(1939-10-20) The Law Comes to Hogwarts
Details for The Law Comes to Hogwarts
Summary: The M.L.E. moves fast as they serve their warrant to confiscate Flint's contracts.
Date: 20 October, 1939
Location: Hogwarts
Plot: Headmaster from Hell
Related: A Not-So-Merry Chase, Dungeon Delving

It had been a quiet evening at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Sure, there were the usual perpetrators being hauled in for questioning or detainment, but nothing extraordinary. That was until Chief Auror Worthington and Deputy Commissioner Shacklebolt appeared in their respective offices, tapping certain select Aurors and Hit Wizards to lead them back to Commissioner Ogden's office.

Once the team was gathered, Ogden informed them all about case at hand. After months of research and investigation on the part of Auror Odori, the M.L.E. had sufficient evidence to convince the Wizengamot to approve a warrant to enter Hogwarts grounds. The target: a series of contracts devised by Headmaster Flint, binding the service of the elite group of students known as the Magijugend. The legality of these contracts has been called into question, and the lawyers of the Ministry want to have a look at them.

But it is believed that Flint has allies in the Ministry, perhaps even in the M.L.E. itself. So speed will be of the utmost importance, as it is likely he is already being informed about the serving of the warrant. Orders are given. The Floo Network will take the officers to the Hogsmeade Magistrate's office, from which they will fly (bring those brooms) to the Gates of Hogwarts, where they will be granted entry by a member of the faculty. He pauses only briefly for questions before hurrying them out the door.

It's a mad dash to the Atrium, a series of FWOOSHES later, a quick greeting from Magistrate Hawkins, and soon the chill, wet air of Scotland is on their faces as they fly toward Hogwarts.

As the officers approach the gates, they swing open in welcome at the wand gesture of the unmistakable form of Professor Vindictus Viridian upon his own broom. "Hurry! The Magijugend are already on the move!" He shouts as he joins them in flight. "If they hide those documents, we may never find them!"

Grim determination is not a look that one often finds in Rena's expression; however, the little redhead has been nothing but silent and straight-faced since they were given the word to go ahead. This was her doing… make or break it all, she made this happen. If it falls apart and goes to hell, it's on her shoulders. This is no lark for her. Those kids are counting on her, and her job may well be on the line. No smiles from Rena Odori tonight.

Damp from the mist, and shivering slightly from the chill in the air, Rena is the first to nose her broom toward the gates. She has nothing to say with regard to the Magijugend taking action already. All she cares about is speed, and she whizzes down through the open gate rapidly, more worried than ever.

Like Rena Katherine is grim faced, but for completely different reasons. In her case she's completely focused on 1) not falling off her broom and 2) not falling too terribly behind the rest of the group, her skirts and robes flapping around her calves in the wind of their passing…

Peregrine has had to use a sticking charm to keep his hat on, but otherwise looks perfectly at home on his broom. "Hogwarts… It's been ages." His robes flap behind him a bit as the tail of his broom swings out to pivot him in the air and head towards the gates. "Vindictus, old man… Been too long." the crusty old Hit Wizard burrs, "Still up to old tricks, I see." There will be time for small talk and catching up on old housemates later, though, and he swings into line to follow the crowd, applying the throttle with alacrity.

Gideon hasn't been back on the squad all that long. It's been a challenge feeling his way back into the job after all that's happened. But if there's one thing that can put this old dog in the right state of mind, it's someone screwing with kids. He's been stone-faced and ready to move from the moment the Commissioner filled them in. Now he's pushing his broom as hard as he can, right on Rena's tail. She's young, but apparently this is her show.

It's no easy day today. Bannon's mind, while concentrated on the task at hand, has the added concern of his daughter on his mind. But, with all that's going on, he's sure that this is for the best, whatever the end result. They're making an attempt to help the students. His bowler hat, which usually adorns the tip top of his head, was left at the Ministry. No need for it to obstruct him today. He does, however, still have his walking stick, in which rests his wand. He speeds forward on his broom, offering Viridian a nod in acknowledgement as they pass through the school gates and he joins them.

Viridian barks a laugh at Peregrine. "Urquart, you old devil! I see you've brought plenty of support. Good, it'll show Flint we mean business! This way!" He gestures and swoops his broom down toward the front doors of the castle, waving his wand to swing them open so they can all land just inside.

The front doors of the castle swing open, and in swoops Professor Viridian on a broom, along with five adults, all wearing official M.L.E. robes. Several students loitering about stare in awe at the sudden parade of…whatever is going on. It can't be any stranger than the recent spell-slinging in the halls between the Magijugend and various other students.

Out of respect for the intrusion on Hogwarts sacred ground, Rena wore formal robes over her otherwise utterly Muggle garb to obscure them. She looks like a proper witch… for once.

With a sharp WHOOSH, the young redheaded Auror passes through Hogwart's impressive doorway on her broom. Slowing considerably, she pulls up in a graceful curve before dismounting. The moment her dainty foot touches the ground, she leaves her broom behind in a safe spot. Now, she looks to Viridian for direction.

Peregrine skids his broom to a halt, then stands it up out of the way, clearing out for the others behind. He straightens his robes, and with a flick of his wand sends his hat sailing over to rest on the upraised handle of the broom before tucking it back securely in the sleeves of his official Hit Wizard robes, with the crossed-wand badge of the MLE on them. A dour glance around, and an arch of a brow at the points counter, probably a moment of memories - fond and otherwise - flooding back. He shakes his head and says, "Oh, I *am* the help, Viridian. This is Auror Odori's brief, I'm just a wand-hand." And so he lets Rena take the lead, motioning to the dainty young redhead.

