Ok, after looking on a million sites, the Chairman and board members do not have names; therefore I shall make up names. And yes, I know my made up names suck.
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Jojo sighed in complete bliss as the chilly night air blew around him, ruffling his hair and fur. Night always made him feel at peace, especially with the nice feel of wind against his skin. Looking up at his approaching house, Jojo frowned as he saw an extremely expensive black Who-car.
Its oval wheels and shiny texture with the chairmen symbol was all it took for Jojo to realize who was there. Hiding behind a bush, Jojo tried to look through a window. Unfortunately it was a window no one was near, save for one of his random sisters flying past it.
Wanting to avoid the chairmen, Jojo all but crawled through the bushes toward the tree that led to the second story window. Jojo climbed up slowly, wanting to avoid any noise whatsoever. Whenever the chairman and his subordinates were over it meant bad news. Ever since they discovered his use of the observatory they had sent quite a few Who's up to his sanctuary, each one failing. While it was rather amusing, it only further fueled Jojo's annoyance of others.
Peeking through the window, Jojo couldn't see anyone. It was 8:30, so perhaps they were holding a meeting at the dinner table? Opening the window with practiced hands, Jojo dropped to the floor, barely feeling his knees buckle at the force. Or perhaps it was because he was nervous.
Jojo felt ridiculous. Why should he be so paranoid? His father was the mayor, so they obviously wanted to speak with him about mayor duties or something.
Somehow Jojo doubted it.
His doubts were confirmed as he opened the door to his room, walking in backwards in case he missed someone walk through the hallway, and turned around with an unnoticed gasp.
Standing in front of his bed were the various council members, along with a nervous looking mayor. Jojo glared. Who did they think they were, coming into his room like this?
"Ah, Jojo!" his father greeted halfheartedly. "There's, uh… well you see—"
"What your father is trying to say," the grinch-like chairman, Rourke Ozdar, said, "is that there are matter's that must be spoken with you."
"Exactly!" Ned said excitedly. "So, Jojo," he said eagerly, "got anything you would like to share with us?" He held up an upside down peace sign in hopes that would somehow get Jojo to open his mouth.
Just like every other time, Jojo ignored the gesture and rolled his eyes.
The councilmen obviously found the gesture as annoying as Jojo and tried to move on. "Come now, boy," the one with blue fur and cat ears said helpfully. Jojo never did bother to learn the rest of their names, not thinking it important. "Yesterday there was a, uh, little mishap that apparently caught everyone's attention."
Jojo frowned. Was that explosion really that loud?
"And as the council of the city, the citizen's humble servants," the fat one said with an ugly smile, "it is our duty to make sure the town is safe."
Jojo glanced at his nodding father. Right, if they were really worried about the city then they should have listened to his father during the whole Horton thing. Rourke obviously caught his look and gave an ugly sneer.
Ned obviously caught the look as well and kneeled down next to his son. "Jojo," he said quietly, "we're just worried about your safety. I would never want anything to happen to you, and that is why we need to know if you are being cautious while making your inventions. Please, son, we've been waiting for hours, and I need to pacify them."
Jojo looked up at his father seriously before shrugging, giving a small smile, indicating he was ok and nothing was wrong.
"Well, there we go!" Ned said brightly. "Jojo is fine and that little explosion… Well, when doesn't Whoville have a little bang every now and then? I mean, if the wor—"
"Ned," Rourke interrupted giving that oily smile of his. "Perhaps it would be best if I talked with your son. Alone."
"Well, I—" Ned was obviously hesitant before nodding. "Sure thing! Just hurry, the wife has made some Whoerry pie!"
Jojo shook his head frantically at his retreating father. No way did he want to be left alone with the creepy chairman.
"Now, now," Ned said pleasantly, completely oblivious to his sons concerns. "I'm sure you two will get a long fine. They are just questions." Ned smiled, looking proud of is son and, for a brief moment, Jojo felt his heart soar with that look. "Besides, if you're to become mayor, you two will have to learn together, maybe even form a bond!"
