(1939-12-23) Andean Interlude
Details for Andean Interlude
Summary: The South American team discusses their next step in tracing down the meaning of the mysterious inscription they found at Machu Picchu.
Date: 23 December 1939
Location: Somewhere in the Andes of Bolivia
Plot: Raiders of the Lost Serpent
Related: Maccu Picchu

Somewhere in the Andes of Bolivia, after broooming away from Machu Picchu under cover of night, the wizard expedition has set up camp, and now share the cool, clear evening when they can decide what to do about the information they've uncovered at their last site. Abraxas sits on his camp chair by the fire, with water for tea on the boil. He looks to the others, and says, "So, where do we find this tribe?" Apparently the Malfoy has no doubts about pursuing the grand adventure of finding them.

Hattie is so concerned that she almost, almost missed out of the enjoyment and exhilaration of the brooms zipping down the mountain slopes, forming a constant furrow on her brow. "You said they were like a ghost story—" she says to Beryl, with her pack in her lap as she pops a large nut-like bit of plant matter into its depths.

Hattie says, "What sort of story would that be?"

"Unfortunately, our taciturn direction-giver wasn't specific." Beryl replies drily, lighting a Kretek. She could use her wand, but, for whatever reason, she chooses to use the lighter.

Releasing a stream of milky smoke from between her lips, the auburn lady breathes out and seems to lapse into thinking. "North-ish from here is all I ever heard. Closer to Brazil."

A little ash is flicked carelessly into the fire from the cigarette before Beryl answers Hattie's question with a half-smile. "White man came to this land a long time ago, and used whatever means he deemed necessary to tame the so-called Savages of this land. As such, there are a few tribes here and there that one can have civil relations with, if one treads carefully and minds their manners. It's from those people that you hear things - if they're inclined to talk." Pausing to take another draw, the woman continues in her round-about narrative. "I remember the last time I was out this way, there was a big to-do about pots and other things being stolen from this particular tribe's camp. Whole place was in an uproar because a couple young bucks claimed they saw strange people from an unknown tribe make off with the goods and scoot across the river. Wasn't the first time it'd happened, and there was a lot of taboo about tracking them down because the men who tried didn't come back. So… something like bogie-men or ghosts in the night."

Abraxas pours the assorted cups of tea, and then passes them out, "Well, it's going to be hard to see anything from there air. We might have to engage some sort of muggle transportation along the river. And yes, if I recall the maps correctly, south-east of here, through what they call Brazil. Which is basically the muggle country that borders here and goes all the way back to the ocean." A sip of tea, and he looks at the others, "Oh, what's that saying? The natives are restless?"

Hattie says, absently, "Yes, we have a globe in the study at home— I know where Brazil is." But she doesn't look at all as though she knows what to do. "How long do you think that message was there?"

"Mm?" Beryl murmurs, resting her elbow on her knee, and her chin on her hand in turn as she considers things in her own mind. Hattie's question causes a little stir, and she replies: "Not long, certainly. The moss had been cleared away not long ago, and the inscription itself was scarcely what I would call weathered."

Another pause, and Beryl slowly nods, taking her cup of tea and swirling it thoughtfully. "The river would be the fastest mode of transportation, frankly, given the circumstances. Broomflying is a bit useless when you can't even see through the canopy of the trees below."

"Right, so… sounds like we make our way down to the first place where we can find a boat, and we ask around to see if people know where we're supposed to be going, right? It's a bit odd, since we don't really know what we're looking for." Abraxas, who is probably the least in the know about the geography of the area looks between the two, and says, "Sounds like a plan to me. At the worst, we see the river and the jungle and go home in a week."

Hattie says, "Well, I guess we should saddle up then… I mean, we don't have to stay here very long do we?"

Beryl takes a long sip of tea, savoring the warmth and flavor before swallowing. Such luxuries are meant to be enjoyed for all they are worth - especially in a place like this. However, a small chuckle escapes the woman as she lowers the cup: "I admire your enthusiasm. I thought you youngsters were tired out. But…" here, she gives a small shrug, "If you're game to do more broomflying, we could pack up and move closer to our destination, get a little shut eye before morning and find a boat, then." Apparently she knows where they should go.

Smirking slightly, Beryl tilts her head and remarks: "Don't worry about standing out or fitting in when we get to where we're going, by the way. Another secret I'll let you kids in on…" she pauses and leans in with a conspiratorial whisper: "Act like you belong there. Just be natural. People seldom question you, no matter how badly you stand out as long as you just act like you've been there a million times before."

Hattie snorts lightly. "No practice whatever with doing THAT in recent memory," says Hattie the Halfblood, who survived a Malfoy Christmas Party. "You have some fight in you yet, Abraxas, don't you? I'm sure Black isn't sleepy yet. Not out here."

