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Uncertain future by Tecla Sunrise

Format: Novella
Chapters: 7
Word Count: 14,914
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Scenes of a mild sexual nature

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ginny, Albus, James (II), Louis, Rose, Teddy, OC
Pairings: James/OC, OC/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 01/13/2018
Last Chapter: 03/14/2018
Last Updated: 03/14/2018

Summary:
Sequel of Wrong number | Amazing banner by floralprint@tda










James and Elizabeth have been a couple for four months.

They’re falling in love and everything is going perfectly.

Until James mentions a Sunday lunch with his family.


"Absolutely no"




 


Chapter 1: I. James
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Beautiful CI by floralprint@tda <3


 

January 19th, 2030 - 8.30 p.m.

I.               James

 

“Why not?”

Liz stopped kissing his jaw and righted her back, sitting straight on his lap; she had an adorable frown and a pout that simply begged to be kissed, but he refrained and tried to focus on the matter at hand: convincing his girlfriend to go to his grandparents’ for Sunday lunch.

“You know why,” she said, fixing him with an intense glare, “I don’t see why you want me to come so much, anyway.”

James raised an eyebrow in what he hoped was a sceptic look. “Sure, it’s completely irrational that I’d want to introduce my girlfriend to my family.”

Her cheeks darkened slightly, making her dark skin look like berry juice, but she kept her defensive stance.

Then, she lowered her gaze.

“They already know me, anyway.”

And there it was: Louis was the issue, of course, but they were finally entering into difficult territory; he’d have to treat carefully.

He kept his hands on her legs, moving them in a soothing way, and tried to smile.

“Not as my girlfriend, they don’t.”

Liz sighed and lowered her head in the crook of his neck, like she always did when she was feeling vulnerable; he loved it. He wrapped his arms protectively around her small frame – she had lost weight, damn her – and he kissed her softly on her cheek.

“Your grandma will judge me,” she accused him with a low, shy tone.

James snorted loudly to hide a laugh “My grandma? One of her sons is gay! Trust me, she’s all about that free love, as long as it leads to children. Which Charlie didn’t want anyway, the ungrateful bastard, and let me tell you, that broke the poor’s woman hear-…”

“Jamie.” She stopped him, but he could feel her smile on his neck “Louis will be there.”

“Well,” he said, scratching her back a little more forcefully than necessary, “We don’t know that for sure. Besides, would it be so bad? You guys have been broken up for more than a year…”

James knew what he wanted to say: that the fact that she looked so afraid to meet her ex-boyfriend – incidentally, his prat of a cousin – could mean that she still had lingering feelings for him.

He didn’t like the idea.

Elizabeth seemed to understand what he was implying because she rose from her position and took his face in her hands, her forehead planted against his, annoyed.

“Listen to me, James,” she said, looking in his eyes with an intensity that sent shivers down his spine, “I don’t care shit about him. He’s just a person that hurt me a lot, and I don’t want to see him if I can avoid it. But, that doesn’t mean that I still think about it. I don’t.” She smirked, “I waste too much time thinking about you, anyway. Couldn’t even if I wanted.”

James wouldn’t have admitted that, while the last sentence had been a joke, it still filled his ego with male pride.

His woman thought only about him.

Fuck them French cousins.

James sighed, smiled and sat back on the sofa, putting some distance between them.

“If you don’t want to come, it’s ok,” he said, staring “But I really would love you to.”

Elizabeth opened her mouth as to speak, but he interrupted her “Besides, you know only half of the family. The cool side is better.”

She giggled. “The cool side?”

“Yeah,” James said, raising a hand in a ‘you-know’ gesture, “it’s us, Ron’s and George’s kids. The others are Bill’s and Percy’s.”

“So the girl with the stick up her ass was…?”

James nodded, smirking. “Molly, she’s Percy’s. Did you meet Lucy?”

Elizabeth shook her head, “There were only Louis’ sisters and this Molly the time I went, beside the parents. It was a Friday dinner, though.”

James grinned from ear to ear “Grandma’s always open for everyone, anytime. Usually the cool side goes Tuesday night, but I have practice, so I pop in randomly. Sunday lunches are just institutional, though. It’s frowned upon not to go: nana doesn’t care I have a games the same evening.”

Liz nodded, serious. “I understand.”

They looked at each other silently, before cracking up.

When James’ laughter was dying, she took his hand.

“I’ll think about it.” She murmured, before sighing and standing up.

James pouted, playfully keeping her hand when she tried to get away.

“Where are you going? I thought you were spending the night.” He whined, tugging her towards himself.

She tugged back, acting annoyed “I am, you dolt.”

He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. “Come back here, then.”

“I forgot something at home, I’ll be back in an hour.”

James shook his head, standing up and enveloping her in a bear hug “Your stupid flat without floo. I’ll Apparate you.”

She scoffed, feigning outrage. “So now we’re just assuming that I never have my wand?”

“I saw you using mine before to make tea, darling,” James murmured in her ear, smug.

She shivered. “Caught again. Anyway, don’t worry: I feel like walking.”

“You can walk back, darling, don’t be stubborn.”

“Ugh, fine,” she protested, turning into his hug to face him. “Are you happy?”

“Very.”

“I swear; sometime you just act like a lovesick pupp-…”

He cut her off with a deep, sensual kiss, putting into it every ounce of his desire: once that Sunday lunch was out of the way, he had had plans.

When he let her go, she had a slightly dazed look in her dark eyes, and he noticed that she was leaning more heavily into him; his breath came in short staccatos and he threw her a brilliant smile, just because.

“And sometime you talk too much, darling.”

She mumbled a half-hearted insult and escaped his embrace to take her purse and coat.

He looked at her the whole time, pensive, and when she turned around and made a questioning face, he had the sudden urge to just tell her he loved her.

It came suddenly, unbidden, almost like a physical force and for a fraction of a second, he was going to do it: he was going to tell her the he loved her, jump her and keep her on his bed until the next morning.

But the moment passed just as quickly and he was left standing there like an idiot, knowing that saying it then would just scare her away – he had had ample time to learn just how insecure she was –, even if it were true.

Which was another deal altogether: he had just realized he loved her. Just like that.

Did it work like that?

With Carla, it had felt more like a building crescendo: he had thought about it, planned it, questioned it.

James didn’t feel the need to question anything in that moment.

“Well? Did your brain freeze?” she asked, baffled.

He smiled.

“Something like that.”






So, here we are again with Elizabeth and James. 

This first chapter is, I'll admit, just a tease BUT it introduces us to how the story will be structured: every chapter will be from the point of view of a character involved. The first is James, as you saw, and the last will obviously be Elizabeths'. 

What happens in the middle is a damned rollercoaster - we have Harry, Louis' new girlfriend, etc.

Next chapter will be from VIC's pov.

Also, can I get an amen for James? He's such a cinnamon roll I CAN'T

Tecla xxx


Chapter 2: II. Vic
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January 19th, 2030 – 9 p.m.

 
I.               Vic

 

Vittorio liked few things.

Most people called him pretentious, high-demanding, a bitch.

But he simply was a man that knew how not to put up with unnecessary bullshit and appreciated the finer things in life.

He liked the flat he had bought with his family money – he was a rich kid and knew that made him even more spoiled –, he liked tidiness, sculpted male bodies, his grandfather’s wine, his father’s lasagnes and parties.

But most of all, he liked his privacy.

Which spoke volumes of how much he actually liked his best friend, Elizabeth Warren.

He didn’t need a flatmate, but he enjoyed her company, even if she was as scatter-brained as they came; besides, it would have felt strange to not see her every day like he had for seven years, so she had moved in with him the moment they had left Hogwarts.

But the girl was also a disaster for his nerves and neatly catalogued cutlery – even though he could admit that she had acted quickly and effectively during the ‘flooding incident’ –, so he had liked well enough Louis – the cheating, filthy bastard – and he liked James even more, for it meant the house was his on the weekends.

But he rarely was actually alone.

That particular Saturday evening, for example, he had cooked a fine dinner for his latest conquest, a true gem that needed to be wined and dined like a prince, and was planning to make unmentionable things to his body the moment it would become acceptable to do so in polite society.

Which meant right when his guest was sampling his perfect tiramisu – he had used his grandmother’s secret recipe, after all.

It was in that idyllic moment, with his mouth on the delicious specimen at his table and a purposeful hand into his pants, that his so called best friend barged into the house, hysterically calling his name.

“Vic! VIC! I need your hel… OH MY GOD!” She shrieked when she entered the dining room, while Vic hastily pulled his hand away and his guest protested with a soft grunt.

“Elizabeth!” Vic cried out, righting himself as best as he could.

He took a couple of deep breaths as Elizabeth cautiously lowered her hands from her eyes.

“Is that Albus Potter?”

Potter looked at her, shaking his head in defeat. “No?” He denied half-heartedly, resigned.

“What are you doing here?” Vic asked, walking towards her to tug her outside the room. “Weren’t you supposed to be at J… your boyfriends’?”

She seemed to wake up and stopped gaping at Albus, the panic flooding back into her eyes.

“Yeah, about that…”

She looked at loss for words and kept glancing between him and Albus.

Vic scoffed and turned to his guest.

“Elizabeth is dating your brother James.”

Albus’ jaw dropped. “What?!”

“Vic!”

What?! When?” Albus stood up, trying to discretely adjust his pants. He looked shocked, “How?”

“Vic, what the hell!”

