It’s funny, that small second that occurs when someone calls your name. It happens so quickly you don’t have time to even recognize the voice of whoever it is. You just automatically turn, like some kind of acquired instinct.
And that’s why I turned around when Danny Boot called to me in the corridor on my way to first period.
When I see him, giving me a hopeful half-smile at the end of the hall, I roll my eyes and continue walking towards Teddy’s classroom. However, as we all now know, Wonderboy isn’t exactly the type to give up too easy.
“Chase! Please, Chase, just talk to me. Give me a chance!”
“I did give you a chance, remember?” I remark sassily, trying to walk faster.
He catches up with me anyways, stepping himself in front of me and then stopping so that I would have to stop and listen to him, “C’mon, it wasn’t THAT bad.”
My jaw drops, “You told me that you were only interested in me so that you could get in my pants because you’re in love with my best friend. Not exactly your standard first date material.”
“Well,” he shrugs sheepishly, “We never did go on a date. I didn’t exactly handle things right. Truth is, I was crazy emotional about the whole Rose thing, and before that I didn’t really know you all that well. From the outside, you just seem like this crazy weird chick that tags along with the Weasleys because she can’t think much for herself. But the more we talked, the more I was with you, the more I realized what a creative, hilarious, and independent person you are. Basically, I really fucked up my chances with an amazing girl.”
“Heck yes you did, you mother flipping butthole!”
Danny looks at me like I’m an alien.
I scoff, “I stopped cussing, okay, Wonderboy? Not that it’s any of your business!”
“You’re absolutely right. It’s none of my business. But, Chase, please, just please give me one more chance!”
“Really, Danny? I have Louis effing Weasley on my waiting list for a date right now, what could possibly make you think I would give you another chance after the way you treated me?”
“It doesn’t have to be a date,” he’s bringing out the puppy-eyes, “Just talk to me. We can study together in the library after school. Is there anything less romantic than being surrounded by dusty books while under the watchful eye of Madame Pince?”
“Anything less romantic? Like getting groped in a broom closet? Yeah, no thanks,” I start to walk away.
“Chase, I wouldn’t need you for that anymore anyways, even if that waswhat this was about. I, I—it happened.”
I stop and turn around, and from the look of pure guilt on his face I have an idea of what he’s talking about, “You mean you…? With someone else?”
“Well obviously with someone else. I think you might notice if it were with you,” Despite his joking, he looks miserable. And five minutes ago I would have slapped myself for saying this, but I don’t like how sad he looks.
“Fine. I’ll meet you in the library after school today. But only if you promise there’s no lying, no plotting, no ulterior motives. Everything is on the table.”
Wonderboy crosses his heart, “Scout’s honor.”
“You WHAT?” Louis is in total shock.
I shrug, “What’s the worst that can happen? Don’t worry, Louis, I promise that I have no romantic feelings left for him whatsoever. Not that you could do anything even if I did, anyways, since I’m independent and all.”
I’d told everything to Louis and James during class while Teddy spent what seemed like hours trying to help Billy Finnigan perform a standard charm without setting the classroom on fire.
“Actually, I’m kind of on Chase’s side with this,” James looks up from whatever it is he’s writing, “I’ve been Danny’s confidant for years. He’s actually a good guy when he’s not going crazy. And he had good reason to, too. I mean, come on, Louis. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t over react if I got Chase pregnant.”
Louis shudders, “Merlin, don’t say things like that. Fine, fine, go to your rendezvous with Danny Boot. Just please, be careful? I don’t want him to hurt you again.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t give him the chance to,” I nod and smile at the blond.
“Okay, good. And maybe before you go I should kiss you for good luck?” he gives me a wicked smile; this boy was serious about not giving up.
I chuckle, “The whole reason this all started was because you kissed me at Diagon Alley. Maybe it’s more of bad luck?”
Louis shakes his head, “Kissing you should never be associated with the word, ‘bad’.”
James feigns gagging noises, “Sweet mother of pearl, I feel like I just fell into a giant pile of unicorn crap. You guys need to stop with your non-relationship mushiness.”
“Hey, it’s not me!” I throw my hands up defensively, “Louis loves his words. Remember when we were really little and he convinced Freddie not to eat that ten-year-old bowl of tapioca? He was so persuasive that ever since Freddie has been terrified of pudding. And to this day Louis has loved using his words to change things. But I will not submit! So blame this silly kid, not me. I’m just an innocent victim of Louis’s mouth!”
Despite James’s laughter at my summarization of Louis’s love for linguistics, Louis himself seems to remember his frustration, “I still don’t think it’s a good idea for you to meet up with the bread kid.”
“Trust me, I’m almost as reluctant as you are. But I really need to know the whole story before I can even start to get things figured out. And once I have things figured out, I’ll probably be a lot more likely to want a boyfriend.”
