Series: The Mighty Queertet
Length: 5-10k words
Series: AU of Mighty Queertet. Set after Breeze, but Sun doesn’t happen we skip straight to the end of the summer holidays.
Notes: You might want to read Smoke, Snow and Breeze before this. You don’t have to, but it gives back story. However, I’ll sum it up very quickly. Charlie and Adam were together (on and off since they were 13, they are now 15) but broke up because… well, no real concrete reasons, a lot of little things, Charlie spending more time with his best friend (Taz) than Adam mainly. Fulton and Portman are together, (there was angst for them, Fulton’s parents disowned him when they found out he was gay), and Taz and Maya are OC’s, who date each other.
Date Published: 9 Jun 2002 • Date Updated: 12 Jul 2002 • Chapters: 6 • Words: 6,254
Chapter 1 by Star
“Adam, it’s like a thousand degrees in the shade,” Maya points out tiredly. “There is no way in hell we’re going to go up into your attic. It’s going to be twice as hot up there.”
“No way in hell,” Taz repeats firmly from her spot beside Portman. They don’t like each other, but he provides enough shade for her to stand in.
“School starts on Monday, isn’t that a big enough form of torture?” Charlie adds.
“My Dad’s paying us,” I reply. “And he got rid of Daniel for most of the summer break, I owe him.”
They exchange looks, I know they’re all desperate to say that they don’t owe him anything, but we’re the Queertet, we travel as a pack. Which means they’re stuck cleaning the attic with me. I hide a grin.
“Fine,” Fulton says. “Let’s go.”
“Let’s go die a painful and airless death,” Taz mutters. Portman cuffs her lightly around the head. She looks like she wants to retaliate, but can’t be bothered.
We troop up several flights of stairs, encountering Daniel on the way. He considers taunting me, but sees Fulton and Portman and rethinks his decision. I don’t know why everyone’s so scared of them, they aren’t thugs. They couldn’t even break my dorm room door down before school broke up. Of course, it’s handy to have them around to glare at people.
Finally we reach the attic. As Taz and Maya predicted, it’s hot and airless.
Taz sums it up nicely. “I’ve died and gone to hell.” She looks around. “I know this is hell because this place is big enough to have its own zip code.”
“So what exactly are we doing?” Charlie asks. “Are we just tidying or are we getting rid of stuff?” His tone is cold. So much for all that love stuff he was spouting at the end of the school year. It’s been two months since then and still nothing.
Then again, we’ve spent the entire summer break ironing out the crinkles in Fulton and Portman’s relationship. Luckily that worked out, I wouldn’t say things are perfect for them, but they’re as good as they can get without divine intervention.
“Earth to Banksie!” Portman snaps his fingers in front of my face. “You’re not going to pass out are you?” he adds in a worried tone.
“Sorry, I was spacing,” I reply. “Um, let’s see if we can get away with just tidying.” I don’t want to be up here anymore than they do.
“Let’s all tackle different areas,” Fulton suggests. “It might be quicker that way.”
We all separate, except for Taz and Maya because Taz refuses to go anywhere by herself. She’s convinced she’ll get lost.
“You’re rich, why don’t you pay people to do this?” she mutters.
“Taz!” Maya hisses, giving me an apologetic look.
Much as Taz annoys me at times, I understand. She’s deeply intimidated by wealth, Maya told me so herself, it makes her either act crazy (but it’s too hot for her to do that) or make comments like that. “Taz, my Dad is paying us. We’re cheaper and we don’t have a union to complain to.”
She gives me a big grin and wanders off to the far corner with Maya.
Fulton looks around. “Couldn’t you just convince your Dad to move house and leave all this stuff behind?”
I grin. “Believe me, I tried.”
He and Portman start moving boxes in to a tidy stack instead of the heap they were in before. I find something to occupy myself with, other than Charlie that is. I have to get over him, he’s obviously over me.
I hear a burst of static and the sound of a warped record being played. I turn around and see that Taz has found an ancient gramophone. She grins joyfully as the music begins and grabs Maya and begins waltzing with her. I notice that they’ve also found some old clothes up here. They’re both wearing the dresses that were fashionable about a hundred years ago. Lord only knows which relative of mine they belonged to.
They start singing Once Upon a Dream and I realize that it’s the music used in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
I turn to Portman, gesturing at the waltzing lesbians. “Why does that look so familiar?”
