"Get in there, you slut!" The menacing Chinese man ordered before throwing a woman covered in dirt, badly bruised and blood dripping from her nose and coming out from her mouth into a cell. Checking that there was nobody around or near, a man who was already locked in the cell moved towards the woman to inspect her wounds.
"Fucking morons, wait until I get out of here." The wounded woman spit some blood and leaned against the wall with difficulty. Seeing someone approaching her, she tensed though that only made her wounds worse going by the wince on her face.
The man, noticing, chided her. "Don't move! You might think they are some simple wounds but the Triads are very fond of using all sorts of poisons to make a person suffer more." He forced the woman to remain where she was while he checked out her wounds. They were not deep and most likely they were a warning. What she had to worry about was what would come next. "They are fine, just don't move too much." He concluded wrapping the cuts with some makeshift bandages torn from his clothes.
"Thanks." She softly said.
Done with his job, he returned to the corner he was in. While checking at her wounds, he saw that under that garish robe, she wore clothes very much like a uniform and that told him that she most likely was someone from the law. Considering her English and the accent, he could tell she was British. Now, what was a British policewoman doing in the deepest part of Hong Kong and in Triad territory? It wouldn't be the first time that the Chinese government joined hands with other countries to fight the criminal organization and it wouldn't be the first time that those deployed elements lost their lives in the cells of the Triads.
But he didn't ask and neither tried to do small talk. He decided to ignore her though it became impossible when she jumped to her feet and walked around the cell inspecting the walls and door. Then she squatted in the middle of the cell and started to use her blood to make some weird squiggles. After she was done, she muttered something in what he recognized as Latin.
"You, what are you doing?" Her weird actions caught his attention and by consequence his interest.
"Providing a location." She plainly explained.
"Providing a location?" He echoed with disbelief.
"Yes, for back-up." Her eyes moved to the door and seeing that there was no movement, she leaned again against the wall.
"Back-up... Do you even know where you are? Not even the local Chinese police department can find this place much less a foreigner like you. Many cannot even enter this place." His interest dwindled and a gentle smile perched on his face.
The woman's grin looked terrifying with all the blood. "I got in, didn't I?"
The man startled and thought that she was right. However, she was mad by using this method just to get into a Triad compound; if the back-up doesn't come on time, then she would be tortured to death. The risk she took just to accomplish a minor goal was madness and it wasn't in his nature to associate with this kind of people so he kept silent. But again that wasn't going to be when she started a new conversation.
"Why are you here?"
"Extortion." He simply replied.
She scoffed. "As if I would believe that."
The smile on didn't leave his face and calmly looking at her, he asked. "Then, why are you here?"
"Human trafficking, drugs trafficking or arms trafficking?"
"All the above plus parts trafficking."
Huh, that was new for the Triads. Though if they could commit fraud using the Health Care System then selling and buying parts is not so farfetched. Well, it seemed our dear member of the law side was very honest. Didn't she stop to consider that maybe he was part of the Triads to get information out of her? Or that he, too, would be a criminal in the same caliber as the ones who put her in that cell? Very courageous woman but perhaps not the brightest out there.
His thoughts halted when he felt a tremor.
"Alright, it seems back-up has arrived." She cheered jumping to her feet. "Are you staying here or are you coming?" She asked turning to look at him.
"Uh, I..." But he didn't know what to say.
"Well, it's not like you couldn't have left already." She said with another bloodied grin making him stiffen.
"How did you know?"
"Pfft," she laughed unrestrainedly. "The man who threw me in this cell was afraid of you, though he looked more surprised seeing you here; that means either you weren't supposed to be here or you weren't supposed to be anymore. Next, your clothes are clean, that tells me that nobody laid a hand upon you so they very likely don't dare to do it because they need something from you or the consequences of doing it are very severe. I lean towards the second option since you don't look nervous, anxious or afraid being locked up here; you even took your sweet time tending to my wounds. You are used to being locked up in cells. That's a weird hobby if you don't mind me saying it. And finally, there is something about you that screams danger. Conclusion, you were here by your own volition, nobody was forcing you."
The man stood stunned for a couple of seconds before calming down. Well, he retracted his words, she was very clever after all. Another tremor shook the place.
"Well, time to go. It was nice meeting you!" She bid her farewell before literally blowing up the door together with the wall using a stick she took out from nowhere and running out to join with her backup.
The man took a while to steady himself due to what he had just witnessed and it took a while for the tremors to subside. Only then he also made his way out. Arriving at the entrance, there was a multitude of people, from police officers to members of the Triads to those people the Triads held captive. He looked around and finally found the person he was looking for. That woman was seriously talking pointing here and there to a Chinese middle-aged man that looked like a detective from the Hong Kong Police Division and a tall red-haired man.
After she was done talking with both men, she consciously sought medical assistance in a secluded place where a jittery young woman took care of her. He decided to approach her.
"... seriously, Head Auror Potter, please refrain from doing such dangerous activities, there is only so much I can do for you."
"That's why I chose you as my personal Healer, Susan. You are the best."
Head Auror Potter? Just what kind of title was that? The man stopped a few meters from both women and the one called Head Auror Potter quickly noticed him.
"Oh, it's you. Decided to come out and breath some fresh air?" She teased, her grin no longer bloodied.
"I didn't get the name of my savior." That unrestrained laugh of hers came out again.
"Nice meeting you, Henrietta, my name is Fon."
They say the first meeting is coincidence, the second one is fate and the third one is just plain stalkering.
This story silently occupies the first in almost everything, hits, kudos, bookmarks... It was surprising if I'm honest...
Anyway, this story is the one with almost no plot built up right now and I don't know how I pulled up this chapter. It was almost torn out from my mind and put into words xD
I hope you enjoy the chapter!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Henrietta sometimes hated her job. Going around some lost forest in China was not what she was supposed to be doing but she had stupidly accepted to do this job. It was said that some Death Eater had installed in this forest and was already gathering some sort of cult by cheating people to get into it and probably more than a few of those people were under the Imperius Curse. It shouldn’t have alarmed anyone but a person from one of the villages outside the forest had reported the disappearance of their son.
The Death Eater had chosen really well those that he Imperiused to be part of the cult. Most were rebellious youths who their neighbors thought were gone to another village, town or even had gone to the city. The Death Eater unfortunately made a mistake when they chose a youth who had ran away from home just for an argument with his mother but he tended to always go back to his house after their arguments, no matter how long he stayed outside. After a week of not returning, the longest he had left, the mother had started to worry and reported his disappearance.
It was the typical search around the area in which most youths were found a few days later in the neighboring villages but after a month of no news, the police, very efficiently tagged the case as possible murder and started not only looking in villages and towns, notices were also sent to the nearest cities and there was even a team of three people in charge of looking for a corpse in the forest around the village the youth had resided in. What they found instead was a batch of other youths’ corpses. Forensics had no way to identify the cause of death except for the clues they got of a few of the youths missing organs.
