“Blargejepah?!” My attempt at an interrogative exclamation fails miserably, mostly because I’m so shocked. Rose is breathing heavily, the tears still running down her face from when she was crying just moments ago.
She inhales deeply, closing her eyes as she does so. When she opens them, she says through clenched teeth, “Will all of you please leave Chase and me alone for a moment?”
Terrified out of their wits, the Potter-Weasley clan quickly shuffles out of the room like a herd of scared sheep. The only ones left behind are Scorpius, who is standing next to Rose looking very conflicted, and Louis, who has yet to let go of my hand in some sort of a protective gesture. I’m still standing here with my mouth open like an idiot.
Rose glares at her cousin, “This isn’t your business.”
“You have no right to be angry at Chase, and frankly no good reason either—“
“She doesn’t need you to protect her, okay? She’s a big girl, Louis. Maybe you should let her handle her own problems for once,” she turns to the father of her unborn child, “I need you to leave too. I have to talk to her, alone.”
Unsure of themselves and both seeming somewhat offended, they walk out of the room silently.
“And then there were two,” I mutter under my breath.
“THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?” inquires my sweet, pregnant best friend ever so politely.
“Me? What’s wrong with YOU? You wake up from a coma and all the sudden you hate me? Can you please somehow explain this phenomenon to me, because at the moment you’re coming off as quite the psychopath.”
“I’m crazy? I’m crazy? I’m pregnant, okay? I’m really super pollinated by Scorpius’ DNA. And guess what? You’ve barely even spoken to me since you found out! We used to be inseparable, but now the only times you even speak to me are when your two little boyfriends aren’t paying attention to you. By the way, leading my cousin on when you’re still into another guy? Yeah, I don’t exactly appreciate that.”
“Where is this coming from? You weren’t even hinting at any of this before!”
“I was trying to give you space since you were going through all that crap with your mom. But I just spent Merlin knows how long stuck in some kind of nightmare world where you were cheating on Louis with Scorpius and my baby had sixteen toes and weirdly resembled Nosferatu and I got a P on my exams! The last thing I need is a best friend who runs off and snogs random boys every time there’s a possibility of having to be alone with the pregnant girl.”
“Okay, first of all let me set the ‘snogging random boys’ part straight. I have only kissed three guys in my entire life, which I know is three times as many as you have, but most girls don’t usually go out and snag the future father of their children at the age of twelve like you did, okay? Secondly, if you had, oh I don’t know, told me you had a problem with the way I run my life, maybe I would have been a bit more open to your suggestions. However, it doesn’t exactly make me want to be the president of the Rose Weasley fan club when you spring all of this on me, out of nowhere, in front of your entire family!”
“Yeah, those three guys you’ve kissed? Two of them are my cousins and the other one was just using you get back at me! And do you really think I’m alone in all of this? Nobody feels like they can talk to you anymore except maybe Louis, but he’s just too blinded by this insane idea he has of how perfect you are. James and Maylin are in an outright war right now, but instead of talking to you like they usually would they’ve been coming to me. The other day while you were off hanging out with Danny, Hugo was looking for you because he wanted girl advice and didn’t feel comfortable going to anybody else, but obviously he couldn’t find you. And did you even notice what Lily said when she had the Stone? You’re her hero and you don’t even care. I don’t know what kind of crazy idea got into your head to make you think you’re a Weasley, but you’re not.”
Everything seems lighter now. I can breathe, but there’s faces looking down at me. I recognize them. Lily. Freddie. Albus. Louis.
I look up at them, my eyes big, “What happened?”
“You got in a big fight with Rose,” Lily says softly, “You rushed out and ran here, we ran after you and got here just in time to see you sit in the corner while still hyperventilating. I guess you blacked out; that happens sometimes with anxiety attacks.”
“Where’s everybody else?” I ask. The four cousins look at each other wearily, and I instantly know, “Oh. They’re with Rose. They chose to comfort Rose and not me.”
“Well, she was just in a coma,” Albus tries, “and pregnant. They’re probably more worried about her health than anything. But we’re here, doesn’t that count for something?”
My boyfriend (still not used to that), my ex-boyfriend, the resident womanizer of the family, and the sassy fourth year. I guess even this little ragtag team of friends was somewhat comforting.
“What time is it?” I ask, slowly standing up.
“Six A.M.,” Freddie says cheerfully, “One hour before class.”
I groan. I had been up all night; I was seriously considering skipping classes for the day. But that’s when I remember there are no classes: only weird motivational seminars that are absolutely mandatory for all students. Great.
“Let’s go get breakfast,” Louis wraps his arm around me, “Maybe some food will help you feel better.”