He and Fulton start laughing. I decide I don’t want to know.
We all turn towards Charlie.
“You arghed?” Maya asks.
“Something wrong, dear?” Taz adds quickly.
I swear, if they use that gag one more time I’ll throw them down the stairs. They’ve been saying that for months.
“What the hell is in this trunk, Banks? Rocks?” he yells. “I nearly broke myself in half trying to move it.”
Naturally it’s my fault. Of course. “Why didn’t you just ask for help?” I snap back. I didn’t mean to, but he just gets on my nerves. He’s either icy cold or pissed at me. There’s no middle ground.
“Maybe it’s full of gold!” Taz suggests quickly. At first I think she’s just having one of her mad fits, but then I realize that she’s trying to lighten the mood. “Budge over, Charles! I wanna see!”
Ok, she’s trying to lighten the mood by having one of her mad fits.
“Bite me, Taryn. There won’t be gold in there.”
Taz looks a little thrown that he snapped at her but shrugs it off. “Gold’s heavy,” she replies, tugging Maya over to the trunk.
The Bash Brothers share an amused smile, and hurry over. I think Portman wants to see the disappointment on Taz’s face when it turns out to be a moldy old set of encyclopedias or something. I find myself wandering over too.
“So what is in here?” Charlie kicks the trunk angrily then rubs his toes, cursing in Irish.
I take a closer look at the trunk then shrug. “No idea. We used to have a key for it but it vanished. When I was a kid I was convinced it was shrinking.”
They all smirk at me. “Hey, I was just a kid!” I defend myself. “Look how Taz is and she’s fifteen.”
Taz looks at me, her bright purple eyes blazing. “Cheers!” she replies happily. “So can we get this thing open? I’m dying to know what’s inside.”
“Probably just books, Purple.” Charlie ruffles her hair.
“Maybe they’re exciting books.” Maya says.
“You do realize that the only reason we’re all so interested in this trunk is because it’s locked?” Portman points out.
We all nod.
“We’re aware,” Fulton confirms.
“Maybe we can lever it open or something,” I suggest. Portman’s right, the minute we knew we couldn’t see what’s inside we’re all painfully curious.
We all kneel around it, to peer at the lock. Taz and Maya are touching the top of it, their fingers intertwined, Fulton and Portman are both prodding the lock, seeing how sturdy it is, Charlie has obviously decided that for the moment he’s had enough of the trunk and is sitting on top of it and I’m running my fingers over it, wondering how the leather has stayed mold-free when every other trunk up here is coated in white moldy slime.
That’s when the weirdness happens. It’s like being on my pain pills, just before I black out. I feel like I’m being pulled forwards in a very floaty way. I don’t feel like I’m on the ground at all. I feel the others around me and wonder if I’m about to pass out.
I’ve gotta stop taking those pills.
Chapter 2 by Victory Thru Tears
The Sorting Hat ceremony has never seemed so boring. Maybe it’s because this is the third time we’ve had to go through it. I mean, the first time it was obviously exciting, because we were the ones being sorted. Second year, Ron and I crashed into the Whomping Willow, and we didn’t have to go sit through the whole ordeal… we were too busy worrying about getting expelled. Third year, I went through the Dementor scare on the train and missed it again. Finally, at the beginning of fourth year, we got to see the ceremony again. I think it was only interesting because we hadn’t seen it for the past two years.
Because now, I’m on the edge of falling asleep.
Yes, yay, clap-clap. At least they’re on the S’s.
Ron pokes me in the side.
“Don’t fall asleep, Harry! Come on, where’s your Gryffindor pride?” he hisses.
I stare at him. That seems like a very un-Ron-like thing to say. I blink a few times to make sure that it is my best friend next to me.
Yeah, that’s him.
I sigh, and try to turn my attention back to the front of the Great Hall. Is it just me, or is there double the usual amount of first years?
Oh great, another Torrance girl. The Torrance twins, Vicky and Starling, are Ravenclaws in Ginny’s year, and they’re as crazy as they come. They’re inseparable, and even finish each other’s sentences. I can only imagine what their little sister is like.
The Sorting Hat opens its brim to yell out the house, but only gets through “RAVENC—” before there’s a gigantic crash in the middle of the Great Hall.
