Jo debated ignoring him, but the questions were fair and she had pushed him to what he could only have assumed was to his death, so she decided to be generous.
“Now Fernando, you should know that I’m not one to make promises I have no intention of keeping,” she told him, stepping carefully over a recently fallen book case. Just how powerful was this Cerce-damned toy? “But to answer your questions, we’re in my mokeskin bag. As you can see, I’m a bit of a collector.”
She was careful not to tell him they weren’t in hell, as she wasn’t quite sure herself. Did falling into a physical manifestation of your progression from early childhood to the present day count as hell? Did finding yourself trapped in a monument to every childish tantrum, every illogical whim, every testament to your greatest failings count as hell?
Well if she didn’t have answers, Nando certainly wouldn’t.
Oh yeah, and there were a ton of dangerous things in here. She just didn’t really remember what they were or if they could survive long enough in the bag to be a threat. Probably nothing to worry about.
Idiot didn’t even know how to pronounce moleskine. He shook his head. Even if she made him feel like a small, little man, he could always find happiness in this one instance of insignificant superiority. He made a meme about it in his head (https://i.imgflip.com/56ziwo.jpg).
“I can tell you’re thinking about me,” Jo said. She absolutely couldn’t, but he didn’t know that.
He ignored this. “What kind of kid collects-” he took a moment to look around. He saw a mannequin with two heads. He looked somewhere else. He was quiet for a moment, sighed, then asked.
“Jo, why do you have a cabinet labeled “Potions With Esoteric Effects To Use On Enemies?”
“And friends!” Jo finished indignantly. “At least read the whole sign.”
“Ah-uh-hmm-” anything that he would say would never satiate what he could only imagine to be some deeply perturbed need to be the sickest person in any given room on Jo’s part. Who raised you? he asked himself.
“Anyway,” Jo said. “Do you have a way to catch this creature once we find it?”
Nando looked down at his wand and then back to Jo. “Uhh, magic?”
Jo nodded sagely and leaned into the nearest stack of emergency items. She pulled out a muggle bag (stolen around the time she turned eight) and tossed it at Nando, aiming for his head. Her cause was just and her aim was true: Nando sputtered as the bag hit him square in the face. She pulled out a second bag (stolen around the time she turned nine) and rejoined him on the closest thing to a path her mokeskin bag had.
“Do you know how wizards catch gnomes when they become resistant to magic?” Jo asked.
Nando shook his head, looking trepidatious about learning a valuable life skill. Jo would have rolled her eyes if she thought he was in any state to appreciate her exasperation. She could hear the yoyo growling ahead of them. They didn’t have much time left before they stumbled upon it.
“You seem like the kind of guy who learns best by doing,” she said, withholding her opinions on people who learn best by doing. “I think you’re overdue for a magizoobotany lesson.”
Jo opened her bag and gestured for Nando to copy her.
“So when the gnome gets close enough,” she says, “you catch it.”
Nando nodded, looking extremely unsure of himself, her, and the situation they’d literally fallen into.
“So what’s step two?” he asked.
They rounded a corner; the yoyo had its back (?) to them, tearing up old encyclopedias as fast as its demented little heart desired.
Strategically, they could not be at more of an advantage if they tried. It didn’t stop her stomach from turning with anticipation at the sight of such a twisted little foe.
“Get ready,” she whispered. “We’ve only got one shot at this before it realizes we’re here.”
Valiantly, she pushed Nando forward.
“Good luck,” she hissed, clapping him on the back. “Don’t forget to use magic.”
OOC: We collaborated on this