It's a sad day when spring is here, the sun is shining and not lying about being warm, and we're spending our Saturday inside. Unless you're in first or second year, I imagine a fair few students are out at Hogsmeade. If they're not, they're around the school grounds. All are enjoying the sunshine in some way. But we, as a group - Lucy, Jack, Declan, Simon, Miranda (I finally found out his girlfriend's name), Louis and myself - are sitting at the Gryffindor table (because it's in the middle), eating lunch and basically just being lazy. Louis tried to get Kyle and Luka to join us, but they went from being polite to Kyle outright ignoring him since I asked last month. Louis is worried about them. He's hoping this day off from our revision schedule (damn you, Lucy Weasley) will give us all time to hang out, so he can use said time to get them together without being able to cause a scene, although the hall is pretty quiet, so there aren't many people who'd see the scene anyway.
Neither of them have shown up so far, but we have the whole day and nothing better to do. We can wait.
Miranda is doing a rather brilliant job of keeping him distracted. I'm not so surprised; she is a Ravenclaw, too, she knows both Louis and Luka well. I'm glad she's here and that she's with Simon. They bonded over their Wizard card collection when she was supposed to be tutoring him in Transfiguration. Her favorite card is Hermione Weasley née Granger, Louis' and Lucy's aunt. According to her 'Harry Potter is great and all, but where would he have gotten without Hermione at his side? He said that in an interview once, you know.'
...I never said she was my favorite person in the whole world.
She's Lucy's, though. I think. They've become kind of inseparable since she heard someone else was a fan of her favorite aunt. It may also be because her revision schedule is now appreciated.
Miranda's best friend is actually the girl who I met the night I officially met Louis, when I asked for directions to Ravenclaw tower. Her name escapes me now, but she's not dating on of my friends, so I'm not all that bothered. I'll never tell Miranda that, though.
I acknowledge the presence of another at my side, instantly recognize the smell of his shampoo, but jump slightly when he wraps his arms around my waist. I hear Miranda's 'aww, how adorable' and Lucy's scoffed 'he wants something'.
"There's nothing in my pockets, Hugo," I tell him bluntly. Hugo replies by tapping his fingers against my ribs; I'm not interesting in whatever is or isn't in your pockets, he's saying. I frown, a little worried now, and hug him back hesitantly. I've grown closer to Louis' family since New Year, Hugo and Lily are always coming over to talk to us, sometimes Rose, Scorpius, Lexi and Al come over. Roxanne still isn't talking to me as much as she used to, but when she does she still flirts with me. It's a little off, though. Apparently James has been dissuading her from playing dirty because 'Louis is happy'. I knew I liked James for a reason.
They've come to be nosy and to ask about homework and just to sit and talk because they're bored, and I'm always been hugged by Rose and Lily, but Hugo usually only does this when he tries to distract me and take something. This does not feel like one of those times. "Are you okay?"
"My life sucks," he moans quietly.
"You've almost finished third year and you're already the most popular guy in school. Everybody loves you," I counter. He's the youngest in the immediate Weasley family and one of the most famous; he would help with his mum's campaigns for new laws. I wasn't lying when I said he was the Weasley's poster child. He is literally the poster child for all that is good in the world, everything his mum has done. She is who he is most compared to, they all think he'll contribute to society one day, too. Yet he's the best pickpocket I've ever met and, although he only started it to help his mum, being around rich donors with big pockets probably helped.
Gotta love the irony.
But he knows how to not be seen, so no body knows how he spends his free time and they all love him. Once again, Louis was right; the kid's too smart for jail. And he's one of my favorite people in the whole world, so when he's sad I kind of feel sad, too.
"Not everybody," he replies sadly.
Oh. It's a crush-type situation. Hugo moves away slowly to sit beside me properly, his head on my shoulder. I rub his back awkwardly. "Is she a friend you've grown closer to recently?"
I feel his head shake. "He doesn't even seem to notice me."
And that's when Louis coughs up his drink. I hope someone took a picture of that moment. "He?"
"Yes, he," Hugo snaps. "Got a problem with that?"
