“I still don’t get why you have to knock on someone’s door Tree,” Max says, voice muffled as he fixes his clown mask. “You’re a magician, right? You could-”
“For the last time,” I snarl as I fix the gold and red tie beneath my Gryffindor robe. “I’m a wizard. Not a magician, not a magic guy, and sure as hell not a witch. Is that clear.”
“Yeah sure, Tree man,” Rickie says as he fixes his own mask. “You’re just pushing it in our faces that you look half your age. Although to be fair, that only works in your favor on halloween.”
“I do no-”
“Yes you do,” Jason says coming up behind me and resting his forward on my head. “You’re barely even five-two, hella quite, and now you’re dressing up like Harry Potter as if you just finished watching the movies for the first time with your mommy.”
“That is no-”
“Aww, is the little Treeling trying to arg- What the hell!” Rick yells.
“Cause y’all are actual idiots,” I say with a bit of a smaug smile. I know it’s petty but I hate it when people push my height in my face. I’m about to kick back when Jason steps away.
“Sure, fine, whatever dude,” he says stepping a way but not before he ruffles my hair once more for good measure.
“So which house do y’all wanna take,” Hiroto asks, forever the voice of reason. “It’s already 11:58. Y’all better pick quickly. Oh, and I call the barnhouse-looking one.”
“I’ll take the one on its right,” Jason says, walking to him and putting out his hand. “Shall we darling?”
“Y’all better hurry or you’re gonna miss Prime time,” Hiro says before turning around, ignoring Jason’s outstretched hand.
“See you on the other side,” Jason says with a small salute before following Hiro.
By Prime time Hiro means that moment right before the midnight bell rings in the Common. If you knock at just the right moment, the person will open the door right as the bell starts ringing. They usually momentarily panic and just push the whole bowl of candy into your hands.
Without talking we all scatter like rats, each of us going in a random direction and running up to a random house.
It’s not until I ring the doorbell that I realize that I picked the new house, the one with people that just moved in from New York, if old people gossip is to be trusted. I think i just picked it for the solitaire pumpkin that’s sitting there on the porch.
I mentally kick myself as I wait for someone to open the door.
“Maybe I should just leave,” I say to myself as I turn around. “New people are sc-”
“Hi! Happy halloween! Sorry, I’m the only one at home right now so I wasn’t sure if I heard the doorbell ring. Would you believe me if I told you you’re the first trick-or-treater….”
I’m surprised. Not that someone opened the door but that the person in question is actually a pretty hot looking green-eyed guy that’s probably not any older than I am.
And that’s when the bell rings. He goes silent for a moment, looking off into the sky as if he can see the bell right there. There’s a small smile on his face, one different then the one he had on when he first opened the door. It’s more the secret kind, the kind that makes you feel like you’re intruding into someone else’s thoughts.
Then he suddenly turns back to me and asks “Did you know that the sound a bell makes is called tintinnabulation?”
“I like Tintin?” I say stupidly, momentarily blinded by the light reflection off the white streak in his hair.
“Oh you like that movie too? I adored it,” he gushes talking as if we’re best pals and not total strangers. “Although I’m pretty sure it came out before you were bo-”
I finally snap out of my daze and say quietly, “I’m probably older than you think.”
“Huh?” The kid says a bit confused, then starts to give me an apologetic smile before giving me a full on grin and leans forward. “Then how old are you Monsieur Gryffindor?”
“16,” I say with a straight face then take a page out of his book and start rambling. “Although My birthday’s actually tomorrow, so technically I’m 17? It’s not my fault I’m short. And I’m not even that short! My cousin’s actually a Broadway actress and she’s only five feet so being two inches taller than her is actually good. Granted that she’s usually playing kid ro-”
He’s laughing. Not a small chuckle or a polite laugh, but an actual howl. He’s leaning on the doorframe, holding his stomach.
“It wasn’t that funny,” I say with a small pout. “And to be fair, I still haven’t gotten my candy. You have no right to mention my height when you are literally starving me.”
“Oh, right! Candy. Um, I don’t have any?”
