(1939-11-23) Let There Be Light
Details for Let There Be Light
Summary: Several students, stuck inside because of stormy weather, decide to explore the castle. When a Prefect catches up with them as they find a dark, previously unexplored (by them, at least) room full of wizardly puzzles to solve, tensions rise to a cutting climax.
Date: 1939-11-23
Location: Abandoned classroom off the Shifting Corridor

Marcus smirks. "Chester is more likely to eat anything else than allow himself to be eaten," he walks around, not sitting down yet, rather pacing with hands behind his back and taking big steps. He studies Elea briefly, "Well, someone seems to have voted to not go outside," he looks over at Cael. "We could study," he makes a bit of a face. "We could go exploring, finding new rooms in the castle is always useful, although could get us yelled at. We could go torment some Gryffindors."

Cael considers Marcus' suggestions, then figures, "Sure, let's go exploring. I've done a lot of studying in Hogwarts, but not a lot of studying of the place," he admits. "Maybe we'll find a stash of confiscated odds and ends, you have to figure a tonne of students' things have to have been filtched over the years, they've got to keep it somewhere, right? Let's go."

"We just came from exploring," Elea points out, though she doesn't seem particularly adverse to the concept of more exploration. Her hands brush against her skirt as she sits herself up a bit more, looking over towards Marcus like he's some sort of authority on the subject. "Where should we explore?"

"It's Hogwarts, walk in a given direction and you're bound to run into something you haven't seen before," Marcus assures Elea, with a confident tone. He gestures for Cael to lead the way. "At the very least, we'll find some cranky ghost with a story or two," he notes. "Better than reading, or sitting around on our asses."

As the trio reaches the entrance hall, Cael points out, "Visiting the owlery - while chillingly exciting," he says with a dry sarcasm, "Is hardly exploring. We already knew it was there. No - today, we're going to find somewhere we've never been before. Somewhere with a cranky ghost, exactly," he agrees with Marcus wholeheartedly. "Unless you're scared of course," he challenges Elea.

Elea's steps into the entrance hall are ginger ones, the younger Bletchley keeping close to Marcus over Cael and watching where her feet are placed. "Does the castle have cranky ghosts? There is the Bloody Baron, but I find him fascinating," she decides, lifting her head and glancing upwards, "Cranky ghost. Fine. But if we end up somewhere unpleasant, I'm leaving the both of you behind…"

"There are all sorts of ghosts in Hogwars," Marcus says, as he continues to walk, but turns to face Elea, which has him taking his steps backwards. "Scary ghosts, fat ghosts, crazy ghosts, funny ghosts," he shrugs at her and then snorts. "This is Hogwarts, it's very likely we'll end up somewhere unpleasant. But if you want to run away from adventure," he shrugs and turns forward again, a challenge also in his voice.

It's currently afternoon - before dinner but after lunch, and the weather outside is rather dreadful. Elea Bletchley is crowded near Marcus, who's speaking to Cael and she about (perhaps not oddly) ghosts in the castle.

The three Slytherin students are walking together coming from the direction of the Labyrinthine Hall. Marcus is walking backwards and looking amused as one can be, "This is Hogwarts, it's very likely we'll end up somewhere unpleasant. But if you want to run away from adventure," he shrugs and turns forward again, the words delivered with a challenge in his voice.

The weather is dreadful - and yet Sierra comes in from outside, dribbling water on the stone floors and humming cheerfully to herself. The girl is soaked, and looks like she must have been out in a the foul weather - not that she appears to mind in the least. "Run away from adventure?" she asks. "What coward would ever do that?" the younger Hufflepuff volunteers blithely.

Cael looks around, then looks up. Way up. "Anything really interesting would be well away from the entry hall, that only makes sense," he decides. Raking a hand through his already tousled hair, he flashes Elea a teasing smile. "Well now Marcus has called you out, you can't run away now. But if you like the Bloody Baron, it's probably safe to bet nothing we run into will be much worse than him." Cael is, apparently, not a fan of the Baron, or his bloodiness. Sierra's appearance has Cael lifting a brow. "You're dripping," he informs her.

Marcus' challenge is met with Elea turning her eyes up onto his face, almost seeming disappointed with him, though Cael's words receive a soft huff of, "I can easily back down from Marcus calling me out." She sniffs briefly to follow up her words. Sierra's voice draws her attention, the Slytherin girl allowing her head to tilt before looking sort of appalled. "…it's wet," she points out astutely, correcting herself afterwards with, "She's wet."