The teachers leap from the High Table and run forward, wands pointed towards the heap in the middle of the floor.
A murmur rushes through the crowd like wild fire, and everyone turns their head to stare at me. I blink, confused. Why is it that every time something happens, everyone looks at me? Then again, it does make sense. A loud crash into Hogwarts, it must be You-Know-Who coming to kill Harry Potter.
Instead of returning the look that the entire student population of Hogwarts is giving me, I crane my head forward to see what is going on. The professors surround the heap on the floor, their wands still out.
“What is going on?”
“Do you think we’re dead?”
“Why are you pointing sticks at us?”
“Adam, what the hell did you put in the food?”
“We must have heat stroke.”
I glance at Hermione, who is staring back at me. They’re Muggles. Even stranger—American Muggles. What in the blazes are they doing at Hogwarts?
The teachers seem to also have made this connection, because they back away and put their wands back in their robes. I watch as Dumbledore says something to McGonagall, who nods. The staff moves away from the floor, and I finally get a peek at the invaders. There are four boys and two girls, both of whom are hiding behind the others. They’re all wearing Muggle clothes, as I had expected. They back up as a mass when Dumbledore approaches them. The biggest one of all the Muggles holds up a fist menacingly. I almost want to laugh. A bunch of Muggle teenagers fighting Dumbledore?
The headmaster takes another step towards them, and the small girl with dark hair shrieks, and hides behind one of the other boys. Dumbledore sighs, and points his wand them again.
“Petrificus Totalus,” he says lazily.
Six bodies hit the floor with a thud. Because of the full body bind, they can’t speak. But even from here I can see their wide-eyed stares as Dumbledore flicks his wrist again, making them float in midair. They go in a single file line from the Great Hall, followed by the headmaster. As soon as they are out of sight, the Hall fills with excited conversation.
“Let us proceed with the Sorting Ceremony.” McGonagall’s voice booms, cutting through the chattering of the students. “Thompson, George!”
Barely anyone stops talking. Both Ron and Hermione turn to stare at me.
“What?” I ask indignantly. “Just because something weird happened, doesn’t mean that I had something to do with it.”
“Sorry Harry, it’s just that… well…” Hermione trails off and looks at Ron for help.
“Usually when something weird happens, you have something to do with it,” he finishes. Hermione nods fervently.
I sigh, and try to turn my attention back to the Sorting Ceremony. Out of the corner of my eye I see Malfoy whispering to Crabbe and Goyle. They’re all staring in the direction of the door Dumbledore and the six strangers went through. Malfoy has a mischievous grin on his face. Usually when he has that expression on his face, I take care to stay away from him. But at the same time he looks painfully curious. It must be killing him… he really wants to know what’s going on, but he has to stay somewhat indifferent. After all, they are Muggles.
I feel a pair of eyes on me, and I glance to the High Table to see Snape staring back at me. Ooh sorry Professor, is am I not supposed to look at the Slytherins? Leave me be, you, slimy git. Hermione clears her throat, and I jump, wondering if she can read my mind or something. She gives me a stern look, and turns back to the ceremony.
I sigh, and face forwards as “Walworth, Jeremy” is called.
Chapter 3 by Star
Notes: What we said about the Portkey, we made it up. We tried to check, but failed.
I have no idea what was in that trunk, but rest assured I’m going to kill Banks. This is his fault that I’m having this highly freaky Technicolor Disney dream. Because there is no way on earth that this is real, no matter how real it feels.
I’m pretty sure some really old guy with the longest beard in the history of mankind just turned us to stone and floated us down the hall. Now, while that felt real, it wasn’t. I’ve passed out and fallen into Taz’s brain. That’s the only explanation.
Maybe I should blame Taz a little too.
So I’m blaming Adam for having a freaky trunk that obviously made me pass out, and Taz for having a freaky brain.
I glance around.
Now that’s worrying. Everyone looks as if they’re thinking the same thing.
I’m just about to ask Banksie what the hell he had in his trunk when the old guy speaks.
“I am Albus Dumbledore. The six of you are perfectly safe here, so there is no need to cower.” He looks pointedly at Maya who is clinging to Taz’s hand like there’s no tomorrow and is partially hidden by Fulton.
Maya takes a miniscule step away from Fulton, but keeps a firm grip on his T-shirt.
“Why don’t you have a seat?” he offers.
