(1939-02-12) The Mystery Invite
Details for The Mystery Invite
Summary: Several students received a potion and an invitation. The who and the why of it, however, none know.
Date: 1939-02-12
Location: Forest Fringe

Andromena looked at the vial resting inconspicuously in the palm of her gloved hand. She hadn't opened it yet, as the attached note had warned in a vehement hand (use of all capital letters surely implied such) not to do so. She had only just arrived at the edge of the forest, and to be honest she felt…excited. It was late, with clouds obscuring the sky. In fact, snow fell in fat white flakes all around. Glancing about, Andromena saw that she was currently alone.

"What matter of letter is this anyway?" Cedric asks of a blonde that accompanies him to this meeting, his letter in hand. The Slytherin on his other arm doesn't seem to be amused to be here, nevertheless. "Oh, hello, Rowle," he greets the Ravenclaw.

"… and I've got NO idea what sort of potion it is. I've thought about finding someone to figure it out for me, but I thought to myself, "Well, if we BOTH got it, might as well just go find out." Right?" Variel's speaking quietly as he leads the way, ensuring that the girl on his arm doesn't have to handle any bushes or branches herself as they approach the others.

Perhaps he was the last to arrive in following the instructions of a potion bottle. Curiosity had the better of him. The early morning's snowfall crunched beneath his burnt tanned boots. The newsboy cap was snugly fitted atop of his head and the brightly coloured scarf of Gryffindor had been wrapped about his neck for warmth. Both hands were shoved into the pockets of his wool jacket, one of them playing host to the mysterious vial. He wasn't alone. In noticed the others that had arrived before him Iggy greeted with a cloudy breath, "Wasn't expecting anyone else out here." A lie. He expected the sender of this vial.

"Good thinking," Ilsa murmurs in agreement to Variel, one hand tucked securely in the crook of his arm as they approach their destination. "Might as well see what this is all about firsthand. This ought to be interesting." Her head tilts to the side questioningly as she notes a few other students meandering toward the forest fringe. "

"Potions." grumbled Ulysses, nothing so much as curiosity being the driving force bringing him out here. After all… this was forbidden. Possibly improper. He'd not cross the line, not for any mystery.. but there had to be something here. And if he'd gotten the summons, others likely would have as well, and so as he walks closer to the meeting area, seeing a few familiar faces, he continues forward, angling toward Variel and his cousin Ilsa.

Who is Madeline to turn down mystery and adventure? Yeah. It's really just not going to happen. She trudges down the path - spotting Ulysses up ahead and dashing to catch up. Wordlessly, she reaches out to grab his hand, beaming up at the older student cheerfully.

Elizabeth had kept her cloak tight around her, dark head bowed low under her hood on the off chance that this was either a trap or there was faculty that could be around. Thus far she hasn't seen either, though as she steadily approaches, her pale eyes blink with mild surprise to find schoolmates. Gently holding the bottle against her chest, beneath the folds of her cloak, she glances around curiously.

"Yeah, int…er…esting…" Variel's voice trails off as he catches sight of Madeline traipsing about towards the edge of the lethal forest. He throws her a glare, but… he can't put much behind it. It ends up sort of a stern look, conveying more of a "If I wasn't doing this myself, I'd be VERY disappointed, young squidge" than any actual anger. Elizabeth's arrival is a bit more welcome, and he raises his free hand- the one not occupied at his side while Ilsa has his arm- in a wave. Ulysses? He gets a nod. He's in no need of policing, and welcome at his side.

By the assortment of students that had responded to the summons Iggy wore a wry smirk across his lips. "Sooo.." He starts. "No mystery as to why we're all here." The Prewett boy commented while folks huddled with those more familiar. "Anyone have any idea what this is about?" The vial is removed from his pocket, held within a gloved hand then held out before the others.

"Oh, Avery," Andromena chirps. She gestures to the girl on his arm, Lestrange. "Did you each receive an…invitation as well?" This asked heartbeats before the Ravenclaw began to see the other students converge. To say she was let down was not…entirely true. Sure, perhaps she had wanted to be the only one, because, let's face it, who doesn't want to be special?
"Elizabeth!" Came her next utterance when her fellow Ravenclaw came into view. A quick head count proved Gryffindors were more populace. Might it have anything to do with this while affair? "If I hadn't thought this was something from Alphard, I might have confided about this to you." Andromena told Elizabeth with a grin.
"So…who among you is the culprit here?" The young woman held up her vial and gave it an audible shake. "It's not myself, or Prewett, obviously."

Ilsa brightens in recognition as some of the newcomers come into better view. Her free arm lifts to offer a wave, albeit a subdued one since the vial of mysterious potion is clasped in that hand. "Hi, Lys! Hey, Maddie," she calls to her cousin and his young companion. She can't even attempt a stern look at finding the first year here, too caught up in the mystery of it all. The other less familiar faces are also greeted with a nod. "No idea what this is all about. Anyone else have a hunch?"

A grin is offered to Variel and Ilsa first, and Ulysses even makes a point of over-doing a stern, disapproving face, but by the time a tiny hand takes his, the look melts entirely back into the initial grin, "Hey, Mads." Squirt doesn't get used in front of those who might abuse it.
As he recognizes Iggy, he frowns a touch, but offers the boy a nod, and Elizabeth even gets a kindly "Dweedle." Finally, he looks to Andromena, and shrugs, "Search me. I was rather wondering the same."

"… wait, so NONE of us did this?" Variel sounds unbelieving. "SOMEone did. Someone went through all the trouble of brewing this potion and said not to drink it. I imagine we're meant to drink it here… but what's the reasoning behind the distribution? Random? It's not by house, not by blood and probably not by association- there's a few of you I don't know well at all, and I can't think of a single person friends with ALL of us."

