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Chapter 6: Day Eighteen, Phase Five
A/N: Okay, so this chapter has advancements in Operation Weasley and Freddie/Sophie, hope you enjoy, remember to read and review!
^Oh, this piece of gorgeousness? It's only by strawberries@TDA.
Day Eighteen, Phase Five
Eight whole days and phase four was failing. Eight days of being myself hadn’t convinced Freddie to trust me with The Secret. I was vehemently against it, I said it wouldn’t work, but no, Mr Dexter-I’m-so-clever-I-wrestle-watermelons Carter had to push the idea.
Which is why I came up with Phase Five all by myself with no outside help and dragged Operative Queenie along for the ride. She is my sidekick after all, the Robin to my Batman, the Rodney to my Del Boy, the Watson to my Sherlock.
“Sop-“ I silenced her with a glare. I really was getting good at those. “Operative Coffee Addict, why do we have to be in black jumpsuits and balaclavas in the middle of summer, not to mention with the current heatwave, it’s officially the hottest summer on record!”
“Everyone knows all black helps aid swiftness and stealth. Look at the New Zealand All Blacks, aptly named, and all burglars and ninjas are kitted out in head to toe in black. And we’re ninjas so we fall under the category of people who only wear black,”
“I thought we were detectives and Goths wear black but they’re not really swift or stealthy, just sickly looking,”
“Shh! Not so loud!” I hissed and pushed Queenie and me headfirst into a pile of bin bags. Black bin bags I might add which meant we were camouflaged. Ninja...
Just as well that we were chameleons for those 5 seconds as The Target turned around curiously before resuming on his travel.
Back to dodging behind cars and trees then. Bins are bad for hiding. Bins have fish bones and half eaten rats. Cars and trees were much cleaner and less of a health risk.
“Why are we stalking Fre-The Target?”
“We’re not stalking, stalking’s such a crude word. We’re detective ninjas, we tail,”
“Why?” Queenie was beginning to sound irritatingly like a toddler. Why, why, why, incessant whys. We had to tail Freddie because I got nothing else. Nothing. I would have done house surveillance again, but that turned up no results before, so I doubted it would work this time, the Weasley’s are as elusive as the last mint in the packet that conveniently falls down the side pocket of the car when you just had onion rings, and you really need it. This kind of surveillance was much more thrilling though. Ducking and diving, the fear of getting caught pumping adrenaline that coursed through my arteries (arteries travel to the body contrary to popular belief, veins travel to the heart)- I could certainly do this for a career.
“He’s going into Mario’s Bistro! Wait, who’s that blonde?”
Queenie had piqued my interest at Mario’s, Devon’s very own couple’s restaurant. It was notorious, not for its Italian food, but for the copious amount of PDA. Freddie and I usually abandoned places like that (neither of us liked mushy romance or watching people exchange saliva that much) yet here he was with a blonde girl, who, if her hair was anything to go by, was stunning.
Freddie was dating someone. And he hadn’t told me. My throat stuck and my chest ached, whilst my stomach felt as if it had dropped 25 miles and my heart was beating as if my body was running in a marathon.
What was my body doing? This isn’t normal for me. So what if Freddie has a girlfriend, it’s not like he hasn’t dated. And yes, it’s normal for me to be peeved at Freddie when he doesn’t tell me things, but this? I felt as if I was being crushed by a 10,000 tonne block, except unlike in the cartoons, I didn’t just pop back up.
“-makes sense. Are you alright Soph?”
“Yeah, fine,” I didn’t have the heart to tell her off for using my name or provide a lavish description rather than the exceedingly dull ‘fine’ I was usually so set against. My heart hurt and the similarities between me and a kicked dog were striking.
I was not fine.
“There’s another guy now, who’s that?”
James Sirius Potter.
Which meant that the blonde was Imogen, not some bint who was dating my best friend.
The hurt and aching stopped, replaced by hysteric laughter. Freddie didn’t have a girlfriend, and it was the best feeling in the world.
