The Enemy Zone
“I told you Malfoy’s a git,” Ron remarked, after Calvin had finished telling over the events of his nighttime adventure.
“Yes, I think I heard you say it a few times,” Harry said sarcastically. “Still, now at least our conversations with him make sense. The way he flipped back and forth between stuck-up rich kid and confused stranger did strike me as a bit odd, but I thought that was just him.”
“It is just him,” said Ron.
“It’s his father.” Hermione was chewing on the end ends of her hair, something she only did when something was really bothering her. “If what he said is true…that’s terrible.”
“Of course it’s not true,” Ron replied, scoffing. “He’s a Malfoy and a Slytherin, all they do is lie and manipulate people.”
“Sounded true to me,” Calvin told him. “I was there. I heard the way he talked. He was acting extremely paranoid, like he was absolutely terrified that someone would find out what he was saying, and that he was talking to me.”
“That’s probably why he split the second you guys heard someone,” Harry said.
“I bet that the entire time, his mind was just running through all the possible scenarios where you betrayed him, and he was found out,” Hermione hypothesized. “He was taking a huge leap of faith in meeting you, and he wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do, by the sound of it. So when he heard someone around the corner, he jumped to conclusions – the conclusions he’d been fearing all along. Paranoia will do that to people.”
“So you’re an expert on Malfoy now, are you?” asked Ron, raising an eyebrow.
“Oh, quit it, Ron. Draco at least confronted his misconceptions – you won’t even acknowledge yours exist.”
“Hmph,” he replied.
Calvin saw Fred and George climb into the common room through the hole of the Fat Lady’s portrait. He waved them over and regaled them with a slightly-embellished version of the previous night’s tale, then proposed a quest.
“Of course we’d love to see a gigantic three-headed dog!”
“I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday!
“Keep your voices down,” Harry told the twins, glancing around the common room.
“You guys cannot just go gallivanting around the third-floor corridor! It’s forbidden!” Hermione said, stomping her foot.
“We’re just going to a have a bit of a look, Hermione,” Ron replied, rolling his eyes.
“Don’t roll your eyes at me! You could get killed, or worse – expelled. I thought you didn’t care about the Philosopher’s Stone anyway – which you still don’t know anything about, because god-forbid you should ever do any research – seeing as it’s ‘safer than safe.'”
“Yeah, well, maybe it’s not – Calvin’s right, the thief could come back. And I thought you wanted to find out all about it!” shot back Ron.
“You’re only interested now because it’s dangerous,” Hermione said. “Typical boy.”
“Well I can guess why you’re not interested.”
“Because it’s dangerous!”
“Because it’s exciting.” Ron sneered. “Because it’s actually something here, something real – when it was all hypothetical, all out there beyond you, you were fine, but the minute it’s closer to your body than your brain, you flip out!”
“You should try thinking with your brain instead of your body for once!” she yelled at him.
“You should try something beside hiding behind a book for once!”
“Fine then, get yourself killed, see if I care. Just don’t come crawling to me the second you figure out you have no idea what you’re doing.”
“No problem there,” Ron said haughtily. Hermione stormed off.
“Wow,” commented Calvin, staring at the redhead. “You are really bad at the whole girl thing. Worse than I used to be, even.”
“What do you mean, the girl thing,” muttered Ron, plopping down into a deep armchair.
“Hermione,” said Calvin, pointing at the retreated witch. He leaned in close to Ron and said flatly, “She’s a girl.”
“I know that, but what’s it got to do with anything?” said Ron grumpily.
Calvin shook his head and glanced up at the twins. “You guys want to help me out here?”
They laughed. “Believe us, Destiny Boy, you’re not getting anything through that thick skull of his right now.”
“We gave up years ago.”
Calvin shrugged. “So,” he said, looking around at the twins, Ron, and Harry. “Who wants to take a trip to the forbidden third-floor corridor?”
The twins led them to secret shortcut, making them promise never to divulge the location to anyone.
