Chapter 22 : Agent Names, Target Barbie and War
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“What? Why do I have to be Agent Red? I told you I wanted to be Agent Cool!”
“That’s right, Agent Red, be jealous. I’m Agent Thunder.”
“No you’re not, Jason, you’re Agent Beater!”
“How uncreative. Who comes up with these stupid names anyway?”
“Well, you suck.”
“Which one am I again?”
“You’re Agent Scorpion, you tosser.”
“What, just because my name –”
“Don’t worry about it, love, she called me Agent Flower. I mean – honestly! Agent Flower?! That’s so girly! I wanted to be Agent Thorn. That’s it. I’m changing my name to Agent Thorn.”
“Yeah, and I’m going to be Agent Thunder!”
“Look, I gave you your names for a reason –”
“I am not going to be Agent Preggers, okay?”
“But it makes sense!”
“No. That is just demeaning.”
“And I don’t want to be Agent Poet either! I’m not a fucking poet!”
“Apollo, the god you’re named after was the god of poetry, it makes sense!”
“Why am I Agent Severus? I hate my middle name! Come up with something else!”
“Yeah, and I refuse to be Agent Queen. I know you’re thinking about how I share my name with one of the Queens of England, and I do not –”
“I kind of like my name, actually. I’m Agent Pharaoh.”
“Where did she get that from?”
“Well, Agent Red –”
“ – Agent Cool –”
“It’s because her name is Alexandria, and Alexandria is in Egypt, and Egypt reminds me of Pharaohs.”
“Well. That’s dumb.”
“No one asked you anyway, Agent Puff!”
“Excuse me? You’re calling me Agent Puff just because I’m a Hufflepuff?! You have got to be bloody kidding me! Change my name! Right now!”
“Don’t worry, she’s calling me Agent Baby Potter.”
“Artemis, you’re going to die.”
“Ahem, you’re supposed to call me Gold Fox.”
“Fine, Gold Fox, you’re going to die.”
“You still have to change my name.”
I groaned and threw my head into my pillow. “Everyone, report to Headquarters immediately,” I barked into the walkie-talkie.
“Headquarters? No one told me about any –”
“MY ROOM, YOU IDIOT.”
“Oh. Right. Coming.”
I sat up and crossed my arms as people started filing in and placing themselves on the available surfaces not covered with food, clothes, or lists of baby names. Apollo used his foot to nudge over a pair of Dom’s knickers and plopped himself onto the floor, pulling Dom onto his lap. She was rolling her eyes.
“It’s not like you haven’t seen those knickers,” She muttered to him. He turned bright red.
Yes, my brother is a terribly awkward person, and yes, I love him anyway.
“Okay, you are so changing my name!” Lily announced as she walked in and planted herself in front of me. There was a loud babble of agreement around the room.
“Fine. Fine!” I yelled. “Everyone, pick their own name. We’ll write it on the board so that we can remember. Alex, if you would do the honors.”
Alex picked herself off of the floor, and, taking her wand, tapped the wall. The place where her wand touched the surface exploded into a large diagram, and she touched her finger to the list of names and pulled it up.
“Alright, let’s sort this out,” I said loudly, standing up. “After we figure this out, we can finally get started. Just so you know, this is the only opportunity we have for today – James and Target Barbie are out on their Christmas-shopping date, so we must get as much done as possible. Are we clear?”
“Yes, ma’am!” Fred barked back at me.
I grinned. “Thank you, Freddie.”
He shrugged. “Figured it would make you happy.”
“Agent Cool, come in,” I hissed into the walkie-talkie as I crept around the corner.
“Agent Cool here,” Fred’s voice erupted from the machine.
“Tell me your position, pronto.”
“Er…right behind you?”
I nodded. “Just making sure.”
“Gold Fox, Agent Thorn speaking. Permission to transmit data?”
I grinned. I love Rose. “Permission granted.”
“We – that is, me, Agent Dragon and Agent Rebel – have managed to infiltrate the enemy lines.”
“Yes! Well done, Rose, Lillers and Noah!”
