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 Wrong Number

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Calixta Harper
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PostSubject: Wrong Number   Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:22 pm

It was typically a very difficult task to reach Julian Kaiser by Floo, considering the strange hours he kept due to his job. Having made plans to spend time with Nicole tonight, however, he made sure he stopped at his flat first before heading over. Considering that they'd been in a Muggle establishment at the time they agreed to meet, he hadn't been able to say exactly where they'd be meeting, which was a fairly important detail to take care of first.

Given that Nicole had instructed him to call her, he was surprised when flames suddenly erupted out of his fireplace, but assumed it was her "calling" for all of five seconds before he got a good look at the face that appeared before him instead.

"Kate," he spat in the least friendly tone he could muster. "Or should I be calling you Mrs. Becker, now?"

"Oh don't be bitter, Julian, that look doesn't suit you. You'll get wrinkles," Kate retorted, rolling her eyes. "Although I suppose that coming from you, that's very nearly a compliment."

"What do you want, Kate? For me to babysit Violet for a week while you go off on your honeymoon?" The thought grossed him out slightly, although of course he'd be thrilled to see Violet again after so long an absence. He nearly smiled.

"No, my mother is looking after her. I actually had some papers I needed for you to sign. No big deal, nothing that would take up too much time out of your busy schedule." Julian's eyes narrowed suspiciously. 

"What kind of papers?" It was obvious Kate had hoped he wouldn't ask.

"I just need you to sign them so that Karl can legally adopt Violet." Julian's eyes nearly bugged out of his head.

"You just WHAT?" he helped in surprise, far too loudly.

"Karl wants to adopt Violet," Kate repeated, looking at Julian like he was stupid.

"Let me get this straight. You want me to sign over my legal rights as Violet's father, so that she can take your new husband's last name." Kate winced, sensing the coming storm.

"There's nothing wrong with his name," she said, dodging the issue.

"There's nothing wrong with mine!" Julian finally exploded, furious.

"That's not true and you know it. It's dangerous, it's safer for her if she had Karl's name --"

"I have done nothing but be perfectly accommodating throughout this whole thing, I never fought because I thought you would take care of Violet, all I wanted was to see her, and now you're going to take that away from me, too? What have you told her, hm? Why does she think I haven't seen her since Christmas?"

"You have a dangerous job, you're a busy man --"

"NEVER too busy to see my own daughter, and let's get real here, alright? You feel it's just the opposite of what you just said -- that I have a busy job and I'm a dangerous man. What happened to you, Kate? I'm the same man I always was, I don't understand how you can go and act like that, like I'm -- going to go off any second. I was always good to you and Violet! Never even raised my voice at you when you would be throwing things at me! Now look at us!" he scoffed, turning away from her. 

"Not even an us to speak of. Even if we never got back together, I always thought I could count on you to take care of Violet with me. With me, not in spite of me," he said, and to her credit Kate did look guilty. 

"Don't think I haven't heard about what's going on, the conference was here, for crying out loud! The Russian Minister, and now your English one. You were there both times, weren't you?" she pointed out, regaining her line of thought. 

"It's not like I'd bring her with me to work!--"

"But it's not like you can leave your work at the Ministry when you go home, is it? Always a target, you know people who are too important -- and what about if next time you aren't so lucky? What happens when you come home in a body bag, Julian, what then?"

"We can all die just about any second now because of our bloodlines, that hardly matters anymore. If anything, I'm safer because of my job. You can't take out an Auror without anyone noticing, or setting off a full-scale investigation from the Ministry."

"But you can kill a mother and child and get away with it no matter how many people are out looking for clues," Kate retorted, pulling out her trump card. Considering that Julian knew the one of the Harpers, it hit closer to home than Kate even realised -- not that he'd admit it.

"That was in Ireland, they still haven't gotten over England taking over the Northern counties," he pointed out, refusing to give in to her this time. Julian was a reasonable man, but he could only be pushed so far and she'd finally crossed the line.

"Just sign the papers," Kate begged, unable to produce any more arguments. They'd had the same fight so many times before, and she was tired of fighting it.

"No."

"Then I'll see you in court," she replied, nostrils flaring. 

"Bring Violet," he suggested sarcastically, with a humourless laugh. "It'll be the first time I've seen her in months." 

