James was drumming his fingers on the dark mahogany table he was currently sitting at, head propped up on his other hand as he waited for Adam to show up at The Leaky Cauldron pub. He had just finished work for the day, only having done half a day, whereas Adam was only meeting him on his lunch break.
James looked up when he noticed Adam walk over with a frown on his face, he walked through the crowd and took a seat opposite James, reaching forwards and taking James’s drink of mead and gulping down some of it. He placed the glass down with a sigh before wiping his mouth with his hand.
“I needed that,” Adam admitted, before asking, “Why are you drinking at midday anyway?”
“I could ask you the same question; Brent let me off of work early so I thought ‘why not?’” James told him. “What’s got your wand in a twist?”
Adam glowered before shaking his head. “Work” he said simply. “You do something for someone and it comes back and bites you in the ass.”
“Is it serious?” James asked him.
“There’s a high possibility it could be.”
James raised his eyebrows, “Who would have thought there would be politics in the Apothecary?”
“Oh it’s a dark and seedy place in there,” Adam said with a smile on his face, seeming to get out of his bad mood. “But let’s not talk about there. I have to go back after this, some of us have to work you know.”
James rolled his eyes as he passed Adam the menu; he already knew what he was going to order for lunch.
Adam glanced down at it before he decided what he was going to eat, James told him what he wanted to eat and Adam went up to the bar to order the meals. When he came back he brought with him two glasses of mead, placing one in front of James who took it with thanks.
Adam sat back down and brought his drink up to his lips, drinking half of it with ease. James watched him with concern.
“Are you sure you’re ok Adam?” he asked him. “I don’t want you going to work drunk.”
“It won’t make any difference James; they’re looking for any excuse to fire me as it is.” Adam admitted.
“Has something gone on?” James asked worrying about his friend.
“It’s nothing I can’t handle, they can’t fire me, I’m the only one who knows how to run that shop properly.” Adam sat bitterly, tapping his fingers on the side of his glass as he glared down at it.
Their food being brought over to them interrupted their conversation, they gave thanks to the bar lady before digging into their meals.
“Anyway enough about me,” Adam said through a mouthful of sandwich, sensing James wanting to talk more about Adam’s problems. “What’s going on with you?”
James swallowed his mouthful of food before answering Adam. “Me and Amelia have decided to start looking for a new house, there’s not enough room in that flat for four of us.”
“When are you going to start looking?” he asked.
“We’ve talked to someone at the ministry and they’re going to find a few houses for us to view, we want to live close enough to everyone, so probably somewhere close to my parent’s house. We’re just waiting for them to get back to us through owl post.”
“That’ll be good,” Adam said. “Can you believe that you’re growing up?”
“No. I never thought that would happen. It’s like saying that you’re going to grow up.” James said with a smile.
Adam gave a grin at James before he took a sip of his mead. “Well,” he began after he swallowed his drink. “I actually will be growing up soon.”
James gasped loudly causing Adam to roll his eyes at him. “Tell me it’s not true! You can’t grow up.”
“I’m going to ask Lucy to marry me.”
“Oh my!” James cried, raising his eyebrows at Adam’s words. “Wow congratulations mate, I’m so happy for you.”
Adam smiled, “Cheers, I’m so nervous.” He gave a nervous laugh at James. “Were you nervous?”
“Well luckily for me I was drunk when I first proposed to Amelia so I was fine,” James laughed, “When are you going to do it?”
“I have no clue; I still need to get a ring. I was thinking of getting Amelia to come with me to pick one out but...”
“Amelia would be too excited to keep it a secret for long,” James admitted, knowing that his wife might accidently let slip to Lucy.
“I was thinking that as well, she’d probably get so excited that Lucy might be suspicious.” Adam said agreeing with James. “This is why I would like for you to come with me.”
“I’d love to help you.” James smiled, “would you like to go get one today?”
Adam looked down at his watch and sighed, “Nah I can’t do today, I’ve got to get back to work.” James noticed that he looked like he didn’t want to go back.
“Maybe you should get a new job Adam,” James suggested.
“I would but there’s nothing.” Adam said sadly, running his hand over his face before running it through his hair, giving another sigh.
