Jake Morent

War Stories

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Jake slept very deeply, as the heated blankets warmed him, fighting the awful cold that had taken root deep inside. Gradually his shivering had stopped, his chest rising and falling slowly as his body recharged and recovered in a peaceful rest. It was a while before he began to stir once more.

 

The Gryffindor boy rubbed his eyes groggily, as he looked up at the ceiling above him. Or…the canvas. For a while Jake stared up, confused...Where was he…? A tent…? He slowly began to realize that he was wrapped tightly in the warmest blanket he’d ever slept in, as a cat purred softly at his side. The fog slowly began to clear from his mind....the hospital tent…It all began coming back. He was in the hospital tent after the task. Jake didn't even remember lying down...that's how tired he had been. But that had to be where he was. He closed his eyes and took a moment to appreciate the chance to lie still in a bed. He didn't feel like he could move...but he didn't have to, and that was the greatest relief of all. And Grace was there too...sleeping next to him.  

 

....But wait, he was naked…!

 

Wait…no he wasn’t. Not anymore. Phew…Miss Lunes had given him the transfigured clothing, right...(though he still had a flag on for underwear).

 

Jake wiggled his toes beneath the blankets. It felt like he had slept for a whole year. Grace’s arm was draped over him beneath the covers…like it had been that time in the Great Hall. Jake still remembered how safe that arm had made him feel then. On a normal day, Jake probably would have been embarrassed – he was fifteen now after all. But this wasn’t a normal day, and after everything that had happened, Jake was really happy to have that arm there. He snuggled closer to his friend, as much for warmth as for security.

 

That was when Grace began to stir, maybe because he had.

 

“Hey…hey Grace,” Jake said softly. “You awake?”

 

 

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Grace was fighting giant cockroaches again. Stab. Stab. Stab. 

 

Or at least she thought she was. She was actually fast asleep, though she'd crawled into the cot with Jake only moments before. Her body shuddered and her limbs twitched and then she was conscious again, though very confused and groggy.

 

"Mmmm,"  she murmured, squinting. She managed to get one eye open and saw Jake's face, very close to hers. She remembered then where they were then and smiled. "You're warm," she said, giving him a squeeze.  "You have self-warming PJs." 

 

Her brain still wasn't working very well after having been so thoroughly chilled, but she felt very content. "Do you think they'll let us stay here?" she asked him, yawning. "I could sleep for a week." She closed her eyes again and the image of a barefoot and bedraggled Jake wrapped in nothing but a flag reasserted itself. It was enough to jar her back awake. 

 

"Hey! How come you weren't wearing anything?" she asked him suddenly. "What happened to your clothes?"


Edited by Grace Foster

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Grace squeezed him and Jake couldn't help but giggle as the warm PJs pressed against him and soothed his body. "That feels good," he said quietly with a smile. He nuzzled his head to Grace's shoulder and hoped she wouldn't let go. 

 

Her yawn was contagious, as Jake yawned slightly after, like Grace's had reminded his body how tired it still was. He knew what she meant about being able to sleep for a week. "I hope so," he said, his eyes closed again. "I don't wanna leave. It's cold out there...It's nice in here though." Suddenly, Grace startled him with an abrupt question. 

 

"Hey! How come you weren't wearing anything? What happened to your clothes?"

 

Aw, man....

 

The last thing Jake had done when they walked through the door was request that Silas not tell Grace that he had lost his underwear, but unfortunately it seemed that she had found out anyways. Luckily, Miss Lunes had fixed him quickly so probably most of the others hadn't seen. But this was a secret that wasn't getting by Grace and Jake blushed deeply. 

 

"O-oh! Well um...th-that's because, I um....welllllll...." Jake murmured shyly, not really wanting to say 'I fell in the mud and lay down and cried and then Silas undressed me'. "There was an incident." he reported solemnly. "With some mud. A lot of mud. And um....a river...Sooooo, how was your team? Did you win? You must've, right? Huh?" he asked, changing the subject quite quickly. 