"You could, but it would be rather disappointing," Marcus says to Elea, making a bit of a face and then pursing his lips when Sierra joins the group. "And now a Hufflepuff has called you out," he remarks gesturing at the newly arrived girl. "A dripping wet one at that too," he adds. "Are you going to let her show you up?" he asks, smirking. He now takes a moment to look at Sierra with judging eyes. "And you are? I don't remember your name," he makes no apology of it.

"Yes, well - it's raining," Sierra points out just as obviously. She looks down at the trail of water she's left. "It'll dry," she adds. As Marcus asks after her name, she shrugs her shoulders and adds, "Well, I don't remember yours either. Crabbe? Rowle? Goyle? Lestrange?" One of those pureblood names. "I'm Sierra Higgins."

"Pop quiz," Cael drawls. "Who here can remember the Third-year spell Ms. Higgins should use to dry herself off instead of dripping all over the floor? Bonus quiz points if you can recall before we reach the seventh floor - which is where we'll be starting our exploring." He heads for the stairs, which conveniently arrive to begin ferrying the students upward and onto the jigsaw that is the Great Staircase.

"I've never heard the name Higgins before." Elea chooses not to answer Cael as she follows along after him, hazel eyes watching where her feet are placed as she ascends the jigsaw - perhaps smartly. "His name is Marcus Goyle. And I'm Elea Bletchley - and that's Cael."

"You can actually learn the spell as part of the Domestics Club, which admittedly, I have never joined," Marcus says amused as he glances at Sierra, "But you certainly look like you would be part of it," he says to the girl as they walk. "Higgins," he repeats, sounding a lot like he's not going to remember it. "So, I take it you're the adventurous type? Calling out Little Bletchley like you did?"

"The drying charm?" Sierra asks. "Yes, we learn it our first year in domestics. I know it." But she is absolutely terrible at it. "And of course I am. I'm a Higgins." She says this with a great deal of pride - as if it should mean something. It obviously does to her.

Cael stays out of the banter as they foursome heads up the stairs, save to comment, "Pride is a precarious thing, Higgins." He looks to the left of the hall, and then to the right. "Okay, which direction should we head in?" he wonders. "Majority vote."

"North." It seems Cael's little sister expects him to figure out which way is north, Elea's eyes studying Sierra once she's satisfied that she isn't going to trip. She doesn't give any other directions. "Higgins. I've never heard of the Higginses before."

Marcus shrugs at Elea, "Neither have I. But I guess we have now," he glances at Sierra commenting on her name. "The corridors shift," he notes to the Bletchley girl. "Let's go that way," he decides in answer to Cael, and points to the right. Glancing over at Sierra he lifts a brow, looking curious. "So, what have the Higgins done of note that make you so proud?"

"You don't know Colton Higgins?" Sierra asks in a slightly disbelieving tone - mentioning her seventh year brother. Everyone ought to know Colton!
As for the question of pride, Sierra gives Marcus an amused look. "What - do you need grand and noteworthy deeds to be proud? Higgins are decent folk. We look after each other, we stand up for what we believe in - and we're not afraid to take the road less traveled. Plus. Colton's all but set to be a curse breaker next year."

"The hall just moved three times since we climbed the stairs, north is meaningless in here, surely you know that," he tells Elea. Since the only direction given is the right, Cael shrugs and heads in that direction. "This is why taking girls anywhere but shopping is a waste of time," he tells Marcus as they walk. "Useless."
Eventually, passing storage closets, empty classrooms, and portraits lazy and languid with the lulling rain outside, the group comes to a door that actually looks a bit interesting. It's taller than the others, and by all appearances heavier. The ornamentation on the door is little more than some intricate ivy carving, but it's eye-catching all the same. "What's this one?" he asks, looking to the others. "Anyone know?"

Whether Elea is aware that the hall moves at random goes unanswered, as the blonde Bletchley is perfectly content to allow them to point it out to her without argument, focused more on Sierra during their travels. "Colton Higgins." She says this as if it has some sort of meaning, musing after a moment, "Right, Colton Higgins. He plays Quidditch." A random inkling of knowledge from the girl who's widely known for disliking their magical sport. She halts behind Cael when he looks to the door, letting her shoulders lift in a shrug.