“Are the ministry still after you to work there?” James asked Adam, who nodded at him.
“Yep and I’ll be damned if I go and work for them, you would have thought that they would take the hint that I don’t want them to own my soul.”
“The ministry’s not that bad,” James said, thinking of his own job at the ministry.
“Yeah, but your departments ok, its run by decent people. The department they want me to go in is not run by good people, I’ll hate it more then I hate my job now.”
“You used to love your job,” James said, remembering all the times Adam had spoken about the Apothecary.
“It was good, but I always wanted to work in the one in Hogsmeade, but they never need staff. Maybe this year the manager will finally retire and I can apply there.”
“Here’s hoping,” James said as Adam stood up, he followed suit, throwing a few sickles onto the table as a tip for the barmaid. “I’ll walk out with you. Give you some moral support before you go back to the hellhole.”
“Why can’t we just all have free money? It would be so much easier.” Adam asked, putting his hands in his robe pockets as him and James exited the pub and out into the streets of Diagon Alley, heading towards Slug and Jiggers Apothecary where Adam worked.
“Sadly the world does not work that way,” James said clapping Adam on the back. “Maybe we could become the richest people in the Wizarding world one day and then you could run your own Apothecary.”
“Such a distant and unreachable dream.” Adam muttered before he bid James goodbye.
Fred Weasley was starting to get a neck ache.
Wincing to himself he raised a hand and rubbed the back of his neck, before putting his hand back on the shelf and steadying himself. Fred went back to peering through the gap in between the products that were eye level with him as he balanced on the top of the step ladder.
He had the perfect view of the till just near the doors, and a good view of Julie Wright, who was reading a book entitled ‘Knock on Wood’ as she waited for a customer to purchase some items.
Julie Wright had been hired by his father about two weeks ago and Fred hadn’t been able to concentrate on his job since. To him she was beautiful, with shiny dark red hair that fell down in waves to her elbows and bright blue eyes that he couldn’t help but get lost in, she had been in the year below him at Hogwarts and a Hufflepuff.
“Hey Fred,” Hugo said walking up to where Fred was meant to be stocking up the shelves, Fred jumped wildly, clutching onto the shelf as the step ladder swayed underneath him, he felt his stomach jolt and he looked down at Hugo who was holding onto a box.
“What are you doing? You scared the crap out of me.” Fred said steadying himself again on the ladder before taking a few steps down it, looking to his left to peer through the gaps in the boxes and realising that he could see Julie perfectly well through the gap, this was better for Fred as he wasn’t risking his life now.
“I need your help with these boxes, your dad said to put them next to the Warbling Whistles but I don’t know whereabouts they’re kept.” Hugo stated, he had been hired by his Uncle George at the same time as Julie and he was still getting used to where all of the products were kept. He was only part time whilst his band tried to get gigs, his old band mates had decided to let him back into the band if he agreed to keep his triangle solos down to a minimum.
“Yeah just put them back,” Fred said waving his hand behind him, clearly not listening to Hugo who placed the box down and glared up at Fred.
“Fred I need help, come down here and help me. Stop being a weirdo.” Hugo moaned.
“Weirdo? Coming from you,” Fred scoffed. “Work it out for yourself.”
Hugo’s glare deepened and he let out a groan of annoyance, he shoved the ladder angrily causing Fred to topple off of the step ladder and fall into the stock to the side of him, landing on a cushioning of boxes, which weren’t cushioning at all. He landed on his back, winding himself a little as stock began falling onto him. He barely had time to shield his face as the last boxes fell.
He pushed a few away from him but there were too many to move his feet and legs, making him trapped.
“Hugo!” Fred called as he struggled, Hugo’s face appeared in his vision a smile on his face. “You pushed me! I could have been seriously hurt you buffoon.”
“Buffoon?” Hugo cried, Fred could hear sounds as though someone was coming to inspect what the noise had been. “I’m not helping you now.”
“Hugo help me!”
“Help yourself.” Hugo snapped, walking away from where Fred was half buried.
Fred let out a yell and thrashed around in the boxes, hoping to get free but to no avail. He gave a sigh as he waited for someone to find him. It wasn’t long before he saw his father’s face looking down at him.
