Joanna got up and Nagini immediately exited the room. Hurrying after it, Nagini waited for her at corners, just so Joanna would not lose sight of it, before it continued slithering. Finally, after a few turns, Joanna found herself standing in front of a white door. The knob was not dusty like the rest which meant Tom used it.
Nagini hissed at her, as though urging her to hurry up. After hesitating for a moment, Joanna turned the knob and entered the unlocked room.
The room was Tom’s bedroom. Clean and tidy like the reading room, there was a table, with books and papers scattered on them, and a fireplace with ashes. Nagini did not stop to look around like she did, as it slithered to a chest at the corner of the room and hissed for her attention.
Giving into Nagini’s demands, Joanna headed over and attempted to open it, but it was locked. There was some locking charm around the chest which made Joanna even more curious of its contents.
Should she open it? Joanna was tempted to. She had learned a lot of unlocking spells and she was certain she could get this chest opened in no time, but that would mean intruding Tom’s privacy. Nagini didn’t seem to care though, as it kept on hissing.
Not really thinking it through, Joanna pulled out her wand and tried a few spells on the chest. Third time was indeed the charm as the chest glowed around the gaps. Excited, Nagini slithered onto her lap and waited for her to open it. Not wanting Nagini to stay any longer on her lap, she pushed the top over and found herself starring down at a folder and a square cage, covered with white cloth.
Pretty sure Nagini had no interest in the folder, Joanna took the cage out and pulled the white cloth off. A sudden shrill came from the contents as blue Cornish pixies began shaking the cage. Accidentally dropping the cage, Nagini hurried towards it and started striking at the pixies.
“You eat pixies?” Joanna asked in disbelief.
Joanna reached for the cage, pointed her wand and jinx the afraid and noisy pixies. The pixies started to fall into a dreamy state and that was when Joanna opened the top and pulled out one pixie. Placing it on the ground, Nagini immediately grabbed for it and slithered away to a corner.
“So much for a thank you,” Joanna said as she placed the cage back into the chest.
Naturally, she reached for the folder and when she saw its contents, Joanna wished she had not.
There were names, places, spells, and internal information about the ministry of magic that even Joanna could not get her hands on. Joanna told herself to stop reading and put the folder back where it belonged, but her eyes and hands worked in harmony to disobey her commands.
“Erlton Motel?” Joanna asked herself more than the audible. The motel was located in a muggle town outside the city. Why was Tom so interested in a muggle town? Unless…
Joanna’s thoughts were cut short when Tom entered the room. Immediately the file and its contents fell from her hand.
“I can explain,” Joanna quickly said.
Tom merely stared at the papers on the floor before turning to Nagini and casting an inaudible spell at it. Nagini hissed and attempted to slither under the bed. But Tom’s second spell caught it by the tail and sent it up onto the ceiling before falling to the ground.
“STOP! Don’t hurt it!” Joanna shouted.
Tom seemed to have not heard her as he cast another spell, followed by a sentence in parseltongue.
Nagini curled up at a corner as Tom headed up to it, wand still pointed at the terrified snake.
“No!” Joanna ran towards him and pulled him away from Nagini. He looked as though he was about to kill his own pet.
There was fury in his eyes when she finally looked him in the face, but a few moments later, the fury left.
“You shouldn’t have read that,” Tom said as he looked past Joanna.
“I know. I’m sorry. It’s my fault, not the snake’s. Please don’t hurt it anymore,” Joanna pleaded.
Tom did not reply. He simply turned around, waved his wand at the papers sending them back into the chest, before exiting the room. The chest sealed itself with the same glowing edges, and Joanna stared at it for a while before wondering if she should go after him.
She was afraid to face him, because she knew she was at fault. She could have just jeopardized their relationship for knowing too much. Turning to Nagini, hoping for an answer she knew she wouldn’t get from the poor baby snake, she found that the snake had disappeared under the bed, leaving her to decide.
Should she try to explain, or should she just leave and come back when she had her words figured out?
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should go after Tom or come back another day!)