I can't say I've listened to the much. I'll have to look them up."
"They’re really wonderful, I love them. Saw them live a few weeks ago."
He started to respond when their food arrived. "You two have fun now." Jamie winked as she walked away with a small smile on her face.
Rolf picked up a chip. "Okay, so the Hedge Monkeys are a definite interest. Oh hey, what house were you in?" he asked, the questions seeming to come from nowhere.
Luna smiled. "Ravenclaw."
"Smart witch then."
Luna raised her eyebrows. "What house were you in then?"
That slightly surprised her. Sure, she was use to people being in different houses, but Slytherin? Not that it really mattered, they had left school behind.
"Really?" was all she said in reply.
"Yeah. I was a few years ahead of you though…you're what, twenty?"
"Twenty-two," she corrected.
He nodded. "I'm twenty-seven."
That bit of information surprised her, she was sure he was younger than that. The conversation continued in much the same way, not hitting on anything of importance. They left an hour later, and Luna was surprised at how much she had actually enjoyed herself. They walked side by side down the street, just looking in shop windows and talking some more. Rolf seemed like a genuinely good guy. He had been a freelancer, like he said, but he was mostly supported by his father and grandfather. Now he felt it was time he did something real with his life, and that was what brought him to the ministry.
As the sun started to get lower and lower in the sky, Luna decided it was time to go home. Rolf offered to walk her, and she agreed. They weren't far, anyway. She lived in a little flat in Diagon Alley. It only took five minutes to make it to The Leaky Cauldron, where they were surprised to see some friends of hers.
"Hey Luna," Hannah called when she saw her. She was sitting at one of the larger round tables with Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and Neville. "Want to join us?"
She glanced over at Rolf. He seemed to be trying hard not to stare at the group. Sure, the celebrations and such had died down, and Luna was certain Harry's fame would greatly diminish in the next few years, but he still was a great figure for now.
"No," she said, the dreaminess still in her voice, "Maybe next time. Thank you."
"Ah Luna, come on. Introduce us to your friend," Ginny compelled.
Deciding it would be best to just go along, she walked over to the table. "This is Rolf, my new partner in the office." A chorus of "Hi Rolf"s followed. "But I was just heading home, I've had a busy day. Found a nargle nest."
"Astron said they were just bird's eggs," Hermione said. Luna resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Hermione was always the skeptic. If she couldn't see it, she wouldn't belive it. It was a wonder she had came to Hogwarts to practice magic at all.
"They are Nargle eggs, just wait til they hatch. But really, I must be going."
After a round of saying goodbye and a hug from Ginny, she and Rolf walked through the door. After she made it up to her apartment above a little café, she turn to Rolf. "Thank you for walking me home, it was nice."
"It was nothing." He smiled, but she almost scowled at the deflected compliment. It wasn't like she gave them out often. She just said the truth, and if it was good, then so be it. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow then?"
She nodded and they said their goodbyes. She was just inserting the key into the lock when he turned around. "You know, I think they're Nargle eggs too." He smiled one last time and walked down the stairs.
She might actually like this partner.