A/N: The introduction of Sophie’s mum, Sophie’s best friend Kelly and more Roxy, George, Angelina and Freddie! And I apologise for the overuse of ellipsis.
Chapter is dedicated to the one and only cat lady on my road, hope you like it!
Chapter image by the awesome enchantedx@TDA, thank you Mariam ;) Isn't Freddie dishy?
Five days into phase one of the operation and also into the summer holidays. No leads as of yet. Of course. The Weasleys are as elusive as ever. Surveillance will continue, though it is noted by Operative Coffee Addict (that’s me, in case you’ve forgotten) that the efforts will probably be futile.
However, Phase Two of the operation will soon be put into place.
The Weasleys have invited me over for dinner, being the lovely neighbours they are. Much better than the cat lady on the other side (No, seriously, there is a cat lady next door, there are two statues of cats either side of the gate. I always hurry up when walking past, it’s a creepy place, it feels like the cat statues are watching you. ). Operative Coffee Addict will take the opportunity to snoop around the house and look for clues. The best friend of Operative Coffee Addict is in the case headquarters, AKA my bedroom, to help prepare for Phase Two of the operation. Kelly Roberts (the bestie) shall be known henceforth as-
“No, you don’t get to choose your nickname!” She does not understand the concept of a random nickname to shelter the identities of the operatives. Tut tut, simple detective rule and she couldn’t get it.
“Yes I do!” Darn, I said that out loud, whoops, must control my trap, especially around the Weasleys. “Anyways, your nickname is Coffee Addict, how much more blatantly obvious do you want to be?” Kelly pouted with her hands on her hips. She had me there. She always does. I wonder how she does it... Alien!
“Fine, you can be Queenie,” I huffed, folding my arms in protest. No one else chose their nicknames. Although I doubt they would be allowed to, since the whole point of this is to find out the secret, in secrecy, duh.
“Yay,” she clapped her hands. Why am I friends with her again? Oh yeah, she blackmailed me. Blackmail
. True friendship right there.
“So, let’s go over this again,” I pointed to the flipchart with my, shocker I know, pointer. “Location: The Weasley Household next door,” I flipped the page and pointed again to the next crudely drawn picture, courtesy of Queenie. “Targets: Mainly The Target as he is of similar age to us-“
“Not similar, the same age, plus he’s your best friend,”
“Shut it smartarse,” I snarled. Yeah, that’s right, I snarled. No one messes up my run through. No one. “As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted-“ I paused to glare at Queenie who only smiled back at me. My glare must be getting ineffective. “I shall target The Target mainly but also Duckie, Ginger Ninja and The J-ster. The Target’s bedroom is the first room on the left from the staircase. It is opposite the bathroom. This gives Operative Coffee Addict the ability to use the ‘toilet’ as a ruse to snoop through The Target’s possessions. Are all participants of Operation Weasley clear on phase two?”
Queenie raised her hand and I pointed to her with my pointer. Yes, I love it, it’s awesome. No, I will not put it down. Do you want me to point it at you? Do you?
“What exactly is my part in phase two?” Queenie asked from her position from the floor. I pondered the question as she stared up at me. Err, what do I say? I hadn’t really thought about what she would be doing since she doesn’t really know the Weasleys. Think fast, think, float like a butterfly sting like a bee. No, that’s boxing. Hmn, quick and nimble, what would Sherlock do? What would Scooby-Doo do? Ha, doo doo.
“Aha! I’m glad you asked that question Operative Queenie. You shall be on surveillance, using my binoculars. I know, it’s an honour, but I’m sure you can handle this piece of expensive equipment,”
“You got it from the pound store Soph,” Queenie snorted.
“THAT’S OPERATIVE COFFEE ADDICT TO YOU! Don’t blow this operation Operative Queenie or you’ll be off the case!”
“Yes Sir!” She saluted. I glared. “I mean, yes ma’am!”
“Better. Now, let’s run through one more time,”
Queenie groaned and I pointed.
“Hey Mrs C,”
“Hi girls, Kelly call me Louise, how many more times do I have to tell you? You’ve spent quite a while in the bedroom. Working on another case?” Mum raised her eyebrow knowingly.