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Grace smiled as Jake giggled. She considered starting a tickle fight, but her arms were too heavy and she was too tired to put out that much effort, instead she hugged him tighter, laying her head against his and closing her eyes while they talked. 

 

She didn't see his deep blush at first, but she opened her eyes as he began to stammer, twisting so she could see his face. Her lips twisted slightly as he said "there was an incident" but she didn't laugh. Jake was too serious just now and she would not have hurt his feelings for the world. 

 

"We had a river too," she said, "and mud, and lots of snow and ice." She did smile at his question. "Won? I don't think it works that way does it? We finished. That's what's important.....Unless everyone finished," she added. "In which case I have no idea."

 

"If you had a river, did you also have a tower/pillar sort of thing you had to climb?" she asked. "Was there a forest? And a locked room? And mice?"

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Finally having gotten fully comfortable, Jake lay still, his breathing slow. When Grace held him like that, he almost could have gone back to sleep right there, but he stayed awake to hear about her team. So they had finished too...! He was sure that she would, but it was so nice to hear it. 

 

As Grace rattled off the challenges that her team faced, Jake responded eagerly to each one. "Yeah we did...! Yup! Uh-huh! Y-...wait, what?" 

 

Well...three out of four wasn't bad. 

 

"Er....did you say mice? Whaddaya mean? No, well....um...we had pirahnas, but no mice...." Jake said, confused. It sounded kind of like Grace might have gotten the easy version. "At least...I don't think so. I hope not. It was kind of dark in that room, but I really hope there were no mice living there since we blew it up and all...." 

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"Mmmm," Grace murmured. "We had piranhas too, or something like. An' there were some crocodiles, but I accidentally sunk them." She was about to tell him that the mouse were in the walls when the rest of his sentence registered. "Wait. Blew up? You lot blew up your room? How did you do that?" It didn't seem like something Silas would do. "Did your Captain know that spell? I don't think our Captain knew any more dueling spells than me and Addison to be honest, but she was great at other stuff." The shrinking and enlarging for instance. Grace hadn't been thinking of it at the time, but now that she did she realized that that if the enlarging hadn't gone well their race to the finish would have been over.

 

"Maybe you better start at the beginning," Grace said. "Did you really blow up the room to get out?"

 

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"Crocodiles...?" Jake repeatedly breathlessly. "I knew it..." he muttered, not yet registering the part where Grace said that she'd 'sunk' them. 

 

"Yeah, we really did! Well...not on purpose...." Jake admitted. "The beginning...? Okay...." he said, thinking back to what felt like it had been years ago but had only been this morning.

 

"Well...it all started when we got teleported into that room. I was um...I was scared 'cause I didn't know what was gonna happen." he admitted. "I thought, you know...there'd be some kind of monster or something to fight but it was just a room, even if it was pretty dark. I guess it was maybe the same for you guys? Did your door fart...? Ours did...Anyways so there was no way out and we didn't know what to do. But we just started looking around the room for clues. They had these kinds of puzzles and things - we had to search for stuff that would get us out. Silas found a key...." (Jake mumbled that part.) "But it didn't open the door."

 

Jake waited to see if Grace was going to say everything had been the exact same for her, but when she was still listening, he kept talking. "There was a cauldron too, and potions ingredients. We found a recipe for er...for...gosh..." Jake paused, thinking about it. He had been so distracted by his puzzle that he had never even found out what the potion had been for. "...ya know, I don't even remember...but Silas was pretty excited so I know the potion was gonna get us out. I didn't actually SEE it...I was busy solving this puzzle about magical creatures. Did you guys have that? There were these creature scratches on the wall and we had to identify them and find their ministry classification number...I actually already knew most of 'em, I didn't even have to use the books. Trish helped me too - that was our Captain. She knew the ones I didn't. Well it ended up making a runic code and we opened a treasure chest with some shavings and roots in it for the potion."

