A/N: There was a bit of a mixup with the chapter order, and "A Good Bad Day" was supposed to come before this one! I'm sorry if you read this one first and were totally confused. Please read chapter 5 before this one! =)
Copywright note: “The Brady Bunch” and its theme song are owned by the American Broadcasting Corporation. And yes, the show was syndicated in the UK during October 1978. I checked ;)
Also note: I do not wish to offend ANY Americans. I’m American too (if you can’t tell from my spelling). You’ll know what I mean when you get to that part in this chapter, and I thought mocking a certain nationality would fit with the story. And then I said to myself, hey, why don’t you mock yourself? Then you’ll probably anger the fewest number of people. Anyhoo, please take it lightly.
I like notes: I also don't want to offend a capella singers or audience-goers. I think a capella music rocks.
The next few weeks went by quickly for Rhian. Her schedule was as busy as it had been since school let out, but there was one significant difference in what was going on in the back of her mind.
She wasn’t in love with her boyfriend anymore.
“Will’s so funny when he’s mad. Today, the cash register kept getting jammed and he couldn’t get it open. He started swearing and muttering and he hurt his wrist trying to open it with a screwdriver. I just wanted to pull my wand out and open it, but his plight was just too entertaining,” Rhian told Lily over dinner.
“And he doesn’t know about magic,” Lily said after swallowing.
“Well, that too,” Rhian admitted.
“I don’t know. You’ve probably seen him more recently than I have.”
“James says he hasn’t been around much. I just wasn’t sure if he’s been with you.”
“God knows what he’s been doing,” Rhian muttered.
Lily put her glass down. “Rhian, please don’t get mad at what I’m going to say. I’m your best friend, and I want what’s best for you, really. But I don’t understand why you want to stay Sirius’s girlfriend when you clearly like Will.”
Rhian was taken aback. “Remus told?”
“No, Rhian, I figured it out on my own. No offense, but it’s pretty obvious. And Remus would never tell.”
Rhian sighed. “It’s that evident?”
“I’m sorry, but I think that Sirius may have been avoiding you because he’s figured there’s someone else.”
“Oh no! He couldn’t have! I mean, he would have confronted me, he wouldn’t be hiding.”
“Calm down! He might not know, but that would explain his actions.”
“Oh God, I don’t want to hurt him, you know I don’t! That’s the reason why I’ve stayed with him for this long! I don’t want to hurt him like I hurt Remus!”
“Rhian, by staying with Sirius, you’re going to hurt him in exactly the same way as you hurt Remus.”
“Argh, why do I always screw up my relationships?”
“You don’t do it on purpose, Rhi…it just happens to you. And you do like Will, right?”
“A lot. I can’t help it, I just—”
“You don’t have to explain to me. Just…you need to figure out what you’re going to do. You can’t keep going on like this, because it’s making you unhappy.”
“You’re right, Lils. I’m not happy. Okay…I’m going to owl Sirius tonight, and ask him to meet tomorrow night. It’s better to get it over with sooner than later, right?”
“Always. And I’m sorry that things didn’t work out between you and Sirius, even if it hasn’t seemed like I’ve always been supportive of your relationship.”
“I know you just want what’s best for me, Lily. Can I borrow your owl?”
“Sure, he’s in my room.”
“Thanks,” Rhian said, clearing her dishes and heading to Lily’s room. It was neat and tidy, but not freakishly so, and decorated with posters of Prague, Istanbul, Tahiti, and other exotic places on the wall. Lily wanted to travel when the war against Voldemort was over, and Rhian was certain that she’d hit every country on the globe. Rhian sat down at her desk and took a page of parchment and a quill.
I’m sorry it’s been so long since we’ve talked, but can we meet tomorrow night at six? I hope you’re well.
Would he suspect something? It was an odd sort of letter for two people in a loving relationship (Rhian purposely didn’t sign with “Love”), but it also didn’t seem to imply that Rhian wanted to go out. She sighed. It would be awkward and horrible regardless, and she just had to get it over with. Hopefully Sirius wouldn’t hate her forever.
Rhian send the letter off with Lily’s owl, and joined her friend in the living room watching TV.
“Why do you watch the Muggle news?” Rhian asked.
“I’m a creature of habit,” Lily replied.
“But they get it all wrong.”
“Fine, what do you want to watch?”
Rhian grinned and ran up to change the channel.
“The Brady Bunch? We’ve watched that every night for the past three weeks!” said Lily, exasperated.
“Here’s a story, of a lovely lady!” Rhian belted.
“You’re not normal!”
“Who was bringing up three very lovely girls!”
“All had hair of gold, like their mother!”
“The youngest one in curls!”
The next day was a Saturday, and Rhian skipped down the stairs of her apartment building at seven AM. The average person would not have been so jolly at such an unholy hour, but Rhian had slept in and was well rested. She still had a couple of hours before she was to report for Order duty, and since Lily was still asleep and Rhian had grown tired of talking to herself, she headed to a certain coffee shop.
Rhian was shocked when she opened the door to the Wired Coffee Shop. There were a dozen people inside, drinking coffee and eating scones! The store was completely abandoned every weekday before sunup, and Rhian was glad to see that she wasn’t the only customer.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” Will asked as Rhian sat down at the counter.