"Doesn't ring a bell, no," Marcus shrugs. "And you do, if you're going to be throwing your pride around like you do. So your brother did something important, I guess, what have you done?" His attention leaves the girl, though and he glances at Cael nodding in agreement. "Yup. At least they aren't insisting we stop for tea. Yet." He walks through the hallway, glancing at the different rooms they pass by. Eyes fall on the door and he frowns and then smirks at Cael's question.
"Only one way to find out," he reaches out to open it.

"Says you," Sierra answers Marcus in an amused tone. "I'm proud of my family. Just not for great deeds. And me?" She shrugs her shoulders. "I saved my cousin from drowning once. Or, hey, I'm proud of the time I skipped a stone clear across a pond. Pride can come from little things."
She studies the door for a moment, trying to recall from times exploring with her brother in years past. "If I remember right - this one's just an office," she remarks. "We made a map, but Colton has it."

"One doesn't just 'map' Hogwarts," Cael tells Sierra, amused. "The corridors shift and turn, it's the beauty of magical architecture. And the bane of a student late for class." He heads into the darkness of the room behind Marcus. "Definitely not an office," he muses, as the darkness of the room doesn't abate in the slightest as he heads in. "Coming?" he calls over his shoulder to Elea and Sierra, before both he and Marcus disappear out of sight into the dark room. "I can't see my hand in front of my face," he tells the other Slytherin boy, sounding impressed. "What kind of spell can suck all the light out of a room? Look, there's not even a shadow."

"How can you tell if it is or isn't an office if you can't see your hand in front of your face?" Elea wonders, not yet moving from her place on the floor outside the door. A curious glance is given sidelong to Sierra, the hazel-eyed Slytherin contemplating something, before stepping forward to approach the open door. "Come along, Little Higgins. They'll tease us terribly otherwise, you more than me by virtue of name and Hufflepuff."

"And Hogwarts saves us from a life of boredom, because if it had been just an office, I think I'd have just cursed myself," Marcus notes after he walks in. "Bletchley, your sister is being boring," he observes at her comment and raises a hand to try and look at it.
"The kind of spell that doesn't want people to see what's in the room? That makes the room even more interesting," he muses.

"It is possible to map it," Sierra responds while rolling her eyes. "If follows a certain logic. You just have to know the trick. Talk to Colton - he knows better about things like that." She also gives Elea a disbelieving look and steps past her into the room, pulling out her wand and saying simply, "Lumos." She holds it up, trying to light the room as she asks, "What light spells do you know? I still have trouble with Light-Making and the Sunbeam spell…"

"Definitely not going to argue with someone that has no idea what she's talking about," Cael tells Sierra with a lazy grin. "Good luck using that map a second time though, since - again, the stairs and rooms _move_." That's all he says on the topic however. "Elea, get in here, you've got to see this. Or not see it, really."

Sierra's lumos spell flares to life for an instant, giving a fleeting view of what appears to be an empty room. But much like the light from the doorway, the tip of her wand is immediately suppressed, sinking the room back into darkness so complete that the light might very well have been an illusion.

Elea remains, for a time, outside of the door. "It's a dark room. We have plenty of dark rooms at home," the older of the girls reminds, shifting how her robes lie around her shoulders as the light from Sierra's wand dies out again. There's just enough time for anyone entering the corridor to spot the blonde Bletchley disappearing through the unusually dark room. Finally.

Abraxas huffs his way up the stairs - why /is/ everything in this place always upstairs for a Slytherin, anyway - and turns to head for one of the storerooms to pick something up. As he comes down the hall, he sees the Elea vanishing into one of the rooms. He sighs and turns to follow. Upon reaching the door - and before barreling through, though while standing more or less in the doorframe, he pulls his wand and says, "Lumos Maximima!" A globe of bright light is tossed into the room. "What are you doing, Bletchley?" he asks.

"Definitely not going to argue with someone that has no idea what she's talking about," Cael tells Sierra with a lazy grin. "Good luck using that map a second time though, since - again, the stairs and rooms _move_." That's all he says on the topic however. "Elea, get in here, you've got to see this. Or not see it, really."

By now, Marcus' attention has moved on to the room and he glances black only to see that Lumos spell just die out. "Well then," he says, with amusement and curiosity pretty obvious in his voice. "It seemed empty, did you see that?" He asks, the question not aimed at anyone in particular.
"I wonder what happens if you walk further in…" And that's where the sound of his steps take him.

