Chapter 13: Who to Trust?
Hope that you have been able to make a speedy, healthy recovery after that incident with the bear, sorry that we could not talk since before the voting. Assuming that your boat was at less dangerous than being shot at with paint balls. The rest of the Screaming Gophers (minus Heather) and the Killer Bass (minus Sue) wish you well, not much has changed since the challenge. Heather is running around bossing virtually everyone; Beth seems to have distanced herself and Lindsay spending time with Tyler, you can imagine how often that sets Heather off. Everyone's been kept their distance from her, doubt that will be for long. After nearly getting voted off? You know she's planning something.
Eva said in her letters they move the voted off islanders to a resort not that far the island Is it relaxing there? Must be a lot less stressful, without all the challenges from Chris and Chef getting some relaxation. Hopefully, there's a shelf filled with books to keep you occupied until the end of the competition.
Little worried about the next challenge Chris has this weird gleam going on his eye it's rather unsettling.
Gwen and I are talking again slightly, things are nevertheless considerably weird between her, I and Trent after what Courtney said. Honestly, I don't really know what to think, where to even begin processing. I have not really talked to anybody about this other than Sue but we both know how that went. I'm probably overthinking things, it would be nice to hear what you have to say, I'm not… great with words.
Anyway, this is getting long. Say hi to everyone for me! And the attached is some food I made in the kitchens.
PS: Courtney's still mad. Isn't she?
Noah placed the letter on the counter. Since the last challenged ended with him getting put in a cast and wheelchair being voted off. The of lack mobility, ability to speak and overall usefulness being on the receiving end of the stick did not come to a surprise at the result. Thus losing his chance at the prize.
It had not been all that bad granted winning that amount of money would have solved much of his problems. There were other chances.
The noise of a certain owl dragged back to reality gazing into piercing amber orbs.
"Ah, sorry Hedwig," Noah apologized and raised a piece of bacon. "Thanks, and here. You deserve it."
Hedwig happily scarfed down the piece of meat.
"Is that from Harry?"
His head cocked to Sadie, dressed in her pink swim outfit sipping out water. "How d'you guess?"
"Oh silly," Sadie waved giggling. "It's Harry's owl. Everyone knows that! Did he say anything about Katie in the letter?"
Sadie face fell instantly. "I thought so, I was hoping to hear how Katie's doing. It's been so long since I've seen her, I really hope she's doing okay without me. Katie can be a bit too trusting when I'm not there."
"And you are any better?" Noah retorted dryly.
"Katie always has her heart in the right place. It's who she is, she'll always believe in the good of someone even if they aren't that good, sure we both ogle at cute boys like Justin but even beautiful people can be cruel. Look at Heather!" Sadie answers unfazed by the remark. "I don't want her getting hurt by someone she trusted."
Noah blinked rapidly. "That's rather insightful. Coming from you, I mean."
"Aww thank you!" Sadie giggled.
"Got something to add Courtney?" Noah drawled slowly.
Courtney's scowl was wonderful. "It's because of him I'm here in the first place! I should still be there competing and winning. I was a CIT for crying out loud!"
"You nearly left Katie and I to die, Courtney," Sadie countered gazing unblinkingly. "And then you couldn't even do the one thing you kept pushing everyone to do. It's called karma."
Courtney gawked. "H-How dare you!"
"Sadie's got a point," Justin added, leaning over. "Your arrogance got you eliminated, Court. Maybe it's time for some self reflection?"
"S-Shut up!" Courtney snapped. "What do you guys know, anyway?!"
Eva snorted audibly carrying her weights. "More than you, apparently."
Courtney's screams blasted throughout the resort watching her stomp away like a child back inside, leaving the rest to cringe at the noise made. The living room would be a huge mess once returning inside, which a sentiment that none of them shared. Avoiding Courtney during one of her tantrums was the best and only option. The amount of destruction she could cause was beyond understanding, crash and shattering sounds blared from the lounge.
"She will be at it for a while," Sadie said hesitantly. "Isn't she?"
Noah hummed. "Oh, yeah."
"And I wanted to put some cream on!" Justin whined, sighing. "Guess I must wait."
"What did Harry say?" Eva asked.
"Just the usual. Everyone's doing fine, Heather's becoming more of Queen Bee," Noah summarized. "Making sure everyone's doing okay and saying hi. Got us from real food from the kitchen for us to share -"
"Or until Owen get his hands on it," Justin interrupted nonchalantly.
