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Petpet Name: Crowley
Pet Name: MerisMacGyver
Breed: Darigan Quetzal
Crowley and the Tigermouse
"Excuse me, Professor MacGyver?"
Meris MacGyver, resident librarian at the Neopia Central University, looked up at the hesitant voice with a smile, wire-rimmed spectacles perched on the end of his nose. One of his regular visitors was hovering at the counter, quite literally in this case, a library book in hand. The Lutari put aside the binding he was doing to a damaged tome. "Hello, Nikolas. What can I do for you?"
"Nothing, Professor, I was just leaving." The young Shoyru held out the book in his paws. "But I found this laying on the floor in the stacks. I thought I should turn it in."
Meris examined the book with a heartfelt groan of exasperation. The cover had been chewed to bits; there was an entire page missing from Chapter 6, and -- good grief. He wasn't sure he wanted to know what was staining the middle of page 229.
"Wretched little beast," he muttered, putting the damaged book on the repairs shelf. That was the fifth book the Library's little visitor had destroyed. The Lutari set a placard on the front desk -- "back in five minutes" -- and set off into the book stacks on a mission.
The Tigermouse was in Mythological Fiction.
Crowley knew this because he was watching it consume the contents of one of Meris's beloved library books. Its little ears flicked, its little tail twitched, and its little nose wriggled as it cheerfully gnawed through a passage on the Sirens of Altador. For nearly a month now, this little rodent had been ensconced safely among the near-infinite rows of books from every corner and era of Neopia's past, hiding from the daylight in crevices the Quetzal was far too big to navigate and coming out only in the darkness, when Crowley was not around. It was inevitable that the Tigermouse would become bold enough to emerge in daylight, but it was pure serendipity that it had chosen to begin its daily feast on a shelf just below where Crowley had chosen to take his afternoon nap. Currently it was half-hidden in the shadows of a bookcase, tucked into a corner as it stuffed its cheeks pudgy with precious printed words.
Crowley sighed to himself, a somewhat bored expression on his serpentine features as he rested his head on one burnished coil, watching the invader. Did he really want to deal with it? He was feeling so sleepy-warm from the heating vent that was overhead, the one that made this shelf a perfect no-sun sunbathing spot in the cooler months. And it wasn't as if he cared about the books the little ball of fur was chewing through.
But Meris cared. The Darigan Quetzal frowned. The good-natured, gentle Lutari had been good to him, allowing him to stay here in the Library, giving him meals he didn't have to hunt for, and even allowing him to frighten a few students who might've otherwise destroyed or stolen Library property. So Crowley had to figure he kind of owed the eccentric Professor.
The serpent made only the softest noise, his scales sliding against wood as he uncoiled and snaked his way slowly down the bookshelf, tasting the air with his tongue. The Tigermouse was still eating, too distracted to notice the danger Crowley possessed. A wicked smile curled across the Petpet's features as he lowered himself down, feathered crest bristling in anticipation as he prepared to strike.
Both Quetzal and Tigermouse froze. The latter turned toward the voice only to spot Crowley, meeting the other Petpet's somewhat startled expression with a puzzled look that morphed into terror. Crowley glared with a menacing hiss and darted forward quickly, but the Tigermouse had already bolted for the safety of a crack between the bookshelves. How it managed to fit into that small a hole with its cheeks stuffed with paper was something of mystery to the serpent. Crowley's jaws snapped shut on thin air as his nose wedged into the tight divide.
"Crowley! Where are you, lazy thing?" Meris searched the stacks as he wandered through them, golden eyes flicking up and down as he scanned the shelves. An affectionate, amused smile crossed his lips as he found the Quetzal, half-hidden beneath one of the bookshelves.
"There you are, my dear." He leaned down and wrapped warm paws and solid claws around Crowley's lower body, and the Quetzal was dragged into the light. The serpent hissed blearily in confusion, head swaying in the air as he twisted himself around, blinking his golden eyes as he came face to face with his Neopian companion.
Meris smiled, mystified, as he dusted away a linty mass that had attached itself to one of Crowley's feathers. The serpent scowled, disgruntled, and flicked his tongue rudely at the Lutari.
"Now, none of that," the Lutari scolded, scratching the Petpet behind an eye ridge as he gathered him into his arms, ignoring the Quetzal's frustrated hissing. "You sleep entirely too much. Come on, I need your help with something."
Crowley slumped, ceasing his struggles as Meris carried him away from his quarry. The absent-minded Professor was well-meaning but sometimes a little scatterbrained when it came to noticing things. With a sigh, Crowley licked the Lutari's ear lovingly and turned a demonic stare back at the stacks.
Enjoy your freedom, he hissed balefully. You'll be dinner eventually.
The Tigermouse watched the Caretaker carry off the Predator from the safety of its crack. That had been far too close a call. It would have to be more cautious in the future. But, as the threat was completely neutralised for the moment...
With a twitch of its nose, the Tigermouse scampered over to the nearest book, plopped itself down, and squeaked in satisfaction as it opened to the first page... and began chewing.
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