It Was Foolish To Come Here Tonight

Pairing: CrissColfer

Length: ~2000 words

This is a response to the CrissColferAUWednesday prompt childhood friends. The title is taken from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Seven hours, 12 minutes, and 34 seconds. That was how long until the fifth Harry Potter book was released. And Chris wasn’t going to be a part of it. His mom had said she would drive him to the nearest release party at Bookends, the independent bookstore in the next town, but then Hannah had had a seizure. Chris didn’t blame his sister. It wasn’t really her fault that he was sitting in an uncomfortable waiting room chair with a numb ass instead of at a midnight release surrounded by books and kids as nerdy as he was. It wasn’t her fault, but it still sucked.

He swung his bare legs back and forth while he waited for his mom to come back into the waiting room. Hannah would have to stay overnight, so their mom was going to drive Chris home before returning the hospital. This wasn’t the first night that Chris was going to fall asleep in an empty house and wake up to parents with cricks in their necks and bags under their eyes, weary resignation to how normal this routine had become written on their faces.

Chris was snapped out of his frustrating thoughts by the sound of the door to his sister’s room opening, his mother’s worry still obvious behind the strained smile that didn’t fool Chris for a second.

“How is she?”

“She’s…okay.” Chris could tell from the hesitation in his mom’s voice that his 8 year old sister was far from okay, but he humored her attempts to placate him. “She has to stay for a few more days, though. I’m sorry bud, but your Dad and I are staying the night.”

Chris had assumed as much. He followed his mom out to the parking garage, getting into the passenger’s seat and buckling his seatbelt on autopilot. He could tell his mom was distracted, so he resigned himself to a silent 20 minute car ride. He already felt like a dick for complaining about missing the release – Chris quickly glanced at his mother at the thought, afraid that she could somehow tell that her 13 year old son was swearing in the privacy of his own mind – and he knew any attempts at small talk would just be pained and uncomfortable. Which is why he actually jumped in his seat when his mother started talking.

“I’m sorry that your father and I can’t take you to your Harry Potter party tonight. I know you were really looking forward to it.” Chris was about to interrupt his mom, tell her that it was really okay, he could just get the book in a few days, when her next sentence left him speechless. “Your dad and I talked about it and made a few calls. Apparently Darren – You know the Criss’s, Chris. They have two of the nicest boys in the neighborhood – well he was planning on driving out to Bookends anyway and said he had room in his car…”

Chris tuned his mother out. He felt like he had been punched in the gut. Darren Criss was the gorgeous 16 year old who lived 3 houses down from the Colfer’s. The gorgeous straight 16 year old that Chris had had an embarrassing crush on since he was 9.  This was going to be the worst night of his life, and he couldn’t say no. Chris took a deep breath, plastered on a smile, and tried to act excited as his mom gave him the details for the rest of the ride home.

Chris had been home for 5 minutes, and his usually relatively neat room looked like a tornado had gone through it. Darren was going to be there in 10 minutes, and he had no idea what to wear. He’d planned on his knock-off black robe and a Ravenclaw tie, but he was second guessing himself because what if Darren thought it was babyish? He knew Darren used to geek out with him over the first few books (and TMNT and Lord of the Rings and countless other goofy things), but he was 17 now. Practically an adult. Chris hadn’t had a conversation lasting more than 5 minutes with the guy since Chris’s 11th birthday - Harry Potter themed because, hello, 11th birthday - but he assumed the other boy had grown out of the goofy kid things that Chris suddenly felt ashamed about.

Suddenly the doorbell rang, and Chris was rushing down the stairs to open it before his actions even registered. Stupid manners. He skidded to a stop in front of the door, taking a moment to compose himself, reaching for the doorknob before he remember how bad of an idea this was. The open doorway revealed a lanky boy – man? How do you refer to a sixteen year old? – in legit Gryffindor robes, the Warner Bros. logo on the tag revealing just how much of an investment the costume was. Chris blinked and looked up, met with the sight of a mass of curls contained by a Gryffindor tie. Darren was wearing a ridiculously goofy pair of round glasses, and there was a scar in the middle of his forehead drawn with something that looked suspiciously like lipstick.

“Hey Chris! Are you ready to find out what the fuck Voldemort was up to over the summer? Oh shit, I should probably watch my language, shouldn’t I? Um…yeah, so are you ready? If we’re on the road by 6, we should get there in time for trivia!”

Chris had to take a second to just…process the ball of energy in front of him. He didn’t even notice that he was smiling until he cleared his throat to answer.

“I’m definitely ready to find out what happens next! And don’t worry, I just finished the 7th grade. I don’t think there’s anything you can come up with that I don’t hear in the hallways every five minutes. Just give me a second to change and I’ll be right down.”

