(1938-10-18) Billy Boy Finds His Ball(s)
Details for Billy Boy Finds His Ball(s)
Summary: Cillian and Elise discuss the Shadow and their mysteriously good dreams, when suddenly the Shadow appears. What does it want?
Date: 1938-10-18
Location: Armoury Gallery, Hogwarts
Related: Mechanations at the Clocktower and Greenhouse Gathering

Okay, so with a soft kiss to the coin…Cillian is currently seated in the Armour gallery, idly flipping through books that are piled up around him and then writing down notes in a leather bound journal in front of him. He has some tea set up, aka hot chocoalate in a tea pot, tiny cups around and then some chicken sandwiches and apples, a couple slices of cake. He's just been very distracted lately, and he has a candle burning, lit up right next to him as he works.

Elise runs into the room like a hellbeast is following her… but there's nothing. At least, nothing she could /see/. She slams the door shut behind her and rests her back against it, panting. "I keep thinking… the shadows are hiding it," she tells Cillian, her eyes wide. "That Shadow. It's still out there and I am… I don't know what to /do/, Captain."

Cillian looks up quickly and gets to his feet, taking a few steps forward to holding out a hand to Elise as he picks up his candle holder, holding it up to provide a bit more light. "Shh, shh, come and have a seat and some chocolate. We…we will figure this out."

Elise takes Cillian's offered hand and lets him seat her on the floor next to the candle. "I think we're in over our heads, Cil," she tells him. She looks anxious. "I think we should tell a professor." She wrings her hands. "This is really… /real/."

Cillian just gives Elise a /look/ at that suggestion, pressing a cup of chocolate into her hands. "We cannae tell a professor, luv. I dun tink they could actually see it." He worries his bottom lip.

"But… but you don't actually know that," Elise says. "I mean, they might be able to. And if they can't, they might still believe us and help put the shadow back into the book. Or even re-attach it to this Peter person, whoever he is." She takes the hot chocolate and curls her hands around it.

Cillian's jaw sets as he turns back to his books, writing something else down in his notebook and he shrugs a shoulder. "Very well, ye can be tellin' a professor, he can be dockin' points from all our houses for bein' out after dark and somethin' else and we'll spend quality time wit' Pringle who's been lookin' for a reason to get me yet frustrated that he jest can't yet."

Peer pressure! Alas, Elise is utterly susceptible to it, at least from close friends she holds in high esteem, such as Cillian. She she caves. Her face crumples up and she bites her lips together and looks down at her hot chocolate. Thin tendrils of steam waft up and curl around her chin and lips and nose and cheeks before dissapating into invisibility.

Cillian closes another book, rubbing his temples. He has several stacks of them. "How 'ave ye been sleepin' luv?" He asks with some concern, looking around warily before eyeing one of his books which seems to have flipped open randomly and he quickly shuts it, some book about some fairyland of some sort.

"Ah, very deeply," Elise says. "I had fantastic dreams last night too. I can't… quite remember them, actually, but… but I remember feeling like — like heaven, rather." She sighs, her gaze far away. "I missed breakfast because I was sleeping in," she admits. "I was almost late to class." She shrugs. "I hope I have dreams like that again tonight!"

Cillian looks a bit troubled as he listens to her discuss her dreams. "You /must/ fight to be wakin' up every morning Mousie. The secret of Neverland is that it be a place where ye never age, ye never grow up…and I dun tink its a place where yer supposed to escape either." He reaches for the cake, breaking off a piece and nibbling on it like a rabbit. He eyes his fairytale book that he just closed because its opened again and he shuts it quickly.

Elise blinks. "Neverland?" she asks. "Wha…" Then her expression gets very stern. "Tell me everything," she demands. "Absolutely everything you know about that Shadow, and where it comes from, and what it wants, and why you opened that book!"

