Teddy Lupin turns his ginger hair black and pulls his apron and rubber-soled shoes out of his expandable wallet. He swaps his shoes before he boards the Tube, but keeps the apron under his arm.
Four days a week, from 6 a.m. to noon, Teddy serves coffee. His grandmother is delighted that he wakes up as early as she does; she has no idea that when he says he’s going out running, he actually means that he’s running an espresso machine.
Teddy is exhausted. Some days it takes all his effort just to change his hair. However, it’s worth it, not only because the occasional wizards who pass through the coffee shop never recognize him, but also because every tourist who comes into the place asks him if he knows how much he looks like Benedict Cumberbatch.
Teddy now knows who Benedict Cumberbatch is. His coworker showed him a picture on her phone. Teddy wants to ask his grandmother, or maybe his godfather Harry, for a phone like that for his birthday. From Teddy’s perspective, changing his hair is an everyday activity, but his coworker’s iPhone is magical.
But he’s not going to spend a penny of his earnings on an iPhone, or on anything else for himself. He’s saving up for an engagement ring, for Victoire.
He wants to marry her by the end of the year, and he wants to move with her into London, into the community of wizards who have made their own adulthood, one that includes everything he and Victoire have uncovered on their secret trips into the city: iPhones and television and clubbing and video games and so many wonderful experiences that his grandparents never told him existed.
His same coworker, a young woman with pink hair who he first thought was a wizard until he learned that her hair color came from bleach and dye — she offered to do his, and he wished he could show off and turn his hair pink right then and there — showed him another image on her phone. Stick figures doing something with hearts and circles, with the words “Because we’re grownups now, and it’s our turn to decide what that means.”
She offered to send it to him, but Teddy didn’t have an email or a Facebook.
Teddy wants an email and a Facebook.
But that will come later, after the engagement ring. He already has it picked out. It’s got a small blue stone set off by two delicate shimmering ones. It looks like Victoire and will cost almost everything he earns this summer.
And then he and Victoire will move to London, and get jobs and emails and friends and television and video games and start their lives, the adulthood that they finally get to create on their own.
PREVIOUSLY: Sybill Trelawney
Photo: Evan Blaser