“Wait up Zane!”, Fargo squeaked out from behind all of the books he was carrying.
“Ha, come on, I don’t walk that much faster than you!”, was the snarky reply.
Douglas Fargo and Zane Donovan were heading to their charms class from the library, and the Hufflepuff had decided to bring along what he called “a few books” that he wanted to check out. Which was quite the opposite of a few, but that was just what Douglas was like.
When he finally caught up with the taller boy he shoved a few of the books into his arms with a shy smile. “ You’re definitely stronger than me, want to carry some for a while?”
“Tch, sure. Why not”, Zane said, “It’s not like you need them all anyway.”
“Come on! They’re all very interesting, see this one?”, he nodded his head at the one on the top of the stack Zane was carrying, “It’s about how astrophysics combines with magic!”
Seeing how excited the Hufflepuff was Zane smiled, and said, “Alright, maybe I can borrow a few?”
Douglas nodded at this, and before they knew it, they were in Flitwick’s class.
“Sit down boys!”
Zane nudged Fargo towards a pair of desks off to the side of the room and dropped the books he was carrying onto it.
“Here!”, he exclaimed.
The class went by surprisingly fast as if it didn’t really register in their minds, I mean it was a Friday right before Hogsmede would be open, the town nearby Hogwarts that kids go to relax, buy things, or just chill. One event of the class was interesting to Zane though, besides Douglas, he was always interesting. It was how Jo Lupo and Jack Carter were totally screwing around with a few of the pillows, even having a full out pillow fight. They were Gryffindors, so it made some sense to him why they were doing it.
As soon as the bell rang the two of them raced out the door, books in hand, and made it to their hideout, a little space hidden behind the statue of a giant bowtruckle and a tapestry of the woods on the 4th floor. They called it the science-shack. Only a handful of people knew about this, including most of their close friends; Jo, Carter, Allison, Holly, Henry (plus his two crushes, Grace Monroe and Trevor Charles Grant), and the second Magical Creatures professor, Jim Taggart. He was the only teacher to know about it, mostly because he was only 18, the youngest secondary professor to ever be hired at Hogwarts.
Here was where they spent so many of their nights and almost all of their free time when they weren’t outside or studying of course. Lots of experiments happened there too, the number of budding scientists and researchers in their friend group was astonishing. But currently, the pair of them were setting down their school bags and organizing the library books that Fargo had checked out.
“Hey look at this!”, Zane said, flipping through one of the physics books.
Fargo leaned over, “What are we looking at?”
“There’s a love letter in here!”, the Ravenclaw exclaimed.
“Literally? I wonder who wrote it.”, the smaller boy mused.
“It doesn’t say,”, Zane opened the letter and said, “I don’t recognize the handwriting, how about you look after it and try to figure out who it’s to and who it’s from?”
He handed the letter to the Hufflepuff and he scanned the letter.
“Well, uh, it’s addressed to ‘the reader’, whoever that is”, Douglas looked up quizically.
“Hmm, might as well keep it, right? I don’t doubt you can figure out who put it in here.”, Zane smiled.
“Okay, you clearly don’t know how hard it is to do that, especially when IT COULD BE ANYONE!”, he said loudly.
Zane patted him on the back and just said, “Good luck then, it’s time for lunch.”
As he left the hidden room, Fargo slipped the letter into his pocket and raced after him, it was lunchtime after all.
Zane Donovan was what some people would call a ‘bad boy’. Most people weren’t even sure why he was in Ravenclaw. He hacked into computers, he ignored rules, he didn’t pay attention, he’d never shy away from a fight, and he didn’t really care what other people thought of him, including his friends. Except one, the little hufflepuff Douglas Fargo. The nerdy kid who according to most people, was a child of disaster. He pushed buttons and caused chaos, he would walk places and get too curious about things, leading to more chaos. But through it all, he stayed a wonderful person, no matter what others said. That’s why Zane cared so much about what he thought. That and he had a crush on him of course.
Douglas Fargo spent most of the lunch smiling and nodding at what his friends around him were saying; Henry talking about Grant and Grace, Taggart’s weird new creature he found in the woods, Carter and his newest argument with Nathan Stark, Jo and her newest ‘potions’ knife. His hands kept slipping into the pocket where he was keeping the letter, the love letter.
“I wonder who it was too,,,”, he thought.
Well, as soon as this was over Zane had a class to go to, and he would head over to the infirmary for his newest set of allergy pills that were arriving today. And then he would give the letter a closer look.
