Hermione stretched her legs on top of her comforter as memories of last night rushed through her mind. She brought her index finger to her lower lip and ran it across it slowly, remembering the feel of Harry’s mouth on hers.
“Oh man, I’ve got it bad…” she grinned and sighed, getting out of bed and stretching again. She pulled off her nightshirt and tossed it aside, pulling on some fresh clothing from her closet.
“Good morning!” Hermione sang as she swept into the kitchen. Her mother and Lavender stared at her as she went over and got herself some eggs from the skillet. “How did you two sleep last night?”
“Fine…” Lavender replied. “Um, Hermione, do you know what time it is?”
“Nope.” Hermione grinned at her most cheerfully.
“It’s eight in the morning.” Jane said, still staring with concern at her daughter. “Hermione, dear, are you feeling all right?”
“Never better!” Hermione said, still grinning as she began to eat.
“Wait, I know this look.” Lavender said slyly. “What’s his name?”
“What, I can’t just be happy in the morning?”
“No.” Lavender and Jane chorused together.
Hermione only grinned wider. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” She said, and turned back to her eggs.
“You can’t hold out on us, Hermione.” Lavender said. She sat down next to her cousin. “Please?”
Hermione’s smile got even wider, if possible. “Harry Potter.”
Jane dropped the cereal box she was holding on the ground, and the rice puffs scattered across the floor. “Who?”
“Harry Potter.” Hermione repeated smugly. “He took me to Venice.” She fought to keep her voice from rising with excitement.
“Venice, as in Venice Italy?” Jane asked.
Hermione nodded, her eyes taking on a dreamy look. “Yes, Venice Italy, it was so amazing, we had real Italian food, then we walked around the city, then took a gondola ride…” she got up from her seat and went over to the window and stared out. “I think I’m in love!”
*** *** *** *** *** ***
“You went where last night? Venice?” Alexa Potter asked her older brother. “You must have been trying to impress her.” She teased.
Harry grinned back. “Maybe.” He said. “She’s amazing, though, she really is. She’s smart, and she’s gorgeous.”
“Wow, like a two in one package huh.” Alexa laughed. “What’s her name?”
“Hermione Granger.” Harry rolled the words around in his mouth, thinking back to the time he had spent with her the previous evening. It had been only about twelve hours since he had taken her home, but he already longed to hold her in his arms again and snog her senseless. He suddenly realized that Alexa was talking to him.
“You should be careful.” She was saying. “You never know if a girl is after you because of who you are.”
“It’s not like that with her, I know it.” Harry insisted. “When we were walking around St. Marks Square, she started spouting off history about it, and I told her that I didn’t take her for the knowledge type.” Harry shook his head as he remembered how she had defended herself. “She hates it when people judge her before they get to know her, I don’t think she’d be after me for who I am.”
Alexa sighed and smiled. “You’re a pretty good judge of character, most of the time. I know you’ll be all right. I just don’t want to see you get hurt.”
Harry reached for his sister and hugged her. “I know, Lex, and I love you for it.” He and his sister were the best of friends, they looked out for one another.
“There you are, Harry.” His father strode into his bedroom without knocking. “Have you heard from your school, about your test?”
“No.” Harry’s voice was cool as he addressed his father. “And I don’t care either. I’m not going back there.”
“You will, if you want to succeed.” James looked at him pointedly. “Quidditch players make next to nothing, I won’t have my son begging for charity.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Harry snapped. “Co captains of professional Quidditch teams make more than most of the men in your department!”
“I don’t want to hear another word!” James said, the tone of his voice indicating that the argument was closed. “If you don’t hear from your school by the end of this week, you tell me and I’ll go there myself and have a word.”
“Fine.” Harry muttered, turning away and grabbing his cloak from the closet. James turned and left the room, Alexa casting a sympathetic glance in her brother’s direction before following.
*** *** *** *** ***
Lavender sighed as she entered the figures in the accounting book. When she wasn’t working at the pizza parlour or babysitting, she worked for a witch that posed as a Muggle fortune teller. The woman had a ton of faithful clients; Lavender was very respectful of Sibyll Trelawney. She was going to be majoring in Divination when she finally went away to college, and working with a true Seer was helpful to her.
“Lavender dear, how is it coming?” Sibyll was peeking out around the curtain that led to where she kept her ‘office’ which consisted of a crystal ball, tarot cards, and teacups.
“Oh just fine.” Lavender answered. She wished she could help assist in the readings, but so far Sibyll had only given her menial tasks to do, nothing involving real Divination. However, the woman had also given her free reign of her personal library, which meant that Lavender had read nearly every novel and text on Divination that there was, so she felt very well versed in the subject. “I’ve got almost all your figures for last month organized in here, and then I’ll start on this months.”
“Thank you dear, you’re too sweet.” Sibyll smiled mistily at her. “October is always my busiest month, you know, so many people think something terrible will happen to them.”
Lavender smiled the fear of All Hallows Eve, or rather, Halloween, always kept people on their toes. They flocked to Sibyll, pleading for her to tell them that nothing would happen to them that day.
The bell attached to the main door rang and Sibyll ducked back into her office, and Lavender prepared her best Divinator smile for the approaching customer.
To her utmost surprise, it was Henry and Lori who stepped through the partition, grinning widely at her.
