Hey wizarding people! It’s Monday! And I still can’t get that image of Renesmee’s face out of my mind! Hopefully, some Choose Your Own Adventure magic will do the trick. Last week, you got a LOT of heart-pounding action, both of the sexy variety (thanks, Eli!) and oh-shizz variety, when your dad and Dace almost discovered you in the your father’s office. After your dad handed Dace a contract, something metallic spilled out of it, and y’all chose to D. Grab an envelope from your father’s desk to stash the trinket in and get the heck out of there. You can ask questions later, in a safer place.
In the words of Marvin Gaye, let’s get it on!
Chapter 11: Airing Out Your Dirty Laundry
As your father and Dace’s footsteps fade into silence, you and Eli remain frozen to the ground, both staring at the brass teardrop. You’re keenly aware of the warmth of his body, and your lips are still tingling from the rough, hungry feel of his mouth. It would be so easy to close the five inch distance separating him from you… but, ok, seriously, WHAT is that gleaming gold thing?
Impressed by the triumph of your curiosity over your hormones (or is it your soft spot for shiny things?), you spring up, grab an envelop from your dad’s desk and kneel down to gently scoop up the metal piece, careful not to touch it with your skin. Eli is immediately by your side, his breath softly caressing your ear. “Tabs, seriously, make sure your skin doesn’t–“
“Dude, I KNOW.” You’re tired of feeling so ignorant, so powerless, and this thing, whatever it is, seems like it might be the key to regaining the upper hand you’ve come to enjoy. After coaxing the object into the envelope, you carefully fold it, then tuck it… mother of a salamander, you’re still in your bikini. Where can a girl get some pants around here? “Eli, laundry room, STAT.”
You quickly tiptoe out of the office, but suddenly, Eli’s not behind you anymore. Releasing an exasperated sigh, you poke your head in the door and find him staring at the creepy portrait of your great-grandmother. “Yes, her eyes DO follow you around the room,” you whisper. “Can we please get out of here?”
“She just looks… really familiar.” Eli trails off, and when he still doesn’t make a move, you grab his hand and haul him out of the office. “Let’s take the servants’ stairs. There’s no way my dad or Dace would set foot in there.”
Still tightly gripping Eli’s hand (which is warm, but not meaty or sweaty like Dace’s, thank god), you quietly hustle down the stairs, then take the left corridor and inhale the clean scent of laundry. Sure, magic would make it faster, but your mom’s a sucker for that fresh smell, so she makes Daphne do it the old fashioned way. And– wait a second– did your dad just call her Melba? The woman who, for the last 20 years, has cleaned his house and given him pumpkin brandy when your mom wasn’t looking? Yeah, there is definitely someone messing with his head.
You walk into the spacious laundry room and nod at Eli to close the door. Unlike your bedroom, this isn’t likely to attract drunken party-goers or cheating boyfriends. Plus, you can finally put something over your skimpy suit! And Eli can… hmm, maybe this wasn’t the best idea. Too late, you see him pull down a pair of your father’s pants from the hanger and artfully pull them on under his towel, not even giving you a glimpse of… anything. You hold back a sigh, unfold one of your mom’s sundresses and slip it on.
Actually clothed, you turn your attention back to the envelope, which you placed on the folding table. Eli is staring at it with an intensity you thought was reserved for, well, you. “So…” you ask, “what is it?”
“I’m not sure,” Eli replies, finally looking back at you. “But my mom might know. We could take it to her when we get back to school.”
“No!” you say, more sharply than you intended. “It’s just that… Eli, I can’t wait that long. My dad is, like, possessed, and you’re still all Mr. Cryptic, and what the hell was that contract for?”
Eli’s eyes shift downward. “I have no idea.”
He’s lying. Why is he lying? Your temper flaring, you throw caution to the wind and pick up the envelope, dropping the brass teardrop into your palm.
“Tabitha, NO!” Eli, eyes wide, lunges toward you, but you quickly move to the other side of the table. The teardrop is has begun to glow in your palm, and suddenly you’re in the Elder Room of the Order of the Phoenix. Justice Shaw sits at the head of the table, flanked by your father, Uncle Gus, Emilia Fitzroy (Dru’s mother) and the other council members. You inhale, wondering how the eff you’re going to explain your appearance, when you realize that they haven’t noticed you. Or, rather, they don’t see you. Which is probably a good thing, cos your hair is a MESS.
“Friends, I think we can all agree that this course of action is in our best interest,” Justice Shaw’s deep voice confidently rolls across the room. Everyone nods… except your father.
“You know I can’t agree to this,” he says, looking graver than you’ve ever seen him. “I’m no fan of the Necromancers, but taking matters into our own hands like this… doing magic on our very own genes… it reeks of evil.”
“Now, Walter,” Emila coos, staring down your father, “You’re just saying that because your daughter won’t have to be changed. Not all of us are cursed, I mean, lucky enough to have Necromancer blood in our family line.”
You gasp, then clap your hand over your mouth before you realize, again, that you can’t be heard. Necromancer blood? But… you come from one of the purest wizard families in history. How did this…?
Uncle Gus pats your father on the hand. “Walt, you’ve got nothing to worry about! Tabitha is already perfect! It’s only fair that we give other children the chance to attain her level of power.” He chuckles jovially, and you wonder why you never noticed the sinister gleam in his eye.
“But this hasn’t been properly tested. We could be putting so many children at risk.” Your father looks around the table and, finding no support, wearily rubs his eyes with his hand.
“We’re better off without the weaker families!” Justice Shaw pounds his fist on the table, clearly running out of patience with your father. “Our powers have been diluted for far too long, while the Necromancers have only grown in power. And if you don’t sign this contract, Walter, you, and only you, will be held responsible for the downfall of our society.”
Bile rises in your throat, and at the same time, you want to throw your arms around your brave, defiant father. The room begins to waver and shift, and you make a final scan of the room, noting the council secretary, her wand dipping into a goblet of golden liquid…
The smell of laundry hits you before Eli’s face appears, his eyes searching yours. “Tabitha, Tabitha! What did you see?”
“I… I was at the Order…” You mumble, your brain dizzy from the scene you just witnessed. “I think… this stone is part of a recording device the secretary uses. It’s part of her notes from a meeting about the contract… about…”
“About making a master Wizard Necromancer race.” Eli states in a strangely flat tone.
“Yes, but… how… how did you know?” You step back, overwhelmed not just by the Order’s actions but by Eli’s knowledge of them. “And why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because,” Eli says, his eyes gone dark, “I’m supposed to make sure you’re dead.”
A. Run the eff out of there because WHAAAAT?
B. Pull out the wand you know Daphne keeps tucked by the washbin for stain emergencies and point it at Eli
C. Stare Eli down and demand to know what he’s talking about
D. Grab his face and kiss him. Hey, you already know it works as a distraction!