Cillian eyes Elise for a moment before nodding and sorting through his stack of books. "This is me muggle book. Neverland is…its where Peter Pan and 'is lost boys live, there be mermaids and fairies and…other tings." He tugs out the book and offers it to Elise. "Peter Pan 'ad a shadow, it got loose in the book and Wendy, this sweet wee lass, she sewed it back to 'im." He sighs softly. "And I opened that book because I was curious as to why it was in the library!" He rubs his temples. "I wanted to know if there were any secrets in the book, somethin'…some kinda clue…"

Elise takes the book and immediately starts flipping through it, pausing here and there to read tidbits, while her eyes rapidly scan the pages. In a few minutes, provided Cillian gives her silence, she gets the gist of the story and the plot. "It was… collosally stupid of me to reach for its hand," she says, and a blush rises up on her cheeks. She closes the book and rests it on her lap. "There are obviously a lot of silly things in this book - but the shadow is real, so some of this must be based in truth." She turns her head toward him. "What clue?" she asks. "To what riddle?"

"Aye, silly but…books are always a tad silly." Cillian admits before pausing at the question. "To agin'…when not in neverland, they aged, but in neverland, they be paused, no aging, at all. I wanted to know how that worked. Aging be normal, but I be wantin' to be knowin' if tings can be paused, to 'elp save lives."

She looks like she might disagree with Cillian's statement that books are always a tad silly, but Elise doesn't actually say anything. It's beside the point. She thinks about what else he's said. "Cillian," she eventually says, "I don't think… I don't think the curse has much to do with aging. I mean… My grandfather's sister lived to be fifty-five. She never married. My father's cousin Veruca was fourteen. And my aunts died when they were girls. Irma was seventeen and Eloise was… well she only seven. Of course I never knew them," she whispers. "It's just… it's random." She lifts dark eyes to look into his good eye. "If that Shadow had taken me… away… to this Neverland place, then… then I would have left behind Luci, and my sister Ruth. Maybe I would have been out of reach of the curse. Maybe not. But I wouldn't have been in any position to help them, either. I can't — can't just abandon my family." She looks… so incredibly sad.

Cillian just gives Elise a look and he just listens very closely before shaking his head and grinning. "…ye tink I wanted ye to go to /neverland/? Oi!" He tsks softly. "Of course not, ye 'ave to grow up to be a beautiful lady wit' lots of smarts and tings, and bein' good at being a pirate and al. But I was lookin' for an answer to 'ow tings like works, to see iffen it could help." Another couple of his books flip open on their own and the candle light flickers.

Elise stands up, dumping the book in her lap in her haste to retreat from the books. "IT'S HERE!" she shrieks as she pulls out her wand. "LUMOS!" Her wand lights up, stronger than the candle and more steady, with a pure white glow.

Cillian blinks at Elise jumps up, and he too just gets to his feet, slowly and carefully…tugging his wand from his sleeve and looking around warily as he takes a deep breath and holds up a hand. "Calm…Mousie, callllm…remember, yer a mousie luv, ye are at yer best in the shadows." He then glances down to the book about 'Billy Boy Finds His Ball' and takes a deep breath, frowning as he kneels down and examines the book, flipping through the pages and blinking as they are blank. "Mousie…" Then he stands up and looks behind the girl at the shadows cast against the wall and he squints. "Don't…turn around."

A low whimper from the girl. "I — I'm more of a pet mouse," she squeaks. "With an exercise wheel, little dish of food, occasionally escapes and eats all the cheese…" she gulps, her eyes darting this way and that. The fine hairs on her pale skin are literally standing up, and she's got goosebumps. "Is it there?" she whispers.

The shadow on the wall grows a little taller, peeking out between two suits of armor before there's a second shadow forming on the wall beside him, a bit smaller and then with then there's the creepy little tinkling laughter that fills the air, whispers and gasps of joy, surprise, and a variety of different emotions, the scent of the fresh plum pudding where Billy found his ball hidden filling the air.

Cillian adjusts his hold on his wand, much like holding a sword as he slowly approaches Elise, trying to keep his voice low. "Lumons…" He manages to mutter out, trying to cast his lumos at the same time as trying not to swear. That's when the suits of armor start to rattle a bit and his good eye widens a fraction. "Ahh…well, not exactly."

Elise just can't stand it one second longer. She whips around to face the shadows on the wall. "There are /two/ of them!" she gasps to Cillian. "Why are there /two/?" The light on her wand flickers a little bit as her concentration is tested. "Have you been following me?" she asks the shadows. "Is that what I've been seeing from the corner of my eyes?"

