(1939-10-20) Dungeon Delving
Details for Dungeon Delving
Summary: After The Chase, Madeline gets lost in the Dungeon and Colton goes in to locate her, and the Seven Lock Box.
Date: October 20th, 1939 - ISH
Location: Hogwarts Dungeons
Plot: Headmaster From Hell
Related: A Not So Merry Chase

Serpentine Maze

It is a fall night. The weather is cool and fair.

Once past the Potions classroom the dungeon passages quickly start twisting and turning, doubling back on themselves and in general becoming confusing enough that someone without an intimate knowledge of their workings tends to end up right back where they started. As if the complexity was not enough the dungeon passageways are ill lit by guttering torches as well as being eternally chill. At the bottom edge of some of the walls found in the dungeon are carved with slithering depictions of snakes stretched out along the floor. In one dead end the snakes are carved up the corners of and edges of the dead end. On the flat of the dead end wall which there is a bas-relief of a man in medieval robs with a point goatee and a bald head. Most of the mans features have long been worn down. Dewy condensation glitters on his stony bald head.

Madeline lights her wand as she follows Abraxas into the dungeon, trying to catch sight of him, and catch a glimpse of the box. Does he have it? Did he hide it? ..where did he go? Is she lost? …what was that noise? And why didn't the others follow her? Madeline turns in place, her wand held high, and lets out a sigh. This is getting her nowhere, and she needs to find her way back, and if they have enough people… They can find it, right? They have to!
Reaching into pockets, Madeline feels around and finds… the red wax crayon she'd been using to color Mischief's death ray vision, nestled right in next to her Junior Auror's badge. She affixes the badge to the front of her robes, then making her way with the crayon, tries to find her way out of the maze.

Colton is still waving his hand about in front of him even though the smoke screen has dissipated. "Damn Lucretia can sure lay a sinkin' haze out of her arse." He comments to his brother. "Oi. Stay here and keep watch. I'm trusting you lil brother." He claps Finley on the shoulder and heads into the maze. "Madssss!?" He hisses out a shout even though it's got the soft edge of him whispering. "Oi!?" He's worried for the youngest of his favorite lil lionesses. So he continues to delve into through the winding passages until he goes from mind-boggling labyrinth to confounding, brain melting maze. At one point he comes across a red mark and he rubs it, sniffs it and smirk. "Lil corker! He follows along the mark and actually comes up from behind towards where Madeline has gotten herself lost.

Oh, this is just impossible. Why can't she find anyone? And- wait. Was that a snake? She'd swear she'd heard a hiss! Madeline freeze in place, her wand in her right hand, her crayon in her left. She listens carefully, trying to hear that 'ssssss' again. She'd sworn it'd come from just over…

Colton psssts loudly as he approaches her position. "It's Colton. Oi! Where are yee girlie? Pidge!?" He then turns around a corner and then another. "There you are. Oi. Alright?"

Colton! Relief lights up Madeline's face as she turns and wraps the older student in an impromptu hug. "You guys all disappeared, what happened, I saw him - but then I lost him, I don't know where he's at or if he even still has the box," she gets out in a hushed rush - her words tumbling out and practically tripping over each other. "…I've been writing on the walls," she adds, with a mix of glee and guilt.

Colton nods with a proud grin. "I know, I saw. Good thinkin' pidge. Well, 'Blow out her Arse Black' cast another smoke screen. Filled the maze behind'm so we din't dare enter til it was clear." The seventh year reaches out to ruffle Mad's hair as he typically does. "Alright, so the trick to dungeons and mazes is, keep your left 'and on the left wall and just keep going until you've explored it all. Leave a line to show which way ye went as yee go." He pulls out a piece of chalk from his pocket and with an excited smile he pats the left wall with his left hand where the chalk is tucked and he starts to walking. They continue where Maddie left off as he's got enough trust in her to know she wouldn't have not found the trunk where she's already bin. "Good news is that trunk won't make it out of the dungeon's again without being seen. So it'll be in here somewhere…"

Madeline listens curiously as Colton describes the best way to explore - nodding and walking beside him. She looks up, down, left and right as she both searches and listens - a determined look on her face. She's rather frustrated that she let the box get out of her sight. But if they can come out of this dungeon with it…!

Colton whispers as he keeps his other hand on Maddie's shoulder so they don't get separated. "The thing we really need right now is a Snake that hates the Magijugend as much as we do." After several left turns they come to a dungeon and the door is still squeaky and slowly flapping back and forth like someone passed by or used the room a moment. Since the door isn't on the left he skips checking inside.
As the pass the door - Madeline pauses, looking towards it - but Colton keeps moving, and the hand resting on her shoulder is enough to prompt the girl forward again. "Only the left," she mumbles to herself, before answering Colton. "I wish I knew one." The nearest thing'd be Samira - but how well would she even know her way own here, anyways? She's a baaaaby Slytherin, despite being a fifth year.

