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Chapter 18 : Not Quite What I Anticipated
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18. Not Quite What I Anticipated.
“Oh my god, Oscar, what the hell am I going to do?”
I was sitting in a carriage with Oscar, on the way down to the train—where I was to meet with Rosie and everyone, so I could then go on and meet the most important people in the Wizarding world.
Needless to say, I was hyperventilating.
Oz’s eye twitched in my general direction, and he glared at me, folding his arms across his chest. “Number one,” He replied to my hysterical question rather evenly, “If you ever call me Oscar again our friendship is terminated. Number two, calm down, They’re just people.”
I decided to strategically ignore his warning against calling his Oscar—since I would be sure to call him by his real name again and soon—and went straight to denying point number two.
“Are you kidding me!?” I demanded shrilly. “Are you trying to be funny!?” I sobered for a moment. “Ozzy, what have we said about your humour. Leave the awkward silence filling jokes to me…”
Oz narrowed his eyes at me, even more than when I called him Oscar. “That,” he said pointedly, “was not an awkward silence filling joke. That was an ‘I’m trying to comfort my clearly insane friend’ serious talk.”
“Well,” I offered feebly under his intent gaze, “it’s easy to get those two confused.”
I could practically see face palm Oz imagined doing inside his head. He rolled his eyes and slumped in his seat.
“Seriously Katie,” He said. “You need to calm down. They are just people”
I glared at Oz this time. “No, they’re not.” I said seriously. “They’re practically gods.”
Oz sighed, seemingly recognising defeat—and the fact that there was no changing my mind on this one. Instead, he took another tactic and decided to try and calm me down about the coming prospects.
“Okay,” Oz said. “You’re obviously freaking out, and seeing as you advice for my first date with Char was really good, despite how you crashed it later on—I will offer you some advice in rebuttal.”
I stared at him with open mouth, suddenly not caring about what I would have to do.
“CRASHED!?” I demanded with wide eyes and slack jaw. “You think I crashed your first date!?”
Oz stared at me, and then nodded. “Well, yeah…”
“I WAS ASSAULTED! BLOODY PENNY RYAN CAME IN AND SCREAMED OUT EVERY PIECE OF ABUSE SHE COULD THINK OF, AND THEN ERIC ADDED IN THE STUFF SHE LEFT OUT! I WAS HYSTERICAL FOR HOURS! AND YOU THINK I CRASHED YOU GODDAM FIRST DATE!?!”
Oz stared at me. “Blimey, Katie…” He said with wide eyes. “Calm down.”
I couldn’t however. I was irate at the thought that he blamed me.
He blamed me for the things that went wrong on his date!
And he was right to! I did practically ruin his date. Oh my god. I may have ruined any chance that Charmaine and Oz have of getting their happily ever after. Merlin, Merlin, Merlin…
My eyes were watering before I could stop them.
“Oh Merlin, Ozzy…” I said slowly. “What have I done? It is my fault. If I hadn’t come in to make sure you guys were okay, than Penny and Eric would have never run into me and I wouldn’t have completely ruined your first date.”
Oz looked alarmed now.
“Are you and Charmaine okay?” I demanded. “You don’t hate each other right. Because if you do hate each other I might just kill myself, because you guys were like the best couple in existence and you weren’t even a couple yet…”
“…Oh my god, I stopped the ULTIMATE couple from getting together. Doesn’t that mean I’ve, like, messed up the way the world works? I’ve stopped fate, Oz. I messed up fate. I mean, sure enough I can mess up Eric’s life, and Emily’s life, and your life and Char’s life. But I’ve now officially messed up FATE.”
“Come on, Katie. Please—”
“Does this mean something bad is coming my way, Karma-wise? I mean, I know I don’t have the best of luck most of the time but this is just ridiculous. I mean, not that I don’t deserve it—in fact, I deserve it, don’t I?”
“Oh, my god, Kate.”
“As a matter of fact, bring it on. I should get everything that’s coming to me. I’ve been so obsessed with my own life that I didn’t even notice when I inadvertently messed up your future with Char. God, I hate myself—”
“For the love of all things magic in this world, KATIE—SHUT UP.”
My mother snapped shut and I stared at Oz.
He stared at me with wide crazy eye for a moment, before realising himself and composing himself—noticing that he had just knocked the socks off me with his far un-Oz-ish outburst.