And the moment was ruined, just like all those other times. Disgusted look in place at the thought of forming a bond with the grumpy Who, Jojo watched his father leave with the others. The soft click of the door made him feel like he was being imprisoned.
Turning around with a neutral look, Jojo pretended he didn't even care the two of them were alone. His neutral look was soon replaced with fury as he saw the Chairman look through one of his many notebooks, that ugly sneer back on place.
"Quite the imaginative one, aren't you?" he asked with false cheerfulness. He slammed the notebook shut, not giving Jojo time to look at which notebook he had been looking at. "I've read that you had quite the hand as well," he continued. "Excellent grades in both creative writing and science. I believe you have an A in both, yes?"
Jojo remained still. Why did this guy know about his grades? Walking up to the Who, Jojo plucked his notebook out of his grasp. The oily smile didn't disappear, even as Jojo put it into one if his desk drawers. Turning back to the Who, Jojo lifted a brow, as if demanding what he wanted.
"It is always important to push young Who's in their area of expertise, in the right direction of course." Rourke gazed at Jojo with an intense look. "We wouldn't want something bad to happen with our town, now would we?"
Seeing the Chairman keep those intense eyes on his own, Jojo nodded, hoping to appease him.
"Good! Then you'll know that ever since the whole almost end of the speck thing, we, the councilmen of the town, have been keeping security tight and have increased our scientific studies."
Jojo folded his arms, wishing he would hurry up and get to the point.
"And as such we cannot risk anything that might be a threat to the speck, outside of it or not." Those intense, ugly gray eyes narrowed. "Do you understand what I'm saying?"
Rourke gave the type of sigh one gives to a naïve child. He placed an arm around the smaller Who, ignoring Jojo's disgusted wince, and led him to the window that had the perfect view of the observatory.
"I'll admit it, Jojo," Rourke said with deep regret, "we have tried various ways of getting into that clever observatory of yours."
Jojo couldn't help but smirk at their failure which quickly turned into a scowl as Rourke placed his hand on his head and messed up his hair in what was supposed to be a friendly hair nuzzle. Jojo knew better, especially with the too tight grip on his hair.
"It's rather embarrassing to be outwitted by a child, especially for so many years. Who would have thought that abandoned observatory was anything less?" Rourke asked with a laugh. "Which comes to the main point of all our problems."
Jojo looked up with a glare and tried to shake the hand off his head. It didn't work. In fact, the grip only seemed to get tighter.
"You see, Jojo," Rourke said with a mournful voice, "in Whoville, we need to have order. The discovery that we're on nothing more than a speck is quite frightening to the public. And your inventions have been questioned at council meetings."
Jojo really wanted to groan before kicking the annoying Who in the shin but refrained himself. All he did was glance up into the greenish face.
"We need to verify your inventions are safe," Rourke finally stated.
Jojo scowled. His inventions worked fine, thank you very much. Well, except with Harry, but you could always make one mistake.
The grip tightened even more. "Do you understand what I'm trying to say now?" Rourke asked pleasantly, that ugly smirk upon his face.
Having had more than enough, Jojo brushed the hand off his head, not even wincing as a few hairs came off with the hand. Glaring, Jojo pointed firmly at the door.
Rourke sighed, almost as if he pitied Jojo. "It wouldn't be smart to deny the councilmen," he said in an I'm-so-better-than-you voice. "It would be better to have a watcher up there to provide reports. Nothing would be touched, of course, but the public has a right to know."
"That is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard," Jojo thought angrily. "He only cares because unlike the other simpletons of the city, I can think for myself."
"And, as expected, I can see you will not agree with me." Rourke sighed before leaning quickly into Jojo's face so quickly that Jojo didn't even have time to move back. A gnarled hand grabbed the back of his neck and lifted him off the ground. Because of his small height it was no bother to the taller Chairman.
