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Chapter 26: The Madness of Not Normal
"He said he wanted to go back to normal? He does realize that you're you and he's him and that normal doesn't exist for you right?"
I sighed and leaned back against the yellow couches of the Hufflepuff Common Room. Anna and Mary had dragged me down here when they realized that we hadn't hung out in a long time and insisted on using tonight to do it.
"I guess not," I said and Anna handed me the box of chocolates that the house elves brought the Hufflepuff as end of week gifts. Apparently Hufflepuffs always get food from the house elves, because the elves like the Puffers the best. Something about always saying thank you to them after meals and keeping their rooms clean.
"That boy is even more stupid than I thought," Mary said, causing Anna to throw a glare her way.
"He isn't stupid," Anna said. "For all you know, he could have thought you lost interest in him. I mean, you did say that you walked in with Fred."
"Yeah, but it's Fred. Nothing would ever happen there," I lied. "And I just told Al I was falling in love with him a week ago. Does he really think that I could move on that quickly?"
"You did move on to him from Caleb pretty swiftly," Mary pointed out and, even though I didn't want to, I had to agree with her. "So maybe he thinks he was just like Caleb?"
"But he's not!" I said. "The reason I moved on quickly from Caleb is because I didn't realize that I had feelings for Albus until I was with Caleb. I'm just lucky that Caleb is such a great guy and understood that, because I don't know where I'd be without him. Honestly, he's probably the sweetest guy on the entire planet. I'm pretty sure that if it had been a different time I would have fallen in love with him."
Anna's head popped up at this. "You would have fallen in love with Caleb?"
"Yeah," I said, shrugging. "You have no idea how many times I wish I could fall in love with him. Sometimes I still wish that because being with him would be easier than being with Al."
"Oh," Anna said, looking down and stuffing a chocolate in her mouth. I frowned and looked up at Mary, who rolled her eyes.
"Anna, here, is still convinced that you and Caleb have feelings for each other," she said. "Even though he asked her to Hogsmeade tomorrow."
"He asked you to Hogsmeade?!" I yelled, jumping up.
He did it. He asked her out.
And he didn't tell me.
"Where is he? I swear, I'm going to kill that boy," I said, standing up and heading toward the boys dorms.
"No!' Anna said, latching onto my arm and pulling me back down on the couch. "Don't! Please! I'm sorry, I don't want to hurt you but I thought it would be okay, since you have feelings for Albus. I didn't know you still had feelings for Caleb. I'll go break our date because I really don't want to do anything that would hurt you. I'm sorry, I thought you were over him."
I couldn't help it. I burst out laughing. Mary joined me and Anna looked at us like we were insane.
"I'm serious!" Anna said. "I'll break our date. I don't want to hurt you, Addie, I really don't."
"Anna, you aren't hurting me," I said. "Honestly, the only reason I wanted to kill him was because he didn't tell me."
"You mean you aren't mad?" Anna asked like she was still unsure.
"Of course not!" I said. "I've been telling him for ages to buck up and ask you out. I was going to kill him because he didn't tell me he actually did!"
"Oh," Anna said.
Mary was still laughing. "I told you it wasn't a big deal! Merlin, you're blind if you can't see that Caleb is absolutely mad for you."
"He fancies you way more than he fancied me," I said. "So, since you're going on a date, what are you doing tomorrow, Mary? Are you and Oliver hanging out?"
"No," Mary said. "He said he had a date or something. So I suppose I may go down for a bit, but then I'll just come back up here and read or eat in the kitchens."
"After I meet with my mum, you're more than welcome to hang out with Alice and me," I said. "We're probably going to do a little shopping and then go see Will down at The Pitch."
"Is Will the bloke with dark hair and really blue eyes that make your heart melt who bartends there?" Mary asked. I nodded. "I'm in. He's fit. So it might help me forget that Oliver is off doing whatever he is doing."
"Still fancy him, eh?"
"You still fancy Al, don't you?"
"Anyway, I could use seeing a fit bloke to take my mind off him," she said, pushing her bangs out of her eyes.
"Who do you need to take your mind off of?" Oliver said, walking down from the boy’s dorms and plopping down on Mary.
"Get off me, you oaf," Mary said, her voice muffled by his back. "This chair is made for one person."
"You're tiny, you barely count as a person," Oliver said, sending a sly smirk mine and Anna's way.
Anna shook her head and leaned over and whispered to me. "One galleon says that he'll somehow get her on his lap."
"Do they do this often?"
"Oliver does this anytime Mary is sitting somewhere. It's his way of getting her to sit on his lap."
"Does he fancy her?"
"In his own way. However, he seems to be stuck in the twelve year old mind set that if you like a girl, you're mean to her."
"Get off me!" Mary said. "This is my chair!"
