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 The Seven Year Itch

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Columba Mars

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PostSubject: The Seven Year Itch   Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:31 pm

Noah Casillas was in England only for a few days before he had bumped into an old schoolmate of his, Melania Harper. She was five years his senior and he had, once upon a time, a great and terrible crush on her. It wouldn't have been so bad really if he hadn't acted on it, but as it was, he had proceeded to do several acts of rather embarrassing romantic gestures to get her attention. Get it he did. He was heartbroken when every thing seemed to fail and earn him a rejection, but he never gave up. He was so stupid back then. He wanted to apologise properly for everything he had done. All the singing, the love letters, the sweets, he really had been bordering on harassment. He was actually surprised that she had entertained his invitation for a drink. But she did and he was relieved. 

Relieved and surprised. Never in a million years did he ever phantom that he would have the opportunity to drink with Melania Harper, his childhood dream girl. Lainey had been the first girl he fell for. And so far, the only one he went crazy for. He learned that acting like a love sick puppy was no way to a girl's heart. He was young then. He really didn't know what he was doing. He no longer liked her, he was sure of it, but a small spark of curiosity started to flame in his chest. He was older now, and wiser. Would she still see him as a little boy? He hoped not. He was getting more nervous the more he thought about it. He really shouldn't be, he told himself. He was over her. Riiight?

 He sat quietly in the bar, sipping a pint of the house brew.

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:45 pm

This was probably a huge mistake. In fact, Melania Harper was sure of it, as she walked into the litle pub where she'd agreed to meet up with Noah Casillas, her old teammate. As usual, morbid curiosity had won out in the end when they'd bumped into each other -- it had been, what? six, nearly seven years since they'd last seen each other? She thought the last time she'd seen him was her graduation from Hogwarts, which would make it six, she supposed, and back then he'd been absolutely love-stricken by her, who had most emphatically not returned his affection.

Perhaps that was why she'd accepted his invitation -- now that they were both comfortably well within adult age, she could apologise, in a way, for how she'd treated him then. She hadn't been quite contemptuous of him, but she could have been nicer about it. Truth was that the way he so openly declared his undying love for her absolutely scared Melania senseless, who was very unused to people acting that way outside of fiction. She had never meant to break his heart by appearing to be heartless herself.

Spotting him sitting at the bar, she hesitantly made her way towards him, tapping him lightly on the shoulder to announce her presence.

"Hey, Caz," she said with a friendly but reserved smile, nonetheless reaching for the old nickname they'd used way back when, on the team. She was no longer going by her old nickname, herself -- professionally, she mostly just relied on her last name -- but she figured it was as good a way as any to break the ice a little bit more.

"What're you having?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:47 pm

Before Noah could completely psych himself out from the thought he might do something stupid, he felt a tap from his shoulder. He turned to see Lainey before him. A big smile immediately graced his features. The smile grew bigger still when she had used his old nickname. He always liked that name. 

"Captain Harper," he saluted playfully. She looked positively radiant. She hadn't changed a bit. "You look exactly as I remember, more beautiful even." It wasn't really a line. He just knew from experience that conversations turned out better with compliments in place. Besides, it was the truth anyway. 

He scratched his head as he looked at the pint of beer in front of him. "Just the house brew, nothing special." Blue eyes looked at her. "But first round's on me. This is my formal apology to my general assholery during our school days."

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:18 pm

Melania could only laugh at the compliment -- so much for being changed, she thought, although there was a different between the way he was addressing her now and his content whining from year ago.

"And you look much less like someone who'll get me sent to Azkaban," she returned, taking the empty stool beside him with a smirk. "I'll have what you're having, then. A pitcher of it, if you're trying to make up for old times -- or a barrel full, if you want to cut to the chase."

It was a joke -- mostly. He really and truly had been a huge pain in the arse during her final year at Hogwarts. Between Cole and her stupid bet, and Caz and his relentless crush, her best players were the ones with the most messy personal lives -- personal lives which seemed to extend to Melania no matter how hard she tried to keep the two separate. And here those worlds were, colliding again.