Sadie glanced. "Where is Owen anyway?"
"Don't know, don't care," Eva answered.
Noah rolled his eyes. "Speak of the devil and he shall appear."
"Holy crap that's fast!" Justin's eyes bugged. "How can we smell food from so far away?"
"It's Owen," Sadie pipped, giggling. "When there's food, there he is!"
The rumbling of the earth shook beneath them preparing for the inevitable arrival of the gluttonous monster known as Owen, his eyes drifted back towards the final part of the letter frowning with a low, quiet sigh. Many possibilities came to mind since Courtney's little outburst during her elimination revealing the attractive between Trent and Harry, and Gwen's own crush on Trent the so-called love triangle ran towards the first obstacle. Each other. Gwen barely noticed the attraction between Trent and Harry being wrapped up in herself rather than the surroundings, until Courtney said what she had the goth remained oblivious up to that point, thankfully Gwen had her head screwed on right without causing an uproar allowing space for the three before ultimately choosing to remain friends with the two. Their resident guitarist revealed himself relaxing and laid-back spending time with Gwen and Harry respectively though subtly preferring the latter rather than the former (whether Trent realized that Noah did not know). Trent was a good-buy not entirely goody-two-shoes like Cody could be but good enough that things had a tendency of flying over his head. Dense, really.
Then there was Harry.
An entirely different can of worms. No one could read or understand him, a walking enigma shrouded in mystery.
Frankly gave Noah a huge headache. Despite all of that he felt connected to the other boy drawn to him like bees to honey. Strange did not cover how Noah felt although would not say that Harry's friendship was unpleasant, in fact, felt grateful becoming friends.
'Ugh. I'm becoming soft,' He gagged inwardly.
Perhaps that might not be such a bad thing.
"Are you sure about this?"
Chef tapped his feet impatiently eyeing the clipboard dubiously.
"What's there to worry about?" Chris wore a grin. "C'mon, this is a primal opportunity! Tensions are on an all-time high. Think of the ratings! The drama!"
"I dunno. Sounds like an utter recipe for utter disaster! After today you really think those kids will go along with the challenge?" Chef persisted, brow cocked. "Not saying that it won't rank in the money, but if you do this, you'd be doing it quickly without pushing them too far. I enjoy torturing teens much as you do there needs to be caution."
"Don't worry! I talked with the producers. We're good! Chris assured. "Beside think of the fun we'll get to have!"
"Fine, fine. Just make sure you know what you're doing."
Chris's smile grew draping an arm around Chef. "Trust me my man. I think you'll enjoy what I have in store!"
The food challenged turned into a major bust. Heather immediately snatched up the Head Chef rolling out orders as though no one could dispute her rolling out what they were doing without questioning their culinary skills pairing them up; Harry assigned with Lindsay and Gwen, Cody with LeShawna and Beth thus leaving Trent by himself working on the grill. The later knew how to work the grill and LeShawna proved to be skilled with knives, unfortunately turned out she had pineapple allergies crawling up her arms and made cutting them near impossible to finish. Heather continuously pushed her buttons resulting in a giant fight exploding all around, Beth and the Killer Bass forced to watch unable to interfere. The fight died with a whimper despite the tension steadily climbed barely catches the bits and pieces heard from the other side of the cabin where Lindsay, Gwen and himself worked together baking a flambe.
The three were successful. Lindsay knew exactly what they were doing much to Gwen's and his surprise having apparently baked one before with her sisters, impressed how she handled the baking Lindsay placed the dessert on the table waiting for inspection when Heather came strolling in with a stomp.
Even Heather turned out surprised by Lindsay's baking skills. And went for the lighter to lit the flambe. That's when things started going downhill. The Flambe ignited disintegrated into ash and burnt off Heather's eyebrows; her scream echoed violently whirling around and demanded Harry grab her makeup kit from the cabins. By that point Harry had no problem leaving though felt bad leaving Gwen and Lindsay on the receiving end of Heather's ire, they could handle her better than him. His own anger threatening to retaliate back but controlled himself. Since the previous challenge Heather sought to bring hell around
all of them making their lives on the island miserable, the moments when Heather was not around were truly a source of solace.
That had not been the end of the unfortunate outcomes. LeShawna got into a huge tiff with Duncan and the Bass's bullying of Harold.
Harry walked into the kitchen at exactly the wrong moment and met with a frying pan to the face.
Thus, left him unable to compete.
