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Chapter 41: Traitor in the midst

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Part I:

“Jacket?”

“Check.”

“Dog food?"

“Check.”

“Clothes?”

“Duh, Sky.”

“Books?”

“Check.”

“Anklet?”

“Is that even a question?”

He squeezed my hand after zipping his backpack close. “I’m being thorough.”

“You can be thorough when pigs fly.”

“Insult me all you want. I know you love me.” I laughed loudly as I carried my bag and held Dash with the other hand. We’re just about to get out of this hotel – no more hotels, praise the Lord – when suddenly, a thought occurred to me as I looked at my anklet. Then at the bangle on my shoulder. “I never thanked my own grandpa for giving me the birthday present, haven’t I?”

“Yeah.” He paused in thought but took my hand and dragged me headfirst. “You’ll meet him anyway. Let’s go.” I barely got enough time to look around for the last time in the room where thousands of memories are when we were already outside of the room, all out valuables in hand. It’s another day again – another agenda.

But my thoughts keep coming back to what happened yesterday. Good God, he really –

“Checking out aren’t you, dears?”

I turned my neck so fast I cricked my neck. Ow. Sky responded to the unknown person in a friendly tone. “Yes, we are. We’re headed to the beach.”

We are facing an old woman. And you know what the freaky part is? She seemed to know us. You know what I’m talking about, right? When there’s this old woman and then suddenly she turns into a huge snake who is incidentally a Horcrux – ahem, ahem, Harry Potter – I was still ogling like a goldfish when she replied in her raspy voice. “Ah, the beach.” she nodded like what she just said is incredibly vital. “So this is your wife?”

Shit.

I knew there was something fishy. I turned to Sky with my devil-from-hell stare as he fumbled for an explanation. “Yes, uhm. This is my wife Avery.”

Avery?

“What the hell are you – ”

“Yes! My wife Avery.” Sky almost shouted as he put a firm arm around me. “Honey, I met this kind person when we were checking in – you were asleep though.”

Aargh. That explains it. But it doesn’t erase the fact that it’s quite weird to talk to a stranger in the hotel hallway when you’re expecting them to turn into Nagini. She then hobbled down the direction of the stairs, but not before saying, “Well, goodbye now, Anthony.” We stood still in the hallway, directly in front of our door until she was out of sight and earshot.

“Anthony and Avery.” I turned to Sky and continued my rant. “Should I clap my hands and give you a Nobel Prize?”

He only laughed as he adjusted the bags on his shoulder and got Dash’s rope from my fingers. “The old woman crept on me from behind. To be honest, she scared the living daylight out of me.”

I burst into a fit of laughter as we made our way to the lower floor, already eager to be outside of walls. And in what seemed like a second, we were already speeding through the road, after dealing with a sleepy receptionist and an unwilling Dash.

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