Abraxas finishes his tea - priorities, people! - and stands, "Well, I suppose we should pack up, then. We can make it wherever we're going and ship out on the morning tide. Or… whatever." A little smirk, "And Lucretia has been getting her beauty sleep, so I'm sure that she will be raring to go. I don't think the Portkey travel agreed with her."

As one who apparates more often than she really ought to, Beryl just smirks to herself with regard to disagreeable portkey travel. The sick-making mode of transportation is part and parcel with the line of work she's been in for years. "Not as bad as morning sickness. Keep that in mind for the future, ladies." She remarks wryly from the sidelines, tossing the last of the Kretek into the fire. She wouldn't trade her daughter for any riches, but she would also prefer NOT to endure that aspect of the situation again.

Finishing the last of her own tea, Beryl rises to her feet and moves over to her things. "Just remember, we'll have to act as much like Muggles as possible when we reach the river. Just think of any Muggleborns you've observed at school. I'm sure it'll help."

Abraxas prefers not to observe muggleborns too closely. Fortunately at least one of them has spent some time around the great unwashed of the non-magical world. He looks at Hattie.

Hattie wears a clinical expression, and opens her mouth as though she is going to suggest something. But instead she says to Malfoy, "Pretend like you are your first time in Hogsmeade, looking in the window at the sweet-shop. You're delighted, you're pre-occupied, you have a mission so you're just passing through." She stands herself up.

"Precisely," Beryl replies with a faint chuckle, pointing her thumb in Hattie's direction lightly. "She knows what she's talking about, that one."

At the moment, she, Abraxas and Hattie are in the midst of picking up and packing up their recently-made camp following the jaunt up Machu Picchu. The eldest of the group, of course, is the auburn-haired woman who's done a decent job of keeping the kids safe, thus far. Not that anything untoward has happened. It almost seems like the uneasy calm before the storm. Especially now - now that they have decided to head for the river, catch a boat and make their way to the deeper Brazillian jungles in search of an elusive (and possibly mythical) undiscovered tribe.

Abraxas activates the self-packing charm on his tent and it folds up magically into his pack. It's bigger on the inside. He tosses the pack next to his broom, and then turns back to the others, "Like a third year going to Hogsmeade, eh? I'm sure I can manage that somehow. And it's not like muggles from England wouldn't look a bit strange to muggles from here. So that might help us, right? I mean, people tell me that they aren't all the same."

Lucretia looks up over the pack she's currently floating packed thing into. "Creative use of the double negative, Malfoy," she teases faintly. The girl looks rather at home adventuring through the jungles of South America, actually. She's got her field blouse's sleeves rolled up, a few scratches here and there on the fair skin thanks to friendly twigs and outcropping rocks. Finally, her pack's stuffed full of goodies. "Oh. I meant to ask: does anyone fancy a bit of tea before we shuttle off? If not, I'll pack away the kettle and tin."

"Every culture has its similarities and differences." Beryl replies smoothly. "Clothing, hair, jewelry, skin, language. Some people make careers out of studying the difference between one race and another. Some even stake their careers on proving that the differences are enough to warrant calling another race Not-human - so I've heard." It's odd the number of interesting things Beryl has picked up over the years without ever really investigating them. One can absorb a great deal by being a sponge.

Beryl checks herself to be sure she's ready to get under way. Hipflask of alcohol - yes, it's there. Knapsack across her shoulders - check. Cigarette case and lighter are also accessable… Yes, she is ready to take off when her charges are. The need for smoke and booze is nothing personal directed at the group of teenagers; but, baby needs her bottle.

"Uhhhhmmm," Hattie says blankly, unsure how, or even if she should respond to Abraxas. The gears seem to catch on the chain at last and she says, "None for me, thank you," she answers Lucretia. "Too much excitement. All trembly. A loud noise could send me leaping into the canopy!"

Abraxas shakes his head, "I finished mine already, thanks." He lets the tea be secreted away with the rest of their things, and then walks over to his broom. Holding out his hand, it comes right up to his palm, "So, do we have any idea where we might want to hire a boat? I guess just… err… look for the first major settlement we see?"

Casually, Lucretia orders the tea to put itself away, flicking her wand about to punctuate her words. She shugs. "I guess so. I mean, we bally well can't fly up to them and ask to hire a boat."

Hattie says simply, "We can follow the water from above— the only place you can see it well, because of all the looping about. Muggle settlements are almost always on a water source, and we'll see it, because it will be lit at dark, and we won't be. We'll just put down short, and walk in on whatever main walking route seems most obvious at first light."

Abraxas nods, and slips a leg over his broom before he reaches into his pocket for a map. He hrms, and then pulls out his wand, "Direct me." he says, and it spins in the four-point spell, spinning until it points north. He compares it to the map, then nods, "That's a good idea, Hattie. I'm pretty confident I can get to the river." Everything gets put away, and he pushes off and hovers, waiting for everyone else before… zoom, zoom.

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