“Doug!”, came a familiar voice, Holly, “Mme Pomfrey sent me to go get you! Your meds just arrived.”
Douglas stood up quickly, said a quick goodbye, and followed Holly to the Infirmary.
“Why did she send you? I thought she’d send Allison if anyone.”, Fargo said.
“Well yeah, she normally would, but I was in there getting some sleeping meds, so she sent me instead!”, Holly said excitedly as she skipped a little bit.
“That makes sense.”, Fargo nodded.
As soon as they got inside, Holly gave him a wave and skipped off to the kitchens for some late lunch sweet-treats. Douglas made his way through the beds and towards her office, where a little brown wrapped package was waiting.
“Mme Pomfrey?”, he called, “I’ll just take this, thank you!”
There was no response, so he ducked his head inside her office, where she just waved her hand at him. That was as good as any response, right? So he left and ran down the stairs to his dormitory.
As soon as he got there, he was panting with breath and slammed the door behind him. As he set the meds down on his bedside table, he grabbed the letter out of his pocket. It said,
My dear, when I see you smile, it’s like the clouds part to reveal the most beautiful sunny day.
I have no idea how I managed to survive without such beauty as you. The only pain about this is how you don’t notice, notice how much I love you. All my dreams and desires are to spend the rest of my days by your side, no matter what way, whether as friends, companions, or lovers. You are the light of my life, the magnet that attracts me. Please, just don’t leave me, even if our love isn’t going to happen. I still can’t bear losing you. If you can guess what I would be without you, you know how much you have changed me for the better. Here I will leave this, please find me,
The name at the bottom was blotched out, by who Fargo didn’t know. He turned the paper over and over, examining all sections of the worn edges.
“Wait! There,,”, he said aloud.
On the back, in the top left corner was a smudge, and in it, something Douglas could just make out, three numbers, 2-42-7.
“Huh, it might be code?”, Fargo said, “Who is really good with any and all types of code?”
Twenty minutes later Douglas Fargo was sitting on a rock with Jo Lupo and Taggart was hovering behind them.
“Okay then, that’s a really weird story.”, Jo said.
“Yeah, but please just give me a hand?”, Douglas looked at her with pleading eyes.
“Fine.”, she sighed.
“Ehhh, I’m not sure this helps, but the bowtruckle is in the 2nd volume of Newt Scamander’s books? And the science-shack is behind the statue of a bowtruckle?”, Taggart offers.
Douglas brightens at this, then looks back at the paper confused, “So, somebody else used our hideout?”
“I mean it’s bound to happen,”, Jo said, then turned around to give Taggart a high five with a broad smile on her face, “Wonderful job!”. He blushed.
“And 42, that’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything!”, Douglas exclaimed.
“Isn’t that also your favorite number?”, the gryffindor asked.
“Oh yeah,”, he answered.
“Alrighty, that’s 2 out of the three that we know. What could 7 stand for?”, Taggart asked.
“I have no clue,”, the hufflepuff said softly, “I wish I knew.”
“Hey, why don’t you ask Donovan? He’s good with ciphers and stuff.”, Jo offered.
“That’s a good idea, Jo.”, Taggart said, nodding.
Fargo nodded as well, then grabbed the letter, and waved bye to the two of them.
“See ya!”, Taggart said. And as Douglas walked away he could just make out the words, “Want to go see the new bugs I discovered in the forest?” and a “Sure!”, in reply.
“Hehe,”, he thought, “It looks like someone likes Jo.”
He headed over to the little river that was on the Hogwarts property, sometimes Zane would just hang out there, reading and skipping stones. Nope, he wasn’t there. The next place to check was the science-shack. So off he went, skirting around larger groups of kids and running upstairs. As soon as he got there he thought,
“Oh god, doesn’t he have a class right now?! It should be over soon though, maybe I should head up to his dorm? ‘Cause he normally leaves his potions stuff in there, and that’s our next class.”
He nodded and quickly walked towards Ravenclaw tower. When he got there a kid was just exiting.
“Hey, you know this is the Ravenclaw tower, right?”, they said.
“Uh, yeah,”, the hufflepuff stammered, “I just need to see one of my friends.”
“Good luck getting in!”, they laughed as they continued down the stairs.
Fargo sighed and reached up, knocking the raven knocker against the door twice.
“Hey!,” the raven said, “No need to knoc-- wait, you aren’t in Ravenclaw!”
“Yes, yes I know, I need to talk to my friend, just give me the riddle please.”, he said.