Colton smiles down at her, "You also…" He turns a corner and halts and puts his hands over both the glowing tips of their wands to snuff out the light but for a very dim glow. He then cranes his head back around the corner and he even holds his breath and listens and watches the door and room for so long as he can hold his breath before he's convinced that there's no one or nothing in the dungeon that will get up behind them. It's the act of dousing the wands just so that once he's done worrying about the dungeon room does he notice something and he points to the floor ahead of them. "There's a bit of glowing moss, look… there's a foot print in that patch…" In the dim light there is indeed a dim green florescence like a glow stick the night after being used. Dim, but enough that it's obvious the patch got disturbed and recently with a Abraxas sized shoe right in the center of it. There's even a little trail for three steps before it all fell off of Abe's shoe. "This way, hurry." There's not many passage ways veering off the corridor they are in, it's just a lot of turns.

"You're right!" Madeline gasps out quietly. "Gosh. How did you see that?" She sounds suitably impressed as they scamper her head - her somewhat distractable attention almost singularly trained on the floor now, as she tries to replicate Colton's success, looking for disturbed moss. Or maybe just wet footprints. How come prissy Slytherins like it down here, anyways?

Colton is quite obviously loving every second of this. "Two parts experience… five parts luck and three parts pull it out yer arse!" He whispers to her punctuating it with a wink. Seems he also feels there's enough time for a 'teaching moment'. "Don' get so obsessed by one clue that yee don't take in anything else. Keep looking around. Tell me. There's a clue within five feet of us. Look for it and tell me."

Madeline giggles and nudges Colton. "You're not supposed to talk like that!" she protests, still keeping her voice low. Still - at his teachable moment, Madeline looks up, looking at the walls, and the ceiling, and Colton, and the walls, and- "Oh," the girl remarks, moving closer to touch the smudge. "Someone touched this?" she asks uncertainly. Well - other than the child who's touching it right now.

Colton nods and very gently takes her by the wrist to pull her fingers away. "See how it's thicker here and grows more narrow this way?" They are at a T spot and for the first time Colton looks like he's going to go against his Left Only Rule and he points down the right corridor. There's some rubble that's been disturbed and it was disturbed well enough that it makes Colton suspicious but the more subtle clue is where he's going and he leads them to the right hallway.

They're going right? This perks Madeline's interest, and she does her best to try to learn from Colton's example - studying the floor, the walls, looking curiously at the rubble… But she's not seeing any signs of distrubed moss, or grime, or even just… wet footprints. And how do they know they're not following the path of two purebloods who were looking for a snogging corner that earlier in the day?!
Ugh. Snogging.

Mmm. Snogging.
"He's good. A purist shite stuffer. But he's good. Sal would be proud of this sly snake." Colton really does sound impressed, overjoyed at the challenge of it. "Back to Left Hand, Left Wall." Behind them he's left several squiggles and scrawling before he starts up the single line being drawn as they walk on the left side. Seems Abraxas stumped him enough to go back to basics.

"I really wish he weren- hey." Madeline stops in her tracks, and frowns at one of the carvings in the wall. A snake was coiled around the arm of a man - and at one point, where the coils of the snake bulged out from its warm, a section of the stone was brushed clean and dry - with nary a trace of condensation. She looks at Colton silently, her finger jabbing towards her find, with an excited expression on her features barely contained. She really found something! … right?

Colton grins from ear to ear down at Madeline and gives her hair a proud ruffling. "Brilliant Pidge! Make a Curse-Breaker out of ye yet!" When they come across another door next to that rubbed off bit of statue this time Colton goes in, and he does so like he's ready for action! Kicking open the door and stepping in wand pointed this way and that as he inspects the room. "Clear." He tilts his head beckoning her into the room. There's several doors in this room and there's also debris that looks like it's been broomed into and over so that it's piled in the center. A bit of the debris gives clues much like the glowing moss and Colton goes over to inspect the three doors the direction of the foot prints could have taken. "Oi, I think he doubled back here. I think that means we could be close. He's getting extra careful and sneaky now. Wait, looks like this place gets used a bit more than I thought. Oh well, start with the left one." Following his rule he opens the left most door and plays the cop part of cops and robbers and points his glowing wand about to search the room beyond. "Empty room." He comments before he takes paces towards the next door.

