(1941-06-25) Into the Woods
Details for Into the Woods
Summary: Part 1: After a lot of planning and plotting and organization, Camilla Fawley, Grayson Loring and Roe Scamander venture into the Forbidden Forest to gather clues about what is going on with the Centaur Civil War.
Date: June 25th, 1941
Location: The Forbidden Forest
Plot: Centaur Civil War
Related: Part 2: All the Better to Squeesh You With Part 3: Out of the Woods

Rehabilitation Copse - Hogsmeade
It is a summer morning. The weather is hot and clear.

The trees here are incredibly dense and snuggled in between them is a well sized building with darkened windows. Upon the door is a sign that is rather small and simply reads, "RCMC." Once inside, the doors open into a large room, much larger than the outside of the building would suggest. In the front are desks that sit in front of several small cages that go from small to the size for a large dog. Behind are several larger pens with thick glass walls and doors to go into them. The doors are separated into two sections so that just the upper part may be opened by itself.
The whole building is painted in muted and calm colors for the soothing effect on those that work and the animals that are here. All the doors have locks and at least some small kind of charm on them for safety as well. Right in the middle of the back wall is a door that seems to have quite a bit of security on it and opens up to the whole of the back of the building. Whatever gets put in that cell, will not get out… And look out if it ever does.


Camilla takes a deep breath before she begins to lead her new friends into the forest and perhaps to their death. The usually zen woman is on the tense side. Being responsible for two lives is a big responsibility and she takes it very seriously. "I heard a lot of grunting in the forest last night. I think something is being planned now that the kids are out of school. They seem to understand the Ministry won't be so furious if there's no children in harms way…"

"In that case.." Grayson is utterly relaxed in this setting, even eager. "Wands out, I think." And he matches words to action, drawing his wand and stepping a bit aside from the other two — the better to avoid all three being crushed at once. He keeps a close eye on Roe as he walks, paying her more attention than the ground in front of him. "Do you think the Centaurs are at the heart of it? Or other creatures?"

Traipsing along after Camilla and Grayson, bringing up the rear and swamped in her borrowed and overlarge jacket, Roe's mostly concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other and willing herself not to trip. These other two are well-practised when it comes to being 'in the field', moving with that enviable grace, near silent. For her, it takes a lot more conscious effort. Still, she catches what Dolittle is saying and queries it, gently. "..Grunting?" Regardless, the little brunette looks perturbed at the idea that considerable planning is going into-.. well, whatever the heck is happening, within the boundary of the forest. A nod of assent toward Gray, and Roe too draws her wand, keeping it low by her thigh and pointed at the forest floor.

Camilla already had her wand out and passively at her side. When she lifts up a low hanging branch she halts immediately when she her fingers are moments away from brushing a thin bit of rough twine. "Hol—" But her warning comes to late she can tell as there is a snap-twang-ziiiiip sound from where Grayson just was walking.

Blood rushes to Grayson's face as he is swept off his feet, yanked upward into the air. "Bugger." The dragonologist keeps ahold of his wand, fortunately, but he's practically helpless up there. He begins to try to climb up his own leg to get at the noose around his ankle. "I'll get myself loose.." His voice is a growl of effort. "Get…under…cover. Whoever set this… will be… coming." Captain Obvious, over here. And he's really having a hard time getting at the rope.

Finally, he manages to get his wand up against it, and there's a hissing sound. Grayson drops down to the ground hard, landing on his left shoulder. "Umph." He rolls toward a thick bush, trying to conceal himself in its depths and readying his wand for whatever comes next. The eagerness has left his features, and only a grim determination is evident.

There's a swift gasp from Roe as Grayson suddenly goes zinging up into the canopy, her wide eyes instinctively following his trajectory. She does, however, pull up abruptly, freezing in place. With her wand pointed now in the direction Grayson was hoisted, she seems about to speak, perhaps to cast.. only to look silently toward Camilla with wide eyes as something large can be heard approaching through the not nearly distant enough undergrowth. With a wild glance about herself after her companion makes his rather ungraceful landing, she ducks behind a sparse sapling. It's the only semblance of cover anywhere close!

Camilla finds herself in a bit of a difficulty, hiding is hard when you're in the middle of a ring of snares. Since her priorits is Roe and Grayson, more so Roe because of the promise to Grayson she prays silently and takes a leap to try and get over the triggers. She makes the leap but it puts her right into a very open place and from deeper in the forest there's the grunting she was talking about, Trollish. After realizing she's been spotted and there is really no way to hide now, she puffs up and starts to grunt right back. There is what could be called a smile on her face as she does so. Her hands go up and make swooping gestures also trying to keep eyes on her and away from Roe and her sapling. In the shadows of the forest there is a snort and grumble and then the sounds of it moving deeper into the forest.

Camilla barks out a sigh of relief and she bends over to catch her breath, hands on her knees. "Let's not go that way." Admiral Obvious to Grayson's Captain.

Grayson army-crawls out from the bush once he hears the beast moving away. He draws himself up onto a knee, keeping his wand leveled in the direction of the noise. "Roe," he says softly, rubbing at a scrape on his cheek absently, "Next time? Find a bigger tree." And then he begins to laugh, quite helplessly, his features flooding with honest mirth.

Still, that wand doesn't move. He slowly draws himself under control, nodding over to Camilla. "Yeh. That way's a bit crowded." A bit of rough in his voice, the posh Upper Crust accent quite done away with here. "You best take us a different way." So he still intends to carry on, despite the close call.

Roe watches Camilla, through the spriggy branches of the sapling she's 'hiding' behind, looking distractedly awed as the ranger offers that Trollish challenge and.. actually sends the creature off! "Wow. Erm.. well done. Thanks. Good job." Emerging and treading very carefully as she moves toward Camilla again, the brunette glances up and aside to Grayson as he rises. "There wasn't a bigger tree! Are you alright?" Reaffirming her grip on her wand, she looks between the others as the vague plan of 'not that way' is agreed upon.

Forbidden Forest Tree Line - Forbidden Forest

A square mile of complete nature, no roads no buildings. The only paths through and about the Scottish countryside here is that of natural animal trails. The Forbidden Forest looms to the north the Railway Road veers in a sharp curve to the south where grey gravel turns into an ancient but pristine grey cobblestone road. To the west is pure Scottish wilderness. The wood to the north and west in this area are by no means the dangerous dense thing it is to the northeast and east of the village, but it is still not wise to wander into it and there are plenty of postings at the woods edge that declare just that, "Do NOT Enter!"

