(1937-12-24) Following The Trail...
Details for Following the Trail…
Summary: Eibhlin starts on the scavenger hunt that Donovan has left for her…
Date: December 24th, 1937
Location: Hogwarts Castle
Related: Making Fun A Required Subject, Hexed Hats And Sticky Situations

To the Lovely Red, Have to leave town tonight, your Christmas present starts on the hill. Have fun.

It's Christmas Eve. Though she had considered going to the hill the previous evening, Eibhlin felt it would be in poor taste. Never mind even on Christmas break, prodding around after dark is likely frowned upon. The Prefect is bundled up against the cold as she trudges through the snow sometime before lunch, letter clutched in mittened hand. She wasn't even sure she was going to do this, but she owes it to the Gryffindor. As she approaches the hill, she pushes back her hair and starts casting a bit of a look around to get her bearings and see if she spots anything.

The hill looks exactly like it did yesterday… except for another letter that has been stuck in a crack of a branch which has been planted in the ground right about exactly where they placed the ice block to start down the hill.

Thankfully, that's where Eibhlin was heading, after the base of the hill turned up nothing. She tucks the first letter into her pocket as she makes her way towards the branch, pulling off her mittens to better pick it up. The redhead nabs the letter from the branch and opens it.

The letter bulges slightly, inside is another letter and a candy. In Welsh "Dear Red, Figured you wouldn't have brought enough along for the trip. Next trip is down the hill, but you should probably do it in style. Otherwise the magic won't work."

It's true. She didn't bring enough. Eibhlin hadn't expected it to go much further than this. Never mind that chocolate frogs — this week's candy of choice — aren't really prime walking around snacks. The redhead makes a little bit of a face at the suggestion on the letter. She casts a look around, suddenly feeling very silly. "At least there's snow now," she murmurs, glad there won't be a need to make an ice block. But what to slide on?

The spell is actually triggered when she removes the envelope. But it might take a moment for her to notice, but a flat block of ice is forming (apparently Donovan wasn't sure if it would snow yet) and the rough looking sled gets heavy enough to knock against the stick, blocking it's downward path.

Her foot was resting by the stick and Eibhlin nearly jumps when the stick is bumped against her leg. She looks down and there's a wry expression that takes her features. "Of course," she murmurs. Practically soundless, the statement, but the sentiment is still there. Another look around. Another moment of feeling intensely silly. Then she takes a deep breath and removes the stick as she sets down on the block, taking off down the hill. One hopes there's no bumps to send her flying. At least the look of terror on her face speaks to that… though not so much terror as her first trip.

The first trip didn't have fireworks going off as she went down though. Nor did the second. But the third does. As Evie makes the downward trip small sparks of light shoot up in red, blue and white colors. There is no bump, he picked the spot pretty well. The slant on the hill isn't even that bad and she reaches the bottom in a normal amount of fanfare, cheering charms joining the fireworks.

There's a mixture of further embarrassment — Evie will never be a show-off or politician or actress, clearly — and amazement at the fireworks. The cheering charms, however, send Eibhlin into a bit of a giggle fit. The mix of ice and the soft snow do make the ride much easier and she's able to recover fairly easily, getting to her feet to brush herself off.

And slowly the words etch themselves in the air infront of her in red light Welsh letters. "Now that we've had some fun, it's time for a little bit of work. Fly, climb or levitate, your next quest is in the air."

Oh dear. Eibhlin looks a bit uncomfortable as the words spell themselves out. The air. She squints upwards into the overcast skies, tugging out her wand after a moment of hesitation. There's no way she's going to retrieve a broom- she barely passed that class in first year. Climbing is out also. So it falls back to magic. There's a murmur of a spell cast for self-levitation and she actually remembers how to keep her knees a bit bent and body limber to retain her balance. No need to be flopping about in the air.

In the branches above Evie another envelope can be seen in the bare branches of the tree. Fluttering in the wind. How she missed it before… well, the answer is simple. Who looks up?

"Thank Merlin," Eibhlin says once she spots the envelope. It's not that far to go. She does wobble a bit, one hand with her wand to keep the charm going. The other reaches out for the envelope. After snagging it, she's quick to murmur the counter-charm that will lower her back to the ground. Her descent is less than stellar and she does end up on her rear in the snow. This she takes as a grand time to eat the candy from the earlier letter while reading the next one.

Yet another candy in this envelope. This letter seems to be encoded though. Hopefully she likes to solve encryption puzzles.


Two candies are good for this, since Eibhlin has to take some time to do the translation. It's a simple enough cipher, just time to sort it all out. The frequency of what must be the word 'the' and his usual nickname for her make it easier. Which is good, since her rear end is likely cold by now.

Beautiful red, now we're going to the bridge, nine steps past the middle towards the castle and on the other side of the rail.

Eibhlin is finishing the second candy as she gets to her feet, brushing snow off of herself as she starts heading towards the bridge with the letter in hand.

The only bridge in town is the aqueduct at school, it's a long walk but a little bit sheltered, and the candies are those firey cinnamon balls, designed to warm you up. The last envelope is exactly where the note said it would be, slightly off center of the castle fastened to the opposite side of the rail where no one would be likely to see it.

Back to the school. Eibhlin will be able to get lunch in the Great Hall at this rate. The bridge is indeed quiet, most staying indoors on the cold day. And when so few are at the castle anyway… well, it's easy enough. Evie tugs off her gloves once again and reaches over the side of the rail until she touches the parchment, snatching it up to step back from the breeze and read it.

It seems as though there was another letter here originally and that the old one was taken down and a new one was put in almost the same spot. "Dear Red, I can't believe you actually got this far. I know you said you needed time to think… I can give that to you. I didn't mean to confuse you. If I had known about you and O'hare… Well, I suppose things would have been different, what would have changed, I don't know. But since I can't change the past, I will just have to give you what you've asked for. Merry Christmas Coch, I'll see you at school."

As she reads, Eibhlin leans back up against the rail. No rushing off on another step of the trail, as it were. She chews at her lip — need some lip balm! — as she goes over the letter. "Ach…" lapsing into Irish, she stares up at the roof of the covered bridge. "This is why I only focus on studying…" The letter is folded carefully and put with the rest. She holds them all, staring at them. "Guess I get until the end of break to figure it all out…"

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