A/N: This vignette takes place in the same universe as my two other "Adela" stories (also housed here on FFN - "My Journal About My Life and Stephen and Miranda" and "Now That I'm Older"). In that universe, Adela is a young American girl whose next-door neighbors, a mysterious British couple named Miranda and Stephen, bear a striking resemblance to characters many of us know as Minerva and Severus.

Those stories are told from Adela's pov; in the first, she is twelve, in the second, she is thirteen. This new story is told from "Stephen"'s pov; Adela is now 16.

You probably need to read the earlier fics before you read this one.

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Inamorata - An Adela Interlude

by Kelly Chambliss

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Salem Wizards' Inn

Somewhere-that-is-too-hot, America

14 June 2004

My dear "Miranda,"

Because I am, as always, a man of my word, I have done as I promised: I have indulged your inexplicable desire to have me call upon our former neighbours now that I'm here in their benighted country. Yes, it took precious time away from my attendance at the IPA conference, but such are your bedroom wiles that I become mere putty in your hands and can refuse you nothing.

(Oh, all right, there may also have been that little matter of your winning our Quidditch wager. But when we agreed on "winner's choice," I never expected you to demand that I visit Miss Edwards the Indefatigable. I thought you'd select something easy, like taming a few blast-ended skrewts.)

Be that as it may, this evening, I deprived the International Potions Association of my presence and made my way (exactly on time) to the Edwards/Jevic home. James and Timothy received me graciously, plied me with food and a great deal of that tasteless American beer, and asked after you most particularly. They send their regards.

As for their daughter. . .unsurprisingly, Miss Edwards remains as exuberant and forward as ever; her idea of an appropriate greeting was to fling herself into my arms and declare that she has missed us "to pieces." I was not allowed to disengage myself until I hugged her in return.

You will probably be pleased (though any right-thinking person would be dismayed) to know that Miss Edwards at sixteen is not so very different from Miss Edwards at thirteen: she is still extremely bright, frighteningly perceptive, and utterly exhausting. After her greeting, she proceeded to offer an unending stream of chatty conversation and charged me with delivering to you a number of detailed messages. I'll save most of them until I see you again - - I don't feel up to writing a three-foot parchment at this late hour, especially considering the exorbitant per-ounce owl rates over here - - but the highlights are these:

1. Miss Edwards "really, really, really" wants us to get one of those Muggle contrivances known as a "personal computer." If we had one, she says, we could also have an "email account" that would permit her to communicate with us instantaneously at any time. After my brain finished quailing at the very thought, I assured her that ordinary letters addressed to "The Apothecary Shop, Hogsmeade, Scotland" would continue to reach us as usual. So anxious was I to avoid the threat of instant communication that I found myself pledging that I will personally respond to her next missive. I didn't want to, of course, but such are the depths of helplessness to which her enthusiasm reduces me.

2. She has continued to study the intricacies of Wicca and is sure she will soon master telekinesis. (I fear there is simply no disabusing her of this bizarre notion that you and I are some sort of pagan spiritualists. I blame you, of course; if you hadn't been showing off that day by Levitating a whisky bottle, the child's suspicions would never have been aroused. Clearly she didn't believe the cover story you tried to sell her, so you'll need to do better when she comes to visit us in Scotland.)

3. Yes, that's right - - she is coming to Scotland. It seems that her ever-doting parents have promised her a trip when she finishes school. A "graduation present," she called it (these Americans and their predilections for needless ceremonies). Thus she will invade our borders in only a little over a year. I suggest we start preparing now. I suppose we could consider raising the Order of the Phoenix from its ashes, except that I doubt even the most seasoned of war veterans will be any match for the peculiar powers of Adela Edwards.

One final item: since she wrote to you last, the child has acquired an "inamorata." She has "wanted one," she says, ever since the day I embraced you in our kitchen. (As I recall, I had merely been attempting to distract Miss Edwards from asking questions about magic, but the result was that, however improbably, she now believes the two of us to be a veritable allegory of Love and Romance. Again, the fault is yours: were it not for your aforementioned wiles, some other form of distraction would surely have occurred to me.) In any case, to judge from the dozen or so Muggle photographs that I was required to view, Miss Edwards' inamorata is tall, thin, dark-haired, and bespectacled. Make of those facts what you will.

The above does not represent even half of the information with which I was deluged during my visit, but I trust I have reported enough to demonstrate that I have fully discharged my debt in regard to our wager. But if you require further proof, I enclose a photograph, taken tonight (at Miss Edwards' insistence) by her "Pop." As you can see, she was clutching me so tightly that I could hardly stand upright; thus my arm is around her shoulder purely for reasons of balance.

And now, I can do no more than collapse into bed and look forward devoutly to my return to our (temporarily) Adela-free shores. You and your wiles may expect me on Thursday.

Yours, "Stephen"