“What you doing down there Freddy?” George asked looking down at his son and wondering just how much stock he had ruined or set off.
“Oh you know filing papers, tidying up, the usual really,” Fred said trying to adopt a calm and cool look, suddenly remembering that he was currently laying on a very large amount of stock, which could be expensive and taken out of his wages.
“Are you planning on getting up anytime soon?” George asked a smile on his face.
“Well you see I seem to have gotten stuck,” Fred declared. “And Hugo refused to help me up.”
“How uncouth of him.”
“Tell me about it!” Fred cried, “So if you could be so kind as to help me up father, then we can start looking at getting past this and moving on from this unfortunate occurrence.”
“Right-o,” George said waving his wand and levitating Fred up by his ankle, a spell taught to him by Harry Potter. Fred let out a yell as George laughed, dropping him slowly to the floor where he righted himself quickly, hoping that Julie wasn’t around to see his father embarrass him.
“Thanks a lot dad!” Fred said, dusting down his clothes and looking up at his father, shaking his head at his use of spell.
“Anytime Freddy,” George said giving him a wink and walking off. “Please put the items back where they were and then you can finish stocking up.”
Fred grumbled as he looked around him and saw the mess, putting his hand in his pocket in search of his wand, wondering why he didn’t use it to free himself earlier.
“I see you staring at her again,”
Fred jumped as he heard a voice behind him, whirling around to see his cousin Lucy Weasley standing behind him, a large grin on her face.
“What is with you all scaring me today?” he asked pretending that he wasn’t just staring at Julie who was reading through a catalogue of the shop and searching for something a customer enquired about.
“All of us?” Lucy asked an eyebrow raised at, her cousin.
“You, Hugo … others. All of you coming out of nowhere and scaring me or shoving me off of ladders.” Fred cried throwing his hands in the air, getting annoyed with his family members always appearing as if out of nowhere.
“Hugo shoved you off of a ladder?” Lucy asked, pulling her bag higher onto her shoulder. “What would he do that for?”
“Apparently I didn’t help him put some stock away,”
They were silent for a moment whilst Fred actually done some work, taking more edible quills out of the box and placing them in the display they were standing in front of. Lucy was looking over at Julie, who looked up and waved at Lucy with a smile on her face before turning back to her customer.
“She’s really nice you should ask her out,” Lucy said to Fred who scoffed quickly.
“What so she can turn me down and laugh in my face. I don’t think so.”
“How do you know she’ll turn you down?” Lucy asked.
“Because she’s out of my league. I should just get used to the fact that I’m going to die alone, single and with a house full of Kneazles,” Fred said placing jellied ink next to the quills.
“Stop being melodramatic,” Lucy said hitting Fred on the shoulder, “If Albus can find someone, that means there’s got to be hope for you.”
“How reassuring of you,” Fred tutted.
“Just ask her out, she likes you too I can tell.”
“Oh yeah? How?” Fred asked looking up at his cousin.
“Because she keeps staring over here at you,” Lucy said with a smile nodding over to where Julie was standing. Fred looked over at her and saw that Julie had been looking in their direction before busying herself with something on the counter.
“Maybe she’s admiring your handbag?” Fred said with a shrug looking down again.
“Maybe she’s admiring you, you dummy.”
Fred sighed before shaking his head. Lucy groaned in annoyance at him. “Oh come on Fred; just ask her to one of your sisters Quidditch matches or something. Anything’s got to be better then you staring at her through the shelves like some sort of creep.”
Fred tutted before looking at Lucy again, “Has Hugo been spreading lies again?” he asked indignantly.
“Nope, Uncle George. He says he caught you a few times staring at Julie instead of working.”
Fred groaned before walking away from her, Lucy was quick to follow him.
“Fine, I like her ok, is that a crime?” Fred admitted out loud.
“Aw yay!” Lucy cried in happiness as she clapped, causing Fred to grin.
“You have to let her know,” Lucy told Fred who still had a goofy smile on his face.
“I will eventually,” Fred told her.
Lucy didn’t believe him.
“If you don’t tell her soon, I definitely will,” She threatened him.
Fred knew that Lucy would be good on her word, he wanted to be the one to tell Julie how he felt, he just needed the courage to do so.