Epilogue x Next to Normal
Jake + Rose: Light
The air around her hummed with anticipation as she strutted through the halls. Her shoes made soft clicks that echoed off the walls like canon blasts. At the end of the hall was a door to a room where she had gone before to hide. This time she wasn’t hiding, just waiting to be found. She glanced around her quickly before stepping through, quietly closing the door behind her. This room was one of the empty ones, furnished only with cobwebs. Rose tugged on her charm bracelet, trying to decide which one to use. The couch? Too friendly. The bed? No, not the bed. That left the armchair. Her favourite armchair- the one that she transfigured from her favourite purple pillow. She crouched down and set the chair upright before returning it to normal size with a flick of her wand.
Rose settled herself in the chair and crossed her legs with a sigh. Her head pounded- the migraine she’d had for a week hadn’t gone away- and she really needed a drink. Or a smoke. Or both. But she was being good, being clean. Her hands were shaking enough to make her rethink it. After a few clicks of her watch she pulled out her cigarettes from the bag laying limp in her lap. Willpower was never one of her strong points despite being the product of two very upstanding parents. Her mother and father could resist frivolity far better than she could.
Her eyes slid shut as the smoke curled from her lips. She allowed herself a moment of peace, which she completely deserved. The thought of going back to her studies, from doing more work, made her nauseous. The amount of work she was putting into her schoolwork was ungodly. She needed a rest, a time where she could completely be herself and relax. Jake could help her with that, he was the only one that could.
It had been too long since Jake had last seen Rose. She was preparing for exams and he had been working practically non-stop in the meantime. He hadn’t heard from her for the better part of a week, even, and when he’d gotten her owl this afternoon he’d left his flat within seconds.
He was desperate, sue him.
He was also concerned that Rose didn’t seem exactly, well, well. She was always going to push herself and while he’d learned to live with that fact—mostly, at least—it didn’t make him happy to see her running herself into the ground. He worried and she was damn well going to let him.
So here he was, strolling disillusioned through the corridors en route to where Rose had said she’d be. While not technically barred from the Hogwarts grounds, complications would arise if he was found in the halls with no good explanation of why he was there. So he came in secret.
Jake entered the room quietly, latching the door gently behind him. He paused; her back was to him and she hadn’t noticed his entrance yet. Smoke curled above the glint of red hair he could see above the back of her armchair. The smoke hadn’t yet dissipated into a haze that filled the room—she was only on her first, maybe second cigarette. He crossed the room slowly, kissing her temple while wrapping his arms around her from the side.
"Mmm, I missed you," he murmured into her hair.
Jake doesn’t remember not knowing.
My due date is in four days. Let’s hope for punctuality at least.
Four days, wow. That’s not very many.
Oh no, I don’t resent Jocelyn at all. I love this baby more than I’ve loved anything really and I can’t wait to properly meet, but being so pregnant is making me slightly miserable.
No, damn, I didn’t— well no matter, I hope this week flies by.
Thanks for the encouragement. I don’t think I have a choice. I’ve made it this far though. What’s one more week?
Well I suppose not, but resenting it never helped anyone. One fortieth of the pregnancy, I believe.
I am so ready to have this baby out. Less than a week to go.
You can do it, professor!
Bleeding hell, they’re actually trying to kill me