With that, Julian threw a fistful of Floo powder into the fireplace and ended the connection. Taking a moment to collect himself, he finally threw in another handful and recited Nicole's address into the flames.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:03 pm

Michelle and Nicole were sitting on the living room couch, watching one of the eleven-year-old's favorite movies. The film, Men In Black II, was a good forty-some years old and had been a bit of a family favorite ever since Nicole could remember. Even though the film had just ended and the credits started rolling, Shelly didn't make a move to turn it off. This was because she absolutely loved the song at the end.

Nicole merely smirked, doing her best not to laugh, as Shelly danced in place to the music. Although she was busily cleaning one of her firearms the witch still saw the antics from the corner of her eye. For several moments her attention wasn't really on the pistol but rather the little girl not more than four feet away from her.

When the flames from the nearby fireplace gave the typical roar of a floo-call, Nicole lifted her head curiously and focused on the grate. She was expecting Julian to call but didn't know precisely when. Between expecting him and in the middle of cleaning her trademark weapon, Julian was greeted with a smile instead of the business end of a pistol. Nicole then turned to Shelly. "Shell, turn that down, please," she said, pointing to the television with the mostly cleaned pistol. "And don't touch this," she added, setting down the gun.

"Okay, Nikki," Shelly replied, automatically turning down the volume and scooting a little further away from the gun.

Nicole rose from the couch and took the half dozen or so steps to the fireplace. She was wearing a muted olive green sleeveless button-down shirt tucked into navy blue jeans. On her feet were simple black socks, having abandoned the not-yet-donned Doc Marten boots in favor of approaching the fireplace. "Hey, Julian," she said as she made to sit cross-legged in front of the fire. "How are you?" Nicole asked, light but sincere.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:17 pm

It was pretty impressive how quickly the sight of Nicole doing something as typical (of her) as cleaning her gun could put a smile back on Julian's face. It was just so unexpected, and yet par for the course for her, it was impossible to have any other reaction, although he was pleased that she set it down to approach the fireplace.

"I have to admit, I've been better, but seeing you again has improved things significantly," Julian told Nicole with a smirk. "Are you ready to go out? I just got out of work so I was thinking of ordering some food at the pub before the match starts. I was just gonna head over to the Leaky Cauldron since it's right down the street from me. Have you had dinner yet?" He supposed getting dinner together might make it seem more officially date-like, but he was genuinely starving by this point in the day and wasn't terrible concerned with whether or not it was a date at the moment. It could go either way, really, and he didn't mind as long as the way it went led to food somewhere along the way.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:54 pm

Nicole nodded, turning serious for a moment, and then smiled a little at the smirk. She glanced down at her stocking feet when he asked if she was ready to go out. Well... almost a yes. "I'll need to get some shoes on. But yeah, other then that, I'm ready," she answered. In all honesty she was a little nervous about the planned evening out. One would think unplanned happenstances would be the cause, but it was the exact opposite.

Blonde hair bobbed as Nicole nodded once again when Julian stated his plans. "No, I haven't yet," she replied honestly. Although she had asked Lorelei to come watch Shelly, Nicole couldn't help but belatedly muse as to whether this was supposed to be an outing in which Shelly could get in on... or if this was to be more along the lines of a date.

Shelly turned toward the direction of the front door, stood up, and took off running. However, she stopped long enough at the fireplace to cheer out a quick "Hi Mr. Julian! - Bye Mr. Julian!" before zooming off in deliberately mismatched blue and red socks. Nicole had a feeling that was Lorelei's arrival, right on time.

Nicole scooted a little ways toward her boots and grabbed them, slipping her foot into one and quickly tying up the laces. "Do we want to go over together or should I meet you there?" she asked, pulling the other boot on next.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:30 am

Although he'd been prepared to eat alone if necessary, Julian was pleased Nicole had agreed to join him. Perhaps she was a bit more interested in him than he'd given himself credit for, but mostly he just wasn't used to honest-to-goodness dating someone anymore. Going out, meeting a woman at the pub, one thing leads to another...sure, that was easy enough to figure out, but thinking things over in the clear, sober light of day and admitting you had feelings? Quite another. Although he would hardly be making any dramatic confessions of love any time soon.

"Good! Oh, hey Shelly!..." He had to chuckle at the child's speedy departure, in a blur of vibrantly coloured socks. "I was just going to walk over, but if you prefer for me to come get you, I can do just that," Julian told Nicole, not really fussed about how things were done as long as he got to see her again.

