Chapter 1 : First Meeting
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The air was cold, even though it was not yet December for another couple of days. Snowflakes gently fell from a darkening cloudy sky, and covered the vacant street. Today, Diagon Alley wasn't terribly busy, which was fine. The stillness of everything was peaceful, in an odd sort of way. It was like being placed in a lovely winter scene. The picture was breathtaking and intricate.
I shivered, and wrapped my red knit scarf tighter around my neck, trying to remain warm. My boot clad feet would be going numb soon, as I had been walking outside for nearly an hour. Blowing my warm breath upon my hands, though they were covered in blue gloves, I stopped on the side of the street. The lamps were lit and night would be coming soon.
Tucking a loose strand of my long dark blonde hair behind my ear, I continued down the street, feeling the bitter coldness of the wind. My mind wandered to earlier today, and I shook my head, wishing to erase the shouting and the pain. The memories haunted me like a ghost that would never leave. Suddenly a group of children whizzed past me, causing me to lose my balance and fall backward.
My body slammed against the hard, cold, snowy pavement and I winced. I groaned, then sat up slowly, and prayed I wouldn't be bruised tomorrow. A soft, angelic voice spoke. “Êtes-vous bien?”
What? My gray eyes looked upward, seeing a beautiful, taller guy, wearing faded jeans, a black coat, and a knit hat covering his messy blonde hair. He looked about two years older than my nineteen. He spoke the phrase again and I gave him a confused look. “Excuse me?”
Then he grinned, speaking fluent French. “Je suis désolé .”
Okay. I still didn't understand him. Noticing I was still sitting on the ground, I quickly stood, taking his offered glove covered hand. I couldn't help but gaze at his face. His features were so angelic and his eyes, the palest and most beautiful shade of blue. I felt my heart grow weak. He spoke again, this time in English. “Sorry, sometimes I forget.”
“Hmm?” I broke out of my trance.
He grinned, showing perfectly straight and white teeth. “'I lived in France the past year or so and it's hard to adjust back to English. Sorry.”
I smiled, secretly loving his voice in the French language. “It's okay. I would speak French too if I could.”
He laughed lightly and I was becoming a lovesick schoolgirl. This guy was a charmer. I bit my lip, “Well, I better get going. Thanks.”
I turned around, to continue walking when he called out, “Weren't you walking the other way?”
My cheeks reddened. Merlin. I turned back around, still embarrassed. “Yeah. Thanks.”
“No problem.” He shrugged.
I started walking and noticed he was walking alongside me. “Are you following me?”
I'm just walking the same way as you,” he stated, teasing.
I smiled, saying nothing. We walked in silence, my heart pounding rapidly beneath my shirt. I put my hands in the pockets of my coat as we walked further down the street. Then he asked in French, "Que vous appelez-vous?”
I looked at him, “English version please.”
He apologized, “Sorry. What's your name?”
“Stephanie,” I smiled, wishing he'd stop apologizing. “What's yours?”
“Louis,” he looked at me.
I nodded, “So are you from France?”
“Sort of. My mother is. My father is from the London area,” Louis shrugged.
There was another moment of silence before I asked curiously, “Were you staying with relatives in France then?”
“Not really. I went there mostly for photography reasons,” he answered politely.
Photography? Was he a model? I figured he could be, seeing with how well built he was. He answered my thought, “I'm a photographer.”
“Cool. Why France?” I asked.
“What is this, twenty questions?” Louis teased, glancing at me.
I smiled, blushing once more. “Sorry.”
He grinned, “It's fine. I love the people there and the landscapes. Plus, France is quite beautiful in the spring and summer.”
Part of me wondered if he was planning to go back there, seeing as he sounded like he really loved it there. He asked me, “Do you live around here?”
“Yeah. I rent a room at the Leaky Cauldron.”
He nodded. I looked at him, mentioning. “You don't have to walk with me you know. I'm not that interesting, unless I land face first in the snow.”
Louis chuckled. “I know I don't have to. I want to. As for seeing you land face first the snow, I'm sure I won't be a witness to that.”
“What makes you say that?” I asked curiously.
“Most girls become rather furious when it happens,” he grinned.
I smiled, “True. Do you have a sister?”
I assumed so for he knew a bit more about girls than the average guy would. He answered my question, “Two, and they're both older, married and living outside of London. Do you have any siblings?”
“Nope.” I shook my head.
We reached the corner where the Leaky Cauldron was. I checked the time, realizing I'd taken a longer break than what Hannah usually allowed. Merlin, she'll kill me. I quickly said, “Well thanks. I have to get going.”
He understood. “That's fine.”
We stopped at the corner and I smiled, “It was nice to meet you.”
“Il était agréable de vous rencontrer aussi. Puis-je vous voir de nouveau?” Louis grinned back.
My heart melted, hearing him say the words of such a breathtaking language, even if I could not understand him. Once he realized he'd spoken in French again, he blushed a little then translated for me. “It was nice to meet you too. May I see you again?”
Instantly, my heart danced. He wanted to see me again! I could've flown to the moon and back from delight. I nodded, “I'd like that.”
He didn't ask for my number or give me his, knowing where I lived and all, he'd for sure find me again. Then I softly said, “Well goodnight and thanks again.”
“Bonsoir, Stephanie. Tu es dans toutes mes pensées,” Louis gave me one last heart melting grin then started walking off.
I called out, “Wait! What does that mean?”
“Have a nice evening, Stephanie!” He called back, turning back in his path.
He hadn't told me the entire thing. I groaned, “C'mon Louis! What's the rest mean?”
“À la prochaine!” He laughed. “Until next time!”
I made a face at him and he laughed harder, continuing to walk away. French boys. I shook my head and entered the Leaky Cauldron. Hannah approached me, “Where have you been, Steph?”
“Out on my break, I ran into some French guy,” I sighed.
She smiled, “Oh, really? What's his name?”
“Louis,” I smiled.
“Didn't you get a last name?” She asked confused.
I hadn't. Merlin. Had I been that entranced by him? I shook my head. “Nope.”
“Shame. Let's get to work then.” Hannah handed me a paper to take orders on.
I nodded, and began collecting drink orders. As I went about my work, I couldn't get him out of my mind. He had been sweet, charming and so wonderful. Was it possible he was too perfect? I bit my lip, wondering what he had said that he hadn't translated for me. Secretly I hoped I'd see him fairly soon...
a/n: ok after about three months of being off hpff I am back!!!!!!!!!! I was writing over a fictioncentral but now that site is being closed down for upkeep reasons etc so now, I'm slowly comiing back to hpff!!!!
This is my first hpff in three months....let me know how it is. I know this first chapter isn't that exciting. but don't worry, it'll heat up in the next coming chapters. And I don't know French so I had to look up phrases/translations...if they are wrong that's why...Thanks for reading! :)
again, a huge thanks to my wonderful French speaking beta Civilized!!!!!!!!