Elizabeth seemed ready to punch him – which had actually happened a couple times during the long years of their friendship, and it hadn’t been fun – so he raised his hands in a calming motion and gave her a weak smile.

“Let’s sit in the living room, shall we?”


But he still was a perfect host, for Morgana’s sake.

 


 

Once they were all seated on the sofa with their cups of espressos – and tea for the profane woman Liz was –, Vic looked pointedly at Elizabeth.

“Explain.”

She still looked hesitant, so he turned to Albus – damn him, he was gorgeous – and gave him a quick recap of the story between his brother and Elizabeth, without mentioning Louis.

Albus looked out of his depth. “He didn’t say anything. Grandma’s always pestering him for news, and he didn’t tell. I mean, I knew there was someone he was seeing, he’s been looking way too cheerful lately, but I thought…”

“That it was casual,” finished for him Elizabeth, smiling at his apologetic nod. “It’s ok, I asked him to keep it private.”

Albus frowned “Why?”

Liz sighed and put her cup on the table – right next to, but not on top, of the cup plate; Vic felt like screaming – and turned to Albus.

“I dated Louis about a year and a half ago.”

Albus’ jaw dropped again.

“Better than the Kardashian, right?” quipped Vic to ease the tension, internally shaking his head.

“Right, but he cheated on me with fucking Jasmine, and I was a mess for months, I only worked, I got fat, I cried and didn’t want to see anyone-”

Vic sighed wistfully. “Ah, the good old times…”

“But then I moved on and after a while I finally met James, so we’ve been dating ever since.”

“Ok…” said Albus, sipping on his coffee, “what’s the problem, then?”

Elizabeth waited a few pained moments, like she couldn’t quite bring herself to say it.

“He wants me to go to your grandparent’s tomorrow.”

Albus nodded like that explained everything “Yeah, James is the worst grandma-boy ever.”

But Vic knew better. “Will Louis be there?”

“See, that’s the thing: I don’t know. Could be, could not, but the problem is that I also don’t want to see his parents – how awkward would that be? And if Louis were there… I don’t know how I would react, considering I have the image of him fucking her burnt into my mind. But I can’t say that to James.”

Her hands flew in her hair, tugging fiercely: she was the picture of distressed.

“Why not?” Albus asked, genuinely confused.

“You should have seen the way he looked at me when he thought I might not want to see Louis because I still care.” Elizabeth shook her head, “I don’t think he would understand.”

“Don’t sell my brother too short, though,” said Albus with a knowing glance, “He’s the best of us at relationships.”

“Yeah, about that.” Elizabeth looked mischievous for the first time, and Vic intuitively tensed. “When did you guys start?”

“We were trying tonight,” said Vic, at the same time that Albus spluttered and said: “Oh, no, we don’t… I’m straight.”

There was a long pause; Liz raised an eyebrow in Vic’s direction. “Ah.”

“Exactly.”

“What do you mean?” Albus was looking at both of them with a defensive stance and Vic and Elizabeth shared another quick glance, before Vic took a lock of Potter’s hair between his fingers, leaning into his personal space. He could still see the slight bulge in Albus’ pants.

“Potter, we were going to fuck,” he said with an understanding smile, “I’m a male. You’re not straight.”

“No, but…” Albus was at loss for words, “it’s, you know… it’s you. One time.”

Vic snorted, trying to be kind. “While I agree I am the best choice out of the lot, I’m still a part of the other team, Albus. You’re bi-sexual, at the very least.”

Albus’ cheeks reddened and he lowered his gaze, frowning.

“Right. Right, well, but I don’t… I mean, I thought we were…”

“Casual?” added helpfully Liz once again, this time smirking like a Cheshire cat.

Sometimes, even she could look like the Slytherin she was supposed to be.

“Yeah…”

“Why don’t you decide that after I’ve shown you what you’ve been missing out for your whole life?” said Vic huskily, purposefully lowering his voice to a vibrant tone, leaning all the way into Albus like a predator ready to strike.

Albus’ eyes kept darting in every direction, looking for an escape. “I…”

“I would fuck you like you’ve never been fucked, Albus.” Elizabeth made a surprised sound and Albus’ eyes immediately zeroed in into his, wide open. “Mind-blowingly, filthy, without control or direction. I would make you orgasm so loudly, my neighbours would wake up, and you’d be sobbing, crying for help, in ecstasy. I would…”

“Vic,” whimpered Elizabeth, begging.

Albus was all the way back into the sofa, breathing heavily: his eyes were sparkling and there was a hunger there that Vic was dying to explore and satisfy; he stared at Albus a little longer, conveying what he couldn’t say with a scorching gaze, and Albus visibly swallowed.

“…Right,” he murmured again, unsettled, and Vic rewarded him with his best shit-eating grin.

Then Albus pinned Elizabeth with a panicked expression. “Don’t tell James,” he pleaded and Elizabeth nodded seriously.

“You, too. I told him I had forgotten something here, when all I really wanted was for Vic to tell me what to do.”

“Ok, that’s it.”

Vic got up, ignoring their confused gazes, and turned to his best friend: she was dressed in dark green track pants and a blue t-shirt, which made him cringe, but she otherwise looked better than she had in months, and that solidified his intention to say what he wanted to say.

“Listen to me, tesoro: it may have been my fault for letting you act like a recluse and a pitiful excuse of a woman for months after the Louis debacle, but at the time I honestly thought you would stop soon enough and I didn’t need to worry. You finally snapped out of it at the very last moment I had planned to give you, so I was relieved; I said to myself: she’s ok, she’s able to function like an independent person, there’s no need to worry. But there is: you can’t come in here and expect me to tell you what to do! You’re a grown woman, and you need to witch-the fuck-up! If you don’t want to go, you have to really explain why to your annoyingly perfect boyfriend, who I’m sure will be disgustingly understanding, but in my opinion, what you really need to do is stop running. Louis is a closed chapter of your life, one that you should look back at to learn that people can be shit, but nothing more. And I hate that you actually made me tell you what to do, again, but you need to stop whining and take your life in your hands.”

Stunned silence met the end of his tirade: Albus was looking at him like he was an alien – ugh, damn Liz to having made him do the scene when he was there – and she was opening and closing her mouth, a streak of rebellion and outrage clear in her eyes.

He didn’t let her talk.

“You’re going to waste this opportunity to be happy, tesoro. James seems like a really good guy and you’re looking better than you have in months. But, like all good guys, James will wait up to a point, and then he will look for what he needs in someone else. If he’s really as attached to his family as he seems to be, he won’t be able to keep up like this for much longer. So,” he finished, crouching in front of her and taking her hand, “if you really want him, you have to face the past.”

Elizabeth had closed her mouth, her previous fighting stance all but forgotten, and she had almost deflated on herself, looking as defeated and one could be.

“You’re right,” she whispered, “I have to go.”

“Of course I’m right,” he said, pretending to be offended by her surprised tone, “I always am.”

Albus was still silent, but Vic would deal with that later, as Elizabeth looked ready to cry; she hugged him fiercely, almost chocking him, and let go as fast as she had reached for him.

“You’re the best, Vic. Ti adoro!”

Vic snorted. “Stop butchering my language and go back to your perfect boyfriend.”

She simply laughed, nodding, and in a few moments was already gone, with a quick wave at both of them, as fast as she had barged in the first place.

“Sorry about that,” said Vic once he’d closed the door and walked back in the living room (he noticed Liz’s wand on the counter and internally sighed); Albus rose from his seat and assaulted him with an impetuous kiss, taking him by surprise: Vic took a few seconds before answering in kind.

“What was that for?” he asked, pleased with himself: it was the first time Albus had been the one to initiate physical contact.

Albus blushed adorably, “Don’t apologize. It was a really good speech, and I liked what you said to her.”

Had Vic been a different person, he would have blushed as well; but alas, he was himself, so he smirked to hide how much flustered that compliment had made him, and made a witty remark.

“Do you have the hots for me now, Potter?”

It spoke volumes of how much he didn’t know Albus (yet), that Vic was surprised by him simply nodding seriously and caressing his face with a pensive expression.

“What are you thinking about?”

It was Albus’ turn to smirk and Vic was reminded that he, too, had been a Slytherin.

“What were you saying about waking up the neighbours?”

Vic laughed.

 


Hello! Here we are with the second chapter, this time from Vic's POV: we see a little more about the dinamics with Elizabeth - and how they're a bit co-dependent, the reason for which will be explained in more detail later - and we also have a plot twist! ALBUS POTTER IS EXPLORING! 

Ah! so, Translation corner: 'ti adoro' is 'I adore you' and 'tesoro' is still 'sweetheart'!

Let me know what you though - liked it, hated it - and if Liz still feels in character - I feel like I'm losing sight of her in the midst of all these other POVs.

Next chapter will be from Albus' POV!

Hope you enjoyed,

Tecla


Chapter 3: III. Albus
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January 20th, 2030 - 11 a.m.

 

I.               Albus

 

The next morning, Albus decided to Apparate at Ottery St. Catchpole, rather than directly to the Burrow, because he needed a walk to try and clear his head, even though every step he took hurt like a bitch and his discomfort was evident.

He had a lot of things to think about.

Once he was walking, he mused about how a single night could change one person’s entire outlook on life and one’s identity.

Albus had met Vic at Cassie’s house, like almost everyone in their range of age did meet new people, and he had been immediately fascinated by the cold, standoffish Italian guy, again like almost everyone else: Vic was the kind of person one couldn’t simply ignore.