Coming to a rather abrupt stop, Bannon dismounts his broom with a certain gruffness that he, almost immediately, attempts to hide. He understands the need for speed, but he's not a fan of broom flying as a mode of transportation. But importance trumps personal preference in this matter. Once the broom is safely set aside, he sets his gaze upon the entrance of Hogwarts, his walking stick making a light tapping noise upon the ground. A soft, quiet, sigh emits from him. "Well, here we are, then. Onward and upward?"

Katherine does many things with grace. Flying and /landing/ a broom is not one of them. After almost smacking herslef right into the doors' lintels she comes to a stumbling, skipping stop at the back of the group then tosses her broom negligently and almost angrily into a corner. A sigh of relief escapes her lips as she finally puts feet back on solid ground and then she takes a moment to settle her dress and her robes into order again then drawing her wand.

Gideon tosses his own broom aside to join Katherine's, stepping up to stand beside her. He eyes her wand, but keeps his own holstered for the moment.

No sooner have the officers entered the entry hall than they are met by two stern looking men stepping off of the Grand Staircaise. Professors Sirius Black and Arcadius Lestrange, both them legends in their own right, stride forward to meet the procession.

"This is highly irregular, Vindictus," Sirius comments ruefully. Then, turning his attention to the gathered law enforcers, he arches an impressive eyebrow. "I trust you have some documentation to justify your presence on Hogwarts grounds."

Careening out of the Labyrinthine Hall, and moving with a faint squishing sound from the wet socks pulled up over her mary janes is none other than Madeline. The girl is wearing her school uniform - with the strange addition of the extra socks, plus a Junior Auror's badge pinned right on to the outside of her robes. When she spots the troupe of adults in in the hall, her slightly anxious expression turns into a huge grin as she makes a beeline for her favorite auror. "Re- Auror Odori!" the says brightly.

"Irene Odori - Auror." Rena answers calmly, although her face is pale and her expression shows signs of deeply burried stress. It's all she can do to control the trembling in her hands as she retrieves a very grim, official looking document from a slender briefcase. "I realize that this is highly irregular, and I don't take this intrustion lightly, sir." She says with genuine respect in her subdued voice. "However," here, she hands the document - a warrant - over to Sirius, "We come with the full authority of the Wizengamot."

Madeline's arrival does not go unnoticed. Rena does not turn away from Mister Black. She merely glances briefly at the girl, flashing her a small, and hopefully encouraging smile.

Peregrine folds his hands behind his back as Rena produces the documents. He fiddles with his sleeve, momentarily back in his student days and getting disapproving glares from Professor Merrythought. He stands next to Gideon, his fellow Hit Wizard, and murmurs, "In my thirty-seven years as a Hit Wizard, this is never a warrant I'd have thought to need to serve." Still, he's not going to let children be victimized either.

Gideon grunts and nods to Peregrine. "Aye. Hardly what I'd call a happy homecoming. But this place is hardly home anymore, with all that Flint's done to it."

Professor Lestrange shoot a hard stare at Madeline, barking, "Evans! Stop where you are! This is no business for a Second Year." He turns back to Professor Black, peering at the warrant. "Is it legitimate, Sirius?"

Sirius looks over the warrant with a furrowed brow, carefully examining the details and wording. "It seems to be in order." He taps the Wizengamot seal at the bottom of the parchment. His lifts his gaze again to the gathered officers. "This mentions documents in the possession of the Headmaster. If you'll come with me, I'll take you to him now."

Madeline stops hesitantly at the bark from Lestrange, shifting uncertainly in place. "Yes, Professor. Of course, sir. It's only…" She really needs to bring one of the officers back with her to find Colton and get the box! She gives Rena an almost pleading look, before passing that expression on to the others with her. Eventually, Madeline's gaze settles on Viridian. He'll know why she's here! Right?

Placing a hand gently on her shoulder as they start to walk, Bannon offers a little nod to Rena. "You're doing tremendously well." He murmurs to the younger auror. Certainly this is not a warrant any person would wish to hand out, and he can only imagine how nerve-wracking this would be for someone who has been an auror for a long time, let alone a full auror for as long as Rena has been. He glances toward the other M.L.E. officers with them, as he continues to follow the Professors, making sure they're doing fine.

Professor Viridian gives Madeline a knowing smirk. "It's alright, Arcadius. I'll handle Evans." He might sound genuinely helpful if not for the dripping disdain in his voice. He beckons Madeline a few feet away, bending down to offer his ear. "Tell me what you know, Junior Auror."

Katherine makes her way over to Bannon's side, standing towards the edge of the law enforcement group. Spotting Madeline she looks at the little girl for a moment then at Professor Black and then back at Madeline. "Judging by her behavior our young friend here seems to have some information that could be pertinent to what we are doing here today. Perhaps she should come with us to the Headmaster as well." Her eyes are on Madeline but her words are clearly meant for everyone else in the group but she stops as Professor Viridian speaks up, "That is an even better idea."

Dark eyes flick in Madeline's direction, and Rena's gaze catches the young girl's momentarily. Thankfully, Viridian goes to her side and seems prepared to take care of whatever the trouble is.

Before Rena can follow in Mister Black's footsteps, she feels the comforting hand on her shoulder, and hears Bannon's words of encouragement. It takes a moment for them to penetrate her mind, but, once they do, she relaxes into a weak smile. "Thank you." She says quietly, unable to manage another word for the time being. She only dares to glance in the direction of Gideon and Peregrine for a second before walking on. If she fails in front of them, and in front of the children… It doesn't even bear thinking.

Peregrine can only manage a rather disgusted, "Ach, aye." to Gideon, as he prepares to follow off to meet with the target of their warrant. "Nothing new under the sun, though." The child of a squib, Peregrine isn't exactly the sort of wizard the Magijugend would consider suitable, and there were bigots aplenty in his day, too. "Lets get on wi' it."