The idea of eating, for once in my life, seemed utterly vile to me. Rose was my best friend, the person I trusted most, the single human in this world that I relied on more than anyone, and she hates me. I would probably start to vomit profusely if not for the lack of food in my stomach.
“Sure, I can eat,” I say, entirely to make Louis feel better. He gives me a suspicious look, but the five of us begin our walk toward the Great Hall anyway.
The names of the people, my friends, that chose to comfort Rose instead of me begin to involuntarily list off in my head. Maylin, James, Hugo, stop it, Roxanne, Song, Lucy, did I have no control over my own thoughts? Lysander, Lorcan. For some reason even the last two hurt, maybe because I’d recently started to think of them more as potential step-brothers rather than just the annoying twins that Lucy hung out with.
My slightly depressing train of thought is interrupted by a full-on collision with Wonderboy himself. I internally scold myself for how much better I feel just from seeing the warmth of his brown eyes.
“Oh sorry Baby Bun—“ he stops mid-sentence when he sees my expression, and then looks around at my somber little comfort party. Without a word, he puts his arms around me and pulls me into a hug; Louis will probably let this one slide.
Over my head, Danny talks to Louis as if I wasn’t even there, “What happened? What’s wrong with her?”
“She and Rose got into a big fight. It wasn’t pretty.”
“What? What could they have fought about that would be this big of a deal?” Wonderboy doesn’t seem to even realize he’s still holding me close to him, though his body heat is somehow comforting to me so I don’t really mind.
Louis hesitates before answering, and I wonder if it’s because he’s not sure about telling Danny about everything or if he’s hoping Danny will let go of me, “A spell went wrong and Rose slipped into a Nightmarish Coma. Chase and I got her the antidote in time this morning, but she was stuck in there all night. It brought to surface some resentments Rose had been building up lately, and I couldn’t hear any of it but it sounded like it all boiled over at once.”
Danny finally sets me free from his nice, warm hug, “What? Rose was in a coma? Where is she?”
Wonderboy looks at me, and then in the direction of the Divination Tower, obviously torn. Finally, his eyes rest back on me, “I’m sorry, Chase.” With that he jogs off in the direction of the girl he really loves.
Oh no, please don’t let Louis see how much this devastates me. I’ve caused enough damage; I pray to Merlin that the sharp pang of hurt in my chest doesn’t show on my face.
“Why’d he choose Rose?” Albus asks obliviously, “I thought he had a thing for Chase.”
Louis, whose expression is entirely unreadable, looks at me as if for permission. I nod, and Louis explains, “Danny’s been in love with Rose since first year. When he heard she was pregnant, he went crazy and tried to get with Chase instead. After I helped to stop that disaster from happening, he realized he still had feelings for Chase, but she obviously wasn’t having it so they decided to be just friends. And then she went and got herself a super fine hunk of a boyfriend.”
That last sentence almost makes me feel better about the entire situation, and I remember why Louis is better for me than Danny would ever be. For the first time since the fight, I smile up at my boyfriend. Grabbing his shirt by the collar, I pull him towards me. Grinning back at me, he leans down, his face mere centimeters from mine.
“Oh Merlin, you two are going to give me cavities from how sickly-sweet you are,” Lily rolls her eyes, and I realize it’s something I probably would have said about Molly J. and Ollie back when I was in fourth year. Maybe Lily actually is a younger version of me; she’s even best friends with the offspring of Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione. Looking at her now, though, I realize that she looks just like Rose. The long red hair, the beautiful face; if Lily had Aunt Hermione’s brown eyes rather than her father’s green, she could almost be Rose’s twin sister rather than her cousin. Fraternal twins, granted, but still twins.
Louis gives me a light peck before stepping away so as to not make everyone uncomfortable with our mushiness. I, once again, begin feeling the aching pain of being hated by Rose.
“Well, are we going to breakfast or not?” I ask blandly.
“Yeah, let’s go,” Freddie says, and we all herd ourselves towards the right direction once more.
The Great Hall isn’t too crowded; there’s maybe about five kids per table. However, they’re all bent over scrolls of parchment, writing fervently. I realize that many of the students back in the library had been doing the same.
“What’s everyone writing?” I ask as I sit down and begin to place some waffle sticks on Louis’s plate. He loved those, and it made me look like I was doing something.
Freddie answers, “They’re writing to their anonymous pen pal. We have until class begins to do it, so pretty much everyone writes to each other the morning before. We should probably do the same; with Trelawney’s goldfish-esque memory, she won’t remember that we had an extremely valid reason not to.”
We all take our papers out and begin to write while eating breakfast. Well, they eat, I just nibble on a baby carrot.
