meetings in the coffee shop at midnight
"For the first time in my whole life, I'm not afraid of feeling alive,"
First Time, Hawk Nelson
The winter air swirls around his curly black hair, cold and bitter. James Sirius Potter walks down the street, one not-well known to the rest of the wizarding world, but still famous to him. At the corner of the street sits a coffee shop, his favourite in the world. Coffee to most wizards is a hindrance rather than a blessing, but to him, it's a gift.
Stepping in the coffee shop, he closes the door quickly, as not to let out too much air. Brushing his hair out of his eyes, he smiles at the owners. "Alayna. Tomas. I'm here, again."
Smiling kindly, Alayna asks, "So what happened this time, love?" To other people, it might seem strange for her to call him that, but she's as old as his grandmother.
"Mum's being difficult again," James sighs. "Scolding me for messing too much in Muggle things and accidentally enchanting her clothes. Life is hard for us wizards, isn't it?"
Alayna looks a bit uncomfortable. "I suppose. Wait, here comes someone who can tell you about it. Hello, Jessica!"
The dark-skinned, Asian girl steps into the shop, eyes flickering slightly before landing on James. Startled that there was another customer at this time of night (and really, she should be, it's already midnight), she then smiles. "Hello, Alayna, Tomas. And who might you be?"
"James Sirius Potter, pleased to make your acquaintance," James replies in that suave way of his that gets all of the girls to fall for him.
"My name's Jessica Wang," She replies, trying to smile. "My mum's Cho Chang, she talks about your dad often. Says they were classmates?"
"Yes, they were," James replies. There seems to be something off about her- one of those things being that he's never seen her before. He decides to discreetly ask her why he hasn't. But what comes out is, "So, how come I've never seen you around before? You don't go to wizard school?" Merlin, he curses, internally cursing his stupidity. That wasn't discreet.
To make matters worse, she looks incredibly uncomfortable. "Um, I don't go to Hogwarts."
"Oh, you go to another wizarding school, then," James chuckles a little bit.
"Uh, no," she replies, clearly embarrassed. "I don't go to wizarding school, thank you."
"What do you mean?" he asks, confused as she is embarrassed. "You mentioned your mom is Cho Chang, correct? So why would you not go to Hogwarts or another wizarding school?"
"I'm a Squib," She states plainly, putting it out there.
There's silence for a few moments before James breaks it again. "Oh. Um, I'm really sorry, I didn't know."
"It's okay," Jessica consoles him, trying to smile. "I mean, it's not like it's some life-threatening disease or anything. I'm still pretty normal, myself, though it can be pretty hard at times, y'know."
"How so?" James replies, glancing over at Alayna, who's smiling. He knows this is what she must have meant by her previous statement.
"Oh, y'know," Jessica grins. "I'm shunned by most of the wizarding world- even though my blood is basically pure, people don't accept me as a part of their world because I can't perform magic. I'm allowed to know pretty much everything about the wizarding world, but I can't share it with any of my friends. I get to watch my older brother- Bob- go off to Hogwarts, all happy, but I can't go. I'm forced to go to Muggle school instead with people whose lives and views are entirely different than mine. I've always wanted to perform magic, but I can't. I'd always dreamed of getting my letter to Hogwarts, but it never came. Then I cried for two days, realising that I would never be the same as anyone else in my family. Anything else, or is that enough reason for you?"
"That's surely enough," James nods, staring at her kind of sympathetically. "You must know that life as a wizard isn't all magic and unicorns and rainbows, right?"
"Of course," Jessica agrees, tapping her foot against the counter. "But it must be easier than this."
"Probably," James allots, smiling at her. "It's very nice to meet you, because sadly, I probably wouldn't have any other way."
"The cruelty of the wizarding world," Jessica responds, smiling softly at him. "Oh, well. It can't get too much worse, can it? I mean, they wouldn't lock us all up in some sort of a torture chamber. There wouldn't be too much we could do about it, either, all of us poor defenceless Squibs."
James' eyes widen in pure horror. "I sure hope not."
"Your coffee," Tomas interrupts, placing James' favourite type of coffee down in front of him. With a wink, he walks backward. "Have fun, you two." It's obvious what he's insinuating.
From where she had sat down across from him (he didn't notice and he wonders why), Jessica blushes, a hard thing to do for an Asian, really, but entirely possible. To cover the awkward moment, James keeps going. "So, I don't mean to make you feel bad or anything like that, but if you went to Hogwarts, which house would you hope to be in? I mean, I'm only assuming that you know all about the houses and everything…"
"I do," Jessica nods slowly. "Um, my mum was in Ravenclaw and everything, and my dad didn't go to Hogwarts. But, by the sound of it, I'd actually hope to be in Slytherin."
"Slytherin?" A horrified look appears on James' face. "Are you perpetually insane or something?"
"No," Jessica laughs, grin taking over her face. "From what my mum and brother have told me, I'm guessing you're a Gryffindor."
"Why?" James puffs out his chest, trying to look tough. "Because I'm brave, loyal, and all of that?"
Rolling her dark brown eyes, Jessica answers, "No, because you have that strong hatred for everything Slytherin. You biased Gryffindors, that's what you are."
Disappointed, James lets out a sigh. "No, it's just… have you met the Slytherins?"
"Yes, and they seemed very pleasant," Jessica replies cheekily, folding her arms neatly across her chest. "Especially that one boy…what was his name? Oh, yes, Scorpius Malfoy."
"What?" James' eyes enlarge to the size of golf balls. "Scorpius Malfoy, pleasant? Have you ever had a real conversation with the boy?"
"Sure I have," Jessica giggles. Noticing the horrified expression on his face, she admits, "No, I've never met him, actually. Just wanted to have a laugh."