"I'm sorry. I hate to contradict you and your vast amount of experience - attempting to map and explore magical locations," Sierra responds dryly. "Do. Please continue. And may I add how impressed I am with your attempts to counter our darkness problem. No one's going to try any other light sells? Maybe it needs to be proper sunlight to work. Lumos Solemn!" she calls into the darkness - to absolutely zero affect. "..I'm terrible at that spell."

The globe of bright light from Abraxas' wand illuminates the room for one blinding second, and if one were to scan the room extremely quickly, they could make out the forms and faces of at least two tall boys and two shorter girls - but only for that one second - because the permeating darkness of the room settles again almost immediately.

"What was that?" comes the sound of Cael's voice from somewhere in the roomafter the bright flare of light. "I'm going to go out on a limb and say whatever spell this is, it doesn't want anyone outside the room to see inside. Come in and close the door," he suggests. "And Higgins, save the snark. If you think you have a map of the castle then so be it - I couldn't care less. If this room turns out to be an office, I'll buy you a butterbeer and you can gloat my ear off. Until then, relax and enjoy the not-view."

"I imagine we all know the same light-making spells," Elea points out astutely to Sierra, "Perhaps Cael and Marcus more than you and I, but I've my doubts. Well - perhaps not for Marcus, but for Cael." As ever, her words for the Goyle boy are relatively nice, broken up by a cry of discomfort as Abraxas' globe of light is tossed into the darkness, momentarily blinding the poor girl. And that seems to be the response to her Prefect's question, too; nothing else comes out of her for a time afterwards apart from an awkward sniffle.

"Why don't you come back out so that I don't have to report anyone for being out of bounds?" comes Abraxas's voice. But he steps into the room, shutting the door behind him. Maybe that will turn the lights on. He keeps his hand firmly on the doorknob, his wand in the other one.

As soon as the door shuts behind Abraxas, the sound of a lock sliding into place can be heard clearly. More importantly however, Sierra's Lumos spell flares back to life, as does Abraxas' light spell. Combined, the two make for a very sudden and unsubtle lighting of the center of the room, though the ceiling and perimeter walls of the room are still quite dark. Four unlit torches can be seen in each of the the corners.

Abraxas scrubs his face, and puts his wand away, "Like we haven't lost enough points as a House today. You know there are things in this castle that are dangerous, right?" He doesn't, however, put out the light, instead just walking over to the glowing globe and tossing it towards the ceiling. "Where are we, anyway? And I hope we can get that door back unlocked."

"I won't buy you a butterbeer. I'll be too disappointed to do that," Marcus remarks at the possibility of the room being just a plain office. Being in the room, he's really just part of the darkness. "Was that you, Malfoy? Just come on in," he says after that ball of light fizzles out.
When the other boy does come in, he adds "I swear, it's like everyone just lost their sense of adventure in this school," he observes. "And if you need to report us, it's Higgins' fault. Somehow," he is sure to offer. "She even dared Elea to do stupid stuff," he adds, sounding very sincere.

"…since when is wandering the castle on a rainy weekend against the rules?" Sierra asks in a disbelieving tone. "Did the Headmaster re-write the rules while our backs were turned?"

"Higgins, looks what you've made us do, you terrible influence." This from Cael, who apparently has no qualms about joining Marcus in throwing the Hufflepuff girl under the carriage if it's come to that. The sudden light causes him to throw an arm up to shield his eyes until he grows used to the glow. "Way to join us, Malfoy," he grins. "What say we turn the real lights on in here before you blind us, eh?" He draws his wand, turning toward one of the torches.

The sudden flare of light elicits another cry from Elea Bletchley, her hands coming up to cover her face and douse the shrieking sound in the heels of her palms. After a moment of taking time to calm herself, she straightens up and resumes her typical eerie poise, brushing her hands against her skirt as if that scene did not just happen. "Hello, Abraxas," she greets the Malfoy heir politely, before she too is diving onto the wagon that they're tossing Sierra under, "She was daring me to jump off the roof, but this was a more convenient compromise."

"If you guys are gonna lie - at least make them believable," Sierra remarks, rolling her eyes. "Yes, after suggesting Bletchley leap off the roof they decided to follow a half-blooded Hufflepuff several years younger than them on an adventure. That sounds perfectly plausible."