“Sorry,” He apologised begrudgingly, second later. “But sometimes you’ve got to let me get a word in edgeways.”
I was still silent, and just nodded.
“First of all,” Oz then continued, seeing my new found ability for not talking. “Char and I are fine. We’ve been hanging out every day since our first date, and if anything you just gave Char and me something to talk about at Hogsmeade—specifically how much we detest Penny.”
I frowned confused. “How come you said I crashed then?”
Oz looked at me. I noticed I had just broken my silence and snapped my mouth close again.
“I was joking,” Oz said, deciding to answer my question any way. “And you have got to stop taking things so seriously. Secondly, the Weasley’s and the Potters and the numerous other famous people you’re going to meet over the next two weeks are all human, despite what you might think.”
“And, despite the better thinking, I will, if you want, secretly owl you every couple of days to make sure you’re okay. I know that you’ll be nervous so I think I can find it in my busy schedule to send a silent owl to you. Are we good?”
I nodded again.
“More importantly,” Oz continued. “Are we calm, and for lack of a better word, sane.”
I nodded again.
Then a thought occurred to me. “Why will you need to owl me in secret?”
Oz stared at me for a moment. Then he leant towards me, as though about to tell me a secret.
“Now, Katie…” He whispered. “Don’t take this the wrong way. This is a joke. However, I once again feel the need to emphasise that the world does not revolve completely around you. Would I be on this carriage if I weren’t going to someone else house?”
Well, Oz never went home on Christmas.
He watched it dawn in my eyes.
“Good girl…” He encouraged me, as he smirked. “You finally got it.” He clapped twice before straightening up and revelling in the insulted pout that I’m sure was on my features at that stage.
“I’m going to Eric’s house for Christmas.” Oz said neutrally.
When it came to conversations about Eric, between Oz and me, we possibly made it the most awkward thing ever. We were both working on it, from advice from Charmaine. Oz was letting loose a little since it seems that Char had told him about what I had heard from Emily this morning.
“Yeah,” Oz said with a shrug. “It was this thing that Eric had been planning for a while. It was gonna be the four of us. But then there was the massive drama with you,”
Thank you for almost completely ruining my happy (and or hysterical spirits)
Oz smiled grimly at me, and the shrugged.
“Anyway, apparently Em’s family’s been invited to this ball and she wasn’t allowed to get out of it. So it’s just gonna be me and Eric and Penny. Char should be visiting though—so I don’t have to deal with that harpy for too long.”
I cracked a small smile at the reference to Penny—Harpy certainly was a good describing word for the girl. But the overwhelming guilt about also ruining Eric’s Christmas weighed a little on my shoulders as well.
“But don’t feel too guilty, Katie.” Oz warned me. “I’m not taking sides, but I do know that both sides were at fault.”
I nodded again, but not feeling any less annoyed with myself.
The Carriage pulled to a stop.
Lost of things then proceeded to happen to me internally.
A) all thoughts about Eric left my mind, to be replaced with complete and utter nervousness about meeting the people I was about to meet.
And B) my lungs stopped working.
I managed to poke my head out the window, without breathing and spotted the people waiting for me.
Rose, having gotten on an early train, was standing on the platform, dressed impeccably in muggle clothes, and craning her neck to see me. Albus and Scorpius, I could see disappearing into the train. Fred was in the train compartment directly behind Rose, drawing horns onto her head in the fog on the glass behind her.
I inhaled sharply, kicking my lungs into gear and pulled back my head.
“Oh, my god. Oh, my god.”
Oscar frowned. Then he threw leant forward wrapped my scarf around my neck, so I wouldn’t die of cold, and then pushed me out of the carriage. As he followed me out, he caught sight of Eric, on the other side of the platform. Eric caught my eye and I quickly looked away, still unable to look at any of them without tearing up.
I pulled Oz into a quick one armed hug, noticing that Rose had seen me and was beckoning towards me.
“Oh, he doesn’t look happy.” Oz sighed.
I risked another look at Eric, because who else would Oz be talking about? Sure enough, Eric had seen Rose motioning for me to join her, stiffed, and then decided the best chance of attack would be to try and kill me with a glare.
“Wish me luck,” I told Oz. “And I’ll wish you luck for Eric.”