Bannon looks to Katherine and, with a quick glance at Madeline, he offers a nod to the other auror. "Quite so. And we could use all the information we can gather at the present time. Perhaps one of us should…" He was about to suggest talking to her, when Professor Viridian takes up that mantle of his own accord.

Madeline is all smiles again as she starts towards Viridian - but Kat's words stop her up short. Go with the MLE into Flint's office? That's the most terrifying notion ever. Though it is a little appealing… But Colton's waiting! "…that's alright, ma'am. I'm, umm, sure it's grown-up stuff," she answers, before she makes her way to the crouching Viridian.

"Professor," she says politely, lowering her voice to a murmur. "We followed Abraxas Malfoy down into the dungeons and he hid a box with a bunch of locks down there. We think we found it - me and Colton. But it's behind a locked door and we can't get it open and Colton's watching it now, sir," she explains eagerly. "And, umm, I wrote on the wall with a crayon. I'm sorry."

Arcadius makes no effort to disguise his disapproval of Viridian's intervention. But he maintains decorum and makes no effort to stop his fellow professor. He pauses a moment to murmur something in Sirius's ear, to which Professor Black nods without comment.

As Black turns toward the stairs, Viridian stands upright, patting Madeline's shoulder. "Auror Odori. In fact, it seems that Miss Evans may have information pertaining to your investigation. I strongly advise that you see what she has to show you." He shoots a cold smirk to Black and Lestrange, as if daring them to challenge him.

Katherine looks back over to Rena, since she's the one that's been entrusted to lead this little strike force. "What do you think, Odori? I know the Labyrinth. Do you want us all to go to the Headmaster's office or should I go with our little friend here to see what can be done about retrieving the box she's talking about?"

Hiding her feelings - not a strong suit for Rena. She is not happy. Something is going awry… very awry already. And the look that drifts briefly in the direction of the two men shows rather plainly that the little redhead is displeased and not in any mood to be toyed with.

"Professor Flint's office will have to wait." She says with decisive clarity, in answer to Katherine's question. Moving toward Madeline, she asks pointedly: "What's this then? What happened?"

"The plot thickens." Peregrine observes, as he turns to look at the young girl that Lestrange has identified as Evans. He continues to worry the hem of his uniform robes behind his back as he waits, and when Rena speaks, he says, "The dungeons, then, Auror Odori?" Oh, dear, and his wellies are at home.

"Well," Madeline says, shifting on her feet as she suddenly finds herself the focus of all the adults. Oh… if this doesn't all turn out right - she's in for it! "Just a little bit ago, all the Magijugend, they came running out of Fl- Headmaster Flint's office, carrying all these different boxes - I didn't see how many exactly, maybe five? Maybe a little bit more, but not ten, I don't think. We were, umm, there playing catch and gobstones, you see." Riiiiight. "And well, they ran in all these different directions… I followed Abraxas Malfoy down into the dungeons, and he his the box he was carrying there. I think I found it, me and Colton - Colton Higgins. And he's watching it now. But the door is locked so we can't get the box out…" Oh, what if they're wrong and it isn't the right place and there's no box behind the door?!

Gideon nudges Peregrine, nodding toward Sirius and Arcadius and muttering, "Look at those two. Cool as cucumbers. Nae worried about a thing. What's their game?"

Rena listens to Madeline quite carefully. At first, the young Auror says absolutely nothing. But then, at length, she breaks her silence with a tense, faint little sigh and says: "Wonderful. A glorified shell game…"

"It appears as if a suspicion may have come to be realized?" Voices Bannon, regarding the possible movement of the objects they're looking for, once Madeline is done speaking. His walking stick taps the floor lightly as he considers their options, as he is sure others are doing. "But well done, young Miss." He says to Madeline. "You may have just saved us some grief." 'May have' being the primary words there. But it's a lead that they did not previously have, which is better than nothing.

Peregrine nods to Gideon, "Indeed. What are we missing. I dunnae ken, but I don't like the idea of going down a chute like cattle until a hammer hits me right between the eyes." He sighs, though, as he listens to what's going on.

Down the stairs comes Calista Flint, she is notably shoeless as she steps into the Entry Hall. She takes stock of her situation and tucks her wand into the sleeve sheath. Her head shakes as she starts for the Hit-Wizards. "Good, some one called the authorities.." she calls out at a notable point. "I would like to press charges." she says in a clear charming tone. "Were you robbed to Evans? I was assaulted on the way to the library. I was attacked by spell, along with my companions, and things stolen."

Professor Black offers the warrant back to Rena, nodding. "Of course, you have the legal right to search the premises. I feel it only fair to advise you, however, that word has undoubtedly been sent by now to the Board of Governors." He pauses for a beat before adding, "Enceladus Malfoy soon be aware of your presence here."

Professor Lestrange frowns at Calista's bare feet. "You were attacked? Merlin's beard. Were you hurt, child? Tell us what happened."

"Mister Malfoy may do his worst. After we have finished our search and retrieved what we came for." Rena replies tersely as she takes the warrent in hand. She came into this situation, well aware of the fact that she may be committing career suicide. She did it for the children and for justice. If someone wishes to destroy her afterward, so be it.

Concern quickly paints Rena's features as Calista arrives, claiming to have been attacked and robbed. Do they really have time for this? But can she justify walking away under the circumstances?

Katherine looks Calista over for a moment and then says, "Why don't you walk with us. you can tell us all about it as we continue to work on our original mission."