"I warn you now, little Jojo, that if anything from that blasted observatory of yours causes disorder, I will not only have you locked up for treason, but will have your family separated and banished. Would you like that?" Rourke smiled nastily, crooked teeth poking out at odd angles as he held a kicking and glaring Jojo.
Shaking his head, Jojo tried to swing his body closer to the Chairman and kick him in the face.
Rourke paid the kicking boy no mind, already knowing his short legs couldn't reach him. "And if disorder has been discovered, don't think we won't be using that brilliant mind of yours, Jojo. It is merely your decision whether or not you will work with us."
With that, Rourke dropped the unsuspecting Jojo to the ground. Landing roughly on his bottom, Jojo got up just in time to see his door shut. Fury rose up in him and the arrogant Who. Grabbing a pillow off his bed, Jojo breathed heavily into it, determined not to let any sound escape.
After a few minutes, Jojo replaced the pillow and peaked out the window. Nobody was in the front yard, but since Jojo's house was the mayor's house, it had the perfect view of almost the whole city, just as the mayor's office did. Eyes searching through the town, Jojo could make out a dull shadow exit from the dark and stand under a street light and look towards his house.
He couldn't see who it was, but it was obvious the figure was supposed to spy on the house. Shivering, Jojo sank to the ground and folded his arms over his knees. Harry was safe, he knew that. No one could see far enough from the town to see if a Who was even near his observatory. The only problem was how he would get there.
It was obvious he couldn't use his favorite tree anymore, and going to the observatory during the day was just plain suicide.
Jojo suddenly frowned. Wait a minute; nobody was banning him from his observatory, his sanctuary. He would just have to be more careful when going there, setting new traps and designing new ways to get into his observatory.
Jojo uncurled from the frustrated ball he was in and tapped his chin, taking a peek out the window. The figure was gone. Jojo scowled at the spot.
It seemed like he would have more trouble than he thought.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like any other morning, Harry always woke with a long yawn and a stretch before fumbling around for his glasses. Today was no different. The only problem was there was no table to hold his glasses and there were, in fact, no glasses.
Swiping angrily at the air for a few seconds, Harry finally opened his eyes and stared at his furry black and white striped arms.
"Guess it wasn't a dream," Harry muttered tiredly.
He hadn't slept since last night, and that had been at least twenty-four hours since he had arrived in the strange new world. Looking down at the cold, metal floor, Harry followed a few cracks without enthusiasm. Heaving a sigh, Harry hopped out of the couch, prepared to sit back down because the floor was too cold.
To his surprise the cool floor felt quite nice under his feet.
"Hmm, maybe furry feet aren't all that bad," Harry said, wiggling his foot curiously. "Now, how about some breakfast?" he murmured to himself.
Scampering over to the cupboard, Harry opened it and scanned the foods. Seeing a bunch of canned goods, Harry picked them up, wondering what they were.
"Tanned Tuna?" Harry questioned, staring at the can with disbelief. He turned to a different one. "Who Hash? What is this stuff?"
Opening the can of Who Hash, Harry took a peek at the contents. It was green and extremely mushy with a hint of liquid on the top. Unsure, Harry dipped his finger into it and took a tentative lick. His eyes widened at the taste. It was a delicious!
Stirring it up to get the oil mixed in, Harry put it onto some toast that just popped out of the toaster. Sealing the can carefully, Harry knew he would probably have the rest later. Taking a look at the giant clock, Harry blinked, shocked that he had slept in so late. It was already 11:20.
Looking around, Harry could see the basket that took him up to the second story. Looking around once more, just in case Jojo sneaked up on him (even though he knew he had school), Harry went into the basket and pulled the lever once, getting a single click.
Gasping in delight at the feeling of his stomach dropping, Harry jumped out of the basket with a bounce in his steps. Although he already knew the disgusting bathroom was on this level, he still wanted to look around. Maybe there were other rooms that could help him.
Passing the Death Bathroom, as he decided to call it just now, Harry pushed forward and came upon another door. Opening it carefully, Harry scrunched up his nose. The smell wasn't as bad as the bathroom, but it had a stuffy feel to it and smelt like body odor.