At least he'd given up the whining, anyway. She'd never admit that he was looking fit now, though -- it reminded her too much of how he'd used to beg her almost daily to wait for him to be of age. Ironically, he might have had a fighting chance if he hadn't constantly put the thought in her head of how creepy it would be to wait for him to be of age. He was hardly "barely legal," at this point, but the damage was done.

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:16 pm

"It would take a barrel, wouldn't it?" He laughed turning slightly pink. Noah glanced at the bartender who scurried over to them. "Can we get a barrel of your house brew?"

The bartender looked at him as if he had grown a third head. Noah looked back perfectly serious. "O'right then," he muttered before scurrying away.

A shadow of a smile was still in place when he turned back to Melania. A second later the shadow was gone and in it's place was an expression that was grave. "I have thought about this moment for awhile. I thought about what I would say to you. So, before we enjoy our barrel of oblivion," he smiled then but dropped it. "I just wanted to tell you, I am eternally sorry for what I'd put you through." He put a hand over his forehead in a display of shame. "I am so embarrassed, I can't even tell you." His tone lightened. "I am really tempted to say that one of my mates kept me on a Love Potion for the entire time, but no," He chuckled. "Unfortunately it was all me. I am sorry."

It was then, when the bartender pulled out the barrel and set it before them. He charmed a faucet on to the barrel and provided an empty glass for Melania.

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:51 am

Melania really didn't know what to say in response to Caz' little speech. He was as earnest as ever, although she was quite grateful that he wasn't returning to his old habits. Exactly the opposite, really, which was a relief, but still. The situation was awkward enough, and she briefly regretted her joke about the barrel -- until it actually came, much to the amazement of the patrons sitting near enough to have witnessed the whole scene unfold.

"Caz!" she laughed in surprise, her eyes wide as she accepted her glass, for lack of any other idea what to do. "We couldn't possibly drink this all in one night -- we'd both be dead somewhere in the middle of it!"

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:59 pm

With the serious stuff all out of the way, Noah reverted to his more natural demeanour of fun-loving, light-heartedness. He was a little disappointed that Melania seemed to brush his apology away, though he attributed that to the rather large barrel he just bought. "Yes, but that won't stop us from trying, wouldn't it?" Noah said mischievously. "I haven't been in England for ages. I miss the beer here terribly." He didn't give any outward sign that his heart had skipped a beat when Melania had laughed.

He drank the rest of his glass and filled it with more from the barrel. "You," he pointed at Melania with his glass. "Have to tell me what it is like playing for the  Puddlemere United."

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:10 pm

"I suppose not," Melania laughed, filling her glass expertly. "End victoriously or die trying, wasn't that always our motto? Merlin, I was so high-strung in those days!" she admitted with a sheepish grin.

"I could have probably used some of that Spanish wine of yours. Too late now though -- I do admit I'd miss the beer if I left too, though. Wouldn't mind playing for Spain or...just somewhere else, honestly. Travelling could be nice. Puddlemere was great, though. Great place to start, get my feet wet." She smiled, reminiscing about her earlier days, fresh out of Hogwarts. True to her words, she had been rather high-strung, a perfectionist if ever there was one. After an injury in her second season due to her exorbitantly high stress levels, she'd learned to manage the pressure in a healthier way and had mellowed out.

"I do miss it, but the Harpies...well I mean come on. They have a formidable reputation for a reason, and I pretty much have to pinch myself every morning when I wake up to make sure I'm not dreaming." With this, Melania beamed, both proud of herself for having made it, and genuinely happy to play with such talented witches.

"What about you, though? What's Spain like?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:06 pm

"Hey don't even get me started on those days." Noah said chuckling. "High strung beats whatever the hell I was. - I'm sorry by the way, I'd just like to mention that." This was a more light-hearted apology. He really was sorry though. He wished someone had punched some sense into him back then. What was he thinking honestly? He probably wasn't. She had been his first real crush and he had always been enthralled at his parents' love story. Particularly the animated way his father had told him.

"I did hear about your transfer, congratulations." Noah raised his glass up to her and drank. "Harper one of the Harpies - it was only a matter of time really. Unfortunately, I can never be good enough to be recruited by the Harpies." He joked, dramatically embellishing his misery with a woeful sigh.