"But I want to sit here," Oliver whined.
"Well that's tough," Mary said. "Because I'm not moving. So get off me."
"You know, there is a way that I could get off you and still sit in your chair."
"And how would that be?"
"Well," Oliver said, getting up. Mary looked revealed, until Oliver grabbed her hand and pulled her into a standing position before sitting down.
"Hey!" Mary said. "You said that I would still get to sit in my chair-"
He cut her off by pulling her hand so she lost her balance, causing her to land on top of him.
"See?" Oliver said. "Perfect. Now we both get what we want."
"I don't recall saying that I wanted to be sitting on your lap," Mary said. "I recall saying that I wanted to sit in my chair."
"Well, I want to sit here too," Oliver said. "And you see, sharing is caring. As Hufflepuffs, it is basically our jobs to share."
"I hate you," Mary said, putting her head in her heads, to hide her blush when Oliver's arms went around her waist.
"Not true," Oliver said and he tugged Mary back slightly so she settled against his chest.
"This is a regular occurrence?" I whispered to Anna.
"Yeah," she said. "Oliver won't admit that he likes her though. Just that he likes to bug her."
I rolled my eyes.
Why were people so stupid when it came to their feelings?
I mean, seriously, own up to them.
Hey, don't say I didn't own up to mine.
I owned up to them.
"Alright where do you want to go today?" Mum said as we walked along High Street.
"Three Broomsticks is fine," I said. "Anywhere that is warm sounds good and since Three Broomsticks is right here, how about we go there?"
Mum smiled at me and put an arm around me. "You are definitely my daughter. I'm feeling like it's a hot chocolate day."
"Hot chocolate, coffee, I don't really care as long as I'm warm."
Mum smiled and opened the door and we ran inside, sitting down at a table by the fire.
"Why is it so bloody cold here?" I said.
"Because it's England," Mum said. "I love England, but it is so cold. Sometimes I think that I shall leave it all and head back to California."
"You've been to California?" I asked.
"Yes," Mum said, as she removed her gloves. "Went all over the state and lived in many parts of it too, but I liked San Francisco the best. Southern California is wonderful, it was far too warm in the winter. San Francisco was cold, but not too cold. It was perfect. I'd like to go back there, as soon as I possibly could."
"Oh," I said, looking down. "Um, I'll go order us the two hot chocolates so we aren't freezing anymore."
Mum gave me a weird look but I left before she could say anything. I sat at the bar and ordered our two hot chocolates.
Of course she would leave again. It was dumb of me to think that she would actually stay here this time. She's going to go back out into the world, back to San Francisco and leave me here and I would never hear from her again. It was becoming normal to have her around again and now she was going to leave, pulling that bit of normality with her.
"Thank you," I said to the barman when he handed me our hot cocos and walked back to the table. "Here."
Mum looked at me. "Honey, is something wrong?"
"No," I said, taking a sip of hot coco. "Why would something be wrong?"
Mum shook her head. "I may not have been here for the past eleven years, but you are terrible at lying and pretending to be fine when you aren't." I didn't say anything. "Honey, what's wrong?"
"You're going to leave again," I said softly, tears forming in my eyes. "I know that you're going to leave me again and go back to San Francisco or where ever else and I'm never going to hear from you again. You're going to leave me again, Mum. And I don't know how I can handle that."
"Addison," Mum said, taking her hand in mine and looking at me. "I'm not leaving again. I'm sorry if I said something that made you feel that way, but I'm not leaving you again. I promise."
"But you just said that you wanted to go back to California as soon as possible," I said.
"And I do," Mum said, squeezing my hand. "But I'm not going there permanently. I love California and I love travel, but I love you more. I'm going to brave the weather here for you. I'm starting my life over so that we could be a family. That's why I got a job and live in the exact same apartment that I did when you were born. I'm here to stay."
"Oh," I said, wiping my tears away.
"But I was thinking that I would like to go back to San Francisco," she said. "And I thought that maybe, you'd like to come with me? Maybe we would just go for a few weeks in the summer? Madame Malkin's has been saying that she wants to see how the American Wizarding fashion, so it would be the perfect time. Besides, we could have some bonding time and I could show you all the sights. Oh, it's beautiful, Addison. I could take you to a baseball game and we could walk along the Golden Gate Bridge and-"
"Mum," I said. "I would love that."
"I'm still not used to that," she said. I gave her a confused look. "You calling me Mum. I've imagined what it would sound like, but I'm still not used to it. Especially since just last month you only called me Matilda." She smiled. "We've come a long way."
"Yeah," I said quietly. "We have."
"So," Mum said. "Tell me what's new in your life. Any improvements on the Al front?"
"Not really," I said. "Told him I was falling in love with him and he told me he wanted to be friends."