That’s where Henrietta came into the case.
There was always an Auror posted in each Muggle police station around the country and the Auror in that particular police station recognized the signs of Dark Magic practiced on those youths and instantly sent a report to the main Auror Office. Henrietta had been investigating the case of the Triads smuggling dangerous Creatures and Dragon parts being sold and bought. Among those parts, there were a couple that were human. They had not been sure from where these parts came from but did a connection with this case in the village.
After some days investigating, one of the Aurors witnessed a person with a black cloak and a silver mask, very much like a Death Eater, practicing some dark ritual in the middle of that forest with a person opened wide right in the middle. The poor Auror almost puked his guts out seeing such a cruel and gory scene alerting the cloaked person of his presence and immediately fleeing, leaving the corpse of yet another youth there. Hearing the description of the cloaked person, Henrietta wanted to involve herself in the case but she was smart and didn’t do so; after all, the person looked like a Death Eater but there was no concrete proof they were one.
Henrietta didn’t want to do another person’s job. She had had enough of that by saving the British Wizarding Community. And years of being an Auror had taught her to be patient and not run into things like the reckless Gryffindor she loved to be. Though no matter how many years she spent in the Aurors, she always succumbed to coaxing words. And that’s how she ended up in that forest.
It had to be said that it was not a small forest and the team of eleven that was assigned together with her had a gruesome task. They didn’t even know if the person responsible for the rituals had already left while they were still looking. Luckily, the team had good stamina and resilience that even after a couple of days in their task, they were still alert. Henrietta envied this team and wanted to bring it back to Britain. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be done unless they moved to Britain and worked there. In her heart she decided to increase the training of the trainees and even make those already in the force to go through some tests.
“How big is this forest?” She asked the only person who could speak English in the team as soon as they sat to rest. A man a few years older than her.
“It covers two mountains and we have only traversed one.” The man replied. Henrietta inwardly groaned but outwardly she just nodded.
“Contact the others to see if they have found any clue.” She suggested. They had split in couples to cover more ground yet the forest was truly too big and the search hadn’t bore any results. That was confirmed once again when the man was done contacting the others. They had found nothing.
Discussing about the terrain they had yet to cover, she decided to reunite with the others before entering the other mountain at an abandoned temple they could see from afar. It was already dark when all of them arrived at the small, run down temple. Checking it, they discovered it was big enough for all of them to rest there and many were happy to at least have a roof above their heads. Henrietta had discovered that they were all really wild men and camped without using a tent so she was a bit embarrassed to take out hers to rest and camped out too.
Patrolling the perimeter around the temple, Henrietta found a little spring of clear water behind a rock formation. Having gone without a bath for days, she wanted very much to clean herself in it. So, she informed the others of the team and even threatened to not sneak a peek. The men were very obedient and stayed put clearly remembering their boss telling to never, ever offend Head Auror Potter if they wanted to live a long life. They were not stupid, thank you very much.
And so, Henrietta enjoyed a bath in the spring. Just in case, she had put a Ward around the place to notify her if someone got close to the place. It wasn’t that she was embarrassed or shy; she had grown past that insecure phase in her life after war and at 29, it wasn’t that she was still innocent. She had had something with Charlie, Ron’s older brother, when he went back to Britain for a month of vacation. They parted in good terms before he went back to Romania. It was more of a physical relationship anyway and she had fond memories of him taking away her innocence.
Then came a couple of coworkers that couldn’t stand her busy life and wanted her to quit her job to stay at home. Henrietta very kindly told them where they could stuff their ‘stay at home’ and immediately broke up with them. The last one was a nice man, a foreigner and Quidditch player that Ginny had presented to her. She was about to settle down with him but Andromeda suddenly got seriously ill and passed away leaving Teddy to her care. That’s when Henrietta’s image of the man crumbled when he couldn’t accept Teddy.
Henrietta understood his aversion to werewolves as his own mother was attacked by one but she still got upset by the looks the man gave Teddy, the son of a werewolf, and decided to end her relationship with him. After that, and what with her godson going to Hogwarts, the hustle and bustle of buying things, Teddy’s excitement and everything, she decided that she didn’t need anything else in her life but Teddy so she gave up looking for a partner.
Her reminiscing thoughts stopped when she felt the Ward notifying her that someone was coming towards her. She accioed her Wand and casting a Bubble-Head Charm she dove into the spring and waited. From below, she could faintly see that whoever had come had no idea she was there because they patiently took off their clothes and calmly entered the spring. She was almost sure that the person was not an enemy and was thinking of maybe letting her presence be known. The plan was instantly forgotten when a second after the person entered the spring, they discovered her and immediately attacked.
Henrietta hadn’t slacked with her Auror Training and even went beyond learning other arts like boxing and her favorite, Jiujitsu. However, she soon found out that she was no match for whoever was her opponent in a physical fight after a few moves and it was too late for her to use her Magic and her wand as she was easily subdued by being pressed against a rock, cascades of black hair covering her body.
“Who are you?” The voice identified the person as a man and she felt it was somewhat familiar even if she couldn’t understand what he was saying as he was speaking in Chinese. She struggled one last time to see who it was but she found she couldn’t move. “A feisty one. I would have admired your courage to come here but you are most likely someone sent from the Triads so there’s nothing to admire.”
The man had perfectly incapacitated her arms and legs, rendering Henrietta truly unable to move. Even the aim with her wand was askew pressing against herself so she couldn’t hex the man. There was something very dangerous about this man that for a second she thought he was the Dark Wizard they were chasing after. Stubbornness kicking in, she disregarded her own safety and casted a spell.
“Levicorpus!” Her body instantly was sent flying up wanting to dislodge herself from his grip but she never expected him to fly together with her. Luckily, the hold he had on her loosened a bit and that gave her the chance to twirled her wand and send a Stupefy towards him. Even on air, the main expertly twisted his body to dodge the attack before he countered with one of his own. Henrietta’s body was sent crashing down to the spring. With a quick Ascendio, she got out of the water right on time before a blast hit the spring.
Cold sweat formed on her forehead seeing the water evaporating from that attack. She dodge to one side another of the man’s attacks though it seemed that was just bait for the following attack that tackled her to the ground, her wand rolling away. A hand clutched her neck instantly making her gasp, the other hand raised to sentence her fate but it paused mere centimeters from her.
“Henrietta?” She froze at hearing the man calling her name forgetting she was being choked. The little light from the waning moon above illuminated their figures and she could finally see who her attacker was.
“Fon?” She choked out making him let go and immediately notice the state of their bodies. Not a single strip of clothes covered them. He turned around and his eyes saw her clothes neatly folded by one of the rocks on the edge of the spring. He didn’t think twice before walking towards them.
Henrietta meanwhile coughed after his hand left her neck, not once taking her eyes off of him. She might have recognize him but that didn’t mean he was actually a good man. He still exuded that aura of danger, she wasn’t sure if she could best him in a fight -she was about to die just a few moments ago- and let’s not forget the circumstances between their first encounter.
