(1939-02-17) Never Negotiate in a Cemetary
Details for Never Negotiate in a Cemetery
Summary: Shelley receives an ominous note and decides to play along - with unanticipated consequences.
Date: 1939-02-17
Location: Cheddar Cemetery
Related: What Men Kill For plot]] — Leads to All Torn Up and subsequently Something Inferi'd. Catalyst for No Place Is Ever Sacred.
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NPCs played by Myst

The note was stabbed to Shelley's front door, for her to find one late night on the way back from the office - Or Auror Cohen. The knife is enough of a warning, without the neat script on the papyrus. "You were left alive in the ruins of the Willis Manor." Scribed above the parchment. Beneath it. "Travel to Cheddar Cemetery immediately, and your safety will be guaranteed just once. This chance is offered once - Betrayal or delay will result in immediate violent consequences. ~Narelle."

By signing her name, Narelle reveals that they know her name. Perhaps there's the assumption that Shelley would show the same kindness.

Shelley slows as she approaches her door, looking around cautiously at the sight of a knife embedded in her door. She pulls out her wand with her right hand, holding it up and ready to use. She reads the note while standing side-long to her door, still watching the street cautiously. She pulls out the knife with her left hand, and catches the parchment before it falls, then quietly murmuring her passcode, taps her door to unlock it and steps inside. "Ebony? Vee?" she calls. It's a silly fear, maybe. But she gets two, reassuring answering calls.

She climbs the stairs at a run, her mind racing. Quickly grabbing a quill, she turns over the note and scrawls on the back, 'I went.' While the ink is drying, she drinks the potion in her pocket, and runs up the stairs to fetch a fresh one, and tuck it into place. /And/ she uses the focus charm. Finally, she opens a drawer, taking out a case and opening it to reveal a vine wand. This is tucked into her pocket. "Well. That's that, right Vee?" She opens her window, handing the note off to her owl. "Wait a few minutes, and then take that to Graham. You got me, Vee? Wait." She strokes the owl once - then disappears with a crack. All in all - her preparations took about a minute. Hopefully that doesn't count as a delay.

Though sending the note to Graham was certainly a betrayal.

The cemetery is traditional. Dozens of small stone crypts, hundreds of smaller tombstones. But only one has been chosen for disturbance. The name blasted off the front of the crypt that Narelle is calling 'court'. Still. She's bored. And it'll be time to leave soon… And then to head into Cheddar Village. To supervise the anarchy."

Cheddar Cemetery is an ominous place. It's far enough out of town that no-one without due cause could see - Which is good, because one of the smaller family crypts has been disturbed. It's obvious how - The door blasted open, and a golden shield makes a dome around it. Covering the entire building - Roughly 16 square feet. Through the hazy gold, it's easy to see a figure sitting atop of a sarcophagus, legs crossed, wand tapping her ankle over and over again. A soft yawn.

The cemetery is traditional. Dozens of small stone crypts, hundreds of smaller tombstones. But only one has been chosen for disturbance. The name blasted off the front of the crypt that Narelle is calling 'court'. Still. She's bored. And it'll be time to leave soon… And then to head into Cheddar Village. To supervise the anarchy.

Shelley appears in the woods near the Cemetery - somewhere she knows relatively well, since she often rides her broom there. She starts walking towards the cemetery, quietly casting a spell on herself as she walks. "Protego Horribilis," she murmurs quietly. She stands behind the last of the cover - watching the figure behind the shield charm for a few moments, before finally stepping out and into sight. "It's almost like you don't trust me," she remarks in a dry voice. "I'm hurt - truly hurt. Now what do you want?"

The charm is dropped when Shelley becomes visible. It hasn't been enough time for anyone else to turn up with her. Narelle's still wearing her black robe, but the masque that covers her face is absent. The dim light hides her, instead. "I don't suppose you've brought my ring." The voice smooth, confident. "But it seems like you didn't bring friends, either. "

"Your ring?" Shelley asks. "I'm not much of one for jewelry, I'm afraid." She keeps her wand in hand - though it isn't pointed directly at Narelle - not quite yet. "Do your father and husband know what you're up to?" she asks - a stab in the dark.