Camilla shakes out her arms a bit to release some tenstion exhaling a slow breath to find her zen again. "Thanks, that only worked because we were so close to the centre, I don't think it'll work a second time the deeper we go. But here's hoping." One more calming breath is taken and she leads the way in a different direction being very careful to make sure the Troll that nearly caught us is no longer watching. "That however is a bad sign, in all my years they've not been trapping, or patrolling that close to the Centre."

"It's a very bad sign," agrees Grayson quietly. His humor — brought on by relief, no doubt — has faded. But there's a vibrant life to his features — he seems somewhat larger, somewhat more certain of himself. Reaching to the small of his back, the burly dragonologist draws out a wicked-looking knife in his spare hand. He smiles over at Roe as they go, attempting reassurance. "Shoulder's a bit bruised, is all. Exciting start, eh?"

Grayson's granted an admonishing glance before Roe eventually softens to a smile. But it's Camilla she addresses next. "So they were expecting someone to venture here..~" she murmurs, still awfully unsettled by the sound of it. "Bad sign, yes. Or, looking at it another way, it might mean we're at least on the right path." She glances down at the undergrowth, stepping over a protruding root. "..maybe not literally.." A forest is a forest, to her. She doesn't have the navigational skills Camilla does.

Camilla makes a gesture that is almost military-esque as she signals as she carefully scouts about to the south. It is going to be a longer journey, but safer. "Their lair is on the northern side of the forest. We'll be getting closer to Centaur territory but they are easier to bargain with than the trolls." With that spoken just loud enough to be heard only by her companions does she begin to lead the way.

Cheery Meadow - Forbidden Forest

Within the eerie gloom of the forest called either the Forbidden Forest or the Dark Forest, to find such a pleasant little meadow with a babbling brooks running through it. A grassy knoll lush and green and scattered with a quilt like blanket of color from the wildflowers.

Grayson lets a short distance grow up between he and Camilla before he follows — keeping her in sight, but giving himself a bit of time to react should any trolls wander further south than they ought to. "Easier, mebbe. But if they're the ones who stole the pieces of the bow, I'd rather they not know we're here." He holds back a branch for Roe, offering to let her pass before him.

Not much of a choice, is it. Trolls who want to squeesh you, or centaurs who probably want to squeesh you but might just as well shoot you with arrows. Roe keeps this thought to herself, swallowing nervously and offering a wan smile toward Gray as he lets her pass. She's keeping a good firm grip on her wand, let's put it that way.

Camilla pauses before they would break out of the trees and into the meadow, halting the other two as well, "Knife and wands away. Smile and just walk through beside me like we are just going for a stroll. If you see movement, don't look, just pretend we are all alone and don't step firmly and mind the smoke holes." What might have looked like a light mist drifing through the grass at first after hint of 'smoke' is easy enough to realize that the meadow is actually filled with subterranean homes that are just gentle mounds here and there. "We will be safe, if they run at you, don't startle just keep walking and smile. These are the Greenrunners, Centaurs."

Grayson reluctantly slides his knife away, frowning subtly as he slips his wand up his sleeve. He squeezes Roe's shoulder, keeping closer to her and pasting a broad smile across his face. His gaze is sharp and alert as it passes over the small mounds, head tipping slightly. "Happy to make their acquaintance," he murmurs, with only the barest hint of irony evident in his voice.

Despite the lingering unease, Roe can't help but steal a glance over the meadow as they approach it, fascinated by the layout of the 'camp'. Grayson's hand at her shoulder draws her attention back, though, and she nods her understanding following Camilla's advice. "Smile and walk.. alright. Well. Smiling I can do." Sheathing her wand and drawing a slow, steadying breath, the little magizoologist squares her shoulders and prepares to follow after the ranger.

As they put on smiles and make a careful, casual and pleasant path through the meadow Camilla makes sure they don't trapse on any rooftops and there are some flashes of movement here and there as the Greenrunners do what they do best, run. This must be why Camilla figured it would be safe. Of all the Herds this one if Flight not Fight. But there is still another moment of her forcefully relaxing herself after the meadow is behind them. But then it's back to being on task as they are once more within the more eerie boughs of the forest.

Eerie Glade - Forbidden Forest

The gnarled trees and all else that crowd about in this wood clear out slightly and form a twisted and rocky area in the middle of the woods. The ground is covered in a fine moss that keeps it a little slippery and lends a thick woody scent to the air. The trees around this area seem to entwine and make up a maze of wall that covers the area some with still enough room to get in and out through the branches but it is still enough to outline a clear round area. Near the center are a group of rocks that surely look as if something or someone used them for a nefarious purpose or their grouping could be totally random.

Grayson slows as they re-enter the darkened wood, wand coming out of his sleeve again. He moves deftly through the grizzled trees, his eyes narrowed and intent. He steps around a great oak, levelling his wand at something — but at what? A shadow. Breathing out slowly, the big dragonologist moves on, his head on a swivel. He's careful to keep an eye on the ground, as well, and steps rather delicately. It seems that flying into the air is not a trick he wishes to repeat.

Camilla is blazing a trail! This area is more sparsely littered with Troll traps and the ones that are set up to the front of her, well she spots them keenly. "Make sure to really follow directly behind me." She coaches gently when she notices Roe's just a bit off the path she should be on.

Ducking in through the treeline after Camilla, Roe actually looks far more relaxed having crossed the meadow without incident. Perhaps this won't be quite so terrifying as hat first encounter had her believing? She follows after the ranger quietly and she's actually managed to keep the tripping to a minimum, thus far. As she sidesteps to avoid a particularly ill-placed boulder in her path, however, the little brunette suddenly gasps and throws her arms out as the leaves and debris underfoot suddenly plummet downward right by her boot, revealing an obviously purpose-built tiger pit! She's teetering on the very edge and wobbling dangerously as she tries to regain her balance, too surprised to even cry out in warning.

At that gasp, Grayson spins. He takes in the situation at a glance. In three quick steps, he's at Roe's side, his arms around her waist as he pivots, sweeping her toward more firm footing. Rather delicately, he sets her down and looks over to Camille, grinning in relief. "These trolls aren't half messing about, are they?" He bops Roe gently on the tip of her nose, tsking softly. "Don't you go fallin', duck. I've got rope and the like, but it's new. I don't want to fray it on a little thing like this." He's keeping his voice deliberately casual, but the arm that remains around Roe's waist is tight, and the wrinkles around his eyes are sharply defined. He reluctantly releases her and, taking a careful step after Camilla, resumes his walk.