He was tall, boldly beautiful in a refined way few people were, and he dressed accordingly; but when he spoke, that was when the magic happened.

He was charming, witty, well-spoken, intellectual and semi decadent in his false modesty; Albus, who saw himself as the epitome of a boring person, had been attracted like a moth to a flame.

Vic had talked about every subject as he had spent time researching them, being able to give in depth analysis of every single one of them; at one point, he had even started to discuss muggle latin works, and how they connected with the magical ministry system. His eyes had seemed to sparkle.

Of course at the time, Albus hadn’t thought that attraction could be sexual: why would he? He had always had girlfriends, pretty ones, nice and sweet and so, so boring, but girls nonetheless.

What had surprised him was how much Vic seemed to find him interesting, even though Albus had felt woefully unprepared on a number of topics, talking to him all throughout the night and ignoring the countless other people who periodically tried to grab his attention – mostly males, that Albus had noticed.

When Albus had said he was going home, Vic had asked him to wait for him as he wanted to go as well and they could get to the apparition point together, so Albus had done exactly so.

Then Vic had asked him if he wanted to come at his house for dinner, the next night, and Albus had thought sure, why not, and when they had been ready to Apparate away and Vic had been slowly leaning into him, clearly giving him the chance to move away, Albus hadn’t taken it and had stood his ground.

He couldn’t explain to himself why: was it because Vic seemed to live life so interestingly? Was it because he had always spied the relationship between Rose and Amira with a stalkerish fascination? Or was it because, at the end of the day, he had loved the open showers after Quidditch practice?

He couldn’t say, but he had known something then: he was entering into really perilous territory.

He had tortured himself all day the next day, unsure if going would lead to the final step of his descend into hell, but in the end, he had given up and given into temptation.

And hadn’t that been a surprise.

Yes, he could hardly walk faster than an old man now and his bottom felt on fire, but he had had the best orgasm – orgasms – of his entire life (and somewhere deep down, a part of himself was really irked that the younger, Italian prat had been the one to show him how it had to be done), and he had been forced by Vic and his best-friend Elizabeth – who dated his brother; what even was his life? – to confront the fact that… well, he wasn’t exactly straight.

Ugh, what a can full of worms was that to open: he thought about telling his parents and shuddered, even though he knew they were open minded enough, considering how they had reacted to Rose. How had she done it?

No, that was out of the table: he would die with this secret, a happy death full of clandestine orgasms and Italian words whispered at the crack of morning – and yes, he would also handle the following pain, even though he hoped it would become easier with practice.

Oh, he had had fun last night.

Vic had told him to judge if he wanted casual after the sex, and he had been right: Albus never wanted to share someone that could do those things with his tongue with anyone else.

But at the same time, he was definitely not ready to have a gay relationship – he didn’t think even a secret one. He kept receiving waves of guilt by his subconscious, guilt for what, even he didn’t know, but since he had exited the house, the bubble had burst, and he was back at step one.

He felt… dirty would have been a harsh word, but it wasn’t that far from the truth.

Not dirty exactly, but like he had touched something that stained and nobody could see it but himself.

How was he supposed to handle that? To turn that underlying discomfort into pride?


He had to talk to someone.

 


 

When he stepped into the house – which had been expanded during the years and now looked even more twisted and ready to collapse at the first sign of wind than before –, there were already a few people, even though it was early enough.

“Hey, I’m here!” He hollered in the general direction of the kitchen, giving warm if distracted hugs to his grandpa and uncle Bill tinkering with the floo.

“Albus!” Shouted his grandma, exiting the kitchen in the usual mix of loud delighted shrieks and rambunctious affection.

“Oh, sweetheart! You look so good and healthy! It’s so good to see you! I was upset you didn’t come last week, young man.”

“Sorry, nana,” he said, laughing into her strong embrace and feeling already decisively better.

“Come on, come on,” she urged him towards the kitchen, where the kids mostly hanged, while the parents preferred the living room. “Victorie, Teddy and Hugo are already here!”.

Strangely enough, when he entered the kitchen, there were also Ron and Hermione waiving their wands to peel potatoes and chop vegetables.

He was welcomed by the usual round of hellos and he paid particular attention to Teddy, making an eye contact that spoke louder than words.

Teddy frowned but nodded, under the watchful eyes of Victorie who had caught the whole exchange.

Then, because Albus was a little shit and he missed being the annoying younger brother now that he didn’t see James as often as before, he dropped a metaphorical Bombarda in the middle of the tranquil kitchen.

“James has a girlfriend and he’s probably bringing her here, today.”

Chaos ensued, like he had hoped it would: Ron spluttered and a few potatoes dropped, Hermione burst out laughing, Teddy and Victorie right behind her, Hugo chocked on his pumpkin juice and Nana dropped her wand with a surprise squeal.

“What?”

“Merlin, he’s good at keeping secrets.”

“Bloody hell, Ginny’s going to kill him.”

WHAT?!

“Ohhh, you sneaky James.”

Albus smirked evilly and promptly explained, but refused to tell them who she was.

“It’s a surprise.”

“Bullshit!” Hugo said, ignoring his mother reproach of “Language!”

“It’s going to be good, then,” said Victorie, drumming her fingers on her small baby bump; Albus looked at her smugly. “Oh, you don’t know the half of it.”

“You’re such a little brother sometimes,” was all Teddy added, smirking as well.


“You know me, Teddy.”

 


January 20th, 2030 - 4 p.m.

 

It was hours later, after the proverbial shit had gone down, that Elizabeth caught him outside when she was storming out, and stopped in her tracks.

“Hey.”

Albus simply nodded, defeated.

“Can I just tell you something?” She asked, taking a few steps towards him.

“You might as well,” he answered tersely, taking a drag from his cigarette.

“It’s about Vittorio.”

Albus immediately perked up, questioning. She made a small, knowing smile.

“He’s going to kill me if he knows I’m telling you this, so keep it to yourself. It’s for his sake, anyway.”

Albus nodded and she sat next to him on the fence, stealing a drag from his cigarette.

“Vic is…” She stopped, clearly looking for the right words.

“He is not an easy person to like: he’s cranky, snob, sometimes obnoxious and has the bad habit of being brutally honest, even when a person would prefer a white lie. But he also has the biggest heart of the world, once you crack the shell: he’s considerate, generous, encouraging and… well, he’s a good person. He deserves to be loved for who he is, and bragged about, and he deserves to be with someone who appreciates him fully.”

She stopped his protest with a kind but decisive gesture. “Let me finish.”

She waited for him to nod before resuming.

“He likes you, Albus, a lot: he only cooks when he wants to woo someone, and well… you heard what he said to you later. For how much he used to do it, one wouldn’t believe how much he actually doesn’t like casual relationships; and that, when he was talking about James waiting, he was talking from experience. If you like him, please don’t play with him: either you’re fully in, or you’re out. Don’t ask for casual, because he would say yes and hate himself for it later.”

Albus sighed, stung, but he knew she was right.

“I just don’t know if I’m… ready to go full in.”

She nodded “I guessed… but you either want to try, or you don’t. If you want, he’s going to give you the time of the world to come to terms with it. His family, for example… well, let’s just say they weren’t as understanding as yours seem to be. But if you don’t plan on ever outing yourself… you should move on with your life and find someone else to be your secret.”

Albus snorted “You’re good at giving others advices you don’t follow.”

She seemed ready to give him a nasty retort, before settling to say: “I will now.”; she rose from the fence and gave him a last hard look, “Don’t fuck with my best friend.”

Albus smirked, “Don’t fuck with my brother.”

She laughed, turned around and disappeared away, her body back in full fight mood.

All that was left to Albus were loud thoughts and Italian whispers.

 




Here we are with the third chapter! We see a bit about Albus’ reaction and a tease: we now know for sure that SHIT IS GOING DOWN AT THE BURROW.

Ahem. Let me know if you enjoyed!

Tecla


Chapter 4: IV. Harry
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January 20th, 2030 - 10 a.m.


 


I.               Harry


 


Harry Potter, despite being a celebrity, had managed to live a long life of love and tranquillity: he had a job he sincerely liked, three kids he loved and a wife that still made his blood boil even after thirty years.


He had routines, quotidian habits that had been a necessity in the beginning, when he still had to ground himself from time to time and remind himself that yes, he was alive, and yes, Voldemort was dead: he drank tea in the morning, he jogged every evening, he had meals Wednesday night at Ron and Hermione’s and Tuesdays and Sundays at Molly and Arthur’s; he wrote to his kids every two mornings when they were at Hogwarts and once a week since they had graduated; most importantly, he woke up early every morning, a residual reflex from the Dursley that never went away.


Which was why that morning, when he woke at 10 a.m. after an adventurous night with his wife (restaurant, drinks and practiced good sex), he felt that something was not quite right.


Harry Potter was also a dramatically superstitious person, which his younger self would have found funny and scarily similar to Professor Trelawney, but years had passed and he knew a bad sign when he saw one.


His wife picked up on his mood immediately, thirty years of practice on her back to know what to say to soothe him.


“Finally, your period has arrived. I couldn’t have handled another son.”


And what to say to irk him.


“Funny,” was all he deemed safe to say, grabbing a cup of coffee.


She laughed heartily.


“Oh, c’mon, it’s hilarious. When it passed nine and you were still asleep, I knew it was gonna be a good day.”


“You laugh now,” he said, sounding ominous, “But this day is going to go badly and you know it.”