"Does Jojo clean up any other rooms other than the main one?" Harry thought as he looked around.
Seeing a window, Harry ran at it and opened it, taking a deep breath before gasping. The sight… it was an endless abyss of blue sky. He stared out, feeling as if he was on the edge of the world. Leaning out the window, Harry could see two other windows, one on each side. He supposed the one on his right was the bathroom window.
Leaving the window, Harry looked around, disappointed with his find. It looked just like an off. There was a broken desk in the corner with no sign of a chair. Along one wall was what looked like a giant document case. Opening one of the drawers, Harry sighed as he saw that it was empty.
He opened another one, hoping this one was different. Once again, it was empty. He continued for each drawer, hoping that he could find something. Finally, opening the last one, Harry prayed it would be one of those moments that when one person searched through a lot of drawers that he finally found something at the end.
Opening it, Harry sighed, knowing it wouldn't be the case with him. Checking the desk just in case, Harry was left with disappointment, though he did find a bottle of ink. A lot good that would do.
Jojo had probably already taken what was in here, Harry thought as he clutched the half filled bottle of ink.
Keeping the window and door open to give the room some air, Harry left it quickly, wanting to see if he might find anything in the next room. His disappointment grew as saw absolutely nothing in the third room. Other than dust, it was completely bare. Not bothering to leave the window open to air out the room, Harry left the second story and dejectedly got into the basket.
Dropping the bottle of ink to the floor in front of the couch, Harry kicked at a lone bolt. Hearing it bounce off something, Harry sighed as the echoed lasted a few minutes. The beauty of music, no matter what it was, could really affect you after being in the old observatory.
Remembering the outside world, Harry crawled out through the tiny door that was built inside the larger door. Putting his fingers around his eyes like hand binoculars, Harry stared at the strange looking city, wishing he could see far away so he knew what those ant sized people were doing. The observatory and the hill were too far to be able to see the actions of the city properly.
Folding his arms, all Harry could do was pout.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
School had never been Jojo's favorite place, especially since it was made up of bullies and Who's that didn't understand him, and as of late it only seemed to get worse. Girls had strangely enough giving him winks and large smiles while quite a number of boys had tried hanging out with him a few times as if they had been friends with him his whole life.
Jojo knew it was all because he had helped save the town, and that really pissed him off. Ignoring a group of giggling girls, Jojo walked toward his locker and placed his whostory book inside, glad the class was over. He had always hated that class and couldn't understand why one of sisters always bragged about her good grades and why it was such an amazing class.
Pulling out his sketchbook and bag of lunch, Jojo literally had half a second to save his hand from getting smashed by the locker door. Giving a dark look, Jojo stared up at Gwen Doolsvar, the worst bully at Who High. This particular Who seemed to always seek out Jojo when he needed to boost his fat ego.
"Well, well, if it isn't the little shrimp of Whoville," Gwen said with a laugh, earning stupid chuckles from a few of his buddies.
Jojo rolled his eyes. Earlier the citizens of Whoville had taken to calling him the little hero of Whoville. Gwen had changed hero to shrimp, showing just how far his limited imagination stretched.
Frowning at Jojo for not getting a response, though Jojo had no idea why the bully was expecting a response after so many years of silence; he nudged Jojo with his foot.
Backing away, Jojo scowled.
"Ain't talkin', shrimpy?" Gwen asked, obviously disappointed. "What kind of Who are you? Hard to believe our town was saved by the likes of you. You know what I think, guys?" Gwen said to his friends.
Snickering, one of hunks said, "What boss, what do you think?"
"I don't think it was O'Malley here that saved our town," Gwen said with a smirk. "I mean, he doesn't even talk. Probably because he's so stupid."
"But boss, he had to have said something if he broke through the air," one of hunks said with confusion.
Broke through the air? Jojo thought dully. How stupid could you get?