Six chairs walk towards us and arrange themselves in a line. I look at the others, even Portman looks worried.
“Sit,” Dumbledore instructs.
We do so. If he can turn us to stone and make chairs walk, we don’t want to annoy him.
“Now, perhaps I might have your names?” Dumbledore continues. “And the circumstances that brought you crashing into the great hall during a sorting?”
What’s a sorting? Why don’t these Brits speak… um… English?
“That picture just moved!” Taz yells loudly (like she does anything quietly), leaping into Maya’s arms. “Where are we? Did we wander into the Twilight Zone?”
Maya pokes her in the ribs and shakes her head trying to hush her.
Dumbledore chuckles. “Of course it moved. It’s very tiresome sitting in the same position for a long time, even portraits get cramp, you know. Now, your names?”
Nobody speaks. I jab Taz in the ribs. She’s the loudest of all of us, and she’s Irish. If we’re in England they might prefer to listen to someone who’s not American. I mean, the Irish are like their next door neighbors.
“Taz McDonald,” she supplies, then when no-one adds anything she quickly reels off our names too. “The brunette is Maya Hansen, the tall ones are Fulton Reed and Dean Portman, the blonde is Adam Banks and the grump is Charles Conway.”
“Charlie,” I correct automatically, relieved by Taz’s use of the name that annoys me. It seems the most normal thing that’s happened since we were in Adam’s attic.
“And why are you here?” Dumbledore persists.
“We don’t know,” Portman answers. “Can’t you send us back?”
“To send you back, I would need to know where you came from. So why don’t you just start at the beginning?”
I glare at Banks. It was his damn trunk that got us here. He should tell the tale. He rolls his eyes at me and starts to explain.
Dumbledore listens, occasionally asking questions, then when Adam is finished he takes a deep breath. “It appears the six of you managed to accidentally use a Portkey,” he decides. “Although the idea of six Muggles using a Portkey by mistake verges on impossible.”
“What’s a Muggle?” Fulton asks. The look on his face clearly states he can’t work out whether to be afraid or offended by the term.
“Oh, forgive me, it’s what we call non-magic users.”
“Magic? Like, um… Paul Daniels?” Taz asks.
Who on earth is Paul Daniels?
Dumbledore chuckles. At least he has a sense of humor.
“No, that’s just clever Muggle tricks. I teach real magic,” he replies.
“Teach? This is a school?” Portman asks.
“It’s nicer than Eden Hall,” Maya comments, then blushes, wondering if it was the wrong thing to say.
Dumbledore smiles. “Thank you. I assume Eden Hall is your school?”
We all nod. My worry is still present, but my fear is subsiding. He seems like a nice guy, certainly a little odd, but nice.
“Now, to get you home…”
“Home would be good.” Fulton says, then pulls a face that clearly reads: did I just say that?
“Forget home! How did we get here? We’re in England, right? Can we pop over to Ireland while we’re here? Can you show us some magic? Do you have unicorns? Ooh! What about dragons?”
“Taz!” all five of us hiss at her.
Dumbledore looks amused by her enthusiastic outburst. “I’ll answer those questions one at a time. You got here by a Portkey. Yes, we are in England. No, you cannot visit Ireland. You’ve already seen magic since you arrived. There are unicorns in the Forbidden Forest, but no-one is permitted to go in there.” He smiles. “It’s not just a clever name, you know. And we don’t have Dragons on the school premises, one would have to go further afield to find them.”
Taz looks a little crestfallen.
“So, back to getting us home,” Adam prods gently.
“Ah, yes. As I was saying, you arrived here through a Portkey.”
“That freaky trunk,” I deduce, noticing for the first time that it too is in the room with us. Then something occurs to me. “What’s a Portkey?”
“That trunk was enchanted, and when you all touched it, it brought you here.” Dumbledore replies, I can tell he’s breaking it down as simply as he can for us. “Although, as I was saying, it’s unheard of for Muggles to use a Portkey by mistake.”
“So you’re saying that the Portkey was broken?” Portman asks.
He smiles gently at us. “Either that, or at least one of you is not completely a Muggle.”
We all glare at Taz. If it’s anyone, it’s her.
“What?” she asks innocently.
Chapter 4 by Victory Thru Tears
Trust my girlfriend to end up being something other than human. Although, as the crazy old guy tells us, she’s not the only one. Either way, this is really creeping me out.
