After about ten seconds of full-on kissing, Louis pulls away, turns around, and starts pacing with his hands on his head.
“I’m sorry Chase, I’m sorry…”
All that slips out of my mouth in reply is, “Blargejepah.”
“What?” He turns back and looks at me.
I don’t know what to say, “What?"
“Chase, I’m so sorry. That shouldn’t have happened. Don’t worry, it won’t happen again,” he walks back over to me and wraps me in a hug.
“Well,” he’s still hugging me, “This is awkward.”
I nod, still mostly in shock.
“You’re too quiet. Cuss or something.”
He slowly pulls away from the hug, “This is still pretty awkward.”
“Wait a second,” I find my voice, “Why can’t we snog?”
“Because,” His eyebrows furrow like he’s thinking, “We’re good friends.”
“And? You’re my friend, I willingly give you my body, but you don’t accept my gift? Is there something wrong with me?”
He chuckles, “Chase, you’re not a gift. You’re a human being. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you, and that’s why we can’t snog anymore.”
“That makes sense,” I sigh sarcastically, walking past him.
“I’m sorry! What do you want me to say?” He catches up to me.
“I want you to stop acting like a fuckin’ chick!”
“I’m not acting like a chick! I just love being around you, and I don’t want things to change!”
I look up at him sideways, “Sometimes, change can be good.”
“And sometimes it sucks. I mean, look at Rose and Scorpius. They’re without a doubt the two brightest kids at our school, but now they’re going to be teen parents. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t exactly in their plan.”
“I hate plans.”
He looks at the ground, “Then I guess you don’t want to hear mine.”
I grin up at him, “You have a plan?”
“I’m in my last year at Hogwarts; of course I have a plan.”
“And how long have you had this plan?”
He blushes, “Since I was twelve.”
“Mmm hmm. So, what is this big plan?”
“I’m not going to tell you now!” he throws his hands up in the air, “You’re just going to trash all over it!”
“No! I promise I won’t trash all over it!” I show him my fingers so that he knows they’re not crossed.
He throws his arm over my shoulder, “I’ll tell you someday, okay? I’ll catch you by surprise so I know you won’t trash on it.”
I sigh, “But I’m so impatient!” I draw out each word real long.
“That’s what makes it fun.”
I playfully push him, “Asshole.”
He pulls me back in under his arm and we continue to walk. This is how things usually are for us, minus the amazing snog and the awkward talking. We just fit together, and it’s simpler than anything else in my life.
Or at least it was before he kissed me and told me he had a plan in life.
What was his plan? I know he’d always dreamed of being Minister of Magic one day, he even interned under Uncle Kingsley during the summer. But besides that.
I’m guessing that he’ll want a wife and kids. But he probably would want some stereotypical cookie-cutter politician’s wife that looks great in pant suits, not a sassy loose cannon like me who would die without denim shorts(although I’m guessing I’ll eventually grow out of that stage, I don’t want to be forty and wearing short-shorts). And what kind of sidekick marries a politician, anyways?
What am I doing, thinking about marriage? I’m only sixteen, way too young to worry about that stuff.
And that’s when it hits me. I have a choice in that matter, but Rose doesn’t. She’s stuck with the life in front of her, and even if she does become some great apothecary or professor or whatever, it’ll be a far larger struggle than whatever I end up doing. No matter how perfect her baby daddy is, or how pretty her baby comes out, she’ll still have to fight for any life she wants to have.
That’s why she’s the protagonist; because she knows that, and yet she’s still happily keeping the baby. I would never have the strength or bravery to ever go through something like that, and that’s why it’s me that’s the supporting character. The same with Louis; he has that amazing drive in live that just makes you know that he’s the hero. My best quality is my loyalty, the same quality that you see in all the sidekicks; never the heroes.
“A sickle for your thoughts?” I realize that Louis had been amusedly watching me think this whole time.
“Make it a galleon and you got yourself a deal.”
He chuckles in that sweet Louis way, “Sorry, don’t happen to have one on me. But how about I buy you a soda?”
“Gee, Louis, I don’t know. Buying me soda-pop? Isn’t that taking things a little too fast? We aren’t even going steady yet!” I give my best girl-from-the-50’s imitation to mock his said hatred of change between us, and it makes him laugh.