"No way!" Gwen argued. "I bet that stupid father of his faked it, just so he could get some attention for his son. Don't know why he would, seeing as O'Malley here is just a waste of space. He doesn't even mean anything to this town."
Jojo felt the sting of those words hit him but, like every other insult thrown at him, Jojo just stood there and glared. Wrinkling his nose in distaste at the older boys, Jojo turned around and started walking away.
"Hey, wait a minute!" Gwen called angrily. "We're not finished with you yet!"
Knowing better to stop or slow down, Jojo sped up, hoping to lose the bully in a chase. Usually he was faster than the bulkier Who's and with the hall completely empty because of lunch period, Jojo didn't have to zigzag around the crowd to get away. Unfortunately, that gave Gwen and his friends the same advantage.
Running and ignoring the jeers from the others, Jojo turned a corner, sketchbook clutched tightly to his side while his lunch bag swung back and forth with his left hand. Still running, Jojo turned around to see if he was loosing Gwen. Jojo frowned in confusion at Gwen's smirk.
"Charley, now!" he shouted.
Confused, Jojo turned around just in time to get a face full of metal. Falling to the ground, Jojo clutched his nose in pain and glared through tear filled eyes at Charley, another one of Gwen's friends, who was holding open a classroom door.
"Got you now, O'Malley," Gwen said, laughing hard as he hauled Jojo up to his feet. He frowned. "You don't even let out a scream when you're hurt. Perhaps a few more beatings will loosen that tongue of yours?"
Jojo tried to wriggle out of Gwen's grasp.
"Don't think so!" he said, still laughing as he grabbed the back of Jojo's neck, causing the tiny Who to gasp. "See!" Gwen said excitedly. "I told you guys all it took was a bit of pain to get him to say something!"
"But he didn't speak boss," someone pointed out.
"Good point," Gwen said, now starting to drag a struggling Jojo toward one of the bathrooms. Barging in, Gwen glared at a spectacled Who that was just finishing up. "You, out!" he barked, and threw Jojo to the ground, sending his lunch and sketchbook across the floor.
Jojo scrambled to pick up his belongs and run out the door, only to get pushed back by another Who. Ace, he believed, once again another friend of Gwen's. It really didn't seem like lady luck was on his side.
"Let's see if O'Malley will open his mouth now," Gwens said, cracking his knuckles. "Let's give him a few swirlies."
Hopping from foot to foot, Jojo narrowed his eyes, watching the Who's movements carefully. Two were walking toward him, but there was still Gwen and one other Who. Jumping back from the first swipe, Jojo took off towards the door, only to almost get grabbed by the third Who.
Still dancing from one foot to the other, Jojo felt it was just a 'screw it moment' and ran for the window. Sketchbook clutched in his teeth, Jojo jumped for the window, barely managing to hang on as his hands grasped the top and tried to hall himself out. Jojo had always hated his small size, and now, like school, he hated it more. If he was taller, he wouldn't have to jump so high, and then he could escape more easily. However, because Jojo was so small, that made escaping much harder. This was proven as a hand easily grabbed his ankle and threw him to the ground.
Jojo allowed a silent groan to escape his lips as he landed hard on his stomach. Trying to get up, he felt a foot force him back down.
"Pick him up by the neck," Jojo heard Gwen say. "That seems to make sounds come out of him."
Jojo cursed Gwen for being right. That stupid Chairman, Rourke, had left a bruise on the upper part of his neck, which was perfectly concealed by his dark hair, and was now very sensitive.
A loud gasp and a small grunt came out of Jojo's mouth this time as he was lifted into the air, his belongings falling to the ground. Gwen walked up to Jojo's sketchbook and flipped through it.
"What kind of stupid drawings are these?" Gwen demanded, smashing the sketchbook into Jojo's face as he clutched at the hand. "Just boxes and ugly doodles. And people say you're a genius? What a load of rot." Chuckling, Gwen pulled out a lighter and flipped the switch.
