Chapter 1: New Neighbor Has A Stomping Problem
Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.
Click. Click. Click.
This was getting ridiculous.
It had only been a week.
My new upstairs neighbor had only moved into their flat exactly one week ago today, and had already caused me to lose enough sleep to make me annoyed.
What could they possibly be doing up there that caused so much noise?
It sounded like there was a party going on up there about every night, as I could hear the familiar clicking of heels and sounds of champagne corks hitting the floor.
The noise was so obnoxious, that not even a silencing charm helped, as the stomps and shuffles still caused the walls to rattle slightly, and the charm always seemed to wear off right as I was drifting off into sleep.
Whoever it was, they were up rather early today. Usually the sounds of heavy footsteps didn’t start until around 8 am when I was leaving for work. Today, they were up at the same time I was.
My eyes were heavy with bags, and it felt like I hadn’t slept properly in days…and that’s because I hadn’t.
Lead foot above me didn’t quiet down until almost three in the morning, and 4 hours of sleep was not going to cut it for me with everything that was going on at the Ministry lately.
I didn’t realize how much sleep I actually needed until I was reading over a case report of a muggle boy in Belgium who had recently found a “iridescent ball” in the middle of the woods behind his house. Turns out his father got a hold of the egg of a Norwegian Ridgeback, got scared, and chucked it in the woods.
Thank Merlin the Belgian Ministry stepped in before that bloody thing hatched.
I was reading it to see how well their Obliviators handled the situation…but sleep consumed me, and I was woken up by a concerned, but laughing, Cedric Diggory.
I swung my legs over the side of the bed, and paused for a moment to stretch my arms, when the stomping directly above me began.
Why did this person sound so angry all of the time? Was Hagrid up there or something? That is the only explanation.
My peaceful morning tea was ruined then something was dropped above me, causing me to jump and nearly scald myself with hot liquid.
That was it.
I had enough.
Whoever this new neighbor was obviously was not taught the manners that come along with shared living spaces.
Quickly and in a huff, I grabbed my night robe that was hanging from a hook in my bathroom, and angrily wrestled it around myself as I stormed out of my flat, immediately heading up the stairs.
My wand was in my hand, which probably made me look even more crazy than I felt, but I didn’t care. I was going to give this person a piece of my mind.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
I crossed my arms over my chest and tapped my foot impatiently on the floor, imagining what the person on the other side of the door would look like.
Probably old and grumpy.
No. That wouldn’t explain the constantly revolving door of clickity heels and champagne corks.
Maybe it was some snooty foreign business woman that had never lived in a flat a day in her life.
No. I had a feeling it was definitely a man whose stomping kept me up until the early hours of the morning.
Maybe it was—
Oh no, that is definitely not who I was expecting.
“Ah—” said the man who opened the door with amusement, “Magnolia Harlow…to what do I owe this pleasure at…7 o’clock in the morning.”
My eyes were still wide as I processed the man in the door frame.
Tall and broad shouldered, not a shirt in sight.
Blond hair that was shorter on the sides than it was on top, making it look like he had messy fringe in his eyes.
Icy blue, almost grey, eyes that used to taunt me during all of those years at Hogwarts.
He was a lot different now than when I had seen him last. He was in the papers pretty often, but it had been years since we were face to face.
He has grown…a lot. His once thin arms were now built up and strong, and looked like they were chiseled from stone.
Draco Malfoy wasn’t a boy anymore.
He was a man.
A man with a very bad stomping issue.
“Kneazle got your tongue?” he quirked at eyebrow up at me and took a bite of the apple in his hand.
Green. Of course.
I snapped out of my thoughts.
“If you could please stop stomping at all hours of the day, that would be wonderful.” I huffed, trying to keep my eyes on his face.
“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.” He smirked sarcastically. He knew exactly what I was talking about.
“You stomp all day and night, and into the morning. I can hardly sleep.” I complained.
“You’re a witch. Put up a silencing charm.” He motioned to the wand in my hand that I thought I had concealed in my crossed arms.
Why was the looking there anyway?
That’s when I notice that wasn’t the only place he was looking. His eyes grazed over my legs for a moment before coming back up with my eyes with no shame in them.
Clearly, he still held on to some of Hogwarts Malfoy’s boyish ways.
“You don’t think I’ve tried that? That was the first thing I did.” I scoffed and shook my head. Did he think I was an idiot or something? “Whatever you are doing shakes my walls.”
I immediately regretted that wording as soon and I saw his eyebrows raise suggestively.
“Oh, grow up.” I groaned and rolled my eyes.
“Look, I’ll try and keep it down for the sake of your shaking walls, alright?” he was a smug bastard wasn’t he.
My cheeks flushed slightly with pink.
“Thank you.” I turned on my heel and stormed back down the hallway to the stairs.
I had a feeling I had just poked the bear.
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