By the time Harry woke up Heather manipulated the events to her favour resulting in Beth somehow getting tossed off the Island. How? No one really knew. It proved far too late to do anything. That underhanded move rendered the rest of the Gophers agitated and angry, thankfully karma came back and gave Heather exactly what she deserved.
"Ugh," Harry rubbed his nose. The pain from his face pulsed irritably.
"Ya still in pain?"
Duncan stood behind him sheepishly.
"I've had worse," He reassured.
"You seem to take punishment like no one I've ever seen, still didn't mean for you to get caught in the crossfire like that." Duncan rubbed his neck eyes darting uncomfortably. "Seriously, I mean it. LeShawna kept on pushing the whole 'woe is Harold' without even knowing what was going on. Should have kept between the two of us."
"It's fine. Whatever's between you and LeShawna, this whole Harold deal or whatever. That's between you guys," Harry said. "I'm won't interfere."
Duncan cracked a tiny grin. "Cool. I'll try to keep you out of it next time. Speaking of which, what's the deal with Heather?"
"The girls locked Heather in the frigid, I wasn't there but apparently she went in megalomaniac mode. Looks like she hasn't warmed up yet," shame that Harry ended up missing that.
"Nice," The punk smirked. "Couldn't have happened to a better person."
"I dunno why but I like Harry. He's not like that dork Harold or that geek Noah, something about him makes me want to be friends with him." Duncan shrugged. "Don't go getting me wrong he's still competition, but he's more of a friend that Harold is. That's for sure."
Trust and partners.
The theme of the next challenge splitting off in pairs helping one another get through said challenge, after the tiff between Heather against the girls came to light all should have known Chris would concoct a plan to exploit that, with the host at the helm nothing good could come. Leading the groups towards a giant cliff. The aim was to reach the top before the other team except one team member needed to hold the other up and keep them from falling, avoiding the various traps laid hidden in and around the cliffs while dealing with Chris's antics, pairing Gwen and Heather turned out to be the kicker of the first challenge against Duncan and DJ. A recipe for disaster.
Heather wrapping the rope around Gwen's vale catching the glimpse of the devilish smile Harry knew she was about to pull something. Heather would not be so obvious to throw a challenge for the sake of vengeance desperately desiring to win the prize, smart enough to work her way around the rules and still win while humiliating someone else.
DJ and Gwen scaled the cliff quickly keeping up with one another trying to one up the other avoiding the traps laid out, carefully grazing the edges to reach the top. Neither knowing what tricks Chris had up his sleeve as DJ confident in his skill rushed upwards and stumbled on a startling discovery, the cliff shook violently nearly tossing him off, the ringing of the explosion reached their ears. While minor Gwen took the backlash releasing her hold falling backwards, Heather in deceptive quickness prevented her fall. It had been awfully nice of her despite the grudge had with Gwen and pulled back to the original spot. That did not last, Chris pulling out what looked like a plastic toy gun and fired a red liquid at Heather. Her scream startled them all drenched from top to bottom accompanied by a loud thumb releasing the rope ended up with Gwen landing on the ground hard without warning. Gwen wasted no time climbing back up.
Chris attempted the same strategy against Duncan and DJ. Apparently, Duncan had no problem with spicy things opening his mouth and drinking the hot sauce with no effort, the cocky attitude received annoyance by the host.
Harry found the reaction rather hilarious.
And that's when Heather's plan kicked into action. The sound of clothes tore and the unveiling of Gwen's underwear was seen from all corners of the camp.
Oddly enough, that little action helped give Gwen the push needed to win the challenge. DJ screamed covering his face losing his grip and fell giving her the time needed to get to the top successfully winning for the Gophers.
"That's awesome!" Cody cheered. "Go Gwen!"
LeShawna smiled. "I knew you could do it, girl!"
"I knew that would happen." Heather ran fingers through her locks. "You do not need thank me. I was helping us win."
Katie approached the cliff. "Gwen! I can sew your pants back together!"
"Thanks Katie!" Gwen yelled back covering herself.
"That puts the Gophers in the lead. Which means we move on to our next challenge," Chris clapped. "The next group will be Bridgette and Geoff versus Lindsay and Harry!"
The four got lead towards the basement piling onto two different platforms beneath the main lodge confusion riddled over their features wondering what Chris and Chef had in store. The platform beneath started to rise appearing at the top being greeted with a small podium and two spotlights, the silhouette of a shadow appeared briefly and Chris springing from behind. An intern quietly crawled between their legs making his way towards the exit. Harry cocked an eyebrow sharing a glance with Lindsay, Bridgette and Geoff confusion riddled over his features before pushing the thought aside.
