You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com


Wrong number by Tecla Sunrise

Format: Short story
Chapters: 5
Word Count: 7,862
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Substance abuse

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Albus, James (II), OC
Pairings: James/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 06/08/2017
Last Chapter: 03/09/2018
Last Updated: 03/09/2018

Summary:
Amazing banner by floralprint@tda







 

Have you ever called the wrong number?

At least once in your life.

...but what if it were the right time?

J/OC


Chapter 1: First call
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


 

I. First call

August 2029

James was hovering idly above the grass, trying to enjoy the sun and think about something to do to fill yet another summer afternoon that was threatening to kill him with boredom; being off-season sucked. And having to admit that Al’s disappearance to his girlfriend’s house and Lily's need to study for her Auror exam robbed him of any enjoyable activity was just sad.

When had he become so pathetic?

He hated Sundays.

A discreet vibration in his pocket roused him from those thoughts; his phone screen proudly presented him with a private number call and he answered, having nothing better to do.

“Hello?”

“You have no idea what a shitty day I just had.” Answered an unknown female voice, clearly distraught.

“Hard to beat mine.”

She completely ignored him.

“No, really, the worst. Abby called me yesterday to ask me if I could watch her stupid kids and of course I, being a genuinely if naïve good person, told her yes, like I do every Sunday. What an idiot. You know what those two little spawn of the devil did to me?”

“I can only imagine.” Said James, lounging on his broom, leaving the hard job to entertain him to that funny voice.

“No, you can’t. First they decided to go to the park and I was like sure, let’s enjoy the sun, maybe we can get ice cream, you know, I was staying positive. Of course, when we reached the park – you know, the one where we used to smoke?”

“How could I forget?” He asked, thinking back to when he, Fred and Dominique had explored the wondrous activity of taking drugs near Diagon Alley.

He missed being a teenager, sometimes.

“Exactly. Well, they disappeared, Vic. In less than ten seconds I had lost the precious heirs to a mob of snotty kids and gossiping mothers. And you know me, right? When in doubt, panic.”

He had to smile.

“Excellent strategy.”

“I swear to freaking Merlin, I had to look everywhere. I should have listened to ma when she’d told me to cast a tracking charm on their cute little asses but no, of course I had also left my wand at home. Finally, after two hours of sweating, swearing and dodging toy brooms, I found them.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad, c’mon.”

“Oh, my sweet summer child.” She sighed, teasing. “This is just the beginning.”

“You make it sound apocalyptic. Should I sit down?”

“Please, do. I don’t want you on my conscience, as well. The heirs are enough.”

“What did you even do to them?”

Me? I didn’t do anything! But those little blights were playing Exploding Snap when I found them and another kid – not one under my jurisdiction, fortunately – made the whole thing explode in their faces. Sarah’s eyebrows were gone and Kyle was howling desperately!”

“Thank Merlin I sat down. What did you do?”

“Well, I brought them to St. Mungo because you know I suck at growing hair back – not that I had my wand, anyway – and if Abby found out, I was bound to a lengthy discussion about my incurable immaturity and somehow she would have ended up telling me that's why I haven’t had a boyfriend in ages. Sarah’s eyebrows were so not worthy.”

“Abby doesn’t sound so nice.”

“No, ok, I was being harsh. I love her but you know her, she's just too perfect to contemplate the fact that anybody else wouldn’t be. Her perfect house with her perfect husband and adorable kids…”

“Weren’t they blights?”

“Yes, of my existence, but you can’t deny they’re the cutest. Anyway, guess who I ran into at the hospital?”

“Er…Abby’s perfect dog?”

She laughed and James felt like he had just been hit by a bludger: her laugh was rich, sparkling, unguarded. His smile widened.

“Merlin, a joke! The last time you made one I had just bought my first bra. What happened to the intellectual/hipster phase?”

“Boring.”

“Couldn’t agree more. Anyway, no, it wasn’t her dog. I met Louis.”

“Weasley?”

“The one and only, obviously. Fucking hell.”

James raised an eyebrow, intrigued. “Amen. What happened?”

“Oh, you know, I was covered in sweat and cinder and I hadn’t washed my hair since the last full moon, while he was all tall and handsome in his stupid black jeans – you know, the one I gave him – and his annoying arrogant smirk, with the decorative centrepiece he calls girlfriend hooked on his arm.”

James cursed his complete inability to remember anything that didn’t revolve around Quidditch as he tried to think about Louis’ ex-girlfriends. Unfortunately, he was Lily’s age and they had never seen each other much.

His love life was an utter mystery. James didn’t even know who the current centrepiece was.

But at least that placed the adorable voice owner around twenty-one or two.

“I might need to use my gran’s smelling salts to get through this.”

“I don’t think so, sunshine. I had to live through the painfully awkward experience of being introduced to her – and the stupid bint didn’t even remember me – without their help. Get a grip, Vic.”

“I profusely apologize.”

“Who even uses profusely? Are you ok?”

“Sorry, I was skimming through the dictionary to keep myself awake.”

“Very funny, Vic. Anyway. I thought that was it, right? But no, after I collected the pests and was ready to go back home, Louis was waiving at me so I waved back, and my top’s strap just gave up.”

James laughed, hard, happy he had picked up the phone.

“Stop laughing. It wasn’t nice.” She muttered half-heartedly.

“I daresay the centrepiece was really jealous.”

“Stop teasing, prick.”

“I prefer James.”

