Perfect chapter image by DangerousDraco589 @TDA
“Okay,” Dad smiles up at me as he crosses the last bit of furniture off the bottom of our list, “We are officially done buying all the necessary furniture we need for the Cauldron. But it is almost sunset, so we’ll probably have to stay at the Weasleys’ for one more night, and then spend the entirety of tomorrow setting up the furniture.”
“Should we go back now?” I yawn; it’s been a long day.
He mutters back to me, “Actually, I was thinking we could stop by the Quibbler office. I haven’t seen Luna in a while…”
This is odd. Dad has always liked being around Luna, but I can’t remember the last time he went out of his way to see her, except maybe back in the days before her husband Rolf died.
“Alright,” I shrug, “Why not?”
I can’t really read the expression on my dad’s face, but it’s a cross between a genuine smile and a look of pure fear. What is going on??
Walking to the Quibbler HQ, we joke and laugh like we have been all day. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent this much time with my father, and it’s actually been really nice.
And now we’re walking right by the place where Louis kissed me on that fateful day. This is where the drama and confusion truly began.
“Chase?” Dad puts a hand on my shoulder, “Are you okay? Why are you staring at that spot and hyperventilating?”
“Uhh, no reason,” I shake it off and try to get some control over myself, “Let’s keep moving.”
The Quibbler office isn’t hard to miss; it’s basically a perfectly square building painted bright purple. We walk in, but the secretary seems to have already left for the day. Just as we’re about to leave as well, we hear a crashing noise followed by a very loud swear come from inside the door marked Luna Lovegood-Scamander, Editor in Chief. Fancy.
Dad knocks on the door, “Luna? I know you’re the only one that can curse like that.”
The door flies open, “NEVILLE!” Dad is quickly enveloped in a bear hug that could rival even that of Molly Weasley.
Luna is vibrant and fuller of life than any other woman in her thirties I’ve ever met (not implying that 37 is old), and the air around her is just refreshing, as if it’s from some other world. Her light blonde hair is long and wavy; she’s wearing an old looking long sleeved black shirt and beat up old capris, both of which are covered in paint.
After a lingering hug with my father, she quickly moves on to me, “Oh, Chase, you’re really growing into a beautiful young mattress-tulip!”
Dad motions to the office behind the door, “What’re you up to in there?”
“I decided to paint a mural on my wall!” Her smile is a mile wide, “Come and see!”
She runs back through the door to show us, and we follow her.
And inside on the wall there’s… Well, the only way to explain it is as a picture of Elvis Presley giving birth to a squirrel. Like, no joke. Talk about surrealism…
“Why aren’t the two of you back at Hogwarts?” the woman asks curiously, sparing us the displeasure of having to tell her what we thought of her painting. Although my father actually didn’t seem to hate the mural all that much. But hey, he’s always liked weird things.
Dad coughs and regains the awkward posture of his youth, “We, uhm, we had to leave. Family emergency…”
“Is Hannah alright?” Luna sounds almost pained to ask the question. Though she always tried to be friends with my mother, Mum never really took much of a liking to her, though I couldn’t guess why.
“Oh, she’s definitely doing alright,” I mutter under my breath, a little resentfully.
“Chase!” Dad scolds me, and then looks at Luna, “Hannah… Hannah left us. She took all the furniture so we’re in the Alley buying replacements. We thought we could stop by while we were here.”
“Oh,” Luna looks sympathetic at first, but then looks at my dad and some kind of understanding seems to take over her, “Oh. You’re… You’re not with Hannah anymore.”
HOLY CHEESUS. I suddenly put together the pieces and figure out what’s really going on here. And, oddly enough, I think I like it.
“Yeah, Chase?” he drags his eyes away from the meaningful glances he was sharing with his lady friend.
“Would you mind if I went outside for a bit? The paint fumes are giving me a headache. But you two can stay in here and catch up,” I smile and leave.
Bang. Crash. Clang.