She was even suspicious of the reason why he was there in that forest. So no, she wasn’t going to let her guard down.
Her clothes were thrown at her feet by the man who was now walking further from her towards his own bundle of clothes. She didn’t have time to properly put her clothes on when a scream echoed through the forest, originating from where the temple the Chinese Aurors were. Henrietta jumped to her feet, quickly throwing her robe on her and tying in it in the middle. She skipped while putting on her shoes and then she ran off towards the temple, not knowing Fon was following behind her.
She ran into a battle between the Aurors and the black cloaked person. More than five of the Aurors were laying on the ground, their status unknown, and the couple of Aurors fighting were injured. What had happened while she was away? Henrietta only took a second examining the scene before entering the fray.
She first cast a Disapparation Jinx in the area to prevent the cloaked person leaving. “Avis! Oppugno!” She then cast to give the fighting Aurors a reprieve. The instant the cloaked person noticed she had come, it tried to escape but Disapparating didn’t work, so they transformed into black smoke to run away. Henrietta reacted fast and threw a quick “Carpe Retractum!” tying a part of the flying cloud of smoke which transformed into the leg of the person once trapped. The escaping figure couldn’t react on time when a Descendo was cast on them sending them to the ground followed by an Epoximise gluing them to where they have fallen.
Their wand was kicked away from their hand and soon found themselves face to face with Henrietta’s wand getting a direct Immobulus and Incarcerous. Taking off the mask covering the now apprehended Dark wizard, she spat, “Yaxley. So this is where you run off to.” She kicked him for good measure and called for the other Aurors to immediately Apparate to the Auror Offices after she took down the Disapparation Jinx.
In the meantime, she tended to the other Aurors who were left there. Thankfully all of them were just unconscious even if they sported some heavy injuries. If the Aurors she sent back were smart then they would bring back a group of Healers. Henrietta didn’t have to wait long for that group of Healers to Apparate into the place. She was so busy giving a conclusion to the chase that she totally forgot she was only wearing her robe and boots. It wasn’t until she arrived back at the apartment she was staying at that she noticed.
She had left her clothes by that spring and with those, her traveling documents. “Dammit!” She cursed then sighed. She would have to go back the day after because she was dead tired and only wanted to sleep on her comfortable bed.
“Oh, hell no!” Henrietta groaned covering her face with the pillow.
“Why?!” She whined. Looking at the nearest clock she saw it was past 9am. The perfect time to sleep. She didn’t want to get up.
“Fine! Fine! I’m coming!” She burst, getting up from the bed, haphazardly placing a robe on her while walking towards the door to open it. “Yes?”
“Good morning, Henrietta.” A man wearing red stood in front of her, way too cheerful for bloody 9 in the morning.
“State your business and leave.” She grumpily demanded. Fon didn’t even care about her mood and kept on smiling at her.
“May I come in?” He elegantly asked.
Henrietta huffed and threw her arms to the air. “Might as well.” She relented not awake enough to really mind letting this dangerous man into her apartment.
They sat in the small living room. Henrietta waved her wand to put water to boil in the kitchenette. Fon watched her movements with his signature smile. He had investigated through some of his contacts about Head Auror Henrietta Potter. It had to be said that he was amazed at her feats and life making his interest on her grow exponentially. He wasn’t surprised by the Wizarding World; after all, in a family as big as his, having a wizard or witch or Flame user wasn’t uncommon. They could even raise a Buddhist Monk and then it wouldn’t be the weirdest in the family.
Sincerely, he was waiting for someone to announce they had found some weird cultivation technique to become an immortal. So no, finding out Henrietta was a witch was not impressive. It was her who was impressive.
He ignored all that whatchamacallit war she was part of but paid close attention the moment she entered the Auror Forces. Top of the class, graduated with honors, Best Auror, the one with the most Dark Wizards captured and youngest Head Auror. She was simply the best at what she did. And for some reason he was very interested in her. Maybe he was bored after that Tenth of the Vongola finally became Boss. The other Arcobalenos were around the world doing their stuff and he no longer had a student to teach.
Seeing her all broken in that cell but still able to do her job lit a spark in him. It’s been some time since he had last seen someone who still fought. That’s what she was doing with her life. She was fighting. Everyday was a fight to her. It reminded him of his youth.
“And then, why have you come? More like, how did you know I lived here?” Henrietta’s questions halted his thoughts and without answering he took out a bundle from under his qipao. “Oh, my clothes!”
“The address I got it from the documents I found in your clothes.” He explained.
“Oh, well, thanks.” She sat perplexed. She never thought he would be this nice, giving her things back and all. “I, er, want some coffee?” She dumbly asked.
“I’d love a cup, thank you.” He gently smiled. He actually didn’t like coffee but she offered and he didn’t want to reject her polite gesture. After the beverage was served, he took a sip and the corner of his lips twitched. As he though, the thing tasted horrible. He glanced at Henrietta who was drinking it as if it was water and sighed contented before serving herself another cup which this time was sipped. He tapped the rim of the cup thinking. When the tapping stopped, he said. “Actually, there is another matter I want to talk to you about.”
“Hm?” Henrietta hummed from behind her cup giving him a side glance.
“After what happened yesterday, I thought through the night and finally decided to take responsibility of you.” He slowly said.
Henrietta spitted her coffee all over the table. “Excu-excuse… I beg your pardon?” What had she just heard?
“I was raised in a very traditional Chinese family and I was taught that I have to take responsibility for taking liberties with your body. So, I will admit my responsibility towards you.” His tone was very serious letting her know that his words were true. But still…
“Are you out of your mind? What happened yesterday? We bloody fought and you won, what responsibility are you talking about?!” She almost yelled at him for saying such ridiculous words. “Look, I will just make as if you didn’t say those disparaging words. I really thank you for bringing back my things and I think you should leave.” She very politely told him to get out because he still did a favor to her.
Fon sat there for a couple of seconds more before standing up and making his way out of the apartment. Seeing the closed door his ever present smile grew just a bit wider. This was going to be fun.
A tip to understand this chapter better:
In ancient China, men were truly made to take responsibility of a woman if they looked at a naked woman, or if they kissed and even sometimes touch a bit inappropriately. Accident or not. That's why Fon wants to take responsibility of Henrietta.
Or that is what I understand after reading countless chinese novels xD
Curious facts about this chapter:
I had to constantly change Iolanthe for Henrietta because this chapter was written after I was done with a part of a new chapter in Il nostro Cielo.
The fight in the spring was inspired by a similar scene in the movie Hua Mulan, the chinese version, not the Disney one. If you have the time go look for it. It's an awesome movie!
Chapter 3: Beware of dotting Grandmas
Grandma Li does her thing but fails. She still gives an ultimatum.
