Chapter One

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Summer of 2015

Harry showed up second, a month after the girl. Without total knowing, he already felt uneasy around the girl. Calling her a girl was easier to him, under his age and without a care he assumed, as well as telling himself that she was just here for college credit, not because she actually cared. His guard was up, always up, when he desperately wanted to shed it in the heavy heat of the day.

In the middle of Africa, he waited a moment in the dry heat, choosing his life carefully. Who was he going to be to this girl? He had to work with her for the next two months, so he had to give a little. Harry easily knew the rules, to be gracious and kind, smile willingly, pretend as if life was great, but the girl was bound to see his bad side at some point. He wanted her to a be "fangirl" over another reporter.

He walked on.

When Harry reached the town, which was fitted between two larger slums, he was immediately greeted by the mayor of the village, naming off the people that smiled as well, the small slums were perched around them, greeting them, putting the village on two sides of the village, right or left. Harry was going to share a small slum with the girl, every second of the next two months with her, until she left, moving onto whatever life existed out of here.

Finally, his blue eyes caught the sight of her, not mixing into the crowd at all. She was taller than most, matching his height, and she didn't even look at him. The girl wasn't even wearing much clothes, going modern in shorts and a tank top with tennis shoes. Still, she didn't look at him, not even removing her eyes from the children she talked to as they played around. The girl, Harry cursed himself already for judging, wasn't the type of normalcy: her height, first, but then there were her looks; she wasn't ugly but she wasn't pretty, maybe average, on the heavier side, and still she didn't glance over to him.

The mayor finally called out for her, and she glanced over to give them a sign that she needed another moment. The children and her went back to talking. When she finally came over, the girl had the nerve to only glance at him, looking at him straight in the eyes without hesitation, and then she met the gaze of the mayor as they held introductions. The mayor left, only them.

Harry stuck out his hand. "Harry," he introduced.

Her eyes narrowed on him. "Let me guess: ginger hair, hand-me-down clothes, you must be a Weasley."

American. "What?"

She stared at him. "You're British."

"Yes."

"That was a Harry Potter joke?" She didn't realize why he didn't get it, which she assumed he was the one Briton who hadn't watched Harry Potter.

"Oh."

"Lucy." Her name it occurred to him as she shook his hand. "Don't make Harry Potter jokes, noted."

"No, it's fine." He shook his head, not understanding her. "Prince."

"Queen."

"What?"

"I thought we were naming 80's musicians...."

Harry paused. "I'm a prince."

"I'm a badass queen."

"No, I'm a prince, as in royalty, the British monarchy."

"I'm a human being, as in Earth, the Milky Way." Harry waited and so did she, meeting his gaze. "Is that all?"

"Maybe."

"Let's go." Lucy moved and Harry had no choice but to follow.

She moved quickly, elegantly with her long legs, without a pause to even see Harry behind her. It didn't matter to her, whatever he chose to do. Lucy was in charge here, his boss. Informing him, she pointed here and there quickly, sometimes asking if he had any questions, which he never did, taking in orders smoothly. Lucy didn't order him but her voice was strong, not scared to be loud, but she didn't have the normal American voice of a loud American. She was confident in her words; she couldn't be challenged. Damn, she was intimidating, Harry knew it.

When they reached the schoolhouse, small and the best built building in the whole village, she gave him the necessary introductions to the room, where the children's things were, what she currently taught them, how she taught the adults in the morning and night if they wanted to learn; she continued. Her accent was lost on him, slightly familiar from somewhere, as if he heard it before, but some of the words were drawn out, but not from the south of the U.S. Sometimes when she said certain words, he tried not to laugh, even through intimidation; her words weren't clipped or short, broadcasted through the room.

Lucy moved just down the small street, the first slum next to the schoolhouse was their's, two cots on opposite sides with her bag closed. Small trinkets of hers were laid out, making herself a little home. Lucy showed Harry his side, letting him take his time, and she walked out with a swift goodbye. He sat on the cot, feeling at home again. It was sad to admit that his bed at home was too soft; this life was much better. Harry shifted on the bed, removing some of his clothes from his bag, unsure where to put them; there was a dresser but Lucy's bag was still full. He pulled a drawer open gently and found no clothes there. Resting on top of the dresser laid one of Lucy's trinkets, a shined silver locket, which he didn't touch, though his confidence hit him like a truck. The silver shined in the bright light that came from the scarves that covered the windows, blinding him. Harry pushed back; it wasn't his.

Lucy was already teaching, but he didn't start until the next day. His interest rose. Harry was quiet when he walked in, staying in the back, getting the glances from the children; Lucy never looked at him. When the children moved to learn in groups, Lucy moved over to him. "Did you find anything interesting?" she asked.

Harry had. "You teach differently than the teachers I ever had."

She scoffed. "There are many different ways to learn." With that, Lucy went to help the students, going around to every group. The children would laugh and chant. With a flick her Lucy's wrist, Harry followed her motion and followed her around, listening to how she talked, watching how she moved, so easy for her to speak. When Lucy moved to speak in front of the students again, she didn't hesitate, able to say word that came to her mind.

The children squealed, leaving the schoolhouse, and Harry followed Lucy. "Why are you here?" he asked.

"Magic."

Harry's eyes narrowed, taking in her sass. "Why did you choose to work here?"

"I'm not being paid. Are you?"

"No."

"That's called volunteer work," she corrected. Harry rolled his eyes, and Lucy scoffed. He caught himself but he couldn't act well. "Can't act innocent, Prince Charming?" She walked away, a twinkling in her eyes.

Harry had this thought that maybe she actually had no idea who he was. She wasn't into that sort of thing, but she knew. He saw it in her eyes, the way she spoke in such a clear tone, she took a step back from him. He grew sweaty under his heavy armor.

His mind wandered: why had she stepped back? What did she hide? What did she want?

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