Completely on autopilot—it was too early and he was too tired for this—Drew had gone to the lecture hall for Cultural Studies as usual, only to get shepherded to the Finer Diner by Jace Fitz. Drew knew he’d technically gotten enough sleep, because he’d gone to bed before curfew and slept through three snoozes on the alarm clock, but somehow he was still tired (on the way to the lecture hall, the portrait of the first aviator to circumnavigate the globe on a broomstick had even told him he looked like he needed to “go back to bed, sonny”) and his brain was obviously not on its A-game.
So a chill lesson that involved playing with toys sounded like a really good idea to Drew. He knew he’d had more Muggle toys when he and Dad lived in NYC—he distinctly remembered a video game console. After Dad moved them back to RMI and Madeleine was born, there were a lot more magical toys, partly because of access, partly because of magic not liking batteries, and partly because Drew never had Muggle babysitters anymore. Especially after Aaron moved in, because Aaron had grown up very wizardy and also liked to enchant things, they’d had mostly magical toys. He felt confident about defending either side, even with the brain fog thing.
Professor Blair-West paired Drew with Ruth Fischer, who promptly excused herself to the bathroom once they were released to work. Figuring he should take a table and sort out his arguments in defense of wizarding toys (it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with a couple of points, especially because Drew didn’t think he needed to work very hard to convince Ruth. Mostly it’d be fun to watch her try to defend Muggle toys), Drew looked around for an unoccupied table. He didn’t see any, which was weird. Professor Blair-West was usually really precise about her lesson prep. There was no way she’d miscount how many tables she needed to set up, even if she did still have mommy brain from her new baby.
Finally Drew spotted a table that only one person was standing at—wait, was that Darlene? Rhetorical question, of course it was Darlene. Drew would know the back of her blonde head anywhere. But she wasn’t taking Cultural Studies, so what was she doing here?
Drew made his way over to her just in time for Darlene to scream. And then scream again when she saw him. “Hey, sorry, didn’t mean to scare you,” Drew said, holding up both hands in a peaceable gesture. “Twice,” he amended, nodding toward the Operation game on the table. “Just, uh, what are you doing here?” Then a thought occurred to him. What if Darlene was here because of him? It was a crazy thought but when most of your thoughts were feeling cloudy, the crazy ones tended to cut through loudly. Also it didn’t seem that crazy, all things considered. “You didn’t… transfer into Cultural Studies, did you?”