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 what are you doing so far away from home? // phua mei xin

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PostSubject: what are you doing so far away from home? // phua mei xin   Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:46 am

The sun was setting, and Felipe was getting tired of walking around Diagon Alley on his own. He had gone shopping for new Quidditch gear, and when he was done he decided to look around and check out the various stores in the area.

Obscurus Books, by far, was still his favourite shop. The shop owner was friendly, and he always had recommendations for Felipe every time he visited. He would've considered staying and checking out books for a few more hours, if it weren't for the fact that he had promised Addie he would visit her in The Leaky Cauldron. And so after a short stop at the bookshop, he purchased two new books then left to have a drink at the pub. He hadn't seen Adelaide in awhile, anyway, so he figured a bit of conversation with his younger sister would be nice.

He entered the pub expecting to see her cleaning one of the tables or even working at the bar, but she was nowhere to be found. She was probably working in the kitchen, maybe making another batch of sandwiches or grilling some meat. Ah, well, he supposed he could still have a drink anyway. They could talk when she's on her break.

The pub was almost empty, and Felipe wondered if most of the Hogwarts students were spending their summer out of the country. Due to the virus scare, his family had decided to stay put in Ireland, and Felipe couldn't help but envy those kids who were at least in France or something. He barely looked at the bartender as he ordered himself a Butterbeer and a chicken sandwich. Lost in thought, he could only see Florence, and how beautiful the city was the summer the Cassans lived with the Sozzinis.

Florence was the only place that ever truly felt like home to him, and now it was so far away.


Last edited by Felipe Cassan on Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: what are you doing so far away from home? // phua mei xin   Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:43 am

"No ma, I don't have a gwai low boyfriend," Mei Xin said for what felt like the thousandth time with as much patience as she could muster. She huffed quietly as her mother launched into another lecture of the evils of having a westerner as a boyfriend. She'd heard the same thing so many times she could recite the entire lecture in her sleep. One thing good about talking with her mother though was that Mei Xin could speak the mix of Chinese dialects she was used to without having to be careful with her words.

"No ma. It's Addie with 'A' lah not 'E'," she explained again, in a mix of Hokkien and Mandarin. She'd told her mother about her new friend, calling her by her short name. Predictably, her mother had freaked out and it took Mei Xin about half an hour to calm her down enough for her to explain that Addie was a girl. She'd nearly gone deaf with the volume her mother was freaking out at and had to hold the phone a few inches from her ear.

Catching the sight of another waiter gesturing for her, she spoke quickly to her mother. "Working ma. Got to go. Bye!" She hung up without letting her mother say goodbye and breathed out a long sigh to release the stress in her body from talking to her mother. She made her way to where the tray of food awaited her and picked it up, looking at the table number. Business was slow but that didn't mean she was allowed to slack. She'd used her break time to call her mother as instructed but now break was over and it was back to work.

Upset, frustrated and slightly angry from talking with her mother, Mei Xin didn't realise she'd gone to the wrong table that was listed on the tray.

"One spaghetti and -" she started off in Hokkien, then remembered she wasn't talking to her mother any more - or waiting tables in her father's restaurant - and started again in English.

"One spaghetti and one firewhiskey," she said as she put the tray down and served the food. "Enjoy!" It wasn't until she looked up from the food to the customer that she realised he was handsome. Very much so. She also recognised him as a Slytherin from Hogwarts - since she tried to know all the Slytherins in order to avoid them - but didn't know his name. Her shy nature kicked in and she quickly turned her head away and started back to the kitchens.
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PostSubject: Re: what are you doing so far away from home? // phua mei xin   Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:17 am

It wasn't long before his order arrived. That was one good thing about The Leaky Cauldron—despite its tolerable food quality, the people who worked in the pub were quick, and for that Felipe was grateful. He didn't know he was famished until he smelled the food, only for him to realise it was the wrong smell as the waitress set it down.

The girl spoke in another language before correcting herself and speaking in English. Confused, Felipe looked up and saw an Asian face—not too uncommon in the UK these days, but her accent denoted someone who had grown up somewhere else. The most interesting thing about the waitress, though, was that she looked his age, and that she was quite a bit of stuff if he could say so himself.

She was looking at him as well, and there was a look of recognition in her eyes. Felipe frowned, but before he could speak, the waitress had already walked away. Her hasty exit could only mean two things: one, that she went to Hogwarts as well, and two, that she knew about his reputation and thought it best to walk away immediately.

Perhaps a year ago, he would've found her quick exit insulting, but in that moment, it only made him smirk.

The smell of the spaghetti brought him back to his senses. He would never order Italian food from this place—it was an insult to his mother's cooking and to his heritage, and besides, even if it wasn't half bad, his mother's cooking (and maybe Adelaide's as well) was the only Italian food he could stomach outside of Italy. Well, there was his own cooking too, but that was a given.

With the smirk still in place, he sat up straighter and smoothed his hair. 'Excuse me, bella,' he called out to the waitress, 'You got me the wrong order.