While Grayson is quick to save the girl, Camilla is quick to make sure there's nothing to be saved from! Her wand makes a shoveling motion and a a quick casting and from the tip of her wand starts to pour good dark potting soil that's enough to fill up the hole after a few minutes of fill time. She looks to the pair while it fills with a relieved smile, and one that obiously is a bit dawww and swoony at the rescue. "This was meant for a Greenrunner no doubt."

Roe grasps at Gray's sleeves and clings tight as she's swung back onto the right path, her eyes understandably huge as a result of, you know.. nearly falling off the edge of the world. She blinks up at the taller man once, twice, before she gathers herself; gulping and nodding mutely, not even able to muster a hint of 'tsk' herself as Gray bops her nose. Looking to Camilla in turn, as the man looses his arm from around her waist, the brunette looks suitably chagrined. "..sorry." she murmurs, privately scolding herself and deciding to just.. put her feet in the ranger's actual boot prints from now on.

"Nice work," Grayson says to Camilla, appreciatively. He touches Roe's shoulder once. "It's alright," he says. "Now we're even. Except I got stuck half-way to the sky and you just got a bit of a fright, eh?" His smile is huge, bright in the dark woods. "We're doing fine." He touches Roe's cheek gently and turns away again. The smile vanishes, replaced by a dark look at the woods. "So the trolls are after the Greenrunners, then. Centaurs are having a tough time of it."

Camilla takes a deep breath and she just looks around the dark forest around them. She tries to find the safe path she had discovered earlier and seems rather suddenly depressed. "How did it come to this?" She murmurs to herself as she starts to trailblaze again, but the state of her forest that is supposed to be her responsibility is taking it's toll. The fact that all of this started to happen after her grandfather died and the duty fell to her is not something that has escaped her and made the filling of his fine shoes terribly difficult. "This way…"

Dark Brake - Forbidden Forest

The forest is dark and silent day or night, large black trees looming up high and clustered close together to create a claustrophobic environment. Light sources be they wands, lanterns, or other objects, necessary even during the day, barely seem to penetrate the murk amongst the forest's tree as if the shadows were swallowing the light.
Within the Dark Brake of forest lies an ancient stone circle with an alter, cracked and worn iron rings and chains boast that at one time this area was used for magics that involved the sacrifice of life. Such dark arts even so long ago still permeate the forest in the area. The leaves and underbrush crack and snap under the hooves of the herd of thestrals that reside in this part of the wood. These sounds of course make a scary location all the more terrifying for those who can't see the thestrals because they've not witnessed death. This of course can change any moment in the Forbidden Forest death comes in all shapes and sizes here.

Camilla looks over her shoulder mostly towards Roe, "I'm sorry to bring you this way…but nothing, centaurs or trolls come to this place. Only the thestrals." Camilla lifts up her hand and the lead stallion comes over and nudges into the hand with it's beak like nose. Camilla murmurs softly to it and it bows it's head. This interplay could make her look like a loon if those looking on never saw death couldn't see the thestrals. "He is willing to carry us through this part of the forest. Do you two know how to ride?"

Eyeing the stone circle and the aged chains adorning the altar, Roe edges not very subtly closer to Grayson's arm. "That's alright.." she begins to reply, attempting 'brave' in her soft-spoken manner. But then she pauses, gaze snapping toward Camilla with a sudden bright curiosity. "There are thestrals? I've read about them but.. well, obviously I can't.. see.." Trailing off in realisation, the brunette's expression softens in regard of the stoic ranger, and the man beside her in turn. Oh, well done, Roe. You managed to fit your whole foot in your mouth.

Pressing her lips in a firm line for a moment, she slowly shakes her head, unable to help shifting her focus to the spot where an equine might stand, judging by Camilla's posture. "..not spectacularly well, no. But I can hold on tight."

Grayson has seen death. The thestrals are as visible to him as they are to Camilla. He approaches the gaunt stallion, running a hand down its flank. "Here he is," he says softly, to Roe. He seems a tad amused at her sudden discomfort, smiling reassuringly. "Here. I'll help you up — I'll ride behind you." As though it's not disconcerting enough to be stuck on an invisible steed, Grayson apparently intends to even deprive Roe of a back to hang onto.

His attention shifts toward the altar and the chains and he considers for a few moments before saying, "What's all this, then?" His voice is detached, curious, but like Roe, his hand is tight on his wand.

Camilla gestures for Roe to come over to her and points in front of her where to stand so she can, if allowed, guide Roe's hands to the invisble buttery soft leather skin of the thestral. A gaze is exchanged over to Grayson, one that just simply assumed that he could see them. His suggestion spoken was on the tip of her tongue. She helps with the process of getting Roe mounted up after Grayson has taken seat. Mostly her help is to keep the stallion calm and steady. Another even more slight thestral approaches from behind Camilla and seems to be waiting for their favorite of humans to mount upon her.

"Up we go." She states with a smile, having contact with her friends that she doesn't get to see very often these days has put her back into more zen spirits. As they take flight the circle and ruins below them start to an observant and keen eye do a bit of those layered sculpture effect. So while on the ground it just looks like piles of rubble and trees and stone - up in the air as they circle and head to the northeast there is a face forming, a demonic face with it's mouth open and the alter like a black tongue in the screaming maw.

Roe of course trusts Camilla to guide her hands, if a little hesitantly at first, to where she can feel the animal. There's even a slow smile as she strokes at the thestral's soft skin, feeling his breaths beneath that sekeltal ribcage. Mounting up is a little trickier, unsurprisingly… but she discovers if she just keeps her eyes closed and relies on touc, she can pretend it's remotely normal. Glad of the solid presence of Grayson's chest at her back, she gamely grips tight with her lower leg, leaning forward a little over the stallion's neck as he strikes off and launches himself into the air with a heave of taut muscle and sinew.

Venturing a peek from beneath her long lashes, unable to help herself, the young woman does momentarily notice the depiction far below. Frankly it does nothing to help the wave of nausea that follows, the instinctive reaction of 'falling!' a difficult one to ignore. Yes, her eyes close tight again, a soft sound escaping her before she suppresses the rest. It can't be very pleasant!

Grayson keeps one arm tight around Roe's waist once they're airborne, staring down at the landscape below in unabashed fascination. "That can't be good," he says mildly as he studies the monstrous face beneath. He presses his chin onto Roe's shoulder to speak around her, to Camilla.

"This was an excellent idea! We can really get a look at the Forest as a whole." His attention returns again to that horrific terrain feature below. "I'm not so sure I like what I'm seeing, though."