No blonde would take The Target away from me.
Besides, blondes weren’t his type, he preferred brunettes, he said so.
We waited outside, hurling ourselves behind a decrepit Nissan Micra every time Freddie’s or James’ eyes began to turn towards the window. After the best part of an hour, The Target exited Mario’s Bistro, a huge grin on his face and resumed walking.
Naturally, we resumed tailing, running crouched though when we passed the restaurant window- James and Imogen were still inside, eating. Figures, those two have stomachs eerily like cows (Cows have 4 stomach compartments) which meant they couldn’t just eat a horse, but a whole stable.
“Damn kid walks fast,” I muttered angrily as we almost lost The Target around several corners.
“One, you’re younger, you can’t call him kid, Two, you’re just slow, it’s you, not him,” Queenie quipped back at my four word rant. Can’t call it a rant then can you? My four word angry utteration.
“Taking the side of the enemy, I’m disappointed, I expected more from you,” Ha, condescending head shaking, take that Queenie, take that for being bias towards The Target, take that for being suckered in by his charms.
“No, I’m pointing out the obvious and he’s your best friend, so he’s not the enemy per se, and I’ll reiterate, he’s your best friend, not mine, so I’m obliged to take your side over his anyday, unless of course you want to rob a bank and he’s trying to stop you,” I really shouldn’t speak around smart people, it only makes me look dumb.
“Thanks, I think?” Really was that a compliment? Queenie would pick me over The Target unless I start turning to crime- sounds like a compliment to me. “But we should really get back to tailing, he’s getting away,”
Which is why you should never get into a tiff over the smallest of things when following a suspect in August. You have to run to catch up, dressed entirely in the standard black ninja uniform (which is stiflingly hot) because you’re a detective ninja full of awesomeness. Running+Heat+Black Clothes= Very Bad Heat Stroke.
Freddie lead us, not that he knew we were there, into a dark alleyway (all the better for camouflage) that smelt of piss, alcohol and also had a dead end. God knows why anyone would go here, which confirms my already solid knowledge that I was best friends with an escapee from a mental institute. Not that that was why I was best friends with him, I was best friends with him because he threw a rock at my head in nursery.
Yeah, that totally makes sense. My two best friends earned their title because one blackmailed me and the other threw a rock at my head. I really need to make friends the proper way, through talking.
Just as I was musing over how I could get to talk to the ultra dishy teen idol Ryan Michaels (also coincidentally a Disney star) to talk to me so we could somehow be buddies, the unbelievable happened.
The Target disappeared with a pop, leaving me and Queenie behind grasping at air in vain hopes of catching a single particle of him.
“That’s got to be the most substantial point on the list so far,” I said faintly, lying on my bed trying (and failing) to comprehend what had happened this afternoon.
There was no smoke, no mirrors, no holograms. Just an alleyway devoid of anything except broken beer bottles and ,last time I checked, broken beer bottles don’t really make you disappear. I felt a tug in my gut that said that I have stumbled upon something bigger than your average best friend’s secret. Either my gut was right, or those were some dodgy doughnuts.
Besides, it’s not like Freddie hasn’t kept things from me before. He hasn’t told me about a single surprise birthday party he’s organised for me, and he didn’t tell me about when Jack Lawson used to bully him in Year Four until he caved in with a little pressure from me.
And I know Freddie trusts me, we tell each other everything. He told me about the time he lost his trousers in the forest at Hogwarts and I told him about when my shoe was trailing toilet paper for a whole day. I know all his embarrassing moments and his deepest secrets, such as living up to the expectations of a big, successful family and how terrified he was of the future. Of course, he knew my secrets too, how I was afraid of not achieving good enough grades to train with the police and how I was scared stiff of dogs. That’s what made him my best friend. The fact that I knew him inside out and that he knew everything there is to know about me, yet, miraculously, still accepts me for it.
Then there’s The Secret, the one barrier, the thought in the back of my brain, saying that I might trust Freddie wholeheartedly, but there are some things that Freddie will never trust me with.
