Chapter Eight - Shopping Therapy
A Gargoyle in St Louis Author:
Violence, Insanity Summary:
After Voldemort is defeated, Harry must flee for his life before he comes into an unknown creature inheritance. His sanity is already fragile when he arrives in St. Louis will he survive the changes intact. Crossover with ABtVH. Creatures, Vampires, D/s, Gray!Harry Disclaimer:
Not Mine. The author receives no financial gain from its production or distribution.
A Gargoyle in St Louis Chapter Eight - Shopping Therapy
May 1998 - St. Louis
Early the next day, Harry found and checked into a rather nice hotel as 'Bran Evans'. His first task was to eradicate his old 'look', which he'd been desperate to do for years. He wanted to get rid of everything that was characteristically 'Harry Potter' - his baggy, oversized clothing, his scar, his hair, his ugly glasses and his vivid green eyes. He planned to finally buy clothes that suited him and made him feel good. His scar had begun fading and hopefully it would eventually fade so that it wasn't noticeable - for now, he applied a glamour to it. Before the soul-link had been destroyed, no amount of magic would conceal it; now it was just a blemish. His hair had grown out a lot in the last year and the extra weight had given him more control of it. He wasn't going to cut it as he would be more at risk of being recognised as 'Harry Potter' with short hair. He thought he might get it dyed or streaked. As he no longer needed to wear glasses or keep up the pretence that he did, he transfigured his father's glasses into sunglasses as they were still useful. Bran couldn't bring himself to change anything about his eyes - the link with his Mother was too precious.
He asked at reception for some recommendations on places to go shopping and then headed out by taxi. The shopping centre was a huge collection of department stores, boutiques and everything else; his first stop was to get his hair changed.
His hairdresser was a young man called Gregory with blonde tips and multiple face piercings. Bran ended up deciding to get his hair trimmed and highlights of blonde and silver put through. Gregory was a serious flirt and Bran suspected he just enjoyed making him blush with his suggestive comments. They talked a lot about St Louis and what to do around town for fun. It seemed that many of the more popular clubs were run by vampires.
A young man with seriously long auburn hair and violet eyes came in wearing black leather pants and a mesh shirt. He had dark shadows under his eyes, and looked like he had the weight of the world on his back. Gregory stopped what he was doing with Bran's hair and beckoned the man over.
"Hey Nate, What's up, you look like shit."
"It's just been a bad week Gregory. I thought I'd come in and see how you guys are going, spend the day around here and get some retail therapy." The violet eyed man said trying to give a smile.
"How's work going Nate?"
"Work's great still." He replied elusively.
"Take a seat next to Bran here and help me out. Bran's new in town and I'm in the process of corrupting, I mean, introducing him to the highlights of our town. Of course Nate here's a highlight all by himself." He said with a snigger. "Give me your hands Nate and I'll give you a manicure to cheer you up while we wait on the colour."
Nate somehow slinked to the chair Gregory had indicated and folded himself into it and allowed Gregory to take his hands to work on.
"How long have you been in town?" Nathaniel asked.
"Only since yesterday"
"You're from England? Are you just here for a holiday or are you here longer?"
"I'm just here for a few weeks now but I'm looking at moving out permanently later in the year."
The three talked for a while about nightclubs to go to, things to do around town and possible jobs. Bran felt surprisingly comfortable about joking around with these two men.
"What else are you doing up to today?"
"Shopping therapy!" He chuckled. "I need an entire new wardrobe. What I'm wearing is the only decent thing that I have. And I'm scouting the area." Bran thought about it. "You want to come with? You look good and I could use all the help I can get." Bran asked hopefully.
They both raised an eyebrow and he blushed when he realised what he'd said. "What I mean to say is that you appear to be a man of style and taste. And I'm sure you could impart your valuable style wisdom while I attempt to negotiate my way through the dastardly construct that is 'The American Shopping Mall'," he said in his toffiest accent.
They all laughed.
"An invitation to help you spend money? Sounds good," Nate snickered.
Nathaniel arranged to meet Gregory for lunch at two and then headed off with Bran.
"So what are you looking for?"
"Everything, I need some everyday stuff, some winter stuff, club stuff and some conservative stuff and everything in between."
He ended up getting several winter jackets, fleeces, jeans, trousers, t-shirts, button-ups, boots, sneakers and shoes before he begged Nathaniel to slow down. In the beginning, he'd found it a novel experience. He'd loved the different textures and types of fabric - he'd fallen in love with the cool shimmery feel of silk and with the warm fuzzy feel of fleece. After a few hours of Nathaniel's blistering pace around the mall, however, it had become serious hard work. Still, he was glad for the help; he wouldn't have known where to start. Finally he convinced Nathaniel to stop for lunch so he could take a rest.
He'd really enjoyed the morning; Nate was a lot of fun - even if he did enjoy shocking him and making him blush. When he'd found out that Nathaniel worked as a stripper in a Vampire owned club, he'd blushed and stammered before asking if he enjoyed and If It pays well. He could tell that Nate loved dancing and playing to the crowd. He talked a lot about his friends and the people he worked with. He wouldn't talk about what was bothering him earlier other than saying 'Girl trouble'. Of course they'd both snickered when later he asked Bran why he wanted to leave England. He'd just said simply "Girl trouble," before adding, "… and girl's mother trouble and girl's five brother's trouble... and a bit of other trouble."
"What, you knocked up your girl?"
"Merlin no, I wouldn't touch her. She's an obsessed, gold-digging, stalker, psychopath girl and her family expects us to get married. I barely managed to escape with my life!" Bran replied jokingly with a shudder.
Slinging a free hand around Bran's shoulders, he asked "Poor, poor Bran, so was it the obsessed, gold-digging, stalker, psychopath part or the girl part that made you run?"