Camilla rather lays on the neck of her thestral in a cuddling way, yes her zen is back and full blown. As full blown as a thing like zen can be. She smiles warmly to Grayson at his compliment. "I want to show you two something before we get to the old village. It's not terribly far from it." She speaks to the thestral again and without physical guidance it tilts and veers, knowing the way.

Unicorn Glade - Forbidden Forest

Within all the doom and gloom of the Forbidden Forest otherwise known as the Dark Forest here is a place of a little Light. The trees thin out here and vibrant leaves of all colors saturate the area. Even in the night there is a luminescent glow to this glade.

"Roe! Roe, you need to see this. Look down there." Grayson's features light up with simple pleasure at the beauty beneath. The glow seems to fascinate him — he points with his wand hand down at the richly-colorful space. "That must be where the unicorns are. Of course, I won't be seeing one again in this life." He grins widely, a hint of masculine satisfaction in the claim.

Roe groans ever so quietly as the thestral she and Gray are astride tilts to veer after the other, her knees tightening a little. It's impossible to anticipate these things when you can't se where you're going or what you're flying on! But she's not the complaining type and besides, this needs to be done. That, and she's starkly aware that she's the weak link when it comes to this 'adventuring' stuff.

At Gray's prompting, she cracks one eye reluctantly, then opens both in surprise, gazing down at the odd little spot of beauty within the darkness of the forest. "Oh, look at it.." What is it with girls and unicorns, anyway? Luckily, the man behind her can always be relied upon to lower the tone. It takes Scamander a moment to connect the dots, and then she blushes mildly, offering him a derisive snort for his bravado.

It is perhaps a downside of her job that all of this is a bit old hat for Camilla. But one can't help but smile and bask in the beauty of the magical glade and she waves down to a mare and a yearling as they stroll out to investigate the strange happenings of two witches and a wizard floating by overhead. "We're almost there." She calls back and the thestrals both start to make their descent.

When they land in another glade of sorts it is clear that the area is that of some importance to the Centaur people. "We shouldn't stay long." She made clear to search for and centaurs before they landed but she knows the longer they stay, the more chance for a less pleasant herd to find them in this sacred place. A circle of flag stones is filled with carefully placed differently sized boulders. It is rather apparent to those who paid attention during Astronomy that the rock formations are those of certain constelations of stars. Different in many ways to those familiar to Humans, but still alike enough that it's clear that that's what the decorative rocks represent. In the middle of the circle is a statue of white granite, ancient and worn enough to be featureless, but the shape that remains leaves no doubt that it is a centaur, large and arms at angles of an archer drawing a bow. But the bow is missing. "I believe that this is the source of the problem." She points to the empty hands of the statue.

Grayson swings down off the thestral and draws his wand again. He's alert, prowling through the rock formations for anything that might have been invisible from the air. This isn't the genteel Grayson of London; the man keeps low to the ground, moving in a swaying half-crouch. "Keep an eye on the tree-line," he says lowly. Once he's satisfied that there is no ambush in place, he turns to the statue.

"This is it," he agrees. "Is it Orion, do you think?" Examining the statue, he turns around and crouches again, staring at the glade and at the trees beyond it. "No Centaur would have stolen the bow, would they? Taken it in a fight, perhaps. But stolen it? Nah. Doesn't fit." He squints thoughtfully. "What's here that we're missin'? There's always something left behind."

Having kept her eyes tightly shut during the descent, Roe opens them warily as the sensation of 'solid ground' seeps into her awareness. Understanding that time is of the essence, she remains uneasily astride the Thestral stallion, casting her keen gaze over the obviously sacred spot with growing concern. No, they really shouldn't be here…

Those dark eyes flit to and fro over the careful layout of the boulders, calculating a little at a time until the whole picture becomes clear. Constellations. Well, that makes perfect sense, given the centaurs proclivity for celestial divination.. but it doesn't mean an awful lot to her, at a mere glance. Daring to lift her hands from the animal's withers, the brunette pulls a notebook from an inner pocket of her borrowed jacket and jots down some hasty scribbles on an empty page. All the better to refer back to later! ..assuming, of course, they make it back alive. Nothing is set in.. err.. stone.

She follows Camilla's gesture to the empty-handed statue and nods, sketching furiously. "Definitely…" is the only soft-spoken agreement toward Camilla, before she glances to Grayson, practically reading his mind. "Do you see anything, in the realm of clues..?" He'd know better than her what to look for. She bites gently on her lower lip, failing to disguise a slight frown as she shakes her head. "No, I still don't think it was a centaur. Stealing it harms the entire clan, not just a rival herd. There'd be no benefit to them, and they'd only be found out eventually. So.. who would want it? Or rather.. who would want the centaurs up in arms?"

Camilla meant it when she said, short stay, because she starts to get the mare thestral ready to take flight again. "I can't say, this would have been over years ago if I knew. The only thing I can say… you've seen it yourself… the Trolls have taken up the void rather fiercely. And with a strange sort of amount of good tactics. Trolls forgive me, are as dense as that statue. Which makes their actions a bit strange. Unless something's in the water, or some freak in good breeding decisions have lead to smarter, fiercer Trolls. But I just can't say for certain." With that she murmurs a word and the mare flies back on course.

It is only a short flight and they are coming down to land again, this time in the ruins of a centaur village that is very similar to the one now found on the Grassy Knolls at Hogwarts.

Hanging on grimly as the apparent nothing beneath her takes flight, there's little else for Roe to do but shut her eyes and wait until Camilla brings them to her desired landing place once more.

"It was a long time ago," Grayson says softly. His voice is absent, almost dismissive, but his eyes miss little. The dragonologist sinks into a squat alongside one of the constellations, laying a hand on it. "When I was in China, we had this one poacher. Crazy bloke. Took me awhile t'finally catch up to him." He strokes his finger along the flagstone. "He'd bait us out into the wilds by startin' a fire or something. Something that looked like dragons. And then he'd sneak onto the Preserves and take what he wanted."

Grayson glances over at Roe. "It would take serious talent to get this bow out of here," he says slowly. "Serious woodscraft. Imagine it. Whoever did this got past the trolls. And then they got the Centaurs to look left while they juked right." He mounts back up for the short flight, his features tense and alert as he looks around the ruined village.

"We're asking the wrong question," he says after awhile. Making his way over to a ruined hut, Grayson crouches down and begins sifting through the rubbage absently. "We've been asking who would want to do this. We ought to be asking who can do it? Who can make a deal with the trolls and train 'em to be hunters? Who can evade an entire herd of Centaurs and steal their most prized possession? These're narrow skill sets."