He wondered if tonight would be an appropriate time to ask her how she managed with Shelly...after all, it was seeming to turn more into a proper date than he'd expected, and perhaps heavier subjects should wait til later. Julian didn't want Nicole to think that was the only reason he'd asked her out. Watching her lace up her boots the Muggle way, he had to smile to himself. That was definitely not the only reason he'd done it; in fact, it hadn't occurred to him until later. Still, he didn't want to give her the wrong impression at a time when impressions were so very important.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:04 pm

The corners of Nicole's mouth twitched both at Shelly's hasty greeting and at Julian's offer to come get her. "Sure, if it's not that much of a hassle. It's pretty rural here and Shelly's sitter is a witch so nothing to worry about there," she answered, not sure if he would just come through the floo or apparate instead. She hadn't anticipated Julian to suggest he come and get her, expecting to have to use the floo to get to and fro since apparition was out of the question. This would also make the evening appear more date-like. The idea alone made her a little nervous: Nicole had not been out on a proper date since she had moved here from America some seven years ago. More like eleven, if one counted the events of her old life...

Nicole turned her head as the front door closed, listening intently. "That's Lorelei now..." she murmured, standing. "You can come over whenever you're ready. I'll only need a couple more minutes and then we can go," she added, wrapping her weapon in the cloth she'd been cleaning it with. It was then promptly tucked into a booksafe and replaced on a nearby shelf. It wasn't the only weapon within Nicole's reach by a long shot, but it was the only one out in plain sight. Lorelei had fits whenever Nicole left weapons out and about.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:20 pm

"Alright then, hang on a second. I'm coming through so stand back....or don't," Julian said with a wink, disappearing for a moment. The flames roared and turned a brighter green before he reappeared fully on the flames, spinning into place. He stepped out of the fireplace and brushed the soot from his robes, attempting to aim for the mat apparently placed for that purpose.

"Nice place," he said with a smile, taking a look about. Julian took a hesitant step towards Nicole and hugged her, slightly longer than he had the first time, and then stepped back, giving her space. "Where are we, anyway? Not in London, it seems like," he noted, glancing out of a window. It suddenly hit him that he was standing in the middle of Nicole's living room. He hadn't been at a woman's house in longer than he could remember.

Feeling a bit nervous, he shifted his weight to his other foot and bit his lip and he took in the bookshelf and television and fireplace -- a happy blend of magical and Muggle. It made him feel a bit more comfortable as he glanced back at Nicole, clad in a simple shirt that showed off her toned arms. Yet another thing he found appealing -- here was a woman who could definitely keep up with him, physically. He briefly considered asking her about her workout regimen before realising that was probably a little too personal.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:33 pm

Nicole smirked at Julian's remark and wink, deciding to give him the space required to come through the floo. Singed robes were never fun. The woman plucked at her shirt a little nervously as Julian dusted himself off. She glanced around to make sure there were no stray articles of clothing or other potential embarrassing items. Thankfully there were none, though Shelly had left a blanket draped over the nearby staircase railing.

"Thanks..." she replied with a smile and a light blush. It wasn't that often she had company over, with the exception of Lorelei. She had a few acquaintances that she played cards with on occasion, a couple of them men but mostly women, and very rarely did she volunteer to host.

This time Nicole was able to predict the imminent hug and responded appropriately and without any hesitation. It was good to see him again, even if they had only last met up yesterday afternoon. A smirk and a chuckle escaped the witch at his question. "Nope, not London," Nicole admitted. "Welcome to being smack dab in the center between the magical and muggle worlds on the border of West Sussex," she added, smiling.

"Upstairs isn't too interesting. Just bedrooms, workout and game room, an office, and a miniature balcony garden," Nicole explained, gesturing to the stairs just a few feet from the couch. She walked toward the corridor, inviting Julian to follow. A second gesture was used to point out the intentional, square-shaped indent in the wall ahead, "Mini-bar alcove..."

Nicole had just turned left and jumped, startled by what she considered Lorelei's sudden appearance. The two had nearly collided. A stream of German and Italian swearwords left the blonde witch's mouth before she even realized she said them.

Lorelei - a young witch in her early twenties with curly black hair streaked neon blue and green - jumped as well. "Oh, Nikki! I'm sorry, hun, didn't mean to give you a fright," she said in a calming voice, dodging just in case the other had decided to throw a punch. "And you have company, too! Hello, Mr. ...?" Lori murmured in addition, giving Nicole a brief side glance.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:03 pm

"West Sussex," Julian mused, nodding. "It's pretty. Fitting," he told Nicole with a wink. If ever there was an appropriate time to flirt with the witch, he supposed tonight was it, although he certainly hoped there would be additional occasions.

