(1939-02-13) A Long-Winded Prank
Details for A Long-Winded Prank
Summary: The students gather back together to see if there's any conclusion from the night before. There isn't
Date: 1939-02-13
Location: Forest Fringe
Related: The Mystery Invite

It was about the same time as last evening; dark, cold, and with some light snow flurries. Andromena was, yet again, one of the first time arrive at the Forest Fringe, and this time she had told another that she would be coming out here. With her was her potion, which she thought was prudent. It remained, as yet, unopened.
The day had passed pretty uneventfully, though. At some point she'd heard through that magical student grape vine that everyone was to meet here again in the evening. She had complied. Now all she was interested in was…if anyone else intended to follow suit.

Tonight, Cedric Avery arrives alone, but that is for the best, perhaps. He is wielding his blackthorn wand, just in case. Spotting Andromena, he offers a nod to the Ravenclaw before greeting with a casual, "Rowle."

Ilsa is one of those who has followed suit, returning to the forest fringe much like she arrived the day before - walking alongside Variel, her arm hooked in his. The vial of potion is tucked away into the pocket of her robes for safekeeping, her wand in hand and her habitually dreamy expression replaced with one of determination. "Evening," she greets those already gathered.

Iggy is wearing a familiar outdoor set up by the thigh length coat, a red and yellow scarf as well as a newsboy cap upon his head. They're summoned to the meeting spot again and coming upon the others who bested his arrival, Prewett keeps both hands inside his pockets. Mostly for warmth. "Here we go again."

Variel keeps his eyes out as they travel, his own wand in hand as well. He looks curious, having heard very little in the way of specifics, and more vagaries as to what's been revealed.

Elizabeth wasn't too far behind Andromena, as they were traveling together. She clutches the front of her cloak together from underneath. Exhaling a breath, the warm are becomes visible in the cool winter air as she hurries to catch up to everyone else. From beneath her wire frames, she glances up and gives everyone a glance.

"So…" Andromena ventured, after the initial greetings were passed 'round, starting with Cedric. Her hands were thrust into the pockets of her robe, and a preposterously long scarf bearing her House's colors was wrapped snugly about her neck. A cap pulled over ears completed the affair, and all in all it only served to make her look even smaller than she already was.
"Did anything happen to you guys last night? I mean…I haven't heard much today so I assumed this was all a bad prank someone got too chicken to wrap up." So noted that a few people hadn't arrived yet. And maybe they wouldn't. Maybe it was smarter of them not to do so.

"Just another letter." Iggy contributed as he faced the others. "Chatty little bugger. Who ever it is. It said the potions were stolen from Slughorn."

Ilsa surveys the group with a curious regard, winding the end of her scarf more firmly around her neck to ward off the cold. "I've not heard anything," she admits, then glances to Iggy. "Stolen from Slughorn. But no reason behind it? Maybe it was just a strange prank then, but… why?"

Variel seems just as puzzled as the rest. Why steal them? Why not brew them oneself, or simply not lead the students on the wild snitch chase? He gives each speaker his attention in turn as the discussion progresses.

"Some jerk, evidently." Cedric remarks. "Or a mudblood with too much time on their hands. Stealing things from the Potions Master is a good way to get a few points discounted from their House."

He was late. He couldn't help it. And so Ulysses arrives in a bit of a rush… his potion and a new letter in hand. "Oi. Apologies for bein' late, folks," he says, his breathing only barely labored. He looks at the others, although his gaze goes over Cedric for the longest bit, oddly enough. "Did anyone else get a letter?"

As Andromena begins to speak, Elizabeth silently watches her for a moment before she glances to the Gryffindors expectantly, knowing that the volunteers had been from that house. No doubt they would have known first hand what had happened after they followed the instructions. And since there wasn't any odd rumors going around, it must not be as big as she thought it could be. "Another letter?" she repeats in a whisper, frowning softly at Ignatius with a bit of confusion. And potions stolen from Slughorn? "Wait… who would be bold enough to steal potions from Slughorn?" At the 'mudblood' comment, Elizabeth shoots Cedric a flat glance.

"No use returning them now. Professor Slughorn would just think we all stole them from his collection." Especially since none of them turned theirs in right away. "Did anyone find out what they all do?"