Camilla answers the earlier posed question while nodding in agreement with Grayson. "That wasn't Orion, that was the original High Chief. The first to bring the centaurs together after they settled the forest. I've seen the Bow, it is a thing of beauty, obsidian with silver stars embedded into the black glass. It's the size of a long bow to us, because it was a short bow to the statue. It's meant to come apart into pieces, but you couldn't tell by looking at it." She is saying good-bye to the Thestrals who fly off to return to their herd when Grayson approaches a ruined hut so again she's unfortunately slow to warn, "Care-" FALL!

The debris of nearly an entire hut and everything that was inside of it original was balled up and put into a net in the tree above Grayson. The cacauphony of the items plummeting down onto Grayson is thunderous and could be heard for miles in every direction.

As quickly as she can Camilla draws her wand and shouts, "Arresto Momentum!" About half of the items falling go into a slow-motion fall at half speed. Is it enough of a window that Grayson can escape though?

"Why does it come to pieces?" It seems an obvious question, to Roe, and so she poses it as she dismounts and dusts herself off, looking relieved to be back on solid footing once more. She casts a vague squint upwards as she hears the sound of wings and the rush of air stirs her hair, but,, there's nothing to see. So she busies herself idly, patting her pocket to make sure her notebook survived the trip and such. The distraction - and lack of knowledge of the area, of course - means she's as unaware as Gray of the impending danger. Luckily Camilla sees it coming and has her wand out quicker than you can blink.

"Aw, bugger." Grayson feels the trap spring the moment he dislodges the remains of a table. He has time to look up at the descending doom, and then he's diving for the door. There's no way he would have cleared it, had not Camilla been on the alert. Hitting the ground, he rolls several times — clumsily, not intentionally, and ends up near Roe's feet. "And I'm meant to guard you," he murmurs quietly.

He looks over at Camilla seriously. "Thank you. Y'just saved my life." Rising to his feet, Grayson brushes himself off, frowning. "Well. I've just buggered us completely, ladies. They're going to be coming for us now. Nothing in the Woods missed that." His voice is unsteady, a bit shaky after the trap, but he takes a deep breath to firm himself up. "Roe. When we get out of this — when — we need to look for a special sort of collector. Whoever took this, for one thing, they wanted to use it. But for right now? I suggest we three get the bloody hell away from this village."

Camilla looks a bit like a bobble head as she goes from nodding to Grayson for his thanks to shaking her head and giving them the roughest of her herding techniques yet. "We'll run smack dab into them. Trolls between us and home and Centaurs every other direction. Hide!" The herding is light shoves to get them going towards one of the more intact huts. "No spells, no knives. You want your answers? This is the only chance. Not a peep! If they take me, follow, but no heroics. Get the information back to base. Tell my kids I love them. Now Hide!" A last shove and she snaps the hide door closed. There is plenty of good places inside of the hut to peek out from the safety of the hut. So what happens next is easy enough to spy on.

The Trolls arrive first and Camilla pretends to pull her leg out of the trap. She grunts and growls at them and then someone comes from the forest but is out of view of any of the hut's peek holes. The expression on Camilla's face is not very zen, in fact it's pure surprise. "I am the blood of Craig Fawley. This Forest is my home as much as it is yours!" It's said in english. The reply she gets from the forest is more grunting but it is actually feminine. The trolls that were slowly circling around Camilla bellow and wave about their tree limbs. "GUGGA GUGGA GUGGA!"

Camilla raises up her empty hands, "I'll go. This is Gugga's Land now." She swings her arms and drapes one of her head to cover it up submissively bowing and showing her other hand, palm up. It seems like it's working and that the trolls are going to lumber off leaving her alone. But then arrows fly into view and one knicks Camilla's calf. She winces and covers up her head even more and curls up into a ball and there is lot of action around her.

The pile of debris actually saves her life this time and she hides there for the hour that the Centaurs and Trolls have it out. In the end one of the trolls unceremoniously scoops her up and goes fleeing with the rest of the trolls deeper into the forest, no doubt to the rocky lairs Camilla told them about earlier. One voice booms something in centaur, but the name Fawley is distingishable enough. It is another hour and the sun is setting when the centaur all clear out of the village and it's safe to exit the hiding place.

When Camilla left the hut, Grayson looked as though he might follow after her, make a heroic stand. But he's not an idiot. Instead, he lies flat on his belly and wriggles to a gap in the boards, watching the scene unfold outside. His expression is a marvel to behold, shifting from stoic to horror-stricken to optimistic to dreadfully angry. He lies there, atop the remains of a Centaur's cradle, a jagged fragment of wood jamming into his side, as the trolls carry away Camilla. All in all, an hour passes.

He rolls onto his stomach to stare at Roe, wide-eyed, after the battle has ended. And very softly, he murmurs, "Bugger." The dragonologist crawls over to Roe's side, keeping his voice very low. "We need to check th' village, make certain they've gone. And decide what we gotta do now." He swallows, glancing toward the hide door.

""I think," he continues lowly, "That we got to get out of this forest. I'm sorry about Camilla, but…" He looks at Roe, chewing his lower lip. "It's just too bloody dangerous. What d'you think?" His Cockney accent is hard, clipped. He's containing some powerful emotion — perhaps many.

Having been herded unceremoniously into the tumbledown hut, Roe had the time for only the barest of wide-eyed protests to begin, before Camilla hissed her orders and snapped the makeshift door closed. The ranger expressly said no wands but… there was no way the petite little brunette was loosening her grip on hers. Following a frantic look toward Gray, she flung herself sideways and crawled after and alongside him, peering out through the same gap. Only she wasn't so stoic about it all.

Curled up in the remnants of once-lovingly handcrafted furnishings, there's no anger from the young woman as events unfold. Those dark eyes are huge, taking in what little can be seen with evident and growing concern, then abject horror as Camilla is hurt, then whisked off into the gathering night; the fingers of her free hand grasping at her companion's sleeve tightly, as if in suggestion of action. Now! But Grayson remains, quite wisely, where he is. And so, then, does she. For the next hour there's nothing but the silence between them, the breath of wind stirring tree leaves outside and the steadily growing ache of uncomfortable muscles. She looks undeniably relieved to hear Grayson speak, even if it is very quietly.

Nodding mutely at first, likewise swallowing rather drily, Roe keeps her gaze on the man rather than bothering to look around. It's evening now. Not pitch black, truly, but the cover of the forest means it very soon will be. Hugging her knees to her chest, she looks the very picture of misery as she listens.

