The Quiet of Cloudy Days
Giovanni had returned his gun back to where he'd hid it on his person. After, he went back to escorting her back to her home, looking and acting as if everything were normal. She tried brushing off the incident, but she was having a hard time pretending that her escort hadn't just easily threatened someone (even if it was a mugger) with a dangerous firearm, and had directly threatened to more or less blow the man's head off without care.
But she was still by his side and 'trying' to pretend nothing had happened.
"You're…disturbed," he noted, speaking out of nowhere.
She looked away, biting her lip. He sighed and stopped, turning towards her.
"Granted, I can be very confrontational, but I don't take being threatened lightly. And you were being threatened, and that is intolerable," he said firmly.
A huge part of her knew that she should be alarmed he would go that far for her, but instead she felt flattered and in awe that he would act that much on her behalf. Her face felt hot and she couldn't help taking a step closer to him and holding on tighter to his arm, though she continued to refuse to look at him.
They continued to walk on, but Giovanni was very pleased with her reaction. When they reached her door, Harry hesitated. She wanted to invite him in, maybe have tea with him…But she didn't know how without speaking, and she knew it might look like she was inviting him for something else. She didn't want it to look like what it would, but she wanted to be polite and repay him back somehow, even just a little bit.
So, struggling with herself, she stood in front of her door without opening it or looking at him, thinking hard and not noticing him watching her and wondering what she was thinking so hard about. Harry then took a deep breath and opened her door, before facing him. He was bemused, seeing her staring at him so intensely in her doorway. But then she stepped aside and held the door open, stubbornly looking to the side with her face heating up.
He accepted the silent invitation, refraining from grinning like a lunatic and smoothly moving passed her and into her home. He was sure she didn't mean this in a sexual way or anything of the like, as he was more than sure of her personality and how she was. However, that she was inviting him in at all meant a great deal, especially considering her (so far) rather reserved character.
For her, seeing as she couldn't speak to him, she decided actions would help her better and headed straight to the kitchen, leaving him to close the door and then go follow her. She'd set up the kettle by the time he came into the kitchen, and could see what she was doing.
"Tea, then? I'd like that a lot," he smiled slightly, and took a seat at the table at her gesture.
They were in relative quiet, sitting across each other at the table. Once the kettle started whistling, Harry quickly got up and turned the stove off, picking up the kettle pouring the hot water into two cups she'd set aside, putting two teabags into them. She carefully transferred them to the table, sitting at her side again after.
"Thank you," he politely said. "I'm pleased to be sharing this time with you, Harry."
Her name –her short, boyish nickname –sounded so elegant and pretty coming from his lips, with that voice. She could listen to him all the time, with a voice like that. And hear her name coming from him all the time…
"I have a gift for you," Giovanni announced suddenly. "I had planned to give it to you later, but this is a good opportunity and as good a time as any."
He stood up and walked to be closer to her, and she looked up at him, wondering what was it now that he was going to give her. Without further warning, he fished something out from his pocket and held it out to her, and Harry accepted the strange ball in her hands.
"As I told you before, this is a pokéball. Inside is a pokémon," Giovanni murmured coolly, but she could hear a touch of tenderness in his tone. Her head shot up and she looked at him, instead of the pokéball in her hands. Though her face was mostly solemn as always…
She did remember the talk of pokémon and pokéballs, and of his usual residence where those things were common. The talk over dinner had been amazing (even if it was one-sided), and she loved hearing him talking about that world of his, and had wanted to hear more.
"Go on," he said softly. "Release her."
She looked down at the pokéball and then gently tossed it. There was a bright flash of red and the pokéball returned to her hands, and then there was a small, white quadruped pokémon in front of her.
"It is a Glaceon, a pokémon of ice to match your icy exterior," Giovanni said as he came to stand beside her, hand flitting to briefly touch her face. "Perhaps she'll help me melt you."
But she merely stared at him with eyes of emerald glass, and he felt the briefest amount of frustration. Inwardly, she felt rather awful she couldn't respond to him more properly, but there were so many restrictions on her that she couldn't even say a proper 'thank you' to the man.
Unable to say the words, she turned her focus to the white pokémon before her, and she knelt before it. She tentatively reached a hand out and petted her, recalling how Giovanni had called the Glaceon a 'her.'
"She's what people would call a 'Shiny,'" Giovanni spoke up again. "Most Glaceon are blue, but as you can see, yours is white."