"Oh," James sighs in obvious relief. "Wait, how did you know that he's the Slytherin that annoys me the most?"
"I guessed," Jessica replies, shrugging. "Well, really, I've heard all about the Potter/ Malfoy feud, everyone in the wizarding world has. So, it was more of an educated guess."
"Ah," James smiles again in relief. "What about your parents? Would they approve of you running around with all those little Slytherins? Supposing that… well, you were able to."
Ignoring his ignorance, Jessica answers, "No, probably not. My dad's the strict sort, y'see. But still, it's not like I'd have a choice. I'm not brave, kind, loyal, intelligent… but if there's one thing I am, it's cunning and devious. I adore tricking people, as you've probably noticed."
"Oh, I've noticed all right," James grins. When he reaches for his coffee, his hand accidentally brushes Jessica's. Looking up at her, he blushes. She smiles slightly, but doesn't show any other sign of emotion. For what seems like forever, they sit there, staring at each other. He realises that she's actually very beautiful, and very much like her mother, with her straight black hair, big brown eyes, and perfect smile. Is it really a coincidence that his father fell for her mother, and now he's falling for her?
Suddenly, someone clears their throat. "Sorry to interrupt this, shall I say, meeting, but it's one AM and we need to close soon. So if you two would mind taking this outside, that would be great." Tomas' eyes twinkle with pure mirth.
James blushes again, and realises that he's really being the girl here. "Sure. Um, we'll go now." Picking up his coffee and quickly paying the bill, he rushes outside. Jessica follows him out the door, carrying her pocketbook and glancing up at the sky, filled with plenty of stars.
"Um, do you want me to drive you home?" James offers, fumbling in his pocket as he tries to locate his keys. "I mean, if it's on the way."
"Sure, that would be terrific," She accepts. Taking out a piece of paper, she shows him the address to her house, which is near his.
"Oh, good, it's near mine," James smiles. Opening the door to his car, he waves his hands in a motion that tells her to step in.
Stepping in, she glances around. "Oh, man, are you rich or something? This car is really nice."
"Sort of, I suppose you could say," James replies nervously, preferring not to talk about his family's wealth.
"I'm just surprised you drive," Jessica continues, changing the subject, much to James' relief. Her brown eyes flicker around. "I mean, most wizards- sorry for the stereotyping- prefer to Floo and Apparate everywhere. They even ride on broomsticks! Talk about stereotyping- that's what people think of when they think of witches, and here they are actually doing it."
"That's true," James chuckles, stepping into the car and revving up the engine. "But I've always had a soft spot for Muggle things. That's one of the few bad things about being a wizard. You're considered strange if you mess about in the world of Muggles, which is what I enjoy doing. Especially cars- I find them fascinating."
When he starts to drive, she looks all the more surprised. "You're actually not running over things. Surprising. And yes, that would be a weak spot, but one of only a few. You're probably not missing much- I'm not a big fan of the Muggle world, y'see."
"Did you expect me to run over things?" James laughs, stepping on the gas pedal a little bit more. "And how could you not be a fan of the Muggle world?"
"It's boring," Jessica sighs. "There's no magic or spells or hexes to put on people you don't like. Our schools don't have moving staircases or thestrals to carry you into the school. There are no Great Halls with big feasts at night. It's not even fun. It's just do this, do that, go home."
"I see," James nods, smiling at her still. "Well, I suppose we should just switch places sometime, shouldn't we?"
"I wish, James." Her eyes are trained on him, taking in every detail. He fidgets uncomfortably, brushing his black hair with his fingertips and widening his light brown eyes.
"I've always wondered what it would be like to go to a Muggle school," He says light-heartedly. "All I've seen are the movies- and from what I've heard, those aren't very accurate. Mean Girls and the like."
"Mean Girls?" Jessica giggles, a smile on her face once again. "Why would you watch that? It's a chick flick."
"Excuse me?" James questions. Chick flick- he's never heard the word before, but it doesn't sound good.
"Chick flick," Jessica repeats. When he shows no sign or response, she elaborates. "You know, a movie that girls like to watch. Chick for girl and flick for movie."
"Oh." James finds himself laughing once again. How this girl has this effect on him, he has no idea. He just knows that he likes it. "Well, I don't know. My little sister Lily, she said that it was a great movie and that I should watch it. She's a Slytherin, though- you never know what she's going to pull next."
Jessica laughs too. "She sounds like a lot of fun. I'd love to meet her sometime."
"We should definitely meet up sometime, then," James grins once again, finally regaining some of his lost confidence. Too bad it's too late. "Oh, wow, we're already there. Time flies, eh?"
"I agree," Jessica nods, still smiling. "Well, I suppose I'd better go."
James stops her. "I had fun tonight. I'm glad we had the chance to meet now, otherwise we might not have ever met."
"That's true," Jessica replies, finally blushing again, which makes him feel more confident. "Thanks for letting me angst about the wonders of Muggle life, and how hard it is being a Squib. I had a really great time."
"Me too," James nods. Taking her hand and kissing it once in that suave way he's learned from movies, he asks her, "Shall we meet up again sometime?"
"You can count on it," She answers, waving. "Well, goodbye, James Potter."
"Goodbye, Jessica Wang," He calls, waving as he drives off.
Then his heart starts to slow down a bit.
He should go to coffee shops at midnight more often.
A/N: Hope you liked that! I had such a good time writing it, and I actually liked how I wrote fumbling James and sarcastic Jessica the Squib for once. I'd never considered them together, but this was what I got for a challenge, so I decided on putting Jessica in. Before I'd actually put her with Louis :/
But I hoped you like this, and please review!
Oh, and this was for the Less-Written Couples Challenge by TonksAndLupin, hope you enjoy! :D