Me: Hiya there.
Them: Hey, I was starting to think you wouldn’t write.
Me: It’s been a rough night. I need something to distract me right now; tell me some form of drama that isn’t my own. Tell me your biggest secret.
Them: Yeah… you probably won’t want to hear about that. It’s really bad.
M: It can’t be much worse than how I’m feeling right now. Please?
T: Fine. Well… I’m kind of, sort of involved in an affair.
M: AN AFFAIR? Like you’re cheating on someone?
T: I won’t say whether or not I’m cheating on someone or someone is cheating with me, but you get the point. It’s bad.
M: Then why do you do it?
T: It’s just… hard to explain. I’ve tried breaking it off, but in the moment cheating doesn’t feel like cheating. And whenever this person kisses me or makes me feel special, I just get sucked right back in again.
M: Wow. I really hope they’re worth it.
T: Yeah, me too. So how about you? What secrets do you have?
M: I guess I can’t exactly dodge this since you just told me something really personal; plus, I kind of need to get this off my chest. I’m in a relationship with someone, someone I really care about, but I also have feelings for someone else. I try to stop, but I can’t. I mean obviously nothing has happened, but this other person just keeps making me feel things that I don’t want to feel for them. I would never ever cheat for more than just ethical reasons, but I can definitely understand where you’re coming from with the whole “want to stay away but you can’t” thing.
T: I really want to know who you are.
A flapping of wings distracts me, and I look up to watch as the morning mail comes in. To my surprise, a tired looking owl drops a letter down in front of me. And, judging by the handwriting, I know exactly who sent it to me.
“Who’s that from?” Louis asks after swallowing a mouthful of waffle sticks.
I breath in a deep gulp of air, “My mum.”
“What?” Albus asks, “Chase, you’ve got to read it.”
“I don’t know. I’m scared.”
Louis looks at me carefully, as if trying to figure out how I’m reacting to all of this, “You don’t have to open it if you don’t want to.”
“No, Al is right. I’ve got to. I’m going to.” Carefully, I rip open the envelope. Inside is a sheet of parchment, the letter, and a weird little pellet thing.
I take a deep breath and open the letter. I decide that these friends are the ones that are going to be with me till the end, and that I want them to know what it says. They’ll probably know what to think of it better than I will. I read it out loud to them.
“My Dear Little Moonpie,
I’m so sorry. I’m SO sorry. I realize that you may never forgive me for this—and I’ve come to terms with that. All I want is for you to understand why I did what I did. Daryl is my soul mate and, even though he’s fourteen years younger than I am, I feel as though he’s the first person to truly see the real Hannah in a very long time. I wish you could meet him, but the comic book business is booming here in Santa Cruz and we won’t have time for a holiday back to England for months.
Anyway, I wasn’t quite sure how to show you how much I still love you, so I sent you a gift. You’re a wonderful young lady, and so I fittingly sent you the most skillful and majestic of gifts. Just tap the pellet with the end of your wand and you can meet your new pet; the shop owner said her name was Lady Francesca.
I look up, dazed. She couldn’t have sent me a longer letter with more explanations? And now she’s trying to buy my love with an owl or a rat or something?
“Well?” Freddie smiles encouragingly, “Tap the pellet.”
Trying not to seem too disappointed by the letter, I decide I might as well. No one in our dorm had a pet; it might be nice to have a cat or something to keep us company. I take my wand out and lightly tap the little pellet.
The little thing begins smoking, releasing a mysterious tan gas into the air until it finally disappears with a slight pop. Next to where it was, however, is a full grown donkey.
“SHE SENT ME A DONKEY?” I exclaim before quickly clapping my hand over my mouth. A situation like this required as little outside attention as possible.
“Hey, she’s kind of sweet,” Louis grins cutely as Lady Francesca nudges him affectionately with her nose.
Lily looks shocked but excited, “We’ve got to get her up to your dorm before anyone sees her!”
A thought hits me and I whip out my wand, “Accio cloak!”
Within seconds, the invisibility cloak is in my hands.
“You’re going to put my dad’s cloak on a donkey?” Albus exclaims.
“Technically speaking, Al, it’s James’s cloak now. Don’t worry, she seems perfectly clean,” I drape the cloak over Lady Francesca, causing all but her hooves to seemingly vanish, “Let’s take her up to my dorm.”
“And then what?” Freddie asks.
I furrow my eyebrows, “I’m not quite sure.”
A/N: Ahhh! I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve updated! RL has been wildly busy, and it didn’t help that this chapter turned out to be pretty tough to get it how I wanted it. Anyway, sorry again, and I hope you enjoyed! Keep reading and reviewing!!!! x
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