JD knocked on the office door and opened it just as Chris yelled, "Who is it?"
"It's JD, Chris." The young man said as he headed into the office.
"Look do you guys all have a problem with the concept of knocking and waiting for the invitation before you come in?"
"Well, yes." The kid looked at the slightly guilty look on Chris' face. "Is something the matter Chris?"
"N-n-no. Why do you ask?"
"Cuz yer actin' funny. Whatcha doin' anyhow?"
"I'm just reading my management journals. Working, which is what you should be doing."
"Kay." The kid left the office staring at his boss, something was definitely up. He saw Chris rise to his feet to pull the blinds and lock the door. He stopped by Buck's desk, "Buck is this anything special for Chris, a birthday, anniversary, anything like that?"
Buck pulled the donut out of his mouth before answering, "Nah, nothing like that. Why do you ask?"
"Something's wrong, something's bothering him, I just don't know what."
Buck shook his head, "It's just your imagination kid. Here I'll prove it." He handed JD his donut, then after thinking better took it back and handed it to Ezra. "Watch my donut for me, would you Ez." He headed over to the office and knocked on the door, when he went to turn the knob he realized that the door was locked, the blinds were all closed, maybe JD was right.
"Who is it?" came through the door.
"It's Buck. Hey pard, is something wrong."
Chris opened the door. "Nothing is wrong, I'm trying to work. I need to read these management journals so just leave me alone, OK?"
Buck raised his hands in placation, "Sure, if that's what you want pard, no problem." The door closed and he heard the lock being engaged. He headed back to his fellow teammates. "Something is serious wrong with that man."
"I told you so Buck. Nobody ever believes me when I say these things though."
Vin wandered over just as Buck was reclaiming his donut from Ezra. "What's goin' on here?"
JD eagerly answered, "Something's wrong with Chris."
"Why do ya think that?"
Buck answered, "He damn near bit my head off for botherin' him, he's got his office locked and the blinds closed, says he's reading 'management journals' first time fer that."
Ezra looked strangely, "He was reading those at the beginning of the week, surely it doesn't take a week to read a few journals."
Vin looked at Ezra, "Got your lockpicks handy? Let's go see what the boss is really up to." The two quietly snuck up to the door and carefully unlocked the door and quietly turned the knob, to see Chris' head bent over the desk, totally engrossed in reading something. They crept up to the desk, Vin grabbed Chris while Ezra grabbed the book from in front of the blond.
"Harry Potter? This is the big secret you've been trying to hide for a week now? Harry Potter?"
The other guys streamed in through the open door. "Chris is reading Harry Potter?" asked JD.
"'Pears so. Ezra bought me a set of those audio tapes of the book. Have ta say I really enjoyed the first two, maybe I'll have to buy the other ones soon," he said all the while looking at Ezra.
"I am getting the message loud and clear Mr. Tanner. I will see what can be done."
"Junior loaned the first one to me to me when he was finished. I ain't the reader the rest a you guys are." Buck said.
"We meetin' at Chris' tomorrow fer the game?" Buck nodded yes, "I'll bring the second one with me then. You'll love it, that Harry sure reminds me of me, always managin' to keep smilin' and find trouble no matter. Mrs. Dursley reminds me of yer ma, Ezra."
"That is not remotely true, she would never be caught dead with Mr. Dursley, not enough money. However I find that Josiah oft-times reminds me of Dumbledore, seeing more than we wish he would and doing what's best for us while still allowing us to grow."
Josiah laughed, "Brother Nathan, don't you wish all it took was a wave of your wand to patch us up?"
Nathan nodded heartily, "Madame Pompfrey is my hero, wish I had her sometimes."
Chris stared around at his team, "You've all read the books? All of the books?"
"I haven't, but JD's read bits and pieces to me when he was reading them. Sounds like Vin's only through the first two. If'n some good friend gets him the next two maybe he'll let me borrow them too!" Buck replied looking at Ezra.
"But-but they're kids books."
"But Chris, aren't you the one that says we're all immature children who need to grow up?" JD asked.
Ezra just shook his head, "The truth is Mr. Larabee, that no matter what the age of the adult, if you're truly lucky the child inside always manages to survive. These books touch that part of our souls that wishes we could solve our problems with magic, all the while it is showing us that they can only truly be solved by following our own hearts and being strong and brave and standing up to what is evil and wrong in this world."
Chris looked at the other five men to see them all nodding their agreement, "So I guess I can stop hiding my reading?"
Buck slapped him on the back, "Yep, where you at? Isn't it time fer lunch?"
Chris shook his head, "You're always hungry Buck, I'm just about finished with the second one, The Chambers Of Secrets. That poor little Weasley girl. I'm assuming Harry manages to save her."
Vin nodded as they headed for the door, "But I ain't gonna tell ya how, it'd spoil the endin'."
All around the rest of the men were busy discussing their favorite characters and favorite scenes. Maybe Ezra was right, maybe we all still have a child inside, sometimes it's buried deep, but it's there just the same.