Patrick has been entirely silent until now. The tall Irishman is somewhere beside Peregrine, but is keeping a concerned eye on Rena ahead. His lips are tight and skin unusually pale- an uncharacteristic seriousness, then. Perhaps, he realises the gravity of the situation, Magical Law Enforcement hardly searching Hogwarts every day. Or perhaps, after hearing what /may/ be going on at his beloved school, the ex-Gryffindor in him is struggling not to growl. His badge is suspiciously well-polished.

As things proceed around them, Patrick simply listens and watches. His blue eyes, however, seem to struggle not to fix coldly upon the unliked professors every now and then. As Calista emerges, and he begins to realise that they haven't moved for a while now, he advances up beside Rena. " Perhaps we should press ahead, Auror Odori?" He says, not un-warmly.

Madeline watches the adults talk, and then Calista appears, earning a suspicious frown from Calista. She's one of the Magijugend, so the odds are that she was accosted by others in the Resistance. They wouldn't have stolen anything! That's ridiculous! "I, umm, marked the way to the box," she remarks. "Me and Colton did. He's real good in mazes." Hastily she adds, "I'll clean it all off afterwards."

Patrick and Katherine both make good, level-headed suggestions. It's better to begin searching for all the shells if this is, in fact, a glorified shell game as Rena suspects it of being. They don't have time to waste. Calista may follow freely if she so desires - but Rena's main focus is on the task at hand. "We'll move on to find the box," she replies calmly to the others. "Lead the way," she adds to Maddie.

"You said there were more, five - maybe ten. Do you have any idea where the others have scattered to?" Rena asks as she walks beside the girl.

Viridian gestures toward the dungeons. "I leave you to your investigation, officers. I'll go to inform the rest of the faculty of your legal presence here."

Lestrange and Black exchange a few quiet murmurs, but then Sirius nods in agreement with Viridian. "I think it best if we do the same. I have every faith that the M.L.E. will be swift and efficient."

At Lestrange's 'concern,' Calista nods, though there is a faint twitch. She looks at the adults, but if the young Slytherin is intimidated, it doesn't show. "Yes. My shoes are still melded to the hall before the library." she says with a motion, slipping her wand forth with and even motion and spinning it handle out. "Of course." she mutters as they start on their way. The labyrinth? "I was assaulted first by the unprovoked casting Myrus Lowe.. He sealed my shoes to the floor.. There they remain. Then, his cohort, Eibhlin, blasted me with a dueling spell. Anthony Rowle attacked several young Slytherins.. And Myrus Lowe proceeded to assault Bowen Nott to take something I was supposed to take to the library for storage."

Katherine turns too look at Calista as the group starts walking to the dungeons, "Are you hurt? Were any Dark spells cast during the fracas you're describing? If not, this sounds like a matter for the faculty of Hogwarts to deal with internally, not for the MLE to get involved in."

"No, ma'am," Madeline replies, staying carefully polite as she starts moving across the room in her squishing socks. "Everyone ran in different directions, and there was smoke, and we all got to the stairs and ran in different directions… I only followed Malfoy." She glances back at Calista as she talks, her eyes going a little bit wide, before she looks back at Rena with a smile. That sounds like two boxes found, to her!

Rena tries very hard not to roll her eyes to the heavens. From the little experience she has with Myrus… she can well imagine the brash boy doing something over-the-top and outlandish. However, she concludes the same thing Madeline does, and her glance says as much. Two are found - hopefully. But is it two out of five, or two out of ten?

The professors are left behind as the investigators move down into the Labyrinthine Hall. The dungeons are dank, dark, and full of echoes, confusing shadows, and strange twists and turns.

To say that Patrick's hand moves to his wand as he enters the dungeons would be an overstatement; however, his hand does seem to hover in that general vaccinity for a moment, his thumbs perhaps pricking in a part of the castle he doesn't remember very fondly. After a few seconds, though, he chuckles a little bit to himself at the prospect of the M.L.E getting into a duel with stubborn students meddling in things they barely understand, and relaxes. Now, he us up only a step behind Rena, eyes moving over the hallways. " Never thought I'd end up down here, again."

Madeline small, wet footprints lead the way past the potions classroom and down the hall. She trots along, adding to the adults behind her, "We're gonna need to use our wands. It gets pretty dark - there's no torches or anything further in." Indeed - a little further up, Madeline's footprints can be seen veering off from the main corridor, and into one of the less used sections of the castle.

Peregrine pulls out his wand and says softly, "Lumos." The tip of the wand glows brightly, illuminating the dungeons where the torches have failed, and casting its bluish-white glow on the assembled MLE wizards and students. "Alright, which way." he says. "Follow those footprints there?" And unless he's told that's the wrong way, that's the way he starts to go.

Being an ex-Gryffindor, the only times that Bannon every truly found himself down in the dungeons was to go to potions class. As such, he's fairly unfamiliar with the dungeons. However, he's a job to do and boxes to find. Besides which, he has a student to follow, as do the others. For the time being, he allows Madeline to lead.

With those confusing shadows, the dark and dank dungeons feel a lot like home to the young Slytherin. Calista looks about and shrugs, "Did you want to check the Slytherin house for some reason.. I could lead you there?" she offers in a helpful fashion. She could have sworn she heard something about the calvary on the way. "Were you looking for something in the possession of Slytherin..? Oh, take care, we are under Black Lake here. One wrong hatch.. Well, do take care."

Katherine takes the lead, walking next to Madeline, lighting her wand out of long habit. "Can you describe the room your friend is waiting in? I might know a faster way to get there than your original route."

"I don't think any of us ever did," Rena replies faintly to Patrick, offering a wry half-smile as she too withdraws her wand. The curved little Rowan wand is given a little swish, and the spell incanted to bring light to the end. In this dreadful place, she is happier with more light than less. Fortunately, Katherine is there to help Madeline guide the way. To Calista, she answers with brisk politeness: "Thank you for your concern and offer. But, I believe we're going to a different place entirely."