Louis suddenly appears determined, “You know what? You meeting up with Danny might not be such a bad idea.”
Sighing, I realize that I will never understand how this annoyingly attractive weirdo could want to be with a sidekick like me. But hey, who’s complaining?
I notice that Louis is asking me a question, “Where are you going to meet him?”
“Oh, no,” I shake my head, “You and Rose both get that insane wannabe-secret agent mentality! If I tell you, you’re just going to treat it like some espionage mission and spy on me.”
He pouts, so I look at James, who sort of fell out of the conversation. I realize that this occurred because he’d begun I.L.ing with Maylin. Sneakily, I snatch the parchment away from him to see what they’ve written.
M.C.S – What are you doing?
J.S.P – Being forced to listen to Louis and Chase’s dysfunction. What’s up?
M.C.S – Let me rephrase the question. What are you doing during lunch today?
J.S.P - …Kissing my best girl friend?
M.C.S – Good answer. Chase’s room?
J.S.P – Um, duh!
M.C.S – Sometimes I wonder if maybe Chase is right, and that we shouldn’t constantly sneak in her room to snog.
J.S.P - "Teach not thy lips such scorn, for they were made for kissing, lady, not for such contempt."*
M.C.S – Stop it! That quote barely even applied to the situation and yet I’m still blushing in the middle of Advanced Potions. Are you still going out with Casey Carlisle tomorrow?
J.S.P – Yeah, why?
M.C.S – You should borrow Louis’s blue button-up shirt again, it looked really nice on you when we made out after your date with Steph Martin last month.
I grunt, “James! No! Not in my room again!”
“What?” Louis asks curiously, and snatches the paper before I can protest, “Hey! You borrowed my shirt? No wonder it smelled like Maylin,” he crosses his arms and pouts. He didn’t much like James borrowing his things.
“You know about James and Maylin?” I ask. I’d thought I was the only one that knew.
“Yes. I’m James’s best friend, he can’t keep a secret from me. You and I are the only ones that know, though.”
“And you approve of it?” I don’t know who I was kidding by even asking this, Louis would never admit that James lives up to his player reputation.
He shrugs, “You and I were almost friends with benefits, remember?”
“But that was to cover up the fact that we liked each other as more than friends. Don’t you at all think that’s what’s going on here?”
James laughs, “Don’t be stupid, Nutcase Chase. Maylin and I obviously don’t feel that way. Can you imagine how weird that’d be? The son of Harry Potter and the daughter of Cho Chang falling in love? Come on, be realistic.”
I give Louis a look, “Are you buying this?”
“Obviously not,” he says, “But they’re way too stubborn to admit it anytime soon, so there’s really no point in trying.”
Sighing, I give up just as class ends. Teddy walks to the front of the class, saying normal teacher phrases like, “I’ll see you all tomorrow,” and “Don’t forget to study,” and “Louis I know you already have six of them but can you PLEASE tutor just one more student? You’re so effective!”
No, really, I’m serious. Somehow, no matter the subject, Louis can spend ten minutes tutoring someone with a 32% GPA and turn them into someone with an 89% GPA. Like I said, the boy likes to talk, and he’s good at it too.
As everyone is leaving, I stay back to talk to Teddy. I walk up to him while he’s shuffling some papers, “Hey, have you talked to Scott?”
“Yes!” he smiles at me and even laughs a little bit, “Thank you so much for taking him in! He has a real job, he’s stopped drinking, and everything is actually starting to get better for him.”
“I’m glad he’s doing well,” I furrow my eyebrows a little bit, “How did it all start, anyways? When did he just decide to throw his life away in the first place?”
“I can’t exactly recall… Ah, wait, I remember, it was right after I found out about Victoire being pregnant. That’s why it was especially hard for me at the time, because it felt like the two people I cared about most were falling apart,” Teddy admits obliviously.
I, however, was slowly putting together the pieces. Nothing could turn a person to drinking like getting your best friend’s girlfriend pregnant.
“What was Scott’s relationship with Victoire, anyways? I mean, were they friends?” I decide to investigate further before making any immediate assumptions.
“They never really talked to each other unless they needed to, I guess. There was always some kind of weird tension between them, like they had an unspoken disliking of each other. It was pretty odd, now that I think about it.”
Tension. Victoire and Scott had tension. Poor, sweet, unsuspecting Teddy.
“Do you have any ideas of who Gabi’s dad is?” I switch gears.
“Why all the questioning?” Teddy asks, more out of curiosity than suspicion, “Shouldn’t you be going to class?”
I shrug, “I have free period right now. And you don’t have a second class today, because the fourth years are all at a self-esteem boosting assembly at the moment.”
