Chapter 1 : Hope
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The alarm clock rings. The moment I open my eyes, the feelings start to disappear. But the thoughts never do.
I push my growing fringe back, remind myself to get a hair cut as I run my hand through the slightly shaggy mess I call hair, scratch my chin - I should shave, too - and turn the damn clock off. I kept the creepy alien thing Declan got me, for sentimental purposes if nothing else. I feel like I've barely seen him, or Simon, in ages, though it was really only a couple of weeks ago. Still, it's not the same as when we went to Hogwarts and saw each other every day. I still see him more than some, though. I suppose that's something.
I sink into my bed, replaying in my head what we were doing. I know it was just a dream, memories of our summer repeating themselves for my torment. Like thinking about him, missing him, during the day isn't enough. I have to dream of our nights together, too - we won't have nights like that again for a while, not till Christmas if we're as busy as I imagine we could be.
Louis went back to Paris yesterday afternoon, after almost a whole summer of just us, seeing our friends in between. I think the people we saw the most was Kyle and Luka, but that's only because I live with them and, since Louis was staying with me, he kind of became another roommate for them. I did have my own place, but there was an accident...
And it wasn't my fault!
Anyway, Louis' gone and I'm alone again. No boyfriend to come home to, just my two friends and a long distance relationship, in which we talk through the Floo and pretend we're actually talking to each other, not through the Wizarding world's version of a webcam. Though, I do have a laptop now, with a built-in webcam, and sometimes Louis uses his roommate's. His roommate is a Muggle, so Louis can't use the Floo all the time. Personally, I think the laptops are much better than the fireplace, but Louis is more like the older generations - he can't get past the basics. After that, he gets frustrated and gives up.
Actually, I think that's an insult to the older generations; some probably are better than Louis.
Thinking of his faults doesn't seem to make it any easier, in fact it just reminds me of when I tried to teach him how to use the damn machine. After the swearing and the almost-breaking parts of the lesson were over, my batting his hands away from things he shouldn't touch and trying to get him to stay still became much more than just teaching him how to use a computer. Hands were everywhere and we forgot about it pretty quickly.
I don't think I ever got around to reassuring him that it took my dad and Hugo a while to teach me.
I can't help but wish he was still here and wonder why I told him to go.
That answer comes to me pretty quickly, but that doesn't make me feel any better either.
So, quite reluctantly, I grab my covers, throw them off of me and get out of bed. The living room I share with Kyle and Luka is empty, as is the kitchen, and when I realize that the bathroom is also free - thank God - I know that I have just enough time to get my shower and get dressed before they come out of their room to get ready themselves. A quiet morning; that's so rare.
I keep my shower brief, there are three people living here after all, brush my teeth as soon as I'm done, use the toilet and leave, making sure my towel is securely wrapped around my waist before I do so.
Back in my room, I dry myself and find my glasses, putting them on as I walk. It takes a few seconds for the illusion to kick in and the room to comes into focus just as I get to the wardrobe - as I wear them a lot for school, all that time using them has definitely helped speed up the process. I go for something simple today, just a pair of jeans and a plain black t-shirt; it's not like I need to impress anyone. I throw them, socks and my sneakers on, grab my favorite leather jacket and carry it in my hands, with my wallet, keys and phone, dumping them on the couch the moment I get into the living room. Luka calls out a hi as he grabs his breakfast.
I've barely moved an inch towards the kitchen when I feel strong arms wrap themselves tightly around my waist and soft lips touch my ear.
"Oh, Ciaran! Don't stop! Right -" I pinch the arm, hard, before he can finish. Making sure my nails dig in and leave marks. Kyle yelps and steps back, letting go of me and rubbing his arm. "Jeez, Key!"
"Good morning, Kyle," I smile pleasantly, continuing on my path to the kitchen. It's a quest, you see; we're in a mystical land and I've just defeated the monster. "What's for breakfast, Luke?"