“Hey, this is the way I got there last night!” exclaimed Calvin, squeezing into the narrow path.
“How’d you find it?” asked Fred. Or George. Let’s say George.
“I was running away from Filch.”
“Same here!” said Fred. “Only it was after we sprayed a dungbomb with catnip and bounced it down a hall after Mrs. Norris.”
“The best of times,” George said wistfully.
“When was that?” Harry asked, coming out at the other end and moving aside to let the rest of them through.
Fred came out behind him and stretched. “The second day.”
“You guys did that just two weeks ago?” asked Ron, popping out of the passageway.
“More like two years ago, little brother,” George clarified, exiting in front of Calvin.
Calvin dropped to the floor and turned to him. “Your second day of Hogwarts!? Awesome!”
“That’s it, then,” Harry said, pointing down the hallway to the large, nondescript door Calvin had encountered the night before.
Footsteps echoed from around the corner.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Calvin moaned, slamming the heel of his hand against his forehead.
“Quick, back into the passageway!”
They crammed themselves into the narrow path and spent an anxious couple of minutes squeezing their way through it as fast as they could. They came out behind a tapestry, and Harry held it aside as the others climbed out.
“Back to the tower,” Fred told them. “Flich knows the secret passages almost as well as we do.”
After the trek back, they slumped back into the comfortable chairs and couches of the Gryffindor common room.
“Well, that was disappointing,” Ron declared.
“Filch must be constantly patrolling those hallways,” said George.
“That’s probably because of last night,” grumbled Calvin, resting his chin on his hands.
“We’ll think of something to distract him,” Fred told them, grinning, and he and George headed off to their rooms.
“Anybody up for a game of wizard’s chess?” asked Ron.
“Sure,” answered Harry, and they began setting up the board, coaxing the pieces into place.
Calvin tried to pass the day with practicing the Summoning Charm and losing to Ron at chess, but his heart just wasn’t in it. He couldn’t stop thinking about, theorizing about, and daydreaming about the Philosopher’s Stone and its guard-dog. It sounded so mysterious, the ‘Philosopher’s Stone,’ but he had no idea what it did. He thought about what Hermione had said, and considered trying the ‘research’ method of obtaining information. This he quickly discarded in favor of asking Hermione to do it for him.
She refused, as he’d known she would, but he planned to ask her many more times. If all he did was badger her about doing research, she couldn’t very well just ignore him the way she was ignoring Ron, and, following the black-haired boy’s ‘discussion’ with her on behalf of his friend, Harry too.
“Come on, Hermione, what harm could looking through a few books do? I just want to know, you know?” She hesitated, but told him no.
“Guess what I want to do today,” he told her after classes on Tuesday. “Research about the Philosopher’s Stone! But I just don’t know how to go about it, and I wish someone would show me.” She was showing signs of giving in. But she didn’t.
He lost some ground on Thursday when Harry received a large, broom-shaped package during breakfast, that turned out to be…a broom, yes. Hermione, who definitely did not approve of the apparent reward for disobeying Madam Hooch’s instructions to remain on the ground, got rather frustrated when Calvin took Harry’s side.
As he, Ron, and Harry were walking out of the great hall with the wrapped broomstick, they were stopped in the hall by none other than Draco Malfoy.
“Mo!?” Calvin backpedaled into the wall.
“That’s Crabbe,” Harry whispered to him.
“Right, knew that. Draco, there you are!” Calvin said, relieved he’d finally found the blond-haired boy, who he hadn’t seen since the incident outside the trophy room. “I really di-”
“Shut it, you,” Draco told him coldly before pretending he didn’t exist. He turned to Harry. “You think you can just walk onto the Quidditch team and buy yourself a new broom to celebrate, Potter? Better think again. Crabbe, Goyle,” he said to the two hulking first-years at his side.
They stepped forward and wrested the broom from Harry.
“Don’t you dare,” said Harry.
“Give it back!” Ron yelled angrily.
