Jake Morent

Can you paint with all the colors of the Death Tower?

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"Hey Kaelyn?" Jake called out, looking up as he saw his fellow Gryffindor walking by the library table where Jake had gotten himself set up with his art supplies.

 

"What color do you think a Death Tower should be?" he asked, looking down thoughtfully at the pieces of felt. "I'm making a flag for my team." 

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"Oh, hey, Jake!" Kaelyn smiled widely at the sight of her friend, the spell she'd gone into the library to research already forgotten about.  She would remember it later when she looked down at her hand; it was written there.

 

Kaelyn wandered over to his table instead.  Death Tower sounded tall and ominous and scary and bloody and horrible to her.  So naturally...

 

"Something fun, and bright! Like neon yellow or orange.  You've gotta catch people's attention, right?"

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"Hm....maybe...." Jake said putting his fist to his chin, deep in thought.  "I don't think it's SUPPOSED to be fun though..." the boy said, sounding maybe a little disappointed. "It's a DEATH tower, so I think it's supposed to be scary. So I was thinking maybe like black and red or something..." Those were the two scariest colors that Jake could think of. Black - the color of darkness. And red - the color of...blood

 

 

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"Red would be good," said Kaelyn, who didn't much like the idea of black.  Black was boring, but she supposed it was deathly.

 

"But the tournament is supposed to be fun."  Death, not so much, but just because the word was Jake's team name didn't mean anybody was going to die.

 

... right?

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"Fun...?" Jake repeated, a little doubtfully. He hoped that Kaelyn was right, but...

 

"I-I dunno...Death Tower? Crystal Skull? Spider Assassin? Doom Volcano?" Jake read off, with absolute deadly seriousness and a hint of dread in his voice that only the words 'doom volcano' could bring. "That doesn't sound so fun to me..." 

 

"I guess Ninja Dragon is kinda cool though...that's Grace's team. Hold on...look," Jake said, fumbling down for his sketchbook, and flicking through until he came to a sketched out cartoon dragon wearing a ninja headband and holding throwing stars between its claws. "Maybe I should make her a flag too, after ours." It was possible his team-mates might think he was helping the enemy, but he WASN'T helping the enemy he was helping his friend! 

 

"Ya know, you can make one too if ya wanna I have lots of extra felt," he said, pointing. 

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Weelllllll.  When Jake put it that way, of course it sounded a bit dangerous.

 

"Wow, Jake, that looks really good!" Kaelyn said of his sketch, and flopped into the seat beside him at the invitation.  Like every other person in the tournament, she was a bit jelly that her team hadn't been named the Ninja Dragons. But no matter... Spider Assassins were pretty fierce too. (Once you figured out that they were actually ferocious spiders who were also assassins and not assassins of spiders, that was.)

 

"Thanks," she said, selecting some purple felt for her team. (Spiders could be purple!)  "Do you mind if I make one for Toby's team too?"  He was on Team Tiger Fang.  Jake couldn't say anything if she decided to use orange for that.

 


Edited by Kaelyn Paddock

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Jake smiled at Kaelyn's compliment as he put down the sketch book and slid over to make more room for her. "Thanks," he said sincerely as he looked back at his materials. As Kaelyn took the purple felt, the boy nodded in approval. Purple was one of Jake's favorite colors, but it was probably not going to be getting used on HIS flag. Kaelyn was team Spider Assassin, if he remembered right. He wasn't sure that there were purple spiders, but there COULD be purple assassins probably, so it was a good choice. 

 

"O-Oh yeah, um...Toby...er...that's fine" Jake said, looking at Kaelyn with a new interest now. Even if Jake wanted to say no, it would have been rude to deny Kaelyn when she had asked so nicely. But at the mention of the Ravenclaw, Jake had nothing but questions on his mind. He tried to think of the best way to ask what he wanted to ask. 

 

"I uh...I saw you guys together. Are you like...you know...um...what's going on?" Jake asked, although he thought he knew the answer. Kaelyn and Toby had been close friends before, but from what Jake had seen, he was pretty certain that that was NOT something that any friends did.

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Kaelyn was hard at work drawing a spider holding knives.  She wasn't as good an artist as Jake, so the effect of it was a drawing of a spider with extremely long toenails.  Her team had better appreciate her hard work.

 

"Oh, yeah," she flushed happily, as she tended to do these days at the thought of Toby.  "We're dating now.  So what do you think?" She held up her drawing for his approval (or criticism, but mind you her ego could be fragile).

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So it WAS true...

 

"I think....I think....um....w-well...he's not that nice..." Jake said, not knowing what to say. 

 

For some reason it didn't occur to him that Kaelyn was asking him about the drawing.