"Well, I'd be a little hypocritical if I said yes," Louis mutters. "I just had no idea. Who is he?"
"Doesn't matter, he doesn't feel the same," he says, sad once more. I'm still rubbing his back. Suddenly he moves up. "Hey, we go home for Easter a couple of days before my birthday; if I had a party, do you think he'd come?"
"I think it's a little too short notice, Hu," Lucy tells him sympathetically. There are murmurs of agreement around us.
"What should I do, CJ?"
Okay, what is going on? Hugo is the latest in a long line of people asking me for some sort of advice. Well, maybe not a long line. At least I actually know Hugo. And I may not be the best person to talk to when it comes to liking another person, but at least it's a crush on a boy. I'd be completely useless if he liked a girl, just ask the others who wanted advice. But even if he was crushing on a girl, I think I'd still say the same thing right at this moment. "It wouldn't hurt to talk to him. Say hi, be noticed; you'll get your foot in the door at least."
Personally, I think I've given good advice on this matter. Not that I want to give any advice.
"You make it sound so easy."
"Well, you're a week from turning fourteen, Hugo. Fourteen. You've got your whole life ahead of you, years to be with that special someone. How do you know it's this boy? No one even knew you liked boys."
"There was nothing to say before, he is the first one I've liked and you know now. I can say hi," he muses. "How did you introduce yourself to Louis?"
"I got him right in the gut with my cane."
"It hurt a little," Louis finishes.
"I'm going to put that on the list of things to not do," Hugo says. He sounds like such a patronizing little git; he's like the little brother I wished I had before I realized that I liked being an only child.
Basically, he's me. Only smaller. And only one of me is allowed in my house. Any more and I'm not sure my family could cope. Maybe my dad could.
...I had to get it from someone!
"You do that, kid."
"Kyle?" Louis exclaims at my side, completely surprised, that despite his little plan, one of his friends actually showed up.
"I'm here because I'm hungry and you're sitting at my table, that's all, Louis." There's a moment of silence, and then a muttered, "And Luke is outside, going through Head duties with the Head Girl."
"How do you know that?"
I almost shake my head at Jack. But I really want to know.
"I am an evil genius with minions," is his almost bored reply. I can't decide whether or not the guy is trying to be sincere or funny. About the evil genius part, I mean. Obviously he got someone to tell him where Luka was.
Are evil geniuses still out there?
An elbow in the ribs from my left bring me away from that thought. I repeat the action to Hugo, only lighter because he's a little smaller than me.
"Why are they all here, Louis?"
"We're hungry, too," I answer. "Hence the Great Hall."
Kyle's next comment is muffled, by Louis' hand I guess. I get the gist of what he is trying to say. He's not being as nice as he was when I first met him. "Help Hugo," Louis tells me.
Oh, no! No one tells me what to do, not even can-be-romantic, can-be-a-tease, admittedly lovable boyfriends. Screw that. "I've helped Hugo. Is it your turn for relationship advice, Kyle?"
I admit, that did sound a little too snappy, even for me. Yeah, I'm gonna go with snappy. Even so, Kyle doesn't react to it badly. Honestly, he doesn't seem to care. "You have to be in a relationship to want that kind of advice, James."
That's the second time Louis has coughed up his drink. For his next birthday I'll buy him a straw, at least then he can only choke on his juice... On second thought, maybe not.
"I broke up with him," Kyle elaborates slowly, as though speaking to a small child. "Don't look at me like that, I couldn't do it anymore."
Louis clears his throat, maybe stopping himself from saying whatever he really wants to say. We all know it's between Kyle and Luka, not us and certainly not Louis. We're here for friendly encouragement and advice, but that only works if there's a couple to give it to. Kyle made his choice. Louis can't fix this one. "It just explains why he was sat in the common room, unmoving until I had to force him to at least lie down at three am. He looked broken."
