(1938-12-09) Elder Futh-argh
Details for Elder Futh-argh
Summary: Andromena and Alphard try to uncover the secrets to their secret castle, but are interrupted by cousins. Gage tries to be sneaky, but Andromena has creeper-sense.
Date: 1938-12-09
Location: Hogwarts Library
Related: The Pixie Attack of 38

Andromena was nestled snugly in between a bookshelf and the wall, knees drawn up to her chest in order to better prop up the rather large book she was reading. Scattered around her were several other books, as well as sheaves of parchment. A quill was in one hand, scribbling away while her eyes were yet on the book. It was just after breakfast, and typically Andromena would have been in class during this time, but today in that particular subject she had only needed to turn in a project she'd completed days before and was thus free to go.

"So are those the runes you took from the doors?" In a hushed murmur Alphard's voice drifted over, moments before the boy himself appeared to loom up infront of her. "Any bloody progress?" The book he had tucked under his arm was something else entirely. A DADA tome describing the sort of creatures that tended to infest uninhabited ruins. So in a way not completely unrelated. "Make some room?"

Andromena sent a quick glance up as Alphard's hushed voice slithered into her ears. Seeing that there was no one else around, she gave a nod. The book upon her knees was snapped closed, its place marked by the parchment within it, and set aside for the moment as the Ravenclaw sat forward in order to move the other assembled tomes off in one direction so that she and Alphard could sit comfortably next to one another. Only was that task was completed did she pat the now free space beside her in invitation for him to plop down beside her.

"Just started not too long ago," Andromena informed him. Her voice was quiet enough that no one would have cause to suspect two people where even making camp in that particular spot unless they came right up on them. Andromena gestured to the book he carried, saying, "Now that's a good idea."

With a grunt and a wriggle the boy dumped himself down into the ground next to her, so they were flush side-by-side. He stifled a yawn with his knuckles. His slightly bleary look suggested exhaustion. Sighing, he let his head roll towards her until he was leaning it onto her shoulder. She was a comfortable enough head rest, when all was said and done. From that pose he peered down at her notes, to see if she'd had any progress.

"I know." Which was why he had come up with it!

Andromena's work on the translation of the first door's inscription wasn't going too well. So far she had: '— those — — dungeon I am joy. — those — — — gaze, I — — Hell.' More work needed!

"Everything okay?" Andromena asked, having watched Alphard sidelong when he tried to stifle that yawn. He was of course allowed to rest his head upon her shoulder; she even shifted a little bit to accommodate him. Her notes were pushed to an angle so that he could better read them as well. Tapping her finger to the parchment, Andromena gave something of a sigh.

"It's not very much," she confessed. "But it's a start." By the tone of her voice it was plain that Andromena was only just saying that and felt as though she could be doing so much better. "I was thinking…if Eibhlin doesn't get much more than I, I could ask my cousin Anthony for help?" Andromena looked to Alphard then, dark brown eyes asking his permission! Her voice lowered just a touch. "I trust him, and he's pretty decent at this stuff."

"I hate Mondays. I barely had enough sleep to go around," Alphard whined. "Just when I get used to sleeping until noon, we're back to having to get up with the stupid dawn." He gave his eyes a rub, too. Again he wriggled a little in against her, unapologetic in trying to soak up the heat from her body.

"Not much you've got there. What is all that supposed to be? I can't make any sense of it. Got any ideas?" And as for letting her cousin in on their little secret, he grunted. "I guess. Just.. let's try not to involve every student in the whole bloody school, or someone'll go rat us out. Then we'll never get to see the rest of the place! So, I don't know.. perhaps keep him a little in the dark about where you've gotten your new project?"

As if Andromena would pass up a chance to be snuggly-close to Alphard! Her eyes drifted back to the few meagre words she had managed to decipher and she blew another sigh through her nose. It meant nothing to her yet, just some weird mumbo-jumbo about joyous dungeons in Hell - and how creepy was that? Best not to give it much thought since they were fairly disconnected in meaning for the time being.

