Chapter 3 : Déjà Vu and Summer Plans
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Bertie sat down on his bed, made sure he was covered by the curtain, and finished drying and dressing himself. He stood back up when he heard their groans, he pulled on his New York t-shirt and he called out, unable to help himself. He'd take whatever they threw; they deserved it anyway.
"He is sounding way too chipper," one of them groaned. "Make him stop."
"Rise and shine, boys," he carried on, with an overly enthusiastic voice. "The sun is shining brightly and everyone is so cheery and loud!"
Bertie flinched a little when the boy on his left, Rick, outstretched his hand to pick up something, preparing himself for the hit, but Ewan, who was still lying down and half asleep, held up a hand to stop him. "William, here, is still a wee bit drunk; we'll get him back in the afternoon."
"Even when you're angry, you call me by my middle name, why is that?"
"I've been calling you by your middle name since the day we met, I'm not changing now," Ewan pointed out quietly. "Now get out, you're obviously going somewhere."
"Yes," Bertie glared. "Detention, no thanks to you!"
Ewan smirked widely and still didn't look up. "Good luck with that!"
It ended up being Bertie who threw something; he left with a new spring in his step after the statisfying thud of the alarm clock hit his blanket-covered stomach and his shout was worth any afternoon trouble it may bring.
At least he was finally up.
Bertie rubbed his eyes, hoping it would remove any traces of sleep. He hadn't slept, that was the problem; is alcohol fueled body hadn't seen the point of going to sleep at half three, only to wake up at half six. So he'd stayed awake; he'd started his packing, he'd read a book or two, he'd finished his packet of Oreos. Now, with each hour that passed, the level of alcohol in his system was surely dropping and all he wanted to do was sleep. Hopefully the coming headache and nausea would pass without him even noticing.
He sincerely hoped.
By the time he reached the transfiguration classroom, Bertie's ability to stay awake and alert and not throw up was well and truly gone. He leaned against the wall, his face pressed into it, and closed his eyes.
He let out a snore. Malfoy let out a laugh. "Morning, sunshine. What's the matter? Can't hack it?"
"Didn't sleep," he muttered.
He felt Albus clap him on the back. At least he thought it was Albus. "You have really got to stop d -" his friend stopped speaking, causing Bertie to remove his face from the wall and look up. Standing right in front of them was Professor Burns, the transfiguration teacher. Everyone knew the name suited him; his glare made a person feel like they were being burned from the inside out. "Dancing. You should quit dancing."
Bertie nodded his head quickly, agreeing with his friend. "I really should quit d-dancing, it does me no good."
"I had never seen you dance before last night. I don't think you should quit." It took the boys a minute to realize she meant it literally and wasn't playing along because of the teacher.
"How long has she been stood there for?" Scorpius asked, confused. Albus only shrugged at him.
"Does it matter?" Rose said. "We're here for a reason."
Burns seemed to snap out of it then and interrupted the students' conversation quickly. He clapped his hands together forcibly, getting them to notice him, and folded his arms over his chest. Bertie watched Scorpius shut his eyes as the noise rung through his ears; he gritted his teeth. Bertie wanted to laugh; it looked like he wasn't the only one who couldn't quite handle his drink. "Yes, for a reason - detention. Get in." He jerked his head in the direction of the open classroom door.
The professor waited until they had taken a seat, each on a different desk, before standing in front of them. The way Professor Burns handled himself made Bertie remember the stories Albus' dad had told them when they were younger; about Professor Snape, who shared Albus' middle name. Bertie cracked a hint of a smile when he imagined Burns actually being a spy. It didn't seem likely. But, then again, neither had Snape, Harry Potter had said.
"Is something funny, Rivers?" Bertie shook his head quickly, refusing to say anything, and the professor changed the subject. "Who brought the Firewhiskey onto school grounds?" The four kept their eyes to the front, no one speaking a word.
He tried again. "Who supplied the party with alcohol?"
Again, no one spoke. Bertie couldn't say for the others, but he felt he was just as guilty for drinking it, even if he hadn't brought it. He wasn't going to rat on Malfoy and James for their part in it. So, he kept his gaze on the teacher's desk and waited for Burns to hand them their punishment so he would leave and Bertie could sleep with his head on the desk.
