You’re so evasive
Mon Sep 3, 2018 09:25

Russell said he couldn’t imagine why this was one of their tasks. Nolan agreed, but for different reasons. Why bother learning how to do things the Muggle way? Everyone at RMI had magic—hell, even Alice Lemont, who wouldn’t know the right end of a wand if it was on fire (Nolan wouldn’t be surprised if she’d caught her wand on fire a couple times) could probably pull off a Banishing charm. Who cared how the mouse felt about it? If they were gonna come into the barn and eats the feed, they had to accept the risks of being eaten or Vanished or whatever other anti-rodent preparation you’d set up.

“Awright,” Nolan said. Hindsight was twenty-twenty: when he’d picked Russell as a partner, Nolan really should’ve prepared for this. Russell was just the kind of person who would get overwhelmed at nothing and decide to sit out the first assignment. He had the constitution of an especially tall blade of prairie grass. Nolan didn’t really want to try the assignment, but his alternatives were to try to talk to Russell or stand here in silence until the timer ran out, so he kept on fiddling with the mousetrap. He still wasn’t sure what to do with it, but if Muggles could use these then it couldn’t be that hard.

“So how would you do it on a ranch, then?” he asked Russell conversationally. “The property’s about a hundred and ten acres, so it’s not like we can release ‘em somewhere else without going miles away. They’d just come back.” No way was Nolan going to Apparate a distance to spare a few pests. He didn’t have his Apparition license yet so it was a moot point, but even when he had it—he would by the time this term ended—he wouldn’t go to all that trouble. “And we can’t have ‘em eating our feed and leaving droppings all over. Cats are a lot easier than setting up crazy wards to keep the mice out.” Nolan knew one family near their home in Southern Oklahoma who used a perimeter spell to Transfigure any rodents who crossed it into cornflowers. Apparently it worked well enough for them, and they had a beautiful border, but it was the kind of spell you had to renew frequently. Outdoor cats were easier. They lived on the mice and pretty much took care of themselves, so there was nothing for you to worry about.

Handling the mousetrap, Nolan pushed something into place until it felt secure. The lever stayed primed. “Hey, I think I—ow!” The mousetrap snapped shut on Nolan’s hand. The sixth-year yelped and shook his hand until the trap flew off, hit the wall next to Russell, and fell to the ground. “Sonuvacrup,” he swore, grabbing his stinging fingers. Might not be worse than getting chomped in half by a cat, but it sure hurt. “Well, I figured it out,” he offered. “Damn, that’s effective.”

  • He took vague stock of Nolan’s question - just enough to deduct that the only way they were going to make it through this was if either they waited for the timer to go off and moved to the next... more
    • You’re so evasive - Nolan, Mon Sep 3 09:25
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