“Oh, I like it.” She answered, unfazed. “Very old fashioned, like a stuffy lord dining with the Queen. Surname?”

“Potter.”

“Now, Vic, there’s no need to aim that high.”

“Why?”

“I like you even if your dad didn’t save the world. Actually, he does save it every time he makes lasagnes. When are you going to bring me some, anyway?”

“Not soon, I’m afraid. Dad is very good at offing Dark Lords but he can’t cook anything except a mean omelette.”

“…”

“Hey, you there?”

“You’re not Victor.” Not a question. James was almost sad.

“I’m afraid not, darling.”

“I…” she breathed “oh, Merlin, I’m so sorry…”

“Please, don’t be. You brightened my dull afternoon.”

“It’s just that when I start talking I can’t stop, really, it’s a curse.”

“It’s not that bad, really. You’re funny.”

“Thanks… ah, ehm…I should go”

“Oh, you women” James sighed, good naturedly “Always ready to flee when there isn’t lasagnes involved.”

“Oh, you men” she echoed, amusement clear in her voice “Always ready to take advantage of unsuspecting, talkative girls.”

There was a pause.

“I really should go, now. Sorry again.”

“Stop apologizing.” Answered James “And say hi to the heirs.”

Her laugh was just beautiful.

“Bye.”

“Adios.”


Chapter 2: Second call
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

I. Second call


September 2029

James had just finished practicing and was heading to his flat, deciding to walk as the early evening looked too good to pass up.

His phone ringed and he picked it up without even checking the caller, his focus on London's busy streets, amusedly obeserving muggles running everywhere with purposeful paces and busy expressions.

“Hello?”

“Vic, I’m going to strangle you!”

He had recognized the voice by the first syllable and was now smiling broadly.

“Hello to you too, darling. What got your knickers in a twist?”

“You did, dolt! Guess what I found when I got back home?”

“A devilishly good looking man naked in your bed?”

“If only! YOU FLOODED THE FLAT, IDIOT!” she roared, making him jump.

“I only cried a little while watching Fast and Furious, darling. Can’t blame a bloke.”

A pause. Water sounds.

“You…Victor?” her voice was small and almost vulnerable.

“Nope!” cheered James, popping the ‘p’.

“Fuck!”

“Actually, it’s James.”

“No, I meant… shit!”

“Still wrong but please, keep trying, I’m sure we’ll find something we both like.”

She was hyperventilating “This is so typical, really, every time I open my mouth I make a fool of myself. I wish I could just be swallowed by the ground.”

“Hard with the current flood.” He said, trying to distract her “What happened?”

She exhaled deeply. James could hear faint splashes in the background.

“Might as well tell you. Victor is a tool and has left the kitchen tap open with a pot under it that covered the drain. I swear to Merlin, that boy will be the death of me.”

“I sure hope not, I love it when you call me.”

“I’m really sorry, it’s just – I know Vic’s number by heart and sometimes I get it wrong… in my defence, your voices sound the same.”

“Way to make me feel special.”

“Oh, yes, I’m sure you need more validation.” She snorted.

It was adorable.

“What do you mean?”

“Aren’t you a star Quidditch player with famous parents and a smile worth of Witch Weakly?”

The said smile just didn’t want to leave his face.

“That’s not fair, though. I don’t know anything about you.”

“There’s not much to know.”

“I beg to disagree, but you may be right. I should make sure. When are we meeting?”

Silence.

James was tenser that he cared to admit; he had even stopped walking.

“Did you drown?”

“You… you want to meet me?” she asked, hesitantly.

“Do I need to owl you my gran’s smelling salts?”

“Not a bad idea.”

“You have to tell me your name first, though.” James suggested “My owl is smart but even she needs something to work with.”

“Oh, you sly fox.”

“C’mon, I can’t very well keep calling you darling. That’s for after the wedding.”

“How did we even get to marriage? I’m swimming in my flat, Jamie! I have more pressing matters!” she cried out and the splashing intensified.

“Ugh.”

“What?”

“Not Jamie, please. All it comes to mind is my sister when she needs something. And my mum.”

“She is a stunning woman.”

“Are you?” he asked, actually interested.

The need to match a face with that adorably shrill and sunny voice was burning in his chest.

“Oh, didn’t I tell you? I’m a model. I plan to become Miss England by 2030 and Miss Universe by 2035.”

Now I’m excited” joked James, planning to send a letter to Louis about his love life.

She laughed uncertainly.

“Not to mention” continued James “That you still haven’t told me what happened after you left the hospital. How about dinner?”

Silence stretched.

“I could be a serial killer, for all you know!” she protested.

James smiled and started walking again “Scientific studies prove that serial killers don’t babysit children.”

She laughed “Sorry, I didn’t know.”

“Well, look it up, good Godric!”

“I could be an old woman.” She offered next, amused.

“I don’t hang out with Louis often, but something tells me you’re probably his age.”

“Merlin!”

“Better than ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’, that’s for sure, but still quite away from James.”

“No, I mean… I had completely forgotten Louis is your cousin.” she clarified, clearly anxious.

“I forget about it too, y’know. We’re, like, twenty. You can’t keep in touch with everybody.”

“Well… that’s good.”

James smirked “Are you worried?”

She surprised him by saying yes, but quickly changed topic.

“Vic could be my boyfriend.”

James laughed “Then why would Abby bother to psychoanalyse you?”

“You don’t miss anything, do you?”

“Not when you say it…” he said, lowering his voice in what Dominique called the “fatal blow”.