We introduce a new character here, Grandma Li is Fon's Grandma. I liked very much the idea of the Grandma of his ancient family to be the type that worries about marrying even the dog but she is also very respected.
A heads up about this chapter. According to the wiki, Fon's name in chinese if written Feng, which means wind. Now, to explain a bit, Feng will be used if his family is around while Fon will be used by everybody else. Tell me what you think about it, if I should keep it like that or use only one?
Enjoy the chapter of today! Tomorrow is a different one :D
“Just meet her!” An old woman angrily hissed.
“Grandma…” A man sighed.
“No! Don’t say another word.” The old woman scolded but seeing the dejected face of her Grandson, she softened and patted his hand. “Feng’er, you are already 30 and you haven’t gotten married, yet. I understand you spent a lot of time under that curse and now that you are completely free, you want to do things you missed. But the last thing I want to see before I die is you marrying well.”
Seeing the wrinkled face and completely white hair of his Grandmother, Feng couldn’t oppose her any longer. She wasn’t that old, at least not as old as his lively great-grandfather -Grandma’s uncle- who they could hear supposedly training although he was just swinging his cane around. Her utter joy was to see everybody in the Family get married and from his generation he was the only one single. His cousins already had teenager children and even some had children in their twenties. He didn’t know if time had been good to him or not.
“That’s alright, Grandma but… does it have to be her?”
Sitting in a hidden room beside the main Hall, Grandma and Grandson looked at the Mother and Daughter pair trying to look refined even when they were not-so-quietly commenting about every decoration in the Hall they put their eyes on. The two women both hailed from the powerful Lan Family yet they looked like country bumpkins recently brought to the city. At least their clothes were apt to their actual standing.
The woman his Grandma wanted him to meet was pretty, he had to accept that, but the way her eyes shone looking around the main Hall, as if she couldn’t wait to possess all the decoration in there, was very vulgar in his eyes. She gave the aura of a gold-digger. There was no way he would make an effort in getting to know her. And going by his Grandma’s unhappy expression, she was hesitating too seeing the distasteful act the two women were performing.
Their Family was very upstanding in the country. They had raised all kind of geniuses in all kind of subjects. Politics, management, finances, technology and services were some of the most common ones. As big as their Family was and with a wide variety of abilities, they were also ploughing in the Potion Making field, Curse-Breaking, Rune Mastery and Creatures Rearing. Then there was Martial Arts, the Art of War, Strategy, Weapon Making and Personnel Training. There were other esoteric fields they were into so it could be said their Family was everywhere and were somehow short of ruling the country. However, they were not interested in that.
They were the patriotic sort, that’s why the least they wanted was take over their Mother Country.
Grandma was very mindful of their status when looking for a partner for her descendants. They were all married to equally important people even if not as powerful as them. What she wanted was to create a balance between the couple so none could feel inferior to the other. Since very young, Feng was never interested in any romantic relationships and only focused on his training. He was a prodigy so his elders never stopped him from going down the path of Martial Arts. Grandma also left him alone for a few years while she looked for a suitable partner.
Who would have thought their Feng would fall into calamity and be cursed with a toddler body for years! His parents were devastated but learned to cope with it seeing their son roll along with his fate. His cousins grew up and married, forming their families. His younger cousins also grew up and married to form their families too but he was still a toddler with almost no future. It was a fortune their Feng had the mental fortitude to keep going like that.
And finally! A couple of years ago, his ordeal came to an end. His body rapidly grew up until he went back to how he was before the curse. Though, literally, he had gone back to how he was: a 29-year-old man. He was considered ‘old’ back then compared to the ages at which his cousins married. And one year later, at 30, he wasn’t even bothering in wanting to leave a descendant or two. Grandma had to stick her bony, wrinkled hand in the matter, he liked it or not. Yet looking at the two uncouth women in the main Hall, she admitted she was in a rush and failed with this match.
“Just pretend to put some effort then. I heard she is practicing some Martial Arts, too.” Grandma helplessly said.
With his parents gone in some kind of trip out of the country he bet was yet another honeymoon, his Grandma accompanied him to meet the ladies. Not that he could be alone with them in a room, it was not appropriate.
“Madam Li,” the older of the two women greeted seeing Grandma Li and Feng appear. Grandma Li was the oldest woman in the Li Family and had given birth to quite a number of children, that’s why she was respected not only by her own family but by others too. “We were very honored to receive your invitation.” She graciously said.
“Don’t mention it. It was just this old woman trying to have some fun with friends.” Grandma Li waved at the two women to forgo formality and to sit down while she was being helped by Feng into her seat.
Her words were mere polite talk. The four in the room knew the reason they were there was to matchmake. “This must be Li Feng. We heard what happened to you, such a torture you went through but I’m glad to see you are well.” The older Lan began with her attack.
“I assure you it wasn’t as hard as it sounds, Lady Lan. Don’t worry about it.” Feng said with a serene smile on his face. That her attitude was lacking didn’t mean he had to forget her position as the Wife of Lord Lan.
Lady Lan’s face stiffened a bit, not knowing how to continue with that line of conversation. However, a tug on her skirt reminded her of her precious Daughter sitting beside her. “Ah. This is Yue’er, she has just finished her studies in Law and landed a lucrative job in a renown law firm as a lawyer. She has also been practicing Martial Arts and Flower Arrangement since she was little.”
Typical of a girl born in a high-class Family; Flower Arrangement was one of the most sought courses for these upstanding ladies followed by playing any type of classical instrument. Martial Arts was already considered an anomaly and her studying Law when the Lan Family was more into business made her an oddity. Her prospects were fine, her looks were fine; she could be any man’s prized wife. But, those eyes that shone with a cunning and sly light was too hard to ignore.
Well, he also didn’t want an innocent and naïve woman. Actually, he didn’t know what type of woman truly interested him.
What followed was the specialty of those ladies who wanted to probe for information or wanted to deviate from the subject: idle talk. Lady Lan wanted to know just how desperate the Li Family were to marry Li Feng while placing her own Daughter in a pedestal with how virtuous she described her. It would have been convincing enough if said virtuous daughter wasn’t gripping the tea cup as if she wanted to take it back home with her. His Grandma had done it on purpose when she asked the servants to serve tea.
To be fair, the Lan Family wouldn’t be the first and the last to show such attitude. The Li Family was very old and prestigious with many valuable trinkets and many times people with outstanding upbringing yet with an attitude as if they were entitled to be the only ones to possess all the valuables artifacts in the world just because their Family had power came to visit them. And so, as soon as they saw what the Li Family had, their eyes turned covetous and greedy. Some were able to hide it but the Li Family was full of experts who were able to discern it a mere second. The Lan Family has been the most obvious in years.
Both Grandma and Grandson were extremely put off by such a meeting, whereas Lady Lan seemed to have made a breakthrough of sorts and daringly proposed: “Why don’t we leave the youngsters alone so they can know each other better?”
