Chapter 2 : Goodbyes
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“What even is-”
“I know, I just found out last night, guys.”
“Okay, but can you visit us?”
“More importantly, can we visit you?”
“Jess, that’s not something you just ask-”
“Yeah, I want to see England!”
“She’s going to Scotland, Victoria-”
“Maybe we can pick up some cute British-”
“Okay, some cute UK boys-”
“-and girls too, of course-”
“This is not really a time to be discussing the topic of relationship-making-”
“We’re going to miss you so much!” Margo practically shouts, making everyone stop the bickering between the five of us and everyone start cooing of We will miss yous and whatnot.
Once I woke up that morning, I texted our group chat and told them we needed to have a meeting and that it was very important. A couple of us - namely Amity and Margo - thought I was being somewhat dramatic and asked, do we really - or can we just video chat? And I said, no it’s a real friend emergency. Some of us had to move around work shifts, beg parents to let them come meet me, and even sneak out and steal a sibling’s car (insert Jess), but we all finally got together in the end.
And it was downright chaotic. We hadn’t seen each other all together in a while, and since this was definitely not a fun hangout at first, there was a lot of both catching up to do. And now we’ve gotten to the point of just questions and plans for the year.
Right, also I will do a small rundown of our girl group: So Margo (sometimes called Marg, Margie, Go, etc.), my best friend and partner in crime is the tall, socially awkward, yet really caring friend that everyone should have. Because I tend to act on impulse and emotion, she grounds me by helping me be a bit more practical when situations need it the most. And I help her take the plunges that will benefit her in the end, like texting that guy she likes first, or going on a spontaneous road trip, or trying that charm that she thought she couldn’t do, so gave up at doing it at all.
Next is Amity (also called Tee for short), who is really introverted and soft-spoken. She is a huge morning person and loves to read books into the ground. She wants to become a journalist and not go into a Wizarding field. We bonded over poetry, our love for travel, and photography. She and I constantly go on photo shoots together and have a ton of fun. When she opens up to people, you don’t think she’s the snobby bitch she leads everyone to think she is, and can be a little reckless and definitely funny. She’s also the one who’s had the most experience with boys, since they all gravitate to her like a Veela because of her gorgeous Anglo features.
Victoria (or V, since Victoria can be a long name to say, can’t it?) is Margo’s cousin and honestly I forget about that most of the time since we’re all in one friend group. Other than their shared surname, you don’t really see the resemblance unless you look really hard. Victoria is the one who has the science brain, loves building, loves Transfiguration, and loves Quidditch. Her and I work well, because she’s similar to Margo, except a bit more spontaneous and lighthearted. Margo’s in Pukwudgie, whereas V is in Thunderbird like me. Boys also flock to her, and it’s quite amusing to see them try since she’s into girls more than boys, but she’s dated a couple boys in the past and thinks they’re “not too bad.”
And then Jess is the last component to our girl gang; she’s the loudest, curviest, most audacious one of all of us. She completes us, and while I can get annoyed with her constant yellings, I absolutely love her too. Jess has the crazy short curly hair that girls always try to do with beauty spells or heated curling wands. It matches her personality quite well. We say Jess has no boundaries and it can be both a good and bad thing. I am going to miss her funny remarks and hot gossip that she always seems to know before anyone else at school.
“Okay, so this is, like, what? Our goodbye until, like, Thanksgiving break?” asks Jess, who of course wanted to know the details of when they could see me again. This breaks me out of my little cloud of adoring my friends and why I’m going to miss them.
“They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, Jess,” mentions Amity and Victoria at the same time. They glance at each other really quick with a smirk to both of their lips, Amity rolling her huge blue eyes, while Victoria looks like she’s trying to stifle a laugh at Jess’s question. Instead she just puts her long hair to her mouth and makes this little fart noise that makes everyone laugh.
“Yeah, so, Christmas? My family was talking about what to do over break, but we could totally have you come along! I don’t think they would mind, but maybe we can make sure there’s a week where everyone can get together.” Margo, what a planner that girl is. She has calmed down since all this, taking to calling my mother and asking, why on earth Irene, would you do this to me? After a while, they just chatted, Margo seeming like she was feeling better after what I assumed my mom coaxing her and also giving her facts and points why it will be okay. Lil Marg likes her stats and facts. I totally would’ve pegged her for a Horned Serpent at school, but she’s too caring of others.