 

"But then this kid on our team...Juan...well, he was kinda...er....he wasn't very careful. He put too much sand in, and then suddenly the cauldron just started jumping and bubbling and bouncing and smoking. Everybody was freaking out. I dived on the ground. And theeen....!!" Jake made a soft explosion sound, raising his eyebrows. "I thought we all died and went to heaven or something after that, but we were still alive and there was a giant hole in the wall so we walked out." Jake said with a shrug. "What about you guys?"

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"Fart?" Grace repeated, smirking. "Are you sure that was the door?"

 

Grace listened to Jake's account of his task. It sounded similar to hers on the whole, but with details her group either hadn't had or had managed to miss. As he continued her amusement faded. "Gosh. We missed all that stuff. Yours sounds really complicated." She wondered if her group had gone wrong somehow not finding the puzzles and the key or being able to brew a potion. "Gosh we mostly just fired spells at things," she admitted. "I don't think ours had puzzles at all. Maybe it would have if we'd stuck around longer to look, but Seeley--she's a second year---she climbed up in the chimney and got stuck, so we had to shrink her. Then once she was shrunk, it just made more sense to go out the mouse hole, you know. I wonder if we'll get in trouble or lose points for just blasting and stabbing. You were lucky you had Ravenclaws on your team," she concluded. "We didn't have any."

 

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"Of course it was...!" Jake said, turning red again. "I...It wasn't me! Grace, it was the door, it really was...!" he whined. "It didn't like us casting spells on it..." 

 

But Jake went quiet again to listen to Grace's tales. They had had to shrink down Seeley to get out. Wanting to say something about how dangerous human transfiguration could be Jake was shocked to hear that they hadn't just shrunk down Seeley they had shrunk down everyone! 

 

"No way...!" Jake said. "You went out a mouse hole? Waaaaait..." he said, awe on his face. "So when you said mice...." 

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"As big as me," Grace said, finishing Jake's sentence. "I'm not sure how many of them there were. At least a half-dozen or so, an we fought them with dueling spells and such, but they never touched us. They were scaredy cats in the end." 

 

"Naw...Fighting giant mice wasn't so bad," Grace concluded. "i was the cockroaches that was bad."

 

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Jake's eyes were wide open now, as he shifted to be able to stare upon Grace's face in disbelief. "Scaredy mice," Jake mumbled under his breath, for no real reason. Mice as big as Grace...! It was crazy! He hoped that the Ninja Dragons hadn't hurt any of the mice though. It was surprising how hard it was trying to pick a side in that fight. 

 

But then her story got even crazier. 

 

"Cockroaches?!" Jake gasped in horror. He was a very apt listener. "There were cockroaches...??"

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Grace let out a laugh. "A billion of them!" she bragged. "Or anyway a lot. They were all over us! It was gross. I'll never eat cockroach clusters again. Even if they aren't made of real cockroaches."

 

She then went on to explain in some detail how her team had come to be shrunken and all they managed to encounter before Addison eventually broke them out between a crack in the boards.

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Grace's story was incredible! Though Jake's team had faced dangers and trials, they hadn't had anything like what GRACE'S team had gone through. Jake listened intently to the tales of her heroics, looking about as tense as if he was really there in the mousehole with them. He propped himself up on his elbow, gasping along with all of the amazing bits, and dropping a lot of 'no waaay!'s and 'oh my god!'s and 'you did?'s. Grace had taken a pencil like Professor Gawkrodger had taught them and had used it to become some kind of superhero warrior, gallantly fighting off billions of roaches that were twice her size so her team could escape. And she hadn't got a scratch on her.  

 

It was official: Grace Foster was the coolest girl in the world. 

 

"Wow..." Jake said breathlessly. "Well...we didn't have anything like that, but boy...we had some other stuff later. I mean there was a forest that made us lose our minds almost. We could hear...things. Thoughts...? I still...I still don't really get it. I mean, first I thought it was a wampus, and then I thought it was a fwooper. But it wasn't any of those things. It was the forest somehow, I know it was. I could feel it. It was poisoning our heads. It was evil. Grace you shoulda seen it. I um...I yelled at Silas," Jake admitted sheepishly. "He uh...he took it pretty well."

