Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Charlie Weasley, J.K. Rowling does.
Romania was a huge place, but the small town of Uricani only had a population of around 8000 people. Arriving here 3 months ago from busy London had been a real eye opener for you. You soon found out that there was a mixture of people living here ranging from backpackers, thrill seekers, travellers, explorers, and nature lovers, to locals who were born and bred here.
You were a nature lover, here for work. After graduating you began were working for the Department for the Protection of Magical Flora and Fauna and your newest project had required you to relocate to Romania. Uricani was a beautiful town that had a deep and rich culture. It also bordered Retezat National Park, which was where you carried out the majority of your work. Arriving a couple of months ago meant that you had met many work related acquaintances, though you had few actual friends here. The days were long, especially living with your project partner, Yvonne. It seemed as though there was no escape from the work atmosphere, which funnily enough was fine by you as your job was your passion.
Yvonne had arrived in Romania at the same time as you and the pair of you had been given the task of surveying the national park's endangered flora and fauna by the Ministry of Magic. Living and working together had forced you become friends quickly, and that’s how you ended up at the local pub for the first time since you’d arrived.
The pub had a friendly vibe when you entered, currently filled with local labourers blowing off steam after a hard week. Yvonne and yourself occupied a small table near the back, reminiscing about your childhood and schooling years. Yvonne had grown up in Romania and hearing about her upbringing was fascinating to you. Though Yvonne wasn’t here purely to enjoy your company – she was at the pub to score a date.
“Oh, he’s cute!” she exclaimed in a rushed whisper, placing her hand on your forearm and staring at a tall, dark haired Romanian who was chatting away to his friends.
“You’ve said that about the last 5 men,” you said through a half sigh, rolling your eyes at the woman. “He can be as cute as a button, but if you don’t talk to him then what’s the point?”
“A button? What does that mean?”
You smiled at her confusion over the common saying. “It means you should actually make yourself known to one of these guys.” That wasn’t what the saying meant at all, but you were certainly getting over sitting around watching her lust over every single guy in here.
“I am going to go talk to him!” she told bravely.
Your eyes widened in shock as she picked up her drink and sauntered over to the man. You had to stop yourself from laughing at her as she exaggerated her interest in him. Not only had she gone over to talk to the man, but she had sat on his lap and was already whispering in his ear.
As her movements became more intimate you decided to look elsewhere, your eyes roaming around the room until they came to a stop. You locked eyes with a man sitting alone at a table, holding a pint of beer. He gave you a warm smile and then pointing towards Yvonne, his index finger lifted to his temple as he rotated it around in small circles to indicate that she seemed a bit crazy. You gave him a weary smile and nodded to indicate that you agreed with him. His smile widened and he pointed at himself, and then the empty chair at your table. You nodded your head, allowing him to join you.
When the man stood up, you let your eyes roam over his body. He was of average height, perhaps a head taller than yourself. His hair was a fiery red, the length looking newly grown and shaggy, almost reaching his shoulders. It was clear that he spent a lot of time in the sun due to the amount of freckles covering his face, almost darkening his skin colour by a shade. The man looked very fit, his arms were muscular and although his shirt was loose, you could see how taut his stomach and chest were.
“Hi,” he said when he reached you, the same grin on his face. "I'm Charlie."
The first thing you noticed was his accent - he was English. Of course you hadn’t met many Romanians with red hair, but despite the loud and confident way he spoke, you found his voice comforting and homely. He offered you his large hand to shake and you were alarmed at how rough his skin was, the remnants of calluses and blisters still prominent. Your eyes travelled up from his hand, stopping to admire the scars on his forearm before lingering on his rounded bicep.
You gave him your first name. “I was hoping we were going to carry out this conversation purely through hand gestures,” you teased, scoring a laugh from him.
It was your turn to laugh. “I’m glad you speak English. My Romanian isn’t great.”
“How long have you been over here?”
“I’ve been here for 3 months.”
“Work?” You nodded yes to his question. “I’ve been here two years for the same thing.”
“So you’re fluent in Romanian then?”
"Desigur. În principal în înjurături."
"...Well that backfired. Impressive.”
Charlie grinned again, glad you didn't speak much Romanian so you couldn't figure out what he'd said. "So, ah… your friend seems a bit -”
“Desperate?” you finished for him, his grin expanding across his weather beaten face. “No, she’s just a bit lonely here. She’s Romanian, but not from Uricani.”
“You guys should definitely come out here more often, we’re a friendly bunch.”
You rolled your eyes again, offering a laugh. “I guess if everyone is as friendly as you….”
He set his drink down on the table. “Nah, you won’t find another like me," he replied with a carefree smirk, a small twinkle in his eyes.
It wasn’t long before Yvonne wobbled back over to your table, unaware that you and Charlie were in a spirited conversation about Quidditch teams.
“He s’not as good-looking as I thought he’d be,” she slurred her words, slumping down in the seat next to you. Clearly she hadn’t managed to score with the guy she’d been chatting to.
You and Charlie exchanged a look, though you directed your question to Yvonne. “Shall we head home then?”
“Yeah,” she agreed, standing up with a wobble. “Oh, who’s you?” she said densely, pointing her finger at Charlie and looking startled.
“Charlie,” he said, wrapping a caring arm around her shoulders and leading her to the door.
“Thanks,” you sighed, watching your drunken friend stumble around aimlessly on the street once you had both let her go. You continued to watch her though, making sure she didn’t walk onto the quiet road. “It was nice to meet you…” you trailed off with a vague smile.
You didn’t know what to do, you had had a great time with this guy but you didn’t want to be too forward.
“Perhaps I’ll see you round?” he asked, shoving his hands in his pockets. He spoke so casually that you were sure that if you told him you never wanted to see him again he'd just smile and shrug it off.
Yvonne was by your side, her arm wrapped around you now as she wagged a finger in Charlie’s face. “What are you doin’ to my beautiful friend? You can’t touch her,” she hiccupped.
Charlie raised his hands up in the arm, defeated. “I’m not touching her,” he responded, a small smile playing on his lips.
“And who are you, again?” Yvonne slurred stupidly, eyes narrowed suspiciously.
“ALRIGHT,” you said loudly before Charlie had to repeat himself to Yvonne. “Definitely time to be going. I’ll see you round, Charlie.”
You managed to get a firm grip of Yvonne’s arm and saw Charlie giving you a quick wave before the two of you disapparated home.