“I mean, probably? My parents are fine with me probably going on vacation with you guys,” I say now, thinking it over. “I mean, they’ll want to see me a little bit, since Tom-” at mention of my older brother’s name, Jess makes a little swoony sigh and everyone laughs, “-will be around for the holidays.”
We’re all at our favorite cafe, sitting outside and enjoying the August shade that the awning over the shop has to offer. Maybe it’s not the awning, it’s more for decoration, as this cafe is one of the few Wizarding cafes around. Everyone is wearing some variation of shorts, tanks, crop tops, and sundresses, nonetheless. And even though it’s hot as balls outside, the cafe has a slight Cooling Charm on the patio, and we are eating frozen yogurt, so it makes up for it.
The frozen yogurt here is to die for, since they serve them in bowls that have charms on them to keep them cold, while also refilling the contents with a new flavor every time the bottom is reached. Plus everyone is kind of distracted with my news that the heat isn’t as big of a problem as me moving to another continent.
“Ugh, your family is so carefree and cool,” Jess sighs, dipping her spoon into her bowl and swirling the cold contents around.
“That’s because Nic doesn’t sneak out, steal cars, and drink underage-” Margo starts to add.
“Psh, whatever,” Jess says with a wave of her spoon towards Margo, “you’re making it seem like my life is way more exciting than it really is. Marg, you jealous of me, hmm?” she says with a little laugh and wiggle of her eyebrows and we all crack up. Jess really is the one that is the boldest out of all of us (hence why she’s friends with almost everyone in school - everyone wants a crazy, adventurous friend). And that’s saying something since I can never keep my mouth shut, even when I really should filter it a bit more.
After a while of talking and laughing and crying and crying from our laughing, we realize we have been out for nearly four hours and Jess says that her sister is going to realize her car is gone sooner rather than later. Amity mentions that she probably had a long time ago, since Jess’s sleuthing skills aren’t as graceful as she likes to think they are.
Margo and Victoria are discussing something and I hear the name Ethan and I suddenly blurt (more to myself than to the girls), “Oh crap. I haven’t told him yet. I was going to, but this day caught up with us.” Margo gives me a little look of wary, and I know what she’s thinking already. Ethan doesn’t like to be excluded from stuff like this, especially something as big as me moving away. But again, he’s not as close with the other girls as much as me and Margo.
“Well we probably should be going, but not after pictures!” Amity exclaims, pushing her thin brown hair off her forehead. Everyone starts to wipe their face from minimal sweat due to being outside, Jess freaking out over how her huge her curls are and that this is not a time for pictures. “Pictures!” she yells again at us, ignoring Jess’s protests. Amity really does like taking photos, especially memory-collecting ones. And they’re always fun to be in since I love my friends dearly, and we all are pretty cute together.
Once we get a bunch of selfies of all of us, making funny faces, sad faces, and bright smiles, everyone disperses. I hug everyone all around, with mentions of visits, bringing back some cute boys and souvenirs, and postcards. And texting, as always. I told them all that my mom said No-Maj electronics don’t work on the grounds like they do at Ilvermorny and they all looked appalled. I told them that we will write letters and use those five-way mirrors to talk and that seemed to suffice.
“Bye, Jess, bye Tee! Bye V, oh Go, you’re staying a bit, yeah?” I ask while we have these last few moments together.
“Of course,” Margo adds and sits back down as the girls all go to their cars, except for Victoria, who can now Apparate already. We are all so jealous, and you can’t do Side-Along Apparation until about six months after getting your Apparation license anyway, so everyone else brought their cars.
That’s the nice thing about all our friend group, most of us have No-Maj in us, and the only Pureblood in our group is Amity, but even then her parents had her go through the No-Maj basics of driving and stuff while growing up to keep her well-rounded. They didn’t want her to be sheltered from the other half of the world.
“Okay, so when are you going to tell Ethan about all this?” Margo asks me once everyone has left.
I sigh. Ethan Richards is one of my best friends, and yet he is also one of the most emotionally-driven people I’ve ever met. “I don’t know, Marg, it’s something that I wanted to tell him in person, but I knew he wasn’t coming back into town until today.” Ethan went with his family and another family they know well to Costa Rica for research/photography/vacation purposes. “I was going to tell him first though.”
“Yeah, I mean it makes sense. It always takes him a bit longer to process stuff, and since none of his close friends has moved before, I don’t know how he’ll act towards it.” This is also true, and I take a bit of frozen yogurt in my mouth in order to contemplate.