"I know, that's why I asked." Anthony was perhaps even more of a shut in than Andromena was, which was saying a lot. Still, they had all but grown up together and Andromena really did trust him to keep a secret if she asked him to. "I'll just be vague if I do need to ask him. I don't want everybody finding out about it, either." So Alphard could rest assured that his girlfriend felt no need to blab about it to every person she met. Another chance to prove to her man that she wasn't a gossip and could keep secrets as good as any dead person. Hah.

"These words, though…no, none of it makes much sense to me yet."

Alphard and Andromena were tucked into a spot between a shelf and a wall, side by side, with Alphard resting his head on the girl's shoulder. There were a bunch of runic texts around them, and parchment.

"Alright.." He yawned again, even if he tried not to. IT WAS TOO EARLY. He missed his bed. "I was also thinking we didn't clear out the rest of the rooms of the tower. I mean.. sure, the doors were locked.. but perhaps the key to the pixy lair could open the rest of the doors, too? Worth trying out, anyway. Doxies is a real danger, too. Imagine if Shine'd gotten bitten by a doxy?" Who were close relatives to the pixies, at least by appearance. "Then we'd have to get her an antidote. So, I thought we should try to make some for our next trip. Just in case."

Lucretia wanders out from between the bookcases. It must be hours, literally, since the dark-haired Black had disappeared in search of a book during Gage and Alphard's 'conversation'. Nose stuck firmly within the pages of the open tome she carries, she almost collides with her cousin. Reading. Walking. Its not so easy when your head's filled with something new and your mind is engrossed in what it's absorbing. "Oh. Hello." Noting the whole head on shoulder thing that's going on, her eyes shift from her cousin to Andromena… and back, cogs turning in her mind before she addresses the Ravenclaw. "Are you Rowle?" Someone's been filling in her.

Anthony is also moving quietly around the ancient runic shelves. Every so often words can be heard, presumably reciting names, or titles, or both, "And here's Izaak Walton's Compleat Magical Angler. And die funf Elter eins. Et le Chronique de Turpin." Every so often a little sound of fingers stroking leather bindings.

Andromena nodded. Who knew what could have taken up residence within that place after having been abandoned for so long. The Ravenclaw set her quill aside for the moment as she talked with Alphard. At least for right now, she could not focus as strongly as she might like on the runic text before her. Better to just leave it be and then give it her full attention in a little bit.

"Better safe than sorry," she agreed with Alphard. "I was thinking last night that it was a little dis- " But just at that moment Lucretia nearly tramples all over herself and Alphard, the pair of them tucked rather cozily away in a corner. Andromena is not offended so much as startled. She had been opting for privacy! And in a place where she was usually left to her own devices, too.

"I am she," Andromena answered Lucretia. Another surprise, the sound of her cousin's voice. She sent a quick look to Alphard, as though she were feeling greatly aggrieved by the interruption.

"Anthony? Is that you I hear?" Said into the air.

Strange to feel so high spirited. Gage is so mopey and glum all the time. But as he enters the library, he can't shake the uplifted mood. A slanted smile tugs briefly against his lips as he walks past the desk, hands in his pocket, and towards the shelves. He still has something he needs to research. His head rose as his dark blue eyes drift around the library through the lenses of his glasses, but then his gaze is drawn back towards the shelves as he steps. Gage slows down by the shelves, his scowl instant when he spies a certain sixth year. He ducks around the shelf on the other side though, keeping out of view and walks slowly and cautiously along the aisle. His eyes browse the spines of the books, but occasionally he tries to peek past the books to keep an eye on the Slytherin.

Anthony takes a while to answer. Well, there are… BOOKS! A finger strokes a gold title, "But what are _you_ doing there? You should surely be elsewhere?" There's a little gentle chiding in the voice, like he was telling off a 1st year, rather than talking to some vellum. Then he looks up, "Oh! Andy? Is that you? Sorry, was I um… disturbing you?"