“Case, psh, what case?” I got this completely. I’m all over this...
Mum turned to Queenie.
“Yeah, of course we are Mrs- Louise. Well, Soph is working on it, I’ve been dragged into this,”
“Just like you dragged me into being your friend,” I mumbled and both Mum and Queenie glared at me at the same time. With the same
glare. Maybe I was Mr and Mrs Roberts’ kid and Queenie actually is my mum’s. Switched at birth... would explain my abnormalities. Like how my personality is completely different from my parents’, that is if they really are my parents. I asked Mum if she liked Watson’s role in the Hound of the Baskervilles and she replied:
“Yeah, I loved the coat he designed, although McQueen’s range of dresses were much better. I didn’t know you knew much about fashion Soph,”
I don’t mother, I was asking about a character
in a book
written by the legendary Arthur Conan Doyle.
And she talks about a fashion show in reply.
A. Fashion. Show.
Are you kidding me? Even Lindsay Brooks, the slag of Teignbridge Academy, which despite its fancy name only has a 30% pass rate, knows who Dr Watson is and that The Hound of the Baskervilles is a book. Not really a good example, since Lindsay takes English and is unfairly, naturally smart, but still! 99% of people could tell you what my mother couldn’t. And in case you were wondering just how bad a 30% pass rate actually is, we have the worst exam results in the whole of east Devon. And that is a hard feat, east Devon is quite a big region.
That’s my mother for you.
She deserves a code name, everyone has one.
I have no clue. I’m amazing at making code names, what’s wrong with me? My brain’s shrinking, I’m disintegrating! No!
I’ve got it! Hallelujah, I live another day. Because my mum knows more about fashion than she does about absolute literature LEGENDS cough, Sherlock Holmes, cough, I will call her the F-Guru. Y’know, F for fashion, get your heads out of the gutter people, it’s not attractive to have crap all over your faces. Jeez, as if I would talk about my mother like that.
“So, what are you two doing for the rest of the day? Lunch will be ready in 10 minutes,” The F-Guru asked, unaware of her new nickname.
“Well, we’ve got to get Sophie ready for tonight and I’m revising for Maths,”
“So soon?” Yeah mum, just be more interested in Queenie than your own daughter. Just ignore me, It’s not like I’m in the same room as you.
“Yep, Maths A-Levels are really hard, better get a head start if I want to be a doctor, I can’t be complacent either just because I got an A at AS level,”
“Why can’t you be more like Kelly Soph?” Here we go again... After a while, you learn to tune her out and focus on other, more pressing issues, such as the bee in the room, or trying to figure out what Mum’s cooking or-
“ARRGHHH! Get it out!”
I have an extensive fear of bees if you can’t guess. It comes from being stung in the ear by a bee at the sweet age of 5. Then, because the dumb bee died after attacking
me, its whole hive came after me. When I was the victim! The injustice, I know. I was completely innocent, I mean, all I was doing was trying to whack it with a stick, it doesn’t really hurt!
I know, I’m the epitome of bravery.
That’s right, be jealous, it’s not like I’m a coward scared of a harmless little flying insect.
“Jag älskar dig McFly!” Did I mention Queenie was half Swedish? No? Must have slipped my mind. She also has a slight infatuation with McFly. Yeah, what a saddo. I really shouldn’t have let her have free reigns of the TV, of course she would switch it to the McFly channel. Still can’t believe they have their own channel. 24/7 McFly, oh the horror.
“Shut it Queenie, we all know that in a battle of the boybands, One Direction will always win,” Queenie loves McFly and I love One Direction, just the way it is. If only One Direction had a channel...
“One Direction split up in 2015, McFly are way better, and still going strong!”
“Yeah! Besides, why do you have all of their albums if you weren’t a fan?”
“They’re not mine, pfft, they’re my brothers,” I waved away the comment. Ha, what are you going to say to that huh?
“Why are they in your
room, with the labels, ‘Property of Sophie Carter, back off’ in red then?”
He, he, nervous laugh. He.