“Well, I mean, do you wanna come with me? I know I already shared the news with you, but we are the Tree Squad,” I say, referring to the name we dubbed the three of us together two years ago. I don’t know why we chose tree as the adjective, since I am just average height, and Ethan and Margo are both very tall, but we did and it stuck.
Margo pauses and thinks over the pros and cons to the situation, as usual. “I could. . . It’s really your call since it’s your information to share, and all. But I could be there for moral support.”
“Yeah, okay. I’d like that. So today then, or tomorrow?” I ask her. I am pretty sure she’s working tomorrow, but I thought I’d ask anyway.
“Let’s do it today. As drained as I am from all this social interaction, I do really want to see Ethan again since he just got back.”
So I text him, and he doesn’t take too long to reply, but while waiting for a one-word response like I always get from Ethan Richards, Margo and I talk some more. We always go into having deep talks, and while I’ve been friends with her for such a long time, we never run out of things to talk about. Sometimes I think she’s way smarter than me when we talk about certain topics, like she’s got all her facts figured out and is very grounded in what she believes in. It intimidates me while also inspires me to research more and more. She’s a great friend, and I think everyone should have a friend like that.
After explaining every detail and answering every question, Ethan Richards took some time to compose himself. He at first thought we were joking, and then got very upset, angry, questioning, etc. It’s like he went through all five stages of grief during the hour we had talked about it.
Ethan is my bro, my bud, my best friend. He and I have never been romantically a thing, and neither has Margo or him, and I think that’s what keeps our squad so tight. There’s no weird love triangle or third-wheeling with us. We all talk to each other about our relationship (or lack thereof) problems to each other, we vent, we problem-solve, we joke around. We do it all together, which really is astounding since we are in different Houses at school.
Ethan is such a Horned Serpent, with being so attention to detail in every single work assignment he has, yet he also has this thing where he’s super apathetic towards the current events of our society, which really bugs me.
He’s also very oblivious to when girls like him, and Margo and I remind him all the time. He’s such a flirt, without being aware that he is. I’m convinced there’s got to be some lineage of Veela in him with how many girls’ attentions he gets. Plus he has, like, super blonde hair, a pronounced jawline (but not like, a Greek sculpture, if you get what I mean - unlike his best friend Austin), and is a foot taller than me. Girls love tall boys.
Anyway, we talk another couple hours, and by then Margo leaves due to “social exhaustion,” and needs to “recharge by herself,” as she calls it, something I don’t understand since all I do is talk to people and love it. She calls it a night, we hug it out, and drives back home.
Ethan and I talk another hour or two, and he decides he wants to work on homework of all things. It’s August! I exclaim to him, and he just shakes his head and says we need to be looking for internships, opportunities, and to polish up resumes and portfolios before it’s too late. I understand that, but like, we have so much time for that. That’s Ethan for you, though. He’s that kid; but then again, he’s also going to be less panicky about it than we all will be when the time comes. He’s also the panic type if things aren’t perfect.
I make my way back home after saying another goodbye to him, telling my mom that I had a good time with my friends. She says good, and we hang out until my dad gets home to have dinner together. We have light conversation at the table. She tells me Tom is very serious with his new girlfriend and I say that it’s a shame Jess won’t get to marry him then. And then dad makes some comment on how Jess will land someone that is right for her, and thank God that that someone isn’t Tom.
It’s all around a good, yet very emotional day. I love days like today, though, where time creeps up on you until you’ve realized you had been hanging around with your buddies into the night. It’s when the sun skims over the earth as quickly as a comet that I cherish the days I get to be with my friends. I see their growth since when we first met, I notice the little gray hairs from homework stress or the small wrinkles in their smile lines on their faces that show us that we aren’t youngins anymore. We’re adults about to choose our destiny once school ends next spring and start the rest of our lives after the graduation caps fly in the air and float gracefully down like falling balloons.
And then before I head to bed, my reflections are wiped away as quickly as they came, and my father reminds me that I need to pack for tomorrow. And I don’t know if I’m excited for what’s to come or not.
And another chapter is here! I've written a few already, so they will come pretty fast. I'm still trying to get the main underlying plot worked out, but fear not! I am determined to make this story a completed one and not abandon it haha.
Thank you for to those that reviewed my last one, as it gave me a lot more confidence than when I uploaded it! Let me know if you enjoyed this one down below!
Up next: New home, coffeeshops, and a boy with as much pride as Nicolette.
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