Noah wondered briefly how to answer her question. Spain was the same as usual really. "The weather is better, the food is better, the people are friendlier and yet, I still miss merry old England." Noah said with a shrug. "I've been trying to work out a transfer actually, but apparently I have to wait until after the World Cup."

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:29 pm

This time, Melania smiled receptively at Noah's more toned down apology, feeling herself relaxing more as she became accustomed to his presence.

"It's fine, really -- years ago, now. I don't hate you Caz, you know I never have. We all do stupid things for love." Melania was uncomfortably aware that although the knew her words to be true, she'd never experienced it firsthand herself. Her older sister's horrible experience with her first engagement made Melania very distrustful of the vast majority of romantic gestures, and other than a handful of dates, no one had really caught her eye.

Caz was, at least, amongst the more intriguing dates she'd had in recent memory -- if, in fact, this was to be counted as such. Truthfully it didn't matter, though. She was in no more danger of feeling any symptom of love than she'd ever been in his presence, simply enjoying the novelty of catching up with an old schoolfriend. And not only that, but one who could appreciate her very quidditch-oriented frame of life, as well.

"Don't be absurd! Unless you got worse since I graduated, you must be absolutely incredible, now! I'm sorry to say I don't follow Spanish teams specifically -- you know how it is, haven't got the time during the season -- but Spain always puts together a formidable side for the Cup. I'm sure in a few months I'll be hearing all about the up-and-coming, British-born Casillas when the time draws nearer," she smirked, enjoying a long sip from her glass.

"You know they always love capitalising on local talent. Even without me saying anything, I'm sure you'd get noticed by the right people, but if you wanted, I could put in a good word?..." she offered with a shrug, not sure how serious Noah was. He'd always been a very sincere sort but it had been years, and maybe he was just trying to be polite.

"I do have a very impressive story, for anyone who asks, about a certain 12-year-old Chaser who narrowly led Ravenclaw to a first-place season finish thanks to an astonishing average of 100 points a game. If it hadn't been for you, we wouldn't have been able to come back from that horrible lost to Slytherin that first game, and I might not have gotten noticed by any teams at all. Way I see it, I just might owe you one."

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:59 am

"That's a relief." Noah said wiping an imaginary sweat-drop from his forehead. "I really did half-expected you to run the other direction when I called out your name yesterday. Well - after you found out who I was anyway." He took a deep drink reflecting slightly about what she had said. "Are you speaking generally? Or from experience?" He leaned in closer. "I would  love to hear what crazy thing youhave done in the name of love." Foresight made him realize that Melania simply wasn't the type of girl who went for those romantic gestures. He was interested to know to what had she changed her views for, if she ever. He said it good-naturedly and absent of any sort of karmatic malice. Noah wasn't vengeful or petty, well he liked to think so anyway. 

"No, no." He turned a little pink in the cheeks and put his hands up as if to stop her compliments. "We were a great team. Keepers don't score goals, they can't lead a team to victory. Our Captain Seeker however, could. And you know what? She did! The look on those Slytherins' faces - I still keep close to my heart." He brought a hand to his chest dramatically. "When-ever I am sad or if we've just lost a game, all I have to do is think back at that moment and my day gets one hundred percent better." He smiled wistfully and closed his eyes as if he was imagining it at that very moment. He opened his eyes again. "Do you keep in contact with anyone from our old team? I'm ashamed to say I haven't."

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:40 pm

A good-natured laugh left Melania at that. "Me, run away? It's like you didn't know me at all, mate!" she teased, smirking into her glass.

"As to whether I got that from experience...well, sort of, I suppose -- but not my own experience. My sister's. I'm one of the lucky few who has managed to avoid making those kinds of mistakes -- probably because I am too practical and hard-hearted for love," she said half-jokingly. She'd certainly gotten that "hard-hearted" accusation flung at her several times, although the drunken men who'd shouted it after she rejected their sloppy advances probably didn't really count. That fact that Noah didn't say the same thing gave her at least a little hope that she wasn't quite as cold as she even thought sometimes.