“For no reason absolutely whatsoever, now let’s get on to preparing,”
“Thought so,” I heard Queenie mutter in the background smug. Bitch please, I let you win that argument. One Direction are way better than McFly. Who am I kidding? McFly are awesome! I’m just a closet fan, I don’t particularly want to hear Queenie gloating about how she was right all along. Nuh uh, there is nothing worse than an arrogant Queenie.
“So, who’s your favourite?”
“We’re not getting into this Queenie,”
“Because Danny Jones is absolutely the most awesomest, he’s got like this lovely voice and he plays guitar,” I think Queenie just sighed. Like a fangirl. WTH?
“One, awesomest isn’t a word and two, have you seen Harry Judd? Huh? Have you? I mean come on, the dude is like the sexiest band member slash dancer slash drummer ever. ‘Tis blasphemy to say otherwise,”
Double oh yeah...
“We’ve got the plan ready now, I know how to get into The Target’s bedroom, but the only question is, what do I do before and after then? Operative Queenie?” I asked, still smirking from my win. She might have gotten me to admit my secret love of McFly, but I triumphed over her in the battle of the best member. Personally, I thought she would have put up more of a fight.
Hmn, suspicious, must watch back...
“How about do what you usually do,”
“ACT LIKE A SPAZ?! ARE YOU NUTS LADY?”
This was going to be a long day. My muse does not appreciate the delicate art that is investigation. Excuse me, whilst I think of an appropriate punishment for her.
“So, your mum’s an operative? And The F-Guru, really?” Queenie and I (mostly Queenie) were discussing the initiation of my mother into the case, whilst going down the stairs to commence Phase Two by having dinner with the Weasleys.
“Well, yeah, not that she knows she’s one. And she knows a lot about fashion, hence The F-Guru. I still don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing that she’s more knowledgeable in that department than me,”
Queenie sighed and rolled her eyes before promptly pushing me out of my house.
“Have fun, don’t mess up like usual!”
Grr. First, she insinuated my detective skills aren’t up to scratch, then, she shut the door in my face. My own house.
Emphasis on the my.
Why was I friends with her again? Oh yeah, she blackmailed me.
I walked the 10 steps to the Weasley front door and knocked. Silence. I waited. I knocked. Silence. I waited. I knocked. Loudly. I heard a faint ‘coming’ this time from the rear of the house, then the sounds of loads of locks being unlocked. I’ve been round hundreds of times but this is the first time since I started Operation Weasley, and the first time I’ve noticed. Huh. Maybe they’re under the Witness Protection Programme?
The door swung open to reveal Duckie who looked glamorous compared to my ratty, not so artfully ripped jeans and a Mizzou Tigers hoodie that belonged to my brother. At least I could be commended on the fact that my jeans were skinny rather than my usual baggy pair, meaning that I didn’t look like a tent tonight.
“Sophie! You came!” Duckie has an obvious fondness for exclamations. Everything she says ends in an exclamation mark. No joke.
“How could I not?” I smirked. I hope I don’t make a habit of smirking, first at Queenie, now at Duckie... It seems I also have a fondness for ellipsis...
Here’s the deal about Duckie. She’s petite, 5’3” and only 15, well soon to be 16 but still 15 at the moment. But she’s strong.
I mean it, she’s got the strength of a heavy weight boxer. She certainly doesn’t look it, being a midget and whatnot, but she is. One time, she knocked the Target out when they were arguing. He was taken away. In a stretcher. To the hospital. Plus, she’s also crazy which isn’t a good combination in my book. If I had one.
So, when Duckie showed the first signs of knocking me over with her superhuman strength, I braced myself for the onslaught of pain, the feeling of being hit by a double decker bus.
And when it came, I was ready.
5 seconds later, I was lying on the ground, Duckie gripping on tightly to my middle. I couldn’t even make an attempt to pry her fingers off of me! What is this, she’s gotten stronger since the Easter holidays! What have they been feeding her, only protein shakes?
“Sophie Sophie Sophie!”
“GET OFF OF ME YOU CRAZY CHILD!” Duckie leapt off me, her eyes wide in fear, whilst I glared her down. Yeah, that’s right. Be afraid. Be very-
“Ha Ha Ha!” I really, really
, need to work on my glare. How am I supposed to stare down a suspect I’m questioning in a bare interrogation room with an exposed light bulb now huh, if all they’ll do is burst into uncontrollable laughter? I always have to get the bad luck, look who I’ve got for next door neighbours, the Weasleys and the cat lady.