“Ugh fine, what is more powerful than any god, more evil than possible demons, what the poor have, the rich do not need, and if eaten death shall come to you?”, the raven said.
“That is really weird, I mean in your phrasing,”, Douglas said, confused, “but your answer is nothing, religious people say nothing is more powerful than gods or evil than demons, the poor have nothing, while the rich need nothing, and if you don’t eat, you’ll die. Unless someone creates a drink that has all of our possible nutrients and--”
“Okay okay, come on in,”, said the raven.
The door swung open and Douglas quickly went through and found himself in a wonderful common room, filled with books and empty mugs, and a wonderful small fire. There were two spiral staircases on the ends of the room, he went up the one on the right, which turned out to be the right one. Since if it was the wrong one it wouldn’t have let him up.
The Hufflepuff boy arrived at a room, room number 7 to be exact and it had the name ‘Zane Donovan’ on the door, along with ‘ Lukas Malo’ and two others. He slowly creaked the door open and found no one inside. Walking in, he closed the door softly behind him and found the section of the room with the most tech. That and a trunk at the bottom of the bed with Zane’s name on it.
“He’s just about as messy as I would’ve guessed,”, Fargo pondered aloud.
Then he sighed, and sat down on the edge of his bed, and flopped backward, looking at the ceiling above Zane’s bed.
“This, all seems weird. Like why would someone forget a love letter in a physics book? At a magic school?! Unless, it, no that can’t be it, it can’t be for ME? Can it?.....”, Douglas thought, “But, from who??? The 2, our hideout, the 42, my favorite number, the 7 could represent the sender?”
While he was thinking all of this, Zane was trudging up the stairs to the Ravenclaw tower, answering the riddle, and making his way to his dorm. All the while thinking about how Fargo would react to the letter, how would all this play out. He had no clue that he would be finding that hufflepuff on his bed in the following minutes. But that is what happened.
Zane shoved the door in and stopped abruptly when he looked on his bed and found none other than Douglas Fargo, who bolted straight up immediately looking incredibly startled.
“Wait what did I miss?”, Zane said loudly.
“N-nothing,”, Douglas stammered, “I was just thinking I could catch you here to ask you some questions about the letter….”
“Well duh, it’s my room, and my bed.”, was the answer.
“Yeah you’re right, but uhh, there’s a few numbers I found on the back corner of the love letter, here.”, and at that Fargo pulled out the piece of paper and showed him as he stood up.
The Ravenclaw walked closer to get a better look, “2, 42, and 7?”
“We’ve, I mean Taggart, Jo, and I have figured out that 2 references the bowtruckle statue in front of the s-shack, and that 42 can represent science and my favorite number, but I have no clue about the 7. I thought you might have an idea…”, Fargo trailed off at that.
Zane carefully took the paper out of Douglas’s hand and looked thoughtfully at it. Then at the smaller boy looking up at him hopefully. Zane sighed.
He gestured at the door frame of the room, “The 7 is the number of my dorm room,”, he tossed the letter into Fargo’s hands and sat down on his bed.
“So, wha-what does that mean?, “ he said, “That the letter is for me?”
Zane looked up at him with a look on his face that just said, ‘duh’.
“From,”, Douglas started, “you? Oh..”
“Go ahead and leave, ti’s not like you actually like me that way.”, Zane said, averting his gaze.
“No, I mean I’m not going to leave.”, was the response, “You are so thick for such a smart person Zane!”
Fargo held the letter up, saying, “You wrote this for me, you set it up for me to figure it out, and that is so sweet, really.”
“Tch, it’s not really.”, Zane said.
“No, look at me,” Douglas insisted, then took a deep breath, “I, I like you! That’s why I think it’s such a sweet letter!”
“Wait, really?”, Zane looked at him incredulously.
“Yes Zane! Damn,”, Fargo sighed.
“Damn what? The fact I didn’t do this earlier?”, Zane smirked at him.
“That and I’m was too dumb to see that you liked me too!”, Fargo sat back down on Zane’s bed.
Zane reached over and wrapped an arm around the Hufflepuff’s shoulders, “Well, we’re both dumb about that.”
“Yeah,”, Fargo sighed softly as he leaned his head on Zane’s shoulder.
“So, since we both like each other,”, Zane started.
Douglas interrupted his thought process quickly saying, “Do you want to date me?” Then he hid his face under one of his hands.
“Fargo, yes.”, Zane said, looking at what he could see of Fargo behind his hand.
Douglas took his hand down and smiled, hugging Zane.
And as Zane looked at him, he realized just how worth the wait it was going to be.