“Ah… well…”

“Go out with me.”

She breathed in loudly.

“I… should talk about it with Vic and Abby…” she said, tentatively, and James could almost see her blush.

His winning smile would have made smelling salts necessary for every woman.

“Please, do. I feel like I know them already.”

“Ok… I’ll call you by mistake soon.”

“Good luck with the flood!”

“Bye…”


Chapter 3: Third call
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 III. Third call

October 2029

 
James stumbled home on Saturday morning around nine after what his uncle Ron would have called a bloody hell of a night.

He was still drunk.

Unbelievable; he wasn’t nineteen anymore, for Merlin’s sake.

He wasn’t going to survive nights like that much longer, though, and they had won the match against the Kenmare Kestrels by 350 points.

There was a good cause.

His phone rang, piercing the silence and prompting a groan from James.

Up until three months before, he would have never contemplated to pick it up.

Now, he reached for it tiredly, nonetheless smiling when he saw ‘private number’.

“’llo…” he muttered, laying down on his couch and closing his eyes.

“Vic” the voice was anxious. James’s right eye widened slightly, worried.

“I think I’m in deep shit.” She said, desolated “I keep thinking about James Potter…”

James grinned, relaxing “An STD would be worse.”

“I’m serious! It’s insane, I’ve never even met him.”

The voice was small, vulnerable; unbearably cute.

“But… God, he seems so funny and witty… he’s probably a universe away from the usual losers I go out with. And… and his voice, Vic. I thought I was going to melt when he asked me out. What do I do?”

James sighed deeply, content.

“Call him.”

“And tell him what? ‘Hey, James, it’s me, the mental girl with verbal diarrhea that called you a couple times’… pathetic.”

He asked you out, right? Logic tells us he probably likes you.”

“Logic doesn’t have anything to do with the situation: let’s be real for second, ok?”

She didn’t wait for an answer.

“He’s James freaking Potter. He has an army of beautiful fangirls that flock around him, he would never like me. Besides, I’m a Gemini, you know for me it’s always love at first sight… if I see him it’s over.” She sounded adorably flustered.

Something warm started in James’ chest and he forgot his headache.

“Darling, you think too much. Just go for it, I’m sure he doesn’t even notice the fangirls.”

Deep, tense silence.

A sharp, panicky intake of breath on the other side of the phone.

“Tell me you’re Vic.”

“I’m Vic.”

“Swear!” she cried, clearly distraught.

He hesitated “Ehm…”

“Oooooh Merlin, what an aaaass…” she howled, and something fell in the background “This beats everything else! I need to be cured!”

“Relax, darling” he said, seraphic “I think a Calming Draught would be most effective right now.”

“I just want to die.” She whispered, shame evident in her tone “Now. And never get out of my house again.”

“Well, that would just ruin my day.”

“Mine is already ruined, Jamie! No way we’re meeting after this.” She whined, pitifully.

“You know, this Jamie thing you’ve developed is just cruel.” He muttered, turning to his side, trying to find a more comfortable position that didn’t make him want to die.

“As I just confirmed once again, Jamie, life is cruel.”

James laughed “I think I’ve heard that before.”

“Oh, God. I’m going to hang up now.”

“No!” he said, maybe too quickly “I just had a most difficult night, darling. Distract me.”

She sighed and he could almost see her smiling “What did you do?”

“Drank the equivalent of my body mass in Rubin shots.”

“That’s impressive. What else can you do that would kill a mere mortal?”

He smirked “I can stand up on my broom for a full minute, I can hold my breath for three – a necessary skill if you want to survive the Falcons locker room –, I can sing the first act of The barber of Seville and I know how to roller skate.”

She giggled “You should put it in your resume.”

“It’s all there, black on white. What’s in yours?” He asked, curious.

“Well, I can drive and use the maps on the phone with a success rate of about 88%, I can walk with high heels on the grass without falling and I know how to make Wasabi.”

James was so glad she had gotten the number wrong again, he just blissfully whispered “Amazing.”

“I know, my Japanese grandma taught me how to and I’m really good at it.”

“Making Wasabi?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

She laughed “No, walking on grass with heels.”

“You sound like a mystic and legendary creature.”

“And I have the grace of one, too!” she shouted merrily.

“Really?”

“No, I move like a drunk elephant.” She retorted, snorting.

“Well, for me that’s a quality! C’mon, you have to have some flaws.”

“Beside for the total lack of filter between brain and mouth?”

He could hear her insecurities as clear as the sun; he wanted to make them all disappear because she was amazing and he was dazzled and turning into a sap but still. He liked her.

“Another stunning quality.”

“Well… I’m always late. It’s pathological. I even keep my watches five minutes early, but the fact that I know it kind of nullifies the intention.”

He snorted “At least you try.”

“Lots of good, that does. But I always bring wine at parties.” She said, trying to sound endearing.

“I can’t drink wine. It’s just foul.” Retorted James, scrunching up his nose at the thought of any alcohol, let alone one he hated.

“I once asked a friend of a friend if she was pregnant. She wasn’t.”

He couldn’t resist rolling his eyes, amused “I turned my sister’s boyfriend into a salamander, once.”

“I pee in the ocean.”

He laughed.

“You think you’re winning, but in the area of making a fool of oneself, you’re just a beginner.”

“Prove it.” She challenged him, all embarrassment forgotten.