Burns gave up, knowing they wouldn't cooperate, but Bertie knew it wasn't over; he'd just go to someone else. He removed his wand from inside his robes and pointed at four boxes, levitating them to the desks, one for each student. "Past essays and detention records. Sort them both by name, by subject and by year."
As soon as he was gone, Malfoy sighed. "It sounds like such a dull and painful task." He received a echo of groans in reply. "And thank you," he muttered quietly. Bertie guessed he hoped they hadn't heard. But they all had and they faced him confused. "For not telling him about me," he added.
"No problem," Bertie answered, softly. "Besides, I have one year left here; I want to live." Scorpius smirked and nodded. "Look at us, getting along. Just don't mention it to anyone." He turned to his box of detention records and pulled out the first file. "Ever."
Two and a half hours later, Bertie was almost three quarters of the way through his box when Albus finally cracked. "That's it, I'm so bored that these essays are interesting. Interesting! I will not allow myself to think that!"
"How interesting?" Bertie asked, faking curiosity.
"Well, did you know -" Albus stopped himself before he could say anymore, noticed his best friend's smirk and glared. "I hate you."
Bertie returned the glare, remembering what happened between them in front of the wall before the party. His eyes flickered to Rose for a second, who barely noticed them, before returning to the brunet. "Now we're even."
They turned when they heard someone tsk at them. "Now, now children. No need to get angry."
They turned their glares into identical frowns, confused. Scorpius was sat on top of the desk, his face buried in the file in his hands. "Are you not bored, Malfoy?" Albus asked slowly.
He shook his head casually. "No. These detentions are actually quite interesting." He looked up. "I do get a sense of deja vu, though," he said with a smile. "Like I've been in this room with you lot before."
That cut through the tension and they all laughed. Bertie lifted his arms up above his head in defense. "Not my fault this time." He pointed at Malfoy. "It's yours."
He spun around, back to his box, and picked a new detention file. He was halfway through the file when it slipped from his hands. Bertie caught it quickly and brought it back to the desk, noticing that a piece of parchment had fallen out and onto the floor. He bent down and picked it up, reading over it so he knew where it had to go, and frowned. It wasn't a detention sheet, it was a list. The writing was old and faded, but just about readable to Bertie. He went through the list, forgetting all about the remaining detentions he had to go through, and sat on top of the desk.
"What is that?" Albus asked, making his way over as soon as he noticed his friend's attention shift.
He sat on the desk at his side and Bertie showed him the parchment. "It looks like a bucket list. You know, 'do this', 'do that'."
"I know what a bucket list is," he said with a roll of his eyes. "Whose is it?"
The other two soon followed Albus' example, reading the list over Bertie's shoulders. No one recognized the handwriting, Rose wisely pointing out that they wouldn't given how old it looked; it was quite a few years before their time. They didn't get a chance to talk about the contents of the list as the classroom door opened and Burns entered. Bertie and Albus jumped off the desk swiftly and they all stood straight and waited for the professor to speak, Bertie stuffing the list into his back pocket before it could be seen and acting as though they'd been working.
"The files?" he asked.
Rose spoke for them. "Almost done, Sir."
"And the alcohol supply?" No one answered, as they suspected he knew would happen. "As soon as you are done, you may go."
They each nodded and went back to their own boxes, finishing their detention in silence as Burns chose to stay until the end this time.
"Library," Albus mouthed to Bertie discreetly and Bertie was able to give a quick nod before the professor turned to him.
As soon as Burns dismissed them all, Berite and Albus all but ran from the classroom, hangovers forgotten, and neither were very surprised when they noticed that Rose and Scorpius were following them; they all wanted to see the list that had spent so long buried in a box of old detentions, to know what was written on there that a person thought was worth making a bucket list. What did they want to do with their life? Did they do all those things?
The two friends made their way to their section of the library; the old, dusty corner that was home to Muggle fiction and classics. No one ever came here but them, no one bothered, and they came here to hide from school, to hang out and laugh and joke without getting caught by the librarian. They stopped around the table, Albus on his left, and Bertie pulled the list back out. As soon as the other two had come, he put the list out in front of them and read out the first thing on the list.
"Travel the world." He scoffed. "Obvious."
"Common, but a luxury some are unable to do," Rose pointed out. "I've always wanted to travel the world."