Last edited by Felipe Cassan on Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: what are you doing so far away from home? // phua mei xin   Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:01 am

Wah, he so handsome. Sibeh handsome man. Si liow lor. Walk away. Walk away. Walk away. I think ma must be right. Where can one guy be so handsome and good at the same time? Sure got problem attach to him wan. Ma already said cannot get in relationship with gwai low. They very dangerous wan. I think I know what she means leh.[Sibeh: extremely. Si liow lor: Die already]

Mei Xin's mind was so consumed with her mother's phone call and with the ridiculously handsome customer she'd just served that her mind did not register his first few words. Perhaps the fact that she thought he was addressing someone named 'Bella' played a part in her ignorance. It wasn't until she heard the words 'wrong order' that she stopped in her tracks and looked around.

Mei Xin had a perfect track record of getting orders right. Since she was eight, she worked at her father's kopitiam, waiting tables mostly for drinks since the food stalls handled their own orders. She was used to remembering the orders of five or more different tables at once, with at least three people at each table, while having other instructions yelled at to her across the room. She didn't need a pen and paper and neither did she need table tags on the trays both of which the waiters at this pub used.

So she was curious as to which staff member got an order wrong. But when she turned her head, the handsome gwai low was looking right at her. It couldn't be, could it? Had she gotten an order wrong? She glanced at the empty tray in her hand with the number 3 there and at the number on the table the gwai low was at. It did not match. Si liow, you. She felt heat rush into her cheeks and thanked everything under the high heavens that the pub had dim lighting.

Mei Xin walked back to him, her head bent in shame. She took back the plate of food and firewhiskey. "I'm sorry. So so sorry," she apologised over and over again, hoping that this particular customer did not have a nasty side and report her to the manager.

"I'm so sorry," she repeated again as she took the food away and served it to the correct table. It wasn't until she picked up his order from the kitchen that she realised he'd called her 'Bella'. She glanced at her name tag and saw 'Mei Xin' clearly printed there. Slightly confused, she shrugged it off and returned to his table with the sandwich and butterbeer.

"I'm so so sorry," she apologised again as she placed the plate and glass on the table. "Here's your food."
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PostSubject: Re: what are you doing so far away from home? // phua mei xin   Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:09 pm

She couldn't seem to stop apologising, and Felipe understood why. If he was the sort of person to make a fuss about waiters getting orders wrong, the girl could get into a lot of trouble. It was why the waiters at Sant'Angelo never let themselves get distracted—even just a small mistake could cost them a customer, and service was a huge aspect of restaurant and pub industries.

So when the girl apologised again as she set his food on the table, Felipe looked up at her with a bright smile. 'It's alright, signorina,' he said, reaching out to touch her arm lightly as if to console her. It was unnecessary to speak to her in Italian, and with a slight accent at that, but he knew that some girls were charmed by the language. 'Non ti preoccupare. My order's here, and it looks great, so there is no reason at all to worry, is there?'
[Non ti preoccupare: Don't worry about it.]

To his surprise, the bit about the food looking great wasn't actually a lie. The chicken sandwich did not look haphazardly made anymore, with the patty looking like the perfect balance between crispy and soft, and the lettuce and tomatoes a lot more fresh than usual. Perhaps Addie's addition to the cooking staff was indeed helping the pub, and he couldn't help but smile with pride despite himself.

He looked back up again at the girl before she could leave. He knew she had a job to do, but he had an opportunity he just couldn't pass up. Most of the girls who caught his eye were hot, gorgeous, or pretty, but there was something about the waitress that Felipe could only describe as beautiful. Perhaps it was in her brown eyes, which he thought were still quite expressive despite her shyness, or the fact that she held herself with a certain dignity.

It was impolite to stare, but Felipe wasn't in the mood for politeness in that moment.

'Don't leave yet,'
he said as he tried to maintain eye contact. Slowly smiling at her, he tried to feign recognition, though he wasn't even sure if his deductions were correct. 'You go to Hogwarts too, don't you? I'm Felipe. Felipe Cassan.' He extended his hand for a handshake, though the minute the girl offers hers, he would bring the back of her hand to his lips. It was a gentleman's way of greeting, perfect for such a beautiful lady.

After all, like his Quidditch position, he was quite a keeper, if he could say so himself.
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PostSubject: Re: what are you doing so far away from home? // phua mei xin   Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:06 am

When the good-looking customer did not seem to be the kind who would report to the manager, she breathed out a quiet sigh of relief. The manager would probably deduct from her wages and she really needed the money right now. With her parents refusing to give her an allowance, the first thing she did when she came her was to get a job. She lived on Hogwarts food until she got her first paycheck. Even then, she only spent what she needed and calculated every Knut and every cent that went out of her pocket. She was used to living frugally since her parents were very stingy.

She hadn't expected him to address her but when he did, her eyebrows raised a little in surprise. There were a few words in there she was sure was from a different language. It sounded like Spanish or French or Italian. But what confused her was that he gave her a different name this time. First, it was 'Bella', now it was 'signorina' and neither of which was on her name tag.