“I accidentally drank an aphrodisiac potion at a dinner party with the family of my ex-girlfriend then proceeded to make lascivious advances to every person in the room. Her grandma threw the pudding on my face.”

She cried out in delight “Wait. How do you accidentally drink an aphrodisiac potion?”

“When your girlfriend wants to try to spice up the relationship but she’s messy.”

Pause.

James wondered if mentioning Carla had been a good idea, after all.

“Is she an ex because of that?” she asked then, hesitantly.

He smirked, feeling her jealousy. Somehow, that just made him want to see her more.

“My, my, aren’t we curious for someone who doesn’t want to meet me.”

“I’m not curious, it’s just that knowing my bad luck when I fancy someone…”

Abrupt, stark silence.

James held his breath and was sure she was doing the same.

Suddenly, the need to see her seemed almost unbearable.

“Are you still breathing?” He asked, tentatively.

Another few seconds of silence “No, I’m just tying a rope on the ceiling.” The voice answered, almost scared of itself.

“Remember to leave a note!” He tried to joke, but his smile said it all.

“I don’t really fancy you, you know…” she tried to backpedal, anxious “it’s just, you seem really nice and funny… and you have a beautiful voice…”

“Yours is adorable, too.” he cut her off, suddenly intense “impetuous, happy, full of life… I wish I could drink it.” He finished, hoping to send his message across.

He was mesmerized and he didn’t even know her name

She stayed silent longer this time and James felt, for the first time, that he had fucked the whole thing up.

“Listen…” he started dejectedly, ready to reassure her.

She interrupted him “Elizabeth.”

James opened his eyes, caught by surprise.

“What?”

She swallowed loudly “My name is Elizabeth.”

Another pause.

“Oh.”

And then James grinned for no reason at all.

“Well Elizabeth, nice to meet you. I’m still James, but ‘shit’ or ‘Merlin’ are also good.”

She giggled, nervously “I must be crazy. I should go.”

“Bye, Liz. If you want, you can phone the wrong number around five, today... when I’ll resurrect from my hangover.”

“Sure… bye.”











Hello everyone! thank you for the lovely reviews and I hope you'll like this chapter too! I plan on writing two more calls, so we're halfway done!

sorry if there are any grammar errors - english is my second language - and let me know what you think about Elizabeth and her inability to just. shut. up.

poor special snowflake! thank god James is nice about it ;)

see ya!


Chapter 4: Fourth call
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 

IV. Fourth call



Later the same day


James was blissfully dreaming about eating lasagnes with a side of wasabi when an insistent ring woke him up, drilling into his skull painfully.

A wave of nausea threatened to overwhelm him, but he manned up and swallow it back down.

No time for princesses in his household.

Flat.

He blindly tossed his duvet around before his hand finally connected with the damned Muggle contraption.

“Hullo?” he grumbled, half of his face pressed against the pillow in a futile attempt to lessen his headache.

“Tell me your deepest secret.” Elizabeth’s voice was fresh like water when thirsty and he found that he wasn’t even mad.

Had that been Fred, he would have skinned him alive.

“I hate hangovers.” He whispered, praying she would too.

She seemed to understand immediately.

“Ops. Did I wake you?”

James made an inhuman sound of assent.

“Sorry” she murmured, mindful, and James wished he could kiss her and her siren voice into oblivion. “Do you want me to call you back?”

He grumbled, rubbing his eyes tiredly “Nah, ‘issokay. I’m awake.”

“Are you sure? I don’t mind, you know. It’s Saturday and my evening plans are ice cream and trying to become one with the couch.”

He smiled, keeping his eyes shut and settling down better “Old or new?”

“Well, it’s an old habit but every ice cream is new.” She answered, puzzled.

“I meant the couch.”

“How was I supposed to understand that?” Elizabeth protested, good-naturedly “You’re cryptic when you’re hungover, Jamie.”

“Ugh, stop, or I’m going to call you Betty.”

“I feel like a Betty right now.” she mused playfully “D’you reckon I should take out my knitting kit?”

“Tell me you actually have one because I love hand knitted clothes.”

“Of course I do, but do you really?”

“Now who’s being cryptic?” James retorted, grinning.

“Humour me.”

“Well, you don’t grow up a Weasley without loving hand knitted clothes. My nana makes the best jumpers in the world. Last year I even got a scarf – mind, I was the only one, Al was furious – but that’s what you get for showing appreciation.”

“Oh, I remember!” she exclaimed, victorious “Louis used to have a blue one with broomsticks on it.”

“Tsk.” James rolled his eyes, suddenly annoyed “Blue. Mine are all red.”

“Such a Gryffindor.” The voice was mocking “But don’t change the subject: out with the secrets.”

“Uhm… Have I already told you that I roller skate?”

“Yes.”

“Then I’m out of exciting news.”

She scoffed “Seriously? I’m yawning.”

“How about this: you tell me something about yourself, then I do the same.”

“A quid pro quo? Like Clarice Sterling and Hannibal Lecter? Love it!”

“Yes, but without liver and wine.”

He could almost see her pouting “I’m personally insulted by your dislike of wine. Besides, they drink Chianti in the movie: it doesn’t get much better than that.”

“Ugh. Let’s not talk about alcohol.” He whispered, turning on his back.

She laughed “I bet you’re a lightweight, Jamie.”

“You caught me, Betty dearest.”

“Ok, then, I’ll start: what’s your biggest fear?”

“I’m too hungover for that question but… I’d say heights.”