As they move further in, the torches do indeed vanish. There's condensation on the walls - and a puddle Madeline obviously stepped in, leading to the wet prints on the floor. Moss grows here and there - but that's not what Madeline's looking for now - she's looking for red crayon marks on the wall. "Here!" The girl says brightly. "It's this way!"
Glancing towards Katherine she adds, "It's near a statue of a man with a snake around his arm. Then you go in - and it's a room with three more doors. One of the rooms was empty, but the one in the middle scared Colton something fierce and he wouldn't let me look, and then the last door is locked with runes and we couldn't get in. There's all bones in the middle of the room - big ones, little ones, all sorts."

Madeline sounds wonderfully excited when she talks about the scary room and the bones. She just loves creepy things.

Gideon lights his own wand with a "Lumos," but somehow even all of the wands together still only managed to dimly push back the gloam, as if the depths of the dungeons swallow up the light itself.

Drawn wands are suddenly becoming fashionable, and having not been the first to draw his in everybody's least favourite part of Hogwarts (at least around three quarters of "everybody") is all the concession Patrick needs; his too is withdrawn and held at his side. As Madeleine describes their eerie destination, though, he lifts it and with a low "Lumos" adds his wand-light to that of the others.

Katherine listens carefully to Madeline's description of the room, nodding along as the young girl speaks. Once she's done she smiles and motions to the most recent red crayon marks, "That, my young friend, was a very good idea. But I think I can get us there a little bit faster." and then she starts walking along the labyrinthine passages with the confidence of long practice, leading the group as directly as possible to the room Madeline described for them.

With his wand removed from the walking stick with tiny 'woosh' sound, Bannon follows suit and lights the tip with a murmured 'lumos!' He listens intently as Madeline speaks. "What an unusual set of rooms…" He finds himself commenting. But then, this is Hogwarts, he should nary be surprised. The school is full of hidden nooks and crannies.

"Oh! You know the room? So what's in the middle door?" Madeline asks eagerly. They soon leave behind Madeline's red crayon marks, and move along unmarked corridors - but after a short time walking, new marks appear - white chalk, left higher up on the wall than Madeline's marks had been.

"What a wonderful little maze they have here." Peregrine says, deadpan, as he moves along with the others. Strength in numbers, after all. "I'm so grateful all I had to do was climb a lot of stairs when I was here. Not that Slytherin would have had me anyway. That much hasn't changed."

Gideon snorts and smirks, shaking his head. "I recall comin' down here one time because Goliath Goyle had challenged me to a fight. I showed up, and six of his friends ambushed me and beat me bloody. Later, I found out Goliath had meant to come, but got lost tryin' to find the place he picked for us to brawl."

Calista falls behind a bit, frowning darker the further they go is plenty of light here for a Slytherin to know home by the wands of others. She watches as Sykes takes the lead. There is a quick shudder, and Calista stops short at the entrance to the room. "Well, I can see you are on your way. I will return to my house." She states and turns about.

Katherine smiles at Madeline as they reach the room, "I know the room. But I can't say that I've ever seen what's behind the doors. Although there were all kinds of rumors and legends. Each one creepier than the other." With a wink and a smile she moves into the room and stands aside to let the others in.

"You know," Patrick says, those already stretched Irish vowels somehow elongating through the tunnels of the labyrinth, " I wonder what crossed the founders' minds when they built the place. Bunch of students, some of them only twelve or thirteen- hormones, spots, blood purity, all that patter. And they decided to chuck 'em in a common room in a labyrinth in the dungeons under the lake…." He looks at Rena and cocks an eyebrow, "…hardly a sunny image of childhood, is it?"

Within the chamber, it is as Madeline described. A dank, mossy room littered with bones, with three doors leading off from it. Colton Higgins, the Seventh Year Gryffindor, stands guard by one of them, and gives Madeline an enormous grin, stepping up to ruffle her hair. "Hey, Pidge. Brought the cavalry, huh? Now things are gonna get interesting."

At first, Rena seems to be genuinely upset at the idea of Gideon having been ambushed and beaten down here by a group of bullies. But then, he remarks on how the chief troublemaker got lost while trying to find the place. Patrick's remarks don't help at all! She can scarcely be blamed for the stifled laugh that escapes.

Shifting her gaze, Rena "ahems" quietly and hurries on into the room. "Cavalry - you could call us that." She remarks to Colton with a bemused smirk. "Is that the way?"

Madeline nods, beaming proudly. "I also brought your socks - and it sounds like Rowle and Shine and Lowe got another one. Umm… I wasn't sure how many boxes we're looking for, though. It's more than five I think? But not ten? I dunno. There were a lot of boxes…" As she's talking, she plunks herself down on the bone riddled floor to pull off the socks off from the outside of her shoes. She then stands back up and starts wringing them out. "I got 'em wet. Sorry."

Colton jerks a thumb at the rightmost door. "That's the one," he confirms to Rena. "But it looks like it's got runes carved into it, so I'd be careful if I were you." He sits down beside Maddie, content to let the M.L.E. take over from here. He's caused enough trouble for one day.

"One might call us the First Cavalry Division, but I'm afraid we've forgotten our horses!" Bannon almost smirks. Yes, he was attempting a joke. Perhaps poorly, but hopefully he can be forgiven. It would have gone over much more readily in his parents' circles. He clears his throat. "Now, what exactly are we facing here, children? There was mention of…what was it? An inability to access a certain point in which the container was enclosed?"

Bannon adds, "I may be able to help with the runes. I've…some experience and knowledge of them."