He contemplates my words, and then nods, “Okay, I’ll answer your questions. I guess it’s natural for you to want to know about things like this. Honestly, I had no idea who Gabi’s father was. My first thought when she told me she was pregnant was that it was mine, but I knew she wasn’t because I had just gone out of town with the Potters for a month. Besides, the one time we… uh, we used… uh, erm…” he trails off, turning red.
“Okay, I get that it wasn’t you. No need to go into details,” I sigh and bite my lip. Should I tell him about my suspicions?
Finally, Teddy seemed to be catching on, because he turns very serious and his voice deepens when he says, “Do you know whose it is?”
“I have an idea. But I’m not sure, I don’t want to assume since it’s not really my place to do so.”
“Chase, you’re a smart girl. I know you wouldn’t be telling me this if you didn’t have valid reasoning. Just say it,” Though he wouldn’t admit it, I could tell that the subject alone gave Teddy pain. But it was his right to know.
“I was just thinking that maybe it might be a possibility that… Scott is Gabi’s father? You can’t deny that they look alike, and it would explain his sudden loss of ambition in life. The other night I was talking to him and he started asking about Gabi, and then shut me out when I asked if he had any idea who the dad was. And you said they had tension, but maybe it wasn’t the bad kind of tension, if you get what I’m saying. I’m wondering if the reason they hardly talked to each other was because they were trying to avoid whatever it was between them, but then when you went on holiday for a month… stuff went down,” I blurt it all out at once.
Teddy sits there, no clear emotion registering on his face. After a minute of speechlessness, he finally begins to speak, “Oh. I… thank you, Chase. You kind of really have a good point.”
“Err, you’re welcome?” I shift uncomfortably where I stand. The pain in the air was practically tangible.
He gives a half-hearted chuckle, “You know what the sad part about all of this is?”
“I’d meant to tell you this earlier, but I’d invited Scott here to help me out with class for a day. He was brilliant at D.A.D.A in his time; he beat even me for top of the class. He’s going to arrive late tomorrow night and be there for classes all day Wednesday,” Teddy finally starts freaking out, “What am I going to do? How am I supposed to feel about a situation like this? Should I be angry, or just sad? Should I expect him to apologize when I tell him I know? I just don’t… I can’t…” he takes a deep breath and looks me in the eye, “They don’t teach you about this kind of thing in the school books. They prepare you for everything except life itself.”
I frown. Teddy was my friend, and I wished I could help him. And that’s when I figured out what to do, “You do private tutoring, right?”
The young man looks at me like I’m insane. I probably am.
I approach Danny in the library, not at all tentative. He smiles at me expectantly.
“So, are you ready to start talking?” His voice is excited, like a little kid being allowed to sit at the adult’s table during Christmas dinner.
Giving him a flirtatious grin, I grab his hand, “Come with me.”
“What?” He appears pleased but puzzled, “What happened to no funny business?”
“Just come with me,” I giggle. I knew this was the only way to get him to do what I want, no questions asked.
Wonderboy hesitates, but then I bite my lip and he instantly allows me to bring him wherever. MJ, Molly Jr., had taught me that trick – for some reason, the lip-biting thing was a show stopper.
Silently, I tow Danny behind me through the corridors. Occasionally, he’ll begin to talk or ask a question, but I simply turn around and give him a flirty “Shh…”.
He gives me a puzzled look when we stop in front of the closed door of a classroom. I cutely smile at him, squeeze his hand, and whisper, “This is all the apology you need to give me.”
In one swift motion, I open the door and pull the two of us inside. Teddy is sitting at his desk, trying to figure out what on earth I’m doing, “Chase? Is Danny the student you thought might need afterschool tutoring?”
Wonderboy stands there, dumbfounded, and I reply, “Actually, I was hoping the two of you could tutor each other. Welcome to the My-Best-Friend-Impregnated-the-Girl-of-My-Dreams Club! The first meeting starts now!” I flash them both my most mischievous grin and run out of the room, hoping with everything I have that they’ll be the key to helping each other’s problems.
Once I’m out, I whip around and press my ear to the door.
“So,” I recognize Danny’s voice, “What the fuck is up with Weasley chicks?”
Smiling, I walk away, knowing that I had just created the start of a beautiful friendship.
*Quote from Richard III by William Shakespeare
A/N: So, first of all, I’d like to dedicate this chapter to one of my best friends, who not only created an account on the site just to read and review on my story, but used a name as freakishly amazing as ilovequentintarantino<<<33333 SEX MACHINE XD. All I have to say to her is that I love you, I and I really wish your first name was Beatrix so that I could call you that more<3 With that said, I also would like to say just how much I love and appreciate my reviewers, both the devoted readers and the new ones. I really couldn’t write anything without your lovely and helpful reviews. So please, keep reading and writing those fantastic reviews! x