First of all, it’s magic. Real, true, scary magic. The stuff that Dumblebee, or whatever, did with the chairs and the making us freeze was definitely real. Unless, of course, I’m lying passed out in the attic of Adam’s house right now, and this is all a dream.
Second of all, he’s insisting that we’re also capable of this magic stuff. He says that if we weren’t, we wouldn’t have ended up at Hogwarts, as this place is called.
I don’t care. It’s too weird, and I want to go home. However, Dimblebum tells us that we can’t go home right away, because Portkeys have to “recharge” or some crap like that. I say, they’re magic, they can just fly us back on a carpet or something… right?
But noooooo, instead we have to stay here for the night. I don’t to sleep in this place. I’m too scared that they’ll try and get us involved in some strange magical ritual or something. Sacrifice us to their gods.
I cling to Taz’s arm as we trudge up yet another flight of stairs. She shakes me off a little bit.
“Your nails are digging into my arm,” she says. “And I thought I was supposed to be the wimpy one?”
I shake my head. “You’re the wimpy one, but I’m the girly one.”
She shrugs. “Fair enough.”
I notice that even Fulton and Portman are holding hands as if their life depends on it. And who knows, it just might…
Adam and Charlie, however, are walking a good ten feet apart. Even through this very strange dilemma, I find myself sighing with exasperation. Can’t they get pull their heads out of their asses and admit it to each other that they’re still in love? We all know it, and I refuse to believe that they don’t.
We follow an oldish woman with her hair in a tight bun all the way to a suit of armor. We stare dumbly at it, and I brace myself for a demon to pop out or something.
Instead, the old woman smiles at it, and says “Knickerbocker Glory.”
The suit of armor bows, and moves aside as the stone wall opens.
I gasp, and nearly knock Taz over as I throw my arms around her. Charlie jumps and grabs Adam around the waist. For a second Adam clings back, but then looks down at Charlie and gets a pissed off look on his face. He shakes Charlie off in irritation, and crosses his arms over his chest. Charlie does the same, trying to cover his hurt look with one of anger.
The tight-lipped woman steps aside, motioning for us to enter the tower. I blink at her. There’s no way I’m going in there.
But with an “Ummph” I’m dragged in by a bouncing Taz. Lucky me, I get the lunatic for a girlfriend.
The tower is small, with only two doors. Taz peeks into both of them, pulling me with her. In one there are two beds, and in the other four. It’s not hard to guess that we’ll be sleeping here.
“Well, as it is late, I suggest that you try to get some rest. Tomorrow will probably be an interesting day for you. Breakfast is in the Great Hall, served at seven a.m. Good night.” With that, she turns to leave the six of us standing in the hallway on our own.
I hear the stone door slide shut, and I look at my friends. This is the first time we’ve been alone since we got to this creepy place. I open my mouth to speak, but Taz cuts me off.
“Get some rest?” she whines. “I’m not tired!”
I roll my eyes. What a Taz-like statement. That’s right, sweetie, don’t focus on the fact that we’re in a strange country in a magical castle, whine about not being tired.
“Well, it is midnight.” Fulton remarks, looking at the clock.
“But only six back in Minnesota,” Adam interjects. “Remember the time difference.”
My eyes bug out. I can’t believe we are having this conversation. I glance at Charlie, he seems to be thinking the same thing.
“You guys!” I say loudly. “Need I remind you exactly where we are?”
“England,” Taz answers. “We know that.”
I stare at her, and she grins back. I sigh and throw my hands in the air.
“So what the hell are we going to do?” Charlie asks, voicing the thought in my head.
“What is there to do?” Portman sighs.
“I know!” Taz bounces. “Explore!”
The others agree excitedly, but Charlie and I stare at her in shock. It seems like we’re the only ones who haven’t lost our minds around here!
“Explore?” he repeats skeptically.
Our four friends nod. I exchange a glance with Charlie, and he sighs resignedly.
I still feel unsure, but go along as they lead me out of the tower.
The castle is silent as we step into the hallway. Huddled in a small mass that somehow reminds me of the Gang from Scooby-Doo, we walk down, towards the stairs. I have no idea where we’re going, and I know that the others don’t either.
“Ow!” Adam says loudly, glaring at Charlie, who had just stepped on his foot. “Watch where you’re going!”