 

It had been a stressful, frightening, and exhausting day. But here in the hospital cot after a nap, the dangers of the tournament felt far away, like from another life. And with his best friend so close to him, Jake retold them with a fresh excitement. Though Jake still felt worn out, like he coudln't even move, the energy returned to his voice. And as Grace listened, and Jake realized he had a rapt audience, the telling got more and more dramatic. He told of the disintegration of their group in the forest,  his ingenuity with his newly-mastered Concentration Charm that let them block the intrusions and follow the water sounds, finding the magical gate, Silas FINALLY using his key, and then coming upon the river.  "And this....this is when it gets crazy," Jake said, with a weighted pause, eyes gleaming.


Edited by Jake Morent

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Grace was flattered by how much Jake enjoyed her story and only wished that the dramatic part could have gone on a bit longer for his sake. She'd found the forest part dull and ordinary by comparison, but as she allowed Jake to share his experience she was reminded that the forest wasn't all that ordinary after all.

 

"Oh yeah! We were confused too!" she agreed. "It was like voices in our head, or people talking when they weren't actually talking. I guess we were hearing each other's thoughts now that you mention it. I wonder why everyone was thinking about mice and bees. The mice make sense I guess since we just fought them, but why bees? Why not cockroaches?" 

 

Now that she thought of it there had been other things too. Addison had been thinking about Silas. Grace wondered why, but decided not to mention it. She wouldn't want her private thoughts repeated to other people.

 

"I wish I coulda seen you yell at Silas!" she said instead, nudging Jake playfully. "Did he get mad or yell back at you? He's yelled at me lots of times when we were kids, but he normally keeps his cool now."

 

She grew quiet listening to the rest of Jake's tale. Their forest experience was similar, but it was obvious that it had been more traumatic for Jake than it was for her. That made sense, he probably didn't spend much time in forests anyway, and the last thing Jake needed was something altering his perception to make him more anxious.

 

"That was smart of you remembering the concentration charm," she said at the appropriate moment. She didn't bother to mention the things her group had done. Some seemed less skillful and more accidental and others she just felt did nothing to add to the story which at the moment was focused on Jake.

 

She laughed when he said this was where  the craziness started. "I know right?" she said, grinning. "Lemme guess. You had a river full of crocodiles and piranhas?" 

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"I didn't meanta yell at him..." Jake said guiltily, but when Grace nudged him he smiled a little. Sometimes when Grace was cheery it was contagious, making Jake lighten up too. And now that the forest wasn't working its magic anymore, he was sure that Silas was going to forgive him. "Yeahh...he yelled back alright. It was like...'Raaaaaaughhhh!'" jake 'roared', trying to capture the proper anger and frustration (though much more quietly, they were in a hospital wing after all) that the Ravenclaw had spun around on him with. "Ever heard him do that?"

 

Jake smiled wider when Grace praised him for using the concentration charm, and gave a quiet thanks. The parts that had happened later had made Jake almost forget that it HAD been a good move after all. He didn't know what had made him think of the idea, but it hadn't been anything that anybody had ever told him to do. He had just had to be...resourceful. It had just come to him somehow. And somehow he had managed to do it even while going crazy from the forest. The most exciting part of the story was still to come though. 

 

"Wellllll not CROCOdiles...'least I didn't see any," Jake said, though that didn't mean they weren't there. He liked to think that they weren't though, especially because he had spent some time in the river. "But ohhhh yeah there were pirahnas." The boy pulled the covers up higher as his voice got softer, but didn't lose any of its dynamic excitement. 