"Welcome to the Extreme! Cooking! Challenge!" Chris extended his arms out. "In this challenge the teams must cook whom cooks and whom eats."
Geoff turned to Bridgette. "I was Head Chef last time. You should cook."
"Got it!" Bridgette nodded.
"Lindsay?" Harry started.
She practically jumped. "Oh! Oh! I can I cook Henry? I can totally cook!"
"Today you will cook Fugu Sashimi. The traditional poisonous Japanese blowfish!" Chris smiled innocently pulling a chart before them as Chef rolled in the fish tank. "It contains enough lethal toxins to kill at least thirty people. You must cut carefully around the lethal organs, the poison paralyzes the nervous and there is NO ANTIDOTE! So, no worries."
The fish flopped before the two teams. The horror at the thought of eating poisonous fish had not been a part of the contract, his eyes glanced at Lindsay poking the fish pleasantly.
Lindsay smiled. "I'll make you a great meal. I promise! No poisonous anything, promise!"
Now Harry felt bad. She proved herself during the baking, the eagerness to prove herself and desiring to cook caused his resolve to crumble.
"You can do this Lindsay. Trust yourself," He whispered encouragingly.
"I won't let you down. That's a Lindsay guarantee!" Picking up the plate. "C'mon Brenda. We have cooking to do!"
Bridgette followed sparing a quick stare than disappearing into the kitchen.
"You sure this will be okay?" Geoff asked. "I mean, I like Lindsay but…"
Harry shook his head. "She'll be fine. Lindsay needs to know that not everyone here doubts her, other than Tyler and Beth few people give her a chance."
"Your funeral, man."
Lindsay and Bridgette were in the kitchen sounds of movement and utensils echoed the occasion bizarre noise had Geoff and Harry exchange a glance, the pits of their stomach flip-flopped with worry. The guilt ate away enforcing Harry to shake off that doubt after declaring his faith in Lindsay recalling the look of happiness; he wanted to show that his belief in her was genuine. Even if something went wrong Harry would never hold that against Lindsay not after trying to hard and putting in effort, Bridgette was also there and knew that she occasionally gets a word in to help Lindsay and get through the challenge with bits of advice. Besides, there had been doubt that anyone could make a more horrid dish than Hermione his body nearly shuddered recalling her attempt at cooking during the school year, determination aside while admirable came with a backfire resulting in even Ron refusing to touch her monstrosity.
The slight chuckle passed from his lips and his shoulders slumped. It felt so long since he last heard from them, not that Harry made the effort sending a letter himself. Telling Hermione about being on a semi-reality tv show probably ended in receiving a howler or a vicious scowling from her, not that he had a choice in the matter.
The Dursleys looked for every avenue to get rid of him. This was the one they picked.
Harry wondered whether the Order knew or even cared. There had been no sign from them since prior to leaving, no Tonks or Mundungus or even Lupin; the latter did not surprise him, one was probably getting drunk and his former professor barely concerned himself with anyone unless forced. He realized odd how the man never talked with him during his fourth year never thinking too much into Lupin's affairs. Until Harry stayed at Grimmauld Place, he never believed in anything negative regarding him but as that year went by his respect for his former professor began to dwindle the accusations, the condescending tone and actions towards Sirius (and towards himself and his friends), refusal in taking blame and shifting towards someone else. It was a disgusting sight to witness especially hearing him talk down to his godfather like a child, eerily reminded him of Petunia during his childhood days; superior, arrogant and malicious.
Maybe that had been why Sirius came to save Harry and the others in the Department of Mysteries. Because there was no longer a friendship between his godfather and his former professor any longer.
Geoff grinned. "All right Bridgette! It looks great!"
The plates the girls carried differed significantly from one another with Bridgette presenting sushi rolls stacked on upon another placing a green stem at the top for presentation whereas Lindsay's plate was a mish-mash of pink meat scattered everywhere squirting with red ketchup. Her smile tense, uncertainty.
"I'm sure you did great, Lindsay," Harry assured her.
She hesitated glancing at Bridgette's and hers. "I… I don't know Haden. Hers looks SO much better."
"I'll be the judge of that."
Harry took the fork stabbing the stretchy, rubbery meat pulling with all his strength than shoved straight into his mouth. Chewing slowly taking the time to savour the taste, unable to feel any rawness with each crunch the lack of flavour was a bit concerning coming off dull and uninspired strange given how Lindsay baked the flambé. Not everyone could do both some were talented in one or the other rather than both.