Deciding to just ignore the fact that he'd called her two different names - because maybe he wasn't right in the head - she focused her attention on the question part of his reply. She shook her head hesitantly, replying with a simple "No," unsure of how else to respond. She wasn't used to having these type of sentences put in a question form. Most of the time it was just Eh, don't worry la! or It's okay wan! No need to worry!

With a smile, she turned to leave but was stopped when he spoke again. What a nice voice he had! She brushed the thought aside and turned back around to face him, trying to keep her expression from showing that she was affected by his looks.

Mei Xin nodded at his question. "Ya. I got go Hogwarts also," she replied though for some reason, she didn't not ask him about his house or year. She seemed to have lost her ability to socialise in the face of such handsomeness.

"I'm Mei Xin. Not 'Signorina' or 'Bella' ", she responded, taking his hand to return the handshake. But great was her surprise when, instead of shaking it, he kissed it. She was so shocked by the action that she pulled her hand away without thinking and enclosed it with her other hand. Nothing could stop the blush that infused her face all the way to the roots of her hair though. It was the first time a male's lips touched any part of her body and she was utterly unsure of how to react. Ma would die or go chee sin if she saw this.
[Chee sin(seen): Cantonese for crazy. 'Chee' means sticky and 'sin' means a line or string. Put together, I'm pretty sure it is used to describe that the nerves in your brain stuck together, making you crazy.]

Needing a change in topic to alleviate the awkwardness she was beginning to feel, she said the first thing that came to her mind. "Eh! Cassan ah? Same as Addie leh. You're her brother?" she blurted out.
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PostSubject: Re: what are you doing so far away from home? // phua mei xin   Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:41 pm

Felipe smiled at her as if he had won a jackpot. He would definitely be looking forward to seeing her around in Hogwarts, especially now that he knew someone as lovely as her existed in his boring old school. Even her name, Mei Xin, was incredibly beautiful, and Felipe tucked that piece of information carefully in his memory.

It was adorable, how she had quickly pulled away when Felipe kissed her hand. Felipe had to stop himself from pushing his luck too far - it seemed as if he had already overstepped his boundaries, as the girl didn't seem to comfortable with such a greeting, but he didn't really regret it due to the pretty flush on her cheeks. Merlin, she was gorgeous, and so different from all those girls he dated back in Hogwarts. She was the sort of girl who made him want to bring out a guitar and sing a song. She was the sort of girl who made him excited at the thought of seeing her again. She was that sort of girl, and perhaps more.

She was still a stranger, after all. But she was a stranger who made Felipe's world stop, even for just a bit.

Chuckling, he tried to shake the stupid thoughts entering his head. He was never the sappy sort with anyone, not even with Lucy. Focusing on Mei Xin's beautiful brown eyes, Felipe shook his head. 'Yes, yes, it is a pleasure to meet you, Mei Xin. But you see, I call you 'bella' and 'signorina', because you, miss, are incredibly beautiful.' He replied in his fake exaggerated Italian accent, pleased with himself for sounding so utterly smooth and suave. 'And I think when a girl is beautiful, you must tell it to her, si?'

The embarrassment only came when he remembered that Mei Xin was Addie's coworker. Realising how ridiculous it was that he had a strong Italian accent while Addie had none, Felipe cleared his throat. 'Si, si, Adelaide is my younger sister.' The Italian accent was still there, but he had toned it down, and he had to avoid her eyes for a moment for fear of looking like such an idiot. 'I think she is busy, but please, if you can, tell her I said hi.'
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PostSubject: Re: what are you doing so far away from home? // phua mei xin   Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:09 am

That smile he gave! Mei Xin felt her heart beat double time. Walauwei!! Si liow man! So leng chai, wan! She averted her eyes from his devilishly handsome face to compose herself for a second and gather her thoughts. These feelings were alien to her. Oh, she knew them by theory and that they came along when people saw other people they liked but she'd never experienced them before. And the kiss he gave her hand did not help. It took a moment for her heart to return to it's normal pace and for the heat in her cheeks to fade.

Only to have them come back stronger than ever when the words he spoke clicked in her brain. He'd called her beautiful, incredibly beautiful. Of course, she'd been called beautiful before, usually by her mother's friends during Chinese New Year visits and family reunions but her mother was always quick to deny it. No lah! Where got beautiful wan, my daughter? Very ugly! Yours more beautiful! was her response whenever someone compliment her on her looks. She'd come to believe those words her mother spoke but constantly wondered why, if her mother believed her to be ugly, she'd been named 'Mei' which meant 'beautiful'.

"Oh..but..I'm not beautiful," she responded hesitantly, suddenly unsure of herself. Here was this exotic leng chai telling her she was beautiful when she'd always thought otherwise. Who was she to believe? This stranger she'd just met or her mother? She was inclined to believe her mother's words and yet...what if Felipe was correct and her mother was just exercising false humility?

There was no denying that Mei Xin noticed the sudden change in his accent. She'd heard how strong it was before and thought that maybe he wasn't yet accustomed to the English way of speaking - like her, and maintained his intonation. She wondered what his reason was for the sudden change but was too shy to ask. "Oh, can can!" she replied. "Addie is a very good cook. Eh, you got cook also ah?"
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