Oz was still staring cautiously at Eric. “Merlin, I’m going to need it.”
I patted him wearily on the shoulder and then we both headed to our respective hosts for Christmas.
“Seriously though Katie,” Oz called after a second. “Good luck.”
I smiled at him. “You too. Good luck.”
“And remember, what they say: The bigger they are...”
I nodded, knowing what he was getting at, and then made my was to Rose—the nerves in my gut weighing me down to the point of almost screaming.
I was going to meet Harry Potter. I was going to meet Ron and Hermione Weasley. I was going to meet Ginny Potter. I was going to meet the basic saviours of the wizarding world.
And you know what? All I could think about was what Oz had just said.
“Remember, what they say: The bigger they are...”
—The faster they stomp you into nothing.
I hadn’t really thought about the logistics of the rain ride back to London until I was facing the prospect of sitting with three seventeen year old boys, in a small enclosed space for the following two hours. And I did not particularly like that concept.
Rose must have seen my alarmed look because she just chuckled. “It’s a bit rowdy for the first hour or so,” she warned me, “Then all you have to do it pat their heads as they slowly fall asleep.”
Sure enough, Rose had very quickly masterminded her way into sitting right beside Scorpius, with Fred on her other side.
She had also managed to ingeniously coordinate things so that Albus was sitting beside me, and we were left with the entire left side seat to ourselves.
I LOVE having Rose Weasley as a friend.
“Alright then,” Fred said, everyone seemingly comfortable as we sat down. “Who’s up for a game of Wizarding Chess?”
When no one volunteered to go against Fred in Wizards Chess, I could only assume this was because he was REALLY good at it. However, if a wife isn’t willing to at least try and go against her husband—then what sort of a marriage is it really?
This was my justification to the smirking Scorpius when I moved over to face Fred over the hovering chess board.
Scorpius just snorted. “Right… because the family that fights together—”
“—stays together…” I finished for him proudly.
Scorpius just snorted, but Rose frowned, obviously thinking in her smart way.
“Actually…” She said slowly, “Katie might have a point… what are our families if not example that people who fight together and protect each other and then stay together forever?” She asked.
Everyone was silent for a second as they debated that. Then Scorpius decided to put his two cents worth in.
“Yeah...” He said loudly. “But Katie means fighting against each other...”
I rolled my eyes, and looked at the board. I was white, which I assume meant I would go first. “Pawn to E4.” I said lazily, before patting Fred comfortingly on the arm. “And don’t worry. We can make this marriage work.”
Everyone snorted at that. I smirked with them, then I pouted as Fred successfully killed the first pawn I had sent out to protect myself.
“So...” I said, by way of making conversation. “What your house like Rosie?”
“What do you mean ‘what’s our house like?’” Fred asked curiously.
Yeah…’conversation’ wasn’t going so well…
“What could be different about it? Its just like any other house…” He slowly trailed off, a look of realization coming to his face and he frowned.
“Are David and Tyler bringing anyone extra these Holidays?” He asked frowning. “I mean, with the death eaters on the loose again?”
This seemed to spark a trail of interest in everyone in the compartment.
Or, everyone who knew what was going on.
“I don’t know…” Albus said slowly, and sort of cautiously, “I didn’t really think about it. I guess they might.” He shrugged, sort of lost.
“Wait, wait, wait…” I said, before this extremely confusing conversation could continue any further. “Whose Tyler and David?”
I hadn’t heard of a Tyler Potter.
Or a David Weasley.
Or a Tyler Weasley and David Potter, if we were covering all bases.
The Weasley/Potter clan all exchanged glances—not exasperated, but rather cautious. As though they were all embarrassed to tell me.
“David is the Potter Children’s Bodyguard.” Albus finally said, not looking me in the eye.
Rose nodded, looking equally ashamed of it—even though I couldn’t see the point in their embarrassment. “Yeah, the same for Tyler. He watches the Weasley Children.”
“Wow… you guys have a body guard?” I said.
Albus and Rose both looked away—extremely ashamed of whatever it was. Scorpius was smirking at them—obviously having taken the Mickey out if it previously and Fred just shrugged.
That made sense.
If you looked at it really hard, you could see why the Weasley/Potter children would need bodyguards. I mean, Harry Potter, and Ron and Hermione Weasley could obviously take care of themselves, as well as their entire family.