"No. None of this acting like nothing's happened shit," Kyle says sternly, pointing at me. "Now that Louis' fucked off back to France, you're not distracted; it's much easier to talk to you about you staying here."
"Like what?" I smirk.
"Like the fact that I don't care what you do in your room, but good God, have you never heard of Silencing charms?"
I pretend to think, which only has Kyle biting his lips to keep from saying something I'd make him regret, and shake my head. "A what charm?"
"Ha ha," he answers dryly. "I'm serious, Ciaran. I accept that you only came out of that room for air, but I didn't need to hear any of it."
I give the hypocrite a look as I put the bread in the toaster and grab the butter, then I point the knife at him. "You don't need to hear me and Louis together during the summer, just like I don't need to hear you two for the rest of the freaking year."
He drops the serious 'you need to listen to me' look quickly, turning to frown at Luka, who's smirking like he knew where the conversation was heading - of course he did if he remembers what we talked about just before the summer; I told him they were going to pay the moment Louis got here.
"Would you like to continue this conversation, Kyle?" I ask slowly.
Kyle responds by clapping his hands together and changing the subject. "First day, hurry up or we'll be late!"
Yeah, I thought so. Shaking my head and laughing at him, I butter my toast and move to grab my things, remembering to pick up my bag, which I'd left in the living room last night. Ready to go, I say good bye to Luka and wait outside while Kyle snogs him. Seriously, it's like they're not going to see each other for weeks. At least when I was like that with Louis, we actually hadn't seen each other in weeks.
The walk to school is short, since they found a place close by for convenience - we don't have to risk been seen Apparating - and Kyle fills the silence with talk of his new music ideas. He's very enthusiastic about it, it's obvious how much he loves his music. I can't wait to listen to it; I always get to know first, since we're friends and I kinda work with him. I've written some of his songs. Well, the few times he's asked me to. Most of the time, he writes his own. Other times, he just gets to be the first pick the one's I've already written. There are a few people in school who do that, singers who don't always write their own songs ask me, or other song writers - only for school things, like little concerts and practice. For big things, such as nationwide and worldwide competitions and concerts in school that could help further their dreams and be signed or something, they have to write their own to show that they can.
I became a popular choice when people wanted something to sing, mostly because Kyle became popular in general and they wanted me because he had me, so to speak. But I have made some other friends and people all around school know me and my music well enough to know that I'm good, even without Kyle.
I sort of proved that just before summer. I'm actually kind of dreading going into school. It will not be good for my wallflower image.
Noticing my distress and the reason for it, Kyle wraps his arm around my shoulder and squeezes gently.
"Everything will be fine, Mr. Star," he laughs. "You knew winning would boost your social status in this place, at least for a little while, so don't freak out about it. Besides, no harm will come from meeting new people."
"I know, I know," I sigh. "I just hope I take it better than last time. I still think people are just waiting for me to walk into a wall the next time I'm tongue-tied."
"We are," he chuckles. I give him a look and elbow him in the side hard. "They are," he corrects himself hastily. "I know you'll be fine. Better than fine, you'll be awesome!"
Kyle doesn't say any more about my new found fame, for which I'm glad. I'm sure I'll get asked about it enough times throughout the day. It is a music school after all and my fame is my music. The university's campus is packed with life, students and teachers alike, by the time we get there. Classes won't start for another twenty minutes, so we're not late, but people like to hang out on campus before then; they sing, they dance, they rehearse lines and they catch up. And all before nine.
University life; It's a whole new world for me.
Strangely, I don't find myself wanting to go back to bed. Call me crazy, but who needs sleep when you can be here?
I love it here. Being a part of it makes it easier to deal with my personal life. I don't have my mind on Louis twenty four seven.
...Just seventeen seven
(An hour off each day; that's better than last year - except I still saw him quite a bit last year, so maybe it doesn't count.)
