(1939-12-25) Frohe Weihnachten
Details for Frohe Weihnachten
Summary: The adventurers make their way down the Amazon, and discover some unwelcome hitchhikers along the way, foreshadowing future troubles, perhaps.
Date: 25 December 1939
Location: The Amazon Prince, Somewhere along the Amazon river
Plot: Raiders of the Lost Serpent
Related: The Gammadion Cross

Chug-chug-chug. The thwapping of the paddlewheels on the Amazon Prince have become the semi-constant companions of our intrepid adventurers over the last day or so, as they make their way down the Amazon from the nameless village where they caught their ride. It will take a day or so to make it to the tributary that they need to head up to find the mysterious Butterfly People and trace the origin of the rune that sent them on this potentially wild goose chase in the first place.

It's Christmas today, and thanks to the Captain and his intrepid mate Ishmael, there is the first semi-civilized meal they've had since portkeying in. Semi because dinner is a Black Caiman alligator. One must make allowances. The carcase now fairly well picked over, and Hattie has retired to spend some time in her cabin examining "outstanding specimens" in which she takes much delight.

Abraxas has one booted foot up on the ship's rail as he watches the river cruise by. Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out his watch and says, "It will be dark again soon. I never thought I'd be someplace that gets louder at night."

Lucretia finishes plaiting her hair and deftly pins it into a bun at the nape of her neck. "Much better," she breathes as she stands to join Abe at the railing. "Well, at least there's a breeze on the river," she replies. "I'm fine with the noise. It's the mugginess that gets to me." She smirks faintly. "I'm only used to sweating in a match."

She glances back at the carcass. "Actually, and don't you tell a soul of this, Abraxas, but the alligator wasn't that bad."

"You've lived a sheltered life," Beryl remarks with a dry laugh. "Even parts of London get louder at night. You needn't wander across the world to find a place. But, the animals who light up there are of the more human variety." Whether in the red light district of a city, or the jungle of South America, the auburn-haired woman always has a cool, calm and collected air of knowing-it-all about her. It's difficult to say how much of it is an act.

Reaching into her pocket for her ever-present cigarette case, Beryl withdraws a new one to light up with slim fingers. Pausing a moment to glance at Lucretia, she smirks: "Tastes like chicken. Just tell yourself that about every exotic meat you're handed out in these parts and it all goes down a lot easier."

"Tastes like chicken?" Abraxas replies, with a laugh, "I didn't think it was bad either. And think what a nice pair of shoes or a handbag we could make out of the leather." He snorts as Beryl gives exactly the same reply, and adds, "I hear they eat bugs, too. I'm not so sure if those taste like chicken." He reaches behind him and grabs a map, opening it in his lap. "So, we're about here, the Captain says…." He traces the broad blue line of the Amazon, which is quite a muddy green in reality, "And we're heading here." A spot in the middle of dense jungle not far off the tributary they're heading to.

The young brunette turns so that the breeze hits the back of her neck as she peers at the map. "Mm. Not far. Is it about a day's walk?" She's past the point where her priviledged body quits complaining and just deals with the demands she now makes of it. "Or shall we speed it up with a little.. boost?"

The glinting lighter flickers to life, and Beryl's dark Kretek glows on the end. She's getting her smoking over with now, because when in the jungle, it may be necessary to avoid giving away their location with the smell of smoke for a long-ish time.

Lucretia gets a look. The captain surely won't trouble himself over a remark like that, but it's hard to say how many odd statements he can take before he wonders what the deuce his passengers are talking about.

"Depends on the lay of the situation when we get there. We want to move as quietly as possible, and keep our wits sharp in all directions. We got lucky avoiding them back there. But, if we'd had a run-in there, our chances of survival would have been marginally higher." Pausing, she takes a long draw on her cigarette before exhaling through her prim little nose like a delicate dragon.

"Out here, I don't fancy our odds if we run into them. Animals can't talk, and the river doesn't give up its dead."

"Yes, I don't think we can do that sort of thing right now, Lu. Besides, I don't know if any of us know the sp… things we need to know to make those sort of changes." Abraxas replies, as he folds up the map and tucks it into one of the voluminous pockets of his safari jacket.

Abraxas is just standing up when something goes *THUMP!* against the hull. Then another. Ismael comes flying to the front and peers over the bow. "Wreckage, cap'n!"

The answers are met with a little nod. "Alright, just wanted to know what we were looking at." With that, the scion of Black settles in to rest while she can… Or, you know, she would. But there's something about wreckage? She's a curious girl, and so she peers over the edge. "It looks like a small boat of some sort…" she says, motioning to the others. "Anything familiar to you, Beryl?"

Until now, Beryl has been languidly leaning against the railing of the ship with her arms folded across her chest. The bump against the hull jostles enough to knock the Kretek clean out of her mouth. Fortunately, it falls into the river instead of on deck where it could potentially cause a fire. "…Bother."

