This is the fifth book in my Harry Potter series, the third set during the next generation. If you haven't already, I highly suggest reading Life & Times of a Flaming Pixie before this one. You can get away with just that, however, there is a bit of this story that revolves around events that happened in Book 2 A Life Worth Living, so might be good to go back to at least that one and work forward if you are a first-time reader. Just so you know what's going on and all. (Though, I totally don't mind if you want to go all the way back to Saving Iris. ^_^)
I do not own any of the characters or the world from Harry Potter, that would belong to J.K. Rowling. I do, however, own the Wood children and all the other original characters.
Chapter One - A Chance Meeting
Jamie weaved in and out of the crowd as he walked through Diagon Alley towards home, double checking everything in the large cloth bag he held. He had only intended to go out and pick up some things for himself. However once his younger sister Daisy found out his plans, she of course sent him out with a long list of her own. She was laid up on the sofa with her boyfriend John tending to her latest injury - a bruised foot - and asked him to pick up some potions ingredients. Their mother had finally said that the brood would have to start taking care of their own concoctions as they were all adults now and she didn't have time to brew up concoction for them, seeing as the four Wood siblings could easily go through an entire pharmacy in a matter of weeks. Also, work at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes always seemed to pick up right before quidditch season opened, with fans stocking up on the new, extended line of regalia that Iris Wood and George Weasley had thought up.
Jamie was in the middle of counting the amount of strange smelling bulbs again when he ran smack dab into someone.
"Terribly sorry!" he said, looking down into the eyes of Lila Devereux. She looked just as startled to see him. He hadn't heard or seen much of her since the party after Puddlemere beat the Falcons in June and it still seemed a bit weird to run into her on the street.
"It's, it's alright," she said, her hazel eyes wide as a shy smile graced her lips.
"Lila," he said. "How are you? It's been a few months," he said awkwardly. She nodded.
"Decent. Managed to get some freelance articles at Quidditch Monthly," she said. "Though… under my own name this time." Jamie smiled.
"That's great. I didn't realize you wanted to write about quidditch," he replied. She shrugged.
"To be honest, I have always been a fan. Turns out writing about it for real is much more enjoyable than conjuring up smut," she said. The two shifted awkwardly on the sidewalk. While his family had for the most part moved on from Lila's campaign to ruin Daisy last season, Jamie had to admit it was still a bit odd. He wasn't sure where the boundaries were, considering no one really talked about it all summer. Was he just supposed to be civil to her, or should he try to further extend the peace?
"Ehm… are you busy? Would you like to get some tea?" he asked politely, thinking maybe that would a be a good olive branch. Lila lifted her eyebrows at the suggestion, amused but surprised. "I mean, only if you want to…" She laughed and shrugged.
"I guess, I've got nothing going on at the moment. Though, to be honest, I'm more of a pint girl," she said playfully. Jamie's eyebrows shot up.
"Well, then… we can hit up this little pub down the way," he offered. Lila nodded.
"Sure," she said. The two started walking, settling into slightly uncomfortable silence. She looked up at the towering player. His hair had grown out a little since the last time she saw him, but was still short enough she could tell him from his brothers at a glance. Even if he had grown it out more, his quiet and slightly shy demeanor would have eventually given it away.
"So… out doing some shopping?" she asked, glancing at his bag. Jamie did as well, avoiding her eyes.
"Yea… I needed to replace some stuff from my broom repair kit and Daisy had a list a mile long of potions ingredients," he said.
"I didn't realize she did potions," Lila said. Jamie smiled and looked over at her.
"Yea, she's got a knack for it. Not as good as Mum, but since we've been cut off, Daisy's now become our main supplier of tonics and ointments," he said lightly. "Mum said she no longer has time to make them up. And we're all adults so therefore should learn to take care of ourselves." Lila laughed softly.
"I hear Weasley's Wizard Wheezes has become the popular spot for jerseys and various other things quidditch related. I suspect that keeps her busy," she said.
"He made a killing off those Pixie jerseys last season so started expanding. Much to Daisy's chagrin," he replied.