“Great to see you too, buddy!” she said sarcastically.
“Sorry, I just meant that you don’t usually come here on Saturdays.”
“I know what you meant,” she smiled.
“I’ll be back in a second. I’ve just got to get this order to table three,” Will said, walking quickly.
Rhian turned, watching Will bring customers their coffee and take their orders. He really was different from any other guy she knew. He was dedicated and worked so hard, even if he didn’t get recognition from his family. More importantly, Will was humble and caring, even though he was a brilliant student at university. Although Rhian tried not to consider appearance when judging people, she couldn’t help but notice that Will was really tall, had intense eyes, and great curly, chocolate-colored hair.
Did Rhian really want to break up with Sirius? Were things in their relationship really as bad as they seemed? Fortunately, she had time to figure this all out. Sirius wrote her back late the previous night, apologizing profusely that he had something he couldn’t get out of Saturday night. Rhian felt much more guilty after reading how sorry he was.
“The usual, then?” Will had returned behind the counter.
But things weren’t working out with Sirius! They were drifting apart…
Will snapped in Rhian’s face. “Sorry, but we’re really busy and I’ve got a free moment now to make your coffee.”
“Oh, yeah, the regular, please. And can I have a scone as well?” Rhian asked.
“Of course,” Will answered. “Oh, and if you’re not busy tonight, this really good a capella group at my school is having a concert.”
“They sing without instruments. Wait, you probably have plans already. Never mind—” Will seemed sort of embarrassed.
“No, I want to go!” Rhian affirmed. “I mean, I like music.”
“Okay then,” Will smiled. “I’ll meet you at your flat around seven?”
“See you in twelve hours,” Rhian grinned.
“Lily, what do you wear to an a capella concert?” Rhian called from inside her closet. She was rummaging through her clothes to try to find something that worked.
“Rhi, I don’t know, I’ve never been to one!” said Lily, sitting at the kitchen table.
“James, what do you wear to an a capella concert?” came from Rhian’s room.
“Sorry Rhian, I’ve only been to a wizard concert once, and I don’t think you should wear robes to your Acapulco thing,” James responded, sitting next to Lily. “What’s she doing, again?”
“She’s going to a classical music concert at the University of London with one of her Muggle friends,” said Lily.
“Sounds like a cult,” James joked.
“This is strange, she never puts this much thought into what she wears,” said Lily, well aware of the reason why.
Rhian emerged a few minutes later, wearing sneakers, jeans, and a black The Clash t-shirt.
“It’s my favorite t-shirt!” Rhian burst out.
“I know. You wear it at least once a week,” Lily answered calmly.
“It fits me just right!” Rhian attested.
“I’m sure it’s very comfortable.”
“But all the people at the concert will be preppy college students who dress like my parents did!”
“So wear your nice coat and you can be as stodgy as the next person. Or, if the atmosphere is more casual, you can take it off and be punk.”
“Okay,” Rhian said, running back into her room to get her coat.
James laughed. “I feel bad marrying you, because this kid obviously need her mummy.”
“Oh, you know Rhian’s one of the most reasonable people in the world. She’s just going through a weird time now, is all.”
The doorbell rang, and Rhian sprinted from her room to answer it.
“Be home by midnight, honey! And make good choices!” said James, kiddingly.
Rhian stopped in her tracks and spun around. “Wow,” she said, “I just thought about you guys as parents. Weird.” She turned around again and went to answer the door.
“Hey,” Will greeted, also sporting a The Clash t-shirt.
“Wow, I guess I was spot on in trying to figure out what you wear to an a capella concert,” said Rhian.
“This is actually a very strange coincidence,” said Will. “I didn’t know what you’re supposed to wear to an a capella concert either.”
“Um, I’m going to go change really quickly now,” Rhian said, embarrassed.
“Wait,” said Will, taking her arm, “it would be really funny if we both went wearing matching shirts.”
“We could pretend to be tacky tourists from America. ‘Howdy,’” Will put on a dreadful Western accent, “’I’m Billy the Cowboy!’”
“’That’s like the WORST American accent EVAH,’” Rhian said quickly in New York vernacular.
“’What’s your name, little lady?’” Will continued, putting his arm around Rhian’s shoulder as they walked down the hall.
“’Tina Marie,’” Rhian responded, pretending to loudly chew gum.
“’What brings ya to England?’”
“’Aktually, I secretly love ah capellah groups.’”
Rhian and Will laughed at their newest inside joke as they entered the stairwell that led to the ground floor of Rhian’s building. Rhian heard another pair of voices coming upward, but paid no attention to them until she saw that they belonged to Sirius and a very attractive blonde woman.
Dun dun DUN! Ow! Yeah, you in the back who threw a tomato at me! That hurt!
Well folks, sorry I had to end it here! PLEASE review and rant about how I'm sadistic and cruel and should be guillotined for being a blemish on Sirius's memory for villainizing him! Or am I villainizing him? Tune in next time! And so the next chapter comes out more quickly and is better written, REVIEW!
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