Elizabeth again is caught by surprise as she spots Variel through the gathering crowd, lifting a hesitant hand to wave in his direction, before blinking her pale eyes at Andromena. She naturally gravitates towards the older Ravenclaw girl. A small frown tugs at her delicate brow as she sees her bottle as well. "You thought that Alphard summoned you here with a vial of some unknown substance? Is he normally that mysterious?" He doesn't seem the type. To Elizabeth, Alphard seems like he would just be outright straight forward rather than go through the bother of something elaborate. Or maybe it's just her.
As Andromena begins asking how had gathered them there, Elizabeth glances over her shoulder expectantly, looking over heads.

"So it appears, Rowle," Cedric replies. "Demetria was wondering what this is all about, though. Which I suppose is why I brewed two potions of each kind," he says wryly. "There are many ways this can go wrong. And more ways it could end up being a nice story to tell later."

"There has to be something more to this, then…" Andromena mused, quite laissez-faire about it all considering they were close to the forest and curfew was not all that far off. Not to mention the whole Sykes tragedy.
"Maybe they're late. Or perhaps there's a clue nearby we've yet to see…Lumos," said as she withdrew her wand and began to slowly pad about the area. "It's not been snowing for very long, but there's enough on the ground to leave tracks." Andromena had pocketed her potion for now.

Ilsa dimples a smile toward Ulysses, although she quickly shifts back into solemn thought. "There has to be a common denominator, doesn't there? A reason for such a varied group?" she muses aloud. She eases a step closer to Variel, gaze scanning the surroundings with narrowed eyes.

"Don't think they'd have actually been nearby if someone was looking to meet us here on their own terms. They'd be nearby, and that means in the forest, I think- not anywhere else to hide, really, unless they've mastered Invisibility." He scoffs as he says this- that'd mean someone who'd downright mastered the Charm arts, and that's absurd. Who'd be sending random potions with that sort of talent? Variel gently tugs Ilsa against himself as she eases closer, giving her a reassuring smile as he joined in looking for some kind of hints.

It's all so very..strange! The kind of thing that happens in someone else's book and not well, not to Dora. The potion's tucked safely into the pocket of her robes while Dora quietly makes her way towards the location in the note. She's not very hard to miss though, likely on account of her wings and when she spots a few familiar faces in the rather large crowd, she seems to drift unerringly towards Ilsa and Variel, as if she's expecting someone to jump out at her and yelling 'Detention!' like always happens in her nightmares.

"Yeah, we're all magic users and we're all students." Prewett stated as the witch summoned her 'Lumos' to prepare for tracking. That's all they had in common. Those words of warning on the vial were tempting him. Taunting him to defy their command. "So what if we drink it? What's the worse that can happen?" Iggy started to uncork the vial and take a sniff of the aroma.

"You REALLY want to hear the answer to that question?" offers the Dark Defense nerd that is Variel.

A frown crosses his face as Ulysses listens to Variel's suggestion, and he shakes his head, "If they are… they're fools. Crossing the line." Because there's flouting the rules… and there's being suicidally foolish. However, as Andromena lights her wand, Lys does the same, holding his overhead for the benefit of all while others use theirs to light up more specific areas.
At the moment, he's standing closest to Variel and Ilsa as well with a Madeline stuck pretty much at his side. He looks over at Iggy with a raised brow, "Have you never been in a potions class gone wrong?

Adorabella's arrival garners a brief, but warm smile from Ilsa as the fifth year gestures for her cousin to join. Ulysses's last remark draws a faint groan. "Potions class gone wrong. Things can go very wrong, very quickly." It's clear the Hufflepuff is talking from experience and a dislike of the subject, but she follows Ignatius's lead by uncorking and sniffing her own vial.

A shoulder shrugged beneath the wool coat, "Once or twice." Perhaps more. By the lacking of his ability to identify the ingredients or something familiar within the vial, Iggy's lips twisted in confusion. His nose wrinkled. "Well.. it is not water." By power of deduction although the vial's contents were quite clear. "Besides. Who puts "Don't drink" on a vial meant to be drank? That's just an invitation for tasting." He catches Adorabella's arrival then comments, "It might. But how else are we going to know what this does? Unless you all are afraid?" Couldn't be that as they were this close to the forbidden forest.

While a few others may search for tracks, Elizabeth decides to lift the potion in her hand to have a closer look at the contents. Holding it lightly with one hand, she lifts her wand, "Lumos." she murmurs quietly, light brightening at the tip. She frowns as she looks at this one, then glances over at Ignatius' own option. "His is clear… Peculiar."

Luke comes floating along on his broom with potion held in his left hand. Really, it shouldn't surprise anyone. Last year's Hufflepuff keeper is this year's chaser and he might be the seeker next year. He's good and.. indecisive. One thing that folk CAN say about Luke is that he knows his potions. As he floats in effortlessly, he hops off and lifts his potion in salute. "Salutations. What's the trip? Potions and mystery. I love it." He's all grins.

Ulysses' face lights up, just a touch, as he hears a familiar voice, and he turns his gaze over at Dora for a moment, his head turning to offer his sister a wide smile, "Hey, Dora…" Then a pause. SHE got the summons, too?
He looks back at Iggy, shaking his head, "It could be meant to pour on something, or to combine… but 'Don't consume' seems to be a pretty straightforward instruction to me."

