“Which came first: the chicken, or the egg?”
Richie paused at the entrance of the Ravenclaw dormitory, a grin slowly appearing on his face as his best friend and roommate, Stan Uris, rolled his eyes, knowing what was coming. Richie’s lanky figure loomed next to Stan as the two waited in front of the entrance, Richie no doubt scheming away an answer to the riddle. Stan knew better than to try and answer the riddle himself; the last time he had tried, he had received a nasty smack upside his head.
“Well……,” Richie tilted his head, bringing a finger to his lips, “by virtue of the question, the chicken. And alphabetically,” Richie smirked, delivering the answer with a flourish and swinging an arm around a sighing Stan. A portrait in front of the dorms muffled a giggle, unable to help a laugh when Richie turned to bow to them.
“Why you insist on answering all these riddles in the most obscure way is beyond me,” Stan commented, not really a question, but more an observation. The two pushed their way into the dormitory, Stan allowing Richie to keep his arm around him. One of the older Ravenclaws nodded at them, before returning to the essay in front of them.
“Your mom didn’t think I was obscure when I was slid-”
“OKAY! I am going to do homework,” Stan cut Richie off with another roll of his eyes, pushing the boy off him and heading to the small library built into their dorms. Stan didn’t know how many terrible your mom jokes he could take before his head exploded.
“Sweetums! Aren’t you going to lovely ole’ Hogsmeade with me today?” Richie practically yelled across the room, catching the amused (and annoyed) glances of some other Ravenclaws who were lounging around. Richie made for an interesting picture, hints of a bright red Hawaiian shirt peeking out from under his ragged robes, and large, coke bottle glasses sliding off the slim bridge of his nose, hiding most of his freckles.
“No, not today. Bill and Mike said they’d already go with you,” Stan replied, ignoring the look of utter contempt Richie threw at him, looking like he was on the verge of a tantrum. “You’ll have a fine time with them.”
“Staaaaaaaaaaan, they don’t even like me. I’ve literally only met them once,” Richie whined, flinging himself into the chair next to Stan who only breathed heavily through his nose at Richie’s childish behaviour.
“Heavens, you really are terrible at making new friends. And don’t be extra, you’ve talked to them several times,” Stan murmured, attention already being stolen on the book on Magical Avian Creatures that he had received from Professor Flitwick last week.
“I have told you this! Several times. Just because your mom and I get along swell, doesn’t mean I do with everyone else!” Stan automatically reached out to smack Richie, his body basically doing it on auto-pilot.
“Beep beep, Richie,” Stan bit back a smile at the dishevelled teenager; growing up around Richie for his entire life had been a nightmare, but he wouldn’t have spent it with anyone else. Stan promised himself that he would rather be caught doing the walk of shame from Professor Snape’s room than let Richie know exactly how much Stan cared for him.
“You know how much Bill means to me. Please, please, try to get along with them,” Stan said seriously for once, lowering his voice and looking Richie in the eye. Richie’s face softened, realizing that yeah, this was kind of important to the love of his life, Stan the man.
“For you, Stanley? Anything,” Richie responded, flashing a genuine smile at his best friend, whose face melted into a tired smile.
Richie was supposed to meet Bill and Mike at the exit, and they were five fucking minutes late. He may not seem like it, gallivanting around with a cigarette in his mouth and pranking anyone and everyone, but Richie was a stickler for being on time. He had never been late to anything, no matter how much Stan whined and threatened to stick his wand up Richie’s arse when he woke up at the crack of dawn to be ready for classes. But he would forgive Bill and Mike; they were two swell dudes.
Richie fidgeted, fingers itching for a cig, awkwardly shifting his weight from left to right as students rushed past him, excited laughter filling the air as third years left the castle for their first Hogsmeade trip. His eyes glazed over, a small smile playing on his lips as he thought back to his first trip to Hogsmeade with Stan by his side. They had splurged on sweets at Honeydukes, the boys amazed by all the magical candy. Beverly had joined them by their second trip. That was also the first time he had choked and coughed his way through a cigarette.
“R-richie?” A voice broke into his thoughts, snapping Richie out of his stupor, forcing him to look at the two boys standing in front of him. Bill was lightly dressed, a simple red and gold scarf wrapped around his neck along with a thick jacket. Mike huddled next to Bill, wearing the signature Hufflepuff colors and letting out a watery smile as the cold air wafted around them.
“Billiam! Mike n Ike!” Richie crowed, slinging an arm around Bill and Mike, gaining laughter in return. Their breaths puffed out in front of them, catching Richie’s attention for a moment before he mentally slapped himself to focus.
“Nice to see you too, Rich,” Mike’s warm voice cut through the cold air as the trio stepped outside, unintentionally gravitating towards each other to keep the warmth. Snow fell lightly around them, tiny flakes nestling their way onto Richie’s abundantly curly hair as they walked on. Richie shivered and shoved his hands into his robes, regretting his impulsive decision to not wear anything on top of his clothes and robe.
“H-h-how ar-re you, Richie?” Bill asked, leaning into the taller boy to leech off Richie and Mike’s combined warmth.