He followed her gesture, spotting the bar just as Nicole mentioned it. "Ah, is this where the magic happens?" he asked, remembering her earlier remarks about her drink-making prowess, but then there was a commotion at the door as a woman that Julian assumed to be Shelly's aforementioned babysitter made her entrance.

He started at Lorelei's unexpected appearance, but not nearly as bad as Nicole did, which itself was a surprise to no one, probably. The witch could always be counted on for having lightning-quick reflexes, but the stream of profanities was new and interesting. Julian laughed, impressed with her German -- the pronunciation was actually very good.

"Well now you're speaking my language," he deadpanned before turning towards the young witch. "You must be Lorelei, right? Last name's Kaiser, but you could just call me Julian instead. I'm not that old, yet," he joked.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:46 pm

"Yep. One of the places, anyway," Nicole answered slyly, adding a wink for good measure. She had yet to tell him about her passing hobby with alcohol and chocolate which took place in the kitchen or the wine cellar in the basement.

"It's alright, Lori. You know me when it comes to that sort of thing..." muttered Nicole in response to the younger woman's apologies. A pink flush tinged Nicole's features at Julian's deadpan remark. "Sorry. It just slipped," she murmured, looking down at their feet to make sure she hadn't stomped on the wizard's toes in her swift backing-up.

Lorelei nodded, her curls bouncing like the springs they resembled. "Yep. Lorelei Maitland, though people just call me Lori. Pleasure to meet you, Julian," the witch replied, extending her hand for Julian to shake. Nicole stayed silent for the moment since the pair were making introductions on their own.

"Mr. Julian!" cheered Shelly as she caught the sound of the wizard's voice. She wasn't yet visible, but seconds later she bounded into the hallway from Julian's right.

"I appreciate you coming over to watch Shelly while Julian and I go out, Lori," Nicole said simply. "There's food in the fridge and money on the kitchen counter - wizard money in the jackal box and muggle money in the envelope beneath it... No changes in the schedule since last time. Although, if she wants chocolate make sure she sticks to the circle ones. Think you can handle her?" The last question was asked of the sitter in a playful tone.

"Oh, I'm sure she'll be the delightful angel that she is!" Lorelei laughed good naturedly.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:14 am

The easy relationship between the two witches made Julian feel slightly less guilty for stealing Nicole away, creating the need for a sitter. Then again, just because she was playing the role of mother to Shelly now, didn't mean she didn't deserve a night off every now and then, either. If she chose to spend that time with him, then he was just that much luckier.

"Just give Shelly lots of sugar and she'll be fine. I'm sure she'll be a delightful angel, all hopped up on sugar while you're trying to put her to bed," Julian joked, ruffling the girl's hair affectionately.

"Anyways, you two have a good night -- the match'll be on soon so we need to get going. And I have some questions for you," he added, turning to Nicole, "regarding your command of German. I was under the impression that you only knew a little bit, but your accent is remarkably good and I have to say, you swear in fluent German -- trust me, I'm an expert. Were you ever stationed in Germany, perhaps?" he asked, gently taking her elbow and heading back towards the fireplace. There were several U.S. military bases stationed around Germany, he knew, and it would certainly explain why Nicole would protest her lack of familiarity with the language while at the same time achieving such proficiency in the more colourful areas of the language.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:08 am

The three witches - Lorelei, Nicole, and Shelly - all laughed at Julian's statement. Each of them knew well the power of sweets on a child, particularly once it got close to bedtime. Shelly leaned into the hair ruffle and chirped, "I'll be good!" However, a degree of mischief sparkled beyond those allegedly innocent blue eyes. Before the pair left Shelly approached the approximate middle between the two and wrapped an arm around each in a hug. "Have fun an' see you in the mornin' Nikki!" she cheered, not realizing Lori had said the first two words in unison with her.

"Have a good night," Nicole echoed, adding a look to Shelly that clearly but not too sternly commanded her to behave. She blinked when Julian said he had questions for her, wondering what they could be until her silent query was answered moments later. "Erm... thank you," Nicole blushed, considering his remark about her proficiency in albeit colorful German a compliment. She jerked slightly when Julian took her by the elbow despite the touch being gentle, reminded of a similar touch in a not-so-gentle time. Upon realizing her reflexes once again got the better of her Nicole relaxed, allowing him to lead her to the fireplace without any fuss. To non-verbally apologize for her being jumpy Nicole even leaned a little into the contact.