"I figured." Narelle answers simply, although there's a delighted giggle. No shield between them. "However it seems you're clutching at straws. Is there a feeling that you've stumbled across some family of murderous dark wizards? Silly girl. I'll not question that we're uncompromising - But so far, we've left innocents in our wake." The woman tilts her head to the side, "You're one such lucky person. And now doubly so, to meet your quarry face to face." Black hair flows over her shoulder, she sighs. "And you're wasting both of our time like this."

"Left innocents unharmed?" Shelley scoffs. "That girl was little more than a child. What was her crime? Should I instead point out that you're under arrest for murder, the use of unforgiveable curses, and the destruction of property?

"Why did you bring me here? What do you /want/?"

"Guilt by association." Narelle doesn't hesitate in her answer. "Arrest me. Cross this threshold, Auror, and see exactly what I have planned for you - For Cheddar. For London." Her lower jaw visible, her smile is sickening. Twisted smirk. Gleeful. "Of course, it'll ensure you're unable to stop it. You're here because Mr. Ollivander has turned himself over to your care - Either to provoke us to turn his press to tinder or to draw us out for the kill. I've come to ask you to return him to us." A frown. "… And we will forgive his insolence and spare his life."

"Ollivander? The wandmaker?" Shelley asks, taking a step closer. "What did you do to him? We don't have the wandmaker," she asserts, anger and annoyance flashing in her eyes.

"Allow me to rephrase." Narelle answers simply. "The publisher. If he does not emerge in a timely manner, he'll burn along with his lovely building. He has the same guarantee of safety as you enjoyed. As your stiffly friend experienced." Her smirk relaxes into a smile. "This however, will be the last time we show restraint to your kind - We don't believe that you will show any greater kindness."

"/Our/ kind?" Shelley asks. "The law-abiding sort?" She plants her left hand on her hip. "I'm in the posession of no Ollivander - male, female, wandmaker or publisher. I'm afraid you're pestering the wrong dragon today."

"Aurors. Although I can see how that would be confusing, as you scream it prior to stunning, as you said it, innocent young girls." Narelle seems to be having fun right now. "No Ollivander. That's unfortunate. Than the man is running, and will die when we find him. He is as guilty as the Willis family." No need to pretend that she's not a murderer, she seems to have a bizarre sense of nobility to her.

Did she announce she was an auror? She can't recall doing so. That means little, though. Is /that/ why they left her alive? "So. You called me here to tell me to turn over someone I don't have. That sum it up?" Shelley asks, left hand still on her hip, and her wand still pointed down and to the side of Narelle.

"Precisely. Well… There's more to it than that. But… That's up to you. I'll be leaving momentarily. Do you plan to stop me?" Narelle asks. She's delightfully curious about that. With no specific threat against Shelley's life, how determined would she be to ruin the ceasefire. Narelle's wand falls to her side. There's no way she'd get it back up in time, right?

"Now, really. Do we need to ask stupid questions?" Shelley asks. She could repeat that the woman is under arrest but - well. She's already given her more warning than she deserves.

There's no way that Vee has flown this quickly, though. If she doesn't best this witch again… If the others are lurking nearby…

"Stupefy!" Her wand comes up sharply, aiming for the woman. She's an /auror/ - letting a murderer leave was never an option.

Narelle smirks. She lifts both of her arms up, raising herself onto her toes - And then the stunner hits, and she slumps backwards onto the stone table inside the Crypt. Completely unconscious. There's no attempt to defend. What the hell is this woman playing at?

Memories of the reports of Auror Rena might emerge. A stunner. And then a disappearing act. There's a plan, here.

Shelley doesn't trust this situation. And she doesn't want to cross the threshhold into that crypt. In fact, she has no desire to move any closer to it than she has to. This leaves an 'obvious' solution. "Ambulafors," she announces, casting on the table Narelle has collapsed back onto.

Narelle lies there, perfectly still. On a table that completely lacks functional legs.

"Oh by Merlin's fuckin'-" Yeah. Sometimes she's got a mouth on her. But Shelley's nothing if not determined. She tries again. "Ambulafors," she repeats firmly, with a careful flick that - there! And then she urges the table to walk out the door. Riiiight out the door and towards her.