“Or what,” Draco answered, his voice toneless.
“Or I’ll knock your teeth all the way to your room in the dungeons.”
The blond-haired boy gave an empty smirk. “You, Weasley? You couldn’t knock the the teeth out of a mosquito.”
“Draco, don’t do this,” warned Calvin. “I never told anyone about our meeting, I wouldn’t-”
“Do you know why I picked the trophy room?” Draco whirled on him, gritting his teeth together with enough force to obliterate a walnut made of adamantium. “Because Filch never patrols there. There is only one way for him to have known I was going to be there, and that’s if you told him.”
Calvin gave up on convincing the Slytherin that he hadn’t told Flich about the meeting, and instead tried to save Harry’s new broom.
“That broom is from Professor McGonagall, Draco. She bought it for Harry, so he could play on the Gryffindor team.”
“Is that supposed to make me happy for him? Now I’m even more inclined to have it meet a tragic end,” spat Draco, glaring at Calvin as if he could kill him by narrowing his eyes enough.
Calvin looked him in the eye. “If you do anything to it, we will go to her, and we will tell her what you did. And she will believe us, because there are a dozen witnesses in the Great Hall who saw us walk out with the broom still in its packaging, and Neville is in the common room, so he would know if we never reached it with the broom in hand. The only people more reliably truthful than him are the Marshmallows. In fact…” He stuck his head into the Great Hall and yelled, “CAN I GET A HUFFLEPUFF OVER HERE!”
Four or five curious Hufflepuffs peeled themselves away from their house table and walked over to Calvin, who motioned them into the hallway.
“This is Draco Malfoy,” Calvin said to them, pointing at Draco, who was scowling darkly at him. “He has just implied that he is going to in some way break, hide, or otherwise sabotage Harry’s broomstick.” He turned to Draco. “Do you deny this?”
“How the hell did you end up in Gryffindor, you backstabbing chimera,” Draco growled furiously, staring daggers at him. Then he grabbed the wrapped broom and shoved it at Harry, nearly knocking him off his feet. With one last sharp look at Calvin, he stalked off.
“Why won’t he believe me!” Calvin complained as the Hufflepuffs filed back into the Great Hall.
“As Hermione said, the, what were they called…preconceptions!” Harry said. “The preconceptions that his father instilled in him, they guide just about everything he does. So when you tell him ‘I didn’t do it’ he obviously thinks you’re lying.”
“So,” mused Calvin. “We have to instill some different ones in him, that’s what you’re saying.
“He said no such thing, mate,” Ron interjected quickly. “We’re not here to redeem Malfoy.”
Calvin turned to the redhead. “I’m not trying to redeem him, I’m just trying to manipulate him!”
“Er, what? So you don’t want to be friends with him?”
“No, I do – but if he doesn’t want to be friends with me, and I try to make him become friends with me anyways, that’s totally manipulation, not redemption.”
Calvin shrugged. “If I wasn’t, this would probably never work.”
“I’m going to go put this in the dormitory,” said Harry, hefting the broom. “I’ll meet you guys in Defense, Professor Quirrell doesn’t really seem to care if people are late.”
“We’ll come too! Anything to arrive late to class. Defense Against Speech Impediments is finally getting interesting, though,” commented Calvin.
“Good thing, too,” said Ron wryly. “If I had to go through one more class learning about how to knock out a lower-atmosphere jellyfish without killing it, or how to best distract a horde of howling swamp-bats, I might have pulled a Calvin and just walked out.”
“I don’t understand why you guys still go to History of Magic, though, seriously,” Calvin said, shaking his head in a disappointed manner.
They dropped off the broomstick and headed to Quirrell’s class, Ron and Harry talking Quidditch and Calvin remembering his promise to teach them Calvinball. All through Defense class, he daydreamed about different ways to initiate them into the game. It all came down to the spirit of Calvinball, though – they couldn’t have too much of an idea of what they were doing.