Kyle and I find our usual bench and he takes out his music book, probably deciding which song he should record first. I sit with him, content in listening to him mutter to himself and occasionally ask me which I think. Not that he'll actually listen to me; we both know that he wants to record the song he wrote a couple of weeks ago, so he's not going to pick the one I'd choose - the one he wrote at the beginning of the summer.
And I only choose that to listen to him tut and tell me I'm wrong, that he's singing the other one.
Only I don't answer him this time, something else catches my eye instead. A new kid, I know that straight away. Not because I know everyone here, that would be improbable, but because I know I've heard that laugh before and it isn't here. It's from a long time ago, when I was young. That laugh was comforting, it made me smile even when I didn't want to or thought I couldn't at all and it was bloody annoying when directed at me.
My eyes widen. I can't believe that he's here, that's he's back...
The new kid turns and looks right at me at the mention of the name, his name, and after a moment of recognition and shock, he grins, mutters something to the group he's with and makes his way over.
"You know him?" Kyle asks, but his voice is too far away. I'm so not paying attention to him right now, not with Morgan coming closer.
I stand up just as he throws his arms around me and squeezes.
"I have been looking for you everywhere, Ciaran," he says happily, letting go. "But someone told me you sat here, so I waited. I got a bit side-tracked, though," he adds with a cheeky grin. "God, you look so different. Cooler than when you were a skinny, little kid. Now you're a skinny, taller kid."
I laugh and shake my head, taking in how he looks now that he's closer to me. He's taller than me, close to six foot I'd guess. He's wearing a simple outfit, like me, only he looks a lot better in them. He has green eyes that seem to sparkle when the sun touches his face and his blond hair, blonder than Louis, is about as long as mine - falling past his ears. His hair doesn't look like a scruffy mess, though. I kinda hate that.
I go back to his eyes; I knew their color and that they sparkled, people told me, but to actually see it, to see my childhood friend staring right in front of me, is like nothing I could have imagined.
I've missed him.
I frown when he frowns. "How did you know it was me?"
It takes me a minute to understand, then I remember that he moved away when we were ten - he's never seen the glasses. "I'd never forget your laugh," I answer. Then, discreetly and quietly, I tap my glasses, "Plus, I have magic glasses. They create an illusion that helps me to see. I mostly just use them for school, so I can write my music."
"That is so cool," he whispers, awed. "Though, why just for school? From what I remember, you'd have jumped at the chance to always be able to see."
"I did," I tell him honestly. "But I got the right kind of help, listened to them; I know that these glasses aren't a cure and I'm okay with that. I accept who I am."
"Blind," he finishes for me. Well, I'm not completely over my hatred of it, I still have a hard time actually saying it sometimes. But I'm getting better. "Wow, mature Ciaran; I never thought I'd see the day. I'm glad; I didn't like seeing you so upset."
We share an understanding smile and I open my mouth to tease him about ging soft since moving away, but Kyle chooses that moment to nudge me, reminding me that he's still with us, and nods in Morgan's direction. "Are you going to introduce us or what?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," I say a little guiltily. "Morgan, this is my friend Kyle Raven, we went to H-high school together," I correct myself, just in case people could hear us. "Kyle, this is Morgan Ashford. He's the neighbor I told you about, remember? The friend who moved?"
Morgan waves once in greeting and Kyle nods; he does remember. "Yeah, you're the guy who moved to California. And you came back? Are you insane?"
I nudge him, harder than he did to me, and tell him to stop being rude. Morgan just chuckles and nods. "Yeah, maybe moving back is a little crazy, but I got homesick. And I missed my friend. No one else was like you, Ciaran," he says, turning back to me.
I smirk and agree with him. I'm just awesome, I tell him, no one can replace me.
We start to walk then, making our way to slowly to our classes. "So, why are you here?"