"Not…," there are SO many people here. Dora inches closer to Ilsa's side and honestly, given the height of the girl presses in close enough that her head comes almost level with her cousin's shoulder. "Not all potions are meant to be drunk, Iggy," it's a quiet whisper, but she at least, looks properly afraid of their current location and hasn't even removed the potion from her pocket. "Please don't drink it," a slim long fingered hand extends in the boy's direction, while those dark eyes implore, near begging at Ignatius. With her focus on him just then, she didn't exactly want to pause and chat up her brother.

"What exactly did you brew there, Prewett?" Cedric asks of the underclassman, his interest drawn by the color and overall aspect of Ignatius' potion. His are, well, the color they are. And likely very carefully made.

Ilsa wrinkles her nose, hastily replacing the cork on her vial after taking a whiff. "Oh, eww. That was… gross." She waves a hand in front of her face as if to rid herself of the awful smell, her vial held up for examination. Her gaze shifts from Iggy's vial to her own and back again. "Yours looks like water, mine like mud. Are they all different then, I wonder?"

Madeline had sniffed at her potion earlier, and she had little notion of what it might be. She watches the older students, quietly confident that /one/ of them might have some insight. She beams across at Adorabella - waving to her jauntily - but for once the little firstie seems relatively quiet and observant.
Probably it won't last.

"Hey, woah!" Comes Andromena's cry as she realizes what Ignatius is doing. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves, hey? Your potion is clear? That's funny, mine isn't." She withdraws it, but in the gloom, even her lumos does little to show the others whether her own is black, brown, red, or dark green - possibly even purple!
"So, everyone has something different. Do you guys want to see if any of us at least have the same colors?" Ilsa's own commentary receives a nod, confirming her suspicion. "Okay, mine is red. Anyone else that's red, stand with me. Clear, to Prewett, and brown to Sel- Ilsa."

Variel frowns a bit at Ilsa's response to smelling her potion. "Did yours look like mud before you opened it to smell?" Simple enough question, and as the students light their wands, he decides to make everyone's lives easier and flicks his wand towards the air above their heads. "Lumos Maxima." An orb of light spins itself together above their heads and hangs there, lighting their area. He gives Dora a smile when she moves closer, welcoming her to the opposite side of Ilsa, and squeezes said Selwyn's arm before gently releasing it and stepping away to join Iggy.

"Mine smells like boys dormitory after a Quidditch match." Iggy states while his vial remains uncorked. Quite serious about tasting to find out. "They might not be Adorabella but this one is certainly not meant to be worn." The boy is nearly chuckling before Andromena cuts in with instructions. Apparently he's in the group of clear vials.

Looking down at his own vial, Ulysses checks it, only for a moment, the red liquid quite obvious in his own wand-light. It's then that he gently eases himself out of Madeline's hold, and walks over to Andromena, showing his vial to her as well. Silent, however, as he watches and observes, for now.

"Oh, that's much better," Ilsa murmurs in appreciation of the light Variel's charm provides. "No, I think it's been the same color the entire time." She casts Variel a quick smile before he leaves her side to join the group of students with clear potions. Her attention turns to Dora, reaching out to give her cousin's hand a quick squeeze although she releases it soon after in case she moves to join another group.

Oh no no no. They're not leaving her all by her lonesome. Not when colors are explained to everyone. When Variel eases away towards Iggy and he's the one Andromena says they ought to be going to, Dora sliips right on over to wiggle in between iggy and Variel, where she's short and out of the way and there are lots of…not to put too fine a point on it, taller meat shields to be attacked first or seen first in the event that something goes horribly wrong and someone still jumps out to yell detention!

It's after she's hidden away that it occurs to her to check just to make sure she's with the right group and thank Merlin, Dora is.

Madeline gives Ulysses hand a squeeze, then skips off to stand with Prewett, beaming at at the others that join her, and holding up her vial to show its clear contents. "Well. We're not all Gryffindors," she states as Adorabella squeezes in between the two boys - and Madeline cheerfully switches Selwyns, to stand leaning up on Variel and Adorabella, instead. "And we're not all girls (or, you know, boys) either. And lots of different years, too."
Yeah. We knew she wouldn't stay silent the whole time.

Variel glances to Ulysses with a grin when Dora squirms in at his side. He steps forward a touch, giving her space to stand behind him and cling to his arm if she likes. The movement's an offer he seems perfectly happy to make- no need for her to be spotted first, after all.

Luke slips a leather strap over his broom and slings it across his back. Yep, he's done this before. Have broom, will travel. Then he's shrugging and moving over towards Andromena. "I've got a red one." Still, he doesn't seem to do well in crowds so he just takes it all in for now like a good Hufflepuff.
Madeline has partially disconnected.

When Madeline switches Selwyn's, Dora slips an arm out to loop protectively around the first year's shoulders and gently..eases her back out of the general line of fire and into the protective bubble for those vertically challenged. But an appreciative smile was cast to both Iggy and Variel for their presence.

Ilsa finds herself standing alone as the group shifts into its separate groups. She feels suddenly overwhelmingly alone as her companions step away to sort themselves accordingly. "Brown potion, anyone?" she asks, her own vial lifted in the air for extra perusal.

The Prewett's eyes watched as Variel, then Dora and lastly Madeline approached to join him in forging the 'clear' vialed group. He murmured quietly to the Hufflepuff at his side before resuming his study of the others and their multiple colored vials with attention mostly paid to who possessed which hue. "Selwyn has the only brown vial? Can we assume they all have different affects? I mean it's a bit silly to have us all with the same potion just different color for flair."