“This…” Grandma was enraged by such an audacious request. Never before had a Family asked for couple being paired off to be left alone! She was about to lash out but a hand on her forearm stopped her and she turned to look at Feng.
“That’s fine. Elders also need to be left alone to talk about their matters.” Feng agreed with a smile.
Lady Lan was excited hearing his words that she even ignored the jab towards her. Basically, Feng was being polite enough to think about his elders while she was acting like a desperate wench trying to get rid of her Daughter. Grandma finally quelled her anger seeing Feng’s smile. To outsiders, his smiles all looked the same but to her his smile didn’t bode well for the Miss of the Lan Family. As she didn’t like this pair of Mother and Daughter, then she said nothing further.
The Li Family’s Home was located in the outskirts of the city, at the foot of a mountain. The gardens were very ample and beautiful. The paths meandered between copses of trees and pavilions to enjoy the view of the sporadic flowery shrubs. The garden looked very natural with almost no human intervention -except for the pavilions and small bridges across ponds- and that gave it a different vibe. Lan Yue was constantly talking about herself yet didn’t forget to ask Feng some questions. She got very happy when he replied so she continued with her almost one-man show.
It looked as if they were aimlessly walking around the gardens but Feng knew where they were going. It was the place he spent most of his young years in, almost at the other side of the mountain where there was a two-story pagoda overlooking a small lake. The place was very secluded and Lan Yue took notice of that. Her eyes flashed and her mind began to plot.
The fastest way to reach the pagoda was by crossing a stepping stone path in the middle of the lake, though there was also the long way that was to go around the lake to enjoy nature. As a Martial Artist, Feng’s choice was always the stone path. His foot raised to take the first step when he felt someone was coming at him from behind. His honed reflexes immediately made him retract his foot and even jump aside to dodge whatever attack came to then initiate his counterattack.
However, no attack came and the figure took a dive into the lake instead.
“Help! Help! I can’t swim!” Lan Yue shrieked while flailing in the water. “Feng’er, help me please!”
Feng felt a shiver ran down his spine in revulsion. Only his closest family called him like that but there she was, taking liberties with him despite not being familiar with each other. He looked at her panicking figure with a detached expression, wondering when she would notice the lake wasn’t that deep. It turned out, her act was really top-notch and her body began to sink in the water. Feng sighed and just walked down the stone path towards the pagoda. It wasn’t his fault if a Martial Artist was useless enough to drown in a meter-deep lake. If she didn’t drown, then that would unmask her act and reveal how fake she was.
He really didn’t know what was worse for her.
He calmly made his way into the pagoda, going up the stairs into the open second-floor where he could enjoy the view of the lake and the flora around. He settled down on his favorite floor cushion and watched with mirth how Lan Yue quietly and sneakily made her way out of the lake, running away from the place without looking back. He didn’t care if she lied about what happened to her; his Grandma wouldn’t believe her and the Li Family didn’t fear whatever story was spread about them.
So, he just stayed put and went about preparing tea.
Sure enough, half an hour later, his Grandma was sedately making her way towards the pagoda. He jumped down the second floor and ran across the lake to help his Grandma cross it. Once, they were comfortably sat on the second floor, she started speaking.
“That Lan Yue girl said you didn’t help her when she tripped and fell into the lake.” She began, elegantly drinking her tea.
“That’s true.” Feng admitted. He was surprised she didn’t weave a different story of what happened but he soon went back to his calm self.
Grandma Li sneered. “A Martial Artist tripping and falling into a shallow lake. Hmph! What a joke!” To be fair, accidents could still happen yet she was used to seeing Feng’s exceptional Martial Arts that she derided others who weren’t the same as him. Feng only helplessly chuckle whenever she did that. But he didn’t try to defend Lan Yue because he knew the fact she tripped and fell into the lake was some sort of plot from her.
Feng was right that Lan Yue had a plot in mind, but falling into the lake was not it. Being in a secluded place, she had heard many stories of what could happen in those kind of places so she decided to recreate the good old ‘tripping and falling into his arms’ trick. In her mind, as soon as they were close to each other, basically hugging, she would look up at him with a pure and coy expression expecting him to fall for her soft charms. Who would have known that her plan sank just like her falling into the lake? Still, she didn’t give up and recreated the next best scenario: ‘save the damsel in distress’.
We have to applaud her perseverance and quick thinking to come up with one plan after the other. Unfortunately, those plans were put in action in front of Feng; someone who followed the logic of Martial Arts and left her to fend for herself. She could only put a stop to her schemes and leave the place with a face full of shame and a heart full of resentment. She even started to deride him in her mind saying that a simple and common Martial Artist wouldn’t even be able to hold her shoes, much less think of marrying her.
And it was with those thoughts that she said the truth of what happened (that she fell into a lake and wasn’t helped out) and left the matter at that. She even walked out the Li Family’s Home in a rush together with her Mother as if she had suffered a great grievance.
After criticizing Lan Yue for a good long while, Grandma Li loudly exhaled and gulped down her tea. The cup loudly banged on the table when she put it down, earning the attention of Feng. “You can’t continue like this Feng’er. I don’t wish to keep nagging about it but as the sole descendant of your branch, you need to get married.” She firmly stated.
“Is there no other way?” He asked with a dejected expression. Since young, he had dedicated his life to Martial Arts and hoped to die under them; things like romance and a family never crossed his mind full of Martial Arts.
“There would be if your useless Father had listened to me and had more kids, but he decided his things were more important and only ended up having you.” Grandma Li grumbled. “Anyway, I have decided! You have to bring a woman you want to marry before New Year!”
“That’s half a year later.” Feng bitterly remarked.
“That’s enough time for you to find a nice lady and bring her home for the celebrations.” Grandma Li nodded liking her own idea more and more but seeing her Grandson’s complicated expression while having the failed meeting fresh in her mind, she relented. “It doesn’t have to be an upstanding lady with manners dripping from her sleeves or having thousands of useless abilities that increase the supposed charm. As long as you are happy, then I can die in peace.”
Feng didn’t know whether to laugh or not. Her Grandma was far from dying yet he still felt grateful that she greatly lowered her standards.
“This Grandson will do as Grandmother says.” He humbly gave her a bow from junior to elder.
“Ai, don’t be like this. Quickly take me out of here, it’s getting late and this old bag of bones needs rest.” She waved her hand dismissively.
The pagoda was silent, the trees around it rustled its leaves to the dancing wind. A man sat cross-legged on a mat as if meditating. Clad in only his pants, his upper body was covered in sweat, glistening to the light of the candles lit around him. His brow was furrowed and his face twitched from time to time as if he was enduring great pain. Neidan meditation for a Flame User was complicated. Neidan was the practice of self-transformation utilizing visualization, breathing exercises, movement and concentration. He had to constantly practice it due to his raging Storm Flames that tend to wreck havoc inside his perfectly balanced body.