Andromena, if it were possible out there in the cold, grew pale. Stolen? From…Slughorn? Didn't anybody know she was trying to get in that man's damnable club!? She sighs, and fingers the vial where it's tucked into her pocket.
"We have to put them back. He'll surely notice that many potions missing…" Her gaze flicked towards Ulysses as he joined them, offered him a nod of her head.
"Prewett said he receive a letter as well. So it seems to me some bloody stupid student is playing a bad joke. We need to ditch these potions somewhere and act like this never happened."

"We've touched them. Interacted with them. Thank Merlin none of us drank them. We may be better off just coming clean about it, entirely," Ulysses says, stuffing the letter in his pocket.

Madeline was right on Ulysses' heels, adding a helpful, "It was my fault!" Whether or not that was true, she'd say it anyways. She looks no more tired than Ulysses - accustomed to going places at a run. Her attention flicks briefly to Cedric with a frown - but then again, that's the reaction he /usually/ gets from her. "Why're we ditching the potions now?" she asks.

Ilsa glances toward Cedric, her brow furrowed in thought. She gives no indication of having heard the mudblood comment, but nods in agreement with his last remark. Ulysses is offered a faint smile as he approaches, although the suggestion draws a worried look. "Maybe we should," she agrees slowly. "I doubt that he'll believe we're innocent, though." Glancing sidelong toward Maddie, she offers a wry look. "Because apparently they were stolen from Slughorn."

"Come clean about what? Tell the professors that we were just sent these bottles of potion, no clue who sent them or why, and that the same exact potions just miraculously disappear from Slughorn's collection? Somehow I doubt they will believe us." Elizabeth murmurs, somewhat flatly. "Maybe it isn't about the puzzles. Maybe someone is wanting to frame us."

Iggy pulled hands out of his pockets and one of them had clutched onto the vial the other held the reactionary note. At the suggestion of giving themselves up and returning the potions the freckled boy snorts. "Don't be ridiculous." He then waved the note in the air for some reaction. "What's next fo these volunteers?" It's not strange to talk to the letter.

"I think it's a message." Cedric doesn't much mind that his statements drew some disapproving looks from others. He doesn't seem to be all that happy about the results, either. No, too focused for that. "Pranks would make themselves apparent with a punch-line, which we either fail to deliver it upon ourselves for being cautious, or it would have wound up with us having stern looks from Flint by the end of the school day."

Andromena can't say she is comfortable with any option at this point, and so she chooses to instead focus her attention on Madeline and Ulysses.
"What are you sorry for? And what did your letter say?" This asked just as Iggy addresses his own question to the the notorious Letter. It doesn't respond this time, though.

"Stolen from Slughorn?" Madeline repeats. "Gosh. That's not good," she remarks. "And sorry for being late! At least, it seems most everyone else is here already. And nothing really happened last night." She looks mildly put out at that announcement. "I reeeeeally wanted it to!"

Variel says, "Truth told, I'm still not convinced these were stolen." Variel speaks up, his arm gently tightening on Ilsa's. "What're the odds he had three potions he wouldn't miss in sufficient quantity that the prank could go off without a hitch? I'm willing to guess that's a trick to isolate and punish any snitches.""

"That's another thing." Elizabeth murmurs, frowning to herself. "Why would there be a prank potion in Slughorn's collection? That doesn't seem like a thing a professor would have." Maybe she's thinking too much into this. Still. Weird. The Ravenclaw girl turns her attention towards Iggy as he waves the piece of paper, arching a slender brow at him while waiting to see if the parchment actually does answer back.

Iggy would appear a touch disappointed that the letter didn't respond. But he rereads, again. "If they really are from Slughorn." He murmurs in thought. "Who's to say it's even the truth? Besides. The culprit suggests we should return them as though they want us to get caught rummaging around in the Profesor's office.."

Ulysses nods, thinking back to his own letter. "And mind suggested Cedric was somehow the key, here… so I'm interested in his overall thoughts."

Ilsa nods to Variel, her eyes narrowed in thought. "Good point. And would someone really risk such a stunt just for a silly prank? There's got to be more to it." Blue eyes focus upon Ulysses, her brow arched as she sneaks a curious glance toward Cedric as if wondering his part in all this.