They stood outside of the castle in the afternoon sunlight, listening to Madam Hooch shout at them the proper way to descend from the air. As they moved on to hovering and turning, Calvin was struck by a number of thoughts.
This would be a great place to play Calvinball. Grassy, wide-open – it’s perfect. All I have to do is add the wickets and other props I brought in my trunk, and we’ll be set. What else can I do to- HOLLYCONTINENTALDRIFTWECANPLAYCALVINBALLWITHFLYINGBROOMS.
He’d gotten so excited at the thought of adding flying brooms to his epic game that he had inadvertently pulled upwards on his broom handle. He was now high above the rest of the class, and Madam Hooch was yelling at him to get down that very instant.
Trying to ease the broomstick towards the ground, Calvin leaned down just a little. The broom shot downwards like a crazed bottle-rocket. “SPIFF IS HIT, HE’S GOING DOWN! OUR HERO TRIES DESPERATELY TO REGAIN CONTROL OF HIS SHIP, BUT THE CONTROLS SEEM TO BE ONLY A BROOM HANDLE THAT DOESN’T RESPOND TO ANY AMOUNT OF VOICE-COMMANDS, AND IS STUCK IN THE DOWN POSITION. AS SPIFF NEARS THE GROUND, HE REALIZES HE ONLY HAS ONE CHOICE: EJECT OR DIE!”
“You aren’t going to make a habit of this, are you?” Madam Pomfrey asked him, hands on her hips. Calvin hastily shook his head. The medi-witch could be extremely intimidating when she wanted to. “Good. Yet again, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of injuries, though I did notice a badly-healed sprained wrist…” She raised an eyebrow inquiringly.
“The Hospital Wing is here for accidents other than crashing a broomstick into classmates, you know.” She walked off, muttering about irresponsible kids and the hazards of letting them fly.
“Wonder what she meant by ‘crashing them into classmates.'” Calvin said to himself. “Weird.”
“Hey, Calvin, could you-”
“AH!” Calvin jerked around, heartbeat increased by thirty-five percent. “Seriously, Neville. You have got to get that under control.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I will do my best,” the round-faced boy said, massaging his bandaged leg. “Could you get me a glass of water? I would, only I’m not allowed to stand up for another eight hours.”
Calvin got up and went to fill a glass of water with water from the tap. As he handed it to Neville, he said, “What happened to you?”
“Do you really just not remember anything that happens during flying lessons?”
“Of course I do. So what happened?”
Neville sighed. “Well, I actually managed to get out of the way this time, as you fell out of the sky like a dragon whose wings suddenly disappeared.”
“So how’d you get hurt?”
He stared at Calvin with a complete lack of expression. “You decided to jump off of your broom. At the last second. Straight at me.”
“What was I supposed to do, not eject? It’s not a sinking ship, Neville, and as a space explorer I have a duty to keep myself alive.”
“No, no, it’s not your- okay, it is your fault, but I honestly don’t mind that much. I realized I hate flying lessons.”
“Why’s that?” Calvin asked, going to sit down on his own bed.
Neville gave a shudder. “The second my feet left the ground I had my entire life flash before my eyes, each year like a series of silent pictures. I glimpsed my own mortality, Calvin, in that moment.” He went quiet, and took a breath. “And then my stomach flipped and I felt like I was going to hurl. That’s when I decided flying wasn’t for me.”
“That’s a tale to tell the grandkids, all right,” Calvin commented, leaning back onto his pillow.
They rested in silence for a bit, until Calvin spoke again.
“I wonder what the last hour and fifty-five minutes of flying lessons is like.”
“I bet there’s loads of flying,” answered Neville humourlessly.
Friday arrived like a vampire bat alighting on a branch in the shadows of the night, only to have the branch break off and send the bat plummeting into a field of singing melons.
