Chapter 47: Snow
Erela wasn't sure how. But her parents were convinced to sleep over at Landon's place. Oh, no worries. The parents would be there. And so would Stacee's girlfriend. She wasn't exactly sure if it was because Erela was their only child, completely naïve, or because she had never had friends close enough to have sleep overs, but it was ridiculous that they would be more than okay for her to sleep over at a boy's place.
"We trust you. We know you won't do anything," her mum told her.
Then again, it was probably wise that she never told them that Landon was her on and off again boyfriend. It would have been a completely different story if that were the case. Erela would never hear the end of her father's bantering if he discovered the werewolf that scarred her was also someone she was currently dating.
"Be safe. Alright?" Mr. Harris said with obvious concern in his tone.
"Alright," Erela nodded.
"If anything goes wrong, call."
"Yes, dad," Erela nodded. "I'll be fine. His parents will be there and so will the Eitheridge family. There will be eyes everywhere."
Mr. Harris still wasn't comfortable with the idea of his only child going into a werewolf's den, but he trusted Mr. Eitheridge to keep a watchful eye on all the kids. Anyone in the judicial system of the Ministry were trustworthy. Although, it was rather questionable why Mr. Eitheridge would allow his child to get chummy with a werewolf was a mystery.
When Erela came back for summer at the end of her sixth year, she had forgotten to cover up the scar down her arm and her father saw them and recognized them as wounds from a werewolf. It was no surprise that he wasn't too pleased. He wasn't aware that Hogwarts housed a werewolf and he wasn't happy that Erela didn't say anything about it. It was a rather awkward and intense summer. Mr. Harris tried to get information on why Erela was so close to them, but she didn't budge on answering.
Not until he looked through the files on young werewolves in the Ministry and recognized the freckled werewolf he had seen the one time at Kings Cross the end of fifth year. Boy, she had an earful.
Mrs. Harris managed to talk to her husband about Landon and how he was a very nice young man and had a little friendly attachment toward Erela, not quite knowing how strong that attachment was herself. Whether his wife wasn't aware how dangerous werewolves were, his anger eased a little. He still didn't approve of his daughter's friendship with the dangerous monster . . . but, he was a friend to her.
Erela had enchanted the undetectable extension charm upon her bag to be able to fit everything in and in order to keep enough room for everyone else. She wasn't sure how big Landon's home was, nor did she know how many people there would be, it was best to bring as "little" as possible. The seventeen year old girl dug through her bag to check she had every when she head a loud snap downstairs that startled Erela's mum from the sound of her squeal.
"Oh my, your home is lovely," Mrs. Wisenburg complimented.
"Thank you, ma'am," Mr. Harris greeted the woman. "I'm Erela's father."
"Lovely to meet you, Mr. Harris. I'm Landon's mother," she introduced herself when her eyes looked toward Erela as she bounded down the stairs. "Erela. Good to see you, love," she greeted with a big smile and pulled her in for a hug. Friendly as always and her sons obviously inherited their big smiles from their mum. "Gracious, look at you. You've grown so beautiful."
"You have a lovely daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Harris. You should be proud," Mrs. Wisenburg complimented and looked up toward the Harris parents.
Oh my god, could they go now? Erela felt far too uncomfortable with the compliments and the parents were smothering her.
"We are," Mr. Harris nodded. "Please take care of her."
"No need to tell me," she waved him off. "I'll bring her back safe and sound. Not a hair on her head shall be harmed."
"Love you, dear. Have fun," her mum pulled her in to a loving hug.
"Thanks, mum," Erela replied and nodded to her father. She had already promised to call him if anywhere were to go wrong or if she felt uncomfortable.
"Have you ever Apparated before?" Mrs. Wisenburg asked.
"A few times," she nodded. Although, it was rather scary at the idea of being splinched, to leave a part of her behind during an unsuccessful Apparation or Disapparation.
"Just hold onto me, dear," she lightly smiled and offered her hand to the lanky girl. Erela pursed her lips and took her hand, then Disapparated with a loud crack. Within a second, the two Apparated in front of the Wisenburg house out in the middle of nowhere. Just as Erela remembered it, a large house in an open field with rolling hills and a forest not too far. Snow had started to fall and made Erela shiver underneath her coat. "Come on in and get warm," Mrs. Wisenburg called as they approached the front door and hopped up the small steps. Landon's mum waved her wand and the door swung open, loud chattering and music could be heard immediately followed by laughter.
