Chapter 8 : Nanbread?
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“Dude, there is no way that is Juanita Grippleshook. She’s, like, ten times her height.”
“Are you blind? Who else would walk around in a pink leopardprint one-piece in the middle of winter? That is Grippleshook, no doubt about it.”
“If that is Grippleshook, then I’m a crumple-horned snortkack. Seriously, Al. You’re wrong.”
Al, Ivy and I were waiting in line in a crowded Thai food place, discussing the possible identity of the lady standing in front of us in hushed tones. The stranger herself was tall, blonde, and supermodel skinny (and dressed in questionable attire. Seriously, a leopardprint leotard? Even Lucy wouldn’t wear that) but most definitely not Witch Weekly’s famous Cover Girl. Anyway, how should Al know? He didn’t even read the freaking magazine.
Or did he…
“I will bet you ten sickles that that is Juanita Grippleshook.” Al stated confidently, extending his hand in my direction. Ivy scoffed at this and shook her head. She agreed with me on the matter. That was not Juanita Grippleshook.
Wow. Her full name is starting to get a little disconcerting.
“Ten sickles?” I said sarcastically. “Yeah ok.” I took his hand and gave it a firm, smug shake
“You guys are idiots.” Ivy informed us. “How are you going to prove who she is, anyway?”
Al and I thought about this for a moment.
“Well…” I began.
“Khao Soi for Juanita Grippleshook! Khao Soi!”
The three of us stared at the guy standing behind the crowded counter in shock. He was holding a white paper bag with the takeaway place’s emblem on the front, staring out at the long line of waiting customers.
“Juanita Grippleshook!” He repeated. Ivy and I ogled disbelieving, while Al observed our reactions in silent smugness.
“It can’t be…” Ivy murmured, frowning at the tall girl’s blonde head of hair as she made her way towards the counter. “It’s a fake!”
“Al was right!?” I said, shaking my head in confusion. “Well that’s worrying.”
“Pay up Weasley.” Al said, holding out his hand for his ten sickles. I groaned and rummaged in my pockets for his money.
“I have… five knuts and a sickle on my person, that will have to do.” I stated, dropping the coins into his hand. He sent me a flat look before pocketing the change with a shrug.
“The victory is more important than the prize.” He declared philosophically. Ivy and I shared an amused look, and shuffled along a little in our long queue. We hadn’t even managed to place out order yet, and we had been in here for at least ten minutes.
“I wonder how Lucy’s date is going.” Ivy mused, slipping an arm around Al’s waist. “I really want to meet this guy.”
“She really shouldn’t have gone out with him without our approval beforehand.” Al agreed solemnly. I laughed.
“You guys are like the parents Lucy in fact still has and tries to avoid.” I joked, making the couple scowl at me in annoyance.
Our dear Lucy was on a date with Cedric tonight, something she had been reluctant yet excited about. It was really my fault. I had forced her into it, actually, as I could see that she honestly liked this guy, and was letting her superficial judgments get in the way. She had been begrudging at the beginning of the night, but I was hoping that by tomorrow she would be thanking me.
Here is how I talked her into it: The other night, after Lucy and I had downed two cups of chai apiece and eradicated the rest of the baklava (I still hadn’t touched the pecan pie) I had agreed to give Eddie a call on one condition: That Lucy herself call up Cedric and go on a proper date with him, without any preconceived ideas or verdicts about the guy based on his dorkiness.
She had reluctantly agreed to the deal, and, three days later, was currently enjoying a dinner of curry and rice with the bloke in a cute oriental place not far from our flat. Cedric had chosen the restaurant, and Lucy loved Indian, so the night had gone off on a good start.
I had not yet called Eddie. I was planning on doing it when I got home. Or tomorrow morning. If I wasn’t I too busy avoiding Malfoy, who was spending his first night in his new flat tonight. Oh the horror of my next encounter with him, whenever that may be.