“Disappearing acts,” Queenie said from a similar position on the floor. “He literally vanished into thin air-“
“Stop quoting Shakespeare,”
“What? The only Shakespeare I know is Juliet’s soliloquy and I wasn’t saying that. I could- Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny-“
“No, please don’t, you really defile Shakespeare’s beautiful work. I was referring to the ‘vanished into thin air’ Queenie, Shakespeare made that. He also created ‘it’s Greek to me’, ‘knock knock’ jokes and ‘Green-eyed jealousy’,”
Suddenly, she smirked at me, her eyes glinting dangerously. It was her legendary I-know-something-you-don’t-about-yourself-and-I’m-going-to-take-the-piss-until-you-realise-then-take-some-more smirk. I gave her my much shorter, patented Why-don’t-you-try-me smirk. Then she gave me her I-wasn’t-asking-for-your-permission-but-okay-then smirk. I replied with a classic Bring-it-on smirk.
It was one huge smirkfest.
“Green eyed jealousy? You got a touch of that back there before you realised it was darling Imogen, didn’t you?”
“Me, jealous? Kiss my ass Roberts,”
“Gladly, but that still doesn’t change the fact you were jealous,”
“Was. You know what, I’m calling Ravi and Noah,”
Excuses, excuses, she just wants to see Noah.
“Shall we discuss the disappearance of one Target in the meantime?”
“Yes, that should be the first on our agenda, detective ninja stuff always trumps silly made up schoolgirl crushes. So what’s your thoughts on this latest piece of evidence?”
“You can’t disappear. It’s impossible for humans to literally disappear into nothing. What is... what if Freddie was a magician?” I let out an oh so attractive derisive snort. Oh, Queenie has a lot to learn.
“Magicians just go through trap doors in stages, it’s all about illusions, and it never really works. Magic is more about performance than actual magic because obviously, magic doesn’t exist. What if he was a space time traveller?”
But Queenie shot that idea down as quickly as I had to hers.
“You’ve been watching too much Doctor Who. He could be an angel,”
Our theories spiralled out of control- we’d considered everything from being James Bond’s apprentice to an inhabitant of Neverland and even a shape shifting insect/human/orange.
“Up here!” I shouted back in answer to Ravi’s call.
“Keep your voices down!”
“SHUT IT DEX, YOU’RE NOT MUM OR DAD!” I bellowed back through the wall.
“THEY’RE NOT HERE SO I’M IN CHARGE! AND I SAID SHUT YOUR TRAPS!”
“WELL I THINK YOU’RE STUPID!”
“AND YOU’RE PSYCHO!” This was quickly descending into a slanging match.
“WELL YOU’RE A JERK!”
“AND YOU’RE IN-mfff,”
What the heck? Dex would never stop himself from insulting me. He was my brother, he loved to insult me. What was happening next door?
“Where’s Ravi? Hmn, must be with Dex,” Queenie mused, answering her own question. She was weird like that.
So, Ravi was in the other room, doing what? Holding a pillow to my brother’s face to shut him up? Feeding him? Covering his mouth with her hand? Whatever she was doing, it was clearly working. It sounded a lot like sucking though, so she was probably shoving a drink down his throat.
1 minute later, Ravi came back in and sat down where we had convened on the carpet. Her clothes were sufficiently crumpled and she was wiping the corners of her mouth. I looked at her expectantly, as did Queenie, although I couldn’t raise one eyebrow like she could. Suave show off.
“Well, how d’ya get Dex to keep schtum?” I asked, as if the question was obvious. It actually was, what else would I be asking about?
“Isn’t it pretty obvious?”
“Yes, it’s clearly obvious, we wouldn’t be asking if it was obvious, spill,” Queenie jabbed a finger at Ravi whilst I opened my Capri sun simultaneously.