“It’s Agent Thorn, Agent Dragon and Agent Rebel, you pissface!”
“Right, I apologize. I’m sending Agent Pharaoh and Agent Bludger as reinforcements.”
“On it.” Ella said.
“Alright. Who has The Stuff?” Rose asked mysteriously.
I grinned deviously. “I do. I’ll be there in oh-five. Over and out.”
“May the force be with you.”
“…Rose, that’s from Star Wars.”
“My name, by the way, is Agent Thorn. Don’t make me remind you again. Get here soon.”
“Will do. Agent Thunder, Agent Cool and Agent Olympian, come in,” I hissed into the walkie-talkie.
“We’re still standing right behind you.”
“I did not ask your position, Agent Thunder.” I said icily.
“Do you have The Other Stuff?”
“You just gave it to me, Artemis, so yes, I’m still holding on to it.”
I decided to ignore that.
“Good. You know what to do.”
“Obviously, since I came up with it.”
I let that go as well.
“Alright, go!” I whispered, shooing them away with my hands. They sprinted away.
“Gold Fox, come in,” Dom’s voice said from the walkie-talkie, sounding disgruntled.
“Yeah, what’s up?” I asked. “Is the fort still safe?”
“Yes it is bloody safe, since no one’s even here. I don’t see why I can’t run around with you people. Just because I’m pregnant –”
“Means you should be careful, Agent Preggers,” I finished for her.
“I told you my name was Agent Flame!”
“Yeah, but that ain’t working for me.”
“It’s all for the baby, Agent Preggers. All for the baby.”
“Tell Apollo I hate him, will you?”
“Love you too, Agent Preggers!”
“IT’S AGENT FLAME!”
There was the distinct sound of Apollo laughing on the other end before his voice fizzled out.
“Preggers, I’m going in. Over and out.”
“But I’m bored!”
I stuffed the walkie-talkie into my pocket and crept stealthily towards the room at the end of the hall, laughing evilly to myself as I slid through the open door. Alex, Ella, Rose, Noah and Lily were crawling all over the place like overgrown ants, wreaking general havoc and chaos – but, the best part was that they were doing things that the human eye couldn’t immediately pick up on.
Like partially unscrewing the nails that hold the bed together.
That, by the way, was Rose’s genius.
Didn’t know the girl had it in her, to be honest. But I am quite impressed.
I flashed the girls a grin as I slithered towards the bathroom, winking at Ella, who was covering her mouth with her hand and laughing silently as she held up two boob-enhancing cups. She grinned wickedly and pulled out a bottle of Weasley’s Ever-Stick Glue.
Oh, how I love these children.
And, dude – Barbie has fake boobs? That is just priceless.
Looking around at the various bottles that Barbie had laid out on her side of the counter (she was sharing the room with Lucy, Molly and Roxanne, much to their displeasure), I picked up one of the various tanning lotions and read the label.
A slow, wicked grin spread over my face.
“Psst! Roxy!” I whispered.
Roxy paused in the middle of the hallway, her head tilted slightly to the side. Suddenly, she whipped around and looked me right in the face.
It was unnerving, to say the least.
“Hi there,” She breathed, crouching down next to me. “What’s up?”
“I need your help,” I said, glancing around before beckoning her closer. I whispered quickly in her ear, and watched as she smiled deviously, nodding at me once.
“I’m on it.” She quickly darted away, and I sat back with a satisfied smile. Roxy hadn’t even bothered to ask why we were waging war on James’ girlfriend. She just seemed excited that this Christmas break wasn’t going to be completely boring.
I love Weasleys for loving mischief.
I swiftly got to my feet and pulled out my walkie-talkie. “Agent Preggers,” I hissed into it.
“What?” Dom asked petulantly.
“Is the fort still safe?”
“Yeah, it’s fine, for God’s sa – shit!” Dom suddenly said. “James and Target Barbie are on their way in!”
“ABORT!” I yelled into the walkie-talkie. “ABORT! ABORT! CODE NINE! THEY’RE COMING!”