“Earth to Rose!” I snapped out of my reverie to the sight of Ivy’s hand waving across my vision. “Are you in the mood for stir-fry or noodles?”
“Oh, sorry, um, both.” I answered, glancing quickly at the menu. “I don’t even know what these mean. Pla Sam Thap, Sai Mu Thot… I bet you could go up there and order a bunch of nonsense syllables and still be given some dish.”
It took us another seven minutes to actually reach the counter, and then an additional ten for our food to be readied, packaged and handed to us, so it was in considerably grumpy moods that we pushed through the door of the overstuffed Thai place, white paper bags in hand. The hot spicy fumes emanating from our dinner did a quick job of cheering us up, however, and by the time we were settled back at the kitchen table in our flat, our spirits where high.
I’ll admit, it did not take much to make us joyful. The food was also as delectably delicious as it smelled. That helped.
When I stumbled into the kitchen the next morning, it was to find Al and Lucy already sitting at the table, and looking surprisingly bright and awake, for, well… Al and Lucy. Ivy had already left early, as she had a rather big half yearly exam on today. I did not envy the girl.
“Buenos dias!” Lucy said grandly in a terribly thick Spanish accent when I entered the room. “You look dreadful, Rose, did you sleep ok?”
An animalistic grunt was my response, and she let the subject drop.
“Rosie, you might want to put some clothes on.” Al was saying tentatively, pouring me a cup of coffee and placing the steaming mug in my hands. I clutched the drink for dear life, and mentally thanked him for knowing what I needed at this drastically early hour of quarter to nine.
“Why’s that?” I mumbled, glancing down at the oversized red T-shirt I had on. I took a sip of my coffee and cracked my eyes open a couple of extra millimetres. Ah, shapes! I can see shapes!
I was not in top form this morning, as you must have gathered. Though I had gone to bed early after our dinner of delectably spicy takeout, I had barely had a wink of sleep, and had given up even trying by the time the sun started to peek through a crack in my curtains. I had just lain in bed, waiting until it was an appropriate hour for me to get up. I was expected at Flourish & Blott’s – where I worked one or two short shifts per week – at half past ten. The old bookstore was a nice rest from the Leaky Cauldron and the Three Broomsticks, where I was always rushing and racing and serving impatient customers, and Dom worked there as well, so she reeled in a large amount of attractive males, but today, I was not in the mood. I wanted sleep, Merlin, not a night of insomnia and stale coffee!
Actually, I quite liked the coffee.
“Ah…” Al said in answer to my mumbled question. I wrapped my hands tighter around my mug – a tacky hot pink number with the number 19! eagerly decorating the side. Why Ivy gave that to Al for his birthday I will never know – and raised my eyebrows at Lucy. She just widened her eyes, her mouth full of blueberry muffin. I frowned.
But before I could ask my question again, it was answered for me by the entrance of a handsome blonde gentleman into our kitchen.
“Thanks for inviting me over, I can’t believe I forgot to pack – Oh. Good morning Rose.”
Malfoy was standing at the doorway in green shirt and grey tracksuit pants, his hair messy, with the distinct air of having gotten out of bed not so long ago. I stared at him wide eyed for a few seconds, taking in the fact that he was here in our flat, at quarter to nine in the morning, before turning my incredulous expression to Al and Lucy.
“That is why.” Al declared solemnly, pointing at Malfoy. Lucy was still sitting there looking like a deer caught in the headlights. I opened my mouth to speak, before noticing the three cups of coffee and half eaten plates of muffin sitting on the kitchen table, two of which had my traitorous cousins sitting in front of them, and the other – No. Was that - Was Malfoy - Where they feeding him muffin!?
“I forgot to pack kitchen utensils.” Malfoy explained, ruffling the back of his hair. Stop doing that! I wanted to yell, but I refrained. “So Al invited me over for breakfast. Thanks again man.” He added, turning to face my cousin. Al grinned, but I was fuming.