Everything that happens next, don't know for sure. Kyle comes out with random sentences about Louis taking Luka's side, which he denies completely, and how he's just saying that to get him to go to Luka, which he only denies just saying it because what he said was true. I'm not sure of the rest, it's like Kyle's has this whole other language when he's angry and only Louis can understand it, which makes me think he's been this angry before. I wonder why. It takes Miranda's yelling and Jack's high-pitched whistle to get them to shut up. I'm glad, I've never heard Louis really shout before.
"Kyle, you know how you always carry that thing you call a guitar around? Well, CJ plays the piano and writes his own music. Isn't that cool?"
Thank you, Miranda, for focusing the topic on me. Wait, he plays music? I'm suddenly pushed to the left, Louis complains when he's obviously pushed over, too, and Kyle is sitting next to me. "That is cool actually, considering... You know... How?"
I shrug awkwardly, partly because I feel squished until Hugo finally decides to move over. But mostly it's the question. "I play and I sing and I have one of those quills that write things for you -"
"Like the one I've seen you use in class," he interrupts, sounding more enthusiastic about something than I've heard him since he got here.
I nod. "Right. That quill writes down the notes I'm saying or the lyrics I'm singing."
"Cool. I should have thought of that, it's so annoying having to stop partway through a song so you can write it down." He chuckles softly, it's quiet and doesn't last, but it's definitely there. "Who'd have thought we'd have something to talk about. Maybe I can like you," he muses.
"Yeah, great," I mutter.
"Sorry, that sounded bad," he says for the first time. "It's just because you'd been alone or with those two for so long, that when you started hanging out and then dating Louis, I wasn't sure if we'd be friends. But we can. This can be fun, I need a distraction. Well, something to take my mind off my life," he tries to explain. He's not doing a good job, but it would be rude of me to comment.
"And there's this bar that let's you sing. We go during the holidays." I know he's referring only to himself and Louis. "It's Easter soon, wanna come with us?"
"That sounds like fun," I answer him. Now I can tell my mother I have plans with friends when she asks why I can't go to see my grandparents and play twenty questions during the holidays. I smile and nod, it does sound like fun. Although, anything is more fun than being grilled about my love life with grandparents.
One point for Ciaran: I've successfully managed to evade telling my grandmother that I'm dating the youngest grandson to the Delacours.
"I thought you had to visit your grandparents during the holidays?" Lucy asks, sounding too polite to be genuine.
I shake my head.
"It's okay," Kyle says. "Louis only comes for me, so you're not missing anything. You can come during the summer."
"It's fine. I'm not going to my grandparents." I try not to grit my teeth. Sometimes I wonder why I'm friends with Lucy.
"Well, I distinctly remember reading you a letter from them, saying they wanted to see you," she insists. Why is she doing this to me? "Oh, that's right. You said -"
"Lucy, have some cake," Jack interrupts, cutting her off. Her words are muffled. Did he actually put cake in her mouth? Thank you, Jack.
I almost voice that thank you, and then tell Kyle that I can go, when I hear something overhead that makes me stop. "Is that an owl?"
"It's your mum's owl," Lucy manages to say, her teasing forgotten for now. There's silence while she accepts whatever it is. "She says you don't have to go to see your grandparents after all. Your grandfather has business to attend to in Paris, they won't be there."
"Yes!" Finally, universe. A lucky break. Then I stop and think; no grandparents means an empty mansion. An empty mansion in France. An empty mansion in France with Louis. "Maybe I should go."
"But they won't be there," a single Declan points out, confused.
"Exactly," I smirk and I think that's when they get it.
"We'll definitely save the bar until summer," Kyle says.
"I think that's my cue to leave," says Hugo.
"France, Louis?" I ask.
"Well, I did promise my grandparents a visit, too," he answers. "It'll definitely get my mother off my back. And we can cross the Eiffel Tower off your list, which was obviously why you thought of this."
"We'll stay at yours, visit mine and get a train into Paris one night. I like this idea," Louis says.
"It's an almost perfect idea," I agree. He asks about the 'almost'. "Well, I'm thankful my grandmother won't be there to kick you out of the house and I don't think it would be wise for me to see yours. The Delaney vs Delacour war has not ended, remember?"
"Crap, I totally forgot your grandmother is Madeline Delaney. Wait, the reason you don't want to visit them is because you don't want to tell her your dating me, isn't it?"