“Honey, if you look for it, you always find something that goes badly,” she huffed, amused, before giving him a peck on the cheek.



“I’ll go get dressed.”



 


January 20th, 2030 – 11.45 a.m.


 


It only took a few seconds, once they entered the Burrow, for Harry to know that he’d been right.


Again.


“James has a girlfriend!” shouted Lily, popping out of nowhere the moment they passed the threshold; that felt more like a punch that a good piece of news, but he smiled nonetheless.


“What?” asked immediately his wife, shedding her coat, “Who is she? How long has it being going on?”


“More importantly,” cut in quickly Harry when he saw his daughter open her mouth, “why are you the one to tell us?”.


She smirked, reminding him of her brother, who promptly exited the kitchen with a smug attitude; Bill, Arthur and Lily’s boyfriend, Kyle, were content so simply look without intervening.


“Because, dad,” started his middle son, sitting down with a graceful motion, “I’m the one who told them.”


“Who is she?” tried again Ginny, looking at their children.


Lily rolled her eyes, “Albus won’t tell.”


Now, that made a warning bell go off in Harry’s head, so he zeroed-in on his son.


“Why not?”


“Oh, you’ll see. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.”


Ginny sighed “Tell me he’s not back with that harpy.”


Bill raised an eyebrow “Who is the harpy?”


“Carla Shackleton!” supplied happily Lily, sitting on her boyfriend’s lap; Kyle, with endless patience, made her sit more comfortably and settled back in his seat, tranquil.


Harry liked Kyle. He had never been a jealous man, but Lily was his girl: Harry had had to admit that he had always thought no one would ever be enough for her; Kyle was a nice, easy-going young man as tall as Ron in his prime, full of muscles and training to be an Auror just like his daughter.


Harry had had the pleasure to see Lily and Kyle duel, and he had rarely seen such a keen synchrony of movement and thoughts: they seemed to be dancing instead of duelling.


“Shackleton?” asked Bill again, frowning “Is she related to Jasmine?”


Lily shrugged “She’s her sister. Jasmine was in my year.”


“Why do you know this Jasmine?” asked Harry, because in the end, he liked to gossip just as much as the rest of his family.


Bill shrugged, “She’s Louis’ girlfriend.”


A loud, uncontrollable laugh erupted from Albus, polarizing all gazes on him: he was bent in half on himself and had tears in his eyes.


“What’s up with him, now?” asked Ginny to no one in particular, a calculating look on her face: Harry knew she was doing some quick thinking, and it was never good to let her mind run freely, so he awkwardly moved away from the scene towards the kitchen, hoping to escape the madness unnoticed.


The last thing he heard, before closing the door, was his son saying that it was too good to be true in a disbelieving tone.


In the kitchen, after a maternal hug by Molly and quick hugs to Teddy, Vicky, Hugo and Rose, he sided with Ron and Hermione in the farthest corner, where they were sipping from mugs: a closer inspection revealed white wine inside and Hermione winked at him before conjuring another cup and pouring wine from a pitcher charmed to look full of coffee.


Ron had been looking proudly at his wife for the whole exchange, before snapping his head back to Harry.


“Have you heard?” Ron whispered conspiratorially, giving a quick kiss to Hermione when she cast Muffliato. “About James and the mysterious girlfriend?”


“Honestly, Ronald,” huffed Hermione, amused nonetheless. “We shouldn’t gossip like this.”


“Who’s gossiping? He’s family, he’s fair game. Besides, the story is fishy. Albus never explained how he knew.”


Harry looked at his best friends confusedly, sipping his wine. “Didn’t James tell him?”


“Apparently, he didn’t. Albus found out on his own, but refuses to tell how or who the girl is.”


“Ginny thought it might be his ex.” Harry received calculating looks from his friends.


“I liked her.”


“Please, Hermione,” said Ron, turning to her with a raised eyebrow. “She was the one who had drugged Lucy all those years ago.”


“Yes, but she’s also founded a NPO for werewolves’ rights!” Retorted Hermione, taking a long sip from her cup. She swallowed pointedly. “Besides, they were kids, Ron. Like we never did something we’re not proud of now.”


Harry snorted. “Slaying a basilisk is still pretty high on the list of things I’m proud of, if I have to be honest.”


Harry and Ron shared a look while Hermione raised her eyes to the ceiling.


“I wasn’t there, so that doesn’t count.” She said, joking.


“Mh, yes it does. Anyway. Enough about my firstborn’s love life: we will talk about that later, probably. How’s the bill coming, Hermione?”



Harry let Hermione’s calm voice and Ron’s quick jokes envelope his mind like a blanket, immediately feeling better and safe and home.


 



 


January 20th, 2030 – 2.30 p.m.


 


“James,” called Harry, knocking quietly on the door of the twins’ old room. “Can I come in?”


“Might as well.”


When Harry entered, he found his son sitting slumped on the right bed, angled towards the open window with a cigarette in his mouth; he looked tired.


“Don’t let your mother see you,” Harry joked, sitting on the bed in front of him.


James gave a vague attempt of a smile, before his face went back to sour.


Harry sighed.


“You want to talk about it?”


James shook his head, “Not particularly, no.”


Harry loved his children equally, that he could say with the outmost sincerity, but there had always been different approaches to their problems, more or less difficult: Albus, who was the most similar to him, was the one he could talk with and be sure to hit the mark; Lily, who was stubborn and fierce like her mother, was also easy enough to resonate with, as he had had the chance to practice with Ginny for years; James, on the other hand, was the perfect mix of himself and Ginny, but Harry had never been able to understand when he would be like him – shut people out and wallow in self-pity – or Ginny – burst into a hot rage and insult everyone on his path.


This time, James seemed to be neither.


He had caught enough of the shouted conversation and the lunch gossip to understand the deal: James’ girlfriend Elizabeth – who Harry had honestly liked – had been in a relationship with Louis, who had cheated on her with Jasmine, who was the sister of James’ ex-girlfriend.


James had insisted for Elizabeth to come to lunch and she had agreed, then the whole lunch had been a disaster and she had run away in the garden, where Harry assumed she still was, and there had been a shouting match of epic proportion, even though nobody heard more than a few words once Ginny had put a privacy charm in place.


“There’s a story,” said then Harry after a pause, giving it a shot, “that would be actually better told by your mother, probably, but…”


“Dad, I know all of you guys’ stories.”


Harry simply smiled. “I seriously doubt that. And I’m also sure you don’t know this one, since I’ve never told it to any of you kids.”


That seemed to catch James’ attention, for he turned towards him and leaned slightly down.


He was a beautiful boy, his son, much more beautiful than he or Albus could ever be, and Harry had a random moment of pride and nostalgia for the man his son was becoming.


Time truly passed too quickly, but Harry still had a few aces in his sleeve.


“What you kids don’t know, is that after the war… I struggled. With moving on, I mean. Suddenly, the weight of the world wasn’t on my shoulders anymore and I… felt lost.” Harry swallowed, recalling the period as a bad dream.


“Without purpose. I would look for fights at Knocturn Alley, or go in bad muggle neighbours, just to feel alive again. Of course, nobody knew about that, or they would have stopped me. I admit it wasn’t the healthiest way to cope; but I was young, lost and it helped. Another thing I had a problem with were large crowds: suddenly, being somewhere with more than ten people put me on hedge, which meant awkward Sunday lunches – for me, at least – and absolutely no Quidditch matches. Now we all know what your mother’s profession was, right? Imagine me, being in love with every fibre of my heart with this stunning woman and being unable to support her when she needed it the most. I hadn’t told her I couldn’t deal, but your mother is a smart woman, and after a few excuses – and let me tell you, I suck at improvising lies – she had figured out that there had to be another reason. She tried to give me my space, but at one point she… she asked me to go, just once, told me that of course she wouldn’t resent me if I didn’t go, but that she would be so happy if I did. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do: I loved her so much, I didn’t want to lose her over something like that. But at the same time, the idea… terrified me. Me, the great Harry Potter. There was nothing great about me, then, nor there’s probably ever been, but… I went. For her, even though she hadn’t forced me, she might as well have had. And it was a disaster, of course: I had a panic attack, my magic went haywire and a stand full of people collapsed. There was a cover up, of course, as nobody had been injured and they couldn’t have me look badly in the press. But James… that was when I finally had to explain, and your mother understood, because – I don’t know why – she loves me just as much as I do. She never asked again; and when I was ready, after almost a year, I went. And I never lost another one.”


James looked stunned and Harry smiled, self-deprecating.


“I guess I should have shared more of the ugly stuff with you guys, sometime. But anyway,” he clasped his hands, startling his son out of his reverie, “do you understand why I told you this story?”


James sighed and nodded, putting out his cigarette. “Yeah, I do.”


“I’ll leave you to it, then.”


Harry stood up and moved towards the door, hoping to have helped, when James’ voice stopped him on the door.


“Thanks, dad.”


Harry smiled.


“Anytime, son.”


Ginny was right: after all, it hadn’t been that bad of a day.


 





Fourth chapter is from Harry's pov! What did you think? I admit, I'm teasing A LOT with the time jumps, but all will be explained in due time.

in the mean time, know that next chapter will be from Dominique's POV!

Thank you everyone for dropping by :)

Tecla


 



Chapter 5: V. Dominique
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January 20th, 2030 – 11.45 a.m.