Hrm. Cedric holds up his potion, verifies that it is brown and joins with the brown group. Along with Demetria Lestrange, crazy like her name implies, but quiet, for now. "No, mine and Lestrange's are brown, as well. I simply wish my vial was blue because I would at least be able to acquire certainty it isn't a particularly bad corrosive potion or anything of the decay sort."

"Are we even SURE they're potions? I mean, if the clear ones smell like sweaty bodies, maybe it IS sweat. A little smeared inside a vial and popped with a Repleo? Maybe the liquids are all just… liquids. It'd be boring, but it'd make sense. What's the red smell like? The brown?" He glances to the other two groups quizzically.

Elizabeth's potion, as she examines it, is green, laced with yellow stripes that resemble veins. Definitely not clear like the clear potion that Ignatius has. "As far as I know, clear potions are not good. And while I don't recall what this one may be, the majority of green potions aren't good either…" she speculates out loud, turning the bottle over in her hand. From behind her wire frames, she glances up at the others, seeing people shuffling. She meets Ilsa's eyes. "Here." She moves closer.

Whatever the Gryffindor whispers in her direction makes Dora pale slightly and rather hurredily whisper something back before she eases an arm out and through his, with a little tug in an attempt to well, keep his potion in his hand and his hand away from his mouth. Bad Iggy. Bad.

"Oh come on. A potion's color is only a tiny fraction of what it could be. I mean look at Felix Felicitas. It's clear and no one ever call /it/ bad." Luke commends to Elizabeth. "And polyjuice is a nasty puke brown.. at least until you put a hair in it." He shakes his head and looks around. "So who sent the note? Anyone owning that?" He chuckles.

"Okay then," Andromena says once everyone has been grouped together. She hadn't exactly wanted to step into any leadership role, but so far the two she would have pegged to step up to such a position - Cedric and Ulysses - had remained rather silent.
"There are three different groups; three colors. I think we all agree it's a bad idea to drink random substances all willy-nilly, so who here trusts their skills in Potions?" Andromena, standing with Luke and Ulysses, has her back to the forest. Subsequently, they are all the closest to it, but are by no means courting its boundary. Snow continues to fall steadily, and Variel's light shines down upon the assembled group, providing a decent, constant source of illumination.

"Well, three groups and then Elizabeth." Andromena looks at her potion with a puzzled expression.

Ilsa is not entirely alone after all. She nods to Cedric and Demetria as they join her, then to Elizabeth as she approaches with her own oddly colored potion. "Ugh. The brown one? It smells awful," she remarks in answer to the earlier question posed. "I can't pinpoint what exactly, beyond just… rather revolting." Attention turns to Andromena, but the Hufflepuff doesn't speak up just yet. Most who know her know that she's prone to accidents during potions classes.

"Yeah - but what liquids are green and yellow and stripey?" Madeline points out, from her position safely cuddled between Adorabella and Variel. "I'm pretty good at potions for a first year!" she offers brightly. "But, you know. First year."

That would be the primary reason why Ulysses is taking a back seat at the moment. Potions? Not a strong point. Indeed, he's been paying far more attention to their surroundings, than the potions themselves. This close tot he forest, even with the protections the school has in place, he's nervous, his wand at his side and at the ready.
"Give me something to break, any day, over this." Still… a little attention perhaps, to the vials themselves is given, as he looks between his, Andromena's and Cedric's.

Luke puts his hand up almost immediately when Andromena asks who is good at potions. For all that Luke is the quiet one in class, he's been developing something of a reputation. A fellow can't fly every day after all.

Variel lifts a hand. He's not horrid at them, after all- managing an A in NEWTs isn't bad potions at all.

Cedric lifts his hand. "You might say I am pretty good at Potions, yes." Demetria keeps hers lowered.

Elizabeth blinks again as she frowns softly to herself. "Wait, am I the only green potion?" she asks, honestly surprised about that. "Why would there only be one of these? And why me?" Maybe it wasn't her exactly that was choice, but it's still odd.

"If was sweat then it would taste salty." Iggy, still with his vial uncorked was begining to pull off his winter gloves by the teeth clapping on the tips the leather fingers. A few yanks frees his hand. The glove is then shoved into his pocket. He's about dab a touch on his finger, only way to find out what it is. "Hey! Hey!" As Adorabella dissuades him from doing something quite foolish. Whatever she says earns a pair of brows raised in reprisal. "Well um…" The boy then looks around for something then he starts heading near the trees that line the forbidden forest. Being so discouraged from drinking it Iggy corks his vial for the time being and pockets it. On the ground are pumpkin vines, still flourishing in the middle of winter. While there he's breaking off a portion of the vine to test the potion on.

Phew. Though…the double browed look that Ignatius gave Dora was enough to turn her cheeks pink. The girl fell silent as he pulled away and settled for angling her frame more protectively around Madeline as the boy walked closer to the forest. Merciful Merlin, he could have used grass for that! Oh, oh this was just going to end horribly! So Dora, very quietly whispered to Maddie. "Maybe..we should go back to the castle?"

"Why?" Madeline asks Dora. "This is fun!" She grins back at the other girl. "Aren't you just /dying/ to know what this is all about?" she asks, bouncing on her toes.
With that bit of poor word choice, she returns her attention to the rest of the group.

"Alright, so…For now, Luke can test our potions, Avery his group, and Variel…you follow my drift? Oh, Avery, will you look at Elizabeth's as well since hers is so unusual?" Ignatius was given a nod when Andromena saw he grabbed up a vine for testing. She was, after all, not so bad at Potions herself.