Eyes widening, Jojo's mouth opened in horror. No, they couldn't! That was the sketchbook for the stupid machine that brought Harry into his world! Struggling like a wild animal, Jojo managed to shock the Who holding him with a good elbow to the gut. Not bothering to get a good position to hit Gwen, grab his book and smartly run away, Jojo lunged at the taller Who, punching and scratching at him.
"Get him off!" Gwen screamed. "He's freakin' insane! Get him off!"
Jojo ignored the prying hands, too angry to pay them any attention. All Jojo could see was the burning sketchbook being thrown by Gwen. Scrambling off the Who, Jojo tried to put it out. He lashed out at the hands, still fighting with everything he had, even as they grabbed him by the neck and shook him, even after the swirlie and even after they threw him to the ground hard enough to knock out his breath.
Through all that Jojo fought both the hands and his falling tears. Soaking wet, Jojo finally let the tears fall as they held him down to watch the remains of his sketchbook wither away into nothing more than ash. Giving one last laugh, Gwen grabbed Jojo's lunch and left the bathroom, ignoring the silently crying Jojo.
Once the other Who's were gone, Jojo lifted himself up and stared at the spot where his sketchbook had been. He closed his eyes. So stupid!
How could he have been so stupid to bring something as important as the plans to that particular machine to school? Jojo put his face into his hands, letting the tears fall, wincing horribly by the pain in his neck.
Standing up stiffly, Jojo turned his neck carefully, trying to see what it looked like in the mirror. His neck, which was always a pasty white, was now black and blue. Wincing, Jojo straightened his neck, wondering if anyone would question it at school. Because of the color it blended right into his fur. But because Jojo knew who he was and every bit of detail about himself, he knew he would have been able to tell the difference. The question was if any other Who would be able to tell.
Shaking his head to get his wet hair out of his eyes, Jojo snapped his eyes shut and cringed. His neck was hurting too much.
Trying to subtly wipe the water out of his fur, Jojo trudged through the silent halls, ignoring the mutters of the few Who's that he passed. Jojo walked to the back of the school and exited through the high trees and bushes that surrounded the back of Who High. It cleared away about forty feet away because of the Whoball field, but Jojo wasn't heading anywhere near there.
No, Jojo was heading home. All Jojo wanted was some gauze for his neck, a warm bath and a bed to cry himself to sleep in, not caring that he was fifteen and no longer a little kid.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Harry hummed tunelessly to himself as he continued to carry odd looking flowers and twigs up to the side of the observatory where there was some dug up dirt. Harry had taken to collecting whichever odd plant caught his eye before bringing it back to the side of the observatory where the sun managed to hit just right.
Digging around to get up some stones and flinging them away. Starting to burry the roots of each twig or plant, Harry wondered if they would even survive or not. As much as Harry hated weeding for his aunt, he would never deny his love of planting. It was just the fact that he had always been forced into those situations before being ridiculed and then getting all his hard earned credit taken away.
Continuing his hum, Harry poked at a purple flower with orange leaves that had blue swirls on them. Even in the magical world he had never seen such strange plants. Continuing with his new garden, Harry wondered if Jojo would mind.
It wasn't as if Harry needed any supplies. He could just get the water from the stream that actually traveled all over the observatory island before falling off the cliff. Harry had followed its line of site and noticed it fell into the deep ditch. He also noticed that there was a stream that carried its way into Whoville.
Harry wondered if it was the same stream and if there was some type of underground stream or current. Not wanting to test that theory by falling off the edge, Harry had returned to the tiny beginning of a garden and had even managed to find a small bush with berries on them.
They were bright pink, and Harry had no idea if they were poisonous or not, but he still buried them. At least he now had something to keep himself occupied for the day. Now, if only Jojo would return with those cleaning supplies so he could work on the bathroom, no matter how gross it would be.
It would be worth it than having to use the bushes, especially since Harry didn't know if they would jump out at him like the one from earlier that actually barked at him.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Aw, I feel so sad, hurting Jojo like this, and I'm sure you all hate me for it, but yes, Jojo will be having bully and Chairman problems.