"Good, I'm glad you decided to confess," Marcus sagely nods to Sierra. "You heard her, Malfoy. This is why people like her are a danger to us all," he adds, a hand raising to cover his eyes, until Abraxas tosses his ball of light up. "Incendio," he calls out, as he points his want to one of the torches.
"Walking can be dangerous, under the right… or wrong circumstances," he observes to his fellow Slytherin. "I've no clue," he adds on the question of their location, sounding excited about it.

"The door locked by itself, I figure that means after the room has had its fun with us, it'll let us back out," Cael guesses, not sounding too concerned. "Nothing dangerous about a dark room, Malfoy, come on. When the Peruvian Vipertooth shows up, I'll buy you a butterbeer too, and you can gloat all you want. Going to have to admit though, if a dragon shows up, House Points will be the absolute last thing on my mind." He flicks his wand, speaking out clearly, "Incendio." And thus, the second of the four torches are lit.

"You look older than a Firstie," Elea tells Sierra, sounding quite impressed, as if she does believe that Sierra Higgins is a First Year student, traipsing away from her now that they can see the room. To Abraxas, she gives a smile, the corners of her lips curling mirthfully before uncurling again, leaving her placid and neutral. No more words come out of her mouth, content to let the others speak over her as she studies the space, before collecting her wand and (with a careful movement of her wrist) stating, "Incendio." Placing the tip of her wand to one of the torches, she lights it. Simple as pie, three out of four.

"You know. Just because you're Slytherins doesn't mean you have to be unpleasant to be around. I mean, really, you shouldn't give into stereotypes like that. They can be so limiting," Sierra remarks as she makes her way over to the last torch. "Incendio," she states - and watches nothing happen. She mutters something in Gaelic, then switching back to English adds, "I'm lousy at conjurations still."

"Right, well, we'll get out of here first, and then worry about who gets in trouble later." Abraxas says, sighing as one of the torches remains unlit. "Incendio." he says, stepping in to light the one Sierra missed. "Who says we want to have certain other types of people around. Though most of us have been rather civil of late, if I don't say so myself. I didn't turn Ward into a marmoset at the Halloween Dance."

Once the fourth torch is lit, the shadows are banished all at once, leaving the relatively innocuous looking room comfortably lit. It isn't an office, it actually looks more like an abandoned classroom turned storage area. That innocuous nature is belied somewhat by the flames from the torches suddenly arching upward overhead. The flames join together, and soon fire-writing can be seen on the ceiling. It reads as thus:

"Roil, boil, tumultuous toads,
Stench of sulphur and winding roads.
No risk of pain, but risk of pride,
Down the gullet - one inside."

And suddenly there are small glass bottles flying off of a shelf. Eight of them, if one were to try and count. Half filled with a bright red liquid, and the other half filled with a bright green liquid, each bottle whizzes about overhead joyfully, careening out of reach of the students' hands.

Elea pockets her wand again, turning her eyes to Sierra a moment. "She thinks we're unpleasant; I thought we were being nice," she relays to the room, seeming marginally put-off by this, "You didn't have to come with us if you wanted to be snooty. We were including you - we were including it—her. Her." She's distracted from her momentary rambling, however, by the appearance of the bottles. Elea falls silent.

"Unpleasant? Who is being unpleasant? Are we pulling your hair? Making you lick poop flavored frogs. Perhaps we're just pelting your ear with jelly beans. Oh wait, no, we aren't doing any of those things," Marcus says dryly in response to Sierra and nods in agreement with Abraxas.
To Sierra's lamentation about her skill he simply adds, a little hostile, "Get better then." He looks around the room, now lit by the torches and then up at the bottles. "Huh." He tries to grab a bottle.

Marcus' grab is so very close, but no dice. The bottle darts away at the last moment, flitting about coyly.

"And just because you're a Hufflepuff doesn't mean you have to try to make everyone hug, Higgins. Chin up, once we get this door unlocked, you can flee the unpleasantry. In fact, I advise it." Cael looks up to read the words on the ceiling. "Well," he muses. "It's not a dragon, at least. But I'm pretty sure we're supposed to… what, catch those bottles? Who's volunteering to drink up first?" he wonders, looking from face to face. "Marcus, I double-salamander-dare you," he tells the other Sixth-Year when Marcus makes a grab for one.

At the mention of Ward and Halloween - Sierra lets out a laugh. There's at least one person here who enjoyed his Halloween performance. "Yes. Accusing others of things they haven't done to a prefect - that's a perfect example of being nice - to 'it,'" Sierra remarks dryly. "I hope you're not genuinely that deluded - that would be sad. And I really, really don't want to hug any of you." She studies the writing, and the bottles, then eyes the older students. "Who's good at immobilus?"

