I watched as Middy ran from the room. No one had really registered my presence. I was... grateful for that. I didn't want sympathy or pity... I wanted Maz.
"I know someone she would want to see right now. That new boy, Lapin, he reminds me slightly of Mazany," Damien said. They were the first words I'd really heard since entering the room.
It was true... 'Lapin' and Maz were similar. Uncannily so... I frowned to myself. They were both cryptic (something I've always found irritating), chivalrous, know-alls (again, irritating), they had a habit of finding the weirdest things amusing, they talked to themselves out loud... that was only a few things. I hadn't even had a proper conversation with 'Lapin' (I wasn't counting the one about names because frankly it wasn't a proper conversation as far as I'm concerned. It was just a lot of repetition and 'Lapin' annoying the crap outta me. Again like Maz.)
I giggled quietly. Irritating, yes, but also amusing.
They all shot me strange looks. I cleared my throat.
"Uh... excuse me," I said and slipped out of the room. I intended to go to my bed and sleep but I saw a flicker of purple. I had a feeling that 'Lapin' had been waiting for me... trying to hide.
How could I resist?
"You'd be awful at hide and seek," I said softly and 'Lapin' tried to smother laughter and crept further away.
"I can still see you," I hissed and sighed. I followed him and reached out to make us both invisible... except my power didn't work on him.
"I never did work out how to switch that thing off," 'Lapin' muttered darkly to himself. Then he stared at me. "Oh, hello! What a coincid-"
"Don't even think of finishing that sentence," I threatened. He snapped his mouth shut. Strange.... no one took my threats seriously unless they knew me very well. Maz and several phoenixes in particular had been on the receiving end of them.
Hold on a minute...
"Follow me," I ordered and began to walk away. He wasn't following. I turned and raised an eyebrow. He looked nervous.
"Er, but, I was-"
I pointed a finger at him and glared.
"Follow. Me. Now." I repeated. 'Lapin' gulped and scrambled to catch up with me. Yep, he definately knew me.
There was just one problem.
We'd reached Maz's grave by now and I spun around.
"I am in no doubt about what you are; I just can't remember which!"
'Lapin' laughed, "Ah, now that is a bit of a problem you've got on your hands, isn't it?"
"Definately one of the frustrating ones," I muttered.
"If only we weren't all frustrating," 'Lapin' said, tilting his head to the side; regarding me in a mischievious manner.
"Fine!" I snapped, "One of the more frustrating ones!"
"Time flows freely around your mind," he teased.
"Now don't even try that!" I threatened again, "I know for certain you are not Al'Tijd! He is bloody unforgettable!" I shuddered at the memory then mimicked in a curious tone, "Correct? Ugh! Him and his 'corrects' all the time! Nature, I hated that phoenix so much," I muttered, "Him and Mazany! It was like the Battle of the Cryptics! I thought Time and Space cancelled each other out not intensify!"
'Lapin' watched in silent amusement.
"Battle of the Cryptics? Battle of the Riddles? I wonder which one's which. Much the same yet much the different," he said.
"Your English grammar is appalling," I replied. He blinked in shock.
"Well that's a first. Never had anyone answer with that," he smiled.
"I learned, a very long time ago, never even try making sense of whatever you guys say because it is a guaranteed way of driving oneself into insanity," I paused, "Oneself? Oneself? Oh great, now I sound like you!"
"I should be offended by that," 'Lapin' said and narrowed his eyes, "Oh well, the breeze is one to come and go, always causing destruction in it's wake yet a silent calmness follows."
"Oh no!" I moaned and covered my ears, "No more riddles! Please! I'm begging you!"
"Sorry. Uh, how. Am. I, uh... Give me a minute to think this through. I don't know how not to talk so crytically. Like a cat doesn't know how to fly yet can still fly," 'Lapin' shrugged apologetically.
"Look, nice try but it didn't work. Do try to stay on topic. Just tell me, please, which one of them are you?" I demanded in exasperation.
"Ah now that would be telling and there are many reasons why I can't tell you. Well, only two actually. One: if I just gave you all the answers then life would be too easy and two: it would ruin my fun," 'Lapin' attempted sad puppy eyes (have you ever seen a rabbit attempt puppy eyes? Trust me, it doesn't quite work), "Ah I've missed you and your outlook on my riddles, Little... Zuri Brook."
He tried to cover it up but I noticed the pause after 'Little'. He'd wanted to say something else but caught himself in time. I was about to question him about that when Middy appeared. She didn't notice us immediately and walked straight into me. I fell to the ground.
"Oh, sorry, Zuri," Middy apologised. I glanced up at her about to say 'don't worry about it' when I saw 'Lapin's purple ear things disappearing.
"OI! Get back here, you rabbit!"
"I'm not a rabbit!" I heard him reply but it was faint so I knew he was long gone by now. I sighed and stood up.
"Whatever, Floppy Ears," I muttered then looked at Middy, a little sheepishly. "Oh, hey, Little Moon. Don't worry about it; you've got a lot on your mind."
Middy stared at me.
"What were you guys doing?" She asked in a whisper.
"Well, he was frustrating me while I was getting frustrated," I murmured. I sighed, "Don't ask."
"Let me guess, instead of proper answers he gave you indirectness?"
"Wow, got it in one," I shook my head and forced myself to smile at her. My eyes flickered to Maz's grave. I swallowed and began to back away. "I'll see you later, Midnight," I breathed, "Maybe you should find some Midnight Flowers to put on his grave."