Chapter 2 : Et Tu, Hot Cocoa?
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To My Family and Loved Ones,
First, I must say how sorry I am. You have to understand that this is difficult for me, and that I take no joy in breaking this terrible, terrible news to you all. In fact, this is possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do (and that’s saying a lot, since a couple months ago I bet Liv that I could go a week without eating chocolate—Livvy, if you’re reading this I owe you five galleons). But ANYWAY—that’s not the point.
And yes, I do realize I have trouble “getting to the point.” But I just can’t help it...the point is always so gloomy and depressing and, well, pointy. Like a cactus! A sharp, prickly, very unfriendly cactus.
Nobody likes cactuses.
Or is it cacti?
I think it might be cacti...
What was I talking about again?
Oh yes, getting to the point. AS I WAS SAYING—this is really difficult for me to write. In fact, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t be writing this letter at all right now. But I know that’s not an option. The truth must come out—I can bear it no longer. LET THERE BE LIGHT, I say! LET THERE BE TRUTH!
Sorry. Got a little carried way there.
But anyway, I’m just gonna be out with it. Straightforward and upfront, you know? That’s the way to go.
Here we go.
I am moving to Timbuktu.
I know. I know. You’re probably gasping, right now. Perhaps your hands start trembling as you bring this letter close to your face, your searching eyes probing for any hint that I might be kidding, that this terrible news is not reality! But alas! I am sad to say that is not the case. For once, I am being serious.
Let me repeat myself for the sake of being clear (and also because I feel like a little bit of repetition always adds a nice touch of dramatic...flair):
I am moving to Timbuktu.
But "why?" you cry as you clutch this letter fiercely to your chest, “why, Effy, why would you abandon us all to move to a place that’s so far away, you can’t even picture it, yet alone spell its name?’
Well, my friend, I have two things to say to that.
A) I have no other choice.
B) I definitely can spell Timbuktu, thank you very much. I mean, seriously! I’m not dumb. Just because I’m a blonde (and proud of it) doesn’t mean you have to stereotype me as some vapid, shallow twit! Granted, I did have to look the word up in the dictionary.... but still! That gives you no right! NO RIGHT!!!!
I know at this moment you’re probably standing up, getting ready to flee your current location so that you can journey out and find me. I know that, when—if—you find me, you’re probably going to attempt to talk me out of this, to persuade me to stay. But as much as it pains me to say this, I can’t. I can’t stay because like I said, I have no other choice.
Why? Well, let’s just say that I’ve finally had my first taste of social humiliation, and it’s not a sweet delicacy, let me tell you. In fact, the pain and suffering this humiliation has brought upon me is too much to bear! I can’t stand the thought of waking up tomorrow in the same bed, knowing that this ‘incident’ (I will not speak of it, nor will I give it a name), will haunt every footstep I take! I must leave this town—and all the cruel memories that come with it!
I am sorry to hurt you like this. If there was any other way, believe that I would choose it in a heartbeat. But you and I both know that there is no other way, and I am destined to move on, to Timbuktu, and begin my life anew. Hey, that rhymed!
Maybe I can be a poet in Timbuktu. Oh wait, what language do they speak there?
Blast it. Who cares, anyway? I mean, I’m sure that if they do speak another language over there, I’ll pick it up quick. After all, how hard can...er...Timbuktunian be?
That was a rhetorical question. Please don’t try and respond with another letter. Not only will I be long gone by then, probably mourning my past life in some obscure Timbuktunian coffee shop, scribbling away in my poem journal—but also I don’t think I could bear the pain of reading a letter from any of you. It would just be too much.
Anywho, I guess it is time to wrap things up. I don’t know what else to say. I think I’ve expressed my sorrow/depression/deepest regret/etc. adequately enough. Just let me say one more thing:
I love you all, and I will treasure the memories we’ve shared... Forever.
A million hugs and kisses,
Xoxo times infinity and beyond,
PS. Seriously. Please don’t try and contact me. It’ll just open up old wounds.
