I received a lot of unsolicited dating advice before going abroad in London.
Don’t get drunk and go home with strange foreigners.
Don’t hook up with a guy just because you like his accent.
Europeans are freaks in bed.
At the time I nodded, smiled and proceeded to them tune out favor of my own posh fantasies.
But now, as I laid alone in my bed — sex–sore and slightly hungover — I watched a drop of bright green goo run the length of my bedroom wall, I wondered if maybe one of those cautionary tales could have prevented my current predicament.
I let another bit of slime fall into the feathered remains of what had once been a down pillow before I could bring myself to peek at the rest of the subleased bedroom I’ve called home for the past two months. It wasn’t impeccably clean when I left to go out the night before, but it certainly hadn’t been adorned with charred marks of various magical explosions along the walls and floor, or a number of loose rose petals and candles that might have been romantic if they weren’t floating mysteriously in mid–air.
No, I think I would have noticed if someone had listed these as the possible side effects of going home with a wizard.
It wasn’t lost on me that the wizard in question — Teddy Lupin, to be precise — was noticeably absent. I can’t say I’m surprised, though. Being the adopted godson of Harry Potter and the orphan of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks was bound to result in some… issues.
When he had introduced himself as Teddy Lupin at the pub last night, I thought maybe he was blowing me off. Maybe the Brits, polite as they are, replace the standard "not interested" with an obscure Harry Potter reference, just to soften the blow. But I had wasted two shots of liquid courage on him, and I wasn't about to give up that easy.
I called his bluff. "Oh, so how's your godfather, Harry Potter, then?"
"Quite well, actually," he said without missing a beat, "He's living back in Godric's Hollow with Ginny and the kids. They try to keep a low profile, though, nosy Muggles like yourself have made that quite a bit more difficult."
“Speaking of,” I said quickly, trying to disregard the casual way he referenced what I thought were fictional people and places, “If you were really a wizard, wouldn’t you be avoiding Muggles like me?”
He winked. “Now where’s the fun in that?”
Before I could call bullshit, he flicked his wrist slightly, drawing my gaze to the tip of a wand peaking out of his shirtsleeve and silently summoning two barstools from across the pub. He sank onto one and, with a flick of his wand, directed the other to nudge playfully against me. His face split into a wolfish grin, and I remembered there might be a trace of Lupin’s werewolf blood running through his veins. Judging by the current clawed state of my headboard, I was correct.
I told myself I would just sit for a second, just to let the dizzying wave of disbelief pass before I'd kindly thank him for the show and get the fuck out of there. And that's what I kept telling myself.
Just one more minute.
Just one drink.
Just one more unbelievable story.
Just a broom ride home.
Until I found myself standing at the edge of my bed, petals and tea candles floating around my head, watching a tall, shaggy haired Brit undress me, button–by–button, from the other side of the room. Watching as his wand — fully exposed now — inched lower and lower, his eyes flicked up to ask permission, before returning to the task at hand. Watching, and wondering how the hell I ended up here.
And why the hell I liked it so much.
But I kept liking it, even as the petals and candles gave way to unexplained explosions and shredded bedding—though, I’m still not sure how I feel about the goo.
I flopped back against my last remaining pillow and turned to watch the slime drip again. I had told myself, last night, not to get my hopes up. I didn't expect any morning after texts or letters via owl. I didn't expect breakfast or a second date. But I figured he would at least stick around until the morning—if only to obliviate my memory upon waking up. He could have at least helped clean up before disappearing into a cloud of smoke...
I froze, focused and felt a rising tide of hope creep up my chest, remembering quite vividly the word J.K. Rowling used to describe apparition. Did I just imagine it, or was he coming back? Was he…