“Hi Lavender!” Lori giggled, leaving the comfort of her father’s embrace for Lavender’s.
“Hi Lori!” she said, stunned. She looked up at Henry, who was still grinning.
“I uh…I didn’t know you were um, coming here….”
“Ahhh, well we went to see you at the pizza parlour but your cousin, I believe, told us you were working here today.”
“Oh, um yes this is my third job.” Lavender mumbled, blushing bright red as she fumbled her words.
“You’re very dedicated, aren’t you?” Henry asked, leaning down to her level. “What does this employer have you doing?”
“So far mainly bookkeeping, but I get to read all the Divination novels that I need and soon she’ll let me sit in on some of her readings so I can get a taste of what having the Inner Eye is like. She thinks I’ve got the makings of a really good Divinator, so I’m very lucky I get to work with her, as she’s a true Seer…” Lavender trailed off as she realized how she had been rambling.
“Lavender?” Sibyll’s misty voice travelled from behind the curtain. “You may bring them in now!”
“Oh, Sibyll, they’re not here for—“ Lavender was cut off by Henry.
“Oh, let her read, it’ll be fun.” His eyes were twinkling at her and she could only follow he and Lori back behind the curtain.
“You may sit in, Lavender.” Sibyll said as they came back.
“Thank you.” Lavender replied, taking the chair closest to her mentor. Henry and Lori sat across from them. She could hardly believe her luck.
“I shall do a crystal ball reading for you.” Sibyll decided. “Everyone must join hands, we need to get the vibes flowing throughout the room.” She motioned with one hand to Lavender, the other to Lori.
Henry extended his hand to Lavender, and she slipped her smaller hand in his larger one. She tried not to pay attention to her sweaty palms and hoped he didn’t notice them either.
Sibyll closed her eyes and took in the vibes that the rest of them were sending out, mentally preparing herself for the visions she would soon be seeing in the ball.
Lavender watched in fascination as Sibyll broke the circle of their hands and began to look into the foggy depths of the ball. She recited in her head the steps she knew her mentor was taking.
“Your future, Mr…” she looked at Lavender.
“Bowers.” Lavender supplied, sneaking a glance at Henry.
“Your future, Mr. Bowers…it starts out clear, clear as can be…your path seems to be set straight. But…soon, very soon, it seems, you will be thrown an obstacle, and it could ruin your life as the way you know it.” She looked up through her thick spectacles at Henry. “You must pay careful attention, take heed at everything in the coming months.”
“All right.” Henry said, his face set seriously, but his eyes were betraying him. He obviously was not taking this seriously. Sibyll, not noticing, sat back and lowered her head, her signal that the reading was done.
“Come.” Lavender motioned to Henry and Lori, who followed her back out to the front. “I’m sorry, I didn’t think she’d want to do a reading.”
“It’s quite all right.” Henry smiled. “I found it highly entertaining.”
“Well, the Divination I’m looking into is more of what the centaurs look at, being able to read the stars and such.” Lavender explained, not wanting him to think her future profession was funny.
“You’ll be fine, Lavender.” Henry chucked her lightly on the cheek. He picked Lori up. “Ready to go home, my little lovely?”
“Yes!!!” Lori giggled. “Bye Lavender.”
“We’ll see you later, Lavender.” Henry turned and winked at her as they walked out the front.
*** *** *** *** *** ***
Leonora sat in the empty pizza parlour, she had all three girls on staff that day but it was a slow afternoon, only busy when the supper crowd had come through.
“We’re going to have to do better…” she said glumly as she pored over the ledger books.
“Oh come on, it’ll pick back up when the holidays roll around.” Hermione said, trying to be supportive. Lavender and Susan privately agreed that it had been much more pleasant to be around Hermione since she had started seeing Harry on a regular basis, all of their dates left her in a wonderful mood for days afterwards.
“Yeah, Leonora, we’ll be fine, we always are.” Susan said, coming in with a pizza and the newest Witch Weekly. “Oooh, Hermione did you see this?” she teased, opening her magazine to a full page photo of Harry and waving it at her. “If it isn’t the most eligible wizard…”
“Shut up.” Hermione laughed and snatched the magazine away. She stared at the picture. “Can I keep this?” she asked.
Susan shrugged, and she, Lavender and Leonora all turned away to muffle their laughter. “Fine, if you want.” She grinned. She turned back to Leonora. “You know, perhaps if you told us what is in your sauce, we could make more and business would pick up?”
“Ha.” Leonora’s smile was firmly planted on her face. “You’ll never get that one out of me, until I retire. Then, and ONLY then, I will teach ONE of you the secret to my sauce making. It’s tradition, passed down from one member of one generation to the next.”
“And you don’t monkey with tradition!” Hermione, Lavender and Susan all cried out at once.
“We know, we know…” Lavender said. She reached back and turned on the Wizarding Wireless Network they had behind the bar.
“Just in time.” Susan laughed. “Your boyfriend, Leonora.”
The hard and haughty voice of the Wizarding Warlock Food Critic filled the room as Lavender turned up the volume.
“A place called Moonlight Menagerie, in Diagon Alley…over priced, service takes forever to come around…food, don’t even ask about the food, I’m not even sure it’s food…”
“I despise that man, I really do.” Leonora sneered. She picked up her books and went into the back of the restaurant as the chimes rang, announcing customers.