I get bad luck and I haven’t even broken any mirrors, walked under any ladders, had a black cat cross my path-
Wait, I have a black cat called Joey.
Screw you Joey, you make my life hell.
“Come on in, we’re having dinner outside today,”
Duckie hauled me off my back, pulling my arm out of its socket in the process. It’s all because of you Joey. All because of you.
We walked straight through the house and into the beautifully decorated garden. Flowers were in bloom everywhere, producing the most intoxicating scent, yet it wasn’t heady. Stings of bulbs were artfully strewn from the branches of trees, providing us with light and the table was laid with a cream cloth and a silver plate set. The Weasleys didn’t pull out the stops for me though; this was the only dinner set they had. It was fancy, or eat out of the pans with your hands.
Whoa, this place never fails takes my breath away. I look over the fence into my own garden and see nettles and weeds covering the ground and as tall as 4ft. No one’s been there for 10 years. I shudder to think what dead animals might be under that mess.
Yeah, I shuddered. Brave Sophie shuddered.
“Ah, Sophie! It’s been ages,” Ginger Ninja claps me on my shoulder, beaming widely.
“It’s been 3 hours George and I see you every day, it can never be ages,”
“You wound me so!” He cries in despair, clutching his hand over his heart. If Duckie loves exclamation marks, Ginger Ninja has a penchant for the dramatics.
I was passed onto another set of hands. The J-ster. She embraced me and clutched me almost as tightly as Duckie, but I doubt anyone is as strong as her.
“Sophie,” she crooned. “How are you?”
“I’m good Angie,” Angelina has always been a mouthful for me as a toddler so Angie just stuck. Yet again, I was embraced by another pair of arms. However, this time, I didn’t feel like suffocating and it felt right as I hugged him back.
The Target, otherwise known as Freddie Weasley.
We’d been to the same primary, and lived next door to each other our since we were toddlers. The best of friends. Not even his fancy pancy boarding school Hogwarts could separate us, we sent letters to each other practically every day. Of course, they had to go through The J-ster as I had no idea where the heck Hogwarts was, but it was a form of communication. Apparently they’re not allowed phones there so I couldn’t call. Bummer, I know. Where was I? Oh yeah, best friends, inseparable. He was nearly a whole year older than me, he was born on September 1st and I on August 31st. If I was born a day later, we could’ve been in different classes and not be as close as we are now.
I don’t know what that’d be like.
I breathed in his smell. He had a nice smell, all his own, a kind of musky smell. I’ve looked in perfume shops for that fragrance but I’ve never found it. I feel like it could replace air and I wouldn’t mind.
He held me at arm’s length as if to get a good look at me. I didn’t have to get a good look at him, I already know everything about that face, the small scar by his left eye, the dark brown of his eyes, the curves of his lips. Of course I would, what best friend would I be if I didn’t? Besides, I gave him that scar, I should know.
“Let’s sit down and eat,” The J-ster says and I prepare myself for a food marathon.
Because all the Weasleys eat like pigs and so do I.
“17 in a few weeks, how does that feel Soph?” Ginger Ninja asks and I reply with a non committal grunt before swallowing my food.
I am the poster girl of elegance, I know. I can see it now, bright lights, Sophie Carter, epitome of bravery and elegance.
“You should ask Freddie, he’s going to be 18,” I say, before delving back into the food. Seriously, The J-ster’s cooking is sublime. I could eat it all day. A world with The Target’s scent for air and The J-ster’s food nonstop- paradise, that’s what it would be. Utopia. Heaven. The J-ster’s food is even more impressive to me, since my mum’s food is mainly charred when it comes out of the oven.
The J-ster stands up and takes away the main dishes, saying that she’ll bring out dessert. I wipe my mouth on my napkin and excuse myself. I ‘need’ the toilet.
It’s time to scope out The Target’s bedroom.
Not that I haven’t been in there before, I just need to go through his stuff.