"Cousin, this is Meanie. Meanie, this would be my cousin Lucretia. Though we all call her Lulu." Wasn't he being casual? Again he yawned, and it didn't seem like he could go ten seconds between them. "Ugh. Two more hours. With two more hours perhaps I could've felt almost up to sleeping. I might just snooze in our study period before dinner." NEWT students having a few holes in their schedule, with less subjects. Albeit more study intense ones.

"Hey," he said to Anthony. even if they weren't friends, he still knew whom all his fellow sixth years were. And since Anthony was pure-blood, why, Alphard was even civil!

With Lucretia around, there's very little chance of being able to hide away and find any degree of peace and quiet. Except if you're her. She manages to find plenty of that when its her own study time that's involved. This apparently isn't one of those times. "Meanie? That's a different sort of a nickname. I think I'd thump Alphard for it were I you." There's a quick smile lifted to her cousin with that, a spark of mischief just floating briefly behind eyes that look so terribly innocent that one would never belief anything horrible or mischief worthy could possibly be undertaken by their owner.

"Not at all," Andromena assured her cousin when he asked if he was being a disturbance. Technically he and Lucretia were both being just that, but Andromena wasn't going to say so. She liked her cousin, after all! As Alphard introduces her to his cousin, Andromena very nearly did the same. Except Alphard knew Anthony and so that would just be silly.

"The men of my life tend to like peculiar pet names," she informs Lucretia…only as she was doing so Andromena noticed something beyond her that left the older girl squinting past the younger with furrowed brows.

"I think we're being watched," she declared, mostly to Alphard. Lifting an arm, she pointed towards Gage.

"Don't think I don't see you," she called out. And only after clapped her hand to her mouth. Oops. Definitely not library tone of voice.

Anthony comes a little closer. Yep. Longing looks back to the books. Well, yes. And Gage gets a peering look. "Um, really, what would anyone have to spy on someone doing library work for?"

"SHHHH!" Someone hushed Andromena. It was a library!

"Come on," Alphard told both Lucretia and Andromena with a grin. "It fits. Oh lil Meanie here looks innocent as a lamb, but that's until you dig beneath the surface. Then you realize she can get pretty mean. Word to the wise, don't get on her bad side!" It was difficult to tell if he was being serious or not, with the sly playful glint in his eyes and the little nudge he gave his girlfriend with his elbow.

"What?" His eyes followed Andromena's gaze towards Gage. He snorted. "Oh, that pathetic little worm. No surprise. Just ignore him. What's new about mudbloods lurking on their better like creeps, anyway? It's what they do."

Lulu almost jumps when Andromena calls out to Gage. Her shoulders lift. "Shhh…!" Its an almost reflexive thing, one finger coming up to press to her lips, brows lowering. Its almost comical coming from the short-arse third year, and definitely not something that the younger Black had even intended doing. It just happens. Its very quick however, and there's not even a hint of a blush or embarrassment to her cheeks at having done so when her eyes fix upon and locate Gage.

Anthony says, a little slowly and carefully, "He's a Ravenclaw. He's trying to learn, surely? I think we encourage that, hereabouts? Perhaps in Mudbloods more than anyone else, since they lack some natural advantages?"

Andromena accepted Alphard's nudge with a grin, though just before that she had hunched down a bit when the faceless body reprimanded her. For shame, yelling in the library. A shrug was sent in Anthony's direction, wordlessly saying she had no idea why a person might spy upon another. Actually, that was wrong. Thinking on it, Andromena could name plenty of reasons why people might spy. All of them creepy…not that she shares.

"Gonna sit with us a bit, Tony?" She'd seen that forlorn little look for the books. She even understood it. But as Andromena was rather surrounded by them, and comfortably nestled beside Alphard, she had no reason to feel anything other than buoyant. Then she snorts, "No no, coz, our fellow Ravenclaw is probably just watching out for Alphard." That was her reckoning, anyway.

Alphard gave Lucretia a bemused eye roll for her little added shush. "You sure about that? I came across him trying to be a little heartcrusher the other evening. Perhaps he thinks he'll get even with me by seducing my girlfriend! Or my cousin!" His eyes widened with mock horror at the thought. Then he burst out in a cruel bit of laughter. "Let me know if any of you feel the need of having your honor protected. I'll vanquish the curr!"