Patrick swishes into the room and, with a flick, dims his wand-light a little in order to lessen the glare. Examining the door ahead of them, he shrugs a little and looks around at his companions and then finally focuses on Bannon. "D'you know what we're dealin' with here?" He looks back at their obstacle, "I don't supposed we could just blast it open…"

"Alright, so do somethin', Bates," Gideon grumps.

"Runes… This is very much not my forte," Rena admits wryly, breathing a faint sigh. "Bannon, I hope you can manage. I never had a head for it in school and went in a different direction." She glances at Patrick, Katherine, Peregrine and Gideon in turn before directing her attention back to Bannon. "I can smash locks like a Curse-breaker, but cunning stuff like runes… no."

Madeline passes the socks back to Colton once they're squeezed dry - and while the adults are consulting over one closed door, the girl is staring at another. She gets little shivers up and down her spine just imagining what it could be. A room filled with mummies! A mural of people being… cut apart or something! A shrine to an ancient and horrible God with a dried human heart sitting on it!

…nah. That last idea is ridiculous. This is a school.

Bringing his wand up to the runes so as to read them more clearly, Bannon begins. "Hmm. Yes. What I'd expect." He says aloud, mostly to himself. "Anti-unlocking charm…yes, I'd figure as much. Wouldn't make it easy. Of course one might consider a stealth sensoring spell of some sort, as well as all varieties of partitions to prevent one from using the norm of magical means. However…" He draws out that last word as he examins a particular set of runes. "Could it be? Is it that uncomplicated, something so rudimentary?" He takes a deep breath in. "I'd suggest that each of you take a significant step back, in case this is a trick." And with that, he places his hand on the door, above those particular runes that he is now focused on.

Upon hearing Bannon's instructions to back away from the area, Rena hastily moves to Colton and Maddie: "Children, get back - further than you are now." She urges them insistantly. Of course her first thought is for the kids. Protecting them is paramount in her mind, be it from Flint or flying rocks.
Looking over her shoulder, she remains placed between the children and Bannon and the runes, regardless of the distance.

The Irish wizard does, naturally, take up a position directly beside Rena and in front of the children, lifting his wand in anticipation of, erm, anything that might explode or come shrieking out or try to curse them or… You get the picture. " Come on, then, Bannon, work your magic," He says, his tone remarkably jovial.

When an Auror tells her to get back, that's all the urging Madeline needs. She spares a brief glance at the door, then scampers all the way out of the room, taking refuge behind the door jam and listening intently to what's still going on inside the room. Ohhhh, pleeeeeease et the box be in there! Please oh please oh please!

Gideon obeys, taking several steps back, wand at the ready in case of…whatever.

Of course it isn't that rudimentary. There is a groan and a BOOM as the main door to the chamber slams shut, its locks clicking into place. Then comes a sound like trickling water, and from various innocuous-looking cracks in the stone walls, a sparkling, purple liquid ekes out. As the fluid strikes the floor, it hisses and vaporizes, sending up a similarly violet smoke. Under Bannon's hand, the runes carved into the wooden door shift and change, and now read in plain English:


"Bloody 'ell!" Rena exclaims, not in fear - but with great irritation as things begin to fall apart. Now, they're cut off from the outside and enclosed in this room with potentially poisonous smoke creeping nearer by the second. "Nothing for it. Bubble-head charm seems to be the ticket right off…" She mutters before flicking the light of her wand away to produce another charm: "Spiranabulla." She says clearly, commanding the thing to form around her head in an instant.

"Fuck!" Gideon is a little coarser in his reaction. He moves immediately to the main door, testing it. But naturally it doesn't budge. "Kid!" He shouts at the door. "Can you hear me? Get away from the door!" The door is thick, but not so much that Madeline cannot hear his muffled shouts.

The door slams shut, and Madeline lets out a startled squeak. She pulls out her wand, shouting a hasty, "Lumos!" then starts pounding on the door with her fist. "Rena? Rena! Are you o-" she starts to shout - but then she hears Gideon on the other side. "O-okay!" she shouts, moving away from the door. "Okay, I'm away from the door!" she calls from a good ten feet down the hall.

Patrick gives a sigh- of course, it is /never/ that simple. " Spiranabulla!" He intones, and a magical barrier identical to Rena's forms around his head. He grins through it at the others. " I always loved this spell, I did." Glancing over his shoulder to see that Gideon is dealing with Maddie, the Irishman looks back at the door, and then at the other M.L.E officers. " It's clearly a riddle, folks," He shrugs, thinking that someone should state the obvious, "But the question is: is it the obvious riddle? Is it in reference to that ol' mark folks are wearin' these days, or is it a red herrin'?" He moves to stroke his chin, and then stops as he realises the bubble-head charm is still in place, " Fix your eye firmly upon me… What if we all focused our wand-light on it?"

"Well now…not all unexpected, though some are more so than others…unusual." Bannon may be calm on the outside, but inside, the nerves are starting to boil. Raising his hand from where the runes once were, he reads the words that now appear there. "Fix your eye firmly upon me…only the truth will set you free." He sighs softly. "Hmm?" He looks to Rena. "Oh, yes. Quite. Bubble-head charm. Very good." He offers her a kind smile. "Spiranabulla." He says as he performs the charm on himself.

Rena struggles hard against the rising fear inside. Gideon warns Maddie away from the door. Why didn't she think of that? Now she's kicking herself. She can't think… Can't… "Wait a second," the redhead says excitedly.

Tucking her wand under her arm, the briefcase is hastily jerked open and she begins to rummage through it in a near-frenzy. After a few seconds, she catches hold of something inside and withdraws it. It just happens to be a gleaming Eye of Truth pendant. "Maybe this?" She asks breathlessly, holding it out to Bannon.

