The Celebration of two fools of April
"So ya about ready to head to the Maison, clone? S'pose we're pretty much wrapped up here, far as I can tell."
George is countin' the extra cash outta the register, makin' sure we've not got too much to leave in there for the night. Not only is it April Fool's Day, but a lotta o' the world knows it's our birthdays as well, and that there's no way in ruddy London we're gonna be around to watch the WWW tonight. So yeah, don't wanna make things too invitin' for the criminal sorts who might wanna make us the April fools. We're skivin' off early, the two of us, to head up to the Maison and make sure everything is right and proper brill for the festivities tonight. This means we're leavin' the kids to close up shop.
I look over at Miles. "Got that ward spell down for the front door lock-up at closing, Kilos?"
"Got it, Fred," he answers.
“Make sure you give yourself plenty o’ time to suit up before ya come by. Want you b-movied up proper-like!”
"Yeah, otherwise ya don't get your own snifter of the very special, made by us, 'staff-only' birthday punch," I remind 'em.
“Now, we gotta get goin,” Georgie says, closin’ up the register. “We got some outlandish and extravagant costumes to squeeze into!”
"And when ya see the trousers on mine," I admit, "you'll know what George is talkin' about! Till we see you next, ladies and gents! Tata!"
Geordie and I head out the door and down the Alley till we get to our Apparition point. Moments later, we're storming the doors of the Maison, obviously interrupting a heated discussion between Packlesby and Trudes at the front desk. Well, Trudes is heated, anyway.
“One second, Packlesby, is a big deal! What if she’d been the Minister? What if she’d been an auror? Have our license quicker than you could get a cushioning under us to break out fall, that’s for sure, you half-wit! Why they keep you on, I’ve no clue, but you can guess I’m going to be talking to them about cutting your pay yet again!”
"Hallo, and what's this? Another good day in the neighbourhood?" I ask Trudes..
“This meatloaf brain got a cushion-charm one second too late and some lady slipped on goo almost bruised ‘er tailbone! It’s a good thing Michelson’s good at healin’ and I could smooth it all over she wasn’t gonna sue us!”
"Meatloaf brain? Hmm, good idea, we'll have to look into that, won't we, clone?" I say thoughtfully, if I might say so myself. "That's why we pay ya the big bucks, Trudes, so we don't have to pay 'em out in lawsuits! Nice goin'!" I take a deep breath and look around the entrance lobby. "Alright then, anybody ready to partay?"
“He isn’t,” she says, thrustin’ ‘er finger toward the shruggin’ miscreant. “He’s going home and practicing his reflex-time or else,” she finishes, turnin’ her firey eyes on him.
“Yeah…don’t get any love,” he says with a shrug and slouches off toward the stairs to the staffrooms.
“Honest, you two, if I have to clean up one more o’ that shit-wad’s messes…when are you gonna get a manager for this place?”
"Soon, Trudes, it'll be soon, we promise ya." I try to be soothing, I really do. "We'll make sure and find somebody it'll be easy to work with too, alright?"
She grumbles something and heads up the stairs as George calls up to ‘er, “But no work tonight, you got it? It’s all fun and games! Don’t worry none about responsibilities and lawsuits and whatnot.”
"Nice try, Geordie. Hey, we did what we could, eh? But enough of that drivel, we've got a party to set up for! Where we startin', and with what?"
“Figure we split it up into rooms,” he says, fanning his hand in the air in front of us in his visionary way. “One room’d be the muck-monster’s swamp. Figure that’s best in the lobby, since we got the recreation of the Hogwarts Swamp there. Then we got the mad scientist’s evil laboratory in another room, prob’ly the lafeteria with loads o’ beakers and whatnot. Then tin-can spaceship in another…whaddya think?”
"Sounds good to me," I tell 'im. "Everybody's gotta sign in here, right? As the person/thing they're dressed as, so people know who all's here, don'tcha think? Plus, I s'pose we'll need at least one wall in one o' the rooms to show our b-movies, so as everybody can watch their alter-egos on the silver screen."
“Oh, that’s a must,” Geordie agrees. “We’ll have to set that up in the space-ship room. All them nobs and gears and screens and blinkin’ lights. Techno up the wazoo! You get that room, my clone of the outer space!”
"Ta! And don't forget the Tokyo skyline in the background - hmm, maybe we could kinda rig that in the background of the graveyard room. Needs some cheap, stringy cobwebs there, some pie-tin flyin' saucers in the space room. That it?"
He scratches his chin and shrugs. “Dunno. We’ll prob’ly think of it along the way. Let’s go crackin!”
A coupla hours later, the Maison Mischief is total and proper brill, it is, and it's time to go put on our b-movie wear. Geordie and I adjourn to separate dressing rooms in our private private room and get to it.
I pull off the work-ish duds and toss 'em on the cushioned bench there, choosin' to work on my hair first. A few minutes and a few intensifed spells later, ya could mistake me for a Malfoy, ya could, blonde as I am. I tug on the tight white trousers and shirt, tuckin' it so that my name is straight and glaring across my chest. The black and red space captain-ish sorta jacket goes over top and I tuck a toy ray-gun in my back waistband for good measure. (Woulda tucked it in my back pocket, but these trousers play snugbuns a bit too serious-like.) The final touch? Takes a moment, but I work the spell on my front teeth so that each time I crack a smile, a brilliant, twinkling glint sparks off 'em. Then I look myself up and down, front and back in the mirror.
Flash Gordon, eat your heart out!
Now to see what Geordie's got himself up to.
When Geordie comes out, he's surrounded by a halo o' teased, messed, frizzy hair standin' out about a foot around his head, like 'e stuck a fork in a muggle electrics socket. He's taunted out 'is whiskers so'z he's got a five o'clock shadow ten times over, and he's done somethin' to 'is eyes so he looks half-crazed. The labcoat 'e's got on is white, ratty, with frayed threads, some burn holes, and half a dozen pretty sizable violent chemical splotches. His shoulder's smokin' too.
We check ourselves in the mirror in our secret hide-away in the back of the Maison.
“Well, Clone, shall we?” I say, strikin’ a classic Flash pose.
“Just a mo, my cloniest,” Georgie says, reachin’ into a pocket hidden behind a distinctly nasty large rotten tomato-lookin’ stain, and pulls out a great big envelope, which ‘e hands to me.
The moment I open the envelope and slip the card out, Marvin pops up, his gnarly ray-gun pointed right at my noggin. Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be a kaboom. Then I open up the card and there’s a room-shakin’ KABOOM, and soon as the dust clears, I read the little clone-written inscription in the card.
To the greatest April Fools prank ever.
“Aww, George,” I say and grab ‘im up in a clone-crushin’ hug. His big fluff o’ hair envelopes my head and a few strands get in my nose. “Thanks. You know you’re the best prank ever, too.”
“Takes one ta know one, Clone,” he says, smackin my back. “Let’s go out and prank the daylights outta the world!”