Anthony reaches over, and grabs a chunky book, and sinks down into a chair near the others, "I'd love to. If… well, you know. Not being a spare wheel."

Lu isn't faceless! Though perhaps she didn't shush Andromena quite as loudly as the other person that did. Thick-skinned, or maybe not terribly overwhelmed by her cousin's eye roll, she doesn't slink away as perhaps she ought to. No. She lingers near her cousin and the others, installing herself into their little study group. "Uncle Regulus believes that we should help mudbloods wherever we can, its like a kindness to animals. I don't really know that many myself. Perhaps I should try to meet some. Properly. What do you think, Alphard?"

"I don't think I'm his type," Andromena mused, looking towards Lucretia. "Lulu on the other hand…" A snicker. Unlike Alphard, Andromena's tone was all sweetness. Who could as yet say the truth about his explanation for his nickname? Well, maybe Anthony. But Andromena had never had cause to be anything other than herself with him!

"Nonsense, Tony," Andromena chided. He was always welcome to spend his time in her company, even if they were just silently reading in the same room. That was what was nice about him - Andromena never felt the need to fill the silence with words. As an afterthought to all those gathered she said, "The proper term is Muggleborn. We're not bigots here." Ha ha ha.

"Best avoided, Lulu. Even when you throw them a bone out of kindness they'll savage your leg because you didn't treat them like equals," and his sneer said what he thought of that ridiculous notion. "Meanie here keeps trying to be nice to everybody, even the mudbloods." Because he wasn't going to use any other term, when that one fit so very nicely. Even if she'd asked. "All she's gotten for her troubles is a lot of attitude because being nice isn't enough, you have to pander to all their ridiculous ideas and feelings, or you're oh so cruel."

When Andromena calls him out he swears quietly under his breath. But his dark blue eyes shift, and they simply focus with intent on the books in front of him, looking, searching. He /does/ have another reason to be here, of course. His eyebrows furrow as he paces along the aisle, flicking his gaze up and down the shelves thoroughly before inching a little further down. He stops at one book, a finger nudging it out before he grabs it and he opens it. A scowl deepens as he glares down at the book, trying to focus on the words, but it's difficult not to get angry when Alphard speaks. He snaps the book shut, shoving it back into the shelf, and begins walking again, until he comes around the side to poke his head down the aisle that they are in. Sure, he inches nervously, afraid as always when around people, but a fierce look sparks in the boy's eyes as he slowly, hesitatingly, approaches. "What's a bloody coward gonna do? Talk me ter death? " Gage snorted when he shot a scowl at Alphard. He shifts on his feet, and shifts his gaze onto Andromena. To her, the corner of his mouth twitches, and he lifts a tentative wave to his housemate. He holds absolutely nothing against his housemates, so there.

Lu hefts the heavy book she's carrying, pulling it in close against her chest. Eyes flick to Andromeda and a scowl replaces her former smile, brows knitting heavily across the bridge of her nose. "Thank you, but there's no way on earth that I'd date a mudblood, besides anything else I'm a Black, you know. Or perhaps my cousin's introduction wasn't plain enough." Oh attitude, and plenty of it, bubbles up from the depths of the delicately framed thirteen-year old. If she had a chest, she'd probably thrust that out. Alas, she doesn't.

Anthony pauses, "Does it matter that much. I mean, if a man is measured by what he is born, then he never progresses? I mean, surely?" His ears start to go red, "Sorry. Just thinking aloud."

"Oh, but Alphard," Andromena interjected. "Dweedle did apologize to me this weekend. I hadn't the chance to tell you before now." There wasn't any argument for the rest of what he had said, however. Mostly because Andromena had very quickly grown tired of playing nice to everybody in the hopes it would keep some semblance of peace. Elizabeth sought a friendship from her, and for her part Andromena would try. There was scepticism on behalf both girls, however. Time would tell.