She gently picked up her new Glaceon and held her in her arms, who was feeling warm and happy as she cuddled into Harry. Though she was unable to say words of thanks, Harry did her best to smile the brightest smile she could at him, and was rewarded with a soft one in return.
"It is getting late," he noted as he looked at the time. "I should get back to my car before it gets any later and harder to see."
Harry mentally frowned at that, and was quick to decide on what next to do. Coming over to him, she tentatively touched his arm and got his attention. Pulling at him, she silently had him follow her up the stairs and to the guest room, despite the fact he was probably wondering what she was up to.
She stood in the doorway, trying not to look at him as she gestured to inside the room.
"Are you…are you allowing me to use your guest room?" he asked to make sure, and she nodded. "Is it really alright? I don't want you to feel uncomfortable."
Harry swallowed, still looking elsewhere as she pet her Glaceon. Then she gathered up her courage and nodded stiffly, before surprising him as she stepped forward and hugged him with one arm, careful not to squish Glaceon between them. He had such a comforting warmth, and she could feel it without wanting to scream or feel her skin burning. Her ear managed to land onto his chest, above his heart, and she could feel just as much as hear his heart strongly pounding in a staccato rhythm.
Though it took a moment, a moment enough to make her worry she'd been too rash, he wrapped his own arm around her, before he also bent a little and laid a kiss on her head.
"Sleep well, mia stella. I will see you tomorrow morning."
And then she was flitting off quickly, away from him and his embrace.
Giovanni was extremely content by how the series of events had occurred. His dinner with Harry had gone well, and then he'd managed to escort her to her home. Despite that little hiccup with the mugger, she ended up not being too put off by his quick display of retaliation. And then she not only invited him into her place for tea, but had allowed him to stay in the guest room for the night.
He was extraordinarily satisfied by the events of the night and his progress with the girl.
Now if only she would talk to him, or at least say his name.
However, having been able to be close to her and lay a quick kiss on her at the end, made up for that. Except now he had, or might have (considering how the night went and her responses to him, he was leaning towards a positive answer) an entire week to plan out scenarios in which she would learn to be more comfortable in his presence, and he could try to steal as many kisses as he could.
It looked like it would only be a matter of time before he had her, and could completely claim her as his.
The next morning had him eager to wake and see to the girl that hosted his night stay. It would be a novel experience to wake up and see how a morning with her would be, and he wouldn't have to wait until she'd agreed to stay over his home. Exiting the guest room (the bed had been horribly decorated and stiff, but he didn't blame Harry –it was those horrid Dursleys that owned and lived there after all), he could see more clearly the hallway that he'd walked through with her.
The hallway was rather narrow, but he was able to see there were four doors in total, including his. However, it was the last door before the staircase that caught his attention, and he wrinkled his nose at it. Ordinarily, he would prefer to find out about Harry from herself and not snoop around covertly, as he and his organization were used to. However…
There was much to be said about a door that had several different locks on it (and a catflap with obviously no cat around), and he could only think of one person in this so-called family who'd be given a door with that many locks.
Hearing noise downstairs, as well as a lovely aroma that spelled a delicious breakfast, Giovanni quietly traveled to that specific door and turned the doorknob. He frowned as he saw the room –it was small, there was a worn bed set, and a single wardrobe that occupied the space of the room. The wardrobe itself looked old and about to fall apart, and not likely to hold many clothes within. There wasn't much to look around the room, as it was sparse and didn't really hold any personal effects. It was pretty Spartan and didn't hold any clue to whom Harry was, or what she liked. Nothing in here screamed Harry's personality, of what he knew of and of what he'd hoped to have found out by looking around.
Disappointed at the lack of anything to point to Harry's personality and likes, he poked around a little bit for anything he might have missed, before heading to the wardrobe. He blinked when he saw how lacking it was, even in there. There were several large clothing he doubted fit Harry's slight frame, the green dress she wore, and then the black dress he'd given her. But that was basically it.
Now that won't do at all.
He closed the wardrobe and then walked out of her room, finally heading downstairs and to where Harry was, seemingly with breakfast. He entered the kitchen, seeing her still cooking over the stove, though she wore baggy pants that were held up by a belt, and an oversized t-shirt that kept slipping off of her shoulder and of which she kept agitatedly pulling back up. He felt a smirk curl on his lips.