"How's it taste?" Lindsay asked cautiously.
It took a moment. Harry swallowed and waited several moments then grinned. "It's good."
"Bridgette's dish is great too!" Geoff commented smiling missing the blush on Bridgette's face.
"Looks like both teams are tied! but the Gophers are still ahead with one point," Chris declared. "Which means its time to move on to the next challenge. The four of you are free for now. Chef and I will start setting up the next challenge, get ready!"
Bridgette crossed her arms. "Another challenge? Better not be something dangerous again."
"It's okay Bridgette," Geoff said. "Harry and I both lived. See? Besides, I'm sure Chef and Chris wouldn't want to air someone die on TV! They'd lose their jobs and they would pull the show."
She sighed. "Yeah, you're right. Even they wouldn't risk losing the show being pulled or the lawsuits. I'm going for a swim you guys want to come?"
"Do I!" Geoff beamed.
Lindsay bite her lip. "I'm going to find Tyler."
"Thanks for the invite, but for now I'd rather be on land," Harry remarked wrinkling his nose. "I've had enough of the sea for today."
"Can't blame you there," Bridgette quipped understandingly. "Talk to you two later."
"I can't believe Lindsay pulled through," Bridgette says, sitting cross-legged on the seat. "I offered her help and everything but she wanted to do it herself. It worried me, glad to see my worries were wrong. You did great Lindsay!"
Geoff sighed fondly. "I got to eat Bridgette's sushi, and it was DELICIOUS! Dude, you have NO Idea how great of a cook she is. Man, hope I get to try her cooking again sometime!"
"I heard about the Fugu Sashimi, Potter."
Not even ten minutes since the challenge and already Sue made an appearance. She stood idly against the tree gazing down kicking off and jumping to the ground.
"And?" Harry rolled his eyes.
"Nothing. Should have realized that you could survive the notorious poison fish, with your luck and all," Sue said flippantly. "Too bad. Guess the frying pan to the face was enough for the summer."
Harry snorted. "Is that a threat?"
"No. An observation," She answered. "You sustain injuries faster than anyone else and still get right back up. It's admirable. In a stupid Gryffindor way."
"Better a Gryffindor than an ignorant Ravenclaw," Harry countered dryly.
"Am I?" Sue smiled cryptically. "Or are you just telling yourself that?"
"Your about as intimidating as a mouse, Sue. Trying to be creepy isn't your strong suit," He responded flatly. "Stick to your day job of bullying."
"Bullying? How rude. Not surprising that a Gryffindor can't see constructive criticism when one hears one," Sue quipped mocking.
Harry smiled blithely. "And here I thought Ravenclaws are supposed to be smart. How remiss of me, I suppose you got in by luck alone."
"What are you implying?" Sue's demeanour shifted from arrogant to offended bristling on the spot.
"I think you heard me. No need to repeat, besides I'm sure you can understand what I meant," Harry stood and back turned, turned head over his shoulder. "After all you are a Ravenclaw."
Her eyes narrowed to slits. "I'd watch my words if I were you Potter!"
"No. I don't think I will."
"You arrogant Gryffindor!"
Harry whirled sharply and glared. "Is that supposed to be insulting? Houses mean nothing here Li, I retorted because you brought it up first. We aren't at Hogwarts and we aren't in England. Is it really so hard for you to let go of that stupid House system for one second?"
"Says the one prejudice against Slytherin house," Sue snapped.
"Gee. Having Snape routinely insult my dad, and the rest of the Slytherin house slinging insults at Hermione and my dead parents not to mention most of them are involved with Voldemort – " Sue flinched. He felt the surge of satisfaction inside. "And support his ideals. Obviously I'd be against that and stand up for my friend and my parents."
Sue laughed. "Granger? That know-it-all is overbearing. I can't fathom you stand being around her."
"Because she's my friend. Overbearing or not, I'm honoured to have her as a friend."
"What? Not going to defend her?" Sue mocked cockily.
Harry snorted. "No need. She'd beat you in an instant."
The anger flared in Sue's eyes her features melted away, revealing how much of a nerve his words hit. It was satisfying after all the trash talk about his friends and her attempt at getting beneath his skin, amateurish though slightly better than the drivel Malfoy spat out time and time again, her threat towards Luna earlier truly was what set him off. No one went after his friends and got away. No one.