“Chase Longbottom, never in my life have I met anyone like you.”
I spent the rest of our walk to the Humphrey Belcher Café trying to figure out if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
Finally, we were on our way to the train station to go to Hogwarts, my home and native land. Did I just steal that last bit from the Canadian national anthem?
Next to me, Rose was practically jumping in her seat. Hogwarts was the one place in the world she was free to see Scorpius whenever she wanted, and since they were both prefects it was pretty likely that they were going to be seeing a lot of each other.
“I’m sorry your mother couldn’t make it,” Dad said from the driver’s seat, “she had another doctor’s appointment.”
I nod. My mom had been sick for a while now, but things were finally starting to look better for her. We pull up to the station and Rose hops out, super excited. We get our trunks from the back, and start rushing towards platform 9 ¾.
My best friend stops in her tracks when she sees the crowd made up almost entirely of red-heads, spotted with the occasional head of black or blonde hair.
Aunt Hermione is suddenly right there, her arms wrapped around Rose and tears streaming down her face, “Rosey, honey, I’m so sorry, we should’ve been more supportive of you!”
Uncle Ron walks over too, hands in his jacket pockets, looking slightly ashamed of himself, and then begins a speech that’s obviously been scripted by his wife, “I’m sorry too, Rose, I overreacted. You too Chase, I’m sorry Rose had to impose on you because of my lack of support,” he looks over at me; he was always in favor of my tomboy-ness and lack of boys hanging all over me.
“That’s alright, Uncle Ron.”
He gives Rose a hug when her hysterical mother finally lets go of her, and then turns back to me, “Where’s your dad?”
“Back there somewhere,” I motion back to the car, and momentarily feel bad for leaving my dad all alone. But then I remember that he’s going to continue to be my herbology teacher just as he has for the last five and a half years, and the feeling quickly leaves.
Uncle Ron goes to find Dad so they can talk about boring stuff and what not, and Aunt Hermione takes Rose over to the family. I don’t want to be intrusive on their little goodbye party, so I just stand there kind of awkwardly.
“Hi, Chase,” I hear a voice from behind me, and I turn around with a smile hoping that it’s Louis. But it turns out to just be Danny Boot, kind of the daredevil of Hogwarts. He had skater hair and often wore a beat up leather jacket, but besides his bad-boy look he was actually more of the friendly, always in good humor type. Strangely enough, he was Scorpius’s best friend, despite their contrasting styles.
“Oh, hey Danny.”
“You look like you were expecting someone else.”
I half smile, “I thought you might be Louis.”
“Sorry, he’s over there talking to Macey Ackerly.”
I whip around, Danny’s right. Macey’s back was against the wall, Louis just inches away from her with his hand leaning on the wall behind her.
I hear the word, “Slut,” escape from my lips.
“I guess Macey Ackerly does kind of get around,” Danny shrugs.
I look back at him, “I was talking about Louis. Yesterday he kissed me, said that he’d never kiss me again, and then started trying to act all normal again. It was bizarre.”
“At least he kissed you,” Danny shrugs, “It’s pretty obvious that you like him, so I’m guessing that was nice.”
“It’s obvious to everyone except him! That boy just can’t take a hint.”
“Then why don’t you just tell him you like him?” The brown-eyed boy says like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
I sigh and throw my hands up in the air dramatically, “Don’t you see? People don’t just not notice things for no reason! He doesn’t feel that way about me, so his brain makes him oblivious.”
Danny scratches his head through his chestnut-colored hair as he looks at me, as if I’m a crazy person that he can’t figure out.
“You think a lot, huh?” He asks.
“Yes, but never about the important things.”
“I can see that. But Chase, if Louis doesn’t see you the way you see him, he must not realize what he’s missing out on,” Danny says though I don’t really hear him, I’m too busy internally freaking out as Louis leans in to kiss Macey Ackerly.