PPS. I mean, if there’s an emergency (someone has died, someone has gotten sick, there’s a 50% off sale at Madame Malkin’s and I must floo over immediately), I guess you could try and reach me.
PPPS. But if you do, don’t bother with writing anything. Just hit up my Wizbook page. Who even writes letters anymore?
PPPPS. Well, I guess I do.
PPPPPS. I should probably end this. I have way too many PS’s right now. What does PS even stand for?
PPPPPPS. Nevermind. That was another rhetorical question.
Here is something you should know:
My two best mates are the kindest, warmest, brightest people I have ever met.
But they can also be very daft sometimes.
“Effy, you are not moving to Timbuktu.”
Insert: long, exasperated sigh here.
I suppose I should have expected this. After all, who would want to accept such terrible, catastrophic news?
Apparently, not Liv and Finn. In fact, they refuse to believe that I will be undergoing my drastic, all-important metamorphosis into a tortured Timbuktunian poet. They think I am, and I quote, “just being silly.” Just being silly? Oh, the injustice! But I suppose that is what every famous writer/tormented artist encounters in their time. I will just have to channel my feelings of oppression and despair into my poetry.
Maybe I can write a haiku about this.
You see, normally my friends are very understanding of all my ideas. Although some, to be fair, have landed us in trouble, detention and (in one very memorable case) trapped in the cellar of a Honeydukes store for two days straight, with nothing for sustenance except two bags of crisps and a jug of orange juice.
But after receiving my letter—in which I had poured my blood, sweat, and the cutest turquoise ink Flourish & Botts has to offer—they had simply waved off my life-changing decision as ‘another Effy moment.’
ANOTHER EFFY MOMENT? WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN.
All of my valiant attempts to explain to them the Utmost Seriousness of This Matter have been bombarded with eye rolls and scoffs and... flippancy. Yes, I am not lying. I, as a Bringer of Light and Truth and All Things Honest, am trying to tell them of my new Timbuktunian, poetic lifestyle and they are being flippant! FLIPPANT I TELL YOU!
This is all very unfair.
I give a short, breathy huff, ignoring the look my two best friends exchange behind my back—I can see that!—and twist my streaked blonde hair into a knot behind my head. It’s a nervous habit I do when I’m stressed, and right now, at this moment, I am stressed to the extreme. “For the lastest, most ultimatest time, guys, I’m being serious. I am moving to Timbuktu.”
Liv responds with another patented Liv Eye Roll™ and it’s a shame, really. Her dark eyes are so green-y and sparkly, if only she’d stop veering them to the ceiling all the time (and let me put some mascara on them! I swear, I could work magic on those peepers! I am a Makeup Fiend! I wield and hold my tube of mascara like a sword... A volumizing, lengthening and waterproof sword!).
Thankfully, Liv doesn’t say anything. Which is just as well because whenever my dear chum Livvy opens her mouth, something snarky and sarcastic and just generally destructive to the self-esteem tends to fall out. Long ago, I came up with the theory that Liv has a secret Sarcasm Reservoir she keeps inside of her, ready to infuse anything she says with a healthy dose of Scorn and Wit and Meanness. I keep telling her this, and that such things are not appealing to those of the unfairer sex (aka blokes... More specifically, the delicious Hogwarts blokes on the Gryffie Quidditch team), but she maintains that it’s her body’s natural defense against idiocy and can’t be switched off.
She’s a funny one, that Liv. One of the kindest, most generous, passionate, loyal people I know... But on the outside she can be a bit cold sometimes. Even to blokes. Well, especially to blokes. Which is really not that fair, since she's had them chasing after her ever since Third Year.
You see, Liv is like... like a Cadbury Egg. Warm and gooey on the inside, but a little hard on the outside. She's got an armour (and unfortunately, it is not made of chocolate-y goodness) that you have to work through before she really opens up. Trust me, I would know.
Ha, and how’s that for a metaphor? Cadbury Eggs! I’m pretty much a writer already. Tortured poetry, here I come!