But the extra precautionary measures were probably extremely comforting for the Golden Trio.
“These two do,” Fred motioned to Albus and Rose. “My dad wasn’t close enough to the inner trio that his kids’ll have a direct threat. So me, Roxy and Irina are safe. But Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron both decided that they’d pay Tyler and David to personally watch the kids over holidays.”
Scorpius was still smirking. “And my dad, being an ex-enemy member, isn’t quite important enough to get his kids body guards.” Then his smirk widened. “Not that he’d care if I did magic outside school. He’d just send me to Durmstrang.”
“So… they don’t like follow you around at school right?” I asked frowning. “Like, under invisibility cloaks…” My eyes widened, alarmed, “Oh my god, are they here now?”
Albus chuckled as he leant forward and ruffled my hair slightly. Then he frowned at the chess board, where it was three white against nearly every single member of Fred’s black pieces. “Knight to F6…” He ordered, then he chuckled at me some more.
“They only watch us on holidays…” He said with a shrug. “It s a precautionary thing. Not at school, because Hogwarts is only the safest place in the world.”
That made sense.
“So…” I said, now that I understood exactly what we were talking about. “Why would they bring extra people?” I asked Fred about his earlier question.
Fred shrugged. “I just figured, with those old death eaters on the loose, that you might need some extra… safety measures, set up for you.”
Rose was frowning, puzzled. “I would assume that they do.” She said informatively. “I mean, it’s the concept of the increased risk, versus the loss to the department. If they send Aurors to watch us anyway, and Dad and Mum continue to pay—then we’re really only doing them favours.”
Scorpius frowned. “We’re taking Aurors off the hunt for the death eaters, so they can watch a bunch of kids. How is that doing them a favour?”
Rose sighed, looking at Scorpius tiredly. “Think about it, you dolt.” She said, hitting him on the forehead. “Who are the most likely targets for the escaped death eaters, if they’re looking to avenge their dead dark master?”
Scorpius shrugged. “If you’re going by the logical guess that they’ll come after people who killed the dark lord, than all the ex-Death Eater’s families should get guards as well.” He said. “They’re just as likely to come after your parents as mine—mine just doesn’t get protection.”
I suddenly realised that we had somehow stumbled across what seemed to be a very sensitive topic for Scorpius.
“Your father doesn’t want protection.” Rose said, squaring herself for what was sure to be a large argument.
Fred hastily knocked over my king. Then he quickly packed up the board before pushing it up in the alcove above our heads and joining myself and Albus on our side of the compartment.
“A bigger battle than chess is about to go down,” He said. “Packing up possible projectiles is the best way to deal with these two.”
Albus nodded, and then tried to surreptitiously pull Rose’s bag—a cute leather shoulder bag that she had brought with her onto the train—away from its position near her feet.
Ah, Merlin Almighty—the train hasn’t even started moving yet.
“My father doesn’t have the choice.” Scorpius fired back. “No one cares about the man responsible for the death of Albus Dumbledore. Our family isn’t nearly as important as yours.”
The sneer suddenly visible of Scorpius’s face was so alike to Sabriel’s that I leaned a little away from him.
Of course, this meant that I leant in the direction of Rose, who was practically frothing at the mouth.
In a moment of confusion, not sure who was the scarier between the two of them, my eyes went idea and I instinctively leant all the way back into the couch.
This brought Albus and Fred to exchange an amused smirk, before Albus brushed my arm. “Wanna get out of here?” He said. “Trust me; it’ll get worse before it gets better.”
As if to prove Albus’s point, Rose—with clenched fists and teeth—gritted out “This has nothing to do with their pasts—and everything to do with the bloody logical way of figuring things out.”
“Of course it has something to do with the bloody past.” Scorpius snarled. “My father was a death eater, and yours was one of three of the bloody people’s savoir. My dad’s side lost—so preference automatically falls on you.”
Merlin, they are so meant for each other...
“Let’s go...” Fred agreed with Albus. ‘They’ll be done in about half an hour. We should go and find the trolley lady. Peace offerings for when we come back.”
“Your father made a choice that he knew would cement his place in society forever. You can’t do something like kill a man, and expect to be forgiven years later.” Rose snapped.
“You’re father killed people. So did Harry Potter, and your mum. The only difference is that no one cared about the people that they killed—”
Scorpius was slowly becoming more and more irate.