Bran blushed, "Um, maybe both. But if I'd stayed, I would have been trapped anyway."
"What made you decide to come here and not just leave town?"
"My godfather left me an old place outside of St. Louis, I need something to do so I thought I'd check it out and see if I could do it up and stuff."
They caught up with Gregory for lunch and had a good time chatting about stuff. Bran was astonished at how much food the two could put away.
"I'm going to take Bran here over to the district and check out some of my favourite stores"
Gregory's eyes sparkled in mischievous delight and he leered at Bran. "Oh, I want to see that too!" he exclaimed, "I'm finished for the day, I'll drive! I'll see if Stephen wants to come too - he should be awake by now."
Gregory called his brother and arranged to meet him there.
They loaded the huge collection of shopping bags into Gregory's car and headed down to a shopping street near the river.
"Welcome to the blood district; home to blood suckers, the furry and the freaks, Open all night long." Said Gregory with a grin
Bran stared as they passed by nightclubs and music venues that had their neon lights on - Danse Macabre, The Laughing Corpse, and The Circus of the Damned.
They met up with Stephen and Bran looked at him oddly, trying to figure what was familiar about him. He was obviously Gregory's identical twin but he felt more familiar. It was just a feeling about his aura or energy. Both Nate and Gregory had similar but different energies surrounding them, warm and spicy.
Caught staring, Bran blushed, "Sorry, you just really remind me of someone I was trying to figure it out. A close friend of mine, he was… kind of um… wild."
Nathaniel, Gregory and Stephen all shared glances and a silent conversation. Finally Gregory shrugged "We all get kind of wild actually" he said cautiously.
Bran cocked his head a concentrated, "Remus was a wolf, a close friend of my father's. Um, are you all…"
"I am. These two are kitty flavoured." Stephen said
"Wereleopards," said Nate helpfully after seeing the bewildered expression on Bran's face.
"Oh," Bran said with a frown, "I didn't know there were other types of weres."
"Wolves are the most common then Rats and Hyenas. There are also Leopards, Tigers, Lions, Bears, and assorted others. There are Swans and Snakes but they're more of a magical curse than a virus." Nathaniel added.
"How bizarre. My school only ever mentioned Werewolves. Oh well, Learn something new everyday, if your not careful." He shrugged. Thinking about Teddy he asked, "Is it accepted socially here?
"Technically, it's illegal to discriminate against or to hunt a lycanthrope, but in practice, it's still hard. Lot's of employers won't hire if they know. There are enough of us here though to find work and family though. We all take care of each other."
"I have a Godson back in London who'll likely transform when he's older. The people I grew up around are… less than tolerant of 'non-humans'. What would it be like for a child over here?" He asked curiously.
"Is he wolf?"
"In St Louis there's a large pack. While he's still a child, he'd be protected by all. And it helps to have more people like you when you're learning control. Maybe you should talk one of the leaders of the pack."
"Try the coalition; it's a support/advocacy group run by Lycanthropes in this city. Micah will give you advice." Nathaniel added.
"Both his parents died not long ago and he's with his Grandmother at the moment, we're not sure if he'll transform. I'm not sure how she'll handle it if he does. Even if he doesn't transform, he'll still have a rough time of it." Bran shrugged feeling depressed at the thought that he wouldn't be able to see Teddy easily. He'd made arrangement with Pappy to ensure that he was watched but still.
Glad that furriness wasn't going to be a problem for their new friend, they dragged him into the store that Nate said was his favourite.
It seemed that Nate, Gregory and Stephen were all a bit leather obsessed as nearly all of the stores here specialised in leather and kink gear. The first store they'd entered, he stared in shock, blushed and nearly walked straight out as he saw the bondage gear displayed. Nate and Gregory snickered and grabbed onto his arms, dragging him further in.
Nathaniel quickly grabbed a pair of leather pants and top and pushed Bran into a changing room with strict instructions to try them on or else he'd find something shorter.
Bran changed into the clothes with a lot of effort, grumbling under his breath and said from the change room "You guys are having fun playing 'Make the Brit Blush' aren't you." He came out dressed in what Nate had selected. All three smirked back and leered at his body covered in snug leather pants with strategically placed zips and buckles and mesh and strap top.
"Very nice, you just need some high boots, a touch of eyeliner and mascara… and a collar"
Bran disagreed rather vehemently at the idea of wearing a collar.
Nate just smirked and handed him some more styles to try on.
He did end up buying a warm lined leather jacket he really liked and the first pair of leather pants and several of the shirts that Nathaniel had insisted he try. At the cash register, he saw a few leather collars on display and ran his hand over a fur lined one curiously. He heard Nathaniel snickering beside and he blushed when the assistant smirked at him and handed him his bag. They wandered through a few more leather stores and managed to find some more gear that he thought he might try. After a while, it was kind of fun and he loved the feel of firm leather and the soft silks and mesh tops. He wasn't too bothered if he never wore them, he could afford it. And some of the materials felt good next to his skin.
He ended up buying some more leather pants, heaps of silk shirts, a vest, a gauntlet and a few pairs of boots that he fell in love with. Both pairs had silver buckles and a bit of extra height that he really liked.
"We're taking you out on the town tomorrow night. We'll pick you up at the hotel tomorrow at nine. I'll even do your makeup when we get there." Gregory winked at him.
Bran just blushed at the idea of wearing the clothes out in public but he was looking forward to it anyway.
Updated: 7 October 2008
I'm in need of Beta assistance to help to help me keep my tenses straight. Also need help with typo's, commas, semi-colons. I've got about 15k words written so far. Please send msg by my Author's page if you can help.