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Chapter 21

Chapter 21

As Cary neared his house, he walked past Lurlene Darxis' home. The woman was outside, unloading something from the trunk of her car. Cary noticed she watched him as she rifled around in the trunk, cast very obvious furtive glances in his direction. Confused, but not wanting to be bothered, Cary sped up and made it inside his house.

In way, he felt Lurlene was partially responsible for what happened earlier at school.

She made me go to the swim meet in the first place. She made them want to fight me! He was sure he wasn't supposed to feel that way. Inside the house was cool and calm, no sign of Bird, nor his truck outside. Lana's door, as ever, was locked shut. Cary set his backpack down and set about reading his tattered copy of the sixth Harry Potter book again while he waited for six o'clock to near. At five till six, Cary closed the book, his usual surge of warmth which came from reading Harry Potter having heated his blood, more special because of his devotion to it. Yet, the looming work at Clearing's and the Book of Fates quickly eclipsed everything else. Cary hastily grabbed his things and darted out the door towards Bugs' house.

Half running, he made it there in several minutes. Bugs was already outside, as though she knew they would be going elsewhere.

“Hey Care!” Bugs said, looking at him askance. “Did you run here?”

He nodded. “Yeah. Clearing said we could go to his place tonight and work on the computers.” Cary said, almost out of breath. Excitement bloomed on Bugs' ovaline face. Cary wasn't done talking though. “And...” He couldn't think straight, his mind rolled off the tracks, out of control, a thousand different things flooded in, each wanting equal attention. He stuttered a bit as he tried to control it.

“Care...?” Bugs said, "Calm down!” She reached out and squeezed his shoulder. Somehow, it helped. As his breath slowed down, so did his thoughts. He gave her a grateful smile.

“There's something...” Cary realized he had no idea what to say to her, no idea how to say this to her. And maybe that was the problem. Not so deep down he was afraid of what she might say, afraid he would see her go the same way as Jonathan. A frightening possibility and one he was sure he could not take. Words started on his tongue, stumbled into meaningless sounds until, he blushed and stared at the concrete.

“Whatever it is, it's OK, Care. Seriously!” Bugs said, her hand ran up and down his arm in soothing motion. Cary took a deep breath and looked up, forced himself to make eye contact with her.

Now or never.

The confidence he had felt at school earlier hovered just beyond his thoughts, so Cary reached for it, pulled at the memories of what he had done to Troy.

What I did to that lock...

“I want to show you something....at Clearing's house.” Cary said and once he started it became easier.

I don't want you two nosing around my house...” Clearing's voice sounded in Cary's head.

“Something...incredible. But if it doesn't work, I don't want you to think I'm crazy or weird or a...” He started to say "a fag" but the word died on his lips. A shrewd expression occupied Bugs' face though she nodded.

“Cary, you're my best friend, whatever it is, whatever you say, whatever or whoever you want to be, we'll still be friends. I promise.” Bugs said and her face, voice and body all radiated sincerity Cary could hardly believe, but at the same moment could not discount. He beamed and Bugs beamed right back.

An idea occurred to Cary. Maybe we could just look at Pottermore, here?

“B?”

“Yeah, Care?”

“You have internet here, right?”

“Um, of course?”

“Can we look something up?” Cary said and chewed his lower lip in doubt.

“OK.” Bugs said. “My laptop is over here.”

Bugs led Cary to a separate room down the hall from her bedroom, the place that in Bird's house would be the guest room. It was situated much like an office, only with two separate areas, each with their own desk and chair. On one of the desks were open boxes of corked bugs. Cary smiled at it. Bugs went to that desk and moved the mouse, bringing the flatscreen monitor to life.

“What did you want me to look up?”

“Pottermore.”

“Oh I've seen Potter...”

Cary cut her off. “Maybe I need to do it.”

Bugs moved away from the desk with somewhat of a wary look. “Um, OH-kay.”

Cary blushed and tried hard not to let the nasty voice in his mind overpower his will to open up to Bugs. He sat down before the screen and typed in the beginnings of the URL, “pottermore.com,” which came up auto-filled. The website came up normally, at least as normally as Cary could judge. He logged himself in as IcarusDraconis1007. Nothing unusual jumped out to him.

No Book of Fates...

Cary navigated to the Library, and Diagon Alley, the Dueling Club and several other places, but came up empty each time, no sign of the Book of Fates. He looked back, mouth slightly agape, at Bugs.

“I...” Cary said. “Maybe it only shows up on Clearing's tablet...”

“But Care. That's impossible. Pottermore can't be different like that.” Bugs said.

She already thinks I'm crazy and wrong...She is going to hate me...She is...STOP it! Cary yelled at his own inner voice.

“But just in CASE. Let's go see, OK, Care?” Bugs said, pulling at Cary's arm.

“C'mon!” she said and they were off.

Next Chapter: Chapter 22