"Alright, well, why don't you all step back and I'll pop the cork on this thing." Luke seems positively thrilled to be doing this. The great potion mystery! And so he takes out his wand and.. "Wingardium leviosa." He lets his potion float in front of him. He reaches out and pops the top off with his wand at the ready to.. fling the potion somewhere other than near him if it turns out to be something pure evil. Or something. Hmm. Maybe they /should/ be at the castle. Lots more things to test a potion with there.

Variel nods at Andromena's suggestion, leaning down towards the shorter girls to murmur. "Hey. Relax. Both of you. We'll be careful, -and- there's too many things this could be about not to take it -seriously-, Madeline." He straightens then and pauses to think. "Alright, so. Easy tests. Reaction to plant life. Reaction to cloth. Reaction to flesh. I think. I'll save that one for last." Variel fusses in his pockets until he can get a scrap of lace from his pocket, then bends to collect a few strands of grass. His potion, he turns topsy turvy, then rightside up, uncorking it quickly. He does much like Luke, levitating the bottle with a quick spell, then swipes the grass across the cork, exposing it to the drops beading the cork itself.

"I am serious!" Madeline counters, puzzled by Variel's words. "Hey - do you think we're supposed to mix them all together? What if we put a few drops of each one together somehow?" she suggests brightly. "Is there… a safe way to do that?"

"Violence…" Iggy is tugging at the pumpkin vine, his voice breaking in between each pull. "Isn't the … answer… Upkiss." The finally pull rewarded him with a vine from the patch boarding the Forbidden forest. Standing upright, shoulders back, the freckle-faced boy was just about to head towards the group until something caught his interest. "Too late to head back. Here, use…" He bends down, reaching into the patch of vines only to pluck up a letter that has been tucked within the vines. "Huh.." A murmured sound as the boy starts to read the letter.

Ilsa keeps her vial in hand, turning to watch the various groups as the potions are tested. Attention returns to Cedric, the appointed potion tester of her group. "If there's anything I can help with, let me know." Finding items to test with mostly.

"I believe… it may be a poison of some kind. But it's difficult for me to determine." Elizabeth murmurs, pondering for a longer moment before she glances up at the rest of the group. "Any thoughts?"

As far as he can see, there's nothing abnormal. Ulysses loosens up just a bit. He looks at Cedric, "Weasley has a point." He points to Cedric. "You take plant life, I'll take cloth." He reaches to his side, and to the little bag he always has with him, pulling out a swatch of bandage out of it… something he always has on him, and begins to tear it into strips, to hand out.

"I'm…going back," Dora announces to everyone and no one all at once. It's just, it's too much. There's too many things that could go wrong, terribly wrong. Painfully wrong and the promise of something wonderful simply isn't enough to keep her. So off she scampers, in a wide arch that takes her past Ignatius before she's bounding on towards the world of safe, wings fluttering against her back.

"Accio wildflower," Cedric draws his wand and brings forth that convenient plant life just laying there on the ground, tiny but rather visible from his angle. Then he pours the brownish potion upon it before telling Elizabeth, "I'll check with you, as well. One moment, Dweedle."

Cedric also acknowledges Ilsa's offer with a nod. He's focused!

Madeline watches Adorabella leave with some disappointment, then glances around at the other students in curiosity for a few moments. "I wonder how many other students got vials but didn't come?" she muses quietly to herself.

Ulysses watches his sister retreat with a bit of a frown, but there's sadly little he can do. Instead, he finally passes the bandage strips to whomever might take them, setting the rest out before him, "Come, anyone without cloth. Grab one and test." He sets his own aside, finally unstops his own vial, to drop a single drop on either side of the strip, watching, before he corks his again.

The note he discovered hidden within the vines is reread. Then again. "Hey…" Iggy started then spoke a little louder the second time. "Hey!" The boy turns about, trying to get the attention of the others while holding up the letter pinched between his index and thumb. "Uh.. found something."

Ilsa cranes her head toward Iggy, turning as she hears his shout. A brow lifts as she spots the letter in his hand. "What is it? What does it say?" she questions, eager for clues.

Luke begins his testing in a much more methodical way. First, he swirls it a little and listens. Then he gently wafts the vapors his direction with his free hand to smell them. Then, he gingerly tips the potion so that a drop or two falls on a rock. All the while, he seems to have tuned out the chatting around him and gone into solid geek mode.

Cedric's wildflower is doused in foul-smelling, thick brown goop. Seriously, who would willingly drink something like that? There is nothing…at first. Then the wildflower begins to shrivel and wilt, eventually it crumbles in his grip and the brown slop oozes down his hand. The test Variel performed using grass yielded no results. The grass remains free from any blemish or, indeed, harm. Luke's test are much the same. The red liquid does nothing to the rock he drops it on.
Andromena, who isn't as focused as the three testers, swings her head around to Ignatius as he calls for their attention. Privately she shouts: VINDICATION! because there was a clue left behind for them, as if it were all a game. Outloud she ask, "What does it say?"

Elizabeth faintly dips her chin with a small nod as she glances to Cedric, waiting her turn while also inspecting the potion he's testing now. She's silent, for the most part, observing, learning. Very much Ravenclaw.

Iggy starts to head towards the group and away from the Forbidden Forest. "It says 'The brave and the bold. But who fits the mold? Try not to think for what's in your hand you must drink.'" He recites from the note. Only a few moments pass before the Prewett boy is grinning "Nah it says 'Curiosity getting the better of you yet, kiddies? I promise not to disappoint. Our little game of mystery needs two volunteers. One big, one small. Short, tall. A boy and a girl. If you want to see how this ends, you, the reader, must choose.'