Briefly turning her head to look back at Lori, Nicole smirked a little when the younger woman mouthed 'He's cute!' when she believed Julian was too preoccupied with his date to notice.

"Yes, I was... I had been briefly stationed in Heidelberg and Vilseck," Nicole answered. She reached for what looked like a figurine of a tank on the mantle of the fireplace. Without explanation she pulled up on the top-mounted cannon to demonstrate that it was not a figurine but rather a small decorated ceramic box. Setting the top aside, she held the bottom half of the 'tank' between her and Julian to reveal its purpose: to supply an ample amount of floo powder.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:46 pm

Julian had a moment of panic when Nicole noticeably tensed at his touch, and was about to start apologising profusely when she leaned in towards him slightly. Right...she gets jumpy, he reminded himself rather pointlessly, just trying to figure out how to strike a good balance between showing interest and giving Nicole the personal space she required. It did help that she seemed to be trying to go along with it, at least, and so he smiled at her and didn't mention the awkward moment. They would happen as they got to know each other better, that was normal. Perhaps it'd been a little too long since he last dated...clearly, he'd gotten a bit rusty on some of the particulars.

As he was mentally reminding himself of personal space etiquette, Nicole had reached over onto her mantel and retrieved what he'd assumed was a figurine but instead was much more clever. "That is absolutely genius on so many levels, Nikki," he marvelled, shaking his head. "Did you hollow out that space inside or was it always like that? Either way, hiding Floo powder in that....I can't decide if it's brilliant or hilariously ironic. I think a fair amount of both. No one, magical or Muggle, would ever think to look inside that thing."

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:33 pm

"Thanks," Nicole chuckled and turned slightly to face Julian. Her smile widened slightly at his questions about the trinket's origin. "I'm good but I'm not quite that good. Despite being a figurine this had been one of my favorite toys as a child. Even after I grew up I couldn't part with it," she began to explain. The witch hoped she didn't sound silly. It was odd yet nice thus far explaining something from her past, despite having withheld the fact it was her father who had given her the figurine.

"When I found a place of my own I decided I couldn't just put any container full of floo powder up there, especially with muggle friends over. So, I drew up the idea and paid a friend to do it for me. In the event my muggle friends ever found it my 'cover' was that they were my father's ashes," Nicole concluded.

"Ready to go?" she asked, pouring a bit of powder into her hand from one corner of the trinket box as opposed reaching in. Nicole hated getting sand and the like under her fingernails.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:39 pm

"Eugh, that would certainly keep them from dipping a finger in there, certainly," Julian agreed, wrinkling his nose at the thought but still impressed with Nicole's ingenuity. If only he could come up with a similarly resourceful way to "recycle" his old stuffed bear from his childhood, nicknamed Mr. Tilly after his favourite childhood action hero, Til Schweiger. Not that he'd ever mention that little bit of trivia to Nicole.

"I'm ready when you are," he told her, waiting for the flames to turn green before grasping her hand securely and stepping in. "The Leaky Cauldron!" he said clearly, and they began their trip through the Floo Network, spinning and catching glimpses of other fireplaces along the way.

Julian brushed off his robes, a gesture of habit even though he'd managed to stay clean this trip, as he stepped out of Nicole's way. "And, we're here!" he said with a happy smile, turning towards her. "Where d'ya want to sit?"

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:28 pm

Nicole returned the secure grasp and just before entering the floo replaced the bottom half of the tank-shaped box on the mantle. She couldn't recall ever traveling with someone together through the Floo Network in this fashion, even her late husband. The witch had to admit: it was fun and not in the least as crowded as it had appeared.

Whereas Julian escaped the grate mostly clean, Nicole wasn't quite that lucky. She was mostly clean, but had inevitably gotten a little soot on her shoulders and back, and a bit on her jeans. Despite the soot she smiled at Julian's announcement, taking a moment to brush off what soot she could see. Then she glanced around the pub. Her gaze quickly went from one of merely looking to almost tactical calculation.

