Drew had been telling himself he didn’t really think Darlene had joined Cultural Studies because of him, but his surprise and relief at her genuine confusion said otherwise. Yes, it was far-fetched. No matter how much Darlene wanted to get back together—assuming she did still want to get back together, maybe she had changed her mind by now, it’d been months and Drew was humble enough to be pretty sure he wasn’t worth that much pining—she wouldn’t add more classes to her roster, and especially not Cultural Studies, which he was pretty sure she’d enjoy the least out of any classes at RMI (except maybe Potions because Darlene wouldn’t enjoy the messy bits and probably wouldn’t think Rob was funny).
But on the other hand, Drew was aware of the lengths to which purebloods would go for what they thought was important. His stepdad was basically the poster child for that. And the Knight family’s various suspicious disappearances and/or deaths (Drew would never tell Darlene so but based on what she’d casually mentioned, from an objective reporter stance, there were a lot of questions about basically every member of that family. There was definitely a to-be-written expose of the kind that lead to the journalist’s sudden disappearance and/or death) made him pretty sure he was justified in being just a bit worried.
“Are you feeling okay? You look a bit tired.”
Aaaaaaaaand now he felt like a jerk for being suspicious of Darlene when she was just… nice. Just kind and concerned about him and wow, he’d said he wanted to still be friends but mentally accusing your friends of stalking you was not what good friends did. He didn’t quite know how to just be friends with Darlene (because even when they had just started at RMI and she was only Kit’s “evil” roommate, Drew had had a crush on her, and in terms of crush-neutrality now Drew wasn’t exactly Switzerland), but he knew how to be just friends with other people and he should probably be able to figure this out.
Starting with having, like, a normal conversation. “Yeah, just a lot on my plate lately,” Drew said. Not literally, because he also hadn’t been very hungry. The worst thing was that suddenly coffee didn’t agree with him, which was a fancy way of describing the nightmare it created in his digestive system, which meant he couldn’t even counteract the tiredness with caffeine. He hoped this was a temporary problem because “don’t drink coffee” was not a long-term solution. “Sixth year is rough. It’s like I turned seventeen and my body was like, ‘we have no idea how to be a person actually, you’re on your own.’”