“There is a bakery just down the road.” I seethed, gesturing randomly out the window. “Was it really that hard to - ”
“I thought we made a deal, Weasley.” Malfoy cut in, raising his eyebrows. I fell silent, remembering the conversation we had held in this very kitchen a couple of nights ago. Screw him for being right. And screw me for shaking on that stupid deal. What had I been thinking?
“Right.” I said, pulling a hand through my messy hair. I was suddenly aware of what I must look like right now, my hair knotted and frizzy, my eyes underlined by purple bags, my shirt – my shirt. Al’s words suddenly came back to me, and I abruptly became all too aware that I was currently garbed in nothing but a large shirt the colour of a phone booth that reached somewhere roughly near the bottom of my bum. And I was standing in front of Malfoy. And not four days ago I had admitted to having feelings for him. And I was standing in front of Malfoy.
I was going to kill Al. Right after I was done killing Malfoy for not packing a sodding coffee mug when he moved out of home. What, he could bring his bathtub but he didn’t think of grabbing a single cup?
I desperately wanted to be anywhere other than this kitchen, be it my room, work, or southern Greece, and my poor mind was whirring into overdrive. My thoughts were becoming dangerously incoherent.
“Nanbread!” I exclaimed abruptly, or something close to, before taking myself and my cup of coffee out of the kitchen with as much dignity as I could muster in a small red shirt which gave Malfoy a very easy view of my behind.
I failed. My dignity failed. I wanted to sleep.
“Rosie, what the fuck was that?” Lucy was standing at my bedroom door, her hands on her hips, her eyebrows raised. I glanced over at her, and let out a tired sigh.
“What was what?” I asked innocently. What was what my arse. What was nanbread doing coming out of my mouth was what was what. That confused me.
“Um, let’s see…” Lucy mused, walking into my room. She plastered a shocked, wide-eyed look to her face before uttering a high. “Nanbread!” And after her surprisingly accurate imitation was done, she gave me a flat look and dropped onto my bed. I stayed put by my desk where I was still nursing my coffee and my crumbled pride.
“I needed an excuse to leave the room.” I explained, trying to sound nonchalant. Lucy quirked an eyebrow at me.
“But nanbread?” She repeated, looking amused. I threw up my hands in exasperation at her entertained expression.
“You weren’t much help!” I told her accusingly. “You know how I… feel, you should have marched me out as soon as he walked into the room!”
Lucy had the decency to look a little ashamed. “I’m sorry.” She said, giving me a slight smile. “But I was shocked into silence when I saw the both of you standing together, I was stunned. All that was going through my head was Rose likes him. She likes him. Rosie likes him.” She fell silent with an exasperated look.
“Don’t you let that one slip, yeah?” I muttered, a little sardonically. Lucy smirked.
“Says the girl who blurted out nanbread only minutes before.” She riposted, smiling smugly. I rolled my eyes.
“I don’t know what was going through my head.” I moaned. “I just knew I wanted to leave. I had suddenly realized that I was only wearing this shirt, and I got embarrassed.” I shrugged and stared at my feet, glancing up at Lucy at the sound of her chuckling.
“Al did warn you.” She pointed out reasonably. “And it could have been worse, you could had been wearing that long tie-dyed nightrobe of yours. I won’t say that Malfoy didn’t notice the shirt, because he wouldn’t stop ogling at your legs, but I’m sure he didn’t - ”
Lucy came to a stop when she noticed me choking on my mouthful of coffee.
“What did you say he was doing?” I asked her croakily, coughing a couple of times and placing my drink gingerly down on my desk. Lucy smirked and repeated what she had said.
“He was staring at your legs. You’ve got gorgeous legs, Rose, who could blame him?”’
My eyes widened and my heart began to beat at an unnaturally fast rate. I placed a hand on my chest as I attempted to tame the flutters that had begun in my stomach region. Oh blast. This was awful.