There was a loud, distinct noise of people thundering around from the floors above me, but I didn’t stand there and contemplate how cool it was that everyone seemed to spring to life at the same time, partly because I would look stupid, and partly because I was already sprinting up the stairs, taking them two at a time. I burst into the room just in time to see Alex attempting to pull off her black pants and wipe the board clean at the same time.
“Is everyone okay?” I barked into the talkie.
“All clear with us,” Apollo said.
“We’re good,” Rose breathed.
“Everything cool here,” Al’s voice said.
“Awesome. Over and out, guys.” I quickly switched it off and chucked it to Ella, who stuffed it in her trunk along with everyone else’s. For the next five minutes or so, general chaos reigned as we pulled off various articles of clothing, pulled on other articles of clothing, and attempted to hide all of our spy stuff.
Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the door, and we froze. I was halfway through pulling my pants on, and must have looked a sight.
“Who is it?” I asked breathlessly.
“It’s Ginny,” Mrs. Potter said through the door. “Can I come in?”
“We’re – we’re not decent!” Dom squeaked, trying harder to pull her shirt on.
Two seconds later, the door swung open. The four of us stood there, half-naked and completely surprised at Ginny Potter.
“I’m impatient.” She shrugged, closing the door behind her.
“Auntie Ginny!” Dom said in an appalled voice, still tugging the shirt over her head. “I thought I said we weren’t decent! God, do you have no manner –”
“I grew up with your uncles, love, what do you think?”
Dom stood there, having finally pulled on her clothes, and looked at her aunt. “Touché.”
“Anyway, I saw what you guys did,” She said, crossing her arms and raising her eyebrows at us. My eyes widened, and I could literally hear Ella gulp audibly.
“You did?” Alex asked fearfully.
Mrs. Potter’s expression was the epitome of ‘stern’. “Yes, I did. And what you girls did was utterly wrong.”
“Look, Mrs. Potter –” I began desperately.
She held up a hand, and I stopped dead, squinting at what appeared to be –
“You can’t leave evidence at the scene of the crime, you idiots,” She said, throwing the screwdriver onto Ella’s bed. We gaped at her, completely clueless. “You need some serious help with this stuff.”
“Wh – wha – you – what?” Dom finally managed. The only sound I was able to make was a weak squeaking sound through my gaping mouth.
“Well, what did you think, that I actually approve of that spineless hag?” Mrs. Potter scoffed, removing a pair of pants and plopping herself onto my bed.
“Um…yeah?” Alex tried.
“Of course not. She’s horrible,” Mrs. Potter stated. “Now Al’s girlfriend, I definitely approve of. She’s incredible, that girl is.”
“She’s my sister!” Ella beamed.
“I know, love,” Mrs. Potter shot her an amused look. “She looks like you. Anywho, James will be here soon. I’m just letting you know not to be so careless anymore, alright? I can only hide so much from everyone else, you know. Oh, and, by the way, Harry says that he’s got a bottle of swelling solution for anyone who needs it.”
A surprised and delighted smile spread over my face as Mrs. Weasley winked at us and slipped out of the door.
I. Am. In. Love. With. These. People.
“Your family,” I said, turning to Dom, “Is the bloody best thing on the face of this earth.”
She sighed. “I know. Even though they’re annoying as piss sometimes.”
“No, they’re pretty much just awesome,” Ella said.
“Um, have you guys had the courtesy to meet my Uncle Percy? Because I’m sure he would be thrilled to tell you all about the most recent law about cauldron-bottoms that he passed,” Dom informed us.
There was a short silence during which we all simultaneously let out shudders.
“That was possibly the worst conversation I’ve ever had to listen to,” Alex said. “And that’s saying a lot, because once Binns managed to corner me after class to talk about the Goblin Wars.”
“You could just walk through him,” I pointed out.
Alex shuddered again. “No way. I hate the feeling, and besides, that’s rude.”
I rolled my eyes. World, meet Alex, the Queen of Manners.
“Oi, Artemis, you still have to get those pants on, you know,” Ella said, snapping me out of my reverie. I quickly finished dressing myself, and making sure that everything in the room was in order, grinned deviously at my friends and slipped through the door.