“Well, aside from going through a rough patch with Mike’s mom,” Richie laughed at the muffled “hey!” that erupted from Mike, “I’ve actually been working on this new spell to alleviate pain when fixing broken bones. Instead of just drinking that terrible potion that Madame Pomfrey insists on feeding us, imagine a spell that can just fix most of the damage! It’s taking some time but I’ve been experimenting on fake animal bones and it’s really quite fascinating how intricate bones are and…….and I’m rambling,” Richie finished with a forced laugh, feeling hollow. He had no doubt annoyed his peers countless times; Stan was the only one who could put up with his annoying ramblings.
“N-no, it’s…” Bill trailed off, furrowing his eyebrows as he tried to find the right word. Richie brought his hands up to his face, cupping them together and blowing air, desperately trying to keep his hands warm. One thing he rather enjoyed about being around Bill and Mike was that they never made you feel left out.
“Fascinating,” Mike affirmed with a solid nod of his head, causing a bright grin to erupt on Richie’s face.
“Richie!” A voice yelled, getting lost in the horde of students, but Richie used his height to look around, eyes lighting up when he saw a fiery redhead running over to him.
“Miss Marsh! Delighted to see you,” Richie practically screamed, enveloping Beverly into a one-armed hug. The girl was wrapped in her Gryffindor scarf, eyes bright and slightly watering in the cold weather. The two had met in their first year at Hogwarts, Richie instantly enamoured by the girl with long red hair and wicked grin. They had became fast friends in detention, no doubt pissing off Professor McGonagall. Since then, she had become a pivotal role in his life--smoke buddy, his second kiss, and second closest friend.
“You boys mind if I steal Rich for a quick butterbeer? I promise to have him back in an hour,” Beverly wrapped an arm around Richie’s waist, ignoring the raised eyebrows Mike and Bill shot at her.
“Feel free,” Mike smiled, lightly patting Richie’s arm as Beverly started tugging him away. Bill nodded, already waving at Richie.
“I am wounded, Mike. Et tu, Bill?” Richie dramatically gasped, grinning sharply at the rolling of eyes that ensued from his actions. Beverly giggled, enthusiastically waving as she and Richie headed into the warmth of the bar. He might not be a seer, but Richie could sense a night of drinking ahead of him that went on for longer than an hour.
If Eddie had to read another set of instructions on how to create some fuck ass potion that he really could care less about, he was going to tear his perfectly organized hair out. He had been sitting in front of the black cauldron for what seemed like hours (it had really only been 30 minutes) and his Amortentia was looking nothing like it was supposed to, the black bubbles coming out of it not really reassuring him.
“E-eddie, staring-g at your c-c-cauldron isn’t going to ma-a-agically make it work,” Bill muttered from across the room, shooting him an unimpressed look. Eddie groaned, sending the cauldron to his desk with a flick of his wand, manually shoving the papers of potion theory off his bed. The two were sitting in the Slytherin dorms, Bill making a habit of sneaking into Eddie’s room, even though it had pissed off other Slytherins when he first started. Six years down the line, and Eddie’s fellow housemates had gotten used to the Gryffindor that just showed up every now and then.
“I know, I know. But I just don’t get potions!” Eddie exclaimed, throwing his hands up as he threw himself onto his bed, rolling over so he was facedown. He scowled when he heard Bill’s laughter. “Think this is funny, do you?”
“Yes, act-tually. T-t-the fact that yo-o-ou’re absolute sh-h-hit at potions is h-h-hilarious,” Bill smirked at the frown that had settled on Eddie’s features, laughing when Eddie reached out to smack him, laughing even harder when Eddie chucked his wand at Bill.
“Ugh, do you know anyone who’s good at it? At this point, I’d even take that obnoxious prankster, Tozier. Better than having Professor Snape glare at me and fail my N.E.W.Ts next year,” Eddie sighed again; it seemed like he had been doing that a lot this year. Being a sixth year at Hogwarts was no walk in the park, and as every day passed, it seemed like it only got harder, more and more homework assignments being piled on top of the already far too many assignments.
“Ac-c-ctually, Eddie, To-o-ozier-r is g-g-good at Potions,” Bill replied in a soft voice, flinching when he saw what he was implying dawn on Eddie.
“No. No fucking way am I going to get tutored by Richie Tozier, the boy who thinks your mom jokes are still in and has pranked probably every single person in this castle!”
Bill burst out laughing at the look of utter horror on Eddie’s face, unable to help the giggles even after Eddie’s look of horror had turned into a frown.
“Don’t fucking laugh, Bill!” Eddie grabbed the first thing he touched, hurtling his pillow across the room at the still laughing Bill.
“Y-you s-s-said you’d pref-fer Richie at th-h-his point,” Bill pointed out, an eyebrow raised at the loathing look Eddie sent him. Eddie let out a whine, flopping back onto his bed. Bill did have a point, and Richie wasn’t number one in their entire year for no reason. But, Richard fucking Tozier. Eddie and him hadn’t actually held a conversation, but he found the other annoying and superficial, constantly cracking jokes in class and acting like a class clown.
“I didn’t actually mean it,” Eddie cried out, but he knew deep down, giving fate’s fickleness and overall “fuck you” attitude, he would end up asking Richie fucking Tozier to tutor him in Potions.
“W-want me to p-p-put in a good wo-ord?”
“Oh, fuck you, Bill!”