Beginning of October, 2029
“White dress and black trainers? I don’t think so, tesoro.”
Elizabeth looked down to her feet, raising an eyebrow.
“What’s wrong with them?”
Vic, who was lounging on the sofa with the latest WizStyle issue on his lap, scoffed without raising his eyes from the magazine.
“‘What’s wrong’, she asks. Tesoro, you’re many things – a wonderful witch, a funny woman and a beautiful person – but you’re not a fashion expert. Trust me on this.”
Vittorio d’Assi Conti was nothing if not honest, as Elizabeth had learned since she’d been in her first year of Hogwarts, and she loved him for it, truly, but in that moment the bored drawl of his tone and his superior attitude made her want to punch him in the face.
Salazar knew he wouldn’t even know how to block it.
“What should I wear then, Lagerfeld?”
Vic didn’t take the bait, instead looking at her and remaining silent for a few moments.
When the silence stretched, Elizabeth waved at him.
Vic startled “Oh, sorry, I was thinking about Daniel.”
Elizabeth gaped at him: he didn’t even have the courtesy of looking bashful.
“I don’t know, tesoro, don’t you own any nice shoes?” He settled to say, raising elegantly from the sofa in one swift motion.
Obviously, he was already dressed in perfectly fashionable black trousers and dark green shirt – with the compulsory first two buttons open –, with silver cufflinks and hair styled in luscious brown curls.
Sometimes Elizabeth felt truly sorry that he was gay.
“Oh, what am I saying… of course you don’t. C’mon, let’s try to dig something out of that nightmare you keep calling wardrobe.”
Then the feeling passed.
Elizabeth wisely chose to remain quiet and followed him in her room; he gave a cursory glance at the mess, did the perfunctory sigh, and moved towards her closet.
She, for her part, tried to enter his anally tidy room as often as possible, knowing that (others’) tidiness had a calming effect on her nerves; and despite her efforts, the rest of the flat they shared looked much the same to his room, so at least in that area, she lived in tranquillity.
Vic took forever to choose, making her try all the six pairs of shoes she owned at least two times, spending the whole process complaining about her lack of fashion sense and being appalled by her consequent unresponsiveness.
“Seriamente, non ho idea di come tu faccia a vivere in questo modo.”
Elizabeth was used to his histrionics enough to ignore the jab in his mother tongue – after all those years of friendship, she had got the gist of the message: baffled disapproval.
“Ok,” he gave up, “We are going to be late: just put on the blue pumps and be done with it.”
He looked genuinely heartbroken by the idea, but both of them had always sucked in Transfiguration and she didn’t feel like looking for the Manual for the perfect Witch of the House: 1001 ways to always be prepared that her mother had given to her for her last birthday: it was probably still in the box somewhere.
Elizabeth was going to protest that the blue shoes always killed her feet – another gift, actually – but she gave one look at Vic’s murderous expression and she decided against it.
“I don’t know how you convinced me to come,” she muttered instead, putting her coat on.
Vic twirled his wand and his black cloak flew towards him, clasping itself on his shoulder perfectly, before heading to the door with a brisk pace – he had tried to have a floo connection installed, but the building was too old and too muggle to be able to support it.
He hadn’t been happy.
“You needed to get out!” he said, opening the door “Have fun, see humans instead of globins for once. You’re becoming a recluse.”
What he meant to say, but hadn’t, because he was a good friend – her best friend, all posh and snarky remarks aside –, was that she already was a recluse.
She sighed, defeated.
He offered her his arm and when she hooked hers into it, he leaned into her as affectionately as someone like him could be.
“Don’t worry, tesoro, we can leave at any time. Just try to relax, mh? You’re gorgeous.”
Elizabeth smiled warmly and kissed his cheek.
It took forty-five minutes for Vic to disappear, her head to start pounding from the cheesy commercial pop music playing and her feet to scream in pain.
Cassandra was a good friend of Vic, even if she had been a few years older than them at school, because their families had been friends for generation – ugh, purebloods – and Vic had always been good at befriending influential people.
Elizabeth had liked her, in the beginning; then, she had found out that she was the reason that everyone knew Louis had cheated on her, as Vic couldn’t keep his mouth shut and she was both worse and with a larger radius of influence – know everyone, know no one.