“Sorry,” Charlie answers in a mocking tone, muttering under his breath.
“Yeah, you never quite have the nerve to say anything to my face, do you?” Adam snarls, moving away from his ex-boyfriend.
“Save it, Banks.” Charlie answers, also moving in the opposite direction.
“Oh yeah, I—” Adam cuts off as he hits the floor with a thud.
We all stare at him, and then at Charlie.
Charlie holds his hands in the air in a defensive gesture. “I didn’t touch him.”
Adam looks around wildly, he knows that he wasn’t pushed by Charlie. And we all know that Adam’s more coordinated than to just fall flat on his ass out of the blue.
Portman lets out an audible squeak as three heads suddenly appear in front of us. Adam scrambles off the floor and flies into the protective embrace of the Bash Brothers. Charlie starts to inch behind them as well.
This really feels like we’re stuck in some kind of weird cartoon.
I try to resist the urge to jump into Taz’s arms and yell “Zoinks!”
Chapter 5 by Star
Author’s Notes: Please note that I’ve never written HP before, so if this sucks, blame me and not Vic.
“Ow!” I mutter as Harry bumps into something and I bump into him and Hermione bumps into me, stepping on my foot in the process. I hate standing in the middle, I get twice as many bumps as the others.
I look up and realize that we bumped into one of the Muggles that came crashing into the hall during the sorting earlier. I should really look where I’m going instead of at Harry.
There’s a strangled squeak of fear and I realize that the Invisibility Cloak has slipped off. From the looks on their faces I’d surmise that we’re only partially visible. Poor things, Harry scared the life out of Malfoy when only his head was visible and Malfoy’s a pureblood. This lot look terrified.
“That’s just not normal,” comments the girl with purple hair. Her face is drained of blood and she’s shaking. I’m sorry to note she looks the most calm out of all of them.
The other four boys are huddled against a wall. Hermione gives me a significant look and nods at them. I notice that the two tallest boys are holding hands. No matter how scared you are, holding hands is just something that straight lads don’t do.
“Sorry,” Harry apologizes quickly, shrugging off the cloak.
“Didn’t mean to scare you,” I add.
“Too late,” the brunette girl says, in a dazed tone. “I’ve gone right past scared and I’m now in the realm of terror. If I don’t die of fright in the next few minutes I’ll probably continue my journey of fear into mind numbing horror.”
“Good babble,” the purple haired girl says approvingly, then remembers where she is and shuts up again.
I nudge Hermione, she’s good at everything and her parents are Muggles, maybe she can calm them down.
“Hi,” she says. “I’m Hermione, this is Ron and Harry. There’s no need to be afraid of us, we’re perfectly harmless. Some of us,” she pointedly looks at me, “still can’t transfigure a hedgehog into a pin cushion.”
They don’t look even remotely placated, however, the tallest one speaks. “Why on earth would you want to do that anyway?”
“Transfiguration is an important skill,” she replies. “You never know when you’re going to have to turn something into something else.”
The brown haired girl inches closer to the boys, somewhat alarmed by Hermione’s statement.
Curiosity gets the better of me. “Who are you? And why did you come crashing into our sorting ceremony?”
The one we bumped in to finds his voice. “I’m Adam, this is Fulton, Portman, Charlie, Maya and Taz.”
“And it’s all Adam’s fault we’re here.” Charlie supplies.
“Oh, sure, blame me why don’t you?” Adam snaps back.
“Why?” I ask.
“Well, his trunk was a porter-key.” One of the tall ones supplied, I’m not sure if it’s Fulton or Portman.
“Portkey.” Hermione corrects automatically. “And why—”
She’s interrupted by the purple girl—Taz—wandering over and poking a portrait.
“Taz!” Maya hisses. “Don’t prod the pictures, it’s rude.”
“He doesn’t move,” she says, looking confused. “I thought they all moved here.”
Oh god, she’s just poked a sleeping Sir Cadogan. What he’s doing in this particular portrait I’ll never know.
“Identify yourself!” Sir Cadogan demands, rubbing his eyes sleepily. He takes a closer look at her. “Friend or foe? Damsel or Demon? Speak up!”
Taz jumps back in alarm.
“You must be a demon! A purple dragon.” He decides, drawing his sword. “Let us duel to the death!”