“Your assignment, boy,” the Destroyer of Hope drawled, “should be a direct copy of what is on the board. Please try to improve your eyesight, or I will be forced to keep you away from potions and automatically fail you.” Snape looked away, and spoke without inflection. “It would be the greatest of tragedies and I would be saddened beyond belief.” He walked on, checking on the other students’ cauldrons.
Calvin tried to remember how many points he’d gotten that week. When he finished counting, he nodded to himself and left his desk, strolling over to Draco.
“Draco, I ne-”
“I will dismember you into a thousand pieces and drop you into this cauldron.” The blond Slytherin’s eyes were wide, red tinging the edges. The veins around them stood out against his pale skin. Calvin gulped, and retreated to his desk.
“One point from Gryffindor for interrupting a classmate,” the Potions master said in a bored voice.
“What!? He was clearly incredibly distressed by my interruption – that calls for at least five points, I’d say,” complained Calvin.
Snape stared at him with heavy-lidded eyes for a few seconds. “Five points from Gryffindor for arguing with a teacher,” he intoned. Then he went back to grading papers.
“I cannot believe you are doing this,” Hermione whispered, crushing a pile of sliced tubers with the flat of her knife.
The spiky-haired boy settled into his chair and dipped his quill into the inkpot at the corner of the desk. “The Monarch of Misery and I have an understanding of sorts. Which is why I am about to write a step-by-step guide on how to wash one’s hair.”
At the end of class, Calvin dropped the assignment onto Snape’s desk and skipped out of the room. Snape looked at the parchment, his features hardening.
“Ten points from Gryffindor.”
When everyone left, he sighed to himself and slumped onto the desk, mumbling, “Not that it’ll do any good.”
“Okay, everybody listen up!”
They were back in the grassy clearing used for flying lessons. Calvin was holding a white volleyball and standing on top of his trunk. Harry, Hermione (who still wasn’t talking to Harry or Ron, and wasn’t all that happy with Calvin), Ron, Dean, and Seamus waited patiently on the grass.
“I’ve never played with this many people before, but I’m sure it’ll work just fine. Here are some things you have to know. The first rule of Calvinball is don’t talk about- no seriously though, the first thing to know is that you can’t play Calvinball without wearing–” he pulled a length of black cloth out of his pocket. “One of these.”
“Is that a scarf?” asked Seamus.
“There’s no way you’re getting me to wear a scarf, mate,” said Ron with a shake of his head.
“It’s not a scarf,” Calvin said, tying it around his head. “It’s a mask!” It covered from his brow to around halfway down his nose, with neat little holes cut out for his eyes.
“Any game where you get to wear masks is all right by me,” Dean said happily, taking his own mask from Calvin.
“Why masks?” asked Harry, receiving one.
“DO NOT QUESTION THE MASKS!”
Once everyone had theirs on, Calvin returned to the top of his trunk. “Second thing to know! This is the Calvinball.” He held up an ordinary white volleyball. “Got it?” Everyone nodded with differing levels of enthusiasm. “Okay, that’s it.”
“What do you mean that’s it?” Hermione asked, shifting her mask. “How do you play the game?”
“Oh, right, I forgot. One more thing: you can never play the same way twice.”
“But how do you play!?”
“Any way you want! Now come help me set up the field!”
Hermione sighed exasperatedly. “There have to be rules,” she huffed, as everyone helped Calvin unload all manner of objects from his trunk compartments.
“You brought a traffic cone?” Harry said bemusedly, placing the orange pyramid on the grass. “How do you even get one of those?”
“There are a lot of flags here,” Ron commented, dumping an armful of the things onto the ground.
“Stick them in the grass all around the field,” Calvin told him.
“What’s the bucket for?” asked Dean.
“Anything you want!”
“What’s this thing?”
“Doesn’t look like any bird I’ve ever seen.”
“Isn’t this what muggles use for catching fish?”
“That’s a lacrosse stick.”
“How many of these do we need?”
“Oh, those are the wickets! Use all of them, stick them into the ground like the flags. Make a path or spread them out, whatever you want.”
“Are these bedsheets?”