“Ready?” Al asked from behind me as I started trudging downstairs.
“Oh, yeah,” I said. “Remember – you have to act surprised, alright?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Al said.
“What did you and Scorpius do, anyhow?” I asked him, stopping to turn around and send him a puzzled look. Scorpius popped out from behind him and smiled sneakily at me.
“You’ll see,” He said slyly. “All I can say is that it puts The Marauders to shame.”
I scoffed. “Not likely, The Marauders were bloody geniuses.”
Al’s grin, if possible, widened. “Well, what we did will have my grandpa doing a happy dance up there in heaven.”
I looked between the two of them. “Er…should I be nervous, apprehensive, or scared for my general safety?”
“All three,” Al said promptly, taking me by the shoulders and steering me down the rest of the steps.
“Hey guys,” James said as we appeared downstairs.
“Hi,” I responded, not trusting myself to say anything else. Sarah appeared beside James and sent me a bitchy look, upon which Al and Scorpius decided that they were going to embody the concept of chivalry and appeared on either side of me. I turned to Scorpius to send him an amused look, but he was glaring steadily at Sarah, so I just decided to leave him at it.
Scorpius has a chilling glare. It makes you all nervous and spine-tingly cold. Hence, it is very chilling.
I’m a clever one, I am.
“What have you been up to all day?” James ventured, trying to break the awkward atmosphere.
I smiled secretly. “Nothing really. We sort of just hung out.”
“Hey, Artemis! You left your –” Jason tumbled to a halt behind us, his voice dying out as he took in the scene before him.
There was a short silence.
“Er…you left your…uhh…earring in my room,” Jason finished lamely, his eyes darting between Sarah, me, and James.
“You should probably head up there later to get it.”
“Okay, you’re done!” Al said loudly, holding up a hand to silence Jason before he could get another word out. There was another short silence, and I started studying the carpet, purely because I had nothing else to do.
“Well. This is awkward,” Jason announced.
“Okay, I’m going to leave before I kill myself,” I muttered, turning around and grabbing Jason’s arm. “You’re coming with me.”
“Oh, but I was actually planning to –”
Mumbling angrily to himself about how the females in his life were all dominating him, Jason followed me out of the room and into the kitchen, whereupon we came across a long, tedious lecture from Audrey about personal hygiene.
“– absolutely filthy! What have you three been doing out there, anyway?” She demanded, putting her hands on her hips and glaring at Roxy, Lucy and Molly, all of whom looked extremely dirty and only slightly abashed.
“We were just playing around,” Roxy muttered.
“Well, your ‘playing around’ is no longer going to happen, do you understand me?” Audrey said. “Now, go upstairs and get washed up – I do not want to see a speck of dirt on you, otherwise so god help me –”
“Gosh mom, calm down, okay?” Lucy sassed, rolling her eyes. “We’re going.”
Audrey swelled with rage. “Young lady, you do not speak to your mother that way!”
“Um, yeah, I actually do.”
Audrey seemed rendered incapable of speech at her current level of anger, which, frankly, was a relief. Her voice is bloody annoying.
They marched upstairs, and Audrey turned her frenzied expression to me and Jason. Eyes wide, we scrambled towards the door as fast as we could, tripping over each other in our haste.
“That was close,” Jason muttered as we sprinted outside. I let out an incredulous laugh and nodded in agreement.
“It’s making me wonder what exactly those girls did,” I admitted. “I mean, I didn’t tell them to get all dirty and –”
“Hold on – you put them up to this?” Jason asked incredulously.
“Well they do room with the evil – oh hi, Sarah!” I exclaimed in a loud, fake voice as she stomped her way towards us. The hooker heels she was wearing sunk into the ground as she planted herself in front of me.
“Listen, freak,” she spat. “I’m getting tired of those cozy moments that you’re sharing with my boyfriend, so back off, otherwise I’ll be telling everyone that you’re a Seer.” She pretended to realize that Jason was there. “Oh, whoops!” She said sarcastically. “Didn’t mean for that to slip out. Sorry, Black, guess you know the truth now.”