Oh, wait. Was that a metaphor or a simile? Blast it. I think that was a metaphor—or maybe it was an analogy...
Just as I am about to start debating the finer points of classic literature with myself, I am so rudely jerked out of my musings by Finn. Her voice is gentle, easy, soft and, like always, it's got a certain musical quality that makes me think of those little naked babies in old paintings, the ones that play the harp and wear angel wings and stuff. What are those called again? Something about cherries...
"Effy, you are not moving to Timbuktu.”
Cherries...Chirps...Cheryl... Snap out of it, Effy! “Yes, I am.”
“No, you’re not.”
Denial is such a sad, sad thing.
Finn is giving me that look now. It’s the same look she gets whenever she's exasperated, like that one time Liv got ten boxes of chocolates for Valentines Day (all from her numerous suitors), and instead of consuming each and every one like I would have, gave nine of them to all the house-elves in the kitchens and one of them (yippee!) to me.
It was a classic example of Liv in all her Livness, and during that time, Finn—despite usually being our soft and gentle voice of reason—hadn’t said anything. She’d just given her that look. It’s a look filled with exasperatedness and knowingness with a hint of affection as well. It’s a look that says ‘oh, my friends can be right annoying bints sometimes, but I love them with all my heart and soul (especially Effy. She’s bloody amazing. And has nice hair).’
Finn is really the best sometimes. She doesn’t say much, but it’s not like she’s shy. She just doesn’t waste her time with the technicalities—but not like Liv, who can be all brusque and cut-to-the-point and we-don’t-have-all-day-here. No, Finn just simply doesn’t feel the need to fill space with pointless words. She’s a listener. She observes. And she manages to know EXACTLY what I’m thinking AT ALL TIMES. Creepy, eh?
Also, Finn doesn’t care about the little stuff—like house rivalries, or boyfriends, or even school marks. If it weren’t for those ugly red-and-gold ties they make us Gryffies wear at school (ties that I have drafted SEVERAL petitions against. Although all my pleas for justice and fashion sense have been ignored by the Hogwarts administration. Harrumph!), Finn would probably forget what house she’s in. In fact, Finn’s the type of person who likes to laugh at things people usually find serious.
I remember this one time we were in fifth-year, and there was this huge Quidditch match—Ravenclaw against Gryffindor. Finn plays for the team you see...and there was this one particularly nasty, seventh-year Ravenclaw girl (who, by the way, was in SERIOUS need of a good eyebrow plucking. Honestly, it's not that hard to maintain proper eyebrow hygiene, people). Anyway, I remember that day like it was yesterday (coincidentally, why do we even have that saying? I don’t remember half the things that happened yesterday—like say, what I ate for dinner, for instance—but anyway, I do remember this really well).
It was a windy day. Finn had been up in the air on her broomstick—pale, white-gold hair flickering fiercely in the wind, her form as lithe and quick as a bird, so beautiful, so glorious. She had been right in front of the Snitch, just about to catch it, her dainty fingers outstretched, barely caressing the golden orb, her face so fragile, so focused, so—
Anyway, before you could say 'eyebrow wax,' the brutish seventh-year Ravenclaw came out of nowhere and knocked Finn right off her broom! Now, I’m no Quidditch player (I don’t see the appeal in flying around at life-defying speeds on cleaning supplies. Plus, sweating is disgusting. Not that I sweat or anything, since ladies don’t sweat. But I’ve heard stories), and yet even I know that had been a totally illegal move.
Finn had tumbled to the ground, her fingers missing the Snitch by a centimetre, and Gryffindor lost the game.
Of course, everyone was in an uproar for Finn’s sake. Liv was livid (ha, see what I did there?), I was hysterical, and several of our bloke friends were about ready to pound the Ravenclaw team into the consistency of pulpy orange juice.
But Finn herself? She simply got up (which was quite amazing, seeing as she’d just suffered a fifteen foot fall), dusted herself off...And laughed. She laughed and laughed and pointed at the Ravenclaw team, who were all confused and guilty-looking in their victory, and laughed. She laughed until she cried. She laughed all the way as they carried her to the hospital wing.
