Drew had the best gig on Pearl Street. Working at Deep River Records was one of the greatest things that had ever happened to him. Not only was he getting paid to tell people what music to listen to, but he also got a discount on everything (except new releases and limited editions), and sometimes Mr. Shinkle let him pick the store music when he was on shift. He was currently in the process of talking the wizarding shop owners into creating a small section of Muggle music, because there were a lot of people who had grown up with that at RMI, and probably more in the Pearl Street area. Drew had curated some playlists to facilitate that, like “low-key jazz to get people who think they don’t like jazz to change their minds,” “blues and swing for the Sunday morning customers,” and “rap, but make it hipster.”
Trial and error had led Drew to discover that Mr. Shinkle loved Prince, which was fantastic. It gave Drew a lot to work with in terms of selling his idea. Part of the reason they’d hired him was because Drew knew Muggle music and could make recommendations to people who were just discovering the wizarding music scene. This could help ease them in more. Drew was feeling pretty optimistic about his plan as he headed back to RMI from his shift.
Working at Deep River was also great because it meant he was busy. Drew didn’t like to be busy, but lately when he wasn’t busy, he was thinking. Thinking about Remington. Thinking about Darlene. Thinking about how summer break just wasn’t long enough for him to figure out what was going on in his head. Last year, at the drive-in, he had told Darlene he loved her, and he was pretty sure he did, but sometimes he felt… it was complicated. He definitely did not want to talk about it and he didn’t want to think about it either. So being busy helped.
He shook off his umbrella at the door of Lighthouse Books (someday he’d be good enough to do a wandless Drought Charm, but not yet. Not even close) and scraped his wet sneakers on the floor mat. He was almost at the elevator when he ran into Marley, who in true Marley fashion was clearly deep in the middle of something that Drew had just stumbled into.
“Uhh…” Drew scanned the options Marley had fanned out in her hands like a street magician asking him to pick a card, any card. Absolutely none of these cards said what Marley was asking for, because it wasn’t the kind of thing you put on a greeting card. “How about this one?” he asked, pulling a card with a sloth in different poses on it that said Slow clap for your engagement from Marley’s hand and flipping it around to show her. It wasn’t as sappy as the pair of lovebirds or the otters-holding-hands options, but not as corny as the rainbow koi saying You’re O-fish-ally Hooked! “Think this is as close to down-with-the-institute-of-marriage as you’re gonna find. Who’s getting married?”