And then there's a flicker of defiance. Bold. Foolhardy, most likely. But she shakes her head firmly after a moment of further silence, her soft voice drifting to him through the murk. "..no. We're not leaving her, Grayson." She can barely believe she's saying it, but the words come out passably steady. "We're this deep in the forest already, it's six and half a dozen, I expect, whether we go after her or try to find our way out. She got us this far." One last pause. "We're not leaving her."

Grayson reaches out lightly, touching Roe's cheek and smiling in the darkness. "It's six and thirty-six, doll. We're talkin' about tracking down an entire tribe of trolls, fightin' off whatever bint that was outside, and gettin' Camilla out of there." His smile widens into a grin. "It'll be dangerous. Odds're better than good that we both end up dead." He's not arguing. Indeed, one of the emotions that seems to have been released is…not to put to fine a point on it… eagerness.

There is a battle-light burning in his gaze, and when the man stands, he seems somewhat — larger. It's as though he had been barely holding back before, and that Roe's words have unleashed something within him. "Alright," he says softly. "First things first. We have supplies enough to last us three days in my pack. Things're gonna happen very slowly from now on, Roe. First we secure the village — then we set off after 'em. But we need to be careful not to close on 'em by mistake."

He dampens his lips, then draws out his wand. "Eventually, the others at the Fawley Farm will organize a search party. But it may be too late by then." He crouches down in front of Roe and, once again, there's a glimmer of doubt in his eyes. "We may have to kill t'get her out of there. Probably will. Are you certain?"

"She said no heroics.." points out the brunette, albeit dubiously. Well, they'll defend themselves as needs be. Surely Camilla knew that. But that's not the same thing. "Camilla said this was our chance to find out what was going on and she's absolutely right. So yes, we'll follow them. But we'll fight only if we must. We don't understand the situation well enough to even judge who's right or wrong. Think, Grayson." Roe stays seated, looking up at the man as he rises, still hugging her knees tight to her chest. "..the trolls were letting her go. And they may very well have carried her off to protect her. Didn't you see her get nicked by that arrow? They could have left her to die and they didn't."

Those big eyes regard him, gleaming only every now and then when a feeble glimmer of twilight catches across their surface. But her voice is earnest, and gentle. "..or, of course, whoever is in charge wanted to keep her from getting back with that information. Did you see her face? She recognised the one she was speaking to. Either way, we have to know more. And, with any luck, find a way to get her out with us before we try to find our way back to the farm." Holding the dragonologist's gaze as he hunkers down before her, Roe's features twist in regret and she eventually lowers her eyes. "..I know we may have to.." she whispers, finally loosing a white-knuckled hand from its clasp to push back her windswept tresses and rub at her nose as she sniffs. "I don't want to. But I will, if it comes to it." Raising her focus again, she looks at Gray with a new, if somewhat wobbly, resolve. "I'll watch your back. You have my word on that."

"I promise I won't do anythin' reckless, in turn." Grayson heads over to the door, pushing it open — just slightly — and peering out into the village. And then further open. His wand is in his free hand and, when he gestures to Roe, he's careful to keep its tip pointed away from her. "I think it's clear. Least, right out here." He turns to look at Roe for a long moment.

"You're right, by the way. Everythin' you said. I'm guessin' they've taken her to find out how much she knows." He pulls the door fully open and steps into the village, low as he can get without actually crawling. He turns, looking up and down the village area, then back at Roe and gestures her to follow.

"Are you comfortable traveling by night? The gap's getting a little long, though the trolls'll leave an obvious trail." He sucks in through his teeth. "I'm worried about Centaur patrols, though. The tribe, who was it, the Green Riders? They saw us. All three of us." He looks up and down. By the expression on his face, this is the first he's even thought of it. "I was wrong. We don't need to secure the village, Roe. We need to go. Now."

Roe begins to rise, slowly so as not to further aggravate her sore muscles and sleeping legs, or to disturb anything that might make a clatter. She's not exactly known for graceful stealth, after all. By the time Gray gestures for her to follow, however, the feeling has returned to her limbs and she manages to tiptoe across to the doorway with the minimum of disturbance. "..I suppose if we use any light at all we'll be spotted, won't we." The realisation is a grim one, but she tries not to let the dread show upon her features. This place was dangerous enough in broad daylight. Traipsing through it blind does not sound like the sort of thrilling heroics she had envisioned. "I wouldn't say it was my favourite plan in the world.. but we don't have any other choice."

Stepping out of the doorway, the young woman glances about herself uneasily as she drifts closer again to her companion, wrapping her arms tight about herself for warmth, wand still in hand. "Runners." Glancing up and aside at him as she halts, she corrects him gently. "Green Runners. And they did.. but if they were watching us, they'll have seen us leave on the Thestrals. Who's to say we didn't part ways before now? Besides.. the centaurs actually don't seem to be at the center of this, in my opinion. All they're doing is defending their territory from the trolls." Biting on her lower lip, she studies his expression and finds nothing comforting there whatsoever. "Alright.. let's go then?" Despite being the one to say it, she's plainly not going to be the one to lead. She waits for him.

Grayson considers Roe's words for a long few moments, then nods his head. "Maybe you're right. But I'd rather not take the chance. My reckless arse has already cost us Camilla." He shoulders his pack and begins to walk down the trail between the huts, his shoulders square. But there's a glint of guilt on his face, just for a moment, before he swallows it behind a soldier's mask.

"Step where I step," he says quietly. As though that's worked so well for him thus far, a two-time loser of troll traps. At least this way, theoretically, he'll be the one to spring them. He has his wand leveled in front of him, elbow cocked, wrist loose. As though he could fight off the dangers of the Dark Forest singlehandedly.

"Here's their trail." It's rather obvious, even in the darkness. A mayhem of broken branches and, in one case, a shattered tree. Grayson slows and looks over his shoulder, checking Roe's position and flashing her a slim, wolfish, grin.

Roe trudges wearily after her stoic companion, concentrating on putting her smaller feet in the printes left by his boots and only occasionally looking up and around herself when a night-sound of the forest draws her attention. This is not going to be fun.

It's been at least a couple of hours, now. A couple of hours of moving carefully through the darkness, following a trail that frankly, she can't actually see and trying not to be crushed, or strung up, or fall in any craftily hidden crevasses. Though she's still clutching her wand, and keeping doggedly in Gray's footsteps, Roe is visibly flagging now; less used to this sort of endeavour than her colleague. Actually, she's not much used to being out of her nice comfy office at all. And who's to say they're not just wandering in bloody circles, anyway?!