 

"So we got through the gate, right? And then we came to this river, just like ya said. It was wide, and rapid too...like WAY too much to swim across. It looked bad enough already but then....?" Jake said, his voice a hush. "These pirahnas jumped out into the sky. You could practically see their teeth! They were HUMONGOUS...like...picture the size of my SHOE!" he exclaimed, before realizing that that wasn't quite as impressive a visual as he'd hoped it'd be. "Er...Gary's shoe...!" 

 

He curled his knees in and looked at her as he continued telling his dramatic tale. “So they’re jumping out of the river and stuff, and we don’t even know WHAT to do. You got giant blood-eating pirahnas that are gonna eat you up if you fall in. You got rapids. And to make stuff even worse, its raining and the wind is blowing harder and harder...like knock-you-over hard! First we tried freeing the water – BAD idea - that didn’t work. It wasn't enough to hold us. So we didn’t know what to do next. That’s when Silas said ‘if we got a tree….’ No wait! First he said…’if we got a branch…’ well…and then, we said, maybe not a branch but what about a TREE?” Jake posed the question, letting it sit, his eyes gleaming. 'A tree?' Grace might be wondering. How were you gonna cross the river with just a tree? Well Jake was going to tell her. 

 

"That's when Silas said to me...he said...'If we get a tree big enough,can ya make a bridge?'" Jake told, pausing for effect. "I didn't KNOW if I could. I didn't know if it would work. But my team needed me so...I said...I said, 'Yeah. I can do it.'" Jake quoted dramatically, perhaps projecting much more confidence,coolness, and self-assuredness than he had in that moment, but this was his story. 

 

"We all used the mobiliarbus spell to move one. It was a huge tree, like giant...picture like one of the giantest...I mean...most giant trees you've ever seen. But with all of us together we could move it. That was the easy part. Then it was my turn. I'd never transfigured anything so BIG before. I can transfigure lots of things - you know, you've seen me - but...it's usually small things, ya know? You know the kind of things I make. It's never anything as big as a TREE. And remember its a BIG tree. But I walked up to it anyways." he said.

 

"EVERYBODY was watching me...like all staring...and ya know I hate that. But we had no other ideas so I closed my eyes, and I thought about it and I just did it. And...it was so weird, Grace! It was like...it was like it took so much magic that I could feel it sucking out of me. But when I opened my eyes, ya know what I saw?" Jake asked, pausing once more, as his eyebrows raised in anticipation, his eyes giving away the answer that he couldn't wait to say. 

 

"A perfect bridge!" the boy said proudly. "It was SO perfect Grace, I so wish you coulda seen it! You'd think it was built right there. You'd never know it was transfigured. It was one of the best things I've EVER made! It had rails and everything. The boards were smooth and even. It was so cool. Silas even said 'excellent, Jake', you should have heard him! We had to go across it and all, but even though the wind was howling, and the rain was pouring, and the pirahnas were jumping, I wasn't afraid. I just did it." Jake said, though that wasn't entirely truthful...maybe he didn't have to say the part about how he was scared to cross, and had thought about what Grace would do the whole way there. Maybe that part could just be a secret. 

 

"Er...um.....andddddd.....and then....and-then-we-crossed-the-river-and-we-floated-up-the-thing-and-we-won-The-End," Jake finished sheepishly, his eyes dropping.

 


Edited by Jake Morent
spells <_<

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Grace laughed loudly at Jake's imitation of Silas yelling. She would have paid to see Silas lose his cool like that. She hadn't seen him quite that unbridled since they were children.

 

She made herself comfortable as Jake continued his tale, burrowing deeper in the blankets and only uncovering herself enough so that she could stroke the cat as Jake spoke. She grinned at the dramatic way he was drawing out the river crossing, as if he didn't realize that she had crossed the same river under similar circumstances. She couldn't help smirking when he said that freezing the water was a bad idea since ultimately that was how her group got across. As he continued though describing what had gone into transfiguring a bridge she was impressed and she interjected appropriate comments of shock and amazement as he proceeded. It had not occurred to her that her team could move something as massive as one of the trees, and if it had done she doubted she would have even attempted to transfigure it. She probably would have just scurried across the log and one of her team mates probably would have fallen off because of all the snow and wind. Jake's perfect bridge seemed nothing short of miraculous to her, though after that the sudden completion of his tale was anticlimactic.