It was one of the scariest things I’ve seen in my life, scarier than Finn's fall itself (which had been downright terrifying, in case you were wondering).
Finn is just complicated like that. See, A Really Bad Thing happened to her when she was younger, back in third year. We don’t like to talk about it. But that Really Bad Thing has changed her. I mean, she’s still Finn, our Finn, but sometimes she slips out of focus. Sometimes we’ll be talking to her but she won’t be listening, and Liv or I will have to shake her, and she’ll look up—bright eyes popping wide open, looking like she’s just woken up from a bad dream. Those are the moments that scare me the most.
But enough about that. Back to the present. (I’m great at transitioning, eh?) (That was meant to be read in a sarcastic yet playful tone of voice. If you took that seriously, then you don’t know anything about me and are in all probability an idiot. Goodbye. Thank you for your time.)
Liv has curled her slender fingers around a cup of coffee, bringing it closer so she can gently blow off the layer of steam that is curling around the melty, dark liquid. Her dark, slender eyebrows are scrunched together, but not in confusion (for Liv is rarely confused). Rather, it looks like she’s in the middle of a poor attempt at stifling a laugh. Instead of being successful, however, she simply looks like she is suffering some unfortunate bowel movements.
Finn, sitting next to her, is leaning with only the back two legs of her chair on the ground, her lanky Seeker’s body sprawled out and taking as much as space as possible. Wisps of pale gold hair are stuck on her face, but she doesn’t seem to mind. She is taking in what I’m saying with an utmost look of attentiveness on her face, posture relaxed, demeanour calm, although there is a spark of amusement dancing in her eyes.
Neither of them are taking me seriously.
We’re sitting at our favourite table at the coffee shop, The Centaur Cafe (which, contrary to the name and my initial hopes, does not include shirtless waiters dressed as centaurs galloping throughout the shop, serving coffees and offering free rides at will). It’s a cosy place, with velvety chairs and cushy pillows piled high.
Liv and Finn are sitting across from me, both looking at me with mingled expressions while I slump, sulking, in my chair. Alas, turns out the only friend who has stayed true to me thus far is my cup of delicious, low-fat hot cocoa with extra whipped cream. Pah.
“I’m moving to Timbuktu, and there’s nothing either of you can do about it.”
"You sure about that, Eff?"
"Alright, well then where is Timbuktu, exactly?"
There's a pause.
"Oh... You know... Somewhere near Asiaeuropstralia...ish." Apparently, people (namely, me) can just create new continents at their own will now. Good to know.
Liv raises an eyebrow, and I feel sweat start to speckle my brow. Oh, nutterbutters—Liv's like a portable lie detector. There's no way I'm gonna get out of this.
"It's like, you know, really close to...water. And other stuff," I blather on lamely, trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about. In return, I receive two blank stares.
"Eff, seriously. Do you actually know where Timbuktu is?"
"Uhh... Right in-between Timbukone and Timbukthree?" I say in a last-ditch (and admittedly poor) attempt at humour. Finn's mouth twitches. Success!
But Liv remains stoic, gauging me, her forestry eyes all calculating and sharp like how they get whenever Professor Vector puts something particularly challenging on the Arithmancy chalkboard. Not that I pay attention. In class, I’m usually too busy engaged in a tic-tac-toe war with Finn, or catching up on some Z's. Beauty sleep, people, is an important thing.
“Alright, Effy,” Liv finally says, after a silent moment of her analyzing my bluff. “We won’t do anything about your little move. In fact, we won’t do anything at all while you book your plane ticket, pack all your things, find a new house to move into...”
Finn giggles into the pecan cookie she’s munching on, and I feel my heart sink as Liv prattles on with her list, the same, sharp gleam in her green eyes. I love my Livvy, I really do, but sometimes she can be too clever for her own good.
"...Find a new job, earn a salary, live on your own, buy new furniture..."
