A/N: Lee Jordan is one of JKR’s minor characters who needed to have his story told. So here it is! A warning: Lee and friends are of age in this story. There are references to drinking and sexual activity – although I think those scenes are relatively mild compared to other fan fiction stories out there. I will give fair warning about individual chapters should the need arise.
A huge thanks to Julu who has been the best writing buddy ever. And another huge thanks to wokka42 who is the editor of The Journal of Magical Physics. He talked me through a lot of the “science of magic.” His e-mails have been invaluable sources of information and encouragement. And my undying gratitude to betas Jo Wickaninnish and Sherry for patiently fixing the same mistakes I make over and over again.
The bright blue September sky was a dazzling contrast to the white marble façade of the Gate Gallery for Magical Art. High above the imposing columned structure, statues of the nine muses sang, danced and recited for the crowd below.
George Weasley was watching them with a frown. “Explain to me again, why we are spending a perfectly fine Sunday afternoon in this queue?”
“We’re here to see this dream woman of Lee’s, remember?” Fred turned to Lee. “She’s the goddess of the gift shop – right?”
Lee tore his gaze away from the smiling muse, Thalia, his favorite. “Her name is Amy Smith. And she’s no dream – we’ve been going out for two months now. And I want you to meet her.”
“Why can’t you just bring her ‘round the shop sometime?” George asked impatiently, standing on his tiptoes to see over the crowd to the entrance. “Why do we have to go to this kind of trouble?”
“All women are worth some trouble,” Lee answered dreamily. He rarely saw Amy except for late nights after being out with their respective friends or during their lunch breaks. Lucky for him, the Quidditch Museum, where he tour-guided, was right across the street from the gallery.
“Is that the fateful fountain?” Fred asked, pointing to the round fountain in the middle of the small square between the museums and the music hall.
“Where I met Amy,” Lee affirmed. “She was eating a peach. And the juice kept dripping off of her lips –”
“So you offered to lick it off,” George continued. “Very sporting of you, Lee.”
“– And altruistic, since you don’t like peaches,” Fred added.
“I like peaches just fine – and you don’t have to make it sound tawdry.”
“I like tawdry – it’s better than sappy and sentimental –”
“Soon you will reach the Lockhartian heights of believing your own story.”
“I’m telling you,” Lee said impatiently. “It was love at first sight.”
“Lee, you always think you’re in love. It never lasts. Remember the Beauxbatons’ girls?”
“First it was Michelle –”
“Then Antoinette –”
“Right,” Fred said frowning in concentration. “I remember her – was she before or after Charlotte?”
Lee smiled, remembering his wonderful sixth year. “She was after Marie.”
“Ah,” Fred and George said in unison.
“What?” Lee asked, trying to be annoyed but not succeeding. There was no denying that he had been in and out of love a lot that year.
“Just be a git like the rest of us and admit you’re attracted to her.”
George shook his head. “And if the attraction is mutual – well, you’re a lucky dog, Lee.”
“This is different….” Lee trailed off. The attraction certainly was mutual. But since he wasn’t about to describe the intense physical nature of this romance, he realized that there wasn’t much left to tell about his relationship with Amy.
He frowned. Sometimes he wished that he and Amy did more together besides going to her flat in the dead of night. It was almost like she didn’t want to be seen with him. He quickly pushed that thought away. He was going to meet her parents tonight. He had been invited to their home for dinner. Today he was going to put the Amy part of his life together with the Fred and George part. They were his oldest friends – his mates, he thought fondly, and he wanted all of his important people to know each other.
The crowd moved forward and now they were on the first of the many steps leading to the double-door entrance.
“So, why are all these other people here?” George asked. “Lee’s love life might be interesting to us –”
“But not to all of London.”
“Oh! There’s a showing of Gervase’s paintings. They brought his famous painting, Out of Depths, from Paris for the first time in fifty years.”
Fred and George stared at him.
“Don’t you remember from History of Magic? Dumbledore’s battle with Grindelwald?”
“Lee, we don’t have your super powers with women or the ability to stay awake in the most boring class ever invented.”
Lee groaned. “History is all about stories – important ones. If we had had a decent teacher –”
“Save it, Lee.” George waved him away. “We left Hogwarts months ago.”
Fred narrowed his eyes. “So, how do you know this painting is here?”
Lee shifted uncomfortably. “I had to take the tour last week, remember? Mr. Mann wanted me to learn proper guiding etiquette so he sent me over here for the tour.”
“Mann still getting you down?” George asked with a smile.
“Don’t laugh,” Lee said, the cold chill starting to spread in his stomach whenever he thought of his boss at the Quidditch museum. “I’m on probation.”
“Probation!” Fred eyes opened in alarm. “What did you do?”
Lee kicked against the edge of the next step and didn’t look up. “I sort of argued with a patron about brooms.”
“Brooms.” He could hear the amusement in Fred’s voice.
“Yeah – I ended up telling him that a Shooting Star was the best for planetary expeditions.” He looked up and grinned. “Like Uranus.”
Fred and George roared. “Did the git even understand what you were saying?”
Lee laughed – he couldn’t help it – it had felt so good to tell that smug, overdressed wizard off. “Not at first. It was only when his children started to giggle that he noticed.”
“You basically told a patron to stick it in front of his children?” George chortled. “Why weren’t you sacked on the spot?”
“His mother-in-law, a lovely lady by the way, stuck up for me.”
“Saved by the patented Jordan charm.” George shook his head admiringly. “What is it with you anyway, Lee? Why do all the ladies – young and old – like you?”
“George always thought it was the hair, but now that you had to shave it off for your job –”
“We can’t explain it –”
“I know,” Fred said, batting his eyelashes, “it’s the dark, exotic eyes.”
“No, it’s the smile,” George said, clutching his heart. “The dazzling white smile that says, ‘there is no one for me but you.’”
“Except for –”
“That’s enough,” Lee said, laughing.
“East meets west in Lee Jordan,” Fred said, “You’d be a perfect specimen if you just had freckles, Lee.”
“Please,” George said, looking stricken, “you can’t do that to the female population – since Lee has only managed to be ‘in love’ with one at a time.”
“True.” Fred nodded.
“Enough! Look, even if everything you say is true,” Lee began.
Fred and George continued to swoon, whispering in high voices, “It is true.”
“It doesn’t help me at work does it?” He sighed. Lee acknowledged that he could talk his way out of a lot, yet that ability didn’t do him a bit of good with his boss. Mr. M