I groggily opened my eyes, and had to remember where I was. I looked around and, squinting through the dark, recognized my light teal walls and smooth wood floors. I was sleeping in my own bedroom for the first time since that disastrous winter break. I turned over to look at my digital clock, the light of which practically blinded me. It was 11:38 P.M., which meant that for the first time in months I had actually been able to fall asleep at a decent hour.
The night before, after we got back from Diagon Alley, had been our last night at the Burrow. After that we spent the day putting together all of our new furniture, and we planned to go back to Hogwarts tomorrow.
I heard it again: the crashing noise that had woken me up. I throw aside my duvet and begin tiptoeing down the stairs in my holey old pajama pants and over-sized t-shirt. I see a light on in the bar kitchen, and quickly go to investigate.
Peeking around the corner, I see a confused looking young man with dirty blonde hair making some cocoa on the stove.
“Young—I mean, Scott, you scared me,” I walk in and sit down on a stool next to him.
“Hey, Chase. Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you. I can never sleep at this time of night.
I stretch and yawn, “It’s okay. I’m a light sleeper. Just last night Victoire woke me up right around this time, except she was making tea.”
“Really?” he bites his lip, “That little girl of hers, what’s she like?”
“Gabi? She’s crazy. If you’re ever at the Burrow and you notice bite marks in every one of the table legs, I can tell you all about her teething stage,” this makes Scott chuckle, “No, but really. She’s the sweetest little girl; always thinking of others before herself.”
“That’s… that’s great. I mean, it’s a real bummer about how it affected Teddy and all…”
I get up and begin to make myself a small sandwich, “I guess, if you think about it that way. But I think it happened for the best. He was way too into her; better he got his heart broken quick instead of it getting drawn out. Personally, I feel bad for Victoire.”
“Why?” Scotty gives me a questioning look, “She’s the one who went off and slept with some idiot the second she got a little confused. Why isn’t she to blame?”
“The thing is,” I tiredly take a bite of my sandwich, still not quite awake, “I don’t think it was just some random idiot. Last night I got her talking about it, and though she wouldn’t name names this is what I got from it: she thought she was in love with Teddy, met someone else, realized what love really is, cared too much about Teddy to break it off right away, got pregnant, and then whoever it was she really loved flaked out the second she told him about the pregnancy.”
“Wait,” Scotty gives me a serious look as he steals a piece of my sandwich, “Are you saying that she was in love with Gabi’s father? She didn’t think it was just some stupid one night thing?”
By now I’m starting to get suspicious, “Scott, do you know who Gabi’s dad is?”
“No,” he shakes his head decidedly, “How would I know? I’m just the best friend of the guy she dumped.”
He gets real quiet, and I decide it’s best to just leave it at that, “Okay, then. I’m going back to bed. Have sweet dreams of whatever it is you want in life.”
I walk down the corridor of Hogwarts, completely exhausted from my week of total drama.
“CHASE!” Before I can even turn around I’m bombarded by the crazy ginger girl, hugging me so tight someone might think I was a pool toy she was trying to deflate.
“Chase Chase Chase Chase! You’re back! You’re back! I’m so happy you’re back! The only person I had around was The Impregnator. Oh, by the way, I decided to start calling Scorpius The Impregnator. Get it, ‘cause he got me pregnant and all? Ugh everyone missed you! Me and Louis and James and Freddie and Scorpius and Al and Molly and Lysander and Maylin and Ollie and even Danny—“
“Okay! I get it! All of our friend missed me! Rose, if you do not calm down I will steal your bird watching notebook and give it to Professor Binns again—wait, what’d you say about Danny?”
“NO! NOT MY RIVAL ORNITHOLOGIST! That man is the fiend of the bird watching universe… Oh, and I meant to tell you, Danny kind of apologized to us all. I didn’t want to buy it, but he did seem really sincere. Although I thought it was kind of shitty of him to do it when you weren’t here, since you’re the one that really deserves an apology.”
“Heck yeah, I am!”
“…Did you just say heck?”
“Oh, I forgot to tell you. I decided to stop cussing. Y’know, for the sake of the baby.”
Rose’s jaw is practically on the floor, “Holy crapparoni! One week away from Hogwarts during the school year and suddenly you’re over Louis and have stopped cussing!”