“I don’t want to fight,” she replies cautiously.
“You yellow-bellied coward!” He swishes his sword vigorously and overbalances, landing face down on the ground.
Taz giggles. “I think I will fight you!” she decides. “Gimme a sword gonna bag me a picture-man!”
We all watch in astonishment as she and Sir Cadogan trade insults for a few minutes, she gets progressively more and more wound up before finally dissolving into an entirely different language. In the end reaches out and flicks the painting, she hits Sir Cadogan square in the face and he falls to the ground apparently stunned.
“Oooh! Did I kill him?” she looks alarmed.
“Nice one, Taz,” Charlie glares at her. “We’ve not even been here a day and you’ve already killed someone.”
“This wouldn’t have happened if we’d stayed in our room like I suggested,” Maya interjects.
“Calm down!” Harry says with a grin. “Sir Cadogan’s had that coming for a very long time.”
“Besides, he’s not dead,” I say, “He’ll just be a little punch drunk for a while.”
“‘s a big purple curvy scur…” Sir Cadogan mutters then passes out again.
“See?” I point at him.
They all giggle nervously.
“So why were you wandering around at night?” Hermione asks.
“I was looking for knights to duel!” Taz responds, seemingly comfortable now she has faced Sir Cadogan. “And these are my band of merry men.” She glances at Maya. “And woman. And yourselves?”
All five of them simultaneously poke, prod and slap her in an attempt to shut her up. It doesn’t make the blindest bit of difference.
She bounces a little. “Hey! I’m an artist, if I drew something here would it move? That would be so cool! I’d love to show… well, everyone’s here that I’d like to show a moving picture to, but I’d still like to have one. You’re wizards, right? Could you make me fly or something? Or teleport me to Ireland—I’d love to visit again, I could see my Nan, I haven’t seen her since I was a kid. Of course, I’d have a job explaining how I got there… especially since I’m not too clear how I got here. Ooh! Could you guys show me unicorns? Your headmaster said there were unicorns around…” She pauses for breath and Charlie clamps a hand over her mouth.
I blink. Oh dear lord, she’s Pigwidgeon in human form.
Chapter 6 by Victory Thru Tears
This isn’t good. Slightly comforting, but still not good. Now after Taz’s little outburst, the wizards look more scared than we do. We’ve got to find a way to keep her shut up. I’m thinking maybe binding her arms and legs and stuffing a sock in her mouth, and then tossing her into a closet. Hmmm. Maya might not go along with that. Then again, we could always toss Maya in with her.
I think one of us should speak now, just to try and ease the tension. I look around at my friends. None of them look quite ready to talk. So does that mean it’s going to have to be me? Great. That’s not quite fair… Adam’s the one who got us into this mess, he should do it. Or Portman, he’s the biggest. Or hell, Charlie is the captain of the Ducks, doesn’t that count for something? And Maya’s used to dealing with Taz. So why do I have to do it?
I clear my throat, and step forward slightly. “Uh, sorry about her. We try to keep her tied up, but sometimes her girlfriend doesn’t take too kindly to that.”
“Girlfriend?” The redheaded boy repeats. I wince as Maya jabs me in the ribs.
Whoops. That’s right, no one here knows us, therefore no one knows about our sexual preferences. And I guess it’s something Maya didn’t want flashed all around a strange and magical castle.
“Uh, yeah, as in her friend… that’s a girl,” I stutter, trying to ignore the glare Maya is giving me. Taz, on the other hand, looks even more hyper now that this has been said. Charlie is having quite a tough time keeping his hand over her mouth.
The three wizard-things in front of us don’t look convinced. So I plaster a grin onto my face and step back next to Portman against the wall.
After a few glances are exchanged, the witch speaks again. “So you’re Muggles, huh?”
Now it’s our turn to exchange some looks. Muggles. It doesn’t sound like a mean word, but I still don’t like it. However, the headmaster told us before that we were, so I’m just going to take his word for it.
“Uh, yeah?” I answer.
“Where are you from?” she asks.
“Minnesota,” Portman finally speaks up. I give him a look, which he returns with a grin. I guess he thinks he’s brave, now that he’s said one word.
“Ooh, Minnesota!” Her eyes light up. Ok, that’s not right. Who gets that excited at the mention of Minnesota? These people are definitely not normal.