Body, mind and spirit needed to be on the same wavelength inside a person to be considered a true Martial Artist. And the reason Feng was considered a prodigy in it was because he learned to balance those three key aspects from very young thanks to his Storm Flames. The fact his Flames always wanted to cause problems forced him to comprehend the intricacies of balancing the body, the mind and the spirit. He took a deep breath, then slowly let it out through his mouth -red mist coming out from it. His eyes sharpened upon opening them.
“Who’s there?” He asked. It would not be the first time he was visited by assassins, hitmen or all sort of killers trying to claim his life. That was one of the reasons why he moved to a secluded place; to not bother his family with his fights.
Silence followed his question but he still was ready for any attack that came from outside. Hidden attacks, frontal attacks, sneaky attacks, distracting attacks, long-ranged attacks; he had experienced them all. However, he wasn’t prepared for what came. A person broke through the feeble wooden windows, flew across the room, heavily landed on the floor and even slid a meter or two leaving a trail of blood. Following behind the person was a huge, golden oxen like creature that charged, ready to kill its target.
Feng knew the oxen like creature was a Re’em. Though it was his first time seeing one in person.
“Stupefy!” The person yelled making the Re’em stumble giving them ample time to roll to one side, successfully dodging the charge. The person shakily stood up and hurriedly ran out of the room. The light from the moon, together with the one from the candles helped Feng recognize the person.
Henrietta, who was running through the garden outside, turned her head at being called out yet the only thing she could see was the Re’em closing in on her. She knew she wouldn’t be able to escape from its charge this time so she gritted her teeth, hoping the hit wouldn’t break many of her bones. The Re’em’s breath was on her nape and she prepared herself for the impact, however, the only thing that came was a miserable cry from the creature and a loud splash.
She opened her eyes and looked around finding the unmoving body of the Re’em on a lake by the side. I’m saved, she thought. The adrenaline of running away for her life disappeared from her body making her take notice of her wounds, pains and dizziness. She swayed on her feet but a pair of arms easily caught her. She had no time to react when she was being carried back into what she now could see was a pagoda. Her head turned to look at the person who was carrying her and she wanted to groan. What sort of rotten luck she had to find the same man thrice now?
Curse her Potter luck!
She was placed sitting on a wooden lounge chaise which was very nice and comfortable. Giving a glance at Fon, she almost cursed out loud. Back at that pond in the mountains, she wasn’t able to see it because she was busy fending off his attacks but now she had a nice view of a perfect six-pack and bulked pectorals, the tattoo was an excellent addition and almost distracted her from his ripped biceps and triceps. Fon is a nice specimen, she mused. The man had no idea he was being ogled by Henrietta and merely looked at her bedraggled appearance and the blood smearing across her face.
“Hey, hey!” She exclaimed when his hands suddenly grabbed her left leg.
“I will tend to your wounds, please refrain from moving.” He stated with a very serious expression. Henrietta recognized that look as the same Susan sported when she was healing her, so she stopped fussing and let the man check out her wounds. It wouldn’t be the first time he did it, anyway, and she was too dizzy and with no strength left to do it herself so it was best if someone else did the job.
Fon lifted her trousers revealing a peach-colored, smooth calf that had a gash constantly dripping blood. He reached for the first-aid kit on the shelf above the chaise and did quick work on the gash, disinfecting it, cleaning it, sewing it and finally wrapping it. He thought she would complain from the pain but she kept mum about it which surprised him. Looking up at her, he noticed she was on the verge of losing consciousness. He kept checking for more wounds only finding minor scratches here and there. It wasn’t until he moved her left arm that she reacted by crying out and glaring at him.
“It’s dislocated.” He told her. He got ready to set it right yet the moment his hand patted her shoulder, it came out wet with blood, fresh blood. He paused and walked around the chaise to look at her back. Her robes were ripped together with her shirt giving him the chance to see that a chunk of her shoulder was missing; her bones most likely shattered. Looking at her shoulder, he could only be honest with her. “There is nothing I can do with your shoulder, Henrietta.”
“I know.” She croaked; fatigue setting in her body. She knew very well how that particular wound came about, so she didn’t hold hope for him to help her with it. Gathering a bit of strength, she raised her right arm and pointed her wand at the wound. The only reason she hadn’t already fainted from blood loss or even died was because she casted a “Vulnera Sanentur” whenever she could while running away. Luckily, her arm wasn’t ripped off or the spell would be for naught.
Fon watched how her tendons reattached themselves and the flesh was mending too. It was the same as seeing a Sun healing someone with how fast the spell worked. Though her spell stopped working when she lost consciousness and almost fell on her head if it wasn’t for his fast reflexes. He gently laid her on the chaise, face down, to finish closing her wound. With her unconscious, he had no qualms in ripping apart her robes and shirt, giving him more space to go about tending the wound.
Done with the sewing, he went about bandaging it. Seeing that her upper body was uncovered, he decided to leave her in that position and went out to look for one of his nephews that was a Wizard. The teenager was surprised to see his Uncle Feng, more so with blood in his hands and pants. Looking like that, the youngster didn’t even blink when his Uncle asked for a potion to recover blood and another one for restoring bones. The teenager refrained from asking what his Uncle needed them for when he was reminded of the rumors in the family that his Uncle often face assassination attempts.
The teenager supposed the potions weren’t for him but the killer, which was very contradicting yet his Uncle had already left leaving him with the doubt.
Back in his pagoda, Fon tapped on Henrietta’s face to wake her up. She groaned and blearily opened her eyes. Once he was sure she was awake, he promptly put the Blood-Replenishing Potion on her lips for her to drink. It seemed she was used to drinking potions because she readily took them even if she groused about the Skele-gro.
“Damn Skele-gro, always taste like hell.”
Fon chuckled at her crumpled expression. As she was more lively, he thought it was a good moment to ask her a few things. If only to distract her from the pain of the Skelo-gro doing its job. “How did you end up being chased by a Re’em?”
“Because of my ‘saving people thing’.” She said. “It went on a rampage in a village I was visiting to buy some souvenirs and thought it was a good idea to get its attention away from the village so I got into the mountain. I wanted to lose it there but the thing was very persistent and chased me for more than an hour around the mountain until I got here. Wherever here is.”
“Here is my house.” He quipped.
Henrietta looked around with her eyes obviously not seeing anything but still satisfied with her attempt. “I couldn’t tell.”
The room didn’t even have a kitchen or a proper bed to be called a house. Well, the pagoda couldn’t be considered a house but he still stayed there most of the time while he ate at the main House. He had mastered the technique of resting while meditating so he didn’t really need a bed. He lived a very simple life. Both stayed silent for a moment, not knowing what to say. Henrietta thought it was a good moment to thank him for his help yet he spoke before she had the chance.
“Have you realized we keep meeting, Henrietta?”
“Huh? Yeah, I guess…” Her and her rotten luck.
“Maybe it’s fate.” He mused.