Timing himself well, he moved to be behind her and when her shirt moved down again and revealed her shoulder, he moved in and hooked a finger under the hem and made her freeze. Smirking even more, he leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on her bared shoulder, before moving away after pulling her shirt back up.
"I see breakfast is coming along. Anything you need me to do?" he asked nonchalantly, but he was smiling rather mischievously as she wheeled around to face him with wide eyes.
He could see her visibly swallow nervously, before pointing to a drawer and then a cupboard. Heading over to the drawer and seeing the utensils, he could guess she wanted him to set the table. Seeing what she was making for them, he grabbed two forks and knives, and then two plates from the cupboard. He transferred them over to the table and waited for when she would be done. When she looked at the table and then at the pan, she glanced at him in embarrassment. But he easily read what she was thinking, grabbing the plates and placing the toasted English muffins from the side onto the plates, and then held out the plates for her to carefully put the poached eggs on top of them. After that, she poured some hollandaise sauce over the egg-topped muffins.
"Smells delicious. Shall I pour us some drinks?"
When she gave him a suspicious look, Giovanni chuckled and opened up her fridge after he'd put the plates back down on the table.
"Orange juice," he said wryly. "If you have some."
She ducked her head, though he glimpsed her tinted cheeks, and she went to grab two glasses as he took out the orange juice container. As he poured the juice into the glasses, he heard a thunk behind him and he turned around to find out what it was.
Harry stood there with a small bag by her feet, huffily (but adorably) glaring off to the side with her arms across her chest. He smirked fully then and came over, moving her bag a bit with his foot.
"I will fully admit and take responsibility to the fact I was nosy and snooped around in your room. If this has clothes like the ones in your wardrobe, we'll be going shopping in London after breakfast."
She turned her glare on him, but he unrepentantly stared back. She scoffed, but pointed to herself, then the bag, and then out the door. Giovanni took a guess on what she meant.
"Fine, you can choose your clothing and where we shop."
Her glare let up on him and he awarded himself a point in success. However, he felt rather uneasy and increasingly disappointed at her refusal to speak to him…
Ariana looked around before she darted into her fellow Executive's office. She searched around a bit, grumbling under her breath at her luck at finding nothing she'd wanted to see. When she reached Archer's desk, she spotted a manila folder peeking from underneath his keyboard, and her hand moved forward quickly to grab it.
Her fingers barely brushed against the corner, before someone else's hand slammed down onto hers and banged it onto the table. She glared at the culprit, ignoring the stinging pain.
"Archer," she muttered irritably.
"Ariana," he smiled politely. "What are you doing in here?"
"I needed to retrieve something for Giovanni," she lied with a straight face.
"Then why are you touching this folder that is absolutely none of your business?" he threw back with a deadpan look that said he didn't buy her excuse.
"Damn it, Archer. You know this is an unusual situation and Giovanni is particularly acting out of sorts. Don't you care about just who exactly has him so hung up?"
Archer actually snorted, taking his hand off of hers, but also taking the file from his desk and away from her.
"You just want to see the girl and find out everything," he accused. "You hardly care what Giovanni gets up to unless it's interesting, and you know he can take care of himself. Save me the 'I'm just looking out for him' reasoning you think you can put past me."
Ariana scowled heavily at him. "Yeah, yeah –" but she moved quickly, after deceptively pretending to have given up, and snatched the folder from his hand to open it and skim whatever she could in the time she was allotted before Archer retaliated.
But a simple picture kept her from looking through anything else, and she stared in surprise at the picture of a familiar girl for only a few precious seconds, before Archer immediately snatched it back.
"Ariana, leave it alone, won't you –"
"She's Giovanni's Harry?" Ariana interrupted, asking faintly.
Archer stared at her in surprise. "I take it you saw her picture. She's rather pretty, isn't she? Giovanni's got good taste and made a good pick this time. It also sounds like she'll be 'here to stay.'"
"That isn't it," Ariana murmured, bewildering him. "I know her. She…"
Archer waited for her to elaborate, curious on what she meant now, and how could she know that girl. She reluctantly told him about meeting Harry in that store.
"Hm. She is rather pleasant, and quite a character. I haven't yet figured out everything about her for the boss, but I hope to know more soon. Especially about this trauma she suffered, but no one will talk of," Archer inwardly sighed, a little frustrated that he's been hitting a lot of dead ends for once.