She cried out in disbelief “Heights?! How can you be afraid of heights when you play Quidditch for a living?”

“The trick is to never look down.”

“Bullshit.” Elizabeth said with certainty “C’mon, Jamie, what’s your biggest fear?”

“I am really intimidated by sears.”

“I’m yawning again. Will you tell me the truth?”

“Not until you keep calling me Jamie.”

“But it’s so cute and fluffy!” she protested with a girly tone.

“Exactly.”

“Fine, I’ll change it. So, biggest fear, Jimmy?”

“Hippogriffs.” He muttered.

“Are you serious?”

James grin became huge “That’s my middle name, darling.”

“James…” she warned him, and James felt a shiver down his spine as he finally heard her saying his name. He tossed the duvet away from his body.

“Yes, it’s the truth, naked, raw and crunchy as a celery stalk. Don’t ask.”

“I’m actually afraid to.”

“So, what about you, Betty?”

“Betrayal.” She said, sombre.

James arched an eyebrow.

“Oh. Who hurt you, darling?” He said in a careless tone, not unkindly, trying to lighten the mood.

She sighed.

“Nah, nothing like that… it’s just, you can’t never know a person completely, right? Well, I’m afraid to be proved wrong about people: my worst nightmare is to suddenly wake up next to a stranger. It’s not rational… but fears rarely are, I guess.”

“It makes more sense than hippogriffs, at least.” He reassured her, planning to ask Louis a few questions “Right, my turn. What House were you in?”

“Slytherin.” Pride was clear in her voice.

James gaped “Really?”

“What?” she asked, suddenly defensive “Don’t I sound cunning and ambitious?”

“I would have pegged you for an Hufflepuff, to be honest.” He joked, knowing that would irk her.

Rude!” Elizabeth cried, outraged, trying not to laugh.

“I’ll have you know that Hufflepuffs are actually cool, y’know?” James protested, thinking about his cousin Lucy “Besides, Slytherin girls are frightening.”

Excuse me?”

Now, the outrage was real.

“Your stalking abilities put the whole Auror department to shame.” He said, having way more fun than he should have had, recalling Carla’s obsessive behaviour.

“Well, well. Not such a great Gryffindor, eh?” she mocked him.

“Being brave means doing the thing even if it scares you shitless.” He pointed out, summoning a glass of water from the kitchen “Which is why I still want to meet you.”

“I’m not sure if you’re insulting me or trying to flirt.”

“Is it working?” he asked, his voice purposefully huskier.

She snorted, unimpressed “What, the insulting? Perfectly.”

“C’mon, Betty, stop dodging the question.” He moaned, annoyed.

She tried to play the innocent card “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You, me, an awfully expensive dinner and brilliant conversation.” He then retorted, deciding that being blunt was his best option “What do you say?”

“That I hope you’ve run out of aphrodisiac potion.”

He smiled “You’re adorable.”

Elizabeth’s voice was nowhere to be found.

“Betty? Did you hang up?”

“Stop using that tone.” She said, uncertain “It flusters me.”

“Think about how flustered I am, trying to survive this hangover.”

Elizabeth laughed, still hesitant.

“There, now it’s over.” He murmured.

“Why?” she asked, matching his tone “Did you see a bottle of wine?”

“Your laugh. Its effect on my body is worse than an aphrodisiac potion.”

“Ops, my brain froze from too much ice cream, I don’t know what you mean.”

“I mean that I love it.”

Another abrupt silence from Elizabeth: James’ voce had softly dropped a few octaves lower, suddenly warm and vibrant as a caress.

“I like your voice, because it’s fresh and happy as spring; I like how you use it, throwing yourself headfirst into conversations, letting your emotions ride every syllable. I like your irony, because it shows a brilliant mind and a big heart.”

There was no sound on the other side of the phone, except for quick and lightly discontinued breathing. James waited a few seconds for his heartbeats to slow down.

“There, now that I said it, I’m ready face hippogriffs.” He said, going back to his normal happy and light-hearted tone: there was, nonetheless, a slight strain in the background, distinctively highlighted by Elizabeth’s answer.

“Oh-ah… hippogriffs, right.”

“Are you okay?” asked James, vaguely mischievous.

“Actually, not really. It’s terribly hot in here.”

“Where are you?”

“In a refrigerator cell.”

James laughed, hypnotizing Elizabeth on the other end of the phone.

“I think that’s the most cryptic compliment I’ve ever received.”

“Maybe I’m the one who’s hungover.” She tried to joke, half-heartedly.

“Elizabeth…” His tongue rolled on her name like it was deliciously sweet chocolate “When are we meeting?”

A new silence followed, short, stark and almost sullen.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea” she murmured eventually, once again hesitantly.

“Look, I’m not actually that afraid of hippogriffs.” He backpedalled, fully awake and sitting straight on his bed “I’m a normal guy. Actually, in my mother’s opinion, I’m quite the catch.”

“I’m sure of that.” Elizabeth answered with her usual smiling voice “It’s clear that you’re a tombeur des femmes with how you use that damned voice.”

“Oh là, là, another compliment… this time even in French!”

“Nah, I was actually saying you’re an asshole.”

“Sorry, you were being cryptic again… why don’t you want to meet me?”

Tense silence.

“Liz? Answer me, I’m not coming with a defibrillator anyway, I can hear you breathing.”

“I have to go.” Elizabeth cut him off, icily.

“Ops… did I make you mad?”