 



I.               Dominique



 



Her phone, laying innocently on the coffee-place table, buzzed impatiently, stopping Carla’s latest tirade about old, prejudiced, Wizengamot wizards and witches that hindered her fight for werewolves’ right; she raised an eyebrow and Carla smiled, self-deprecatingly.



“Sorry, I was doing a monologue again. Who is it?”



Dominique shrugged. “It’s alright, you know you can vent all you want.”



She picked up her phone and a frown appeared on her face as she read the text.



“What? What is it?” Asked Carla again, putting down her glass of juice. “Is it bad?”



Dominique looked at her, hesitant.



“Just spill it.”



“It’s Lily. Apparently James has a new girlfriend and he’s bringing her to Nana’s.”



Carla’s elegant nose scrunched up in an involuntary reflex, one she smoothed out immediately.



“Well, good for him. I hope she’s nice.”



“Carla…”



“Oh, c’mon, Nikki. It’s been over for years, and I’ve been dating Liam for almost two. I’m fine,” she said, sending her a smile that looked genuine enough, all things considered. “I’m happy for him.”



Dominique looked at her dubiously. “I’m sure you are.”



Carla rolled her eyes. “Fine, not happy. It’s never nice when the other person moves on, you know it, but I really don’t mind.”



Dominique hummed, looking back at her phone.



“Lily obviously wants me to go to lunch if she’s texted me.” She mused aloud, marvelling at how meddling her family managed to be.



Carla’s eyes shone dangerously.



“Please, do. I want to know who she is,” she said, with a smirk that made her look like the bitch people assumed her to be; Dominique mirrored her expression.



“Thank Salazar you were over him, right?”



Carla rolled her eyes. “I am. But honestly, can you deny me – and yourself –  the pleasure of gossiping about the new me? You know you want to.”



She wiggled her eyebrow, trying to make a daring expression; Dominique laughed and nodded, before sighing and taking her purse to pay.



Carla stopped her.



“No, leave it.” She said, dropping a few sickles on the table. “My treat for making you go.”



Usually, Dominique would have protested, but that time Carla owed her one big time.



“It’s the least you could do,” she joked, finishing her coffee. “Thank Salazar maman is in the continent.”



Carla nodded emphatically. “I wonder if my sister will be there?”



Dominique shrugged and got up, followed swiftly by her best-friend. “I don’t know. Is she still with Louis?”



“I don’t know either. Gosh, we should stop alienating our families from time to time. We lose all the juiciest gossips.”



They laughed as they exited the coffee shop; Dominique huffed and whined.



“Ugh, I don’t wanna do this! I’m already regretting it.”



Carla sniggered. “C’mon, Nikki, take one for the team and I’ll force Liam to introduce you to Xander Williams.”



“He was going to anyway,” she pointed out, smiling nonetheless at the idea of meeting the American Quodpot player.



“I’ll make him do it more quickly.”



“See that you do. Fine,” she conceded, defeated. “I’ll text you when I get there.”



“Remember, I want details. Is she cute? Cuter than me? Job, hobbies, all of it.”



“You’re a mean person.”



“Aw, but you love me anyway. Now go and do your duty, private Weasley!”



“I’ll see you tonight, then. You want to go to the game?”



“Nah, Liam was thinking about dinner at the Kaiser. Sorry.”



“It’s alright, tomorrow then. Have fun, I know I won’t.”



Carla rolled her eyes, giving her a light shove. “Stop being melodramatic and go, for Merlin’s sake.”




Dominique laughed and Apparated to the Burrow.



 




 



January 20th, 2030 - 12 a.m.



 



The moment Dominique entered the Burrow, silence fell in the previously loud living room; she gave a quick glance around, seeing her father, her grandfather, aunt Ginny, Lily and her boyfriend whose name she couldn’t remember, and Albus.



“Hello, everyone.” She said awkwardly, waving at the gathering; Lily had a shit-eating grin that she wisely chose to ignore.



“Domi!” Called her grandpa, the first to break out the reverie. “You came! Molly will be so happy.”



Dominique felt the familiar pang of guilt, seeing as she had avoided Sundays lunches for a few weeks now; she was sorry for her grandparents, they were her favourite out of the family, but she often couldn’t deal with her mother, sister or the general obnoxiousness of having thirty and more people in the same place, all butting into her business.



There was never much space for individuality in the Weasley clan and she, being one of the three Slytherin in the whole family, always felt cornered and out of place.



“Grandpa!” she said, responding with enthusiasm to his hug; she saw her father throw her a smile and a nod from behind her grandpa and she answered in kind, if a bit stiffy.



She liked her father well enough but honestly, he had always had more attention for Victorie, just like her mother had with Louis: she didn’t know what to talk about with him, most of the time.



“James is coming with a girlfriend,” quipped Lily when Dominique stopped hugging their grandfather, a calculating glint on her face, ignoring her mother’s annoyed groan. “Albus won’t tell who she is or how he knows.”



“Lily, could you stop announcing that to everyone?”



“Why?”, she whined, sharing a complicit look with Albus. “It’s not like it’s a secret. Oh, wait, it is! Jimmy-poo didn’t tell anyone…”



Then, she seemed to realize something, because she turned to Dominique and pinned her with a fervent look.



“It isn’t Carla, right?”



Dom shook her head and could swear she heard aunt Ginny sigh in relief; annoyance flooded through her, her protectiveness of Carla flaring up.



James and Carla’s relationship had lasted from their seventh year till they were twenty-one, living together and looking on their way to wedding, making all of Dom’s dreams of having her best-friend and favourite cousin married look like they could come true, before calling it off out of the blue; hadn’t that been like a punch in the gut: she had gathered, after a lot of prodding, that the romance was gone and they simply were both focused on their careers, she with her NPO and he with Quidditch.



Both had suffered a lot and she had had the displeasure of having to choose, and she had chosen Carla because James had Freddie, Jake, and Albus, Lily, everyone, while Carla had only her.



It had taken years for her relationship with James to go back to a resemblance of their previous tight friendship, so she had never met the girl he had dated after a year – from what she’d heard, a French Quidditch agent older than him – but that hadn’t lasted more than another year, only enough to make every magazine cover unapproachable for Carla.



So for her aunt to think of Carla as the bitch who had broken her son heart, well… Dominique didn’t like that.



“No, Carla is dating Liam Shackebolt,” she said, then, to rub it in; aunt Ginny’s brow quirked disbelievingly and Dominique internally smiled victoriously.



“What a catch,” joked Lily, before turning to Kyle. “Why aren’t you the Minister’s son?”



Kyle smiled a secret smile and whispered something in her ear, for which she blushed and giggled like a schoolgirl, before saying, “I guess.”



“You guys are sickening,” mocked Albus, before standing up. “C’mon Dom, let’s not make Nana wait.”



On their way to the kitchen, he whispered into her ear.



“I know Lily texted you, little snake.”



Dominique snorted and remembered why she had liked Albus at school, “Pot to kettle, right?”



He sniffed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”



In the kitchen, once she had finished hugging Nana and being berated for her previous absence, she saw the Golden Trio huddled in a corner, talking and laughing: she assumed they had put a privacy bubble as she couldn’t hear them, and all of their faces looked red and merry.



Dominique wondered if they actually thought they got away with drinking without anyone noticing, but she didn’t judge: everyone coped with the lunches in their own way.



Freddie, Rox and her, for example, used to smoke; James had never wanted to at Nana’s, but he was the biggest grandma boy there was, so that had never been a surprise.



In the kitchen there were also Vicky, Teddy on one side of the table and Rose and Hugo on the other; after doing the perfunctory round of hellos, she settled on a chair, Albus perching himself on the table itself and trying to hide a grimace of pain.



“Is Louis coming?” Dominique asked Vicky, eyeing discretely her baby bump: it was way bigger than the last time she’d seen her, and she was suddenly struck by how little she saw all of them.



Victorie nodded, looking at her, but it was Rose that voiced the question she wanted to ask.



“Why did you come?”



“What? Can’t I miss my family?”



Vicky rolled her eyes, Teddy snorted, Rose’s brows furrowed and Hugo grinned like she had made a particularly funny joke.



“She wanted to see James’ new girlfriend,” added Albus helpfully, smirking like the total tool he was; Dominique threw him an annoyed glance but didn’t see the point of denying.



“Of course she did,” said Rose, drumming her fingers on the table. “You know he’s going to kill you when he finds out, right?”



Albus simply shrugged. “It was worth it. Besides, he’s gotten rusty with that stick of his.”



“It’s not like you’re training to be an Auror yourself, though,” joked Teddy, shaking his head full of green curls. “I bet he would beat you in ten minutes.”



“Accepted, make it five,” added Hugo, perking up with his trademark puppy grin.



“Deal.”



“Hey!” protested Albus, outraged. “Is no one going to bet for me?”



After a few seconds of silence, Rose shrugged. “Fine, I will. I’m doing well enough at the firm to afford a loss, anyway.”



Rude.”



Voices raised on the other side of the kitchen, meaning the arrival of someone new, and sure enough the kitchen door flew open with a loud bang, startling nana Molly as she was stirring the stew.



Fred stood in the threshold, imposing in all of his six feet two glory, arms wide open and an enormous smile plastered on his face.



“Nana!” He shouted, full of affection; Dominique felt a hard pang of longing at his easy demeanour.



Molly squealed and ran to him, immediately enveloped in his strong, big arms.



“Freddie! I didn’t think you’d come!”



“Of course I’d come, Nana,” he boomed, laughing. “I would never miss a lunch!”