Abraxas sighs again. "Now you're going to get me in trouble, too." He flicks his wand, "Immobilus!" As if saying it forcefully enough will make the spell work if the bottles are charmed against it. "It wants us to pick a bottle, right?" he says, "And one of them contains something humiliating. Figures."

The bottle Abraxas aims at freezes obediently - well out of reach overhead.

"Now she thinks we're deluded," Elea echoes, beginning to sound amused more than irritated, her eyes still focused on the bottles overhead. Thoughtfully, she looks to Cael and wonders, "Would a slowing charm be effective, do you think? I'm not any good at that other one…"

"What's sad is this annoying buzzing sound I hear whenever you open your mouth, Higgins," Marcus uses his pinkie to shake his ear. "But if you want me to be mean, I'll happily just ram one of those bottles down your throat. Unopened," he offers all sweetly and smirking at Cael, he casually gestures to one of the bottles, "Accio bottle of green stuff," he says pointing at one, "Accio bottle of red stuff," he points at one too.

One red and one green bottle both zoom down toward Marcus - at the same time. At a vaguely alarming speed.

Rapping her wand against her fingers a moment, Elea aims for a red bottle, offering up, "Carpe Retractum!" The vine of light that snaps out of her wand barrels for the drink, her wrist tugging back so that it hurtles toward her, ready for the catching.

The red bottle Elea aims for is neatly snared by the Slytherin girl's spell, drawn in toward her most obligingly, if a bit swiftly.

Abraxas is in for a knut, in for a galleon at this point, so he points at the green bottle. Green means go - or at least Slytherin - right? "Accio bottle!" he says, and pulls it down to him.

Abraxas' green bottle dives through the air toward him when so bidden, without spilling a drop.

Marcus casually steps towards Sierra, as the bottles fly to him. "Higgins, Catch!" He calls out, grabbing the green one, and letting the red one… well, he makes sure to place himself behind the Hufflepuff.

"Trouble is a commodity, Malfoy. You're already a Prefect, you've got to cherish these moments of rebellion," Cael offers with a sage nod and a mischievous grin. "Accio suspicious green bottle," he calls out confidently. And too, his bottle heads for him at an uncomfortably high speed.

"Yup. Clearly deluded," Sierra mutters under her breath. Deciding to ignore the Slytherins - unless they say anything actually useful, which hasn't happened yet. "Carpe retractum!" The girl calls, aiming at a red bottle - and missing. "Carpe retra-" she starts again, before Marcus redirects one of his bottles towards her. "Oh, bloody hell Goyle!" as she tries to catch the bottle flying at her, with her wand still in her dominant hand - she doesn't quite succeed.

The bottle hurtles toward the floor, but Marcus' Cushioning Charm sees it land safely at the Hufflepuff's feet, instead of splattered all over her shoes.

Abraxas harrumphs, looking down at the bottle, "My father is Board Chair. When I get in trouble, he hears about it, and trust me, if there is one person you don't want mad at you, it's Enceladus Malfoy." He pulls the stopper on the bottle, and says, "Right, well, whichever of us can walk after this has to drag the others to the infirmary. All together?" He looks at the others.

Unfortunately, Elea is not a Chaser or a Seeker (or even the more Muggle-related 'catcher') - and so she drops the bottle when she reaches to take it, swooping down to collect it from the floor with no sign that she's embarrassed by her lacking physical capabilities. "Bottoms up?" she offers Abraxas when she spots his bottle, lifting hers and studying the top before bringing it to her lips and drinking it down. Just. Like. That.

Marcus rolls his eyes, "Pulvino!" He aims his wand at the bottle that was aimed at Sierra, to prevent it from shattering. "There, don't say I never did anything nice for you," he tells the Hufflepuff.
Glancing at Elea and Abraxas, he shrugs. "Someone just had to go first," he says nodding at the Little Bletchley and down his own green bottle.

"Future lush," Cael accuses Elea mildly when she drinks before everyone else. "Snagging his green bottle out of the air without incident, he cautiously wafts the scent toward his nose. "It smells like candy. Granted, arsenic is sweet to the taste as well, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the point of this exercise isn't to murder us." He lifts his bottle to the others as if in toast. "To Hogwarts Board Chair Enceladus Malfoy. That his wrath may be soaked up by Abe so we only catch the aftermath. Bottoms up." And he too drinks his bottle down.