I shrug and hope I don't look too guilty. "Partly, and I'm only thinking of you when I choose not to tell her. I fear blood would be shed. But it's mostly because telling them I'm dating you would mean telling them I'm gay and I haven't done that yet."
Kyle sighs, mutters something along the lines of 'I've heard that before.'
"One step at a time, I think."
"And why haven't you told them?" Kyle asks. I think he's comparing me to Luka, which is fair, I guess. We both have our reasons.
"Because I'm avoiding them and their questions and that awkward conversation, as Louis knows."
"He said private life. I thought him being gay would have been important enough to make an exception," Louis defends himself quickly. Traitor.
"It is. I had it all planned. Lucy was going to write me a letter for them -"
"That way I didn't have to actually be there when they found out," I finish. I'm met with hushed murmurs of dissaproval from some and complete silence from other. Damn. "I'm hoping Louis can help me figure out what to say in France. Maybe it'll help when he -" a cough, " - we tell his family about us first,only because mine won't be there," I amend.
In a way I'm glad. I really should tell them. My grandparents are the only one's who don't know now, and I would have told them earlier if they hasn't started going on about how exciting it'll be when I meet someone and how I'll love settling down with a girl and having kids of my own one day. That is a lot of pressure on a seventeen year old boy.
"But if your grandmother tells mine before me, it's not my fault!" I tell him. "And you can't blame me for suddenly deciding that Mexico sounds like a lovely place to visit."
"Deal," Louis laughs. "But as lovely as Mexico sounds, I think I'm looking forward to France."
Of course you are.
"Thank you," Louis murmurs sleepily into my ear.
I turn my head slightly and ask what I did to warrant a thank you from him. I run through the afternoon in my head and nothing comes to mind. We spent most of the afternoon in the Great Hall, our numbers falling little by little until it was just me, Louis and Kyle left. We continued to talk about France and music until Kyle suddenly said good bye and took off. Louis said Luka had come in. We tried not to talk about him all afternoon, but they were both Louis' best friends and they had done almost everything together, which made it so much harder. Every time something about him came up, you could tell by Kyle's tone that he trying not to regret dumping him. I imagine for a second that I decided not to tell my grandparents about being gay and keeping Louis a secret; I wouldn't be surprised if he dumped me for it and I hate the feelings that came with it. And that's only imagining what they're both going through.
I tighten my grip on Louis' hands and he notices, tightening his own grip around my waist.
"For talking to Kyle about your music," he elaborates, resting his chin on my shoulder. "You made him smile a little. And for wanting to tell your family about us, even though they kind of hate each other; I don't want us to go through anything like that."
"I know," I whisper.
I shiver a little when the wind starts to pick up. Luka watched Kyle leave, waited and then took off, Louis said. As soon as they were both gone, we left to sit outside by the lake, against the tree. We've missed dinner, I think, but I don't care. If Louis is hungry, we'll go to the kitchen before we go to our common rooms. I don't care about the wind either, but I don't mind that Louis wraps his arms around me further. Who knew that would be nice?
"Do you think they really hate each other? Our grandmothers? I don't even know how it started," I tell him honestly.
"Something to do with social status, I think," he chuckles. "One of them had the better party and everything became a competition ever since. But, no, I don't think they really hate each other. It's a pride thing. It'll be okay."
I nod slowly and believe him. Well, I want to believe him. I really hope he's right. Because him being wrong might seriously affect the rest of this trip and I have newly formed plans. Louis is not the only one who's allowed them. Although, since he agreed so readily, our plans might be coinciding. Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?
"What are you thinking about? You look lost in thought, which isn't always a good thing," Louis jokes. I think.
"Paris," I tell him. "I look forward to crossing things off my list."
I really do.
A/N: Oh, hello new update. Tell college to be nicer to me, so you can be here more often.
People are sad and Ciaran has plans; not a good combination in one chapter. I hope you enoyed this slightly angsty chapter, because it wouldn't be teenage life without a little angsty boy-drama. Let me know what you think. :)