“Yes!” she roared aggressively “I can’t stand how you ask embarrassing question in the middle of the conversation, when I’m the most defenceless. With that fucking Barry White t-tone that drives me crazy…”

“I don’t do that on purpose… I just want to meet you.”

Silence, tense and scorching.

“I’ve got to go.” She whispered finally, exhausted, and hang up.

James threw his phone away, sighed and fell back on his mattress heavily, damning his big mouth.

 










Hello there!

Disclaimer: Clarice Sterling and Hannibal Lecter belong to the 'Silence of the Lambs' and I don't own them - unfortunately. :(

I hope you liked this chapter cause there's only one to go!

 


Chapter 5: Fifth call
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


V. Fifth call





The next day





“Hello?” James answered the phone, walking without a destination, enjoying his free day by popping by his uncle’s shop and buying a new broom care kit; the sun was shining brightly and he hadn’t been stopped once by fans.

All in all, a good day.

“The truth is, I’m scared shitless,” Elizabeth’s voice erupted, nervous “There, I said it. Are you happy?”

“Damn, aren’t we aggressive today. Did Vic flood the apartment again?”

“Stop being ironic. I want to stay mad at you and if you make me laugh, I can’t.”

“Mad at me? What did I ever do to you?”

“Nothing! That’s the point, see?”

“I don’t see points, lines nor circles. I’m wandering in total darkness without my wand, would you lend me yours? Or have you left it at home, again?”

“James, you’re… too much.”
“I swear I’m less than 165 pounds, 3 of which are brain material, so that doesn’t count.”
“Ugh, why do you make things so difficult?”
“Because I’m guessing you’re overthinking bullshit, and considering you don’t have a filter between brain and vocal cords, I’m trying to destroy it in its embryonic stage before it comes tumbling down.”

Short silence.

“Aren’t Gryffindors supposed to be gentlemen?” She whispered eventually, finding him funny nonetheless.

“Not when we’re talking about bullshit, darling, and I feel like you have too much of it in your mind, right now”

“Exactly,” she agreed, pouting again. “See? You’re on my side, too!”

James stayed silent, dubious.

“Ops, maybe those Rubin shots are still clouding my mind.”

“James, I want to be honest with you,” Elizabeth said, decisively. “We can’t meet: it’d be a tragedy waiting to happen, anyway, and I’m not in the best place to manage it at the moment.”
“What do you mean?” James complained, stopping in front of the Leaky Cauldron. “Can you draw me a flow chart? I’m completely lost.”

“Ok, I’ll make it short, so it’s less painful for both: I’m almost developing a crush for you only by talking to you on the phone, and I’m reasonably sure that if I were to meet you, it’d be only worse because you’re stunning – ok, I admit it, I own Quidditch magazines – and anyway your voice is so unsettling, vibrant, that if I were to close my eyes at any given moment I would be doomed. Unless you smell, but let’s be real, a refreshing charm would do the trick and anyway, I’m not even sure the smell could be enough to discourage me because when I hear your voice lowering, I start shivering like a damned violin string! And I, with my verbal diarrhea and my 130 pounds, with bitten nails and forgetfulness, I with my complete set of gaffes and dull, brown eyes, what would I would look like next to you? I already know how it’d end: you’d buy me coffee, with a fake smile on your face, thinking, Merlin, why did I ever agree to this?; we’d go in a coffee shop just to be able to put a table between us and I would have a terrible stroke of verbal diarrhea, narrating the life and times of dorky Elizabeth, going from preschool to summer vacations at grandma, while you’d get an accomplice to stand outside that, seeing how ugly I am, would call you pretending to be your dad telling you that your grandma has Hippogriff-pox. You’d say you have to run and that you’ll call me back, but I’ll never hear from or of you again, except when you’re playing the Harpies, my favourite team, of course. I’ll end up there alone, drinking that damned coffee, asking myself why my interactions with men always end so badly and knowing that Abby’s right. And you know what’s the worst thing? I fucking hate coffee!”
Elizabeth breathed in deeply, letting the tension dissipate in the appalled silence on the other end of the phone.

“Wow,” breathed out James, impressed. “And to think that that was the short version. Let me tell you, synthesis is not your thing.”

Elizabeth’s temper flared, feeling rightfully peeved.

“I’m sorry, did you hear anything of what I said?”
“A word out of three, but the point is clear: you’re afraid I won’t like you and you hate coffee. Hey, I think that’s the short version.”
“Well. Actually, when you say it that way, it’s really synthetic, but you’d lose a bunch of vital details.”
“Don’t worry, I got everything down by heart. I have to warn you, though, that Hippogriff-pox doesn’t exits – thank Merlin – and that I’m not really sure what colour is dull brown.”

“Anyway, do you get why I don’t want to meet you, now?”

“Frankly no, but I’m sure I’ll find out after the coffee.”

“Jamie, don’t do this,” Elizabeth whispered, her voice suddenly broken. “Don’t be so intriguing, or I’ll actually fall in love and become a psychopath like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. I still have to finish my internship at Gringotts, for Merlin’s sake…”

“Elizabeth, Elizabeth,” James sighed, vaguely amused. “You’re a tornado of adorable and useless questions, yet you digress and never ask the right one.”

“Are you kidding me?” She screeched, feigning panic. “I didn’t ask you anything: I still need to know your zodiac sign, your favourite colour, hobbies, readings, social security number… shit! Actually, we really don’t know each other! How am I starting to go all Glenn Close on a perfect stranger?”