A little snicker for Lucretia's outburst. Really? "It's called a tease, Lucretia Black," emphasized just the way the younger girl had. "You know, Alphard had started with it, and so I joined? More specifically, I never suggested you date him. I inferred that you might be more to another person's tastes than myself." A long suffering sigh to both boys present. Anthony's vocalized thought is just given an idle wave.

Last time Gage had called him a coward, it had just made him laugh. This time Alphard's expression suffered a momentary twitch of annoyance before he smiled. A cool patronizing smile: "Hart, stop being an attention whoring pest. We're in the library, we're studying. You're not invited. Now that you've tried and failed to get a rise out of me, why don't you be a good little monkey and dance along." He made a shooing flick of his wrist.

Mollified, but only slightly, Lucretia's lower lip jut forward a degree and she gives Andromena a 'look'. She's good at looks, her eyes narrowing slightly as she gets the measure of the older girl in some silent sort of assessment. "Good. I'm so pleased that my cousin's not dating an idiot," she says, intimating that maybe 'Meanie' just passed some odd sort of self-invented test of the Lu variety. A casual lean back is affected, shoulder's pressing to the books of the shelf behind her as Alphard flicks a hand in Gage's direction in that obvious shoo'ing motion. "Oh. Does that actually work?" she queries of him.

Andromena nods when Alphard mentions studying. They really had been trying to do just that. But before she ropes Anthony in for his assistance, Andromena is unable to keep herself from saying one last little thing to Lucretia. Maybe Mena would take the jibes in silence, but Meanie does no such thing any longer!

"And how wonderful of you to say so," was that sarcasm? Too hard to tell, it was so dry. "However, I would suggest giving a tad more credit to your cousin in the future." And that was it. To imply Alphard would date an idiot naturally had to mean Alphard was an idiot himself. Marshmellow doesn't have to count, dear. Andromena offered Lucretia a small smile, unperturbed by the look.

"Hey Tony, could I ask you for a favor?" The Ravenclaw reopens the book that had been in her lap, but does not remove the parchment tucked therein. "I've got some rune-work I'd like your help with." There is next to no attention given to Gage, though she did catch his wave. He and Alphard had their issues, to put it lightly, and she wasn't all that keen on getting involved. Not when other things weighed on her mind.

Gage retreats to silence, something he's so very good at, as he turns and lifts his head up to the books. He focuses on the titles for a moment, until he's furrowing his eyes and biting his lower lip. He pulls himself into his thoughts, mind thinking while all he does outwardly just stands there frozen, glowering at the books. Raising a hand to a book, he tug sit from the shelf to open it in the palm of his hand, focusing on the pages rather than looking at anyone. Complicated, his eyebrows knit together, and he frowns, shaking his head. Damn, if the book is going to be Runes he's going to have a hard time here. The book is replaced before he shifts his eyes to Lucretia first, staring at her in silence as he considers, momentarily confused before he blows out a breath. To Alphard, he sends a fierce glare at him. "Naw," he grumbles irritably. "Yer /don't/ run dis school an' yer don't own dis library." He lets out a snort and turns to take a step along the shelf, eyes on the titles. "Don't own me roights, either," he mutters as he scans the books.

Anthony scoots willingly over next to his cousin. Well, and why not. "Um, sure. Sure, of course. Which set of Runes is it? Elder Futhork? There's a segment I've been looking at, which is really rather fun." He leans over to take a peek, frowning a bit, "What's the provenance?"

Again that thick skin comes into play, Lucretia catching the words 'rune' and 'work'. She's pretty durn decent with those herself, it being a particular interest amongst the many, many, many other subject in which she prides herself. But as its Anthony that's asked for help, its with a small scowl still lingering in her expression that her attention diverts back once more to Gage. Peeling herself away from the others, she takes the few steps necessary to place herself near Gage, a swipe of the bangs that drape her forehead given as she turns attention in his direction. "What exactly are you looking for? Do you need help with working out how the information in the library is catalogued and stored? Its simple when you understand the system."

"Apparently this monkey isn't very well trained," Alphard told Lucretia with an eye roll. Since the pest wouldn't leave, and it wasn't as if even he could get away with hexing the boy into oblivion in a very public and occupied library, with the Librarian present, he settled for just ignoring Gage.