“You said I was the first trick -or-treater tonight… No. Don’t tell me you ate it a-”
“No! I didn’t! It’s because my little sister decided to take it with her to her halloween party at a friends house. Like how does she make friends within two days when I haven’t even star- Okay, sorry. Oh, wait! We might have some in the pantry… Give me a sec. Be right back!”
And with that he closes the door, leaving me to collect my thoughts in cold October air.
Big Hiro 6: Where the hell ru? Did u ditch?
Tree Man: Believe it or not, I’m still at the door.
Jace the Ace: …. I dont believe u
Tree Man: im serious! This kid won’t stop talking!
Jace the Ace: Sounds fishy….
Maxim: What if the lorax has finally found love…
Rick: OMG!…. is that the appropriate response?
“Here you go!”
He throws open the door and shoves at me a jumbo sized bag of candy.
“Wait what!” I can’t help but yell, jumping back.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not scared of sugar. But that much?
“Yup,” he says with a smile like nothings wrong. “As compensation for your time and conversation, you get all the candy.”
“…This is a joke, isn’t it?”
“Nope!” He says with the same cheerful air before sobering up, dropping the smile.
And he looks a bit… scared?
“It’s just that you said you’re 16 almost 17, and I’m also 17 so I think we’re both seniors? Right? And even if we aren’t, I’m starting school this coming monday and I don’t know anyone and this is like a peace offering? Kinda? I mea-”
Now it’s my turn to laugh.
“What,” he says with a face that makes him look like an injured puppy. “It’s a valid reason!”
“I guess,” I say, still unable to shake the smile on my face. “But you really over analyze everything. If that’s what this is about, I promise to not ignore you during homeroom? Cool? Cool. Okay, Is that good?”
I guess he wasn’t expecting this to work cause he looks like he might actually cry.
“Okay, now can I get my candy? It’s getting kinda cold,” I say, hoping to avoid any possible breakdowns.
“Oh, yeah. Uh, just take it. Seriously,” He says it with a kind of awestruck look, like he can’t believe that people can be decent. “And, uh. Guess i’ll see you on Monday?”
“Yeah, sure,” I say, a bit unsure as I take the bag from his hands and put it in mine. “See you then.”
“Yeah, bye,” he says quietly with a small wave before closing the door.
“Well that was unexpected,” I say beneath my breath as I walk down the path and outside the gate.
“There you are!” Jace yells at me from down the street. “What took you so long!”
“Believe me or not, I just met a new classmate,” I say, opening my bag and showing them my loot.
“ What the hell bro!” Max says, reaching in, trying to grab that big bag that’s laying on top.
“Nope,” I say yanking the bag back. Then I guess it’s their excitement that’s getting to me or the Halloween vibes or something cause I shove the bag at Hiro.
“Hold it,” I tell him before turning away and running back to the house with the single pumpkin.
“Hel-Oh, hi there,” the unnamed kid says with a confused expression when he realizes it’s me. “Do you want more candy? I mean, I’m pretty sure there might be-”
“No, no, you gave me more than enough,” I say quickly and soldier on with what I want to say before I chicken out. “Um, just that since you’re the new kid, uh. Okay, pretty much d you want to meet up tomorrow at the Sugar Shack? ARound 4-ish? Oh, and I’m Tremaine, but you can just call me Tree.”
“Oh,” he says, looking a bit surprised before giving me a full on smile. “Yes! I mean, yeah, sure. I’d love to. And I’m Simon, but you can just call me Simon.”
“Simon,” I say quietly before sticking out a hand. “Nice to meet you!”
“Likewise,” he says quietly with a softer smile.
And I don’t even know what takes over me, but I lean forward and hug him.
I”M NOT A HUGGER! But there’s something about him that’s just so…
“Happy Halloween,” I say with a smile and quick wave before running back to the guys.
I don’t hear what he says in return, or see how he reacts, don’t know if he might actually hate me for this, but I can’t shake off the dopey smile on my face.
“What was that all about?” Hiro says handing back my bag when I walk closer.
“Nothing,” I say, sounding a bit more peppy than I want, but I’m kind of beyond caring right now.
All I know is that something definitely happened.
No matter how small, something definitely happened.
“Guess it’s all that halloween spirit.”
“Huh?” they all say, looking at me like I’m officially off my rocker.
“Nothing,” I say again with a wide smile. “Absolutely nothing.”