“Darling, don’t panic,” James laughed, the epitome of relaxation. “The question I wanted you to ask me was another one.”

“Seeing as I’m so slow, why don’t you ask it yourself?” She muttered, offended.

“Fine,” he sighed patiently, taking a seat at Fortescue’s ice parlour. “James, where do you live?”

Silence.

Elizabeth bit her lip, annoyed.

“Fuck, that’s a really good question,” she admitted unwillingly.

“Thank you,” James smiled, modestly. “Not as much as yours about my biggest fear, but I try.”

“So?”

“So what?”

“Where do you live, James?”

“London.”

Elizabeth’s vocal cords vibrated, hot.

“Oh. Me too.”

“I guessed, since you’re working at Gringotts.”

“Shit, I hadn’t even taken into account your ability to remember every single detail. I’d could never be an Auror.”

“I think you burned that bridge with your drunken elephant grace. Aren’t you thinking of any other questions related to where we live?”

“Er… do you live in a flat?”

“You can do better than that.”

“You live with a flatmate?”

“Be serious, c’mon.”

“Maybe we hang out in the same places…?”

“You’re getting there…”

Elizabeth’s breath stuck in her throat and she gulped loudly.

“James!” She cried out, outraged. “Do you live in Diagon Alley?”

“Bingo!”

“Oh, shit…”

“Eh, those old, adorable nicknames… I was almost missing them, y’know?”

“You… you… you know me?”

“Double Bingo!”

A loud, stark noise briefly interrupted the conversation.

“What happened?” James asked, sniggering. “Did you get hippogriff-pox?”

“I dropped my phone,” she mumbled with bad grace, “but I was going to say… BASTARD!”

James moved his phone away, suddenly deaf.

“C’mon, don’t get mad,” he smiled, considerate. “It was a most peculiar cas…”

“ASSHOLE!”

“Tut, it’s not healthy to get so agitated, I wouldn’t want you to actually get hippogriff-pox…”

“You know me!! You know who I am… and you still acted oblivious?”

“First of all, I did not act oblivious: I understood who you were only after the last call, when I looked you up in my sister’s yearbook. And it’s not like we know each other intimately: we met a couple times at Cassandra’s. You were trailing after a tall guy that seemed to have a broom up his ass: I bumped into you about a month ago, but you couldn’t have recognized me. It was after a pretty bad loss and I didn’t want to deal with anyone, so I Polyjuiced myself into my cousin Fred. You had a white dress, blue shoes and your eyes seemed to sparkle. Even though I didn’t know that was you, I had noticed you...”

“Cassandra’s… Her house’s fucking enormous… Broom up the ass – that was probably Vic, honestly… was it after the game against the Tornados?”

“No, against the Harpies. Darling, I’d like to point out that I’ve never lost agains…”

“Harpies… Harpies…”

“Do you even like Quidditch? It was the match in which Wood reached a thousand goals in her career.”

Heavy silence, like Elizabeth had disconnected the call.

“Uh… Betty, can you hear me?”

“Animal!”

“Well, it’s more accurate than mineral or vegetal.”

“You stomped on my foot and didn’t even apologize! Besides, your cousin is a giant! You could have seriously injured me.”

“Another point in my favour, then. And I didn’t apologize cause I was a bit down, darling. But I noticed you… trust me.”

“Oh, shit…”

“Don’t say it like that, it sounds like you’re invoking Merlin…”

“Oh, Merlin…”

“Right, now I’m starting to think that the hippogriff-pox might be a real disease.”

“I… you! I had no idea… my babbling… blues shoes?!? If only… oh, shit.”

“I see the gift of synthesis is starting to enter in your DNA,” James laughed, delighted. “Even if a bit confusedly, actually.”

“I want to die,” murmured pitifully Elizabeth, sounding defeated. “I want to annul myself, I want to fade away, disappear, finally put a stop to this disaster show!”

“I ardently beg you not to do it,” James smiled, inspired, “at least, not before you’ve heard my proposition.”

Doubtful silence from Elizabeth, an eternity long. James’ heart was beating wildly in his chest and his palms started to sweat.

“Proposition?” She sighed eventually, shy like the first flower of spring. “Let’s hear it then.”

James let the air out, noticing in that moment that he had stopped breathing, and a slow, tentative smile appeared on his face; he felt an unusual and victorious warmth climb to his face.

“First of all, let me guess: you’re at the park.”

“Look at that, Sherlock,” she snorted, superior, “you know I babysit the pests on Sunday since the first call!”

“Why don’t you take the kids and start to walk to Fortescue?”

“James, I don’t…”

“Easy, I said to start. You’re still in time to change your mind at any time.”

A grave silence fell, so serious it didn’t even seem to belong to them.

“Fine,” James smiled with forced cheerfulness. “Let’s pretend you’re walking, ok? What do you think would happen?”

“I already told you my thorough vision of the facts,” she muttered. “From where I see it, I’m still sitting in front of that coffee. It’s probably cold by now.”

“I’ll tell you my vision, then. So, there’s this bloke standing in the middle of the street…”

“Could I suggest a sidewalk?”

“Don’t interrupt, Betty. So, the guy is standing…”

“What’s he wearing?”

“That's not relevant to the ending of the story.”

“Pleaseee…”

“Merlin. He’s wearing jeans and a white shirt.”

“Couldn’t be more banal, right?”

“If you want I can make him take off his shirt and force him to wrap it on his head like a turban, so they’ll take him for an Islamic terrorist and they’ll remove him from the fatidic middle of the street.”