Erela brushed the snow out of her hair as she came around the corner into the dining room and kitchen. The house was festive with Christmas decorations and ornaments laid on the ottoman in the living room just across the corridor from the dining room. The boys were nowhere to be found, so far all the ladies were left preparing dinner.
"The boys are probably out looking for a Christmas tree," Mrs. Wisenburg told her and put her apron on. "Why don't you come help."
"Oh. Um, okay," Erela hesitated and put her coat and bag on one of the chairs before she joined Landon, Laila, and Stacee's mums, as well as Mable and Laila. Stacee's sister was obviously not happy to have Erela around from the cold glare she gave him. The ruddy hell was her problem!? "What can I do?"
"I'm making sweet potato casserole, one of Landon's favorite dishes. I want you to help me make it and maybe learn how to do yourself in the future," she answered and handed Erela an index card with instructions and ingredients. Laila chuckled lightly, which made Erela raise a brow at her quizzically at what was so funny. "Just read me what to do add and do."
"Um, okay. Add—"
"We're back!" Landon called from the front door and the volume of the house just rose as well as the enthusiasm that spread throughout the home within seconds.
"Took you long enough," Erela called from the kitchen and continued onward with reading the instructions.
"Is that you, brown eyes?" Landon called and peeked his head into the room. "Hey."
"Hi," Erela smiled back at him.
"When did you get here?"
"A couple minutes ago," she answered.
"Go get changed. You and the others are dirty," Mrs. Wisenburg told him.
"Fine," Landon rolled his eyes and left just before he bounded up the steps. More pairs of feet went up after Landon while rustling of a large Christmas tree could be heard rising up in place in the living room.
"While everything is cooking we can decorate the tree."
"It's rather festive in here," Erela chuckled lightly.
"Oh yes. This is pretty normal here, really," Mrs. Wisenburg smiled. "Has your family never had a Christmas party?"
"We never threw any. Every now and again we would attend one of dad's co-workers' parties. Most of the time it's quiet around this time of year. Like, staying home and watch some programs and movies together," Erela shrugged. "My father isn't much for parties. Socializing isn't one of his strongest abilities." Something she had obviously inherited from her father.
"Seeing your reaction, this isn't normal for you either."
"Not exactly," Erela shook her head. It was nice though. "I'm warming up to it though."
The ladies kept on making dinner for the Christmas party/get together when Erela and Laila heard the boys playfully wrestling each other. "Get off," Stacee growled.
"Boys! Language!" Landon's father called them.
"Sorry," they apologized in unison and came downstairs. Erela chuckled under her breath when the boys entered the room when she put the last dish for dinner into the oven. "Smells disgusting in either."
"Well then you're going to absolutely hate it," Landon's mum rolled her eyes with a little snicker and walked toward the living room. Laila came over to Stacee and he draped his arm over her shoulder and turned her toward the living room after Mrs. Wisenburg. One by one, everyone started to disappear.
Erela pursed her lips and met Landon halfway before he gently took her face and kissed her lovingly. She felt her heart stop at that very moment and kissed him back just as lovingly. They separated only a little, their lips lingered close to one another knowing there would be another kiss to share in just moments. That pull was there again and Erela couldn't put a finger on what it was that feeling indicated. It was like a little tug to hug, kiss, and touch Landon then and there. Like a warm invitation. The way they moved with each other indicated that, as such.
"Glad you could make it," Landon lightly whispered.
"Me too," Erela lightly smiled.
Landon inched away before he held her waist and turned her toward the living room to join the others and decorate the Christmas tree.
Christmas music sung around the house throughout the night. Different conversations went around and changed during those storytellings. Erela was surprised at how close the families were together when she spent summer with them for a few days during the Quidditch cup, spending time with them again was endearing and familiar. Like returning to visit family again.
After dinner, everyone was tired with their bellies filled with mashed potatoes, ham, pies, casseroles, corn, and pudding. Everyone separated into their own socializing group and talked amongst themselves into the hours of the night. Stacee's parents and Mable left late in the night and the atmosphere from Stacee felt much lighter with his family absent. It was no secret that he wasn't very close with them, he felt much closer to Landon's family more than anything.