“For going undercover.”
“This is just a stick.”
“It’s a pole!”
“What’s with the long hammers?”
“They have many uses. I stole them from my parents’ croquet set.”
“A cardboard box?”
“Two, actually! I’ll set them up.”
“This is a rock, Calvin.”
“Good eye, Ron.”
“Oo, a frisbee!”
“It’s actually a discus.”
“Where do I put the bags?”
“Potato sacks, not bags–hide ’em somewhere!”
Calvin turned a full circle, examining the field. Not bad, not bad. “Now, sing along with me as I recite the Calvinball theme song!” He cleared his throat.
“Other kids’ games are all such a bore!
They’ve gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It’s never the same! It’s always bizarre!
You don’t need a team or a referee!
You know that it’s great, ’cause it’s named after me!”
Then he chucked the Calvinball at Dean. “Dean’s been hit with the Calvinball in the Mandatory Retaliation Zone! If he doesn’t hit someone back in the next ten seconds, he has to let me act out the scene from Hamlet where he gets his head chopped off as the Uncle!”
“What!?” yelled Ron.
“Cool!” exclaimed Dean, bonking Ron on the head from four meters away. “Ron’s the Field Monster until he gets a bucket over someone’s head!”
“Oogity Zap-Wap Billitong-Pa!” screamed Calvin. “I’ve got the red team’s flag!”
“Who’s on the red team?” shouted Harry, scooping up the bucket while running by, before Ron could get to it.
“Nose goes!” said Seamus, touching his finger to his nose and catching the flag Calvin tossed to him.
“What is going on,” whispered Hermione, watching her friends devolve into nonsense-spouting and running around screaming unintelligibly.
“Just run with it,” Harry told her, handing her a rock. “Try to have fun.”
“This is the Messenger Rock. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get this rock to Ron without anyone noticing.” He caught her eye and smiled. “Do you understand, Agent Granger?”
Hermione smirked, then put on a more serious expression. “Yes sir, you can count on me!”
That was when Ron came up behind Harry and dumped a second bucket over his head. This one was filled with water.
“That’s another point for the Rotary Villain,” announced Seamus, grabbing the discus off the ground. “Now I’m him, right?”
“You’ve got at least Sparkly-Poo by now, I reckon,” said Ron, calmly crab-walking away.
“You’ve crawled into the Battle Zone, Ron,” Harry said with an evil chuckle, throwing off the Blanket of Forced Ignorance from where he’d been lying under it.
“What’s it this time,” asked Ron, narrowing his eyes. He climbed to his feet, eyeing Harry. “Charades to the Death? Float-a-Competitor?”
Harry took a step forward and thrust his hand out towards Ron, pointer finger extended. “I CHALLENGE YOU TO A GAME OF ROCK-PAPER-SCISSORS-LUMOS THUMB WARS!”
“Psst, Ron, take this Messenger Rock. Get it to Seamus without anyone knowing.”
“Got it,” the redhead whispered back, taking the rock.
“I said it before, no secrets during Teamplay!”
“It ended ten minutes ago!”
“But Harry found the TARDIS Zone, so we’re back at the beginning!”
“You didn’t use the word ‘it,’ that’s the end of Vorpal Vocab!”
“Quick, tell us the last thing you added to your fantasy schedule, Calvin!”
“I CREMATE THE JABBERWOCK EVERY TUESDAY!” screamed Harry.
“Harry stole my Spotlight Thunder, that’s a violation!”
“I call Desperation Plea on that!” shouted Hermione.
“Motion passed!” bellowed Ron.
“It’s getting dark, the Twilight Zone Zone has been activated!” shouted Calvin, somersaulting around the Acrobat Pole.
“No declarin’ new zones in da Stasis Zone, ARGH ME MATEY!” Hermione yelled, tiptoeing around a bright pink wicket.
“Cross-rule Penalty!” Dean yelled back. “Pirates aren’t allowed in the Tulip Zone!”