"Yeah, yeah. You're a regular prince charming. Hero to all the fuzzy wuzzies and beloved by all that behold you," Sierra snarks, stooping to retrieve the bottle. As she rises, though, she adds a more genuine, "Thanks." She takes her time inspecting the bottle, and pulling out the cork to sniff cautiously - by which time three have been downed. "You know - the smarter thing would have been to have only two of us drink - so the other three can learn from their mistakes."

"Oh, well, if you're suggesting the rest of us /not/ drink, Higgins? But the fact that there's a bottle - well, at least one - for each of us makes me think that we're all going to have to drink eventually. And you're assuming that red is always red and green is only green." Abraxas just shakes his head, and then throws his head back and drinks down his vial.

"I was suggesting we wait a few minutes to see if there is a noticeable result. If the people who drank green start vomiting violently, the rest could go red. Or if folks who drank red start drooling uncontrollably - you get the idea. But, yes, let's just drink unknown potions because the flame writing told us to." Sierra lets out a sigh then mutters, "Colton's gonna kill me for this," and downs her own potion. She does have her pride! Even if she does think this is stupid.

When the five students drink up, at first, nothing of note happens. But suddenly, there is an uncomfortable-sounding rumble that comes from someone's stomach.

There's a sudden expulsion of, well, something from the blonde Bletchley. More specifically, a series of sometimes; loud, squeaking hiccups, to be precise. It doesn't take them very long to erupt en masse, the Slytherin girl clamping her hands down over her mouth to try and stifle it.

Abraxas gulps, and then puts his hand on his disaphragm. He bends over, and then, when he straightens again, he swallows again and…. belches. A loud, long belch. The type that would let you get at least to M-N-O-P in the alphabet without much difficulty. A cloud of sparkling green shoots out of his mouth and nose as the all-too-familiar BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAk sound issues from the Malfoy.

Marcus just rolls his eyes at Sierra and turns away from her. Instead, his attention goes to Elea. He pokes her on the shoulder, to get her to look at him. He pokes twice. And then, he slowly opens his mouth… at first.
Because the ridiculously loud and amazingly deep belch that escapes him is aimed right at the girl's face. A green fog leaving his mouth and following the sound. Oh and little green sparks shoot out of his nose. His mouth then closes, and opens to a little belch. It closes, and opens to a big loud belch. He just finds the whole thing amusing.

Cael grips his stomach in alarm, looking as if he actually might vomit. But when he opens his mouth, what comes out is.. well, almost as bad. It starts low and loud, rather like a foghorn, and in a moment of absolute brotherly love, he turns and BELCHES right at Elea - a miasma of sickly green fog swirling about her head in the process. BUUUUUURP. Unfortunately for Elea, Marcus has the same idea. So that's double the love for the Slytherin girl. Gross.

Elea starts to hiccup - and Sierra giggles. Then Abraxas starts to belch, and the laugh grows louder. Her own hiccups aren't far behind. She struggles for a moment to controll her laughter before pointing her wand at Elea. "Singultio!" she declares, trying to cure the other girl's hiccups. It seems Elea is getting all sorts of attention for the moment. "You boys are- hic - GROSS!"

Sierra's charm is a rousing success. As suddenly as they began, Elea's hiccups subside. The spell does nothing for the clinging Slytherin-green fog around the girl's head.

Only able to stumble away from Marcus - and not very well - until Sierra is kind enough to cure the problem Elea is currently suffering, the Bletchley girl aims her wand at Marcus with an truly frustrated, shrill cry of, "Diffindo!" Her arm comes down, disrupting the colorful cloud from the rest of them, the spell aimed to cut off some of the poor boy's hair - though considering her aim, it's likely a fluke of skill that she didn't cut something more valuable. Such as his face.

The last thing Marcus expected was for Elea to use such a spell against him, considering the damage it can do. So, when he tries to deflect it, he's just not fast enough. His eyes go wide with rage.
"Are you insane? What is your problem!" He yells at her, the grip around his wand tightening.

"…that's the first- hic- thing I've agree-hic-d with complete-hic-ly. That was insane," Sierra agrees, looking at Elea with wide eyes. She shakes her head slightly, then repeats the charm she'd used on the other girl - on herself. "Singultio."