"How… how is she?" Lila asked trying to sound casual and not looking up at him as they walked into the pub and sat a small table in a quiet corner. There was still an air of nerves around her, though.
"Good. She's still on a high from being second string on the Scottish national team - determined she'll be on the qualifying team and first string for the finals team next round. She even got to play one match this summer after Fraser got knocked out for a few days," he replied. Lila nodded.
"I saw all the matches, by the way. You all were fantastic," she said genuinely. Jamie laughed as he started to blush slightly, running his fingers through his curls.
"Well… it's been awhile since we were all the same team, so it was fun. But rough losing out before the semis," he admitted.
"There's always the next one," Lila countered as the barmaid set two pints on the table.
"Yea, we're all still young enough - especially Daisy. She's determined even though we've got a few years," he said, meeting Lila's eyes. He took a sip, starting to relax slightly.
"I've no doubt she will. That was an impressive first season. Rookie of the Year and all," Lila said. Jamie studied her a moment, still not quite believing this was the same woman who wrote all those horrible articles about his sister the year before. "What? Is there something on my face?" the woman asked, her eyes widening as she brought her hand to her cheek. Jamie chuckled.
"No, just… seems odd that we're sitting here having a friendly conversation after… well, you know," he said. Lila smiled and laughed.
"I suppose it is… but I assure you, those days are behind me," she said sincerely. "I… I'm coming to terms with everything that I've been through and with my father, and I do really hope that we can put the past behind us and… hopefully be friends." Jamie thought a few moments before answering.
"Well, may take some time for the whole family to come around, but I think Daisy's let go for the most part. She's got the next season to think about-"
"And her beau," Lila finished. Jamie smiled and nodded.
"Yea, and that," he said. He cleared his throat before asking his next question. "How… how are things with your father?" Lila shifted, sitting up straighter and looking down at her pint glass.
"Well… I've managed to get into visit him… it's still a bit of a shock, to be honest. He looks nothing like the old photos I have," she said.
"Azkaban will do that, I suppose," Jamie said. Lila nodded.
"We're lucky they got rid of the Dementors. It could be much worse," she said softly. "But… he seems better." She looked up at Jamie. "The program has been helping. He's hoping to make amends when he's released."
"Is he being released soon?" Jamie asked.
"Hopefully. They are going to make a decision on an early release before the end of the year so he would most likely get out just after New Years," she said. "I've found a good solicitor that's been extremely helpful with the whole process."
Jamie nodded, shifting slightly on his stool. Ever since Daisy had filled them in Lila's story all those months ago, he had to admit that he had felt more sympathy than anything for the young woman. It didn't excuse what Lila had done, but it made it a bit harder to stay completely angry with her. Especially since she seemed to be making an effort to change.
From that point, the two settled into relatively less serious topics, discussing the upcoming quidditch season and Puddlemere's chances for a repeat of the League final. Jamie found himself enjoying talking to the reporter, even though by habit he was careful with what he said. Even though she seemed different, he could hear Teddy in the back of his mind warning him that people don't change overnight. He was slightly tempted to look into her mind, but decided against it.
By the time they parted after two pints and a promise to meet up again soon, Jamie found himself smiling as he walked the rest of the way to the flat.
"What took you so long?" Daisy asked as Jamie walked in. She was on the sofa where John was massaging her foot. She winced slightly as he hit a tender spot. Jamie chuckled at the domestic sight. He never thought he'd see the day when Daisy settled down. Well, no, that would be Alan. Though ultimately, he was still surprised to find her with a serious boyfriend.
"Sorry. Ran into Lila and we ended up having a few drinks," he said offhandedly as he sat the bag on the island.
"The reporter who tried to destroy Daisy?" John asked, immediately suspicious. Jamie looked at his friend and sister, chuckling. John had a look of wariness while Daisy looked curious.
"I thought we had buried the hatchet with her," he said, walking to the fridge to retrieve a beer.
"Yea, but doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful. What if this is some new plan to get to Daisy?" John retorted while Daisy rolled her eyes.
"I think it's a good thing - Jamie out talking to women and all," Alan said, walking into the room and grabbing Jamie's beer, taking a long swig as he walked over and sat in one of the armchairs. Jamie frowned at him and got another from the fridge.