“I snogged him,”
I really shouldn’t have opened that Capri sun. Choking is not a pleasant sensation. It was probably worse for Ravi and Queenie since they got sprayed in the juice-saliva concoction from my mouth. Queenie, I felt sorry for. Ravi, she deserved it. Snogging my brother when I was in the other room, the cheek.
“Yeah, he’s a great-“
“We don’t want to hear it!” Queenie shrieked shrilly. “Ew, that’s disgusting,”
“What, he’s a fit bloke. You really are round here too much Kels, you’re thinking of him like he’s your brother,”
“I’ve seen him sniff his armpits and he’s seen me with acne, He practically is my brother, we even fight like siblings do! You’re not really going to find an ally in me to gush about your new attraction for your friend’s brother.”
“Damn, might have to resort to my sister,” Ravi sighed sarcastically.
Ravi’s sister was, for want of a better word, a prude. She was 26, has been married for 2 months and still hasn’t even kissed a male. The thought of Ravi talking to her complete personality opposite about a boy was laughable.
“Where’s Noah?” Queenie asked, glancing hesitantly at the door. Oh, the pining of a young love sick heart. Raveena caught my eye and we shared a knowing glance. It was nice to be in on the knowing glance this time instead of being out of the loop. It seems I was out of the loop a lot nowadays.
“He’s coming after football practice. What did you call me for Kelly?”
From the lapel of her black jumpsuit, Queenie removed a miniscule camera which she hooked up to my TV.
“How, how, how-“ I spluttered. I was the head of this op and here was my second in command with a top notch gadget. Surely that could be put down as withholding information?
“Dad wanted to find out what was eating all the cheese, he thought it was mice. Turns out it was mum,”
It was strange watching myself duck and dive. I thought I looked cool, especially when I held my arms out kung fu style but Queenie and Ravi’s laughter proved otherwise. I suppose I better remove the ninja from my detective title. Such a shame, I was getting attached to that.
The tape ended with The Target disappearing. Ravi’s jaw was somewhere on the floor which seemed appropriate due to the spectacular feat which had occurred before her. It was more amazing live though. Freddie could join a circus with those skills... Fred Weasley the Great Disappearing Boy.
I’d pay money to see that.
“You, yo-“ she stammered. Stammers and splutters used to be my thing. I’m a trendsetter.
“You like Freddie! You like him!”
The guy disappears right in front of her eyes and that’s all she has to say? Typical. Absolutely ruddy bloody typical and useless.
And like him? Psh, I don’t like Freddie. I mean, I like him, obviously, he’s my best friend, but I don’t like him in the romantic sense at all.
“Sure pet,” I did that thing again, where the barrier between thoughts and speaking came down momentarily, didn’t I? I need to get that checked out.
“Hey what’s up?” Noah arrived sweaty, chucking each of us three a can of cold, super cold, coke, before downing one of his own without stopping for breath.
“Sophie liking Freddie,”
“Brillia- oh really?” I really hate smirks.
“No I d- I hate you all, go die,”
“Now, now, let us have our fun,” I really, really hate smirks.
They all had on the universal I’m-going-to-enjoy-watching-you-suffer-under-our-torment-until-you-crack smirks on. I really, really, really hate smirks with a burning passion.
“I DON’T LIKE FREDDIE, END OF CONVO, NO!”
I need new friends. Ones who preferred not to annoy the crap out of me. I wonder if there was a shop for friends... I’d get an obedient friend who did everything I asked. They would feed me grapes and massage my feet.
Ah, that would be the life.
A/N: End of another chapter. Quick update huh? The writing’s just flowing out of me. I’ve edited the other chapters slightly so if you want you can go back and read them.
I said in the last chapter I would thank everyone for the reviews so far. Here goes:
· (Another) Emma
Thanks for all your wonderful reviews and keep them coming because at the end of this story I’ll be handing out prizes ;)
One more thing, the next chapter is a break from the detective stuff and important fluff, but it will be a quick update hopefully, unless the site is taken down for maintenance again (always seems to happen when I want to update).