She looked expectantly at him as if she was waiting for him to run away screaming. He just looked at her blankly, until I nudged him viciously in the ribs and he sprung into action.
“Seriously?!” He exclaimed, turning to me. “That is so cool! How many babies do me and Ella have together?”
I grinned at him. “Eight.”
“Eight?! Awesome! You’re so cool Artemis,” He added eagerly.
Sarah’s expression was sour as she stabbed her way back into the house.
“Dude – you were kidding about the whole ‘eight kids’ thing, right?” Jason asked in a low voice after we were done staring at her retreating back incredulously.
I sent him a sly look. “Possibly.”
He laughed nervously. “Good job being a ninja – but seriously.”
“Artemis! I’m serious! I don’t want eight kids! I don’t even like kids!”
Says the guy who’s going to have eight kids.
Oh, how I love the ironies of life.
Sometimes I like to sit back and just think about life for a little while. My head’s always occupied, either with the burden of the future or the turmoil of the past, and it feels good to take a moment in the present and have a couple of deep breaths. People have a horrible tendency to rush through life and forget to take a moment to smell the roses.
I like roses. They have a very appealing scent, you know.
(Yes, I understand that ‘smelling the roses of life’ is a figure of speech, but the fact remains.)
See, I’ve come across a horrible little dilemma, something that is commonly referred to as ‘A Conscience’. My lovely little Conscience has decided to make a visit today – of all days – and is eating away at my brain for being juvenile and immature in my approach to dealing with the she-devil.
I’m actually feeling – this is shocking, so hold onto your socks – bad for what we’re about to do to Sarah-the-Evil-One.
I mean, I know she’s absolutely vile in all aspects and we all pretty much despise her to the fiery depths of Tarturus. But – James likes her. He seems to like her enough to have her constantly sticking around him, so…maybe she isn’t so bad. James usually has an excellent judge in character.
Then again, she’s probably not acting like her real self around him. Or maybe she’s not acting like her real self around us. I don’t think it’s physically possible for a person to be that horrible and fake all of the time…she must let her guard down occasionally, and maybe those moments are when she’s with James.
She likes him. And he likes her – I can at least tell that much. He likes her enough so that he’s starting to move on from me.
And as much as that hurts, I think it’s the right thing…letting him move on. Because, well, face it: I’m unpredictable and stupid and sometimes have horrible issues with my mood. I’m hot and cold. Temperamental, whereas Sarah is constant.
That’s what James needs. He needs constant.
But – constant is also boring. While Sarah might be constant in her perfect-Barbie-glory, I’m something that she so lacks in. I’m human. I’m real, with flaws and issues and problems. I’m not plastic like she is.
So maybe that’s what James really needs. Someone real, someone exciting, someone unpredictable.
Someone like me.
But I’m all wrong for him – this doesn’t make sense.
This does not make the least bit of sense to me. Why do I even bother trying to keep up an intellectual inner monologue?
I sighed loudly and dropped my face into my hands. All I want is for James to be happy. But with who? Me or Sarah?
God, this is so confusing.
this queue speed makes me very happy. it's like BAMNEWCHAPTER! so exciting! soo, this chapter was fun to write. it was just them being crazy, and after all of artemis' melodramatics, it's fun and light to have something as immature as this. you know, minus the inner monolgue. that was...kind of deep?
i knoww, this chapter took absolutely forever -- but i write a lot of stories! so i must be forgiven! YOU MUST FORGIVE ME OR SUFFER MY WRATHHH.
i have a really scary...er...wrath. yep. terrifying stuff. you should probably be really afraid. grr.
alright, i'm really acting crazy right now. i have a ton of homework and i just got back from stuffing my face with strawberries and nutella. if you've never eaten strawberries with nutella before, i don't know what you're doing with your life. stuff is pure heaven.
it's raining. pouring, actually - it's windy and pouring and the sky is an inky grey with blots of bulbous clouds and the whole effect is so magical i just can't stop writing and writing and writing <3
i think i'm done now.
over and out.
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