Abraxas tries to get his breath back from the belch, so who knows how authoritative his demand, "STOP THAT!" comes out. It might be more of a moaning sort of gasp. "Professor if we get out of here." It's been a bad day for Slytherin. "We'll be lucky if we have any points after this."

Cael steps between Marcus and his sister, still-winded himself. Despite Elea's over-reaction, it's Marcus' hand on his wand that has his attention. "I apolg-uuurp, apologize for my sister," he manages, the last of his belch escaping in a most untimely manner. "Let's not turn this into a 'thing' though," he asks the other Sixth-Year boy. "Elea, apologize on your own behalf, that was grossly uncalled for."

The word 'insane' causes Elea to shy away from the group, hazel eyes wide and flitting from one side to the other, face to face and ceiling to floor; her fingers remain tightly-clasped around her wand, knuckles whiter than usual. Rather than stand still and face the consequences of her outburst, she turns and strides (without running) toward the door in an attempt to open it, one-handed in her refusal to rElease her wand. She doesn't apologize though. Not yet.

Meanwhile, whether that was truly the end of the exercise or the room has simply called it quits for this particular group, the door unlocks with an audible click. The flame-writing and indeed the torches themselves slowly extinguish, and the empty vials fly back to their shelf - leaving the room looking utterly innocent of all mischief.

Marcus stares at Elea, the grip on his wand as tight as ever. But between Abraxas' demand and Cael's intervention, that grip on his wand relaxes. He takes a few steps back, not in retreat as he continues to face the door and Elea, but to avoid doing something stupid. The steps almost have him bump into Sierra and he adds a muttered, "… Sorry," to the Hufflepuff.

"Well, what was the point of all that?" Sierra asks in a huff of annoyance. She shakes her head - her attention towards the door as Marcus steps in uncomfortably near. "It's no problem," she answers, starting her way towards the door - giving Elea an uncertain look as she approaches. She doesn't get within arms reach of the other girl.

"The point was to do something interesting on a rainy day, Higgins. Feel free to not come along next time, no one likes a wet blanket for company," Cael tells Sierra, his usual biting tone more of a weary sniping at this point. He goes to put an arm around Elea protectively as the door opens, leading her out. "I'm going to go get my sister settled in for the night, Malfoy. If Professor Slughorn needs to speak with her anyone, can I ask a favor of you and see if you can't hold him off until tomorrow? She clearly needs some sleep."

"I'm sure he'll want to talk with all of you. But go back to the common room and wait for word. I'm going to see him now." Abraxas looks to Sierra and says, "There are all sorts of weird rooms around this castle. And as I mentioned, some of them are dangerous. Curse breakers don't just rush into things without any preparation, Higgins."

Elea lets the door swing open after giving the knob a tug, turning crisply on her heels to face the others. "The door is unlocked," she announces the obvious to them. Her next words are for Marcus, shrinking to one side when Abraxas finishes his question, putting her soundly into Cael's arm: "I'm sorry, Marcus. I lost my head for a moment; I'd be terribly upset if you'd been hurt. Promise." Her tone is sincere, but she turns away at the end, eliminating much chance of seeing whether her facial expression agrees with the apology. Suddenly, it seems like the floor is very interesting to the younger Bletchley. She echoes Cael's words with, "Sleep, yes. I think I need some sleep."

Marcus opens his mouth to say something, his expression not kind at all. He just closes his mouth and instead, storms his way out of the door and back into the hallway.

"I meant the room itself," Sierra tells Cael in a dry tone. "Whoever designed the room - designed a pointless room. I mean… really. And don't worry, next time I go exploring, I'll find better, more pleasant, and more thoughtful companions. Yeesh. You'd die your first day as a curse breaker. …and I really don't think the 'waiting until tomorrow' thing is gonna fly. She attacked a student. But, hey, you try that!" Beaming cheerfully, she moves out into the hallway and waves to the other students. "It was entirely unenjoyable sharing your company. Ta!"

Cael ignores Sierra, instead more concerned with ushering his sister out of the room. "That works," he tells Abraxas, heading out into the hall with Elea.

Abraxas heads for the door as well, saying, "I'm going to find Professor Slughorn." He pauses, and says, "I will, of course, mention the ingenuity needed to get back out of this predicament as a positive factor. But Bletchley, Merlin's Beard, is there something in the water today that's making our House go crazy?"

"I'm not insane," Elea tells Cael. That seems to be the important part of this evening's events for her, declaring her sanity.

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