How long did it take you to finish the book? I’m afraid to tell you how fast I read it, because you might feel like I’m showing off again! But we did agree I’m the faster reader, so maybe I should tell you I was finished that same evening? It’s a long drive from San Francisco to Clovis and nothing to see out the window except cows.
Summary: Chris is getting ready for the visit to Darren’s for the release of Prisoner of Azkaban.
Chris’ room looks temporarily like a hurricane had hit it. His duffel bag is on the bed, a few T-shirts handing off the side of it and a bunch of his clothes strewn over the comforter. Books are on about every other surface along with notebooks and a couple of pencils and pens, some on the floor where they rolled off when he wasn’t paying attention.
It shouldn’t be a big deal but somehow it is. He’s visiting Darren and it might be for just one night but it’s the first time he’s gone to someone else’s house. Or at least it’s the first time he’s going to stay with someone who is not family. They’re leaving right after school on Friday and Chris wants to just grab his bag and go. He’s not even considering delays, hoping that Hannah will be just as ready to go, even though her reason to drive up to San Fran is nowhere near as pleasant as his.
And it’s not only Darren that’s making him all impatient, even though he has to admit to himself that Darren’s definitely a big part of it. But in just a few hours, he’ll have the new book in his hands. The money is nicely stacked on his desk, the previous books on top of it to keep it safe.
“Chris, it’s time to sleep!”
“Yes Mom, I’m almost done,” he calls back and finally settles on the dark blue T-shirt that makes him think of Ravenclaw colors.
Just one more night of sleep and he’ll be on the way to meet Darren.
Sarah and I set out to write a short “if Darren and Chris met when the Harry Potter books were coming out” fic for CCAUW. Then it ran away with us and Shannen created amazing art that fits with (a future instalment of) our fic and Deej gave us an idea for the title. We hope you enjoy as we take you on a this ride ;) Part 1 here
~~ It’s Hard To Hide A Smile ~~
Darren prided himself on being an early adopter. Thanks to his very cool big brother Chuck, Darren usually was the first boy in his grade to try out new things. It didn’t matter what – books, TV shows, movies, comics, video games, even music – chances were Darren was the first to hear about it and share with his classmates. So when he came home from school and his mom told him that she’d picked up a few things at the bookstore, he was psyched. He ran up a the stairs two at a time, nearly tripping over Chuck’s skateboard in his haste to make it to his bedroom and see what new books his mom had left for him on his bed.
At last, Darren flung open the door of his bedroom, flinging himself across the room to do dramatic belly flop across his bed, landing with a muted “Oof.” He grabbed for the canvas bag with bright turquoise lettering that read “The Imaginarium”, the name of his Uncle Max’s bookstore. He frowned as he rummaged around a bit, coming up empty save for a single receipt. He let out a frustrated sigh, knowing almost immediately that a certain someone was to blame. “Chuuuuuck!”
Chris is scribbling random patterns on the notebook around the one sentence he managed to write down almost an hour earlier, in an attempt to start a diary… no, a journal, diaries are for girls, he chastises himself. The few words on the paper fascinate him, like they’re some sort of miracle. And in a way they are, because he’d never made a genuine friend in school, always on the sidelines, always picked last, always more likely to be alone in the school’s library or a remote corner at recess with a book than playing dodgeball or whatever the latest craze was.
So I finished the book like five minutes ago, and what I want to do more than anything is start reading it all over again. It’s that good. Not gonna lie, when Harry freed Dobby by tricking Lucius into giving him a sock, I may have shed a tear. But just one tear, because I’m not a baby. No matter what Chuck (my big brother) says. Big brothers, man. They are the best…and also the worst. Although I bet you’re an awesome big brother. You’ve just got one little sister, right? I know you mentioned her at the bookstore (I’m not creepy stalking you, I promise…or at least not yet) and that she had an appointment. Is that why you were in San Fran? Just curious, because I’d think that there’d have to be some bookstores closer to Clovis than my uncle’s store is. Not that I’m complaining, because otherwise we wouldn’t have met you and that would seriously suck.
How’s your week going? Mine’s been a bit…weird. Do you ever have the feeling that you wish you could just stop time? Like hit pause and have a few weeks to just figure things out? I’m having that feeling a lot lately. Middle school is just weird. I feel like most of the kids in my grade are in such a rush to grow up. They act like they’ve got it all figured out. I wonder if they really do though. Does anyone? Even Harry Potter – the Boy who Lived – was just a scared kid deep down, you know? I wonder when that feeling goes away. My brother Chuck never seems to stress about anything. I hope I’m more like him one day.
I’m really glad I met you when I did, because I think we’re a lot alike. You’re definitely a thinker. I am too (I hide it well most of the time) but I definitely am deep down. I hope things at school are going okay for you and that people are treating you well. I bet it just takes a while to get to know the real you. But people should take the time, because you’re worth it.
I’m so excited about your visit on Friday! I’ve got everything all planned out. I’ll be waiting at the bookstore when you get there in our usual spot. I had my uncle put aside a copy of the book for you. And this is taking HUGE willpower on my part, but I’m going to wait until you get here to start the book. I really liked reading with you before. And this way we can talk about all our favorite parts together. It’s 435 pages – can you believe that? We’re going to be up all night reading. But my mom said she’ll get us pizza and I got some Diet Coke since I know that’s your fave so we will be ready for the ultimate slumber party. Wow, can you believe you’re gonna be in San Francisco in just a few days? And you’ll have hundreds of pages of JK Rowling in your hands too. I have a feeling it’s gonna be a weekend to remember…