"Well, Danny O'Brian -- you weren't around then, I think, he was captain before I was -- he's with Puddlemere, now. Other than that, just Cole, obviously, and now -- you."

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:33 pm

Noah wondered if 'hard-hearted' was something she had been called previously. There was a tad bit of bitterness to her voice when she had said it. Or was he imagining things? He was of the opinion that no one was safe from the grips of love, he was a romantic after all. He didn't say this aloud though.

From the way she was talking, he could deduce that she had never been in love. This seemed to be a surprise to him, though it shouldn't be, knowing what he knew of her. The great Lainey Harper in love was impossible, laughable even - but he had assumed that she managed to find someone somewhere her heart had spoken to. Apparently not. "So, have you ever been in love? Like ever?" It was strictly teasing, but there was a hint of seriousness to it. She must have been in love right? It's a part of life.

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:42 am

The question was not a simple one to answer, and no quick-witted reply sprang to Melania's mind, either. Robbed of her usual method of dealing with difficult questions, she was forced to settle for a muddle and confused statement of the truth.

"I've certainly been...you know, have had feelings for people. Stirrings, even. And I love my friends and family, of course, dearly. But have I been IN love? I don't know...I don't think so. Sounds like I have something against it, but I really don't. I just -- I don't take it lightly, is all. Some people claim to be in love every time they find someone new, and when that's the case, I think they're lying, to themselves as well, perhaps. To be truly in love with someone? I think few of us ever achieve that. It's a word tossed about too carelessly for my liking."

She blushed, feeling rather exposed by this frank little speech of hers, and so again Melania hid her face in her glass, realising full well that if she kept using that as a coping mechanism every time she felt awkward or embarrassed, she would indeed be dead of alcohol poisoning in a matter of mere hours.

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:59 am

Noah got the feeling he stumbled upon a rather touchy subject. He didn't really want anything serious at the moment, he was reunited with an old friend, fun times to be had! So he decided to lighten his reply. "Well, you should try it sometime, it's great fun." He said as if it was talking about trying a mundane activity - like 'you should try fishing sometime, it's great fun'.

At least, he thought, she wasn't the type who thought that love simply didn't exist. He would argue that. He wasn't an expert on love, not by a long shot, but he had been witness to relationships that left him optimistic. He tipped up his glass and drank till it was empty.

"How is Columba anyway?" He said it with a grin. He only dared use her full name because she was without ear shot. He started filling up his glass again.

He glanced at her glass and nodded towards the barrel.

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:04 am

"She would murder you for calling that and you know it!" Melania replied with a hearty guffaw. "You better hope I don't go tell tales to her about you! Merlin knows what she'd do." Grateful for the conversation change, she tipped her now-empty glass underneath the barrel, ignoring the stares they were continuing to get. She'd never cared about that type of thing and anyway, they just as well might be staring because they recognised one or both of them from their quidditch careers.

"Ah, Cole is -- well, have you heard anything about her at all? I hate to sound like I'm gossiping about my best mate, but...well it is kind of juicy," she admitted with a shrug, lifting her glass to her lips. "She's an Auror, now, by the way. You did get an extra year in school with her after I left though so you might have known that's what she wanted to do already."

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PostSubject: Re: The Seven Year Itch   Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:12 pm

"Which is why I am smart enough," he placed his middle and index finger on his temple and tapped. "To not call her that in front of her face." He had seen what Cole Mars had done to a third year who had once called her Columba. It put Noah permanently off.

"Yeah, she was working towards that in her last year. Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed that she went the Auror route and didn't persue a Quidditch Career like us. I heard the Tornados gave her an offer. Could you imagine that? Turning down an offer from the Tornados?" He shook his head and set his eyes on Melania. "Why didn't you knock some sense into her?"

"I've pretty much been in Spain this whole time. Well, apart from coming here once in awhile to visit my parents. But I don't really stay long enough to do much of anything really. So I haven't heard anything of anybody." He took another sip and then he grinned. "If you were going to tell her tales of me, why shouldn't you tell me tales of her?" Truthfully, he wasn't the gossipy sort. But Melania describing it as 'kind of juicy' really perked his interest in the whole matter.

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