"You are so arrogant Potter. You do not understand what I can do –"
"You do not know what I'm capable of," Harry had enough. Lowering his voice becoming cold. "Or what lengths I'd go. You go after any of my friends Li, and I promise you. No one will ever find your shadow."
Sue backed fearfully. "I…"
"Attention campers! Proceed to the forest behind the cabins for the next challenge. It will begin in in 5 minutes!"
"Better get going," Harry muttered quietly.
"Afraid that you'll lose?" Sue snarled.
"Not in the least."
The next part of the challenge was sling shooting apples into the arrow sitting on their partner's head blindfolded. Trusting that the shooter in question being a good shot otherwise facing being hit by multiple apples until one knocked the arrow, the crab apples brought were large from what and heavy, LeShawna and Cody were chosen from the Gophers and Katie and Sue. The choice could not have happened to a better person seeing the way Sue eyed Katie distrustfully, quickly tearing the slingshot from her hands than pointing to where Cody was standing. Sympathy went out to Katie being on the receiving end of Sue's shooting probably was not ideal. Was she even a good shot to begin with?
"Hey Geoff, do you know where Bunny is? I miss him," DJ asked Geoff.
The blonde tensed and smiled. "Oh yeah. I'll go get him for you. Be right back!"
Bridgette turned with a lingering stare than resumed attention back on the challenge.
"Bunny?" Trent whispered confused.
Gwen leaned. "DJ has a bunny, remember? He let Geoff look after him."
"Whatever. It doesn't concern us," Heather dismissed. "Let's hope that Cody and LeShawna don't screw up. We're already lost three times we can't afford another loss here people!"
"What are the chances one of those apples with hit her?" Gwen jabbed her thumb towards Heather.
"Be nice Gwen," Harry said. "Water is her worst enemy. Remember? She doesn't want to get her hair wet!"
The howls of laughter echoed feeling the glare Heather sent stomping off from the group. Chris whistled as apples began to sling across where Cody and Katie stood flying some missing entirely while others were close hitting them both all over the place, Harry winced when an apple hit Cody in the face and another knocked against Katie's shins.
"That's got to hurt," Trent said.
Harry nodded grimacing. Cody danced in circles with his eyes rolling hearing the incoherent sentences.
"Is he going to be okay?" Gwen eyed warily.
"He'll be fine." Trent smiled. "Cody's tougher than he looks."
"That or they'll take him to the infirmary," Harry added blandly.
Bridgette flinched. "Lets… hope Katie and Cody will be okay."
Another apple flew from LeShawna's and Sue's slingshots knocking into Katie and Cody's face. The arrow from Cody's head tilted back and forth when another apple from LeShawna's slingshot fired, hurtling through the air as Cody's strange erratic movement caused the arrow from his head to descend into the apple piercing through the middle as he fell to the ground unconscious.
"Looks like the Gopher's snatch another point!"
Sue tore off her blindfold angrily. "What?!"
"Sorry bra but them's the breaks. The Gophers are ahead by a point, there is still two challenges that can pull the Bass to first. Just got to learn to work together," Chris chided whimsically.
Sue narrowed her eyes. "Fine. What's the next challenge?"
"I don't care what challenge that McLean plans to throw at us," Sue folded her arms grumpily glaring into the camera. "I will win. No matter what, I won't lose to Potter of all people!"
"I thought we were all past this?" Bridgette sighed wrapping arms around her legs. "Today has been a nightmare. We're losing AGAIN, Geoff lost DJ's Bunny and Sue's going back on a warpath against Harry. What else could go wrong?"
Harry steadily rose from the bed groaning and felt the sharp twitch from his body barely capable of recalling what happened, the stinging shock every few moments. His vision slightly blurry gazing around the tent noting Chef going through a small kit oddly wearing what appeared to be a Nurse's outfit. Hissing sharply adjusting his posture and gave his head a shake trying to recall what happened, remembering the pit that Chris and the jellyfish. That's when everything rushed back letting out a groan. Now Harry remembered. Falling into the pit having slipped from Lindsay's grasp. Apparently pain enjoyed clinging to him, and that weird dream…
"Ugh… did anyone get the number of that car?" Cody spoke hoarsely.
Katie rose and blinked tiredly. "W… what happened?"
"You both got knocked out by apples," Harry responded.
"Apples? Oh yeah. LeShawna…." Cody murmured before trailing off blinking rapidly. "Dude. What happened to you?"