When she found what seemed to be the best available spot for viewing the quidditch match, Nicole turned to Julian as though the serious expression hadn't crossed her face at all. "This way," she chuckled playfully before linking her arm loosely with his and took the lead. Nicole gave a couple of people a push as they meandered through the full but not overwhelmingly packed pub. When one of said people - a wizard that seemed barely old enough to be there - complained about the nudge Nicole ignored it and continued on. She doubted Julian would be impressed by her range of hand gestures in addition to having heard her fluency of profanities not long ago.

"How's this?" she asked Julian, stopping to gesture at an empty booth. "Or there's the bar? I saw a couple of stools open."

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:39 pm

Julian smirked to himself at the way Nicole shoved her way through the crowd -- pushy, for such a tiny little thing. Not that he'd ever want to get caught even thinking it, as he knew size was no guarantee of strength, and that she probably would not take kindly to being referred to as a tiny little anything.

Watching her deliberate on their choice of seats was also pretty amusing, since she approached the task as she did many things, he was sure -- with military precision and attention to detail. As he was pleased with her selection of a booth, he quickly told her as much.

"No no, this is perfect. Roomy, and a bit more private. We haven't really gotten to have a real conversation yet so, you know...I'd like to hear what you have to say. I assume the feeling is mutual but then I could be wrong...you could just be using me for my body," he told her, laughing at his own lame joke.

"In all honesty, the further we sit from the bar, the better. I think I remember that bartender," Julian explained with a wince, taking a seat and sliding over to make room for Nicole, so she could see the television.




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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:02 am

Nicole gave a wide half-smile at Julian's assurances that the booth was fine. She had to nod in agreement with him: they hadn't yet had much of a moment to themselves until now. And she was interested in what he had to say. At his joke Nicole snickered and gave him a sideways glance that was deliberately comical and could be captioned a million different ways. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say.

"It's mutual," the witch confirmed lightly. As soon as Nicole said it however she gave Julian a brief look-over from head to toe. "Though it could be a mix of both," she flirted playfully. Now that Shelly wasn't within earshot Nicole felt she could 'let her hair down' a little so to speak.

The corners of Nicole's mouth jerked a little in amusement, tilting her head as Julian took his seat. "Not the best of buddies with that one, I take it?" she teased, glancing at the bartender in question. Before the wizard could identify that it was her and ask if she was here on duty Nicole took her seat and scooted in a little so as not to be on the edge where one was easily a target to get bumped into.

"Which teams are playing tonight?" Nicole asked curiously despite being able to see the screen clearly from there. Her focus of attention was not on the television, but Julian.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:58 pm

Julian was pleasantly surprised by how Nicole went along with the joke -- apparently it wasn't quite as lame as he'd thought. The face she pulled made him laugh as he moved in further to make sure Nicole had enough room. She was very near him now and this time he noticed her scent, a clean smell that was probably some kind of soap, mingled with the woody aroma from the fire.

"Nah, I s'pose not," he murmured in response to her first question. "I, erm....may have gotten into a bit of a scrap with a few fellows some nights ago..." Julian bit his lip, somehow managing to look mischievous and make puppy eyes at the same time.

"They started it, I swear....sure hope they don't turn up for the match, though." Without Bastian there to back him up, Julian was sure he wouldn't come off as easy as he did the first time.

"It's the Dresden Dragons versus the Holyhead Harpies, by the way," he added, realising she'd asked. "I normally just catch matches as work allows, but for this I made an exception and planned for it. Gotta support my hometown boys and girls," Julian shrugged.

"I assume you'll probably be cheering on the Harpies tonight, despite their...what was it? Lack of 'rough play'?" he teased, having not forgotten Shelly's innocent but illuminating remark from the other day.



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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:44 pm

Although as a bouncer for various establishments such as The Leaky Cauldron, Nicole couldn't hold back the amused smile that split her face and showed off the top row of straight white teeth. The look Julian set her with was adorable - a mix of puppy eyes and blatant mischief-maker, expressions she knew well via Shelly but had always been one or the other. 'How does he do that?' she wondered. "I'm sure they did," the witch chuckled with amusement.

Nicole also seriously debated whether to ask him if everything had been alright or if he had needed to go to the hospital. However he seemed fine now, and assumed on that basis he had won. She shrugged at the possibility of the wizards he'd fought with returning to watch the match. "Hopefully not," she murmured, glancing around the crowd. The thing with magic is that anyone injured a few nights ago would be good as new by now, so it wouldn't do to look for someone in bandages. "If they try to start trouble though they might just get another surprise," she added with a smirk. The woman doubted she needed to explain herself any further, and punctuated her statement with a wink.