It felt as if Stacee was born in the wrong family but luckily found the one he was meant to be a part of. Landon's family.
Erela went to brush her teeth when she was good and ready for bed, completely tired out from all the excitement and from being stuffed from the homemade Christmas feast. Teeth clean, comfortable in her pajamas, and just about ready to join the others in the living room. Stacee and Laila were still awake from what she could hear around the corner, it was all fine since Erela had to deal with her housemates always chattering endlessly throughout the night back at Hogwarts. She basically became immune to loud conversations.
She walked down the hall when she was pulled in to the kitchen. Erela looked up at Landon with his finger pressed to his lips for her to keep quiet. Landon walked over to the side door outside and motioned for her to follow him. Erela responded and snatched her coat and shoes before walking outside with him. God, it was ruddy freezing! Erela wrapped herself in her coat when Landon draped his arm over her shoulder and led her to the forest.
The lanky girl looked up at the sky, clear skies and the moon shined its silver light. It had stopped snowing an hour ago and there was a fresh coat of snow just asking to be stepped on. She couldn't help but feel a childish excitement stepping onto newly fallen snow. Was that normal or destructive?
The white blanket crunched underneath their feet as they walked further and further away from the house. "Any reason why you're kidnapping me?"
"I just want to show you something," Landon smiled and pulled his wand out.
The tip of his wand glowed a white light for them to see more clearly through the darkness as he led the way. His hand slid off her shoulder and took her cold hand, intertwining their fingers with one another with ease. That feeling was back again. The way he touched her hand just sparked something that made her feel warm and her body react in an unfamiliar way. The more she felt that beckoning feeling, the more she accepted it.
"There it is," he said and Erela looked toward where Landon led them. A large tree with a hanging nose, and as they got closer Erela looked up to see an aging tree house just above them. A rather large and luxurious looking tree house. "I sometimes come here when I need some time for myself," he told her.
"It's magnificent," she answered in awe.
Landon took the rope and handed it to her. "Put your foot through the hole. You better hold on tight."
"Okay?" Erela slipped her foot in and looked up at the freckled werewolf curiously. "Why?—AHH!" And she was lifted off the ground. She held onto the rope tightly and looked up at Landon raising his wand the higher Erela was lifted. Levitation spell. Of course. Erela looked up toward the dock and waited as she got close enough to inch her free foot to step on. Once she got a good grip, she pulled herself and the rope with her and slipped her foot out of the noose's grip. "Okay, I'm up."
She heard Landon laughing lightly just below her. "You brought your wand, right?"
"Yeah." Erela took her wand out and looked down at Landon. Oh goodness, it was really high. "Ready?"
Landon gave her the thumbs up in response. Erela muttered the levitation incantation and up he went. She had been concentrating to keep him levitated off the ground that she didn't even notice the way he looked at her. That look that screamed how much he wanted to hold her and never let her go. It was always in his eyes, but it was brighter than usual. As if he knew for sure it had to be Erela . . .
When he was level with the dock, Landon practically tackled her and kissed her desperately. Erela blushed bright red and felt rather nervous all of a sudden. They had been alone before, but she always knew there were eyes around to watch them and stop them if anything were to happen. It was the first time being alone without anyone around them.
They eased off of each other when Landon nervously guided her into the wooden house. There were two levels to it; the second level had a ladder up to a smaller part of the construction. In the main house, it a was comfortable living space with a stone bonfire right in the middle, finely furbished for a teenager to stay in and be alone whenever he wanted, a step ladder to what looks like a mattress floor to sleep on with a large window to look out toward the forest.
The fire came to life and lit up the room in red and yellow. Landon put his wand away and caressed Erela's cheek sweetly. Her heart beat loudly, so loud it rang in her ears. Warmth completely consumed her and her body automatically came closer to Landon and kissed him first. His hands slid from her warm red cheeks to cupping her neck, pressing his lips harder against Erela's.
The lanky girl backed away into the wall, Landon followed without breaking their kiss and trapped her against the wall with his weight. It was as if their body went on autopilot, Erela's hands went up Landon's shirt and brushed her hands against his skin while Landon's fingers hooked around her loose pants.
After removing one article of clothing at a time, they found themselves naked in bed.