"So… are you thinking about meeting her again?" Daisy asked cautiously. Jamie found himself laughing at her protective expression. How the tables had turned.
"Everyone, relax. It wasn't a date or anything. Just a friendly chat," he said, walking over to the other armchair. "Where's Remus?"
"Out with Laura," Alan replied. "Just us tonight."
"Ah, Lucy and Toby said they may stop by," Daisy said, settling back into the sofa cushions. "Gah! Okay, enough. That's not helping," she said, shooting John a dirty look. John let go of her foot.
"Just trying to work out some of the soreness," he said. "You landed pretty heavy on it at practice."
"I appreciate it, but I think for the moment you've done about all you can. Bad enough you insisted on carrying me home," she said with a slight huff.
"Blimey, I'm only allowing you two to stay as long as you promise to cut the couple shite," Alan said, glaring at the two. "It only got worse over the summer." Daisy grinned at her older brother.
"You mean, like this?" she asked as she sat up, swinging her legs off the sofa and cuddling up to John, batting her eyelashes at him in dramatic fashion.
"Seriously, Pix," Alan said, grimacing while the other three broke out into laughter. He reached over and grabbed a remote off the coffee table, switching on the large flat screen TV over the fireplace that they had installed over the summer. It had taken a fair amount of charm work, but they finally had it set up correctly.
"Please, we all know you're just as bad," Daisy said, sitting up.
"I am not," Alan said, pointedly. "Not in front of folks, anyway."
"No, you just prefer to snog some poor woman's brains out in front of crowds. Merlin forbid I hold hands with my boyfriend," she replied, rolling her eyes.
"Suppose he's just not used to it, seeing as you hid it in Hogwarts and were only with Broadmoor for a bit," Jamie mused.
"I almost wish you'd hide this as well," Alan grumbled, as he searched through the channels looking for a baseball game that was supposed to be on. Over the summer all four Wood siblings had gotten hooked on a variety of muggle sports, often to comical effect as Daisy yelled louder than the three brothers put together.
"Honestly, it's about time the wizarding world figured out TV. Quidditch would be much easier to follow if they televised it," Jamie said, changing the subject as Alan glowered slightly at the couple on the couch.
"Lucy's been going on about that as well. Thinks Witch Weekly should have its own channel. She's been trying to talk to the higher ups about it," Daisy said, settling back to watch the match.
"Maybe we should mention it to Aunt Hermione," Alan added. "She's muggleborn, after all. Maybe she could get some sort of program to develop it started."
"Boggles me, to be honest. They started a magical TV network in the States several years ago," John said, getting up to go grab beers for himself and Daisy.
"Things are changing, but the wizarding world here has been stuck in its ways for so long, it takes time for new things or change to take hold," Daisy commented, thinking to the Burrow. While her parents had adopted a number of muggle things into their home and daily life, the Burrow and her grandparents were still very much the epitome of a wizarding household. "As much as Grandad Weasley would like one, I doubt you'd ever see a TV at the Burrow. I don't think either of them would be able to figure it out."
"Speaking of which, when do I finally get to visit this infamous Burrow," John asked as he handed Daisy her beer. Alan grinned as Jamie chuckled at the ensuing back and forth between his little sister and her boyfriend about visiting their grandparents. Daisy had been putting it off, not wanting Grandad Weasley to corner the poor half-muggle into what would surely be an infinitely long conversation about his upbringing in the U.S. She had already pulled some interesting duck and cover moves to rescue him at all the previous family gatherings he had attended.
Glancing up at the game Alan had turned on, Jamie's thoughts drifted back to his meeting with Lila. He wouldn't admit it out loud, but he was actually looking forward to meeting her again. This could be interesting.
And here it is, the first chapter of Jamie's story!
I'm up to about 60 pages written so far and have finally settled on all the plot points and outlined every chapter. Just need to get to work and finish writing them all. This one won't be as long as Life & Times, but I still hope you guys enjoy it. ^_^ Also, I probably won't update every day until I get it finished. For now, I'm going to try and stick to a couple times a week.
Thanks for reading!