The Dragons versus the Harpies... Nicole wondered if Shelly was watching the match with Lori right about now. "True," she laughed, setting thoughts of the little girl and her sitter aside. "I've been out of the American Quidditch loop so long I've forgotten the name of New York's team," she admitted with a shrug.

Nicole set Julian with a mock glare at his teasing, adding a light push to his shoulder. "I am," she returned lightly, "Unless I find the Dragons to have more spunk. Then I might just have to change sides this time." At least with sports, she mused, one could change sides without any serious repercussions in most cases. In the military however... that was a completely different story. "Unless you're proposing a friendly wager of some sort?"

Hearing footsteps nearby, Nicole turned her head slightly to listen. "Anything I can get for you two tonight?" asked a waiter, parchment and quick-quotes-quill at the ready.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:01 pm

Julian had to laugh at the mental image of Nicole roughing up the trio of wizards he'd fought with, forcing them to stare down the business end of one of her many guns. They definitely would not be expecting that, although it was probably best not to brandish Muggle weapons about, especially in times like these. After the assault on the Russian Minister at the conference, and Minister Lightle and Vinzent so soon afterwards, both with Muggle firearms...well, Julian thought it would not end well. Sooner or later the magical world was going to catch on and start cracking down on the possession of such weapons, and he'd rather not be the reason Nicole was questioned. Witches and wizards carrying and operating firearms was a rarity, he could only assume she'd be treated as a person of interest,

"I'd rather not get kicked out for threatening people with deadly weapons, so yeah, I sure hope not...though it would be a pretty funny story to tell. It would make a nice pair along with the story of how we met," Julian chuckled, shaking his head.

"I think you'll find that the Dragons have quite a lot of spunk, actually...a friendly wager sounds very intriguing." At the approach of the waiter, Julian paused his thought and glanced down at the menu briefly. "I'll have a steak and kidney pie and...erm, a pint of whatever pale ale you've got on tap," he said, closing his menu and handing it to the waiter.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:32 pm

Nicole chuckled and nodded, remembering the day she had met Julian rather well. It hadn't been that long ago either despite what it seemed. The witch actually surprised herself with how quickly they had gone from acquaintances (albeit with Julian just outside of her pistol's crosshairs) to a first date. She was about to add that their stories might eventually become as famous as his marmot one, but refrained for the time being.

A blonde eyebrow raised with intrigue at Julian's answer. She had opened her mouth to comment but was cut short by the waiter. She glanced at her own menu for a brief moment. Steak and kidney pie did sound good. Quite frankly so did the shepherd's pie, and several other items. "I think I'll have the same to drink... and shepherd's pie, please," Nicole said. She folded up her menu and also handed it to the waiter.

"I'll be back with your drinks momentarily." After taking their menus the waiter left.

Nicole watched and waited until the man was well out of earshot. "So... where were we?" she asked lightly, turning her gaze once again to Julian.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:41 am

"Well, I believe we were discussing friendly wagers," Julian returned with a smirk. That mischievous gleam was in his eyes again as he looked down at Nicole. Turning slightly to view the television, which was playing the pre game festivities, he seemed to get an idea. As he watched, they started showing a "kiss cam" type of game where audience members were singled out by a camera and then made to kiss -- quite silly, actually. Julian laughed and turned back to Nicole, winking.

"Hmm!" he said humorously, "and I think I know what my prize to be if I win! Now all we need is a wager..." He scratched his chin for a moment, thinking.

"Alright! You seem to doubt whether or not the Dragons are "tough" enough for you. I think they are. So rather than placing a bet on the outcome of the game...I think I should get a kiss, every time the Dragons knock a Harpy off their broom, or knock them out of the game with a bludger." Julian seriously doubted Nicole would actually agree to these terms, given that these types of things occurred nearly constantly, but the idea in itself was so amusing that he couldn't resist seeing her face at just the thought of it. Besides, she genuinely did not seem to be familiar with the Dragons' notoriously aggressive offensive style.

"So that's my wager, and my prize. What's yours?" There was no mistaking the challenge evident in his voice as he looked at her with a flirty grin.


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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:39 pm

Nicole tried to hold back a smile at Julian's response, but was failing rather miserably at it. Her eyes narrowed playfully at the mischief she found in his, and glanced at the television. She was still thinking over her possible wager, having suggested the thing on a spur of the moment when Julian had asked which team she'd be supporting. The pre-game activities seemed to include catching couples on camera and having them kiss on-screen. Kinda silly in her opinion, but perhaps also a little romantic depending on the viewpoint of the individual. Her eyes once again slid to the wizard, eyebrow raised as he declared a possible idea. She wondered what he had come up with.

