Elliot Phippen

April 22, 2020, 11:30 p.m.

Perfect like me

The fact that Elliot was holding a coffee in his other hand seemed to have escaped JD’s notice. But the ability to point this out momentarily escaped Elliot’s notice because JD had started holding his hand and the thirteen-year-old boy part of his brain that got excited about all kinds of physical contact, as if he was a repressed Georgian lady who would faint at the sight of an unclothed table leg, loudly took over.

By the time his brain was done processing the handholding, the boys were already inside the coffeeshop. Elliot’s grandparents owned a coffee shop in NYC, and he knew for a fact this Pearl Street place absolutely did not compare to The Coffee Stop because he had undertaken an informal and undocumented census of all the coffee places. But he lived at the level of caffeine addiction where coffee was coffee in a pinch. Elliot was probably one of the most caffeinated people at RMI and, strictly speaking, never in a pinch for coffee, but apparently he would never turn down coffee even when he was actively drinking espresso. Better shotgun this drink before they got to the front of the line. He finished his frappuccino with noisy rattling, slurping, empty-cup sounds from the straw, and yote the empty cup into the coffee shop’s trash can.

“Ten points,” Elliot whooped. He did not know basketball and wasn’t sure you could get ten points in that sport, but that was how much a goal was worth in Quidditch and it seemed like the correct amount of points for his flawless swish into the trash can. He held up his hand for JD to high five. It was that good of a shot.

He checked the menu, but he already knew he was going to get an affogato. It was espresso and ice cream: a one-two caffeine-sugar punch. Plus apparently this café was super fancy and made its own ice cream. Oh, ice cream! There was an idea. “We should hit Finnigan’s Flavors after this,” he told JD. That would be a great date thing to do. Finnigan’s Flavors had an ice cream that made sparks shoot out your ears, and one that tasted like a barbecue, and one that made rock candy crystals grow on your teeth. Elliot tried a new flavor every time he went there.

Too-good-for-Boulder JD would probably come up with some kind of complaint about Finnigan’s, but that was not going to deter Elliot. He wanted ice cream, dammit. (Maybe he would just get a shot of espresso here to save room for Finnigan’s ice cream? Although really, there was no such thing as too full for more ice cream. It melted and filled in the cracks between the other food. Everyone knew that.) “So,” he told JD, more or less ignoring the specifics of the other boy’s reply, “if you could Apparate us anywhere, where would we be going instead?”

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