November 14, Hogsmeade "Three Broomsticks"
"What do you mean by you've never had a Butter-bear?!" Dean Thomas stopped on his track, looking at Elvein with an almost outraged, surprised stare.
The girl just shrugged.
"Elvein, Butter-beer is like a ticket to adulthood. Every third grade had it on the very first trip to Hogsmeade. We should definitely have some, like right now!"
"Sure. Sounds exciting."
Dean kept talking all the way to "Three Broomsticks'', how he tried Butter-beer for the first time by drinking three foaming tankards at once and how he kept everyone up in their bedroom since he was "under the influence" and refused to stop singing.
At the very door of the tavern, Seamus ran into them, informing Dean that Crab and Goile have jinxed Neville with Tarantallegra, and now he was dancing his way back to Hogwarts followed by Slytherins.
Dean was torn between leaving to help a friend and finally having something relevant to date with Elvein.
"I need to go. Sorry, Elvein. But I'll be back. Five minutes. Ok?"
"Sure, Dean. No need to be in a hurry. We can have a drink some other time."
"No! No. You just wait for me there. Ok? I'll be back! Promise!"
Dean and Seamus ran towards Hogwarts while Elvein stood in the doorway. After giving it a thought, she stepped inside.
Three Broomsticks Inn looked very crowded but still, somehow inviting. Taking several steps inside the blue-smoke-filled hall, she almost turned around to leave, but the chill coming from the doorway made her shiver, and she decided she would not mind a hot drink. Passing by a blond and red-faced Ludo Bagman, she felt sorry for him. The hefty man was nervous. He somehow looked much smaller, even though displeased goblins surrounded him.
Her eyes flew from table to table, seeing familiar and not so familiar faces but not being able to detect even a single free seat. Not wishing to turn around empty-handed, she approached the bar.
Madam Rosmerta had to go to storage for her bottles when two strangers approached her, engaging her in the talk. She looked down, not daring to glance at them, but active men were not having any of it. Elfy already decided to turn around and leave when a stranger's voice came:
"She made it clear that she is NOT interested!"
"Who the hell are you to nose about?" Answered one of the pushy men and looked around. After seconds of silence, they both abruptly left.
Elvein recognized a handsome stranger, who she saw at Hogwarts, walking by director Dumbledore's side. He said:
"Do not judge them harshly. Not everyone can see through the surface." He smiled at her and sipped fire whiskey from his glass.
Elvein dared to give him a side glance from under her eyebrows. The handsome stranger was dressed comfortably. His outfit was in between muggle and wizard fashion, but the freedom of his style was so attractive, making him the most spectacular among neatly dressed guests.
The tall man was leaning on the bar; between his dark hair strands, a pair of ruby eyes were shining. Sparkle in them was soul-piercing, but at the same time, holding so much warmth that Elvein felt calm. The clean, shaved neck had a thin leather strand around it, which held a strange-looking pendant on it. Protruding from his shirt, was a fascinating, shapeless red, almost black stone. Elvein has never seen a jewel similar to this, but somehow, it looked perfect on an unusual, strange young man, who held a glass of fire-whiskey in his firm but somehow delicate, long fingers.
The man was strong and confident. The man was breathtaking. He looked at her with understanding and continued:
"I understand your skepticism. You think while I talk about others, can I see anything through Veela's facade?" He turned around, leaned back on the bar, nodded, and continued. "Let's try together." Hand, in which he held a drink, pointed to the far end of the pub. "Ludovic Bagman. I assume you have heard of the Head of the Magical Games and Sports department. What do our eyes tell us? The richly dressed high employee of the Ministry is having a drink with grumpy Goblins. What do our minds say? On Saturday, when the second tour is so far away, what does our Ludo do in "Three Broomsticks" with Goblins? Was he not able to find a more pleasant companion? Therefore, conclusion: Our high employee with expensive taste and, judging by his past, dull brain, has serious financial problems. I would not have made a bet with him, though he encourages us vigorously."
This time, Elvein gave a stranger an interesting intelligible glance. How odd, she thought, several minutes earlier, the same idea crossed her mind.
"Or." The stranger continued, moving up a little towards Elfy, pointed hand towards the opposite side of the hall, almost whispering in her ear "Bartemius Crouch. Scrupulous, law-enforcer, ideal Barty Crouch. Even in the middle of Three Broomsticks, reading "Daily Prophet," not leaving his position line." Stranger's ocean breath fanned her face, making strands of hair dance on her skin. She had to stiffen shivers passing through her body. The young man kept his volcanic eyes on Crouch and continued. "But if we observe closely, he reads the same line again and again. Then his eyes go dead for several seconds, and he starts rereading the same lines. If we will look closely, he looks like a person who-"
"Had made an unforgivable mistake." Elvein finished for him.
The satisfied young man smiled once more, raised his glass, and said:
"Cheers to you."
Elvein's heart made a flip. She felt how her cheeks turned pink. Madam Rosmerta returned in time with bottles of butterbeer.
"Would you allow me to pay for your drinks?" Asked a stranger, whose eyes never left her face.
She shook her head, giving money to Madam Rosmerta.
"At least, gift me your name." His smile was melting all her control away.
"Elvein." Her voice was such a small whisper that she was convinced he did not hear her.
"Pleased to meet you, Elvein. My name is Demian."
The young man expanded his hand for a shake. Elvein looked at the stranger's fingers, biting down on her lip. She revealed her fingers, hidden in robes, and shook his hand for several seconds. A simple touch of his hot hand was enough to make her feel like lightning struck her whole body. She had to control herself, not to flinch. She turned around ready to leave, but stopped herself:
"Thank you, Demian." She whispered from her back and left the tavern in a hurry, trying to get away from the young man, who carried the ocean with him.
Elvein kept her face to the cold wind while on her way to the castle. She was hiding an almost forgotten smile, so not typical for her. She did not stop till she reached her bed. She lay there, with curtains down, still in coat, hugging two bottles of butterbeer.
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