Well, I promised you some more Granny Battle, and here it is! I’m being mean though, and will eek out the next few chapters over a few posts rather than all in one go!
If you want to catch up with the story so far, click here… (I’ve added this latest chapter to the end).
‘Going back to your first question,’ said Granny, pausing to extract a troublesome piece of cress from between her teeth and flicking it away, ‘what’s going on is, we’re on A Mission.’ She leaned back smugly, then looked thoughtful and added, ‘Well, two Missions actually.’
Hearing the important capitals, Ellis looked up from his phone. ‘What sort of missions?’ he asked.
Granny rummaged in her bag again. ‘Banana? No? Okay.’ She deftly unpeeled one and tossed the skin to Ian, who caught it in his sleep and swallowed it in one gulp. Taking a delicate bite, she chewed thoughtfully for a moment, whilst Ellis waited impatiently.
‘One,’ she said bananily, ‘is to find your dad. The other is to stop a bunch of nasty weasley no-goods from destroying everything the dragons have been building up for hundreds and hundreds of years. Although I think the two missions might be related, so you could probably just call it one mission, but sort of in two parts.’ She waved the banana around vaguely. ‘Actually, three parts if you include the coots. Sure you don’t want want a banana?’
Ellis had gone pale. He’d felt himself go pale – well, he’d had that tummy-dropping-heart-booming-hot-and-cold-dizzy feeling that he guessed made you go pale. Considering what had happened in the last few hours, he fleetingly wondered if he’d stay pale for life.
He managed to get his vocal chords working and said faintly, ‘Find my dad?’
Granny swallowed the rest of the banana and nodded. ‘Yep,’ she said peering at him, ‘You all right? You’ve gone a bit pale.’
Ellis took a deep breath and let it out slowly. ‘Um. I dunno. I guess… er… yeah. No. I don’t know.’ He stared down at Ian on his lap and chewed his lip, thinking hard. ‘You think my dad is here?’ he asked.
‘Oh, he’s here all right,’ said Granny, ‘I’ve seen all the signs. I’ve just never been able to get a good fix on him. But now…’ she paused and grinned conspiratorially ‘Well, here we both are!’
Something stirred in Ellis’s memory, and he screwed up his eyes trying to recall what it was. ‘Wait a minute, you said before that you knew where he was, but didn’t know yet how to find him. Do you mean you’ve worked it out, just since we were in your kitchen?’
‘Yep,’ said Granny smugly, ‘Clever, eh?’
‘But how?’ asked Ellis.
Granny was rummaging in her bag again. ‘How do you think you’re showing up on the map?’ she asked without looking up.
Ellis looked exasperated. ‘I don’t know!’ he said exasperatedly.
Granny looked a little peeved. ‘All right, calm down,’ she said, ‘Look, right, when I did that thing with your hair back in the kitchen, I – er – borrowed a bit of you. That’s all. I just borrowed a bit of you, popped it into the app, and that’s why you’re showing up on the map.’
‘You borrowed a bit of me?’ asked Ellis, ‘What bit?!’
Granny opened a large packet of crisps she’d just retrieved from her bag. ‘Just a hair,’ she said, ‘Don’t worry, you won’t miss it. Anyway, a bit later I noticed something, and that’s when I worked it out.’
Ellis shook his head. ‘This is bonkers,’ he said flatly.
Then he looked down at Ian snoozing in his lap, and realised that everything was, indeed, extremely bonkers. And also that it was all happening. For real.
He sighed. ‘Sorry,’ he said quietly, then looked up at Granny, who was crunching and watching him carefully. ‘Okay. So what did you notice?’
Granny swallowed a mouthful of crisps and had opened her mouth to reply when there was an ear-splitting screech of brakes and the train suddenly lurched violently from side to side. Ian shot off Ellis’ lap and landed in a tangle of baby badger on the floor, and the contents of Granny’s crisp packet dumped themselves over everyone.
‘Bugger,’ she said, ‘That was quick! Grab your bag and follow me – we’re here!’ And with an apologetic wave at the badger family, she extracted Ian from the tangle on the floor, threw her bag over her shoulder and crunched to the carriage door.