Gulp. This moving to Timbuktu thing is starting to sound trickier than I previously thought. And without Livvy and Finn by my side, who will guide me in times of trouble? Who can I turn to if I don't know how to get a plane ticket? Or if I can’t understand the language? Who can I call in the middle of the night if I can’t figure out which shoes to pack, my red Circe & Morganas or my black Jimmy Floos... Or BOTH?
“Maybe this moving thing wasn’t so thought out,” I mumble sheepishly, taking a sip of hot cocoa to appear casual. But instead of making me look nonchalant and blase, the hot liquid invades my mouth and burns my tongue. Gasp! Warm, chocolate-y goodness, how you've betrayed me! You have singed my tongue and consequently my soul!
Liv stops with her Dastardly Catalogue of Dastardly Chores, and her and Finn exchange triumphant smirks. They do not seem to notice that I am in the throes of burnt-tongue-pain.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" Liv cups her hand to her ear in mock confusion. Oh, that vixen! She knows what I just said, she just wants me to repeat it for the sake of proving herself right again!
"Maybe... Move... Not thought out," I mumble softly.
"Move... not... nnnharghelsmarf."
"Sorry, couldn't hear you?"
"I SAID MAYBE THIS MOVE WASN'T SO THOUGHT OUT!" I finally blurt, and my voice comes out surprisingly loud. It startles the other customers—a lady next to us jumps and spills coffee all over herself, and an old guy eating a Danish by the bar looks up to stick me with the evil eye. I meet his gaze, giving him a little glare of my own, and before I know it, we're locked in a battle of wills.
It's me versus him, the two of us staring each other down from opposite ends of the room. A test of skill! Courage! And, most importantly, pupil strength!
The tension in the air is almost palpable. And slowly, my imagination takes over as my surroundings fade to a new setting—a hot, dry desert in the middle of nowhere! The desert is, obviously, completely deserted (duh). There is no one else except me and the Old Guy, still locked in our staredown. Silence hangs above us, heavy and hanging like...heavy, hanging things! Mr. Old Guy raises his eyebrow, narrows his wrinkly eyes—and I do the same. Dust swirls in the air, shivering in anticipation...
There isn't enough room in this coffee shop for the two of us, Old Man. I say, grabbing the holster to my gun.
Mr. Old Guy cocks the rim to his cowboy hat, flashing me an old-fashioned Western snarl. Then we'll just have to settle this the Cowboy way...
Out of nowhere, a tumbleweed blows between us. One... Two... Three...
"Effy, earth to Effy!"
I feel a sharp flick on my forehead and jump in surprise. "Wha—TUMBLEWEEDS!"
There is an awkward silence.
"—are fun... to play with," I finish lamely.
Liv and Finn look concerned.
"Err...You alright, Eff?" Finn reaches over to feel my temperature, and I swat her away.
"What? Yeah, I'm fine. Just dazed off for a bit..." I force a smile to reassure them, but when they turn away, shrugging, I steal a glance at Crazy-Danish-Cowboy-Man (yes, that is his new name. I didn't like the sound of Mr. Old Guy, so I renamed him. Which is perfectly allowed. I mean, he is my arch-nemesis, after all).
I narrow my eyes at the guy, watching as he continues on eating like nothing’s wrong. Oh, you sneaky bastard... Trying to act all innocent, munching on that Danish of yours...We all know that it's a ruse. We all know what's really underneath that facade. You, sir, are eating a Danish of lies. A DANISH OF LIES!!!!
I blink, and all of a sudden I look down to see that, somehow, I have gotten myself into a rather funny position: standing up, legs spread firmly apart in a power stance....and my finger pointing rather accusingly at Crazy-Danish-Cowboy-Man.
Everything is silent. My chair is on the ground behind me, apparently having been knocked over when I leapt to my feet. I am also breathing rather heavily, and I can hear the echo of my own shout ("A Danish of LIES!!!") ringing in my ears. Then, the realization comes—I must have spoken what I was thinking...Without thinking. It seems like in the heat of the moment, my...er...passion overtook me, and I decided to jump up in the middle of the cafe and accuse Crazy-Danish-Cowboy-Man of his evil ways, Law & Order style.