Mum didn't respond. Instead she was staring across my shoulder a panicked look on her face.
"No," she said softly. "No, no, no, fucking no."
I frowned at her and turned back but I couldn't see what she was looking at. "Mum? Are you okay?"
She looked at me, her eyes glazed over. "I'm sorry, Addison, I am so sorry."
"What are you-"
"Matilda?" A man's voice said from behind me. He walked over to our table. "I thought that was you!"
I looked up at him and froze in my place.
He was handsome and looked a few years older than Matilda. He had curly blonde hair but it was his eyes that made me stop.
I had seen his eyes before. I saw them everyday when I looked in the mirror.
They were my eyes. Which meant only one thing.
"Cormac," Mum said quietly. "What are you doing here?"
"I own this pub," he said, a smile on his face. "What are you doing here? And who is this you're with?"
He gaze turned to me and I saw him freeze when his eyes met mine.
"Holy fuck," he said softly.
Well it's good to know that my potty mouth comes from both my parents.
He slowly looked over at Mum, who had her head down. "Is this her?"
Mum didn't say anything, instead nodding.
He looked back at me before turning on her completely.
"Why didn't you let me take her with me?" he asked angrily. "She's my daughter and now you're here, rubbing it in my face that you have her and I don't. You had no right to tell me whether I could bring her with me or not-"
"Shut the hell up," I said, standing up. He looked over at me. "You do not get to act like it is all her fault that you never saw me. You don't get to pretend that you tried to see me after you left. You were my father. You knew my name and my age. If you owned this pub, you could have come when you knew I'd be here. You could have tried reaching out to me. Don't blame this all on her, because honestly it isn't her fault. You had just as much ability to get in touch with me as anyone else, but you didn't. Probably because you're a fucking asshole who left his daughter and the mother of his child alone when they needed him."
They both were quiet as they looked at me.
"Damn," Cormac said. "You really are my daughter."
"Alright, does my hair look okay?" Alice asked as the two of us and Mary walked down to The Pitch.
"For the millionth time," Mary said. "It looks fine. Don't worry about it, the bloke already fancies you."
"I know but Dad said something about coming down to Hogsmeade today," Alice said, "And I'm worried that he might have gone into The Pitch and scared Will off."
"Your dad is like a giant teddy bear Alice," I said. "I doubt he could scare someone off."
"When he goes off on stories of what he did during the war, he isn't so much of a teddy bear," Alice said. "Trust me. He's scary sometimes."
"Right," I said, my thoughts wandering off to my own dad.
After I yelled at him, he was in shock for a little, but then sat down with me and Mum. It was awkward at first, since that was not only the first time I was meeting him, but the first time he and Mum had seen each other since he left.
His name was Cormac Mclaggen. He was the owner of many pubs around England and had bought the Three Broomsticks from Rosemerta a few years ago. I was confused as to why him and Mum were having money problems when they were together, since he apparently comes from a wealthy family and owns so many pubs and inns, and he explained that he broke contact with his family and didn't start buying bars until he got remarried. After he left us, he mended his relationship with his parents, giving him all that money back and allowing him to start his buying of pubs in order to earn a profit. He told us he got married two years after he left and that they had their first child two years after that. His wife knew nothing about me or Mum and neither did his kids.
Throughout the whole exchange, Mum didn't look at him once, nor did she say anything. She simply played with her mug. I knew that Cormac noticed, since he kept looking at her, expecting her to jump in and say something at certain points.
But she didn't. When he started talking about his wife and family, I could see tears start to form in her eyes before she left, saying she had to check up on the dress shop for her boss. I was barely able to say anything to her before she ran out of the pub, giving me a quick kiss on the cheek and a promise to write.
At first, I was confused by this behavior by her, but it didn't take me, or Cormac for that matter, long to figure out why she left in such a rush the minute he started talking about how he moved on.
She was still in love with him.
And I realized that we had even more in common than I originally thought.
"Alright, here we are," Mary said. "Now, stop fretting with your hair. There's a fit bloke in there who thinks you're wonderful and wants to be with you, so don't worry about anything. Okay?" She opened the door. "Okay. Now in you go." And she pushed Alice inside.
"Did you really have to push her?" I asked.
Mary shrugged. "Maybe not, but I just wanted to get her inside before she asked me how her hair looked again. Besides, her dad was in there talking to Will, so I figured that it was the least I could do to get her in there faster."
"Well, after the day I've been having," I said, walking into the pub. "I'm very glad I'm 17, because I could really use some alcohol."
Mary smiled at me. "I'm right there with you."
We sat down on barstools next to Alice, who was cringing as her father talked to Will.