The original Shadow, does a few flips and impressive spins against the wall. The little shadow hops a bit and then seems to be chasing after something…a circle that seems to be darting around the wall and then vanishing.

Cillian sighs and looks to the now empty book. "I tink mebbe cuz err, Billy's escaped." He sits on another book that seems to be trying to empty.

"Who's Billy?" Elise asks.

Cillian holds up the now empty book entitled 'Billy Bob Finds His Ball' and shrugs helplessly as the shadows continue to play out the search for the ball on the wall.

Elise says a word that, at her age, she really oughtn't know. "Shadow!" she says. The thing is, she still sounds like she's so scared she might puke. Which she is. "Shadow, you — you can't just go around making more shadows from these books! The professors will definitely notice, and then, well… then they'll put you /all/ back." She glances down at the book she looked through earlier. "Do you need my help with something?" she asks it.

The Shadow, twirls in a circle and there's more of the sickening laughter before he vanishes against the wall, holding little 'Billy's hand as they fly back to join the dark corner of the room.

Cillian exhales softly when they vanish and he eyes the books and then eyes Elise, squinting thoughtfully. "I tink…he's collecting lost boys."

"They why'd he want me the other night?" Elise asks Cillian. She frowns, thinking hard. "Am I supposed to be like Wendy? Sewing on shadows and — and cooking for everyone?" She turns to look at him. "Cillian… we should /really/ tell someone."

"Maybe he liked how ye show up like milk when its dark cuz yer skin is smooth like that." Cillian rubs a hand over his face and then takes a deep breath. "/Fine/ ye can tell somebody. Anybody, but if they dun believe ye…ye tell 'em, 'Cillian told me so' that way ye will not tink yer goin' mad."

Elise's eyes go wide and she blushes. For a second she stares at them, then looks away, suddenly bashful. "That's probably not it," she whispers. Then she clears her throat. "Who should we tell? Dumbledore? Patil? Mopsus?"

"I…will be tryin' to…talk to Dumbledore." Cillian finally admits, taking a deep breath. "Askin' if he be knowin' anyting about…shadows. Ye can…talk to Professor Patil, and ask her if she be noticing anyting weird happenin' with the books. But at no time, well we mention there being a weird ghostie lookin' shadow roaming the halls of the school, deal?"

Elise glances around the room one more time, and then stoops to pick up the book, which landed perilously close to the hot chocolate which she didn't even manage to sip, and which is now in a slowly-congealing puddle on the floor. "Oh, bother," she murmurs, looking at the mess. "Fine, I'll talk to Patil. You talk to Dumbledore. And one more thing — those dreams. Do you think it's the Shadow sending us visions of Never Land to tempt us? Is that what you were trying to say, earlier?"

Cillian nods slowly and kneels down to eye the mess. "I'll get this cleaned up." He hesitates when the question is asked and he closes his eyes. "I am not sure…but I tink he may be sendin' us dreams of what we want most, in hopes that we'll never wake up for all I know." He bows his head and opens his eye. "Do ye know who Peter Pan and his Lost Boys fought?" He finally asks Elise softly.

Elise kneels, too, so that they're eye-to-eye. "I don't like having it in my head," she whispers. "It feels… wrong, and dirty, and frightening." She shivers a little bit. "It shouldn't be allowed." At his last question she looks down at the book in her hand, flips it open, and then answers him. "Pirates."

Cillian meets Elise's gaze with his own and he nods slowly before jumping one of the suits of armor's helmets flies off and hits the wall across the room and he quickly wraps an arm around Elise, eye widening and he cringes and his lips part. "…if ye see Gunny and Strings…tell 'em…to never be in the dark. Ever."

The shadows on the wall seem to be moving around to form the single words 'Never Again'.

"If you can write, Shadow, can you please be a little less cryptic?" Elise shouts in exasperation. Cillian will be able to tell, though, that she's literally trembling with fear. "Please, just… spell it out for us. Literally."

The shadows fade back into black as Cillian just wraps his arms around Elise's shoulders and shakes his head. "C'mon, lets get you back to your common room luv…I'll clean up in here…ye need to rest, we'll figure this out after all."

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