The people at the party were the same kind she had never quite liked at Hogwarts: rich, pureblood or at most half-bloods with muggleborns parents (like her), and generally convinced that they were better than anyone else; everyone probably knew about Louis and Jasmine Shackleton.
She could spot the Zabini twins, Liam Shackebolt, Cecile Jardine and a few famous Quidditch players – she vaguely remembered that there had been a match that afternoon, but she didn’t know the teams. She hoped it wasn’t the Harpies, it was her favourite team and she’d always followed their games religiously, up until… well.
But she had promised Vic she was going to put at least a small measure of effort, so she took another gin&tonic and she made her way to a group of Slytherins she had been acquainted with at Hogwarts, trying not to mop.
The night was going to go well.
The night had been a disaster, she was drunker than she had been in a long time, and Vic kept trying to lose her in the crowd: he obviously wanted to stay, and she was fine with that, she could go home alone – Salazar, she was an independent woman alright – but she just wanted to tell him.
“Vic!” she finally shouted, grabbing him by the shoulder.
Amazingly, he looked still as polished as when they had arrived, three hours before.
“I’m going home!”
Vic shook his head, waiving his hand next to his ear “What?”
“I’m going- hey!” Elizabeth protested when a sharp pain erupted from her already numb right foot.
She turned around and saw Fred Weasley – ugh, perfect – looking at her with an intense expression.
“Hey!” she repeated, pretending at least a ‘sorry’.
But all he did was look for another moment, turn around and leave.
“What the fuck…”
“Was that Fred Weasley?” shouted Vic, confused “What did he want?”
Elizabeth threw her hands in the air “Apparently, to be an asshole! I’m going!”
Vic’s eyes became huge “Wait, I’m coming!”
“There’s no need…”
“Tesoro, of course there is.” He said softly, looking at her.
She didn’t recognize the expression as pity until she felt tears streaming down her face.
“Oh my god,” she murmured, trying to stop them with her hands.
Vic took her arm and genly guided her to the foyer, got her coat and brought her out and suddenly, she coul breathe again, the cool air of mid-September like a balm on her face.
“It’s just,” she hiccupped, desperately clinging to Vic “Why would he do such a thing? Step on my foot and not apologize? Why are people so mean? What’s wrong with that fucking family? Louis cheating on me wasn’t enough, oh no, the Weasley vendetta is in full mode. Do you know I accidentally called James Potter a month ago? Who does that? And he was so nice and funny and then I called him again when you flooded the flat…”
“You didn’t tell me that!” protested Vic, looking finally unsettled “What did he say?”
Elizabeth sniffed “He wants to meet me. Says he loves it when I call him.”
“Are you,” Vic paused, looking for the right word. “Are you insane? Tell me you agreed to meet him.”
“Of course not, Vic! Are you insane? He’s James Potter! He’s not only a star, he’s also another of Louis’ cousins! The son of the Saviour! That would be looking for trouble.”
Vic’s eyes couldn’t open more “Yes, but have you seen a recent picture?”
Vic snorted and started walking away “Liar.”
She scoffed “Fine, I gave a little peak, it’s not the end of the world.”
“So you know what kind of eye candy we’re talking about: a mixture of Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt would be an appropriate approximation, I believe.”
“Yeah, he’s a bit too beautiful, y’know? What would I look next to him?”
Elizabeth laughed and took his hand, letting him bring her home.
“You should give him a chance, though,” said Vic after a while, when they had almost reached the flat “He’s not his cousin.”
“Louis looked nice enough in the beginning, too.” Was all that she answered, and Vic dropped the subject with a sigh that was scarily becoming familiar.
Later, when Vic had gone to bed and Elizabeth at sat on the sofa with a blanket, ice cream and Grey’s Anatomy, she took a decision.
She didn’t know what was going to happen, but she was moving on. From everything
And if that meant accidentally calling James Potter another time, well…
She might as well do the wrong number.
Hello! a small bite of Elizabeth's life just for fun ;) finally we meet Vic! Hope you like it, and a little bit of translations: tesoro means litteraly 'treasure', but we italians use it as an endearment like sweetheart or darling! and 'seriamente, non so come tu faccia a vivere in questo modo' translates to 'seriously, i don't know how you can live like this'!
Also! 'Uncertain future', the sequel of wrong number, is now up!
Let me know what you thought,
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