"And then, after waking up from being unconscious," Professor Longbottom said. "I got up, and held Gryffindor sword in my hand as I walked towards battle. I was going to continue walking, but I saw Nagini, Voldemort's snake, going in to attack Ron and Hermione. So, I took the sword and ran towards the snake, cutting it's head clean off."
"Wow," Will said. "History classes never tell you that much of what happened in the war." He looked over at me and Mary. "If you could excuse me sir, I have to go ask these two lovely ladies for their order but I'll be back in a few minutes."
"Take your time, boy," he said, putting an arm around Alice. "I need to chat with my daughter anyway." He leaned in close to her. "I like this bloke, Alice."
"Yeah," Alice said. "So do I."
Will's face went red as he stood in front of us. "Hey. What can I get you?"
"Firewhiskey, please," I said.
"You sure?" Will asked. "You do know that's a very strong alcohol."
"After the day I've had, I need strong alcohol," I said.
"I'll take a firewhiskey as well," Mary said.
"Let me guess, you're having a bad day too?" Will asked as he got our drinks ready.
"Nope," Mary said, smiling cheekily. "Just want to drink."
"Hey, Ads," Alice said. "Do you think you're getting Al a birthday present?"
"Um, I don't know," I said. "Why?"
"Because his birthday is coming up?" Alice said. "The 24th is on Wednesday."
"Oh," I said. Through all the confusion of what was going on between us and dealing with my mum and trying to stay on top of my Defense work without a tutor, I forgot that February 24th was approaching very quickly. "Right. Um, I don't know, I haven't really thought of it." I bit my lip. "Do you think it'd be weird if I got him a gift? I mean we are," I frowned, "friends."
"Man, you sound so happy to be his friend, Addie," Mary said, taking a sip of her Firewhiskey that Will brought to her.
"Ms. Malfoy," Professor Longbottom said. "I say don't give him a gift."
"Dad!" Alice said, shocked (and slightly annoyed) that her father was giving her friends advice.
"Be quiet Alice, and let me give your friend some advice," he said. Will laughed and Alice glared at him, so he leaned over the bar and kissed her on the cheek before going to a table and checking on the people there. "I know that you think I don't give good advice, but I was once your age. Now, Addison, don't get him a gift. I say that because while you are friends, you clearly are still mad about him. And who the hell knows what's going on in his brain. So don't get him a gift."
"No!" Alice said. "Get him a gift! You're still his friend even if you have feelings for him. And friends get each other gifts for their birthdays."
"Funny, I don't remember getting any gifts on my birthday," I said, sarcastically.
"I told you I was sorry about that!"
"I know, I'm just teasing," I said. "So, Professor do you think that Will is a good match for Alice?"
Alice blushed and put her head in her hands.
"Way to change to topic," Mary whispered to me.
I smirked at her and listened to Professor Longbottom talk about how he thought Will was wonderful for Alice.
Well, I pretended to listen.
I was a bit distracted by the fact that I met my father today and now had to figure out if I should get a gift for my former enemy/ex boyfriend/friend on his 17th birthday when I still had feelings for him while he possibly moved on to some Irish Ravenclaw slut who is not actually a slut and is very pretty and makes me hate my fucking life.
So to deal with all of that, I downed my firewhiskey.
A/N: Yay a new chapter! Getting close to the end here people...only 4 more chapters after this for a total of 30 (although I guess it's more like 3 more chapters and an epilogue)
So what did you think? I personally like this chapter! So much happened.
You finally found out who Addie's dad was and what the deal with that is! What do you think is going to happen there?
No Rose, Al, Scorp, or Louis in this chapter, which is always sad, but I do love Mary. She's such a sassy girl.
I'm glad to see that all of the comments I got about the Fraddie (Fred and Addie, I figured I'd give them a ship name) kiss were all positive and none of you hated it! In fact, you all liked it. One reader even said they wanted to see it happen again (I will not say whether or not this is planned for the few chapters left).
Honestly, most of you were more pissed off that Al decided to be friends. Which, I don't blame you for.
I think my favorite review was from AccioTeddyLupin, saying, "like seriously?WHY CAN'T EVERYONE BE HAPPY!GOD DAMNIT!"
Sorry I couldn't get this up earlier. The queue was on hiatus from the 15th through the 29th and I wrote a little bit then but I got distracted by my boy life and then the 29th came around and I was like "Okay Cat, you really need to get on your writing" but my boy life was still super distracting and then New Years came and I got a New Years Kiss (and my first kiss!) and then on the 2nd I went on two dates with the same boy who had been distracting me and who I really like but now he left to go back to college, so my schedule just got cleared a lot :( I had a very bittersweet (and wonderful) beginning to 2013.
OKAY enough about my personal life and this long author's note, and please review! I will try to review ASAP and, as usual the best way to tell when an update is coming is to check my blog :D