"Jellyfish? Glad I missed that!" Katie shuddered. "I mean they are pink and all which is TOTALLY my favourite colour but like no thanks. You know?"
Cody nodded. "Tell me about it. I think I might be allergic to them. Can't really remember. And, can someone tell me why Chef is wearing a nurse outfit?"
"And what does my outfit have to do with it boy?" Chef snarled hands on hips glaring.
"N-Nothing! In fact, it looks great!" Cody praised nervously.
Katie smiled nodding rapidly in agreement.
Harry's attention was barely on the man instead focusing on behind him noting Duncan walking backwards holding out a stick followed by a small bunny that looked eerily like the one DJ had. Odd thought did not think too much of the situation, Chef carefully removed the Jellyfish attached to his back and felt the electric jolts. The treatment took time to work with Chef urging him to rest until he said so, the thought of remaining in bed annoyed him. Hating staying still rather than taking part with the others unfortunately the man proved to as resilient as Madam Pomfrey back home. Pain never bothered him. Barely keeping the stings pushing towards the back of his mind. Dudley and his gang chasing him around beating him to a pulp for laughs, or when Vernon decided smacking him around was a good idea. Complaining got nowhere better to endure and get through than dwell on the pointless; no one ever helped. The teachers turned a blind eye and the faculty at Hogwarts dismissed or shuffled them to the infirmary.
No matter where the story remained the same.
"That should do it," Chef nodded. "Alright you can get back now."
Harry nodded. "Thanks."
"You're a speedy recovery, you know that? In all my years I've never seen someone recover so quickly."
"It's a gift," Harry shrugged.
"Whatever you say, kid. Good luck."
Winning or losing that challenge did not mean all that much to Harry. Not like he'd be able to claim the prize due to being a foreigner even than the Dursleys would immediately snatch the prize away, the rest of the contestants on the island deserved the prize more than himself. They had signed up willingly unlike himself.
Probably why he never felt worried about being voted off. He had nothing to lose.
Trent beamed waving enthusiastically from his spot. Finding the group took no time at all thanks to the directions Chef gave as he looked around noticing several members missing from both groups.
"How are you feeling?" Trent asked concerned.
"Been better," Harry answered tiredly. "Where are LeShawna and Gwen?"
The guitarist gaze turned upwards seeing LeShawna and Gwen on a toboggan beside DJ and Geoff. Two of them were blindfolds. Again. The jellyfish incident blindfolds were not something Harry liked.
"They have to race down the hill with the passenger navigating to the finish line," Trent informed.
Harry blinked. "Great. Hopefully, neither will sustain injures."
"Yeah," Trent nodded slowly. "What about you? You sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine," Harry said stressed. "Really. Don't worry about me, I've had worse. The frying pan, remember?"
"I remember that. Thought I would throttle Duncan and LeShawna," Trent admitted sheepishly.
Harry stared. "Why?"
"I mean, you know, they were arguing, and you ended up getting hurt." Trent's face turned a bright shade of red averting his gaze. "I don't like seeing you hurt."
"I…." Wait. Was he blushing too? "T-that's real nice of you Trent. But I can handle it."
Before they could say anything, Duncan came running up with hands covered smiling widely. "Hey DJ! Look who I found!" Revealing the bunny underneath. Harry could not quiet hear what happened though definitely saw DJ tear off his blindfold and eyes light up with happiness almost glimpsing a tear rolling down his cheek, LeShawna and Gwen going off course and hurtling straight into the lake. The jock rushed and instantly started to nuzzle the bunny happily thanking Duncan, whom he dismissed good-naturedly leaving the duo to themselves.
"We won!" Bridgette cheered.
Katie squealed happily.
"Sorry Bass, unfortunately there is a tiny little problem," Chris smiled wonderfully. "You see there's this little thing called the blindfold? DJ took his off and never put back on. Which means… The Gophers win!"
"Finally!" Heather cried exasperatedly. "Our losing streak is over!"
"So the Gophers can enjoy a nice, long rest. The rest of you I'll be seeing tonight until then have fun!"
Harry waited for everyone to disburse leaving Duncan and himself. "So that's why you were with that bunny."
"What are you talking about? The stupid rabbit wouldn't leave me alone, okay?" Duncan deflected swiftly. He sighed afterward. "Listen, I don't want anyone to think I'm soft."
"I wouldn't classify that as being soft Duncan," Harry said bemused. "Don't worry. I'll keep your secret."