Madeline beams with pride, glad she finally managed to find something. Of course, if they find the box in this room, she'll claim that she found the clue that lead them in there! …and then immediate admit that she never would have found her way to the room at all, without Colton.
That's fair, isn't it?
As Colton slams his way through the door, though, her heart starts pounding and she comes in a moment after him, her wand at the ready, prepared to defend him if necessary. No one expects the Gryffindor Inquisition! But the room is empty - and the room next to it. Curiously, Madeline kicks at the rubble in the middle of the room - wondering if the box could be buried under it all.

Colton teaches Madeline a whole new slew of colorful Shelta explicates, he spares no language and Irish Gaelic, Romany, Shelta and English all spew forth like a deluge of verbal torture as he quickly jolts back away from the door he has just opened and tries to block the sight of what he's found from Madeline by playing meat shield and also by slamming the door shut. But the door just bangs and swings open again. This all happened just around the time that Maddie probably realized that much of the debris she was kicking at is bones. Tiny bones to troll sized bones. The pile is a veritable collection of morbid ivory. When Colton realizes the door popped right back open he barks, "Pidge, don't look!" Someone has sewn together the corpses of several red caps to make it appear to be scarecrow like. All of the heads of each corpse has been ripped off and then piled on at the neck of the scarecrow to form one large head out of the smaller heads. From the mouth of the central head there is a piece of the statue she discovered. One of the snakes of the statue's head had broken off a long time ago. Seems it was salvaged and is now used to appear like some demonic tongue coming out of the constructs 'mouth'. When Colton is sure it's dead and not going to leap out at them he more carefully moves to shut the door using his foot and stretching his leg out as faaaar as it can go!

…huh. Bones. Growing up on a farm, and traipsing about in the woods not too far from her house, bones don't alarm Madeline too much. Though it's odd - them all being piled up in the middle of a room. "Why's there a bunch of-" she just starts to ask - when Colton suddenly starts swearing, and trying to block the door way. She peers, standing tip toe to get a better look before she thinks to ask, "Ugh. Is there someone snogging in there or something? That's gross. They should know better." She doesn't want to see if they're snogging.

Colton takes a few minutes to calm down, but his knuckles are white around his wand as he forces himself to breath pacing the room across from the door. Once his heart is down out of his throat he tilts his head and approaches one of the doors on the far side from the Corpse Craft Closet. "Skid marks." He mutters more to himself than anything, "Think we found it…" Yes we it was a joint effort. "This closets been locked and recently. There's runes so we shouldn't mess with it. But we found it…I'm pretty sure!"

Madeline watches Colton, and the way he caaaaarefully closes the door, and starts pacing. Now she feels a shiver run up and down her spine - like she does when reading those H.P. Lovecraft stories she's so fond of. "…not snogging," she concludes. But they're not running, either. Or casting spells at the door. So… so not dangerous, exactly? Maybe? Her eyes are still on the door, trying to picture what might be on the otherside of it, when Colton speaks. "Huh? Oh!" She moves over towards the locked door, and tilts her head to look at the runes. "…what do they say? Do we need Rena to open it? Can we both go back and get her? But what if they come back and move it again? Maybe one of us should stay here…" Alone. By the door of unknown creepiness?
Her gaze turns towards it again, with that sort of shivering dread and excitement you get in a haunted house.

Colton rolls his hand to beckon her over to get her away from that door she's curious about again towards him. Though he doesn't let her get too close to the warded door either. "Curse-Breaker Rule number 1: Location, location, location. Always make sure that someone knows where yee are and generally where ye are headed so that back-up knows where to go, or loved ones know where to look for the body. Ye go back, follow the line Right Hand, Right wall till ye see the squiggles. I'll camp here and guard the treasure until ye bring reinforcements. I think that Auror friend would be good to bring if she's about. Rena, aye? Well aye, bring her. Here…" He pulls up the hood of her robes and he leans on the walls to take off his socks. Then he'll move to put the socks /over/ her shoes to make sure they don't clickity clack over the stone floor. "Anyone starts to come. Yee find a nook and cranny. Ball up. Hood over all hidden and yee stay like that til ye are sure they are friendly. Alright?"

Madeline lookes a bit mystified as Colton takes off his socks, but it all makes sense once he's pulling them on over her shoes. She nods solemnly, look deadly serious for the moment. "Alright. I won't be long. I'll follow the line with my right hand," she promises. "'n hide - 'n douse my light, too - if I hear someone." Then she flashes Colton a broad smile. "Won't be long."
She turns to trot from the room - keeping her back straight - even if facing the dungeon on her own is less of a fun adventure than it had been with Colton's hand on her shoulder. Still - how much trouble could she get in, in the castle!

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