“The Twilight Zone Zone is activated under the rule of the Falsely Accused Feel-Bad Session!” Harry called. “Sound off!”
“One! Calvin’s great at magic, his prowess makes me sigh!”
“Two! It would be oh-so tragic if tonight he were to die!”
“Three! His zones are full of flags, his poems do inspire!”
“Four! If he were to make a swing, it would be made out of a tire!”
“Tiebreaker between Dean and Hermione, COMMENCE!”
“You’re holding the Flag of Mysterious Impulses!” hollered Dean quickly. “You have to eat a sandwich before you can say anything!”
“As you are standing in the Slow-Mo Zone, your words have not yet reached me – but you invoked the Ancient Flag Magic, so you have to make a worthy sacrifice to the Flag Deity before you can say anything!” Hermione hurriedly ran around the field, spinning through a square set-up of wickets and stopping to kick the Calvinball into a bucket, which took her a few tries.
When she returned to her Operations Base Headquarters Cave, she dropped the supplies she’d gathered in her robe. Slices of bread tumbled onto the ground, along with cheese, a small jar of olives, and a vial of the black sludge topping. She hastily spread the sludge over the first slice of bread.
“The Voices of the Pantheon of Calvinball hereby declare Sir Lord Duke Dean’s sacrifice to be adequate,” chorused Harry, Ron, Seamus and Calvin. “And do sentence him to confinement in the Zone of Mere Adequacy until he has completed the Preparational Tasks of Zewlog!”
Dean rushed over the Zone of Mere Adequacy, stopping on the way to pick up a yoga mat. He set it down next to a traffic cone and began to stretch.
Hermione, meanwhile, had just slapped the second piece of bread onto her completed sandwich. She began to devour it in large, messy bites.
“Oh Zewlog of the mighty Tasks, might I answer someone’s asks?” warbled Dean.
“What is your favorite name?” asked Ron.
“What is your quest?” asked Harry.
“To perform the Preparational Tasks of Zewlog!”
“What is your social security number?” asked Seamus.
“Trick question, that’s a secret and Teamplay’s been in effect for only eight minutes so far!”
“What would you do for a Klondike bar?” asked Calvin.
“You may start your next task!”
Dean picked up the traffic cone and put it on his head, then pulled out his wand. “Wingardium Leviosa!” A horseshoe floated up from around the Acrobat Pole, and he directed it over to the bucket. It dropped in with a hollow thunk.
Wiping her mouth, Hermione stood up and yelled, “No utilizing anything blue while casting spells! That’s a Hyperspecific Outlaw violation! I invoke Alien Overlord Law Eleventy-Eight B, and postpone the end of the game!”
After wearily packing everything away into the trunk, the six of them headed up to Gryffindor tower. Calvin was oddly pensive.
“I feel like there was something missing,” he told Ron as they climbed the stairs.
“Well, I know Fred and George would absolutely love to join in next time.”
“Something I’ve forgotten…”
“We did forget to go see Hagrid,” Harry pointed out rather sheepishly.
It was a few seconds before anyone noticed that Calvin had stopped walking.
“Uh, Calvin?” said Ron, looking back down the stairs at where the spiky-haired boy had frozen mid-step.
“Are you okay?” Hermione asked.
“Lingering effects of the Freeze-Tag Dowsing?” suggested Dean.
“Calvin, speak to me,” Harry said, walking down and shaking Calvin’s shoulder.
“Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” Calvin replied, right eye twitching.
“What’s wrong?” Seamus asked.
His mouth opened and closed, opened and closed. Then he turned to them, eyes showing a fear greater than any of them had ever experienced. “I’ve made a terrible mistake.”
“Calvin, what did you do?”
Calvin gulped, visibly trembling. “Do any of you know how wizarding wills work?”
“I do,” Hermione answered tentatively. “Why, Calvin? What’s this all about?”
He sank to the floor, curling into a ball, whispering over and over again, “I’ve made a terrible mistake…”
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