"Whether they belong to Slughorn or no isn't the point here, I should think," Andromena suggests. "Aside from Elizabeth's potion, it's safe to assume these are all nefarious in nature. I think we should ditch them. …" A brief pause. "Wha- Avery?" Her gaze swung towards him.

"What did it mean Cedric was the key?" Iggy's gazed swept to the one mentioned briefly before returning to Ulysses. "So we all had different letters."

"Well, I didn't get any letter at all, so. I can't say as to that." Variel shrugs a bit, glancing at Ilsa as the others talk.

"I am the key?" Cedric asks of Ignatius, furrowing his brow. "What… well, what would this person know of me and my life, though? Did they leave any clues in the message other than I'm the key? Maybe I should go with the volunteers."

Elizabeth arches a brow again as Ulysses directs her attention towards Cedric, watching him expectantly. Maybe he really does know something. "Hm. Maybe it isn't what he knows, but perhaps a talent he has exclusively?" she suggest. But by now it's just a shot in the dark.

Madeline looks at Elizabeth, frowning, and then rolling her eyes as her gaze shifts to Cederic. She mutters something under her breath, then adds loudly, "We all got the one, letter, Variel - the one with the vial!"

"The key how?" Ilsa murmurs thoughtfully, musing over this new information. She falls quiet, her gaze settling upon Variel as she listens to the conversation flowing around the group.

"I think the answer is in Slughorn's office." Iggy suggests with an appraising gaze over the castle in the distance. "Probably where the next clue lies."

Andromena shrugs. "Well, Avery is good at potions. We all got potions, and Slughorn, the professor of Potions, was mentioned…" She gestured to Iggy when he spoke. "I agree with Prewett here. It's linked. Although probably not for our benefit."

Elizabeth exhales a longer breath as she rolls her shoulders. "If we are seriously considering returning the potions then I say that we designate one person to do it. No reason for a bunch of us to go all at once." she murmurs, before lifting a brow. "Probably one of the volunteers should return them, and preferably whoever is more stealthy."

Ulysses looks again at Cedric, grinning, "Or the one with the most viable reason for being in there in the first place… such as a student strong in Potions in the first place."

Madeline stumbles, then turns to frown at Andromena. She takes a few side-steps towards Ulysses, instead. "Sneak into a professor's office?" she asks uncertainly. "What… what do they do to you if you get caught doing /that/?" she asks uneasily.

"Why are you giving me that look?" Andromena asks of Madeline. Her hands are shoved, as they have been since she arrived, deep within her pockets.

"I can do that, sure." Cedric replies, volunteering like Gryffindors often are wont to do. "I don't know that my reason is any more or less viable than somebody else's here."

While standing out side with the group Iggy folds his arms across his chest, "Three. That's why two volunteers needed to be designated with Avery here as the key. The to what, I don't know but seems like those three need to go to Slughorns for the next clue.

"But, I thought…" Madeline looks around, turning a full circle, and looking confused. "…something just pushed me," she informs the others. She reaches out to takes Ulysses hand.

"Well, you've got three- so there's that," Variel says, glancing back towards the castle. "I'm going to see Ilsa back to castle, and see if I can find you all later. Don't get caught before then, eh?"

Ilsa lifts her free hand to wave to the group. "I need to get going, but please let me know what you find out." Or if anyone gets caught and punished for sneaking into Slughorn's office, but she doesn't voice that, of course. Offering Variel a smile, she turns, ready to head back to the castle.

Variel leads the way to get Ilsa back safely, a weather eye out for trouble after a farewell wave to his friends.

Andromena shrugs, brows furrowed. "Not I," she assures the younger girl. The Ravenclaw wasn't the type to go around shoving anybody, especially not those younger than herself.
"So how about this? Those of us who…want to go, can stand guard and be look-outs while Cedric, Madeline, and Ulysses sneak into the office?" She bids farewell to Variel and Ilsa.

Iggy lifts a hand. "I'll stand guard." Also to make sure to see this through.

Steeling himself a bit… Ulysses cracks his neck a bit, "I guess it's about time I did something stupid enough to get myself put up on Pringle's wall." He looks to Madeline. "Whatever happens? It was MY idea. I talked you into it. Understood?"