There. That wasn’t too difficult. He ran back upstairs so he wouldn’t get caught swooning, any worries about his costume eradicated. As he tugged his already-tied blue and bronze tie over his head – canon house colors all the way – he couldn’t stop grinning. Darren hadn’t changed at all. He grabbed the money his mom had left him off of his dresser, made a quick call to the hospital to let his parents know he was safely on his way, and ended up on the porch locking the door with 5 minutes to spare. He couldn’t help the spring in his step as he followed Darren to his far-from-new car, but Darren seemed just as excited judging by the fact that he was actually skipping. This was going to be the best night ever.

“Charlie is totally the oldest!”

“I don’t know what books you read, Criss, but Bill is the oldest Weasley.”

The two boys glared at each other, both too stubborn to change their answers. Thankfully, the impromptu staring contest was broken when the bookstore owner, a middle-aged woman dressed as Professor Sprout, called out across the crowd. “Does everyone have an answer? Yes? Okay, the oldest Weasley child is…Bill!”

Chris smirked at Darren as he got up to get yet another prize, showing his trivia sheet – answered in pen of course – to the Hufflepuff at the front table, earning himself a Sorting Hat bookmark. As he returned to his patch of floor in the middle of the haphazard line, he saw that Darren was conversing with the Slytherin behind him. Chris tried not to be disappointed. He knew that coming here with Darren was a last minute thing. He didn’t have some kind of monopoly on his attention or anything. Darren could talk to some random girl if he wanted to, even a SlytherinDammit Colfer, pull yourself together. Chris was 13. Darren’s 16. It was time for him to get over this stupid little crush.

“Oh hey, Chris! I was just telling Amanda here that you’re totally killing trivia tonight!”

A small part of Chris was beginning to hate Amanda just because, but it was completely overshadowed by his embarrassment (and pride) over Darren’s compliment.

“Oh, it’s nothing. I have a lot of free time to reread the books, that’s all. I’m just really good at remembering useless facts.”

Chris was thrown off a bit when Darren looked directly into his eyes. “Hey, don’t brush it off! I mean, c’mon, those ‘useless facts’ are why you have a small pile of free merchandise!”

“Alright, I’ll give you that one.” Chris couldn’t help but laugh at Darren’s insistence.

“2 hours to go!” The announcement from the front of the store prompted cheers to erupt from all corners of the room. “Now would anyone who wants to enter the costume contest please come up and write your name and your costume on an index card.” 

 This was it. The clock had officially reached midnight 3 and a half minutes ago, and Chris and Darren were quickly making their way towards the front of the line. Before he knew it, Chris was exchanging $30 for a colossal book with a rich, blue color. He knew some might find the length imposing, but Chris found the weight of the book in his hands a comforting promise that a story that would touch him at his core was bound between the covers. He took a minute to just hold it close in breathe, only moving when Darren gently nudged him out of the way. It took him a second to notice that the older boy was babbling like crazy.

“Chris! Can you believe it? 870 pages of new information. Don’t worry, all I saw of the last page was the page number. What kind of trouble do you think 15-year-old Harry will get into? Wait, why am I rambling about this? We’ve had years to speculate. Let’s find the fucking car and get out of here!”

Chris just smiled and hugged the book closer, following Darren out to the small, quickly emptying parking lot. This was going to be a fun night.

 Chris woke up with a pair of arms around him. He must have fallen asleep on the couch with his dad or something. Well, that was kind of embarrassing. Except…this felt different than curling up with his dad on the couch. This person was…smaller. Chris blinked open in confusion, almost falling off of the couch when he realized that the arms around his waist belonged to Darren. Well, he would’ve fallen off of the couch if he wasn’t the one wedged between a body and a face full of cushions. Damn, Darren must be a really heavy sleeper because the squeak that made its way out of Chris’s mouth would have definitely woken most people.

It took a moment for Chris to remember why he was on a couch with his really attractive neighbor. Then it all came flooding back. Stopping to buy a 12 pack of Diet Coke to keep them awake through the monstrous book. Sitting up reading for hours, nudging each other to stay awake. Laughing and scowling and crying, sobbing into Darren’s shirt because Sirius, oh god Sirius.

Chris instinctively pressed his head against Darren’s chest to keep the fresh tears at bay. He had a feeling it would take a while for him to get over the fact that Sirius was dead. He didn’t know how he would have dealt with it if Darren hadn’t been there. He really should work through these stupid feelings because, yeah, that crush was definitely still there. And he was essentially cuddling with a 16 year old. God, thinking about this was exhausting.

They had gone to bed around 1 in the afternoon. He’d called his parents when they’d got home the night before, letting them know that Darren would be over all day and that they’d probably be asleep for most of the day once they finished the book. Chris snuck a peak at his watch. 4 o’clock. Nope, not near enough sleep. Deciding that all of his thoughts and feelings could wait until he was more well rested, Chris snuggled back up to Darren and closed his eyes. He was out too quickly to notice the small smile on Darren’s face.

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