A shadow drops down from above, startling Ilsa until she realizes it's her owl, bearing a message. Frowning, she pauses to read it and then sighs. "Right now? Right now of all moments?" Wrinkling her nose, she throws her hands up in the air and sighs. "I'm so sorry to miss out on this, but I have to tend to something. Good luck!" She offers an apologetic look, clearly reluctant to be leaving. She waves to the group, slowing to murmur to Variel as she passes, then trudges off toward the castle.

When Ulysses allows a few drops of the red potion onto the strip of cloth, it stains it deep and dark, like blood. It does not, however, cause the material any damage.

It is quick reaction that allows Cedric not to lose his left hand to an acidic or decaying substance. He watches the remnants of the wildflower dissolve as it falls to the ground and shrugs at Andromena. "I don't know why we've been given all these potions but I suggest some research."

"Ooo, ooo! I'm short, I'm short!" Madeline overs brightly, waving her hand excitedly. "…it doesn't say what I have to do, though? I'm /not/ drinking any of these!"
Dear Gods. The girl does have some sense after all?

Variel whispers back to Ilsa as she takes off in a rush, grinning at her with a nod.

"I think it said that Iggy has to pick, actually." Variel offers, reaching over to take Madeline by the shoulders and pull her back from her waving and volunteering. "And I think yeah, he's probably picking people to test the potions."

Ulysses looks at the failed test of his own, "Combinations, I think, will be the key. We're likely going to have to mix…" Then the letter is read. "Someone big. And male." Grunt. Of course. He looks around, "Does it say /what/ we have to do?"

"Test potions, I guess." Luke quips dryly as he goes to find something green.. or close to it to dribble a drop of his red concoction upon. Naturally, he's making sure not to touch he vile or really be in arms reach while he does this. Its with a gesture of his wand that his potion floats along dripping doom upon a nearby evergreen sprig. Poor thing. Luke actually looks like he wrinkles his nose at this 'test'. Surely, there's a better way.

Lucretia arrives, the young Black bundled up against the cold with gloved hands thrust deep within the folds of her cloak. She doesn't look too surprised to find so many students gathered out here, in fact she appears to have followed the veritable herd of footprints that mark the snow. "Hello…" she says, tugging down the edge of her scarf so it doesn't muffle her mouth. There's a quick glance backwards to the departing Ilsa before she looks back to the group. "What's happening?"

Iggy shook his head, "That's it. I suspect there will be another set of instructions once I choose who will be our volunteers." Then there's Madeline's enthusiasm that warrants a smirk from him, "True you are. And our options for short is pretty limited. That leaves big and boy." Eyes on the others. "I'm volunteering of course, but I'm sure others want to as well."

Elizabeth blinks up at Iggy as he begins reading out the note out loud, and the more he reads the more the frown in her delicate brow deepens. "Two volunteers…" she murmurs softly. Before she could say anything, Madeline is already volunteering herself. It makes her even more worried. Exhaling a breath, she gently shakes her head. "This can't be good." Elizabeth murmurs.

"Heeey," Madeline protests as she's pulled back. "But I'm short. It said short!" She doesn't seem to /mind/ being short, it seems. As Lucretia arrives, she waves cheerfully once again. "Black! Hi!" She beams at the girl brightly. "Do you have a potion too? Is it green and yellow and stripey?"

"I'm not gonna be the only Gryffindor that doesn't volunteer. I'm in." Variel glances at Maddie and knuckles her head. "Yes, it said short, we know. You fit the bill, but doesn't mean you need to leap face first into the potions." He looks up and lifts a hand to wave at Lu. "Hullo, there, Lulu. Follow the footprints, did you?" He glances around. "We might not have long if that's true. If she followed, so can the faculty."

"Maybe Girl Selwyns have the better idea here," Andromena mutters, chagrin writ plainly across her face. "This is getting weird. And not fun weird." No, more like serial killer weird. Andromena wraps her arms around herself and wishes she had asked Alphard to come with her instead of just assuming he was treating her to another romantic scene of tiny piano lizard. Then she could cling to him the way Demetria had been clinging to Cedric Avery. (Now she just stood back and glowered).
Luke's last test on the plant life sees the item blacken and die. So far, the red potion has been tested upon rock, cloth with no effect, and harms plant life. Brown potion…well, it's burbling on the ground, having thoroughly 'consumed' its wildflower and was now working through the frozen grass. The clear potion, as yet, seemed harmless.
"It's not right to use the First year," Andromena interjects. If there was something serious going on here, and it felt like there was, how would they explain to the faculty using a child as a test subject!? "Lucretia wouldn't get followed," said off-handedly. "Did you tell Alphard you were coming out here? Better yet, did anybody tell another they were coming out here tonight?" Because she had not.

"This is sort of where us Gryffindors are highly deficient: we'd sign a contract giving away our lives if the big letters seemed shiny enough sometimes. We don't even know what exactly these potions are here for; it could be that there's a giant, plant-eating thing just lurking along the shadows. I'm not saying don't dive in. I'm just saying, go for it, but be prepared instead of just wishing in your last moments you were. We're not exactly dealing with," Cedric waves the vial in his hand, once it's been corked and secured, "first year parlor tricks here."

"Well. I said I /wasn't/ gonna drink it," Madeline protests to Variel's words. "I'm not stupid." She rocks back and forth - from toes to heels - as she waits to see what happens. She doesn't seem to have Andromena's trepidation, though. "Oh, I don't mind! I mean. Well, maybe I don't. It depends! It's all terribly interesting, though, isn't it?"