“Oh,” she said, still embracing him, “but you keep growing! Are you hungry?”



He made her puppy eyes, which looked hilarious on a giant like him, and nodded.



“I’m starving!”



“He’s such a drama-queen,” muttered Rose, shaking her head. “Always makes us look like cold-hearted and ungrateful.”



“I think he’s adorable,” blubbered Vicky, looking suddenly hormonal. “He’s such an overgrown puppy.”



Dominique wisely chose to keep silent, seeing as she had stood witness of the innumerable times he had fucked up, and then fucked up again.



“What is he doing now?” asked Teddy, reading her mind.



All of them shrugged, beside Hugo. “He’s working in Garlands’ greenhouses in Kent.”



“He’s probably growing pot as a side,” remarked Dominique, a little meanly, but nobody seemed to mind and Rose even nodded.



“He’s going to be fired soon enough, for sure,” said Albus, and Freddie heard him.



“We’ll see about that, you little shit,” he retorted good-naturedly, before taking in Dom’s presence.



“Nikki! I didn’t know you would come,” he said, surprise clear on his face.



Dominique smiled sheepishly.



“Ta-daah,” she tried to joke, doing jazz hands. He rewarded her with a genuine laugh and that was enough, even though she could see Albus and Rose cringe on the side of her vision.



He leaned in conspiratorially. “Fortunately I brought a lot of weed, so we covered, sis.”



Dom smiled, genuine relief flooding through her body. “Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.”



Both ignored Vicky and Rose’s disapproving looks and Hugo’s longing one and exited from the kitchen backdoor; Ron patted Freddie affectionately on the shoulder when he passed and Hermione and Harry smiled at her to greet her, since they had probably hadn’t seen her arrive.



Not a sound came from them, so she assumed they still had the privacy bubble up.



“So,” said Freddie once they were outside and she had erected a bubble for them too. “What are you actually doing here?”



Dominique sighed and accepted the blunt he was passing her. “Lily texted me that James was coming with a new girlfriend, and well… I was with Carla, and she convinced me to come so we could gossip about the girl afterwards.”



“Ah, what you do for friends,” joked Freddie, lighting the blunt in her mouth with a quick hand gesture. “I miss Shack, though. She was fun.”



“Still is,” smiled Dominique, fond. “Do you know who the new girl is?”



Freddie nodded, “James told me it was a secret and made me swear not to tell you guys anything. I guess he changed his mind.”



Dominique shook her head.



“Nah, Albus has been spilling the beans. I don’t know how he found out.”



“James might have told him, y’know?” Freddie said, taking a few steps into the white backyard; the snow was starting to melt, but it was still a beautiful sight.



“I doubt that,” retorted Dominique, taking a drag. “Lily said that Albus didn’t want to tell how he’d found out.”



Freddie sniggered, “Oh, this is going to be a good one.”



Dominique’s brows furrowed.



“Why is it such a secret? Is she underage? Pregnant? Oh!” She jumped, feigning outrage, “Is she a pureblood?”



“The horror!”



They were still giggling like idiots when the door of the kitchen opened, making her heart stop in fear: she quickly hid the blunt behind her back, before exhaling in relief when she recognized Rox.



“Jeez, Rox, you made me loose five years of my life,” said Freddie, accompanying every word with sign gestures.



Roxanne smiled and her green eyes shone, full of mirth; she signed back that they were getting sloppy with age.



Dominique couldn’t help but agree, having forgotten to charm the door closed, and smiled gratefully when Rox took it upon herself to do it, before coming to seat next to her on the frozen bench.



It’s rude to start without me, she signed with a fake pout; Freddie laughed.



“It’s not our fault you always greet everyone. A simple, ecumenical hello is enough, Rox.”



Stop talking like an Oxford grad, idiot.



Dom laughed and passed her the blunt.



They almost made her happy to be there.



 







Hello!!



New chapter for you guys, who are the light of my life! We’re now entering a bit further into the plot and we finally meet James’ ex, Carla, who is also Jasmine’s sister.



And yet, the big names still have to join the party!!



I really hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you soon with Lucy’s pov!



Cheers,



Tecla



Chapter 6: VI. Lucy
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January 20th, 2030 – 12.30 a.m.

 

 

 

I.               Lucy

 

 

 

Chérie, wake up.”

 

Lucy hummed and stirred in the soft sheets, stretching like a lazy cat. “Five more minutes, minou,” she pleaded, burrowing her face in her pillow.

 

A soft trail of kisses, light as feathers, started from her ear and went down her neck and back, making her purr contently.

 

“You told me to wake you, chérie…” Another kiss, this time on the small of her back, dangerously close to her bum. “…something about your grand-mère.

 

Lucy’s eyes snapped wide open and she suddenly reached for her phone on the bedside table.

 

“Oh, shit,” she cursed, jumping out of bed and hitting Pierre on the nose.

 

Ouch!”

 

“Sorry, minou,” she said offhandedly, running straight for the bathroom. “I’m so fucking late. Shit!”

 

It took her ten painfully slow minutes to get out, dressed in the same clothes she had gone clubbing into the night before – a skimpy black mini-dress, black Louboutin’s pumps and a faux fur red blood jacket: damn her and her intimacy problems that had prevented her to leave some of her clothes there, like Pierre always suggested; grandma was going to have a fit –, and she was even more late.

 

The sight of Pierre obscenely sprawled on the bed, playing with himself, was not was she needed in that moment; he threw her a roguish smirk and cocked an eyebrow, as asking her if she wanted to help.

 

She rolled her eyes, hiding how flustered she was and how much that sight made her want to jump right back in bed, shaking her head.

 

“Have you seen my wand?” She asked, making a point of watching him as dispassionately as possible.

 

He groaned, throwing his head back. “Have you checked on the… the…?” He swallowed, panting visibly, but looked back at her with annoyance. “How do you call the little tables on the side of the bed?”

 

She couldn’t help but laugh. “The bedside tables, oddly enough.”

 

He scoffed, still preoccupied with himself, and shook his head. “You English people are so unoriginal.”

 

She shook her head and located her wand on the other side of the bed, on the floor, near her purse; she gathered all of her things, ignoring the delicious sounds her boyfriend was doing, trying to quell the fire between her legs with every ounce of her being.

 

“I’m off!” She chirped, purposefully cheerful just to irk him.

 

He frowned. “So you’re not going to help?” He asked, his French accent so thick in the midst of lust, she barely understood him.

 

She smirked, pitiless. “You seem to have the situation well handled, minou.”

 

“Ah!” He groaned again, arching on the bed; Lucy felt that not joining him was the hardest thing she’d done in her life.

 

Tu es cruel, ma chérie,” he moaned, on the edge.

 

She stood rooted on her spot, painfully aware she was wasting time, and smiled again.

 

Mais tu m’aimes, même, oui?

 

Oui,” he cried out, reaching his climax. “Oui, oui, je t’ame, ma chérie!

 

He exhaled loudly, finally, and relaxed back on the bed; she sent him a kiss in the air.

 

“Have a good day, minou!”

 

As she turned on the spot to Apparate away, she heard his last words.

 


Toi aussi, chérie.


 

January 20th, 2030 – 12.45 a.m.

 

 

 

Lucy rarely went to Sunday lunches anymore, but her parents were in Peru for the Minister’s official visit and Molly was studying for her potion mastery in Osaka, so that left only her to represent their fort; she didn’t know why it mattered so much to them, grandmother wasn’t going to die if she didn’t see any of them for a week, but her father had insisted, and when that hadn’t worked, he had threatened to cut her funds.

 

That had worked.

 

Lucy loved her penthouse apartment in the city and she wasn’t going to let it go anytime soon; besides, muggle rents were way more expensive than wizarding ones, and she needed the money: working in fashion paid only so much, after all – barely anything.

 

Which was why she was standing in front of the familiar, rickety old house, even though she could have been in bed having the time of her life.

 

The cold, January wind attacked her small frame immediately, freezing her to the core, and she walked slowly towards the Burrow, trying not to let her awfully expensive shoes touch mud.

 

She cast a charm to warm herself and another to protect the shoes, hoping it would be enough, and steeled herself for what was to come.

 

She noticed in that moment two figures on the right side of the property, still a bit away from the house, and she squinted her eyes to understand who they were.

 

“James!” She hollered, waiving her right arm; the tallest person with the trademark dreadlocks turned in her direction, swiftly mirrored by the other – a brown-skinned girl that looked cold and upset.

 

James smiled and called her name back, before tugging the girl in her direction.

 

“What are you doing here?” He asked, looking pleasantly surprised; the girl sent her a tentative smile, but Lucy was too hangover and cranky to respond with anything but what hoped was a kind nod.

 

She huffed and looked back at her older cousin.

 

“The parents decided it would be a good idea to fuck off to South America and Molly’s still in Japan, so apparently there needed to be representation or grandma would forget that Percy’s her son too.”

 

“I’d try to forget too, if I were her,” he joked, making her smirk.

 

“Anyway,” James said, pointing to the girl, “this is Elizabeth, my girlfriend.”

 

“Hi, nice to meet you,” said the girl, trying a bit too much, with a smile so big it looked uncomfortable; Lucy smiled back, amused, and took her hand.

 

“Lucy.”

 

Then, she pinned James with a look.

 

“I know you’re the worst nana-boy in existence, but you really don’t like Elizabeth, do you?”

 

Elizabeth smile froze on her face, panic flooding in her eyes so quickly that Lucy knew she had had reservations about coming; James chuckled nervously, glaring at her.