A hand reaches out from inside, past the doorframe, out of sight, just as Narelle is about to be carried out of the threshold. Pale, bare, thin arm attached, grasping the shoulder of the dark witch, allowing the table to drag underneath her - And then releasing her once she's become limp, and the table has walked off without her. The arm then drops back out of sight.

What the fuck just happened? Narelle lays, black hair spilled around her, still hooded. Still unconscious. Still in the crypt.

"/Shit/," Shelley mutters. Don't be an inferi. She skirts to the side of the crypt door opposite the arm she'd seen, directing the table to stay inbetween her and the doorway, and then guiding it directly into the door as she tries to catch a glimpse of who or what was hiding behind the frame, her wand held at the ready.

Ah. If wishes came true. Instead, the girl is more visible from the side. Recognisable as the Evelyn Willis - Although her facial expression is mostly slack - Her nightie washed, but her skin ashen. With the doorway breached, the standing orders of the Inferi are called into play. The girl steps into view, both hands coming up to the stone table. There's no noise, no straining of muscle, no grunts of exertion - Although it clearly takes some 'effort', the legged table is flipped up onto it's side. And Evelyn turns to face Shelley next. Raising one slender, ashen arm and pointing at her. And then a slow step.

"…I'm sorry," Shelley murmurs quietly. But she's not a girl anymore - she's a sack of enchanted meat. And the best chance she has of stopping her, is the one spell, in this world, she least wants to use.


The spell hits, and Evelyn doesn't stop, falter or hesitate as the force slams into her left arm, and shatters the her forearm neatly - The skin breaking with splinters of bone. Pale, charmed corpse closing the distance between them, her orders simple. Her right arm lifts as she comes within range of Shelley, clumsily reaching out for the Auror's arms - Although if there's any hint from the stone slab, it's with an inhuman strength.

Shelley twists out of the way, backing away quickly. An image rises in her mind - dark hair, light skin, blood flecking her lips, eyes locked on hers with intense pain and desperation… "Not now not now," she mumbles. "Bombarda!" she repeats, trying to aim for the center of the girl's body - trying to shatter it and render it immobile.

Center-mass. The spell hits, but it only causes a momentary pause for Evelyn. Narelle still lies unconscious in the threshold of the crypt, while her Inferus is busy on the advance. This time, there's no chance for missing - Cracked ribs unfelt, the corpse of Evelyn surges forward, seizing Shelley in that horrible, tight, dead grip. Her fingers are freezing cold, but the first attempt to toss Shelley down are a failure. Her lips draw back, revealing teeth - The teenager hissing in undead fury. Are they hungry? Or do they attack to feed.

Shelley twists her arm free - but rather than attack the girl again, she takes another tact - hoping there's only the one. Hoping the inferius was the only defense Narelle had laid for herself. It's a short hop, to apparate into the crypt, to where the dark witch lays asleep. A short hop, and then she grip the woman firmly by the upper arm.

Shelley twists her arm free - but rather than attack the girl again, she takes another tact - hoping there's only the one. Hoping the inferius was the only defense Narelle had laid for herself. It's a short hop, to apparate into the crypt, to where the dark witch lays asleep. A short hop, and then she grip the woman firmly by the upper arm.

There's an ungodly loud 'Crack' from infront of Evelyn… And her prey is gone, but not all forgotten - A distinct piece of Shelley the Auror has been left behind. Narelle stirs gently, the beautiful young dark witch slowly rising from her position on the floor. "Go." She mentions beside her. And then again, to the Inferus already outside. "… Go and bring them the terror they so richly deserve." A dark chuckle follows, as the figure hidden against the other side of the arch stirs.

Nancy Willis is unrecognisable. Her skin burned, barely present in places - Exposing cracked raw flesh beneath. Her hair, once so beautiful, gone. Her eyes are black, hollow pits. There's a dim smell of burned meat in her wake, and the soft creak of burned and damaged sinew. The Inferi leave the morsel. They have whole creatures to hunt tonight. New orders. New nightmares.

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