She scoffed. “What bullshit!” Then winced realizing she was rude to him. “Sorry, I just don’t like to think that things happen because of fate, destiny and all that load of tripe.” Henrietta was tired of that. Fon nodded, not understanding but able to acquiesced to her opinion; there was no need to argue about it when they were basically strangers, after all. No matter how interesting she was. “Right, thanks for helping me. I think I should go.” She suddenly said.
“Go?” Looking like that? He was about to ask yet he swallowed his question taking notice of her appearance. He should have not been this surprised; he bandaged her, after all. But to be flashed by her assets this up close… He hurriedly turned around and continued the conversation as if he hadn’t seen one of her boobs hanging free. “I will lend you some clothes.” He decided. He walked to a trunk placed by the meditating mat and rummaged through it.
Henrietta wanted to tell him it wasn’t necessary. She carried all her extra clothes in the pockets of her Auror robe yet she didn’t say anything seeing he looked very flustered when he took a peek at her naked upper body. She looked down and saw there was nothing wrong with her, there was no need for his nervous actions. Unless… eh, she didn’t want to think about it, so she vanished that thought from her mind.
“Here, use this.” He spoke, throwing a tang style robe that he used to practice his martial arts at her. “I used that when I was younger so I think it will fit you.” He turned around and his face twitched. There was a reason why there was a screen in the room and it was exactly for instances of changing clothes and such. But there she was, fumbling to wear the robe in front of him. Though, looking at her, going to the screen or not, she would still be having issues wearing it. So, he steeled his mind and walked towards her to help. “My bad, I should have guessed it would be hard for you to wear it.”
In less than a minute, she was clad in his clothes. It was loose in some places but tight in others looking a bit weird but she didn’t seem to care. Fon stared at her and found himself asking:
“Are you sure you don’t want me to take responsibility?” It was twice now that he took liberties with her body; injured or not, it was not proper to him. Some male stranger shouldn’t be able to do that.
Henrietta paused in her inspection of the robe. “No need. Many men have seen bits and parts of my body. Most of it not intentional. If they asked to take responsibility, I would be having a harem already, marrying them all.” She joked. Though her joke reminded him of something very important. “Well, I’ll be leaving now. Thanks for everything.” She bid her farewell, picking up her Auror robe and taking out a handkerchief that was actually a Portkey meant to take her back to Britain.
“Wait!” He called out, taking her hand and by consequence the handkerchief in it. A loud suction noise later, they were both whisked away by the Portkey, leaving a silent pagoda.
Chapter 4: Not that hard, right?
Fon finally has a plan.
Consider this a bonus and apology because I haven't updated my other fic, lol.
Many things happened and this chapter also happened :D
Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!
PS. THIS FIC IS NOT OVER, I JUST DON'T HAVE A SPECIFIC SCHEDULE FOR IT AS I AM FOCUSED ON THE OTHER FIC. IT WILL BE SPORADICALLY UPDATED LIKE TODAY BUT DON'T EXPECT STEADY RELEASES. IT WILL BE WRITTEN IN THE FUTURE. THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING.
And sorry for the capslock but it had to be done xD
“What attacked you this time?” The twelve-year old Teddy asked.
“A Re’em.” Henrietta didn’t want to hide it. It was more of the fact she couldn’t hide it; Teddy’s nose became very sensitive as soon as he hit the eleven-years mark and his Magic became stable. He must have smelled the blood. She still remembered that awkward episode explaining the period and puberty to him.
Teddy nodded. “They are native to China so it’s easy to find one there. I am just curious about how you managed to fight one.”
Henrietta sighed. “My saving people thing.”
The answer was like the solution to the universe and the best excuse for her because Teddy smiled a bit commiserating at Henrietta. She had timed her trip to China very well and was able to be done with all the work by the time Teddy came out of Hogwarts, successfully finishing his first year and she would wait for him at the station for the time the Hogwarts Express arrived. However, Teddy would have taken more time noticing her wounds if it wasn’t for her actual appearance.
“What about him?” Teddy asked looking at the smiling man standing behind her.
Henrietta turned to the man and sighed even louder “He attacked me too.” She decided she didn’t want Teddy to get in contact with him.
After all, it was his fault that she couldn’t go back to her house to clean herself and change to more decent clothes than the ill-fitting ones which were from a man. She didn’t look that bad but she really was a bit dishevelled.
She was heavily scolded by Hermione, who was the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and her superior, for bringing a foreigner illegally into Britain -a shirtless foreigner who they all thought Henrietta had assaulted. No matter how many times she said it was an accident and that they could only send him back, Hermione wouldn’t listen to her and had to make a fuss by calling Percy and asking him what they could do with the illegal immigrant they had in their hands.
Percy said they could take his information, file it, then get in contact with the Chinese government, compare the information with them, get in touch with his Family to explain the situation he was in and only then start the process of either letting his stay or send him back; whatever he decided. The Wizarding community was very welcoming of foreigners so the laws regarding an immigrant were extremely lax. Of course, the immigrant in question needed to be monitored by a native to make sure they wouldn’t get in problems.
And who better than Henrietta, the person who brought him, for that task?
And that was how she found herself waiting for Teddy with Fon wearing his old clothes and badly bruised. Many people around them had started whispering until the Hogwarts Express arrived and with it Teddy and the other students making all those people turn their attention to it.
“He attacked you the good way or the bad way?” And that reminded her of another awkward conversation to explain why she sometimes appeared with bruises in her neck (hickeys) when she was planning to settle down with the Quidditch player.
“The bad way.” She said in a tone that meant she didn’t want to talk about it. She shrunk his luggage and took the empty owl’s cage from the boy. “Go say goodbye to your friends. We will talk more when we go back.” Off Teddy went to say his farewells and well wishes for the holidays as well as promising to get in touch in case they wanted to do something together.
Fon had watched the interaction with his signature smile.
He was extremely surprised when he appeared on British soil after the most uncomfortable way of travelling; his companion even ungraciously fell on the floor and stayed there for a while lowly cursing the Portkey and her wounds and the person who invented the hellish device. Fon was reminded of her state and readily helped her up only to be surrounded by a group of people who were pointing their wands at him. Then came that nervous young lady who was in charge of Henrietta’s health and started checking on the Head Auror.
Fon calmly stood up and tried his best to look harmless but that went all to hell when a bushy-haired woman outright attacked him. He had no other choice but to defend himself. The fight was short as Henrietta yelled at the newcomer to stop attacking him. However, that only gained Henrietta the ire of the woman who scolded her for her carelessness, bringing a dangerous foreign man to the Ministry. Sincerely it was all a misunderstanding, the bushy-haired witch thought he had attacked Henrietta and was trying to attack the Ministry too.