Iggy is giving Ulysess as half expectant look to also volunteer. Then others chime in. "If it was good they wouldn't have us this far away from the castle." He nearly chirped, the mystery was exciting to him and the boy was visibly anxious to see where it led. "The letter said girl and boy. Short and tall. One big one small. Nothing at all about no first years." He'll indulge because why not? While folding back up the letter his betrothed arrives. In public she receives a polite nod of his head, "Lucretia" then returned to the discussion of who should volunteer. "Giant plant eating thing can write and brew potions?" He was serious in asking Cedric this.

"Anything is possible," Cedric replies, conjuring every single ounce of dramatic temerity to emphasize those words. Then, to Elizabeth, "Dweedle, may I see the potion, please?" He smiles at her. "I'm going to try and discern what all that color is."

Lucretia shakes her head to Madeline. "Potions?" There's a glance to everyone's hands with that, the girl checking out the truth of the statement about potions before her mouth settles in a flat line. "No. I didn't get one." Standing on the fringe of the group, she waves to both Variel and Ulysses, though its towards the latter she heads. "Hello," she says, tucking herself in near him. Besides anything else he's nice and tall and makes a good windshield. "Are you sure you want to be volunteering to test mysterious potions?" There's a glance up to him, because she, herself is short. Perhaps she's missed that they're also looking for midget volunteer too.

"Ilsa and Dora know. I didn't tell anyone besides Ilsa, but both of them are back at the castle by now. And I meant that if Lu followed the footsteps out here, anybody might." Variel crosses his arms, ponderous. "I think maybe we'd best make sure the people picked can defend themselves. Or are accompanied by those who can. I know my way around a duel and am a right clever hand at our Defense classes. Is this something we want to take into account?"

Luke takes a deep breath as the evergreen.. dies. "You know.. that's the second poisonous substance we've found here." He turns and looks to the group. "I for one am thinking we need to tell a teacher. You don't just make a game of having people take poisons out to neverland and then have people selected based off of some limerick to die." He frowns. "Would anyone mind if I tried mixing the clear one in to this one? Just a drop. It might be an antidote?"

There's a chuckle that escapes Uly, "A teacher. Yes." He looks at the results of yet another potions mishap on a plant. "I am more than willing to volunteer… but the truth of it is… none of us are actually trained for this sort of mystery." Would he do it? At this point, likely. Still, have to put up pretenses. "A grin and a smile goes to Black, then, as he responds, "Should I? Likely not."

When Cedric turns his attention towards her, Elizabeth tilts her hooded head to him, her expression softening subtly. "You may call me Elizabeth." she murmurs, shrugging a slender shoulder as she lifts the potion, carefully setting it in his outstretched hand. "Let me know if I can assist in any way. Thus far I haven't been able to deduce much."

"Don't be such a snitch." Iggy replied to Luke while also offering his vial for further testing. "Someone wants us to finish this game." There's another look over the group as he took note of the ones that had volunteered. "Right then. So I choose…"

Luke looks askance of Ulysses. "Well maybe /you/ aren't." He takes a deep breath. "But we're not going to get anywhere sitting feet from the forbidden forest in the cold with none of our usual potions examination equipment handy." Because everyone has those right? "I mean in a pinch there are ways to see but.. with potions you never want to just guess. It tends to go poorly even on a good day." He blinks and looks to Iggy. "Snitch? Snitch?" He's incredulous. "Did you seriously just call me a snitch when I've got a potion that's lethal floating right here and three more just like it.. no six more just like it within feet of us? This stopped being a game about ten minutes ago."

A kerchief will do when wildflowers are not in sight after dusk. So that is what he's going to use as a test; Cedric uncorks Elizabeth's potion after thanking her with a nod and, "Thank you. And will do, Elizabeth. On both accounts," the briefest flash of a smile is offered and then he goes to work, carefully pouring the liquid into the surface of the cloth. "Here goes nothing."

The potion does nothing to the kerchief. Well…except stain it.

Lucretia hunches her shoulders up. "Its really not a wonderful idea to go playing with potions that nobody has a clue as to what they do," she says quietly. "Has anyone considered that this might just be a test by the Faculty to check whether anyone at all has paid attention to what we've been taught since First Year Potions Class?" There's an uncomfortable shift of her feet, and despite her words she does look over towards Ignatius; surely he's just pissed off enough with her to pull her name out of the ether. Just because.

"A good game has some risk." Such was the life in this world. Iggy picked his two volunteers. "Besides, don't you want to know who's slipping potions to us and luring kids out of the castle? Who knows what turns up?" Back to the volunteers. "I choose Ulysess and Madeline."

Once the two volunteers are confirmed, the note within Ignatius' hand would grow…warm! Quick and brief, but noticeable. That must mean further instructions awaited. Hurry up and read them, Prewett!
Andromena watches the events and the students' reaction to them with a mixture of worry and curiosity.

"This seems to be a variant of the prank-potion Deconstipator Draught," Cedric explains with the nice name and not the one the younger students giggle about when they learn their first potions lessons. "Thankfully it needs to be ingested to work, or there would be problems." The kerchief is carefully folded, nevertheless, and stuck inside a pocket. "We should leave." He announces to Demetria, who nods.

Lucretia bumps Ulysses with her shoulder. "Are you sure? I think Dora and Leo would sit on you if they thought you were risking yourself this way." Is that a frown? Yes its a frown, the girl pulling in her lower lip over her teeth. She doesn't say any more than that though, Merlin alone knows how long its taken the assembled group to even get to this point where they're going to act as guinea pigs for the potions.

"Great!" Madeline says brightly, beaming towards Ulysses, then over towards Ignatius. Dooooon't let it say drink them. Just - don't! That'd be… not so great. "So what do we do?"