Elizabeth exhales another breath as she arches a brow. "How many look outs do we need?" she asks, her voice tinged with some flatness. She isn't pleased with this. At all. This could have gone better.

"Well, /something/ pushed me," Madeline mutters, then looks up at Ulysses and nods solemnly. "Okay. I mean, if you're sure…" Of course, there's the fact that she's a muggle-born. She wonders, sometimes, if she can get in /more/ trouble than other kids just because- well. It wouldn't be fair, but lots of things seemed not to be fair to her.

"One at each end of the hall, I should think?" Andromena suggests. "Prewett at one end and you and I could be 'chatting' at the other? make it look casual." Thank goodness someone like Slughorn was usually the social sort. As for anyone else…well, they'd cross that bridge when they came to it!

"And how would you warn us, if someone were to come?" Ulysses adds, a bit dubious still at the thought of this whole endeavor.

"Well…" Andromena shrugged. "I'm not sure yet. But we could at least try to stall or distract anyone that comes by."

"Anyone have a book?" Madeline asks. "Ever dropped a book dead-flat onto a stone floor? SLAP! It's loud," she suggests. "And it could look like an accident.

Elizabeth glances between the others for a moment, then another before she lightly shakes her hooded head to herself. "Sounds as good as anything. Though I already have a bad feeling about this." she admits.

"You and me both, Dweedle." Ulysses offers as an agreement with a stiff nod. "But it's either tell a professor and get in trouble, or let this go a little further. I just wish the prat who set this up would just get on with whatever humiliation he has set up for us."

"That's my worry," Andromena admitted, looking toward her feet. "All of us must have been chosen for some reason or another. I've wondered that if…if we don't go along with this that something worse is in store." And maybe most people did not care about getting in trouble at school, but Andromena did. She was a good kid! "So let's hope this is the end of it."

Crossing her arms beneath her cloak, Elizabeth takes a step or so back to lean against the closest tree. "Andromena has a good point too. Personally, I rather dig a hole, throw all the bottles into it and cover it up again." she murmurs.

Madeline looks between the others. "Why would someone go to all this trouble - and risk getting in trouble themselves - /just/ to get us in trouble?" she asks dubiously.

"Right," chimes the older Ravenclaw. "If we need them again, we'd know where they are…but they won't be on us, incriminating our person." To Madeline, Andromena shakes her head, expression rueful. "You learn that some people are just mean. There's no reason to it."

To this, Ulysses actually agrees. "That actually isn't a bad idea at all." Regarding the burial. "I'd even suggest it right now, until we're ready to go. Just in case." To Madeline, he smiles, "We've talked about bullies, Madeline. And what fuels them."

Elizabeth dips her chin with a small nod. "Then we've agreed? We'll bury the potions. We can mark the place if we need to dig them up later, but personally, I hope we won't need to." Rolling her shoulders slightly, she pulls out her wand. "Alright."

"We don't have all of them right now," Madeline muses. And this whole mystery doesn't /feel/ very much like bullying, to her! But with a sigh, she pulls out her vial, to offer to the older students.

"Let's do it, then. I'm in Herbology, I can dig us a nice little hole. With any luck, the snow will cover the loose soil." Andromena points toward the very border of the forest. "Closer to there than here?" She was already removing her potion from her pocket. "Anyway, better to bury some now as opposed to keeping them. Especially since the others aren't going to be with us in Slughorn's office." Ignatius and Cedric offer up their potions to be buried as well.

Ulysses had gathered Dora's the night before, after she had left without it, and a few others from those who'd chosen not to stick around… and those he produces from his bag. "Not all… but plenty. We'll let the others know, or gather theirs later." To Andromena, he simply nods.

The gathered potions were buried,once Andromena, swishing her wand with casual ease, dug them up a suitable hole. Afterward she made sure to cover them with the same dirt and packed it down, before using a booted foot to kick over some debris and snow. "I…suppose a rune could be placed here, for us to find it again. Hopefully we won't need to, but." She shrugged. "I for one am glad to be rid of it."

Madeline doesn't look best pleased. In fact, she frowns at the patch of dirt with an expression of disappointment. She liked the fun, and mystery, and perhaps even the hint of danger in carrying around that mystery potion!