“Man-whore!” I say very loudly, but duck behind Danny as Louis turns to see who said that. I didn’t really feel like talking to the stupid veela boy at the moment, although I guess I didn’t seem to mind shouting insults at him from across the train station and then hiding behind a boy who sagged his skinny jeans. That really wasn’t all that attractive, especially seeing as Danny’s boxers were green plaid. I hate green.
“Chase, why are you trying to pull my pants up?”
“There is no use in you wearing a belt if you’re not gonna use it!”
Danny laughs, “I mostly just do that to make my old man mad.”
I eventually let go of his jeans and walk back to his front-side, “Did he still kiss her after I yelled at him?”
“Just a short one, and then they walked onto the train together.”
“Holy shit, the train leaves in five minutes and we’re not on it!”
The boy shrugs, “Let’s go then. I know Rose sits in the prefect compartment with Scorp, and I don’t think you’re really up to chilling with Louis and Macey Ackerly at the moment, so we might as well sit together.”
I shrug back, “Sure.”
We hop on the train and find a slightly empty compartment, with the exception of Lorcan and Lysander Scamander who are passed out on the floor. They always do that; they won’t come out of this comatose state until the train stops at Hogwarts. May Merlin bless their strange little souls.
We sit down, and I relax a little as the train starts to move. Who cares if Louis would rather do the tongue tango with Macey Ackerly than hang out with me? He’s a popular seventh year, I’m surprised he’s stayed around me this long.
And I’m no Macey Ackerly, she’s one of those girls that you have to include her last name when you talk about her because she’s just that popular. I’ll never be one of those girls, especially since I always try my best to keep my last name out of conversation. It kind of sucks having a dad who’s your herbology professor, co-owner of the Leaky Cauldron, AND a famous horcrux destroyer.
Plus, what the fuck kind of name is Longbottom? My bottom is actually unfortunately small, if no one’s noticed. Oh, right, no one has noticed.
“What are you thinking about?” Danny asks me.
“Have you noticed my butt?” I ask back, not really realizing I’m speaking out loud.
“What?” He looks at me like I’m crazy.
“I didn’t mean to actually say that.”
He laughs, “Good, because that question is a fucking double edged sword. If I’d said yes, I would sound like a perv, but then if I’d lied and said no then it would be almost like an insult to your barely-there ass.”
“…thanks I guess?”
Danny thinks for a second, “I’m sorry. I don’t really have a filter.”
“How come you and Scorpius are friends?” I can’t help but blurt out the question I’ve been wondering for five and a half years, “You guys are nothing alike. Scorpius is a goody-two-shoe know it all who’s usually super nice but goes crazy when given a bottle of Windex. You’re a care-free slacker who spends more time doing stunts on your ghetto-ass broomstick than actually going to class.”
“And you think nobody wonders the same question about you and Rose? She’s a sweet, innocent girl who’s freakishly polite and has a weird obsession with wearing dresses or skirts. You’re crazy, foul-mouthed, and do you EVER wear shoes that aren’t converse?” Danny retorts quickly, causing me to realize that Rose and I are seriously polar opposites.
“My shoes are comfy…” I look down at my old, beaten up gray converse that I’ve had and worn almost every day since fourth year, despite my mother’s efforts to get me in “lady shoes”.
“This conversation is beginning to bore me,” Danny says bluntly with a yawn.
“Well then! I didn’t realize I was so un-entertaining!”
“I think I might start calling you Beige Paint as a nickname.”
“No! If I had a nickname, I’d want it to be something cool, like T-Rex or Genie Bra!”
“Okay, okay! I’ll call you… Taxi.”
“Because that makes you sound like a prostitute, which is a funny thought. Plus, whenever I see you, I can shout, ‘Hey Taxi!’ like I’m in New York or something.”
I narrow my eyes at him, “No.”
“Hot damn you’re intimidating!” he pretends to be scared of me, “I got it. You’re Baby Buns. Y’know, because your ass is small.”
“That is the stupidest nickname ever.”
“I’d like to see you think of a better one! C’mon, think of one for me.”
“Alright, you’re…” I try to think of a nickname for him, and then remember once in second year when Danny’s mom sent him to school with fourteen loafs of wonderbread, and he ate so much he threw up, “Wonderboy.”
I smirk, “If I have to be Baby Buns, I get to call you something that makes you reminisce about how kids made fun of you for six months straight!”