Ulysses smiles, nodding at Madeline. He then looks at Lucretia… and puts a hand on her shoulder. "Let's see how the game plays out first. I'm foolish, but not rash." No. He won't be drinking anything, andif he has a say about it, neither will Madeline. He looks to Iggy again, and to the others leaving. "I fear we may have little time left, however, with the current attrition, there will likely be prefects, head girls, or others here any moment."

As the letter heated in his hand Iggy stared at it's transformation. "Hey it's changed." He tells them before the instructions appeared.

Luke stoppers his potion and gives it a good tamping to make sure it's sealed. "You say that like you should be surprised." He replies with a roll of his eyes to Ulysses. "So what's it say?" He asks as if expecting the letter to now say, 'Detention!'.

"Prank-potion?" Elizabeth repeats after Cedric. "'Deconstipator'…" she blinks. "Oh." She frowns again. "Again, odd." She gently shakes her raven head at herself, partly thankful that she hadn't injected the concoction. Her attention shifts to the letter as they begin experimenting, curious.

As Cedric deducts the possibility of the potions being a varient of the prank-potion Iggy starts to read the note. "We have to go to the Gryffindor common room." Those russet brows of his start to deepen, wrinkling across the brow. "Am I the referee?" He asks the letter as though it would answer. "Uh.. the volunteers and I. It says it's not life and death. The ones who left are cowards. But we should hurry to the Gryffindor Common Room."

"What was it gonna do if we didn't pick Gryffindors? A lot of us can't GO to the Gryffindor Common Room." Variel frowns. "This seems a bit unfair, all told." He squeezes Lucretia, where she's tucked against him.

Disappointment flares in Lu's face. "Oh. Does that mean I can't come?" she asks, lower lip jutting forward. She looks like she might say something more, but Variel says it for her, a glance upwards given to him.

Madeline glances at Lucretia with raised eyebrows. … of /course/ it means she can't come! But she doesn't comment. "I guess - umm. The note /knows/ we picked two Gryffindors?" she suggest uncertainly. "Can magic do that?" Magic can do /lots/ of stuff - why not that?

"No one thinks it's at all odd that the letter seems to be aware of the real time things happening here? That wasn't prewritten." Andromena interjects, watching as Cedric and Demetria depart.

"The chosen volunteers only for the time being." Iggy relays as he folds the letter and prepares to return it into his pocket. "Then we are being watched." Unless this all was preordained and they're just being strung along. With the letter stuffed in his pocket Prewett looks to Luke, "We should have our potions back."

"I think we're being watched," Andromena agrees with Ignatius, nodding. To Madeline she says, "It is not impossible, no."

"Really? Chosen volun-" Variel scowls. "So, what, the rest of us Gryffindors either get in bed immediately or volunteer ourselves to break curfew? This is-" Variel presses his lips together in frustration. "Least you'll be near teachers if something happens," he mutters grudgingly, trying to find SOMETHING to not hate about this.

"Cowards?" Luke lifts a brow. "Right. I'm off then. Because clearly, trying to think responsibly and safely makes you a coward." He tucks the potion away and unslings his broom. "Besides, everyone knows that Hufflepuff just want to eat and knit and aren't brave at all." He mounts the broom. "You all have fun." Then he kicks off and zoom!

Ulysses shakes his head, "Odd? Certainly. Clearly someone is nearby observing this, and getting a good laugh out of it. And likely the results are going to be humiliating to the volunteers." And yet he did so? "We can stop this now. I can put my foot down, and demand that Prewett here come with me to Professor Slughorn and have him work it out…"

"…I think knitting is lovely," Madeline murmurs quietly.

Lucretia touches Variel on his arm. "The Common Room isn't going to be abandoned by others already there. I'm sure that if you -want- to go along too, there's no real reason not to. Unless the sender of the note," and she looks around the group, "… is indeed watching and making up rules as he goes." Each and every one of those gathered gets scrutinized and when Ulysses mentions just taking it all to Slughorn, there's an almost audible sigh of relief given by her.

"Being watched… great." Elizabeth murmurs to herself, not happy. "This can't be a test. Maybe it's a trick instead." Sighing to herself, she silently agrees with Luke as she lifts a hand to lightly push up the bridge of her glasses on her nose.

"These are just instructions for the Ulysess and Madeline. It suggested for us to follow the ones who left." Iggy shrugged then. "Besides what trouble can it cause in Hogwarts? It's just a breadcrumb trail." It was near curfew and time for all to be heading back. "If the letter says something different I'll send word." But it was time to move for it was a long way back.

"Aww, don't do that…" Madeline complains quietly, going to Ulysses and tugging at his arm. "Can't we at least see what the note wants us to /do/ first? I mean, obviously if it says to drink the things, we can't do that, but…"

"Not happening Selwyn. If you didn't want to commit you shouldn't have volunteered." Iggy states as he starts his way back to the castle. Very curious about where this letter is taking them.

Ulysses laughs, "I'm just saying it's an option… and do y'really think you could stop me if you wanted to, Prewett?" A hand goes out to Lucretia. "Don't worry. I'll put my heels to the ground if it gets out of hand." Then a look goes to Variel, "You really think I would allow anything bad to happen to the Squirt? There's something odd here, but I want to get to the bottom of it. But believe you me, I'll be standing in the way the whole time."

"I know." The redhead grumbles. "Alright. Fine. Lemme get a head start, I want to get in bed before we all get hanged by our toes by Pringle."

Andromena sidles up beside Elizabeth. No reason the two of them should walk alone!

Lu's eyes return to Ulysses' face when he speaks again. A nod is given, albeit a worried one. "Be safe," she says quietly, not yet moving from where she stands.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License