It also seems like everyone else in the cafe heard said accusation, and is now turning to stare at me.
Finn is looking up at me with a bemused expression on her face, and Liv's mouth is hanging open, her cup of coffee frozen halfway towards her lips. The whole cafe is quiet.
Everyone is staring. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a mother hastily usher her child out of the shop, all the while casting furtive glances in my direction. Danish-Cowboy-Man is staring at me with a startled expression on his face, pastry crumbs dangling off his bushy moustache.
Perhaps I have some explaining to do.
I clear my throat.
"Ahem. What I meant to say was....That pastry looks absolutely delicious. It is not at all a Danish of Lies. In fact, it looks like an honest, hard-working pastry, and you should carry on eating it, good sir," I give a decisive nod, as if I somehow have the authority to dictate whether people can eat their baked delicacies or not. Oh god. I have turned into The Pastry Police! The Num Num Nazi! People must think I'm loony... "Also, I admire your moustache. Mad props. Seriously."
And then, with all the dignity I can muster, I turn on my heel and march right out of that shop.
(But not before downing the rest of my hot cocoa first. I mean, I'm not going to waste it. Who do you think I am? America?)
I am halfway down the street when Finn and Liv catch up with me.
"What the hell was that all about?" Liv booms, her chocolate curls flying every whichway as she marches after me. Finn is stumbling right behind her, cackling like a bloody maniac. There are tears streaming down her face, and she's keeled over, clutching her stomach. It's a surprise she can even manage to walk.
"Thanks guys, so glad I can provide your guys' entertainment with my public humiliation!" I whip around, voice a harsh snap.
This shuts them up a bit. Finn wipes a stray tear from her eye, face becoming solemn. "We're sorry--It was just so funny! A Danish of Lies!"
She dissolves into laughter once again. I roll my eyes. Honestly, some people have no sense of decency.
Liv notices my annoyance, however. She crosses over to me and places a hesitant hand on my shoulder (which means a lot, since Liv's never been one for touchy-feely stuff). "Is everything alright, Eff? You've been acting kind of...distracted, lately."
I stare at Liv's round, bright, concerned face and will myself not to cry. My lower lip trembles. My hands shake. Must. Remain. Strong.
"Everything's going to shit!" I wail suddenly, and before I know it I'm flopping down onto the curb of the street. I can't help it. What with Albus, and Timbuktu, and the Crazy-Danish-Cowboy-Man...I feel like I am drowning in the deepest, most darkest depths of despair.
Finn immediately stops laughing and, in a swish of white-gold hair, rushes to my side, her hand already rubbing soothing circles on my back, voice a soft murmur, "Aww, Eff, I'm sorry for laughing... Everything's going to be okay, love... Everything's alright..."
Liv plunks herself down next to me. "Yeah, come on, Eff. It wasn't that bad. I mean, sure, everyone thinks you're a total loon now, but since when has that ever bothered you?"
This, despite Liv's good intentions, does not really cheer me up.
Finn shoots Liv a dirty look as I start sobbing louder, my shoulders wracking with anguish, my tears as strong and plentiful as the Viagra Falls. Or whatever they're called.
"What's wrong, Effy?" Finn finally asks quietly. She smoothes back a few blonde wisps of my hair and pulls me closer. "No matter what it is, you can tell us."
See, this is what I love about my friends. Finn is just so kind and so caring, she always knows what's best to say in a situation like this. I know, just by feeling her calm, comforting touch, that she would be a fantastic mum.
And Liv... Well, er, I'm sure she would make a great PE coach. Or military sergeant. Either or.
I sniff. “It’s a long story.”
Liv cocks her head and tosses her curly hair back over her shoulders—she's never liked the way it always gets into her eyes, and the only reason she keeps it long is because every time she talks about cutting it short, I beg her not to. “We have time. Spill."