 

“What do you mean?” Asked the girl, at the same time that James said: “As out of line as usual, mh?”

 

“You know me, James,” Lucy retorted and then, turning to the poor girl, she explained: “Our family is the definition of overbearing and it’s basically a test of the relationship: if you don’t run as quickly as you can, you’re either mental or in love. Or both. Which is why,” she paused, looking back at James, “I won’t bring Pierre until we’ve been married for years with 2.5 kids.”

 

“She’s exaggerating,” said James, taking his girlfriend hand; she, on the other hand, seemed ready to bolt.

 

Lucy smirked. “Am I?”

 

James scoffed. “Are you done, Lucy?”

 

Lucy laughed and took pity on him – and mostly on the girl.

 

“Ok, it’s not that bad. Don’t worry, we don’t bite. Much.”

 

Elizabeth giggled hysterically and James looked helplessly to Lucy, before hugging his girlfriend from behind and telling her it was ok.

 

“It’s fine,” she replied, suddenly looking annoyed, “I’m not made of glass, for Salazar’s sake.”

 

Another Slytherin, just like Carla; James had a type.

 

But the girl did seem familiar, now that she looked at her better.

 

“Have I seen you before?” Lucy asked, taking her in: she was tall enough, for a girl, nothing near James obviously, and she was dressed in black pants, a grey coat that had seen better days and an obnoxiously red knitted scarf, which was probably James’; the girl clearly didn’t have an ounce of fashion in her body, but she had an open face and two big, dark doe eyes that reminded Lucy of Carla in a sinister way. James had definitely a type.

 

Elizabeth tensed, then sighed. “I dated Louis a while back.”

 

Suddenly, Lucy remembered: Louis, like Lily and Hugo, had been a year ahead of her, and he had started dating a girl during the last few months of seventh year; Lucy remembered because Louis hardly interacted with Lily and Hugo, intolerant of Gryffindors, but he often came to chat with her at the Hufflepuff table.

 

They had always been close and she remembered how Louis was in love with the damn girl; they had never been introduced officially, as Louis liked to keep his life in neat, different compartments, but Lucy had known who she was and had watched her from afar.

 

And now she was dating James? Sure, years had passed – about four – but still.

 

So Lucy had never met Elizabeth, just like she didn’t know the new one, because Louis was the most secretive person in the world: granted, she now hadn’t seen him in almost six months, but she still liked to think she knew her cousin.

 

When he had broken up with this Elizabeth, he had come around wasted and had proceeded to cry all night long, saying that he had fucked up, but he never told her what he had done: all Lucy knew was that he had tried to apologize for months and she hadn’t bulged, so he had found another girl after a while. And then another.

 

Elizabeth must have noticed her change in facial expression, because she stood taller and rigid, defensive.

 

“I found him in bed with another woman,” she said, hitting Lucy like a punch in the gut, “not that is any of your business.”

 

“Darling…”

 

“No, I knew the fucker wouldn’t have told the story as it went: I’ll look like the asshole in there.”

 

Lucy was still reeling from the information, a painful headache starting to form in the back of her mind, but mostly she was pissed: that little fucker.

 

He had had the guts to come crying to her, even though he had known what Jada had done to her.

 

Oh, he was going to pay.

 

“Don’t worry,” she stopped Elizabeth, feeling a new kinship with the girl, “you won’t. I’ll make sure to spread the word.”

 

Elizabeth looked so relieved that Lucy immediately felt better; James looked stunned.

 

“You will?” He asked, raising an eyebrow, “aren’t you and Louis as thick as thieves?”

 

“Not as much as I thought,” was all she could bring herself to say with a grim smile. “Now let’s get inside, I’m fucking freezing.”

 

James burst out laughing and took her in better, before smiling mischievously.

 

“Had a good night?”

 

“Actually, I did, thank you for asking, dear cousin,” she bit out tartly, turning around and making her way to the house without sparing them another look.

 


She heard Elizabeth’s whisper, “I like her,” and Lucy smiled.


 

Entering into the Burrow was always a bit anticlimactic in the winter: suddenly, the warmth hit her like a solid wall, as did the loud conversations happening in every corner of the living room.

 

She saw Bill and Ginny playing checkers, Arthur chatting amiably with Angelina and George, Rose and her girlfriend giggling with Albus, Lily and her boyfriend whispering to each other near the fire

 

and Hugo signing with Roxanne. There was no trace of Freddie, who she assumed was smoking somewhere, Dominique – who, like her, never came –, Victorie and Teddy. And aunt Fleur. And Harry, Ron and Hermione. And, most importantly, Louis.

 

Helga, she hated the size of her family.

 

When Lily looked up, Lucy expected to be acknowledged, but she simply looked behind her and she squealed, startling half of the room.

 

“JAMES’ HERE!” she shouted, loud enough that Nana barged from the kitchen, looking positively murderous.

 

Lucy gaped at the whole scene, taking a step away from James; he looked nervous, but it was nothing against the pure, unaltered fear etched on Elizabeth’s face.

 

“Young man!” she said sharply, pointing her wand at him; he pulled his hands up reflexively, astonished “I’m disgusted! You’ve been coming all these weeks and you never mentioned you had a girlfriend!”

 

Then, she did a full 365° and smiled adoringly at Elizabeth.

 

“It’s so nice to see you again, dear,” she said, sweetly, without missing a beat, her eyes full of excitement, “I can’t wait to know what you’ve been up to since the last time I’ve seen you.”

 

Elizabeth was almost gaping, unsure of how she was supposed to react, while James wore a smug smile and had lowered his hands.

 

“Don’t think I’m done with you, rascal,” said Nana, looking back at him with a reprimanding gaze.

 

Albus looked, by all purposes and means, like Christmas had come early, while Rose and Amira were looking at him reproachfully.

 

Bill showed clear signs of recognition – and dread –, as did grandpa, while Lily was outraged.

 

“You know her? How do you know her?” she asked, jumping from her boyfriend’s lap; Ginny tried to shush her without much success, and she stalked in their direction.

 

“Who are you?”

 

Before any of the people could answer, Lucy decided she was quite done with the show.

 

“Yeah, hi, hello? It’s nice to see you guys too,” she said, waiving sarcastically to the room, “Percy says hi and Molly’s had another nervous breakdown.”

 

Nana’s eyes saddened, “Oh, poor dear…”

 

“Hi, Lucy, it’s so nice to see you,” cut back in Lily, “Now, can we go back on topic? Who are you?”

 

“Lily, enough,” thundered Ginny, standing up, “You’re being purposefully rude and that is not how I raised you, and not how an Auror should behave.”

 

“Yeah, Lily, back off,” hissed James, a protective arm wrapped around Elizabeth frame.

 

“Fine,” said Lucy, giving up, “I’ll be in the kitchen in anyone needs me.”

 

“Mum, I didn’t say anything bad,” whined Lily, completely ignoring Lucy once again; she simply rolled her eyes, kissed her grandpa, hugged her nana and got the fuck out as soon as humanly possible.

 

George and Hugo were quick to follow and the last thing she heard was James’ voice.

 

“This is Elizabeth, my girlfriend.”

 

 

 



 


Hello!! Now we'entering in the centre of the story!!

What did you think about Lucy? I see her as a bit of a rebel to counteract Percy's influence but more in words than in actual actions! anyway, she's one of my favourite, so I hope you enjoyed!
Translation of the French sentences!

 

Cheriè, minou are pet names like ‘sweetheart’, ’darling’

 

grand-mère: grandmother

 

Tu es cruel, ma chérie: you’re cruel, my darling

 

Mais tu m’aimes, même, oui?: But you love me anyway, yes?

 

Oui, oui, je t’ame, ma chérie!: Yes, yes, I love you, my darling!

 

And finally, “Toi aussi, chérie.” Means ‘you too, dear.”

 


Next one will be from Jasmine's (Louis' gf) pov!!

stay tuned,

Tecla


Chapter 7: VII. Jasmine
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VII.               Jasmine

January 20th, 2030 – 12.45 a.m.

 

Jasmine hated going to the Weasleys on Sundays.

They were loud, obnoxious, generally rude and the food wasn’t even that great: she suspected it had to do with the fact that the damned matriarch had to cook for thirty something people every time, and of course not one of her beloved spawn bothered to help.

Louis loved going, though: as secretive and reserved as he was, Jasmine had always found it odd that he would enjoy the absolute mess that lunch was, but she’d never questioned it much.

At least up until he had started to bring her along: of course, Jasmine couldn’t just tell him that she didn’t stand his family, so she’d sucked it up and had went anyway; only one every two lunches, that at least she had negotiated, pretending she needed to go see her own family, even though she went out with her friends for brunch.

No, Jasmine was really curious as to what would make a rampant, twenty-two years old lawyer so attached to his family.

It wasn’t even that she didn’t like big families: she had two brothers and two sisters and more cousins that she cared to count, but they didn’t have this morbid need to see each other once a week, and when they did meet – for Christmas or Easter – they always used the ballroom of their grandparents’ mansion, were there was room to breathe.

The Burrow – ugh, she even hated the name – always put her on hedge, as she waited for it to collapse on her head; the interior was so tiny she felt claustrophobic just thinking about it.

“Can you hurry?!” Shouted Louis from the foyer. “We’re already late!”

His annoyed tone made her roll her eyes: it wasn’t her fault he had woken her up with sex, making her late.