 

"Wait, so you just..." Grace frowned at Jake's sheepish reaction. He seemed awfully embarrassed for someone who had just saved the day with his transfiguration.

 

"So when did you get naked?" Grace asked, cutting to the chase. 

 

 

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After his brief and unsettling run-in with Irene and Columbia, Silas had fought every urge to go back to Ravenclaw Tower and collapse in a heap among his bedclothes and not move for several days. Instead, he shuffled to the Ravenclaw Locker room (not bothering to consider whether the four original suites had been re-designated for however many Tournament Teams there were) and, leaning heavily against one arm against a locker, managed to sift through his Quidditch bag.

 

He pushed aside the gloves from Addison, the blue robes, anything that he wasn't going to be needing this year since the games were cancelled, and at the bottom of the duffel he managed to scrounge up a fresh pair of boxers, jeans, and a thermal knit shirt. Silas went to the shower and ran the hot water, which burned several parts of him that were currently sporting scrapes he had not previously realized in the adrenaline high of completing their task.

 

Silas leaned his head against the cool wall of the stall, just for a moment, and then woke up suddenly with a start after nodding off, warm water still cascading over his shoulders. Changing the temperature for a quick blast of cold, Silas finally turned off the water and then dressed in his fresh clothing before heading back to the med tent to make sure his teammates were all conscious or recovering.

 

After a brisk walk through the crowds that were still milling about, Silas entered the med tent and glanced around for familiar faces. Trish and Juan were awake on one side of the tent, talking. He took that as a good sign. Margie seemed to have evacuated the premises, also good; she was probably fine. Silas's eyes scanned the room and he found Jake, huddled up with Grace, and made his way over to them.

 

The cut on his cheek, mended by Irene, shone with just the slightest trace of a glimmer, like the ghost of a scar, her magic having left behind the temporary impression of stitches, along with a sweet smell so faint that Silas had already grown accustomed to it and was no longer aware of it.

 

"Hey guys," he said wearily. "Grace," he greeted her specifically. "Hope you're not injured." 

 

 

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Jake had really hoped that they could talk about his bridge more. He liked getting to talk about that. When he finished his story (which really told all the IMPORTANT bits, hadn't it?) he had hoped that it was that which Grace was gonna ask him about. Maybe she'd tell him about how awesome it all was. Or maybe she'd tell the rest of HER story which Jake hadn't heard yet, and was dying to hear. Instead she asked him 'So when did you get naked?'

 

"O-oh..." The Gryffindor boy's face twisted. He had tried to talk past it, but she hadn't forgot. "W-well..." Jake stammered, unconsciously pulling the neck of his warmed shirt up over his chin. He sighed. He was going to have no choice but to tell her. She was gonna get it out of him eventually. She always did.

 

"O-okay fine, I'll tell. J-just...shhhhh," he urged, whispering. His face went grave as he spoke. "Um...so...so when we were---Hey, it's Silas!" Jake said suddenly. For when the boy had begun to tell his shameful tale his eyes had scanned the room to make sure that nobody was listening. It hadn't been grinning eavesdroppers that he'd seen, but instead his weary-looking team-mate headed in their direction. "Hi Silas!" Jake called, more chipperly than he'd ever greeted Silas before, as he rolled over to face him. 

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Grace could tell she was about to get a very interesting story-- but then Silas arrived which drove the thought of Jake's nakedness entirely out of her mind.

 

"Silas! Jake was about to tell me why he was naked!" Grace shouted at him. (psych)

 

Grace laughed and waved Silas close enough so that she could give him a partial hug without unwrapping herself entirely from her blankets. (You'll recall she'd shed most of her wet clothing before getting into bed and she didn't want to draw attention to that fact right after teasing Jake for being naked.)