I pass The J-ster in the kitchen and run up the stairs like an elephant. I turn on the light in the bathroom, knowing it’ll be visible from the garden and rush into the Target’s bedroom opposite. It has the same musky smell that screams Freddie, unlike the stench that usually comes from my brother Dexter’s room. His room smells like something died in there, which, knowing him, it probably had. Poor creature only had to take one foot into the room.
I flick the light on. Where would The Target keep unusual stuff? Think, you should know Sophie.
Under the bed. Of course.
I lay on the carpet, my face flat against the floor. I see a mass of brightly packaged products but one thing vies for my attention above the others.
A wooden broomstick. Polished and streamlined.
Err, okay then.
I stand up to rummage through his drawers when my foot stands on something. I lift it up. If I’d have known that the little thing I stepped on was like a landmine, I would have kept my foot down. But I didn’t.
And I got rewarded with an explosion of fireworks. Big. Small. Red. Blue. Green. Catherine Wheels. Rockets. They were brilliant. They were all different. And they were all-
Very. Loud. Fireworks.
What to do, what to do! I’m going to get caught before I even get a valuable piece of info from tonight. Think back to Brownie training, you didn’t go for nothing. Why would I be in here? In The Target’s bedroom, accidentally setting off fireworks?
I spot a box of tissues, lying innocently on the dresser.
I have my plan.
When the Weasley family converge on me 10 seconds later, my nose is dripping blood and I dab away at it with a tissue. I could always give myself a nosebleed easily, it was my hidden talent. All I have to do it dig around my nostril for a bit with my nail and kazam! Instant blood. Not even The Target or Queenie knows about my talent, that’s how hidden it is.
“What happened?” The J-ster asks, not even gasping for air after the sprint up the stairs. If it were me, I’d be sweating and waving my arms about.
“I finished in the bathroom and came out onto the landing, where I started to get a nosebleed , so I rushed in here for a tissue, and some fireworks exploded and I don’t know how!” I gushed.
“I’ll take you home shall I?” The Target offers and before I could reply, takes me by the arm and whisks me away. Score, I got out of that one just fine. Would’ve been better if I didn’t set off the fireworks though.
We leave the room and the other three Weasley family members stand dazed in the doorway. I don’t think they’ve fully registered what has happened. For some unknown reason, I could tell The Target wanted to get out of there as much as I did.
When we walked the short distance into my house, The F-Guru opened the door and ushered me into the kitchen, where Queenie was eating my mum’s cooking, the burnt bits scraped off. Neither was surprised by my current state, and I would be lying if I said things like this don’t happen much.
Whilst my mum might not be the best cook in the world, she’s definitely a wiz with first aid, and she should be, what with all the practice I’ve given her over the years with my cut and bruises. She patched me up just fine whilst The Target and Queenie waited, The Target to see if I was alright, Queenie so she could know how dinner went.
Does the nosebleed tell you much?
“All better now,” The F-Guru announces and I see The Target sigh with relief. He’s never seen me bleed so much. Funny, I’ve never had a nose bleed around him ever, that’s strange.
“I best be going now Mrs C, Kelly,” The Target announces after a brief silence. He was never big on silences.
“It’s Louise, why doesn’t anybody call me Louise,” My mum grumbled under her breath.
“I’ll walk you to the door,”
When there, The Target gives me his trademark hug and disappears off into the night with a “Take care of yourself!” over his shoulder.
Jerk. Why is it everyone thinks I’m going to muck up some way or another?
So what if I always do?
It’s Joey’s fault, it’s all because of Joey!
I’m going to drown that cat one day, I’ll never complete a mission with him in my house. Thanks to him, all I’ve got out of Phase Two is that The Target keeps a broomstick under his bed and firework landmines on the floor.
What good is that?
Plus, I’ve got a nosebleed.
Okay, I gave it to myself, who cares?
It’s normal around here.
But then again, what is normal?
And why did The Target walk me over to my house and only say 10 words, not even leaving with some of mum’s cooking?
Fishy, very fishy.
No, I don’t smell fish.
A/N: Chapter Two, not my favourite but meh. Chapter Three will take a little longer but not too long hopefully, check my page for updates on how it’s going. Remember to review, I live off reviews and a dead author means no story ;)