His voice dropped to a hush as Anthony and Andromena put their heads together. "This is a private project," he murmured to Anthony, quiet enough that it would take being obvious and leaning over them to pick up his whispers. "I'd prefer it if it wasn't spread. Or discussed too loudly." And their bent over bodies would make a perfect screen, too, to hide the details.

Anthony tilts his head, "Well, that's awfully cryptic." Thank you, Tony. Because making cryptic comments about a cryptic comment is so very very helpful. He reads the words again, lips moving slightly, as his finger traces along the way. Backwards. "The um… the underscore line there indicates this inscription is read in the inverse, you see. It's nicely hidden though, but I'm sure you saw it?"

"It's something Alphard and I are working on," Andromena added as Alphard turned his body into a wall to shield their work from any further prying eyes. Her voice, too, had lowered. "Not Elder Futhark, no," but part of her wants to be your atypical Ravenclaw nerd and talk about how much she liked that particular runic script. "You can see here, here, and here," her finger traced along the words she had already successfully managed to translate. "But I'm having trouble working out much more. This isn't…" Inverted? Wh-what? Andromena's face screws up as she tries to look at it the way Anthony says.

"No," said in the voice of defeat! "I did not catch that. See," said to Alphard. "I told you he was good at this."

Alphard remained an unhelpful presence by the two Rowles. Since he was more or less completely clueless when it came to Ancient Runes. "Brilliant." He still didn't understand what it was they were talking about. Grunting he pushed himself to his feet. "Listen, I'm going to see if I can find some more books along these lines. Let me know what you all come up with!"

He vanished deeper into the library.

Anthony gets out his quill, "Oh, you'd have got it in the end, I'm sure. Not sure how much it helps, though. But here's the inscription, anyway." He gives his cousin a peer, "You'll come to me for more help, maybe?"

"Okay," Andromena said to Alphard as he got up. It made sense that he should pursue his strong suit, and they theirs. "Find me later," by way of a goodbye. She really was smitten by the tall youth, but that did not seem to come between Andromena and her love of all things found within books and intellect.

"Of course I will," she assured Anthony. Looking around to make sure Gage and Lucretia are still off on their own, she ducks her head closer to Anthony to confide a little more. "I can't say much about it now, but I think even you would enjoy…this project." Her eyes dip towards the fully translated meaning of what she had copied off of that first door. "A riddle," she mused aloud. A weird, creepy riddle. She hoped the others wouldn't be of the same nature…and yet at the same time also hoped that they were.

A glower is etched onto Gage's features, but he focuses on the books on the shelf. His scowl deepens when he does turn to glance at the huddled little group, and he snorts. A tiny little smile slips across his lips, slanted more at one corner as he nods slowly. The boy is quite pleased when Alphard decides to ignore him. He likes that, having little attention drawn to him, while he lurks and searches for his own book. But just as he turns to the shelf again he freezes, eyebrows furrowing as his dark blue eyes lock on Lucretia suddenly. He frowns in silence, simply staring at her as he thinks to himself. Before he lets out a soft breath and the corner of his mouth twitches lightly. "Tanks," he starts as he shakes his head slowly. His tone is quite genuine as he answers Lucretia. "But Oi- Oi understan' it jist foine," he says nervously. He's silent again as he considers, and then says, "Oi nehd a book on enchantin' items." He thinks for another moment, eyes flicking over the girl, and then he asks, "Are yer al' roigh'?"

Anthony nods and flicks the book open again. A huge gothicquekkk texted tome. He says quietly, "Oh.. um, well, if you think I'll be useful! I'd love to. Of course. I mean, you know, Andy."

Andromena gives her cousin a warm smile as she gets to her feet. "Thanks again for the help. I'll let you get back to your books." She jerks her thumb towards the library's exit. "I have to get to my next class, though. I'll catch you around dinner, or in the Common Room." Since they were in the same House, of the same year, she was going to see him again sometime soon. That said, Andromena makes her way out of the library.

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