 

"Actually he probably wasn't," Grace confided jovially. "He's being a real weenie about it for some reason. You smell nice," she said, reacting to his hug. "And no, I'm not injured. Just tired. And probably really dirty. Sorry about that." Silas' unexpected cleanness was making her self-conscious. "I probably got hypothalamus from all the snow, but I'm much better now."

 

"Here. Bunch up Jake, so Silas can sit down," Grace said. She gathered the cat into her arms so that she could make room for one more person on the cot. (Hopefully it was a strong cot.)

 

 

 

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Silas raised his eyebrows at Jake, who was wearing really weird clothes that looked like the same exact fabric Grace had around her shoulders. When Grace reached out for Silas he felt her bare shoulder as he gave her a half-hug and a glance told him that she, too, was wearing limited clothing.

 

Jake and Grace in a bed together without any clothes? If Silas didn't know better he would think something was going on here but he knew Jake was basically a stuffed toy so nothing untoward happening on this cot.

 

"She's just going to nag you to death until you say something," Silas advised Jake. Clearly there were multiple Gryffindors hat needed creative lying I mean writing lessons. "Anyway Grace I'm sure your brain is fine," he said, like a tired dad, not even bothering to correct her. He paused. "I don't see Addison here," he said somewhat stiffly. "She made it all right, I'm guessing."

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Jake resisted the urge to hide his face under the blankets when Grace shouted out to Silas what he was about to tell her. Hadn't she heard his shhhhhh?! If anybody in the tent hadn't noticed before when he'd arrived, they were definitely gonna hear her now. Of course, Silas already knew about it. Silas had practically seen it, which was something that Jake had been too tired about to care when it was happening, but now that he felt a little better and a lot less like sobbing he really wished it all had happened differently. He looked away. He kind of hoped that if he didn't say anything everybody would just forget about it, but Grace really wasn't helping very much.

 

"I am not being a weenie..." Jake muttered sulkily, but he moved over to try and make room for Silas, who really looked like he needed a bed too. Luckily, Jake and Grace were small, and Jake didn't mind being close. It was a relief to see that Silas, despite looking kinda like he hadn't slept in a week, otherwise sounded okay, and he was happy to see him again after the day they'd had.   

 

"Oh yeah...where are they...? Addison and everybody? They're okay, right...?" Jake asked Grace, curious, and this time not only because it meant he didn't have to talk about being naked. "And Trish and Juan and Margaret too?" he asked Silas.

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Grace grinned when Silas confirmed that she would just nag Jake to death until she got his way. He smile faltered somewhat when he assured her that her brain was fine, because she hadn't realized that a hypothalamus was something to do with the brain and not something one got when they were exposed to the elements. Looking confused she scooted closer to Jake making room for SIlas' behind, her own behind still completely covered by the blankets (because while Grace was less modest that Jake she was still not a nudist). The cat disliked all this moving about and jumped out of her arms only to resettle himself once they'd all stopped moving.

 

"Our group was okay except for Seeley. She got thrown off the tower and was unconscious last I saw her. Addison is..." Grace trailed off, having just remembered something.

 

"Well, maybe our brains did get a bit scrambled now that I think about it. We had the same weirdness in the forest Jake said you guys had. Voices in our heads..." Or maybe thoughts that didn't belong to us. Grace looked at Silas thoughtfully, wondering why Silas had been such a key player in Addison's thoughts, for that was the connection. Grace had been too preoccupied to care at the time, having been more worried about managing to lead the others through the forest, but now that she didn't have that distraction portions of her memory were sorting themselves out into more lucid patterns.

 

"Anyway, Addison seemed fine last time I saw her. Cold and tired. We all were, from fighting our way up that hill in the snowstorm, but otherwise she was fine. She was a huge help to our team. You would have been proud of her." Grace added this commentary because apparently that was something Addison cared about. Grace didn't understand why and so continued to stare at Silas, frowning slightly as she wondered what it all meant.

 

 

 

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