Well, Lys isn't going to have much more of this glowering Madeline. So… as Andromeda is burying the potions and Madeline is busy looking upset, the boy bends at the knees, wraps an arm around her waist, and stands up again, easily lifting her off her feet. "You realize, this is the reality of being a big shot, like I'm gonna be. Lots of waiting. Watching for just the right moment. So let's not grump, eh?"

Madeline wasn't /glowering/! Grumping, though - yeah. Definitely. She lets out a squeak as she's lifted off the ground, and squirms in his arms. "Ulysses!" she calls in protest. "Put me down!"

Elizabeth nods in agreement with Andromena, putting her wand away as she volunteers do make the hole. She pulls her own greenish potion from inside of her cloak, holding it out for the older Ravenclaw. Behind her wire frames, she merely watches the process as the bottles are buried, faintly turning her head so that she glances at Ulysses as the boy bends down to comfort Madeline. Her expression softens visibly.

"Selwyn has a point," Andromena says, looking at her handiwork for the time being. "I love mystery and adventure as much as the next but…It isn't exactly the way our favorite authors portray it." The young woman sounded decidedly glum. "In any case, I wouldn't want any of us to get in trouble if it can be helped. We should be getting back."

"Nope," Ulysses responds to Madeline's cries, easily balancing with her suspended at his side. This is nothing new for him… and while Dora's tiny, Madeline's teenier. No sweat. Instead, he nods to Elizabeth and Andromena as if nothing is strange. "I agree, lead the way?

"I can waaaaaalk," the squirt protests. "Ulyyyyysses!" Madeline squirms a little bit longer - then tries a new tact. She tries to tickle the seventh year.

A smirk might be mistaken to hind at Elizabeth's lips, but surely that couldn't be. Elizabeth puts away her wand and dips her chin at Ulysses, quirking a brow lightly at Madeline as the girl wiggles and struggles, and a single chuckle escapes her. Turning, she begins to lead the group out of the fringes of the woods, heading them in the direction of the castle.

Andromena, who is already cold even when most people are warm, is quite ready to get back indoors! She hurriedly follows after Elizabeth while Ignatius and Cedric fall in line immediately behind her. "Curfew is not far off. Shall we all meet up again after dinner tomorrow?"

At Andromena's suggestion, Elizabeth seems to pause (not literally) as she gives the older Ravenclaw a small glance. "I… sort of have plans…" she admits quietly, almost whispering. A faint smile tugs at her lips. "Just don't ask me what they might be. Even I'm not entirely sure."

"Oh Merlin," Andromena blurts. "It's THAT day tomorrow!" She had clearly forgotten.

"It is it is it is!" Madeline answers brightly. She'd be bouncing right now - but Ulysses hasn't put her down yet! Heaven knows what she's so excited about - she's /11/ and kissing is /gross/!

Ulysses grunts, "Indeed. THAT day." with a chuckle, he continues walking… apparently tickles either don't work against him, or the little Madeline doesn't know his weak spots. Heavens forbid she conspires with Dora, ever. "I should be relatively free… unless I wind up consoling a sibling. Sadly, not even Madeline will kiss me. Completely ignored both my and Variel's claims of affection the other night.."

"What, the Selwyn lion hasn't got a date?" Andromena cannot help but ask. Some might perceive it as a careless jab, but that wasn't quite how she intended it. Just a lot of time with Alphard Black. And so it was that the conversation turned, as it was wont with teens, towards ROMANCE.

Receiving mixed reactions, Elizabeth chuckles softly to herself. "Yes, that day." she murmurs, before giving Ulysses a curious glance as well. "I agree with Andromena, I find it hard to believe that you are not taken on that particular evening."

"Kissing is /gross/!" Madeline asserts, sticking out her tongue at Ulysses. And he better not bring up Adam, again…! "Now put me doooown!" she protests. "Elizabeth, help me tickle him!"

With another quick laugh, Ulysses reaches over, ruffles Madeline's hair, and then sets her down gently, "You keep saying that, Squirt." And then he looks to the other two, shrugging, "Honestly? I just haven't put as much thought to it. Between everything on my plate… there really hasn't been a chance for me to pursue anything of that sort."

"That makes sense," says Andromena. "Alphard tells me I'm a real drain on his time. I don't see it, myself, but I'm not a guy. I don't know what goes on over there." All this said with a snicker.

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