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WHAT???!?!  It was too nice!!  It had eight legs and a fuzzy body and a mean, ferocious assassin face and - 

 

Oh. He was talking about Toby.

 

Kaelyn gave Jake one of those exasperated looks that parents gave their children when they said something silly, except if her look could talk it would say 'really, Jake? You too?'  It couldn't talk so Kaelyn talked instead, except she said, "He can be nice."

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Jake could tell that he was going into dangerous territory from the look on Kaelyn's face, but what was he supposed to say...? She HAD asked him...

 

Kaelyn said that Toby could be nice. And maybe that was true. It must have been true for Kaelyn to like him so much. And when he had dueled Jake, hadn't he been nice then? That had been weird and confusing....it hadn't at all been what Jake had expected. But why ever Toby had acted nice then, that hadn't been how he'd acted in class.  


"Maybe he's nice to you, and to Silas...but he's sure not nice to Grace," Jake pointed out, his eyes darkening a little. "I mean...you shouldn't be nice just sometimes..." Jake said, worried that any moment Kaelyn's expression was going to turn a lot angrier. 


Edited by Jake Morent

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It was the same argument she’d heard many times before: Toby was only nice to some people. He was a jerk to other people.  Sometimes Kaelyn wanted to smack Toby up the side of his head for loving to rile people up so much, but lately all she wanted to do was kiss him.

 

“He just likes to tease,” Kaelyn tried to explain, her patience still intact for now.  “He teases me too, and Silas.  I guess he teases Grace a bit too much.”  Plus she gets to be a bit annoying at times, she almost wanted to add, but stopped herself just in time.  

 

“He was nice enough to her the other day,” she offered up instead.  “When we were in the forest with her.” 

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"Tease...?" Jake repeated doubtfully. Jake knew a lot about 'teasing'. Jake got 'teased' a lot. Maybe not by Toby, but by others. And teasing maybe sounded like fun and games, but it didn't always feel like it. A lot of times, 'teasing' was just a nice word for 'bullying' wasn't it? It wasn't teasing that time he had pushed Grace in a pool, or that times he had cast spells at her when she was shackled. Or when he called her---

 

“He was nice enough to her the other day. When we were in the forest with her.” 

 

"Wh...huh? Whaddaya mean?" Jake asked, confused. "The forest...? What were you doing in the forest? When?"

 

Jake didn't know everything Grace did all the time obviously but why would she have gone anywhere with Toby? He was pretty sure if she did THAT, he would know. He had been with her a lot the last few days...the whole thing didn't make very much sense. 

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“Oh, she didn’t tell you?” Kaelyn asked, although the question was meant to be rhetorical.  She was focused on drawing a tiger with sharp fangs for Toby’s team so she didn’t notice the confused expression on Jake’s face.

 

“Yeah, it was like… a couple weeks ago or so, I think.  Right before Toby and I made things official,” she added, as if that reference point in time meant something to anyone other than her.  “Toby and Grace had some plan to meet after curfew or something, I don’t even know why, something about Grace being upset because her mum’s a prof now or something,” she waved the explanation off with her hand, having not been too bothered by it after being sure the reasons were innocent (or, well, not innocent but… not romantic anyway).  “So anyway, Toby asked me to come and so I did. It was actually kind of fun.”

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If Kaelyn's head had come out of her flag, she would have seen that Jake had stopped working on his. The boy stared as he took in everything that Kaelyn was saying, unbelievable as it seemed.

 

No...she hadn't told him. Kaelyn sounded like she thought maybe he'd know, but Grace hadn't said anything at all. It made Jake wonder. How much stuff DID Grace actually tell him? He had thought the answer was a whole lot...but he hadn't known about it last time either. He had only found out then because she'd gotten caught. Now, she went BACK to the forest after curfew? Even after those detentions she'd gotten and how upset her mum had been? That had been two years ago, but then she hadn't done it again, or at least Jake THOUGHT she hadn't. Last time she'd done it for snogging, but surely Grace and Toby wouldn't be....they wouldn't do...THAT, would they?? No. That wouldn't make a bit of sense. Especially not with Kaelyn there. But then WHY? NONE of it made sense. Could it be a different Toby? Or a different Grace? 

 

"Well....what did you guys do....?" Jake asked, his voice quiet. 

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Kaelyn accidentally made one fang longer than the other and was frowning at it in concentration and trying to remember the correct incantation of the charm that might fix it.

 

“Oh, you know,” she said, now going over the shorter fang with the marker in the effort to make it longer.  “Hang out.  Talk.  Toby brought some fizzing whizzbees and some butterbeer,” she used her non dominant hand to make quotation marks in the air with her fingers as she said the word ‘butterbeer’.  “It was really nice!  I had a great time!  Well, until the gytrashes found us, of course.  And Grace’s mum.”