Not missing a beat, she shifts from her position and heads herself in the direction of the two men: "What's the trouble, Captain?" She asks, not even looking at them. Instead, she peers into the water at the boat wreckage below. "Ms. Crabbe," she also replies to Lucretia in a slightly clipped manner. "And the answer is no."

Abraxas doesn't hurry to the rail with the others, because he figures they'll let him know what's going on, and things are a little crowded up there anyway. "What's going on?" he asks, and then grabs on to something as the Captain spins the wheel and changes their course to avoid the wreckage of the boat.

As they move past, the aft portion of a boat just about the size of the one they're on can be seen sticking out of the water. There are no bodies, but that would not be surprising, given some of the things that live in the river.

"Such a waste," Lucretia says with a sigh as she holds on to keep from being tossed in. What's a waste? She doesn't say. "There's a boat that wrecked," she calls to Abraxas. Brown eyes travel across the river, and she cautiously moves along the railing towards the prow. "There's a dark spot up there on the river," she calls back. "More wreckage or just an animal?"

"I don't see anything." Malfoy says, of the darker spot up ahead, "Just shadows, maybe?" But now he has a good look at the wreckage as they pass it. The boat sways beneath them as the Captain works the current to get them back in the center of the channel.

Lucretia sits back down, still in the prow, and waits quietly.

"Looks like bullet holes in the hull!" The captain calls down, "Keep an eye out, it looks like our friends might be around here somewhere." And, indeed, the Nazi's were taking just about everything that could float and heading up the river with it. Ishmael, meanwhile, heads back towards the engines, leaving the wizards alone at the prow.

"This is a worrysome development." Abraxas says quietly, as he comes to stand next to Lucretia. He looks up at the falling sun. "Happy Yule. I suppose we were naughty this year."

Lucretia looks up at Abraxas with a faint, wry smirk. "Happy Yule. And I don't know… Not -that- naughty. Maybe it's a gift wrapped in a big pile of danger." She stands and puts her hand on the rail. "All the same, I don't fancy one of those 'bullets' in me."

"Lumps of coal all around," Beryl responds from the sidelines with a decided smirk. "I get a few extra, personally."

Despite the smirk, there is something a little more tense and mirthless in her voice. The bullet holes in the hull of the passing ship have put her on edge. Also, her green eyes pierce the darkness sharply in the direction of the "shadow." Her ears are open, and she's striving against the noisome din of the river and jungle combined to find any indication of nearby Germans.

"The same for all of us, I think." Abraxas says. As he peers over the side, there is a stuttering sound from the shore and then a trace of small splashes before a group of men in helmets and grey-green uniforms arrive at the bank. They scream in German, and another stuttering of fire at the boat. The captain slams the engine full forward.

What a time to have let go!

At the screaming in German, Lu had whipped her head around, the young polyglot straining to catch the words on the wind. But when the Captain guns it forward, she almost goes flying. Luckily, those last few years on a broom have paid off, and she lunges to grab the rail and drop to her knees in an attempt to keep herself firmly on the boat.

"They want us to stop and give them the boat!" she yells of the roar of the engine. "At the risk of stating the obvious, I do not think it would be wise to grant their request!"

Beryl draws a sharp breath and says a word that is most unbecoming for a lady to exclaim. Fortunately, the mixture of gunfire and the sudden revving of the engine drown out the word, and it goes unheard.

Dropping into a crouch, Beryl scurries toward the younger folk and hisses through her teeth: "Get down and STAY down!" Better listen to Momma Bear - because she doesn't look like she's joking.

Immediately moving past them, she swings around behind some crates to position herself out of the line of sight of the Captain and Ishmael. Since they're busy, it's a risk worth taking.

Drawing her glossy, dark walnut wand, Beryl pushes back some of her red, unruly curls from her face with one hand and casts "Deprimo!" Motioning at the feet of the group of Germans.

Abraxas ducks under the ship's rail, and while he doesn't know it the machine pistols of the Germans probably wouldn't penetrate at this distance. "What the hell?" he yells - or words to that effect.

Beryl's spell strikes true, and the muddy part of the riverbank slides back into the water from whence it came, taking a few soldiers with it, until they come splashing back out a few moments later. Those further away stop firing as the boat pulls out of range. Just in the distance, two men in more ornate uniforms - one of them in a leather jacket despite the heat, emerge from the trees.

Abraxas stands when the firing stops. "Well, that will teach them, Ms. Crabbe." he says, with a relieved sigh. Then he leans over the rail, waves, and shouts, "Frohe Weihnachten, mein freunde!"

The dark wand is instantly secreted away and put out of sight. Beryl isn't taking any more chances than need be. She can't wipe memories, and she would far rather not deal with the Ministry under any circumstances.

Abraxas' words directed at the Germans cause the woman to laugh, genuinely amused. "Still, the faster we're out of here, the better. And, do me a personal favor? You two keep low after this for a while yet. Let me do the risk taking. I'm responsible for you, you know." And the only thing she'd rather avoid more than the Ministry jumping down her throat is either the Malfoy or Black clan getting on her back about their children going missing in the Amazon rainforest.

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