“Yes, I know of Minnesota… that’s where the Viking wizards first landed! I heard that it was all ice and they had to use one gigantic melting charm just so that they could live there, but it’s also famous for the ice dragons. Did you know that an ice dragon—” Harry, the one with the glasses, nudges her with his elbow, and she cuts off. Her friends are giving her a look, much like the one we just gave Taz about five minutes ago. Only, Hermione seems pretty brainy… and Taz is as dim as a busted light bulb.
“Or…” Hermione checks around at her friends before she continues. “It’s also famous for the biggest mall in America?”
At this, the Queertet smiles and nods. Mall of America we can do, Viking wizards we cannot.
“Not trying to be rude…” Harry trails off, and adjusts the glasses on his nose. “But what are you doing here?”
“We have no idea,” Adam answers. I look over at him, he sounds dead tired, and he has that almost transparent complexion about him. Hmmm, that’s not good. Maybe we should get to bed. “We just touched the trunk, and appeared in your school.”
Harry narrows his eyes. “Does the name Voldemort mean anything to you?”
“Harry!” The redhead, Ron, hisses. “Say You-Know-Who, would you?!”
Harry sighs for a moment and gives Ron what looks like a very forced smile. “Fine then, You-Know-Who.”
“Uh, I don’t think so…” I check around at my friends, everyone shakes their head.
“Ok, good.” All three of the wizards look relieved.
“So, erm, what year are you in?” Hermione asks after a few moments of silence.
“Year?” Charlie repeats. Ha, so now that I’ve broken the ice, none of them seem to find a problem in speaking.
“Yes, how old are you?” She says, somewhat impatiently.
“Oh.” Charlie looks somewhat embarrassed. I wouldn’t—it was messed up question.
“We’re all fifteen.” Maya says.
I clear my throat and grin. “Actually, I just turned sixteen day before yesterday.”
“Old bastard,” Charlie mumbles, also grinning.
“We’re all fifteen, too. Well, I will be in a few weeks. That would put us in fifth year.” Hermione stresses the last two words. I’m not sure if I like her attitude much, she seems like a total know-it-all.
“Right,” Taz says, finally freeing herself from Charlie’s grip. “So do you know lots of magic?”
“Well, yes… it usually comes with going to a school for witchcraft and wizardry…” Ron looks mildly amused by Purple, and also a little scared. Understandable.
“And you all have never heard of anything magical?” Hermione asks.
We shake our heads.
“Yeah, neither had I, until I got my letter to come to Hogwarts,” Harry says. He looks around for a moment, and smiles. “And it is a bit overwhelming.”
“You bet.” Adam gives him a tentative smile, and out of the corner of my eye I see Charlie tense. What’s his problem? Adam’s just smiling at the guy… Charlie needs to learn to keep his temper in check. If he’s so wound up about Adam, why doesn’t he just tell him how he feels?… Again?
I notice Maya give a big yawn from next to me, and even Taz looks tired. Maybe we actually should get to bed. It’s been a long day, even if we have somehow lost six hours by landing up in England.
“I think we’re going to be leaving now,” I say somewhat awkwardly.
“Right, we should do the same,” Harry says, grabbing a silvery piece of material from his pocket. He nods at his friends, and throws it over their shoulders. They immediately disappear from the neck down, and although I saw it coming, I still jump.
After muttering a few goodbyes, the Trio starts to walk away. I turn back to my friends, preparing to give the password to the suit of armor in front of the door. Suddenly, we hear footsteps again, and Harry reappears, without Hermione and Ron. He has a strange look on his face.
“Listen, if you need anything, there’s Gryffindor tower.” He points down the hall to our left, at a portrait of a gigantic lady in a pink dress. “The password is Semper Tenax. Just tell the Fat Lady that, and she’ll let you in. We’re in there, and we’ll help you if you need it.”
“Semper Tenax, that’s Latin for ever holding fast,” Portman says softly.
We all look at him with raised eyebrows, and he shrugs with a small smile on his face.
Maya sighs. “Trust you to know a dead language, and still fail English.”
Harry laughs, and pulls the cloak over his shoulders again. “I mean it. If you need anything, Ron, Herm, and I will help you out.”
We nod, and he disappears again after giving us a small smile.
You know, I’d have to say that the people here are even odder than the concept of the castle itself.