Okay, Sadie was just being an asshole on purpose. It was the whole letter of the law versus spirit of the law thing. Elliot was very good at that—obeying the letter of the law without obeying the spirit of the law. For example, if he’d been told he wasn’t allowed to stay up til 2am playing the new Zelda game on his Switch, but no one had said anything about him not being allowed to stay up til 2am playing an old game, well, there you go. It was like exploiting a glitch in the world’s programming. The only problem was his parents were getting pretty good at patching those. It was like being locked in a battle of wits with a rules-lawyer genie.
Anyway Sadie was acting like Professor Boot’s exact words ever mattered, when Elliot had about 90% confidence that Professor Boot already couldn’t remember the exact wording he’d used at the beginning of the lecture. “I’m pretty sure Boot thinks babies are delivered via owl post,” Elliot said. “Like, if you wrote down that you appeared in the Large Hadron Collider with a time turner clutched in your little ravioli-sized baby fist he would just be like, ‘ah yes, weren’t we all?’” Boot had unlimited crazy.
But, okay, if he was being honest, Elliot kind of got why it bothered her. It was like starting a game where your character had amnesia, but Sadie couldn’t go around the map collecting codex entries and audio diaries to fill her in on the backstory.
That was what headcanons were for, though. If the game didn’t include enough detail, then as the player you got to imagine whatever you wanted. “So okay, if you don’t have one, let’s make one up for you. It’s not like Boot’s gonna know.” Elliot drummed his fingers on the desk and tapped his feet while he thought. “How about, your mom invented cauldron cakes, and your dad is the exiled prince of, uh, Narnia?”