And so, pulling myself together and trying to work through the terrible pain, I tell them of the disastrous plight of Albus Potter and the Really Cute Leather Boots. How I had mixed up my words (really, no one can fault me for that. Boots, boobs... It’s only one letter. ONE LETTER), resulting in complete mortification and humiliation in front of the sexiest boy at our school... Who is not only famous but a seventh-year. A SEVENTH-YEAR! I told them about his expression when he had looked at me--curiosity with a bit of apprehension, probably thinking, 'is she the nonviolent kind of insane, or should I be worried for my life here?' And finally, lastly, I tell them about the only time we touched, and how his skin had been ice cold—quite eerie. Quite strange.
Finn and Liv are good listeners—Liv's face is slightly pinched with its calculating look, so I know that she's taking in every word I say, mulling it over, rolling it around, slipping it on to see if it's the right fit. And Finn's perfect too, her wintry melon eyes shining with compassion, blonde head occasionally bobbing to my words like my voice is a catchy song with a good beat.
And unlike the last time, they don't laugh. At all. Which kinda makes me feel worse. Because usually, if the incident isn't that bad or socially mortifying, Liv will crack a joke, something along the lines of, ‘Oh, does this mean you’re a lesbian now? Because my cousin Martha’s been looking for someone, I could set you up,' and I’ll smack her across the arm and then we’ll all laugh and get on with it.
But no. This time, horror of horrors, they are actually understanding! No sarcastic quips or exchanged glances! No eyerolls or flippancy! Which only means that what had happened with Albus was in the baddest realm of bads.
I am dead. I might as well just compose my social life’s eulogy right here and now.
"Aw, Eff, is that why you wanted to move to Timbuktu?" Finn asks when I'm finished, eyes glimmering with sympathy. "Because it's really not that bad."
"Honest," Liv nods ferociously, but I can see it in their eyes that they're lying.
"It's okay, guys, you don't have to lie for me. I know it was bad," I heave a gracious, yet delicate sigh and muster up a smile. "But I guess there's not much I can do but just get over it and move on... I have no other choice..."
Liv and Finn exchange a look, and then suddenly, at once, they're hauling me to my feet.
"Come on, mate," Liv says, patting me on the back. "It won't do to just sit and mope about it."
"Yeah, we're going to make you forget all about stupid Albus Potter!"
"But how?" I cry morosely. How could anyone forget about Albus Potter? He's a sex god, a seventh-year legend, a Hogwartian hero--
"Easy," Finn shoots back, a smile creeping on her face. "We're going to take you to the movies. There's a new romantic-comedy out..."
"...And it's supposed to star some hot Quidditch-player-turned-actor bloke." Ah, Finn and Liv know me too well. My weak spot--Quidditch players.
I look down, sticking my lip out into a pout, and then glance back up at my two best mates. "Alright. But will it be cheesy?" I'm a sucker for some good ol' fashioned cheese. Especially in a rom-com starring Quidditch blokes. What else could a girl need?
"It will be totally cheesy!"
"The cheesiest movie you could wish for!"
"Cheese-arific, in fact!"
And with that, the two of them haul me down the street and on a bus to the nearest wizardring movie theatre, where we spend the next few hours kicking back, stuffing our mouths with popcorn, and ogling Oliver Wood's abs.
And yes, if you were wondering, there was cheese. Loads of it.
And yes, if you were wondering, Albus Potter did not cross my mind. Not once.
Have I mentioned that I love my best mates?
A/N: First of all, please let me apologize to you guys (if there are any of you left, that is) for the simply unforgivable wait. I just lost complete inspiration for this story...But now that my writer's block is somewhat gone, hopefully I can continue with this fic because I really do love the premise, and Effy is one hoot of a character to write! Don't even get me started...
I know this chapter was somewhat short and devoid of action (read: Albus) but I promise you the next ones will get better.
Alright, that's it, folks! Hopefully there are still some of you out there reading this, and if there are...Well, thanks for doing so! It really means a lot <3