"Yeah, me too," Albus agreed. "Just because you can."
"You can?" Scorpius asked skeptically.
Bertie looked visibly uncomfortable under his gaze, but refused to look away and shrugged. "Yeah, so?"
"Nothing, I just didn't know that."
Bertie went through more of what the mysterious person had wanted to do when they had been in school, each giving their own opinions of what they thought and if they would do the same. Grinning, Bertie swatted Albus lightly on the arm; a move that told Albus his friend just had an idea he thought was brilliant. "We should do this list," he said, waving it in his face.
"We?" Albus raised an eye-brow, unsure as to whether or not Bertie was serious.
He nodded his head with obvious enthusiasm. "Just last week you were saying you wanted something to do this summer and we've always talked about having a lads holiday. We can do this!"
"That holiday was planned for next Summer after graduation," Albus reminded him. "We have, like, two days left here; can we prepare for this in such a short time?"
Bertie gave him a look that told him to remind himself just who he was talking to. "We have everything we need."
"Right, of course." Albus nodded and a small grin of his own started to form. "It does sound like fun."
"It sounds like a lot of fun," Scorpius cut in. "So, why is it just you two planning this? It's our list, too. We were all there."
"Yeah, that's only fair, dude," Albus agreed. "We can't just cut them out."
Bertie stood in silence, his eyes wondering between the other three around the table, Al on his left, Scorpius right in front of him and Rose on his right, and nodded slowly. He knew it wouldn't be fair to leave them out when they had been there when he found it, but would they really want to spend an entire Summer with him? Wouldn't Rose rather stay with her precious Chris?
Albus nudged him in the ribs and he schooled his features quickly; he couldn't let Rose and her apparent boyfriend get to him. "No, we won't cut you out. Looks like it'll be four of us. If you want to come," Bertie muttered to Rose, not quite able to look her in the eye.
"I wouldn't dream of missing out," Rose answered. "When am I ever going to get a chance like this again?"
Bertie looked up long enough to give her a brief smile, far too happy about the thought of her being with him instead of Chris than he knew he should be. He caught Malfoy smirking from the corner of his eye and scowled; he couldn't have anyone else know about his crush. The less people who know, the less likely it would get to Rose herself. He couldn't handle the rejection. Bertie cleared his throat and spoke before the silence became awkward, still not used to being around the other two more than he was used to. He was so thankful he had Al with him in that moment.
"I need writing stuff." He moved away to the shelves, pulled out a notebook and a pen, which he kept handy in case he needed them, flicked through until he found a fresh page and started writing.
"What's he doing?" he heard Rose ask.
"I'm copying the list so it's clearer to read, plus I thought maybe we could add to it if anyone had anything they wanted to do," Bertie explained quietly. "We don't have to worry about money, I've got that covered."
"You have money?" Bertie nodded and Scorpius let out a soft whistle. "Didn't know you were rich, Rivers."
"You don't know me," Bertie countered, wondering how the boy thought he'd be able to travel the world without it, and Malfoy had to agree.
"We should make a note of cost, so we can pay our own way for things," Rose said. "It's not fair to make you cover everything, Albert, whether you have money or not."
Bertie took her words into consideration before nodding slowly. He liked to think he'd gotten to know Rose pretty well over the years and he knew she'd say something like that. "Okay, but it'll only be for, like, food, drink, anything we do on this 'holiday' that requires money, because transport will definitely be covered."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Bertie's dad has his own jet," Albus said smugly.
There was a collection of gasps and murmurs from the other two and Bertie wanted nothing more than to rewind and shut Albus up. "Just how rich are you?" Scorpius finally got out.
"Very. More than enough to own a jet," he muttered, not looking up. He hoped what he said gave them enough of an indication as to his family's wealth, because he had no intention of repeating it. "Money is not important, just be thankful we can travel or we wouldn't even be ticking off the first item."
Bertie finished copying the bucket list, ripped the page from the pad and put both the paper and the pen in the middle of the table, gesturing to the others to add what they wanted. He'd add his last. Albus went first, only adding a couple of things, Scorpius passed it to Rose next, saying ladies first, and she added another couple, then the Slytherin added a few more than the others. When Bertie took the list back and read through them, he found himself not completely surprised that Malfoy's were all Muggle experiences.