"He doesn't think I'm soft, huh?" Duncan frowned. "I don't do nice. Don't you dare get any wrong ideas I couldn't stand there letting DJ think his pet abandoned him you know? That's all. Stop looking into it!"
The serene solitude of the night felt refreshing, feeling the breeze leave cold kisses upon the exposed skin taking in the beauty of the serene waters near the docks, rather than celebrate with his fellow members of the Screaming Gophers Harry instead had some peace. While playing with the thought of joining his team, having time to himself. Perhaps he'd eventually join the others later for the moment enjoying the view was the singular thing on Harry's mind.
Time flew by so fast, difficult believing that the endgame near half-way. Time was truly a strange mistress. Unable to deny the fun Harry was having on the island away from England, the war and the expectations thrust on his shoulders knowing what awaited him once summer end.
"Thought I'd find you here."
Harry snorted smiling faintly. "Were you looking for me?"
"Maybe," Trent responded plopping next to him. "Would I get brownie points for saying that?"
"In another lifetime."
"Ouch. Harsh." The twinkle inside Trent's eyes danced with mirth knowing Harry was playing around. "Sure, is nice out. Glad we get to enjoy it this time."
"Yeah. I always liked being outside," Harry agreed his gaze turned towards the sky. "I enjoy being on the island. It's peaceful."
"Peaceful? You sure about that? We have Heather to deal with."
"Let her do whatever she wants." Between Dudley, Heather and Malfoy there was no way she was worse than those two. Harry knew that Dudley was steadily getting better since the incident before fifth year working on improving himself and losing weight, doubtful of Malfoy ever becoming a better person at least Heather had the potential to be. "I meant everyone here."
"Aww that's sweet. Almost makes me want to cry," Trent jabbed the side of his rib playfully.
Harry laughed. "Don't cry on me. That's Lindsay's job."
"She doesn't cry that much. Not anymore," Trent pointed out.
"Lindsay looked happy when I let her cook for today's challenge," Harry mused thoughtfully.
Trent nodded encouragingly. "It's cooking. She baked a flambé remember? I'm sure she did great on the cooking – what was it again?"
"And you ate it?!" Trent gazed slack jawed horrified.
"it worked out. I'm fine and not dead. She did great, Lindsay isn't as dumb as people believe give her a chance Trent. She might surprise you," Harry defended coolly. Lindsay might not have been the smartest person on the island she had a big heart and strived to do her best, eerily reminding him of his younger days. Being passed over and ignored. He did not want Lindsay to feel like that.
Trent hummed thoughtfully. "Okay. I'll take your word for it."
"That aside. No guitar today?" His brow cocked. "You usually carry it with you everywhere."
"True." Trent nodded slowly. "I need a break, besides I got to sit next to you without the extra weight."
Harry almost choked. Almost.
Trent and Harry whipped their heads behind them noting Tyler standing there with his luggage.
"H-Hey!" The athlete greeted.
"Got the can?" Trent winced. "Sorry man."
Tyler shook his head. "Nah. Don't be. I saw this coming I wasn't in top form kinda deserve to go home but that's not why I'm here. Well, waiting for the boat to come. Just want to say thanks Harry."
"Thanks?" Harry glanced at Trent. "Why?"
"For Lindsay. She was talking about you before the voting. Kept on saying how happy she was you let her cook for you and all," Tyler said smiling widely. "You really made her happy. It meant a lot."
"I didn't really do anything. I knew she could do it," Harry disagreed. "I'm glad that she's happy."
Tyler smiled the sound of the boat caught their attention, pulling out next to the docks and held out the blank onwards, after a moment the athlete says his farewells grabbing his things proudly heading onto the boat. Once settled the boat set off taking the brunet off of the island watching him wave into the distance until neither Trent nor him could see.
"Poor guy. Hope Lindsay will be okay," Trent said worriedly.
"I think…. She'll be fine. Even if she isn't, we'll be there to support her, that's what a team does, right?"
Trent blinked before smiling followed by a nod. The two remained standing together gazing into the peering moon soaking each other's presence until the next day came.
Coming to the island was not that bad. Not at all.
I can't believe it's been so long since the last time this fic has been updated, there are no real apologize I can give other than life's been keeping me busy. I'll try my best to see that the next chapter will come out much, much faster than this one and that won't take over a year to appear. Now that Tyler's left, the camper's numbers are dwindling. Who will leave or will shall be the lucky few to stay? You'll have to wait and see.
Until then stay tuned for the chapter and make sure to leave constructive criticism in your comments/reviews!