Only after Henrietta explained the whole situation, the group of people dispersed yet the jittery young woman and the stern one remained; one taking care of wounds and the other scolding. He was detained in a room where a red-haired man explained what was going to happen to him and brought some clothes for Fon to wear. The Storm Arcobaleno -because they still were even without their baby form- took everything in stride and left all the troublesome procedure to the corresponding people, leaving him to only wait for the day they would interview him to ask for his plans.
For the time being, his plan was to get close to Henrietta and talk about that task his Grandma assigned him. She was the only woman that had awoken an interest in him so he thought it would be fine if he chose her. His Grandma had lowered the standard so she wouldn’t mind Henrietta, right?
“Why is he following us?” Teddy warily asked glancing at Fon.
“It’s all thanks to the Potter luck, Teddy bear.” Henrietta said with a tired voice.
Once again Teddy nodded with a sympathetic expression on his face. That sparked Fon’s curiosity about how she tended to explain all her disgraces and how the boy seemed to perfectly understand. It seemed the two had an amazing rapport and he wondered if he was her son. He knew how old Henrietta was and looking at the boy, Fon could discern he wasn’t more than twelve. That meant she should have had him when she was around seventeen. Henrietta is full of surprises, he thought.
“Are you coming?” Her voice took him out of his musings and noticed woman and boy were looking at him. People around them disappeared in cracks and it dawned upon him that they were going to use the same method. With his ever-present smile on his face, he shamelessly took Henrietta’s free hand not caring about her scrunched up expression.
The trip was short but as equally or more uncomfortable than the Portkey. He still managed to quickly get his bearings though.
In front of him was an extensive field in which a small house lonely stood. The closest neighbor was almost two miles away from them, separated by a strange pitch with three tall hoops in two different sides. Fon had heard about Wizards having a sport from his nephew so he concluded the pitch was for it. He never pegged Henrietta as the athletic sort, the one who would willingly enter into sports. But for the most part he was curious. As they were about to enter the house, a plump red-haired woman came out with her arms extended and a big smile on her face.
“Henrietta, dear, you are back! Oh, you brought Teddy with you. I was wondering where you were as you didn’t come back home after work. Did you sleep well while away? What about food? I heard China sometimes has some nasty food available, you didn’t eat those right? What if it ruined your appetite?”
Fon didn’t know if he should feel offended by how the woman talked about Chinese food. He did notice the glance from Henrietta as they entered the house.
“Food was delicious there, Mrs. Weasley. It’s different at the beginning but once you get used, you can’t stop eating. I might have gained a bit of weight in my stay in China.” Henrietta joked. Fon stared at her from head to toe and sincerely he couldn’t tell.
“And this must be the person Percy told me about. Are you sure you want to host him in your house? He doesn’t look like the good sort.” The woman unabashedly said looking at him with suspicion.
Fon kept smiling and said nothing. He thought Henrietta would speak up for him, thinking that he was her protegee for the moment and because she had also defended the Chinese gastronomy. “I do believe he is from the bad sort.” She said. Fon’s smile froze. Just, what kind of perception she had of him? He watched the two women go upstairs, most likely to the bedrooms.
“She might say that but the fact she let you in the house says otherwise.” Fon turned to his right and noticed the boy, Teddy, was busy scavenging the kitchen for something to eat.
The house was really different, compared to what he was used to. The huge room contained the living room, the kitchen with its island table and a small library in the corner. The fireplace was built of real stone as well as the stairs that headed to the second floor which Fon could clearly see was composed of the corridor and three doors. Henrietta entered the one on the left first which might be Teddy’s as the luggage was put in there, then she entered the one on the right. He guessed that was her room.
“She is a bad liar.” Teddy continued with a huge sandwich in his hands, it was more meat than anything though. “We all know so we take her words with a lot of salt. Though, are you really the bad sort?” Fon might have imagined it but Teddy’s eyes flashed with something akin to blood-thirst when he asked.
“I am just a Martial Artist.” Fon placidly replied.
“Like Bruce Lee?” Teddy asked with interest. The man did look like the typical Martial Artist with his attire, except for the robe but the long hair and Asian features. Ok, he might be working on stereotypes there but who could blame him? He was but twelve. Fon for his part had no idea what Teddy was talking about. He was someone who had dedicated his life to Martial Arts so he was unaware of who that Bruce Lee was. Saying so to the boy, Fon could see the interest dwindling a lot.
Is Bruce Lee some sort of Martial Arts paragon nowadays? He wondered.
“... you know you can count on us. Bill will spend the Summer here as well as George so Teddy won’t be lonely playing with the other kids. I already prepared your dinner so you just need to heat it, then take a good rest you look half dead. The Auror Office can handle it if you don’t go to work for a day.” The red-haired woman’s nagging interrupted their conversation as the two women made their way down. Henrietta had changed to sweatpants, a sleeveless shirt and no shoes.
“I know Mrs. Weasley and thank you for taking care of the house while I was not here. I will make sure to visit frequently now that Teddy is at home.” Henrietta smiled as she tried to tamed her hair into a bun.
“We will be waiting.” Mrs. Weasley bade farewell to Henrietta and Teddy while giving a stern glare to Fon and finally left.
“We have no rooms available but I can transfigure a couch into a bed so you can sleep there. The door in the middle upstairs is the bathroom; knock before you enter. As for your clothes… I guess we can go buy some.” Henrietta talked non-stop. “Teddy, go take a bath and change your clothes. I will heat Mrs. Weasley’s dinner so we can eat.”
“Going!” Teddy exclaimed, chewing the last of his sandwich and quickly making his way upstairs to do what she told him while she headed to the kitchen.
Seeing her move pots and pans around, Fon took a step, instantly moved towards the table and sat. She waved her hands and plates started to come out from cabinets to gently set down on the table. There was one that appeared in front of him, too, along with the cutlery. She made it look so effortless yet he knew wandless, non-verbal Magic was really hard. Even his nephew, who was top of the class, had to practice like crazy just to cast a Spell non-verbally. Had Henrietta been the same and practiced day and night just to move plates? He doubted that.
His hand silently moved towards the fork and after giving it a few twirls, he threw it towards her. Normally, someone of Henrietta’s caliber would either dodge, deflect or get rid of the weapon; however, it seemed Fon had still underestimated her as she just stood there going about her business not caring for any attack yet the fork stopped mere centimeters away from her head and clattered to the floor.
“It’s not nice to treat your host like that.” She said not even turning.
“A shield?” He asked not flustered at all.
“Let’s just say I never trusted you.” She replied giving him a glance and a small smile.
Fon didn’t know if he should admire her for always being on guard and cautious around people or be sad that she had drawn a clear line between them. He was not trustworthy in her eyes. He had two options: either give up on her and look for another woman who was as interesting as Henrietta or change Henrietta’s perception of him. Fon thought both were troublesome; he didn’t know when and where he would find that kind of woman in half a year and Henrietta was like a turtle always hiding in her shell. At the end he chose the less problematic one, in his opinion.
Henrietta was the closer target so he might as well work on her.
It shouldn’t be that hard, right?