That is, perhaps, what she's about to say, as she raises her head and draws a soft inhalation. But a distant sound interrupts her before she can voice anything. Frowning slightly, the young woman looks down at her feet as a steadily increasing rumble sets the fragments of bark and seed around her boots jittering and rattling.

"Gray..?" Is it a thunderstorm, maybe? Because that would just be the icing on the cake, getting stuck out here in a downpour. No.. it's approaching too fast for that.

"..Grayyy.." Trepidation enters her tone now, her big eyes looking up, rather blindly, to the vague silhouette of the man walking ahead of her.

There's something - or many somethings, in fact - crashing through the undergrowth. And, of course… they're headed this way.

The darkness is almost absolute. The operative word, here, is almost. Though Roe seems to be following him with only blind faith to guide her, Grayson has an idea of where he's going. And he slips through the woods tirelessly, pausing occasionally to lay a hand on a broken branch or a too-heavy footprint. His wand, too, is out. A day's worth of shaggy stubble mars his usually-spotless jawline, and frankly, it seems more natural on him than his London evening wear.

That rumbling noise, though. He halts in his tracks, looking around the dimly-lit Forest with increasing urgency as the noise increases. He doesn't even seem to hear Roe's pleas for his attention. Until, finally, he spots what he's looking for.

The speed with which he moves now is in violent contrast to the stillness of a moment before. He turns and grabs Roe's wrist, wordlessly yanking her into the thicker underbrush. Branches claw at his clothing, and at his face. Soon enough, his goal is apparent. A giant oak has fallen here, many years before, and the insects and other parasites of the forest have done their job, hollowing it out.

Ducking down, he yanks on Roe's arm, trying to draw her into the makeshift shelter. "Shhh!" His wand-hand comes up to try to cover the young woman's mouth, wand still gripped.

There's a hushed gasp of surprise from the young woman as that hand closes around her wrist in the near-dark, and she finds herself at a stumbling run, hauled along by the silent Grayson. His larger frame actually keeps the worst of the clawing branches from assailing her.. but underfoot is nowhere near as safe. She trips, catching her foot in a gnarled root, and would certainly have fallen flat if it weren't for his hold upon her. As it is, Roe bites hard on her lower lip to keep from crying out, a particularly nasty twist leaving her ankle throbbing inside her boot, and just keeps doggedly limping after him once she regains her footing. As if there were any choice in the matter!

Pulled unceremoniously after him as he stoops, this time she does fall. Thankfully there's less distance to the ground now, though. Plus she falls against Grayson's solid form before landing on her shoulder in the dry flooring of withered leaves and moss. Just in time, too. Wide-eyed, she meets the dragonologist's gaze above that large hand covering her mouth, then flinches as some further debris sprinkles down upon them; the thunder of hooves reaching a crescendo right outside their makeshift shelter. Centaurs are leaping over the trunk, before galloping onward. Were they spotted, or is this just really poor luck?

Closing her eyes tight, as dust and dirt continues to be shaken from the 'roof' with every landing, Roe turns her face downward, away from Gray's pam, burying it in the crook of one arm.

It goes on. And on. Grayson shifts slightly, bringing himself closer to Roe, twisting his body in an attempt to shelter her from the worst of the debris field. He presses his lips to the back of her neck. Centaur legs can be seen, pounding on past. With Roe ducking her head, his wand is leveled at the entrance to their tiny 'cave'. There's a wild, expectant look on his face, as though he believes that any moment, this shall become their last stand.

But the thunder is receding already, and no more legs pass by the fallen oak. Grayson breathes out a deep sigh, nuzzling his face into the hair on the back of Roe's neck. "We're alright," he whispers. The ferocity, the near-madness, has receded from his expression. "We're alright." He releases her wrist to stroke her arm, far more gently.

And then, in a more worried tone, still soft. "Are you alright?"

There's dust clogging the back of her throat. Roe takes careful, shallow breaths, her face pressed against the fabric of her sleeve, willing herself to stay quiet. This is it, though. This is how she's going to die. Trampled under the hoovers of the centaurs she came here to help. Scrunching her eyes more tightly closed, she presses back against Gray's chest when he leans over her, literally cowering as he prepares to protect them both, should they be discovered.

She stays this way a long while, even as the hoofbeats begin to fade into the distance once more, even when Gray breaths his reassurance across her dark hair. It's maybe only the unusual measure of worry in his voice that eventually rouses her. Coughing a few times, blinking dust from her lashes, she slowly raises her head from her arm, daring to take stock of their surroundings fully now, then turns herself a little further in order to look back and over her shoulder at the man. "..yes." Another spluttering cough, as she uses her voice, even this quietly. Once it subsides, she adds, reluctantly, "..I think I sprained my ankle." Well, this is what happens when you bring the biggest klutz in the whole entire world out for a stroll through the Forest in the middle of the night. So says her expression.. or what can be seen of that vaguely petulant thrust of lip, in the dark of their hideout.

Grayson wraps his arm tightly around Roe's midriff, leaning his back against the thick bark. He breathes out slowly. "That was a close one, wasn't it?" He's still whispering; he doesn't sound as though he was just preparing to fight to his death, however. He sounds as though he's making a rather poorly-timed romantic interlude. And then, more sensibly, "Sorry about your ankle. I dragged you pretty rough." The cockney accent — it seems that he's left London's posh politeness far back — perhaps in London.

"I'd love to tell you that we can take off that boot and go find a stream to soak it in, darling. But we can't. Your ankle'd swell right up like a sausage, and we'd never get the boot back on." He kisses Roe's cheek tenderly. "But just listen to this: we ain't gonna die here, Rowena Scamander. We're gonna win. And you're going to be the reason we do. I can feel it." And he does sound certain, letting his voice rise above a near-silent whisper for the first time. "I know this's been hard. But I need you."

"Yes, and knowing my luck we'd be set upon by some bloody buggery water-nymph or something." replies the young woman, though relief is filtering into her voice now, softening the cross tone. She closes her eyes in response to that kiss, sniffing bravely and quie obviously giving herself a mental shake. She wanted to come here. It's nobody's fault but her own if she ends up lost, or squished, or held hostage. So buck up!

Resettling her head, shuffling more onto her back with a mild wince, trying to keep pressure off that ankle, she faces Gray a little better as he speaks. "You do?" Surprise and curiosity mingle in her contrastingly well-spoken, whispered response. Nobody's ever needed her before.. well, except maybe to file reports or dust bookshelves. So why would a perfectly formidable ranger decide he does? There can't be much paperwork out here. "Why?" Transparent as ever, Roe voices exactly what she's thinking with no thought for the consequences. "Ouch.." This part is muttered, and she raises her head to look down toward her foot, almost headbutting Grayson in the nose as she does so. "Sorry!"