“It isn’t like that, you prat. It was a bloody war—there are casualties on all sides!” Obviously Rose was getting just as irritated as Scorpius was.
“Exactly! But for some reason, everyone else has been forgiven and my Father is still being crucified for his bloody mistake! And the people who protect society are part of the majority that won’t forgive him.”
“They may be biased when it comes to judgement about your father, but that has no influence over their willingness to protect you, versus their willingness to protect me!” Rose replied starkly—trying to get her point through to Scorpius.
Scorpius reached forward, and grabbed Rose’s shoulder.
“Imagine for a second that we’re both being attacked by Death Eaters.”
Rose hesitated, frowning. “What—”
“Come on,” Scorpius interrupted her questions. “Indulge me. Just do it.”
Rose glowered at him for a moment, before folding her arms across her chest and closing her eyes. “Alright, I’m doing it.”
Albus and Fred were hurrying me out of the compartment at the moment, while the yelling had stopped for a bit.
“We’re both in dire danger—and Tyler is the only one who can save either of us. But he can only save one of us.”
Albus exited the compartment and turned around to close it. But not before we all heard Scorpius’s final and profound statement, which made Albus freeze, Fred’s eyes widen, Rose to go pale and stopped my breathing.
“You know which one he’s going to save, Rosie,” Scorpius said quietly. “And it’s not me.”
“Bloody Scor...” Albus said as we wandered down the thin corridor in search of the candy lady. “Way to go and completely ruin my perspective of the world.”
Fred shrugged glumly.
It made sense. I mean, I knew exactly what Scorpius was talking about. Even in the past couple of months that I’ve been friends with the Weasley/Potter clan, it was easy to tell that in the eyes of everyone looking in—I wasn’t nearly as important as any of them.
Scorpius probably didn’t feel that way—since he was just as bloody good as the others—but in a way he did feel the same stress. Only on a higher level. The entire world didn’t see him as important as his friends—like he didn’t fit in some odd strange way.
“There is only one thing that can solve this mystery of Scor’s revelation...” Fred then stated relatively calmly. “Biting the head violently off an animated chocolate frog.”
A very good solution to a hard puzzle to solve.
However, after another ten minutes of fruitlessly searching for the woman who could give us these Chocolate Frogs, I was about ready to bite the head off someone who wasn’t animated chocolate.
“Maybe one of the people in the compartments has seen her.” Albus suggested, as we made our way down the train for the third time.
It was worth I go.
I knocked briefly, not waiting for a reply to pull the door open.
The first thing I saw was the hands. Hands in all places—anywhere that they could be flying, they were. Running through hair, and grasping at each other with insane passion that made my eyes widen.
Someone’s robes was on the floor—not to worry, everyone in said compartment was fully clothes otherwise—and the girl and boy who was snogging so furiously that they made it look like a bloody competition didn’t even register us as we swung the door open.
Girl’s hands in boy’s hair, with boy’s hands on girl’s waist—pulling her constantly closer to her.
Mouths and tongues fused together like a chemical experiment gone wrong, was the last thing I would ever have expected in my entire life.
Albus’s and Fred’s combined shout of complete shock was enough to alert the snoggers to our presence.
For a moment, Lindsay Forest stared at us with wide eyes. Then he coughed, hastily trying to cover up his tracks. “Uh...” He said slowly. “Heya Katie...”
I was not paying attention to Lindsay’s feeble attempts to keep this conversation quiet however.
I was far to busy staring at the girl in question—who I recognised far too well for me not to be shocked.
I knew I had recognised his secret girlfriend’s voice!
“Oh Merlin,” Carson Longbottom said burying her head in her hands.
“Sweet Mother of Merlin...” I said with wide eyes, staring at her.
So many things were running through my mind. Carson and Lindsay. Lindsay and Carson. The conversation I heard all those months ago when we were trying to find that secret girlfriend, with Emily and Oz.
Oz and Charmaine! Lindsay and Carson!! That’s two brother with two sisters...
“Blimey...” I said quietly, leaning slightly on Albus. “I need to sit down.”
Fred was looking from Lindsay to Carson, with a curious expression on his face. Then he looked both ways down the corridor, leaned forward, and then said in a quiet whisper:
“You wouldn’t happen to have seen the Candy Cart, eh?”