While the others are thinking about protecting themselves from the smoke, Gideon is thinking about smashing things. When he can hear that Madeline is safely away, he backs up and aims his wand at the main door. "Bombarda!" With a deafening boom, a flash of light explodes from his wand, crashing into the door with a thunderous impact. "Merlin's arse!" He curses, giving the still-standing door a kick. "Must have some bloody powerful Unbreakable Charms on it."

Gideon eyes the pendant coming out of Rena's case. "What in blazes are you doin' with that?"

Madeline jumps at the sound of the explosion - waiting to see the door explode outwards… but it doesn't. Oh, no. No, no, no, no! "Are you okay?!" she shouts desperately. "Should I go find help? Rena! Should I go find help?" Madeline dances anxiously on the tips of her toes. Oh, no, no, no, no, no!

Glancing toward Rena, Bannon nods. "It's like O'Donnell says, it's possible. It could be an obvious riddle." He moves to accept the the pendant from Rena. Taking it back to the words, he shakes his head. "Let's hope this works." He starts by holding it up to the words, and looking at them through the pendant. Should that not work, he'll actually hold it up against the wall.

"Never MIND what I'm doing with it! Just see if it makes a difference!" Rena snaps back quickly, her voice deeply tainted with exasperation and fear at this point. She's scared, and she doesn't care who knows it. Once Bannon has taken it, she runs to the door.

"Maddie! Maddie, be careful and don't get lost! Call for help! Maybe that girl will be close enough still that she can hear you!"

Patrick eyes Rena's pendant and nods approvingly. Then, leaving the others to their work, he turns swiftly away and moves up beside Gideon at the main door. " Listen, sweety," He says in his warm Irish accent, "… Don't you worry on that other side now. It'll all be fine in a moment, ok? We'll just get our door open, then we'll open yours. Just a moment, I promise."

He looks back at Bannon expectantly.

"I won't get lost! I know the way!" Madeline answers anxiously. Rena wants her to get help - and she takes off running her eyes following the chalk lines on the walls, and then her own crayon markings. "HELP!" she shouts into the dark. "The Aurors need help!"

Gideon scowls at Rena. "I, for one, would like to know what you're doin' walkin' around withra..with…oh, bollocks." He stumbles a few steps sideways, putting his hand out to brace himself against the wall, his other arm coming up to cover his nose and mouth. Patrick gets a steely glare, and a muffled growl. "Kid, call me sweetie again, and I'll feed you your teeth."

As the pendant touches the wood of the door, the runes crawl about, serpentlike, and change again. This time they rhyme badly:


"I seek the truth that the eye has hidden." Bannon commands. He's unsure that it will work, but it's work a try. "I seek to better myself and wizarding kind." Once again, he's unsure if the words will work. He's hoping that his words will inspire…whatever magic is controlling this to help them.

Cries of urgency bring Calista out of the Slytherin common room where she was waiting for the inevitable. She has shoes on this time, and a small lantern. She slumps a little as she looks about for the source of the voice. "Evans? This way." she says as she starts towards the room she last saw the Aurors in to catch up to Evans. "Left, left, right, straight." She says in a heavy tone of the tired.

"Don't flatter yersel'," Patrick squints through his bubble at Gideon " I was talkin' to the bloody girl!" He gestures through the door, and smirks a little bit; but then, the confusion is forgotten as new phrases appear on the door ahead. The sergeant shrugs, and moves forward to stand beside Bannon. " I hope the little bastards don't want us to brand it into our skin…" He looks up as if in recollection; perhaps thinking of the Slytherins he went to school with himself.

Once Maddie is on her way, Rena has the presence of mind to notice Gideon isn't doing very well. "Mister Gideon! 'Old on. I'll 'elp you!" She says rapidly, drawing her wand again. Directing her wand at the hit-wizard's head, she clearly commands the spell once more: "Spiranabulla!"

As soon as he's taken care of, Rena turns again to see that the pendant apparently didn't do any good.

"Flint!" Madeline looks relieved to see the girl. She's relieved to see anyone! "The door slammed closed - they can't get out. Colton's in there, too! There's crayon marks and white chalk that leads to the room. I'm gonna try to find more help!" she says urgently. Professor Viridian, if she can! Or Dumbledore! Or maybe Anthony or Eibhlin!

The purple smoke has spread enough to form a light haze in the room. Though everyone is well protected now with Bubble-Head Charms, even those first protected by them can feel a light tingling on their exposed skin.

Calista Flint follows the sound of distress, and simply memory of where she left them downwards. "Hello?" she calls out as she starts studying the area to try to figure out where they are stuck.

Once Calista is started in the right direction, Madeline starts racing the opposite way once again, still following her marks on the wall. If she gets lost, she can't bring help - and she needs more seventh years! And some Professors! "HELP!" the girl shouts again. "The aurors are trapped! Help!"

"Fix!" Patrick exclaims suddenly, "The riddle said "Fix" the eye of truth on me! Maybe, we need to use a Stickin' Charm on the pendant?" He holds his hand out to Bannon, "May I?" If the auror allows him, then Patrick will press the pendant to the door, lift his wand to it and say: "Epoximise!"

Bannon hands the Eye of Truth over to Patrick. "Give it a try. It's worth attempting, certainly." He says as he watches Patrick affix the pendant to the wall.

"In Here!" Rena calls out, hearing Calista's voice faintly from without. However, her attention returns to Patrick as he tries another method of using the pendant to the wall. To Gideon, whom she is standing near, the little redhead looks up at him with a decidedly scared expression: "I was given the pendant by Brad Moody when I did something incredibly stupid. I got suspended for it. But I kept the pendant because I knew it MIGHT come in handy someday. Didn't know how…just woman's intuition." A faint smile.

Give her credit for having the guts to confess that to someone as obviously angry as Gideon.