"She's mute," Ariana supplied quietly, taking the folder back from him and gazing at the photo of the girl she had instantly liked. "Her aunt practically threw that in her and my faces before leaving the store with the girl. I don't know the cause though."
Archer made a mental note, so he could add it later to Harry's file. "I'll have to find out about the cause then. At least I know what ails her now, and can inform Giovanni. Plus, it'll relieve him to know she isn't just not speaking to him because she doesn't want to."
"Is that what he's been thinking?" she asked, starting to flip through the folder, rather curious on what Archer had managed to dig up.
Archer shook his head. "It's been bothering him painfully."
"Oh woe is him," she muttered, but she had a feeling their girl was the one with all the pains.
It had been a…strange experience shopping at a retail store. Giovanni hadn't really wanted to allow her to shop at such a mundane and cheap place, but she seemed adamant and determined to shop at the closest Walmart. The slight frugal side of him that appreciated the ability to save money and spend cash usefully and more efficiently agreed with this method, and appreciated her outlook. But the other parts of him balked at letting her wear such inexpensive and regular clothing, when he wanted to spend as much as he could on her and have her own and wear the best that money could buy. That his money could buy.
And he was an extravagant man. He usually indulged in extravagance in most parts of his life, so he didn't see why he wouldn't with someone as important to him as her. He had the money and it wasn't going to run out then or anytime soon, so he was more than willing to spoil her rather rotten, especially from gathering her lack of spoils in her own life after what he'd seen so far.
Why the hell couldn't and wouldn't he pamper and treat her to all she could want?
But, well, he was catering to her wants and this was what she wanted. He'll just have Domino (or even Jessie) shop with her for more finer clothing later on. Both women tended to be rather forceful and hard to deny, so it would be a bonus to send them in to 'convince' Harry on a more fruitful shopping spree.
Crazy women like them adored shopping sprees, didn't they?
Which had him quite blessed with someone like Harry, who was such a quick and efficient shopper and didn't dally too much. Plus, she was very good at finding the best deals around that place…
Afterwards, he drove to his company's building there, where he led her in and straight to his office on the top floor.
"We'll be taking an unusual route to my estate, seeing as it's actually in Kingsbridge. We can cut the hours by using Gallade," he explained to her, the elevator opening to his enormous office just as he finished.
She wanted to ask him what he meant, but she couldn't. Luckily, she didn't have to as she saw what she guessed to be a pokémon moving about the room.
"Gallade, meet Harry. She and I will be vacationing over in my English countryside home for the rest of the week," he promptly told the pokémon. It bowed to her and she hesitantly smiled and gave a tiny wave. "Teleport us over, Gallade."
Harry then glanced at Giovanni in question, but Gallade had traveled over and then she felt like she was floating, before everything around her disappeared. A quick second later showed she was in a smaller, comfier office, and she whirled in a circle to take it all in.
"Gallade is a dual psychic-fighting type," Giovanni told her, bringing her attention back to him. "He has the ability to teleport, of which he used on us, transporting us from London to Kingsbridge instantaneously."
She was still unsure of what he meant, being new to this whole pokémon thing, but it was amazing what they could all do. It was like magic –Teleport was easily much better than Apparation though, considering how much more smoother and easier on her body it felt.
Lost in her thoughts, she hadn't noticed how much closer Giovanni had become to her until his hand warmly touched the small of her back.
"Please meet Persian. He's been a very loyal companion to me over the years, and he's been really looking forward to meeting you," he said, removing a pokéball from his belt and tossing it, letting out a beautiful and graceful feline.
"Persian Perrrsian," he purred, quickly looking at her. The feline stalked towards her and rubbed his head against her side and she smiled widely, dropping to her knees to pet his head more firmly. Persian gave a pleased purr at that, though he nudged his head softly against her neck, peering at her. Giovanni noted the strange interaction.
"If you'd like," Giovanni continued to watch her closely, enjoying the sight of her happy in his home. "You may release your Glaceon and allow her to freely roam around. Unlike the cities, the countryside is a little more lenient in allowing pokémon to roam around, if they're owned."
Harry glanced at him hesitantly before she reached into her pocket and then pressed the button, her Glaceon appearing just as gracefully as Persian. Giovanni gently tapped her shoulder.
"Come. Let me at least show you around our floor, before I show you your room and allow you to be settled in. Gallade will be back momentarily with the things we've bought for you."
Harry looked up at him, seeing him reach out and hold out a hand to her. She looked at the pokémon with her and then looked back at Giovanni.