“Just a minute!” She screamed back, looking at the dress choices on her bed: a baby-pink dress to the knees or black velvet pants and a dark satin green shirt.

Had that been the first time she went, she would have chosen the dress, but she now knew the Weasley weren’t worth the effort – they hardly dressed up for Sunday lunch.

“Jazzz!”

“I’m coming!” She lied without a second thought, starting to dress; then, she went to the bathroom to put some make-up on: they may have not been worth the effort, but she wasn’t going to leave the house without at least some foundation, concealer and mascara.

“Jasmine, I swear to Salazar!”

“I’m ready!” She shouted back, applying her blueberry chap stick.

Purposeful, heavy steps informed her that Louis had had enough, so she clicked the top of the stick and put it back in the bathroom drawer exactly when he rounded the corner, looking at her with an angry, exasperated expression.

Jasmine!” He shouted, even though he was in front of her; she raised an eyebrow, unimpressed. “Are you fucking kidding me? I’ve been waiting half an hour.”

“I’m ready,” she said calmly, walking around him, putting on her black fur and taking her clutch. She raised her right eyebrow, grateful to all the practice she had put into the move back in school.

“Shouldn’t we get going?”

Louis scoffed and rolled his blue eyes, annoyed. “You’re fucking priceless.”

“Aw,” she purred, sarcastically, pursing her lips. “Aren’t you the sweetest boyfriend.”

“Just… let’s go, c’mon.”

He took her wrist forcefully and Apparated them away, directly from the house to the Burrow’s front porch.

Jasmine staggered and almost fell, breathing heavily.

“Have you been raised by savages?” She asked, glaring at him. “You don’t just take someone and Apparate them away, you idiot.”

“Sorry,” he bit out, not sorry at all, adjusting his leather jacket in the window’s reflection.

“Yeah, right.”

Jasmine was starting to get irritated: it didn’t happen often, as she hardly let rushed emotions and reactions dictate her life, but Louis was pushing her limits; the nausea settled down after a few more seconds and she righted herself, fixing her hair in the reflection of the same window.

She could make out shapes moving around and cringed internally, steeling herself to survive for the next three to four hours.

Louis opened the door and she followed him, closing it behind them; strangely enough, silence greeted them, while there usually was a cacophonic array of greetings, more or less loud.

She turned back to the room and the scene that greeted her was most peculiar: Louis stood rooted on the spot, three steps in front of her, facing two people; she could only see James, as the other person was hidden by Louis’ frame, but James looked tense and his unusually cold.

The other members of the ridiculously large family where all gathered into the room, a million pairs of eyes fixed on James and Louis.

Nobody greeted anybody and a few tense, awkward seconds passed.

Jasmine raised a perfectly plucked eyebrow and looked around.

“Hello?”

That seemed to unlock the situation, but something stranger happened.

“What are you doing here?” Asked Louis with a hard, unsure tone she had seldom heard; Jasmine frowned and walked around him to see the other person next to James.

And lo and behold, it was Elizabeth fucking Warren.

Jasmine froze, breathed in sharply and felt her teeth grit, staring at the girl in front of her: Elizabeth was her usual self, if a bit thinner than how she remembered her from school (she didn’t want to think about the actual last time she’d seen her), with her annoyingly beautiful face and her horrendous sense of style.

Elizabeth spared only a glance for her, before looking back at Louis with an expression so neutral, it had to be calculated; Jasmine felt her hands tremble.

Elizabeth Warren was her nightmare: she had been the loser for years at school, never speaking up in class, quiet, reserved, then in seventh year, she had started dating Louis – for whom Jasmine had had a crush for years, a crush everyone knew about – and she had changed radically, becoming outspoken, outgoing and a completely different person.

Jasmine hadn’t meant to steal Louis from her, she truly hadn’t: they had met in a bar, a couple of years after the end of Hogwarts, they had chatted, laughed, had fun and drunk a bit too much.

It was supposed to be a one-night stand, something she owed to her younger self, a way to pick at an old scar.

But he had called; and called again.

And Jasmine had never claimed to be a saint.

She still remembered the night Elizabeth had walked in on them as the most humiliating of her life, and the girl hadn’t shouted, or cried: she had simply stood there, a glacial expression on her face, full of rage and contempt, and hadn’t even looked at Jasmine; like she was doing now, she had been staring at Louis, and she had told him that he was a small, pitiful boy and he was disgusting.

All while he had been inside of Jasmine, the act that had seemed so beautiful and freeing before suddenly turning into a disgusting, filthy sin.

Which was why Jasmine hadn’t wanted to pursue a stable relationship with Louis, once he had stopped trying to go back to his girlfriend and had sought her out; yes, she kept getting into his bed, but that was all.

Like all her friends had told her, a relationship that started dirty ended dirty, and she wasn’t the kind of girl a boy cheated on; she refused to be.

So Louis had dated another girl, a Hufflepuff in their year at Hogwarts, before dumping her and trying to get Jasmine to stay with him fully: she had decided to give him a chance after countless dates, invitations and declarations about two or three months before, but she had been haunted by Elizabeth’s angry and unforgiving face, fearing she would be in the same position soon enough.

Which was more than irritating, seeing as Jasmine was falling in love with the prat despite her better judgement.

But she had soothed herself with the notion that she would make every effort to never meet Elizabeth Warren again, and now the bitch had the galls to be at the Burrow? The place Jasmine hated but… well, it was her territory, now.

It was unbelievable.

Jasmine saw James take a threatening step in Louis’ direction, probably to shield Elizabeth, and everything clicked: of course, of course, Elizabeth Warren had snatched the most desirable bachelor on the market.

Had there ever been any doubts?

James Potter, her own sister ex-boyfriend, ex-everything: he had been the love of Carla’s life and he was now Elizabeth’s.

Apparently, she just knew how to fall on her feet, like any self-respecting Slytherin.

Jasmine felt the urge, for the first time in years, to just scream, break something and storm away; either that, or cry.

“She’s my girlfriend,” were the words that came out of James’ mouth, and seemed almost in slow motion: Jasmine exhaled, shaking, and felt Louis tense next to her as a physical shift of air; her ears started pounding and she swallowed quickly, trying to regain some semblance of control over her body and avoid a panic attack.

Oh, Salazar, acknowledging she was on the verge of one always brought her nearer, and she started to panic also about how it would look to Louis’ family, her having a mental breakdown in the middle of their living room at the sight of the woman whose love she had stolen.

They were going to laugh, and judge, and cringe, sharing pitiful looks and still, Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t have looked at her.

Jasmine felt her heart quicken, its beat echoing everywhere in her body, and a piercing, steady noise settled in her ears; her breaths were short and sounded as loud as thunders.

She felt trapped in her own body; the fact that this wasn’t her first panic attack and she knew what was to come only made it a thousand-fold worse, and a wave of nausea hit her like a punch.

“Louis,” she managed to say, her voice shrill and tremulous – pathetic; he turned to her and understanding appeared immediately on his face.

He took deep, long breaths, keeping eye contact, and after a few seconds that felt like years, he took her hand and squeezed.

The skin to skin contact woke her up and she could hear again: there were shouted conversations, people talking about the scene to others, but James and Elizabeth were silent, him looking at Jasmine and her looking at Louis.

Yet she had eyes only for Louis’ calming and steady gaze and kept mimicking his breathing, when a thought occurred to her: she didn’t have to stay there.

There was nothing forcing her to face her demons, beside the irrational fear that Louis might be mad at her and cheat on her: she didn’t owe this people anything and it didn’t matter what his family thought of her.

The only person she owed anything to was Elizabeth Warren, and she was the only one that would never want anything from her, so Jasmine disentangled her hand from her boyfriend, turned around and, well, for lack of a better definition, she got the fuck out of there.

She didn’t run, though: she would have ruined her shoes.

And when Louis reached her and tried to stop her, she looked at him hard.

His piercing blue eyes were definitely her weakness, she thought vaguely, her breath coming out in big clouds due to the cold; he stood a head taller than her, clinging painfully to her arm, but she shook his grip away.

“I don’t want to be with you right now, Louis.” She said, chocking on her words, her voice a pale imitation of her usually self-assured tone.

“I need to calm down, then I need to think and then,” she exhaled and turned away from his gaze, unable to stand his pleading eyes. “I need a fucking drink. So no, I’m not coming back inside and no, you’re not coming with me.”

She took a deep breath, ignoring his concerned and hurt gaze, and said something she had to say, even though she knew it would sound hypocritical and too late and not enough.

But she also owed herself.

“And if you’ve ever loved that girl, you should leave. If you ever felt an ounce of regret for what we did, you should look at her, tell her she’s finally found someone better than you, someone that might make her happy, and never go to another Sunday lunch.”

Then, Jasmine Shackleton turned on herself and disappeared; on the other side of the window, Elizabeth Warren was looking at her.

 







Oh, yeah, things are getting messy.

So, a bit of a timeline: in ‘wrong number’, the girlfriend that Liz mentions seeing with Louis at St. mungo is the Hufflepuff between her break up with him and before Jasmine and Louis actually got together (which was around the same time James and Liz did, before Christmas.)

The fact that James knew Jasmine will come up later, and everything will be explained, so don’t worry.

But, we’re officially in the story! The next chapter will still be unrelated (with Carla’s pov) but the one after that will be from Roxanne’s perspective, and definitely a bit longer and finally about the lunch itself, so bear with me!

Thank you all, particularly those who left a review – you guys rock and made my day!

Tecla xxx


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