"I'm officially a student now, I study musical theater. I want to be an actor," he grins at me. "It's all your fault, you know. All those times you sat at the piano and made me act out what you planned, singing while you played, it grew on me. I missed you when I moved, so I joined drama groups. I wanted to continue, so I went to school in New York. But I wanted to come home, and when I saw you in the magazine, I contacted here. They didn't know if I could audition for a place, being so far away, but there was a competition in New York, so I invited the teacher to come see me. He turned out to be one of the people who went through admissions and he told me my show was my audition. As soon as he told me I was in, I packed up and we moved back."
I smile the whole way through his story, not believing that he chose this place because of me, and I tell him so.
"Well, kinda," he shrugs. "I was looking at schools in England, this one included, but when I saw that you were here, that was it. But I'm glad, this is known to be a great school."
"Well, I'm glad you're here," I say honestly.
Kyle doesn't agree; he still thinks Morgan is insane from moving away from America. But Morgan doesn't tale it to heart.
"So, I want to know about you," Morgan says suddenly. "I know you're a songwriter, so no school talk. Are you seeing anyone?"
I chuckle nervously. "I'm kinda, sorta engaged actually."
He murmurs a 'whoa' and glances at Kyle when my friend snickers, confused as to what he finds funny probably. Even after a year, Kyle finds how Louis 'proposed' and my reaction hilarious.
"That's great, if a little surprising," Morgan says. "Who's the lucky girl?"
Kyle full on laughs now and my nervousness grows. "Louis Weasley."
Morgan's jaw drops when he gets it. "Louis is a boy's name." I nod slowly. "Oh. That's cool. I can't believe you actually fell for a Weasley, though. Oh, my God, I remember the stories about Louis Weasley, or his grandmother anyway!""
"Oh, ha ha," I mutter dryly. Morgan used to come to my grandparents with me all the time; he knows all about the pride war between our grandmothers. I nod when he asks if it's still going on. "I don't think it'll ever stop completely, but Grandma doesn't include Louis. She loves him."
"And Louis' grandmother?" he smirks.
It drops suddenly when he notices I've gone quiet. Louis still isn't talking to her, not after what she said about me. It's sad, she is his family, and it's causing a huge strain between him and his grandfather and mother. Louis is still talking to him, but it never lasts because he always ends up trying to get Louis to talk to her. His mother took his side and while she still talks to both her parents, you can tell it's getting to her.
Louis is way too stubborn, though. He needs to sort this out on his own and his mother understands that.
I wish I could do something, but I also understand what he needs to do. All I can do is sit back and wait, let him work this out the way he needs to.
It's hard, though.
"You don't have to talk about it," Morgan promises. I'm grateful. He changes the subject. "I can't wait to meet Louis. Where is he?"
I chuckle again. "Geroux."
"T-hat's the best art school in the world," he whispers.
I act innocent. "Is it? I had no idea."
"He must be really good."
"He is," Kyle assures. I agree. "I have to get to class. I'll see you later. Both of you, I guess."
"Crap, yes," Morgan curses. "Where's the main drama room?"
I open my mouth, ready to give him directions because I'm going in the opposite direction and can't take him myself, when someone else stops beside us.
"I'm on my way there if you want to follow me," she says. I know her; her name's Carly. She's a drama student, too. Obviously. She's a good friend, one of the first people here to talk to me without asking about my music.
Morgan looks at her, his smile back to cheeky, even a little flirty. "I'd be so grateful."
"Look after him for me, Carly," I smirk.
She grins back. "I will. See you later, Ciaran."
Morgan follows her, looking liked he'd follow her anywhere, and only turns back once to whisper, "I love this school."
I wave good bye and continue on to my own class. Maybe I can get through this school year without completely missing Louis after all.
Hope comes to mind.
A/N: I promised March 1st and since it's March 1st here in England, you shall have it now. So, welcome Enchanted 2, or offically, Don't Let Me Go.
You'll find out all about why Ciaran is "famous" in the next couple of chapters. I hope you like Morgan and that you enjoyed this chapter. Please let me know what you think. :)