She tentatively laid a hand in his, and he folded his hand securely around hers.
The entire floor was insanely huge. She learned that the room they'd arrived in was his personal study, while he had a more public one on the ground floor, for which his employees could reach him. There was a large library she knew Hermione would salivate at, four entire suites of which she learned one was to be hers and the main one was Giovanni's, and then there was Giovanni's personal battle arena which he used to train his pokémon in when he was there.
And then when he led her to where she was staying, the suite made her stop short of the door and stare at it. It was way too big for someone like her to stay in alone, and she didn't remember a time where she'd stayed in something so fancy.
"I hope everything pleases you," he murmured and she turned to face him, trying to school her face into something indifferent. "If you need anything, or want, just come to my door and ask."
He took her hand and lifted it to his lips, and she could only watch him dazedly. This was really too much so soon…
When he left, she headed to the bed and fell down backwards, trying to gain her bearings. Her Glaceon trotted over and easily jumped onto the bed. Harry reached out and scratched her small head, smiling at the pokémon that was now hers. She stared directly into Glaceon's eyes.
'Can I call you Lily?'
'Of course, my mistress. Whatever you wish. I quite like the name.'
Harry's smile turned sad. 'I can't speak, Lily, so I'm sorry I can't speak to you more directly.'
'It is alright. I understand, Mistress.'
She'd made a guess that Legilimency might let her talk to her Glaceon, but she wasn't sure if she could use it on other pokémon and especially on people. And well, Legilimency required direct eye contact anyway…
Still, she was curious about pokémon and all this battling they didn't seem to mind. She remembered Giovanni's battle arena.
'Lily, could you show me some of your moves?' Harry asked curiously.
Lily practically preened, and excitedly looked at her new mistress.
'Of course I can. Just show me when and where.'
Bit by bit, Harry felt like she was forgetting about all her troubles.
At the arena, she watched in awe as her Glaceon performed all sorts of moves, even pulling off the moves in a more than flashy than normal way. Harry silently giggled and clapped her hands, allowing her pokémon to show off for her.
"I see your Glaceon and you are having fun. How do you like the arena? Enjoying it?" Giovanni slowly walked into the room with his Persian.
Harry hesitantly looked at him, fidgeting before giving a small wave. He indulgently waved back.
"Would you like to have a pokémon battle? I'll take it easy, seeing as it wouldn't be fair since I have more experience and am considered a strong battler even by normal standards," he suggested to her.
She thought about it, and inwardly she'd been wanting to know how a real battle went, ever since he'd told her about them. She couldn't duel anymore, but it would be nice to find an alternative and even better, have a companion and friend in Lily to do it with.
She nodded, still as hesitant with him as always, and then they were going on opposite ends of the stadium. Giovanni explained the rules patiently to her, and then they were starting.
Harry hadn't considered or remembered about her voice, as she quickly realized it was needed to command pokémon on the field. Panicking and growing all the more anxious as the battle slowly went on, with Lily just dodging and the two of them sharing an alarmed look because of their circumstances, Harry understood she'd been too hasty in accepting and having not understood the full repercussions or what detailed an actual pokémon battle.
She clutched at her head and decided she'd been really stupid, and at a particular attack from Persian towards Lily, that the Glaceon couldn't avoid, Harry just reacted and ran forward, scooping up Lily and bracing for the attack.
To that end, she was suddenly picked up and she'd realized that Giovanni had rushed over and grabbed her in turn, hastily dodging to the side and out of the way of the attack. As Persian yowled in worry and Lily leaped from her arms (after a quick lick to her hand in comfort) to head towards the feline, Harry was whirled around to face Giovanni.
"What were you thinking? Why would you just jump in front of the attack like that? You could have been hurt!" he scowled and examined her thoroughly, furrowing his eyebrows. "And why didn't you order Glaceon to attack back at all? Especially then –you could have avoided both you and her being in range of Persian's attack."
Harry, despite her initial thoughts, really should have said something about her lack of voice. She blinked away tears, and hated that she'd been so handicapped like this and that she missed talking and how much she'd needed to say so many things to everyone, to anyone. So despite not wanting to, she touched her throat with her fingers and shook her head, glancing at him quickly before averting her teary eyes.
He paused, still holding onto her. "You…you can't talk? Is that it?"
Harry closed her eyes and buried her face into her hands, wishing she'd never accepted her Hogwarts Letter.