Gideon sighs and shakes his head. Maybe the smoke has dulled his anger. "Brad Bloody Moody…that twat." He manages to stand upright without the wall's help, but he's still a bit wobbly. "We'd best get out, or we're all in for a long nap. Bloody…sleeping draught. Least I hope that's all it is."

Why is there shouts coming from down in the dungeons? Angelus, peering down the staircases from the entry hall, frowns as he tilts his head curiously. A hum escapes him as he descends, hand reaching out for the wall to guide him in the dimmer lighting, following the shouting.

As Patrick finishes applying the Sticking Charm to the pendant and presses it firmly to the door, the runes shift again:


There is a loud clack, and both the main chamber door and the runed door swing slightly ajar. There is a gurgling sound from the walls, and now a greenish liquid pours from the cracks, similarly sending up green vapors when it hits the floor. But as the green and purple smoke touch, both sparkle and then dissipate.

Madeline is racing up the other way, leaving the dungeons with a lit wand in her hand, and her Junior Auror's badge afixed to the outside of her robes. "Eibon!" she shouts when she sees the older student. "They're trapped! In the dungeon! The aurors! The door slammed closed, and they can't get out!" She points back the way she came with her wand. "Follow the red crayon marks, and the white chalk! Calista Flint is there, too, she went to help!"

Tension begins to release from the atmosphere as the poisonous smoke begins to disappear and both ways in and out become clear. "Thank 'eavens…" Rena breathes, feeling quite weak and tired. Pushing the outward door open instantly with her arm, she catches sight of Calista and offers a smile: "Not a false alarm, but please stand back until the fumes clear. Should only be a moment."

"Well…magic locked with an image. Good work, O'Donnell." Bannon offers. And that is why they work in teams on the big jobs. Putting his wand back in the walking stick, he moves closer to Gideon and Rena, offering a hand to Gideon. "You look as if you need some assistance, Gideon." He offers ever so slightly. "Hopefully your head should be clearing momentarily."

Patrick looks up at Bannon from his handiwork, and grins. His bubble-head wobbles a little, as if in celebration. " Thank ye!" He says, "It seems we're through! What can I say… The luck of the Irish? Good call, by the way, Rena," He calls over his shoulder. " Great minds think alike, you know? Although, I would like to know why you had one of /those/ on hand." Clearly, he never heard her explanation.

Then, he turns his attention back to the now-stumped rune door and, giving it a push, re-lights his wand with a murmur of "Lumos" and points it ahead. " Now, let's see what we've earned…"

Gideon nods, leaning up against the wall. "I'll be fine. Let's see what we've won."

The runed door opens with a creak that sounds an awful lot like a moan of disappointment. Inside is little more than a cupboard, with shelves and hooks on the walls. It is entirely empty save for a chest, about the size of a breadbox, with seven different locks keeping it shut. Undoubtedly magically sealed.

"Why are you always in trouble?" comes Angelus' first remark as his hand lifts, shielding his eyes from the suddenly brighter light, just as his eyes started to adjust. "What?" He suddenly blinks, goggling at uncertainly. "Why are there Aurors-" The youth shifts uneasily, something weighing in his stomach. "We should go get Dumbledore."

"Brilliant work, yourself," Rena replies brightly to Patrick, so utterly relieved that that particular crisis has passed. "I'll explain about.. it, later," she adds wryly before moving with the others to find their prize… And what a discouraging prize.

Breathing a small sigh, the young woman drops down beside it: "Bloody things… Why can't anything ever be simple?"

Calista watches as they emerge, and shifts her shoulders a little bit. She backs up as instructed, it is just not her day, and it shows in the young woman's face. A gloved hand is extended against the wall.

"Well, that's just great," Patrick sighs as his wand-light pours over the chest. He looks back at the others, " Can we just blow this one up?"

"Where do you think I'm headed?" Madeline answers. She's panting a little - but she's a good runner. "See if you can help!" she adds. She'd stopped for the moment to talk to Angelus - but she's off, running through the school halls and shouting until she finds a teacher, utterly unaware that the aurors are already free.


When the M.L.E. officers finally escape the dungeon with their prize, they are greeted in the entry hall by Madeline and Albus Dumbledore…and Enceladus Malfoy, Chairman of the Hogwarts Board of Governors. The Malfoy patriarch politely (yet authoritatively) requests their audience, with the chest.

The students are left behind as the adults gather in the Headmaster's office. Flint sits behind his desk, glaring at the gathered "invaders" of his school.

Enceladus, betraying no emotion, requests that the chest be placed before Flint. "Open it," he commands, his tone leaving no room for ambiguity or question.

Flint stares in shock at the Chairman, and for a moment, there is a flicker of fear in his stony eyes. Obediently, Flint produces a ring of keys, selecting a different one for each lock. As the last one clicks open, he curls his lip at the M.L.E. agents present. "You think you've got something important here? You have no idea who you are dealing with!"

"That will be enough, Gervase," Enceladus instructs Flint as if he were some disobedient Third Year. The Chairman himself lifts the lid of the chest, revealing stacks of parchment edged in golden runes. Also within are dozens of simple iron rings. He looks to Rena, gesturing to the contents of the chest. "I think that this is what you came for. I believe you will find the number of contracts present equal the number of Magijugend, past and present. I am assured that the other packages were decoys."

The snarl on Flint's face turns now upon Enceladus himself. But even in his growing rage, he doesn't dare speak against Malfoy. "Take them," he spits. "Take them and get out of my school!" Whirling angrily, Flint strides to the stairs, making his away to his private quarters."

Enceladus merely raises an eyebrow at Flint's outburst, but seems otherwise unconcerned. "I shall be very interested to hear what your experts discover about these documents. As will the rest of the Board of Governors. I detect the scent of change in the air. Good day to you, officers."

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