“You’re over me?” I feel like I can’t breathe when I realize that Louis turned the corner to overhear us at exactly the wrong time.
“Louis,” despite the terribly inconvenient circumstances, I can’t deny how amazing it is to see him. Ever since I had to leave I’d thought about him, talked about him with Rose over I.L., and even slept in his bed. But nothing felt better than seeing his face: the actual reality that was Louis Weasley.
“I never said that,” For some reason tears were starting to well up in my eyes, though I hadn’t cried since the whole Danny Debacle.
Rose takes her cue to leave, “Uhm, I think you guys need to have a very long conversation that I should definitely not be a part of. I’m going to go find The Impregnator and make him feed me carrots or something,” she slips away down the corridor.
Louis walks slowly towards me, and once again his face takes up that unreadable expression he had that night on the astronomy tower, “What’s going on, Chase?”
He’s about a foot away from me now, and for some reason I feel the need to take his hands, so I do, “Louis, you know how I feel about you.”
I raise an eyebrow, “Have I not made it obvious?”
“Well… Not really. You’ve been giving me mixed signals for years now. I almost lost it when you started dating Al. And then at the Alley, when you said we might be friends with benefits, I was really confused. I didn’t know if that meant you only wanted it to be physical, or if you actually wanted more. And then I couldn’t control myself, I had to kiss you, which I then realized just made everything even more confusing. I thought that dating Macey would be the best thing; I would be doing something nice for you, and also trying to see how you would react. It was really stupid, actually, trying to make you jealous like that. You were right to call me a man-whore.”
“You heard that?” I felt the blushies take over.
He chuckles, “Hiding behind some punk and trying to pull his pants up isn’t exactly an ideal hiding spot. Which brings me to Danny. When James told me Danny’s secret, I almost went and hit the shit out of him right then and there. But I calmed myself and figured you wouldn’t fall for his whole ‘bad boy with a soft side’ act. When I saw you with him on the astronomy tower, I realized I was wrong. I talked to James about it, and he told me to just tell you how I felt. So I did. Obviously, that didn’t work out so well…”
“I thought you were under the spell of the stupid love potion!” I interrupt, but he gives me a look that says Let me finish, so I decide to just shut up until he’s done.
“And then, when I found you and him in the closet, his hands all over you like that… I honestly considered transfiguring him into a pig, since that what he was on the inside. But I knew you wouldn’t want that, so I stopped myself. And then we got ice cream,” he smiles a little bit, but then swallows and starts to blush, “And when you got poisoned and kissed me like you did… That kiss has been all I could think about since you left. That, and the way I would kiss you once you got back. But now… You really think I know how you feel about me?”
I pout, “I’m sorry. I guess that since everyone else always acted like it was so obvious, I thought it was obvious to you, too. I thought you were choosing not to notice because you didn’t want me like that.”
He sweeps a strand of my hair behind my ear, “Wanting you is all I’ve ever done. Although I have a feeling you’re about to tell me something I don’t want to hear.”
“Louis,” I shake my head, “I’ve been chasing you for so long, it’s almost like my life is defined by you. I’m not Chase; I’m always just the weird brunette that follows the Weasley around, or that girl with the crush on Louis Weasley. I need to make a story for myself. If we’re together now, I don’t know that I’ll ever be more than just a sidekick.”
Sighing, Louis nods. But before he lets go of my hands, he leans down and gives me the softest, most tender kiss I’d ever experienced. It ended far too quick, having only lasted a few seconds, and I found myself reaching for more when he pulled away.
Instead of going back to the kiss, he brings his lips to my ear so he can whisper, “I meant it when I said I wouldn’t stop chasing you.”
And then, abruptly and in his dramatic Louis fashion, he just walked away, leaving me alone in the middle of the corridor unsure of what just happened.
A/N: Sorry the chapter’s kind of short, I didn’t want to cheapen it by trying to stretch it out any further ^_^ anyways, you know the drill: thoughts, predictions, quotes, favorite lines, all that stuff that helps me keep writing! Thank you for all your support so far, keep reading and reviewing! x