A silent laugh left the witch as Julian explained the basis for his wager - the Dragons not being tough enough - and nodded. Truth be told she'd not yet seen a game featuring the Dresden Dragons before, and she had quite a bit of faith in the Harpies due to watching various matches with Shelly. They weren't the Falcons, but they were alright. Not betting on the outcome seemed a novelty. If not the outcome... then what?

Emerald eyes widened and blinked, clearly caught off-guard by the declared prize. The action of tucking a stray lock of hair she hadn't managed to capture in her ponytail's tie, along with several other actions (save the crucial ones, like breathing) came to a complete halt. After a moment Nicole supposed she shouldn't have been so surprised - such things happened constantly. There was nothing wrong with it, a kiss being simply a kiss, but the witch hadn't been expecting it... much like when he'd asked for her 'number' on the last outing they'd shared. In no time Nicole's smirk was back. It had even brought a friend: a light pink tinge across the top of her cheeks.

The challenge in his voice combined with the flirty grin caused Nicole to laugh and return a grin of similar proportions. The witch liked challenges, and had a hard time backing down from even the unreasonable ones. But this one seemed reasonable enough to her. "You're on," she replied, stretching a little to give him a peck on the cheek even though the game hadn't started yet.

"Let's see now..." Nicole murmured, reaching to scratch behind her head in thought. "I think I'll go with the same motif: If one of the Harpies knock a Dragon off their broom, or cause the player to be removed from the game..." she began, trying to think of something. Ordering a pint of Ogden's and using that - though she'd drink shot for shot with him on it - didn't seem like the best thing to do on a first official date, especially with the wager being made. Cigarettes didn't quite fit the occasion either since it was indirectly monetarial and she wasn't even sure if he smoked or much liked women that did. Plus she had quite a bit yet, being the occasional smoker instead of a habitual one. Answering questions about themselves would no doubt be the main course of conversation so that was out too.

"I hate to be a copycat but I'm going to go with it. If one of the Harpies knock a Dragon off their broom or remove them from the game, you give me a kiss," she answered flirtatiously. "But!" At this, Nicole gave Julian a playful poke in the shoulder. "I think for every five times it happens we should automatically plan another evening out... assuming this one goes well and you want to. How's that?" Nicole concluded, her own flirty grin splashed with a blend of mischief and mystery.

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PostSubject: Re: Wrong Number   Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:03 am

It was Julian's turn to blush. He hadn't expected the idea to go quite that well, although no word of protest escaped his lips, nor would it ever. It seemed that Nicole had a bit of the same competitive streak that he did. If that was truly the case, then they were in trouble; the last time Julian had a friend like that, it had ended in some truly spectacular displays of one-upmanship. That last time, it had only ended when Julian's friend Klaus fell off of a roof and broke his arms and several ribs. He dearly hoped that wouldn't be the case this time.

Julian touched the spot Nicole had kissed absent-mindedly while she pondered her own wager, lost in thought. It was almost alarming how much he really did like Nicole...she kept him on his toes, that was for sure, and time seemed to go by quicker when she was around. And, apparently, she had no qualms about kissing him, which he definitely did not mind. So when she declared that she'd go with the same bet, Julian was far from disappointed. Instead, he grinned even wider and took the opportunity to accept her wager the same way that she'd accepted his.

Leaning over very slowly, so not as to startle her or engage her cat-like reflexes, Julian carefully placed a soft kiss on Nicole's cheek, lingering briefly. "I accept," he told her, arching a brow at the additional conditions. Honestly, the entire bet was a win/win/win as far as he was concerned -- the best kind of wager.

"To all of it," he clarified, biting his lip in a halfhearted attempt to hold back a smile. It almost seemed unfair, honestly, except that Nicole seemed just as happy to go along with it as he was. "We're going to need to keep count, then," he realised, retrieving a small leather-bound notebook from his robes and opening to an empty page. It took him a moment longer to scrounge around for a ballpoint pen, but he found it eventually.

"After all, I see no reason why this wouldn't go well, and I do want to see you again. Unless you're a sore loser, and don't want to see me again after the Dragons wipe the ground with the Harpies," he teased, smirking widely again.


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