Coparenting with JD Daegan was going exactly like Drew expected. He’d won a major battle day one by negotiating the name down from JD’s suggestions, which had all bordered on child abuse (Oranica, Starlette, Vermuthe), to Sonya. Drew was pretty firm about not swapping baby shifts with JD, which was probably bad for Sonya’s overall well-being but good for Drew’s sanity. Overall JD gave off a vibe like he was disgusted by their baby, which was not what you wanted in a coparent, but if anyone had asked Drew what he wanted in a coparent JD would’ve been at the bottom of the list.
Remy had laughed so hard she almost cried when he told her about it. Traitor.
It was JD’s turn today, so Drew wasn’t in charge of wrangling a baby to the all-years Defense class. As a seventh-year, everyone in the room was a younger student, so it wasn’t hard to find a partner once Kristen released them. “I’ll go first,” he offered. Defeating a boggart was straightforward. You looked at it, you got really scared for a second, you remembered it was a boggart, you put a funny twist on it. Simple. Or, simple for the spellcaster, anyway. He wasn’t sure how the boggart was going to become the concept of career failure or going deaf. He really, really hoped that the boggart didn’t decide to become any of his family members injured, because Madeleine was in this class and he didn’t want her to have to see her own dead body, please Merlin let that not happen.
Drew stepped up. The ottoman opened.
“Merlin, Circe, and Agrippa,” was what Drew meant to say. It was a phrase he’d picked up from Aaron, to Dad’s chagrin despite the fact that it was a good, multipurpose, inoffensive swear. It was a good option when there were little ears around, and even in Muggle situations it was okay because they just thought you were kind of kooky or perhaps very Catholic and invoking obscure saints.
Anyway, that was what Drew meant to say, but instead he said something much less G-rated, because he was suddenly face to face with Darlene and the room seemed to tilt.
Everyone knew. Everyone at RMI knew what had happened, or some version, even the first years, and Drew wondered if the boggart could become two of a person’s fears at the same time because all of the sounds in the room were so far away that he thought he had gone deaf after all. Why was this happening? He was fine seeing her around school from a distance, but that didn’t seem to matter right now. He’d be embarrassed about freezing except that his heart rate was going insane.
He couldn’t think of anything. “All right, assist,” he said quietly to his partner. It sounded muffled to his blood-rushed ears. “How do I make this funny?”