Danny looks at me sideways, “You have a fucked-up mind, Baby Buns.”
“I’d rather have a fucked-up mind than flooding the boy’s lavatory with my stomach juice, Wonderboy.”
Our banter continued like this for the rest of the ride, especially when Danny “jokingly” recommended that we just change into our uniforms there in the compartment together, after which I made sure to give him a nice kick in his twig-n-berries.
We get off the train, Danny limping a little bit but still insisting that it was “worth a shot”. We meet up with Rose and Scorpius, and the four of us hop into our carriage, drawn by invisible things that my dad claims to be able to see ever since the war.
“Did you two have a nice ride together?” Rose inquires sweetly.
Danny smiles, “Actually, yes, except for the part when Chase tried to make me a soprano for the rest of my life.”
“Oh, hush, Wonderboy, you know you deserved it.”
Scorpius snorts at my nickname for Danny, recalling the bread incident.
Danny makes an obscene gesture at his best friend.
“Chase,” Scorpius ignores the gesture and turns his attention to me, “How was your alone time with Louis yesterday? Did he make any moves on you?”
“He kissed me,” Rose and Scorp smile big, “And then he took it back, apologized, and today I saw him playing tonsil hockey with Macey Ackerly.”
“That slut!” Scorpius says, almost femininely.
I grin, “If Rose wasn’t knocked up, I would seriously doubt your claimed sexual orientation.”
“Rose is pregnant?” Danny looks like he’s about to throw up.
I turn white and look at the red-head and blonde, “He didn’t know?”
Scorpius sighs, “He does now.”
In contrast to my suddenly pale complexion, Danny is beginning to turn a horrible tomato red, “What the fucking hell? You fucked Rose and didn’t even fucking tell me? And now she’s fucking pregnant! Holy fuck!”
I’m going to throw out a guess that Danny cusses more when he’s mad.
Coincidentally, we reached the castle right at that moment. Danny hopped out of the carriage angrily and steamed away, leaving the three of us with no idea what to do.
I turn to Scorpius, who seems shocked, “Why did he freak out so bad?”
“That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I think he might just be mad that I lost my virginity before he did, he’s always considered himself to be such a badass and now I’m the one who’s had sex first.”
“That makes sense. If I were him I’d be mad, especially since you’re such a tight-ass,” I nod, and Scorpius rolls his eyes.
“You don’t think he’s going to tell everyone, do you?” Rose almost squeaks.
Scorpius and I shrug worriedly, not really sure what Danny’s going to do. He’s usually so laid back and forgiving about everything, it’s weird that he got so upset. But, when I think about it, Danny does have a reason to be mad. I obviously don’t want to get pregnant, but the whole my-best-friend-having-sex-first thing is kind of a lot to deal with.
On one hand, the fact that she does have a fetus inside her now even though they used a condom scares the crap out of me. On the other hand, there are people all around us having sex with no consequences, and the way that Rose is closer to being one of them than I am kind of irks me. The fact that she lost her virginity first is a fact that will always be true, and that’s something that both Danny and I have to come to terms with now.
But I guess he just isn’t.
Scorpius walks Rose and I to our common room, on the way we blandly greeted the people who stayed here over Christmas holiday that are desperate for something to do. Rose and Scorpius politely deny invitations to wizard chess, exploding snap, and orgies in the forest. Okay, maybe I added the last one on, but if you could see how starved of entertainment these kids were you would think that’s what they were asking for too.
Just as the two of us walk into the Gryffindor common room, some timid little first year comes up to me shyly, “Are you Chase Longbottom? I was told to give this note to whatever brunette chick is walking next to Rose Weasley.”
I nod and snatch the note from the kid’s hand, purposely violent, and the kid runs away looking like it’s about to cry. Hey, if someone doesn’t toughen those things up, they’re going to get eaten alive by the Slytherins.
I open the note:
“Hey Baby Buns,
Sneak out tonight at 12 and meet me on the astronomy tower. I need to talk to you.
“Well,” I start, and Rose steals the note to read it herself, “It looks like I’ll have to steal James’s invisibility cloak again.”
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