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"What?!" Jake gasped, looking up, his reaction to the gytrashes somehow surpassed by his reaction to the words 'Grace's mum'.  Now he was SURE that this was all wrong. It was probably some kind of weird dream that Kaelyn had, and then thought was real or something. It had to be didn't it? Because Grace, the last time he checked, was very much alive, and so it seemed pretty unlikely that Mrs. Foster had found her in the forbidden forest after dark. Grace could hide a lot of things from Jake, but there was no WAY she could hide the grounding of the century. 

 

Jake continued to stare at Kaelyn looking for a clue of what the truth was. That just couldn't be true about the gytrashes...gytrashes were really dangerous. 

 

"Um...are you sure? Are you just kidding or something?" Jake asked. He didn't get it the joke if she was, but there didn't seem to be many other choices, and he didn't always get when people were joking. "Grace's mum would have freaked out. I mean like the last time, when she was with L---" Jake paused, remembering suddenly that that was a sensitive topic, and remembering the awful rift that it had caused between Kaelyn and Grace back then. "You know, the last time..." he said awkwardly.

 

(It was a good thing that the meaning of Kaelyn's air quotes around 'butterbeer' was lost on him, or surely the boy's head would have exploded.) 

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Kaelyn wasn’t kidding about the gytrashes, and was enjoying Jake’s reaction to hearing about them (or rather his reaction to Grace’s mum, although she didn’t know that).  “Oh yes. Two of them, maybe even more.  Big ones!  One lunged for us and I got it with my wand.  Then Grace got the other one.”

 

It had been kind of scary at the time, but since they escaped from it perfectly unscathed, it seemed like such a fun story to tell now.  As for the mention of Grace and Luke’s camping trip, the incident had happened almost two years ago so Kaelyn didn’t think about it much anymore.  So when Jake brought it up, her first reaction was that of confusion.  “The last time?  Does she do this a lot or something?”

 

Post 2100 for you <3


Edited by Kaelyn Paddock

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This time it WAS the gytrashes that Jake was stunned by, as Kaelyn continued to talk about them, sounding very very serious. Jake knew what gytrashes were, since he'd read about them. He had no idea they lived in the forest. But he did know how deadly they could be.

 

"The last time?  Does she do this a lot or something?”

 

"No...I...I mean, I don't know...!" he said honestly. "But...if her mum came...then what did she say?? I mean...I mean gytrashes are dangerous! They can bite you, ya know. And if you get bit hard..." he said, giving a solemn look, not wanting to finish. "You guys could have gotten really hurt...Why were you out there? I mean...you're a prefect, right? So...so why'd you guys go out there like that? And...how come nobody's in trouble? " 

 

He still tried to put something together to make sense of all the things that Kaelyn was telling him, but none of the pieces seemed to add up.

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“Oh, well…” Kaelyn frowned now, thinking back to the incident.  It had happened a couple weeks ago, so other than all the initial fun and danger, she didn’t remember too many details.  “Well, she said she saw my sparks, and… I don’t remember.  She wanted to talk to Toby for some weird reason so I went back to the castle with Grace.”  Kaelyn forgot to mention that Grace had been disguised as Addison at the time, in her telling of the tale.

 

“And I don’t know, I guess Grace and Toby decided they wanted to go so Toby brought me along.  Oh, I remember how we got out of trouble!  We told Grace’s mum that her and I were out patrolling, and she tripped and was hurt, and I sent up the red sparks so Toby came running and that’s how there were three of us out there.  What do you think?”  She held up the flag she’d been making for Toby for Jake to inspect, even though he hadn’t much to say about her other one.

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This time, Jake DID realize that Kaelyn was asking him about her drawing, but he was a little bit distracted by the other things she had said. And so all he could manage was a noncommittal "Yeah, it's good...." without the usual attention and excitement that he would have given it under any other circumstances. 

 

They didn't get in trouble because Grace was patrolling...? But why would GRACE be patrolling? She wasn't a prefect (even if she should have been). "Are you even allowed to take other people on patrol with you...?" Jake asked, shaking his head. Had Mrs. Foster really been ok with that? "But Kaelyn...why was she going with Toby anyways? How'd that happen?" he asked, in case maybe she knew. There had to be more to the story than met the eye..."She didn't tell me any of this stuff...." he admitted. Jake once again wondered if he knew less about his best friend than he thought he did...