“This needs to stop, Luc.” I sighed, gritting my teeth in annoyance. “I need to stop feeling like this about Malfoy. I’m going to go insane!”
“We have a plan, remember?” Lucy reminded me, crossing her legs. “A fairly easy plan at that. All you need to do is pick up your phone…”
“It’s not that easy.” I sighed.
“Yes it is!” Lucy insisted, tucking a brown curl behind her ear. “I’ve upheld my side of the bargain, now you need to uphold yours.”
“Oh!” I exclaimed, remembering suddenly. “How did your date with Cedric go?”
“I’ll tell you once you ring Ed.” Lucy informed me with a sly look. She crossed her arms over her chest and sent a pointed glance at my phone, which was sitting innocently on my desk.
“You bribing son-of-a-bitch.” I muttered, reaching for my mobile. “But it’s too early…” I glanced at the time glowing off the screen. “It’s only nine. He’ll be asleep. I’ll just - ”
“Rose, you call that motherfucker right now, or I swear to fuck I will do it for you!” Lucy hissed menacingly. I glanced at her with hope, my eyes wide and eager.
“You would!?” I asked her.
I bit my lip, tapping a rhythm on the edge of my phone with my nails. “What should I say?” I whispered, earning myself another exasperated glance.
“Ask him to meet up with you for lunch.” Lucy suggested with a shrug. “Invite him to a cute restaurant or something.”
“But I only work until two today, I don’t get a lunch break.” I negated quickly, pulling a hand through my knotted hair. “I’ll just call him on Sunday when I have the day off.” I grinned reassuringly, and placed my phone back down on my desk. Lucy glowered at me; she looked positively furious.
“Ask him if he wants to get coffee with you.” She proposed instead. “Rose, you can’t put this off forever. Or would you rather go back out there and face Scorpius?”
I shook my head fiercely. “No I would not.” I said, picking my phone back up again. “I’m calling him Lucy. I’m going to ask him for coffee. But what if he doesn’t answer?”
“Rose, I swear to God…”
“Okay, okay, I’m calling! Shit you can be threatening when you want to be.”
“Thank you. Now call.”
So I called. I was nervous enough as it was, and Lucy’s aggressive whisper of ‘If you say nanbread! And hang up, I will hurt you Rose’ did not help matters in the slightest, but I did call, and he did answer, and five nerve wracking minutes later I found myself agreeing to meet him for coffee at La Praline at three this afternoon. After hanging up and placing my phone back down on my desk – I feared that if I kept it in my hands I may squeeze it into metallic pulp – I turned to face Lucy, who was still seated on my bed and staring at me expectantly.
“So?” She prodded, like she hadn’t just been listening carefully to every word of my conversation. “Do you have a hot date or not?”
“I do.” I said, walking over to my closet and pulling it open. “We’re meeting up for coffee at La Praline. Now I need to get ready for work. What are you doing today?”
“I was thinking about lounging about the house in my underwear.” Lucy sighed, stretching out like a cat. “Maybe read, finish knitting my beanie.”
“It’s not a beanie, Luc, it’s a shapeless lump,” I told her kindly, pulling out a pair of dark jeans and a colourful cardigan and throwing them on the floor behind me.
“It’s a beanie.” Lucy stated in response. I scoffed. “And I will wear it with pride.”
“You’ll wear it like an imbecile, that’s what.”
“Why are you like this?”
I rolled my eyes and sent her a smile. “Go lounge about in your underwear, I need to get ready.” I said, pulling on my jeans. Lucy reluctantly obliged, sending me a kiss of farewell over her shoulder as she left.
“Don’t pretend to be sour at me, Rosie, I know that you’re secretly grateful.” She said knowingly. I just scoffed, but she was partially right. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have called Eddie and begun my plan for forgetting about Malfoy. But also, if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have to see Eddie at three this afternoon in a crowded French café. So it was one half anger, one half gratitude. I knew she meant well.