When we returned to the compartment, the train had started moving, and Scorpius and Rose’s fight had obviously simmered down. In fact, we opened the compartment doors to see Rose lying on the comfortable cushion, with Scorpius’s thighs providing her a pillow. Scorpius was playing absently with her hair as he stared out the door—Rose had her eyes closed and was smiling slightly to herself.
I would have ‘awed’ if I wasn’t so scarred at seeing girls touching boys in other ways.
They both deserve to have their hands cut off.
“You have no idea the wondrous piece of gossip that we just found out.” Fred said, bursting through the doors, and speaking in a voice that resembled the high pitched scratch of an American Teenager.
Mental note: Don’t tell Hilary that I made that analogy...
Rose frowned, her eyes snapping open and she stared curiously up at Fred. “What is it?” She asked, frowning.
“For a while now,” I managed to choke out. “I’ve known that Lindsay Forest has had a secret girlfriend...”
Rose and Scorpius looked slightly confused. “Lindsay is Oz’s little brother. He’s in fifth year, the same year as Oz’s new girlfriend—who he’s been pining after for years—Charmaine Longbottom.”
Scor and Rose nodded, waiting for me to continue my story without the awkward pauses where I tried to wrap my head around all of this. Albus decided to finish for me.
“Which brings us to our new problem. We have just walked in on Lindsay Forest, doing unmentionably fifteen year old boy things with the twin sister of his old brother’s girlfriend.”
Rose got it instantly, inhaling sharply.
It took Scorpius a little longer to connect all the dots.
“Wait.” He said holding up his hands. “Oz is dating Charmaine. And Lindsay is dating Carson.” Then he frowned. “Bloody hell...” He looked up at me. “You gunna tell Ozzy, Twinkle Toes?” He asked.
I stared at a particularly interesting looking stain on the walls.
“I’m really just focusing on whether or not it’s politically correct for two brothers to date two sisters...” I said thoughtfully.
Really, if I think about it, Lindsay and Carson getting together wasn’t much of a big deal. It wasn’t as though it would mess with much. Like—if it had been the other Longbottom twin making out with Lindsay when we walked in—every single fibre of my being would have shattered.
But it hadn’t been Charmaine with Lindsay.
Because she was with Oz. And Carson was with Lindsay.
Fred smirked and pushed me slightly. I grinned; letting myself fall in the direction he pushed me. Albus then wrapped his arms around my shoulders and pulled me into a very comfortable bear hug.
“Did you end up getting any chocolate frogs?”
Albus and Fred surreptitiously looked anywhere but their best mate, and tightened their grip on their stuffed pockets. I tossed Scorpius one of the chocolate treats that were still safely in my fist.
Scorpius pulled the wrapping off, grabbing the frog before it escaped his grasp. He viciously bit its head off, and then smirked at the continuing flailing legs of said frog. Then he glanced at the card, and rolled his eyes. Then he tossed me the card.
“Oi Twinkle Toes,” He said smirking slightly. “You can study now, a little bit of information on your hosts.”
I looked down at the card.
The Golden Trio:
Oh, sweet Merlin.
That didn’t actually end up going the way I had thought it would, but by the time Rose and Scorpius started butting heads (I swear I didn’t plan it) it just progressed and I knew what I was going to do. When I wrote in Lindsay’s secret girlfriend, I wasn’t sure who I would make it (it was going to be another OC) but then my fingers decided that Carson Longbottom’s name would instead come out on the page—and I think it went FABULOUSLY.
And, as you all know, your comments are always welcome so I would love to know what you thought about Lindsay’s secret girlf.
Also, Rose and Scorpius? What did you think?
Just one more little note—I would love it if you guys could help me out. Does anyone know exactly how long the train ride was supposed to take? I was watching the first movie again and realised that they all arrived at dinner time, and they left the station at exactly eleven o’clock in the morning… so I’m assuming that it takes a long while—if anyone knows any information more accurate than my guesswork, it would be very much appreciated.
Cheers, and please review—your reviews so far have been overwhelmingly wonderful. I think I may actually love you all.
Also, a belated apology for how bloody long this chapter took. There was confusion with my beta—which is why this one is unfortunately un betad. I could have waited, but I felt horrible leaving it so long—so I did my best. Hope its up to standard. :P
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