 

Jake remembered the things that Grace's mum had said, back in her office near the beginning of the school year. How Grace had seemed different since coming back to school. How easy it was for teens to get mixed up with the wrong people, and put themselves into danger. Jake definitely didn't think Kae was the 'wrong people', but Toby was another story. 'You'd be surprised what teenagers can get into' ...that's what Mrs. Foster had said, wasn't it? The words replayed uneasily in Jake's head. He hadn't thought Grace could ever end up like Columbia...but hadn't she just come close to being gytrash food? They ALL had...Kaelyn too. And if the prefects couldn't be counted on to protect everybody, then who could? 

 

"I knew the forest was dangerous at night...you guys won't go back, right?"

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Kaelyn inspected her flags more critically.  They weren’t good, but they weren’t bad either, she decided.  She capped the marker she was using as Jake continued on with his questions.  Too bad Toby hadn’t thought to invite Jake along for their adventure, Kaelyn decided.  Maybe if he had been there too, she wouldn’t need to paint such a clear picture of what had happened for him to understand.

 

“Oh, she wasn’t patrolling,” Kaelyn clarified.  “That was just the story we told her mum, you know.  Didn’t want her getting in trouble and all.  Her mum didn’t figure it out.  Guess she made a pretty convincing Addison.”

 

As for why Grace was going with Toby, even Kaelyn couldn’t answer that question.  All she knew was that if Toby hadn’t invited her along, and she found out after the fact he was going into the forest with Grace at night, she wouldn’t be sitting here decorating a flag for him right now.  She’d be stomping off on him while he tailed after her, begging her for mercy. (Did Toby ever beg anyone for mercy? Meh, details.)

 

“I’m sure she just forgot to tell you, or thought it was no big deal,” Kaelyn said kindly.  It wasn’t like she’d woken everyone up after she got back from their little expedition all “HEY GUYS GUESS WHAT I JUST DID?”  Or maybe Grace just felt bad she hadn’t invited Jake?  If that was the case then whoops, maybe Kaelyn shouldn’t have told him all about it.  How insensitive.

 

“We don’t plan to go back, no,” Kaelyn answered.  “But if we do we’ll invite you next time, don’t worry.”  She patted him on the arm.  Poor Jake, it was so hard to find out when you’ve been left out.

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Jake narrowed his eyes. Addison...? What did Addison have to do with anything? Did Grace's mum think she was Addison? How dark WAS it that night? If she didn't know it was Grace then it kind of made sense...it almost made MORE sense than any other option. So then...Mrs. Foster might not even know what had happened AFTER all. Somehow, they had tricked her.  

 

“I’m sure she just forgot to tell you, or thought it was no big deal,”

 

"Yeah, maybe...." Jake agreed weakly, though he didn't really believe it. Nobody just forgot to talk about getting attacked by gytrashes, and of course it was a big deal.  No...she didn't forget to tell him. She just didn't want to. Probably because of what had happened the last time, when they had fought about it. And if he confronted Grace now it just might make things worse, though it'd be practically impossible not to ask her about Toby - after all, Kaelyn didn't even have an explanation for that part.

 

This sounded like the kinds of things Mrs. Foster wanted to know about, and if it was just the forest it would be one thing. But if what Kaelyn said was all true - that she HAD shown up and they had tricked her - then the idea of Mrs. Foster finding out the truth was too much for Jake to think about. She'd be fuming mad, and then what would she do to Grace? He couldn't tell her...but if he didn't, what if Grace did it again? And Kaelyn too? And then next time they weren't so lucky with the gytrashes?

 

Jake's eyes rose in surprise as Kaelyn said that she would invite him along if it happened again. Hadn't she been listening...? He opened his mouth to tell her, but as Kaelyn patted him on the arm, it came to him in a flash. The solution to his problems. Jake paused for a moment, gathering his thoughts. His whole life, Jake could almost never tell a lie. And what he was about to do felt like lying, even if it wasn't really. It was a trick too...in a way. But...but...it was the only way. 

 

"Yeah....um, okay. Do you promise you will?" Jake asked her delicately, looking to Kaelyn with hopeful eyes as he waited for an answer. If they do.... Jake thought to himself. I can try to stop them. And if I can't....if I have to...I can tell Mrs. Foster. 

 

"Um, I'm gonna go upstairs for a little bit. I'm not done yet, but...I don't really feel so well," Jake said, which wasn't a lie. "I can come back and finish another time, but yours looks really good though." he said - also not a lie. "You can keep working on it if you want, but just bring my stuff back to Gryffindor Tower, okay?" he requested. "Bye Kaelyn, see ya later," he said, as he collected his partial flag.


Edited by Jake Morent

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“Sure,” Kaelyn promised without really knowing what she was getting herself into, and started adding ninja stars to her team’s flag. 

 

“Oh, okay.  Feel better, Jake! I’ll take care of your things, don’t worry.  See you later!”

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