When I got home that afternoon, it was to find the flat empty and silent. Al was at work, Ivy was probably still in that blasted exam, and Lucy… well, I didn’t want to know where Lucy was.
With a tired sigh I pulled off my coat and shoes, dropped my bag on the coffee table, and wandered into the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine. I had no intention of getting drunk before my date, but one or two glasses would certainly help my case nerve and tongue-tie wise.
I carried my wineglass – and the bottle – into my room, where I stood for a couple of moments staring at my open closet, sipping my drink as I did so. Earlier today (to prove that I did not give a hippogriff’s arse about this date) I had told myself that I would not change out of my jeans and shirt when I got home, but simply pull a brush through my hair and maybe switch my boots for a pair of other, cleaner boots. But I now found myself wanting to look nice when Eddie saw me again – oh the horror – so after a couple of minutes deliberating, I placed my half-finished glass of wine on my desk, and stripped down to my underwear.
As I picked out some clothes, I began to wonder how honest I was really being here. I mean, I had just asked a guy out, basically with the sole intention of using him to forget another guy. What was I going to do if the plan succeeded and my feelings for Malfoy dwindled? Just drop Eddie? Continue to see him? That is if he even wanted to see me. For all I knew, by the time this coffee date ended, he could have no interest in having a relationship with me at all.
As I pulled a light, cream coloured dress over my head, I was struck with a terrifying thought. Eddie wasn’t expecting things today to end like they had the other night, was he? Did he think this was a hook-up coffee? What if he agreed to a drink only because he thought I was going to sleep with him afterwards? I knew that it was never good to call a guy up after a one-night-stand! What had I been thinking? I briefly considered not going to La Praline at all, but dismissed the thought as soon as it came. I couldn’t give up now, not after I had gone through all the trouble of calling him up. Plus, Lucy would hurt me in many, many ways if she found out I had ditched this date.
I pulled my hair up into a messy ponytail and applied a layer of red lipstick, my spirits getting lower and lower by the second. By the time I was dabbing on some musk, I was out-to-out praying to Merlin for something drastic to happen between now and three o’clock. Whatever, really, I wasn’t too picky. I’d take a meteor, the resurrection of Voldemort, anything!
But Voldemort did not rise from his grave, and at ten to three, I found myself slipping on my coat, ready to leave, with no powerful dark wizard to stop me. I was going on this date whether I wanted to or not.
I apparated in a side street near La Praline and walked the rest of the way, my boots sinking into the melted snow that lined the sidewalk. It was relatively busy today, as the sun had made a pleasant, if weak, appearance, and all London dwellers seemed to want to make the most of it.
A warm wave of coffee and chocolate smelling air washed over me as I pushed through the door of La Praline, along with the soft sound of much obnoxious chatter. This café seemed to attract a large amount of snob upper-classers, which was unfortunate, really, because it served delicious hot chocolate and croissants, too good to go elsewhere.
I glanced around the room, searching for Eddie’s unmistakeable hair, and saw him standing over near the bar. He caught my eye and waved, walking over to me.
His hair was less red, more rusty brown, then I remembered, but he looked good. More handsome than I recalled as well, and without Henry next to him casting his gorgeous shadow on every man in this universe, his good looks stood out even more. I felt my heart begin to beat faster as he approached.
“Hey.” He said warmly when he reached me. His mouth was stretched into a wide, amiable smile, and I found myself nearly beaming in response. His grin was clearly contagious, it did strange things to the mind, I swear. I pushed a curl behind my ear and took a deep breath.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this, and even if it was just a little bit, telling me so in a review would make my day!
So. A date with Eddie. Do you guys like Eddie? Do you think the date will go well? Any other thoughts/comments you would like to inform me of?
I have the next chapter written, so I'll put it up very very soon :) Thanks for reading!!
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