“No… It’s ok.”

“Good.”

“Not even a bandana or a beanie to recognize him…?”

“Bettyyyy!”

“’K, sorry, keep going.”

“Right. There’s the blandest dressed bloke in London, who is pretty ashamed by his super banal white shirt; he’s thinking of suicide for letting himself put on something so anonymous when finally, he gets distracted because someone rounds the corner…”

“Did he get away from the street? I wouldn’t want a car to hit him before the start of the story.”

“He’s on the sidewalk, I told you. And he’s also pretty tired of useless details, to be honest.”

“…sorry.”

“So, someone rounds the corner. People move away from his line of vision and he can finally see…”

“Two hell spawned kids that run up to him and kick his shins.”

“Her, behind them. She’s adorable. Her eyes are the brightest he’s ever seen and she has a smile that never wants to go away, always keeping the sun on her face.”

“She’s fat,” Elizabeth murmured after swallowing a couple of times. “The kids are asking themselves what that cute guy with the drawings on his skin sees in such a ball of fat.”

“She’s not a ball of fat: she’s soft. She has a killer body full of curves and trust me, he loves curves.”

“She has too many,” Elizabeth’s voice was hesitant, trembling.

“He finally gets to her and he says: ‘Hello, darling.’ He won’t buy her coffee. He won’t put anything between them, because he hates the idea of letting her get too far; he wants to watch her closely, as he’s been waiting to do for a long time, to see how those eyes light up and down following the conversation… He wants to smell her skin, because he already knows she has the sweetest scent.

He’ll turn off his phone to avoid that an exotic disease might get to his sprightly granny and ruin everything at the best moment and he’ll ask her to tell him everything she thinks, content to admire her living brightly. Eventually, he’ll ask her on a date, but he’ll never buy her coffee; also because frankly, he detests it.”

Elizabeth didn’t answer. She let a quiet and definitive silence hang in the air, connecting her to James with a fragile tread of hope. She listened to his breathing, waiting, deciding.

“Hang up,” she said finally, ending the call.

*          *          *



Kyle turned around the corner running, thinking hard about what flavours of sundae he could get; Sarah was half running, enough to keep up with him but not to leave aunt Lizzy behind.

A tall guy with dreadlocks was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, wearing a white shirt and jeans; he was smiling, reassuring and mischievous. Kyle wouldn’t learn the real meaning of that world until much later, on another street with another girl.

Sarah noticed that her aunt had slowed down and arched a brow in her direction, shaking her head at the colourful Indian shirt she was sporting, coupled with straw espadrilles and wild curls.

She looked funny and almost wild: Sarah liked her but honestly, aunt Lizzy was a fashion disaster.

The girl had two big, bright and vulnerable dark eyes. The same eyes turned to the guy.

He was a cute guy, Sarah thought, a pity for the tattoos. So trivial!

But the guy was looking at her aunt too: they were clearly waiting for each other.

Why was the guy still, then? No matter, Kyle had just barrelled into him.

The guy laughed and Kyle kicked his shin, making him finally jump away; he risked falling, but the girl was quick to take his hand and stop him.

When they touched, there were almost sparks.

“Ugh”, thought Sarah, before running to stop her brother. “Adults.”

The guy and the girl were still watching each other like they were the only ones in the world.

When Sarah was almost out of earshot, she vaguely heard his first words, said with emotional and cheerful tone.

“Hello, darling.”

 





Hello!!

 

So, let me start by saying that yes, I’m rightfully ashamed it took me months to post the LAST chapter but, in my defence, so does George R. Martin. Just saying.

Anyway! A couple of things: first, I don’t own Glenn Close or Fatal Attraction.

Second: let’s assume, for the sake of the story, that wizards have evolved after the war and there are now cars in Diagon Alley; let’s also assume that muggle-born numbers have shot up (I have this head canon, kind of like a way for magic to heal itself. For all we know, it might be true) which can then make the meeting at a random party without knowing each other credible. Let's finally assume that magic phones exists, developed either my the ministry or a private magical company, and that all wizarding numbers start with +413 (MAG) so even if someone gets the number wrong, he/she shall always call another wizard.

Also, I wanted to point out that of course Elizabeth has been lusting after Quidditch photos since the first call, so she knows exactly how he looks. She acts oblivious with the beanie question to try and act NOT LIKE A STALKER but in the end kind of nulls the efforts by citing his tattoos, which James NOTICES but doesn’t point out because is a smol angel and we love him.

Also, Elizabeth in this story is not fat – as he says, she’s soft. Of course, she’s also pretty insecure, but who isn’t?

And finally, I want to say thank you to all of you who leaved a review (I CRAVE RECOGNITION, OF COURSE) and I’m so so so sorry for how long it took me to finish. I could say I didn’t have time but it’s more about feeling like writing, and I didn’t. still don’t, actually, but I had to finish THIS.

Lots and lots of love also for the silent readers – I, for one, am part of this group most of the time: I know how much I can love something and still not bring myself to write, so I’m assuming all of you guys LOVED this. Also because when I DON’T like something, I usually take the time to be a little shit about it and say it!

So goodbye – we will see them in the future! the sequel is already up, 'Uncertain, future', as is the prequel, 'Right party'! also, my other story 'Cause and Effect' is basically a super-prequel about James and his ex-girlfriend Carla, but I'm a bit stuck on that one. enjoy!

Tecla

 

 


http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com