"I bet you just loved item twenty," Albus said, chuckling.
"What was item twenty?"
"Get a tattoo," Al answered his cousin.
They both turned to the brunet, surprised by everything they had never known about him surfacing.
"You want a tattoo?"
Bertie shook his head, which only served to confuse them. "I want another." From their shared looks, he guessed they were wondering how many he had, along with a where and a what, like others had asked before. "I have two; one on my side and one on my back."
"Show them, Bert, the one on his back is so cool."
"I'll show them mine if you show them yours," Bertie countered, grinning in satisfaction when he lost his excitement and Rose's eyes widened.
"You tell my mum and I'll kill you," Albus glared at Rose before moving to lift up his shirt, explaining himself as he did so. "We got them at Christmas, presents for ourselves when Bertie said he wanted another and dared me to get one, too. We'd had quite a bit to drink and I said yes. Thank God I don't regret it. We got them in the same place."
Albus pulled his t-shirt up to expose his entire back and turned around. On the back of his left shoulder blade was a Phoenix, its wings spread out and open and the bottom encased in fire. "It's my patronus."
He turned back around, letting go of his top so it covered his tattoo again, and nodded to Bertie. They all stood and watched patiently, waiting for Bertie to show them his two. He copied Albus, showing them his back first. His was a black dragon, its tail curled at its feet with the tip dangling down and breathing fire from its mouth. He heard Scorpius whistle in appreciation again.
"Why a dragon?" he asked.
It was Albus who answered. "Because Bertie has a temper. Don't get him really angry or provoke him, he's like a dragon breathing fire. Fortunately, I've only seen it once, last year."
No one seemed to believe him, Rose asking him himself why he'd been so angry, but Bertie refused to answer and the look he gave Albus warned him to keep quiet. He changed the subject back to tattoos and turned to Albus, so they could all see his right side.
"You only live once," Scorpius read out the fancy black writing that went down from his top rib to his hip. "Hurt much?"
"Little bit," he shrugged, dropping his top back down. Physical pain wasn't something that got to him. He could take it, better than Albus too, who had complained the whole time he'd sat for his tattoo. Though neither regretted getting them, despite their relatively large size - they took up all of their shoulder blades - and the fact that they'd been in the tattoo place for hours, he knew Al was thankful they'd had a bit to drink when they'd promised it get one; he wouldn't back out of a promise. "It was worth it; it's a motto I stand by."
Too bad you don't follow through when it comes to Rose. He ignored his subconscious.
"Tattoos are not allowed in my house," Scorpius admitted, pushing back his blond hair from his eyes. "For obvious reasons."
Both Albus and Rose nodded, understanding exactly what he was talking about. "You don't have to do everything on the list, Malfoy. We understand."
Scorpius scoffed, then tried not to laugh. "Are you kidding? I'm not gonna miss out just because my parents don't like them. I just won't get one there." He gestured to his left arm.
"Figures," Bertie said with a roll of his eyes.
"Hey, believe it or not, I actually love and respect my parents enough to not want to give them that heart attack," he told them honestly. "They're saving their heart attacks for an unplanned pregnancy or a secret relationship with someone they disapprove of." Albus laughed at the pure irony of Malfoy's words, knowing they wouldn't stop him. "Exactly. Never gonna happen, well maybe the second one, but who am I to take that away from them?"
"You're all heart," Bertie said sarcastically.
"It's not my fault their faith in me is lacking," he defended.
The other three laughed for a good five minutes, Malfoy joining in relatively quickly, and Bertie marveled over the fact that they could get along, even if their only reason was currently residing in his front pocket. He tapped his pocket slowly, smiling softly. "I can't believe we're actually going to do this."
Albus lifted up his hand in a high five which Bertie followed through with. "This Summer is going to be awesome!"
Scorpius cleared his throat. "Yeah, awesome. Just one little, tiny issue we still need to address."
They all shared a look, the same thought seeming to dawn on the two cousins at once. They turned to Bertie, knowing he had nothing to worry about, and he too understood; no way was he going alone. "We need to talk to our parents."
A/N: Finally a new chapter of Bertie, my longest to date. I hope you enjoyed the chapter, the plans, the revelations, the secrets, and you continue to read. :)