"Water-nymphs are usually quite kind, you know," Grayson says, his voice almost playful. But he falls silent as Roe continues. And then she's nearly headbutting him in the face, and he jerks his chin aside, taking the light blow on his ear. "S'alright." His voice is muffled by Roe's hair. He presses another kiss to the back of the young woman's neck. "Why do I need you?"

"Because I'm scared." Grayson's answer is soft, utterly without humor. Just an earnest, honest, answer to a straight-forward question. "I'm scared all the time, Roe. In London, when I hear the bombs fall and I'm asleep? I wake up thinking that I'm in Nanking again." He tightens his grip around Roe, squeezing her against his chest. "Out here, I'm scared I'll make the wrong call. That I'll go too far, or hesitate at the wrong moment. I'm scared all the time, Roe." There is a lengthy silence from the man, before he continues. "And fear is like a drug. You get addicted. You need it."

"…I need you, Roe, to keep me on my proper path. To make sure I don't get lost. To make me remember that I'm here to help a friend, not to fight a war." He breathes out slowly, kissing Roe's shoulder. "You make me right." Another pause, and then, in a lighter tone, "..Besides. You're a bloody fine witch, and I'll need a fighter alongside me when we go kick some troll arse."

There's a very long silence, following his answer. He might not even be able to hear her breathing, though he can no doubt feel it, hugging her as close as he is. Roe doesn't struggle against the embrace, even in these uncomfortably close quarters; she settles against his chest without complaint. But that silence is quite unlike her. Uusually it's getting her to shut up that's the trick. So it might strike Grayson as worrisome.

Just as it seems it might become unbearable, though, the young woman speaks, still keeping her voice ever so soft and her eyes on a split in the trunk directly above, through which she fancies she can see a glimmer of starshine. "..that's an awful lot of responsibility, isn't it?!" she whispers, with an air of concern, eventually turning her head to regard the dark outline of Gray's face. Those sweetly pressed kisses don't seem to concern her in the slightest - it's highly likely they've gone unnoticed, if she's been mulling things over. But he has her attention. Mostly because she's dubious about whether she's up to the task, judging by her querelous tone. "Gray.."

She's about to speak further, only to halt herself and relent to a gentle laugh, a motion implying she's shaking her head at him, even if he can't see it. "I'm not exactly a warrior, am I?" she points out, in wry amusement. "Can't even crawl inside a tree-trunk without injuring myself. I'm as likely to knock myself out as a troll.." She's close, her breath tickling across his stubbled jaw when she laughs, the warmth of her all too apparent now, despite the evening chill. "But.. thank you." This she adds with feeling. "It's nice to know I'm not completely useless. I feel it, sometimes." Well, certainly compared to the likes of heroic, capable Dolittle.

During that long pause, Grayson gets more and more still, more and more tense. He's just bared a part of himself that remains deeply buried to almost anyone, and all he receives is silence. And then Roe speaks, and the tension ebbs out of him. "I just need you to be here with me," he says quietly, in answer to her unvoiced protests. "You've already stopped me from mucking things up more, at least once." He smiles slightly in the darkness.

"You're untested, certainly. You've never been in a true battle. But I've read your transcripts." Woah! Invasion of privacy, much? He seems to realize it, and hurries onward. "NEWTs in Defense Against the Dark Arts and Charms. You're smart. No, you're bloody brilliant. And when the time comes, and we're square up against the wall, I know I can count on you."

A pause. "Yeah. You're clumsy. But you're no coward, and you're no fool. We're the RCMC, not bloody dancers."

There's a soft breath, and then an equally soft kiss is planted at the corner of Gray's scarred lips. The first time she's kissed him, even if her aim is slightly off, given the dark. She doesn't linger, either; pulling back after the peck and answering him properly. "Well, I'm here. You're stuck with me, one way or another, for the time being." The idea of him poring over her personal files actually elicits a smirk from Roe, alas invisible. But perhaps the lack of remark upon it implies well enough that she doesn't mind much. Why should she? There's nothing in there to hide.

"I suppose we can't stay in here forever..?" There's the hint of hope in her question. Even til daylight would be good enough for her. But then they'd lose the only advantage they have, really. And she knows it, relenting to a sigh a splitsecond later. "I am a bit of a coward.." she mutters, in light of that sound. "And besides.. I sort of made peace with the idea that something might happen to me. I really don't want anything to happen to you, though." Punctuating the sentiment, in her own 'Roe' way, she somehow manages, with a bit of a wriggle, to wrap her arms around Grayson in kind, without dislodging his about her waist. "Try not to get killed, okay? I'd.. be really put out. Ow." She shifts her weight again, finding an uncomfortable spot beneath her hip.

"We can't wait much longer, no. Much as I want to." And, astonishingly under the circumstances, he really does. That much is rather obvious. He smiles slightly at the brief kiss, then nods his head in agreement. "We're not going to die. Neither of us." There's a hard confidence in his voice, the same confidence evident in the tent that night — only a few nights ago, though it seems ages. "Remember this, though, when the fight starts — defend yourself, first. You're useless if you're injured. And the same goes for me."

"But it's good to know you'd be put out if I died, darling. I'd be a bit miffed if you didn't mind it at all. Quite pissed off, really, if you don't mind me saying." He closes his eyes. "Bugger, but I want to stay here all night. We can't, though. That bloody woman needs a rescue, doesn't she?" He exhales slowly. "When I find who took this bow, Roe, I am going to bloody break them. I feel as though I haven't slept in days."

"Come on." Roe allows herself just a moment longer, nuzzled in against the man's broad chest, before pulling back from him and beginning to shuffle down toward the 'entrance' to their hiding-spot. "And stop bloody swearing." Gritting her teeth, she does her very best to ignore the sharp throb of pain in her right ankle. But when she rises, dusting herself off, she's noticeably keeping her weight off it. This could slow up proceedings quite considerably. "Remind me, when we get back to London.." Ah, at least Gray's confidence seems to be rubbing off. "..to take the time to study some first-aid?" Presumably she'd been relying on him to know at least some basic field medicine. Oh well. The clarity that comes with hindsight, eh? Once Gray has emerged, too, the determined little magizoologist hobbles back in the direction of the 'path' they'd been following, wand in hand.

"I wish I knew a good splinting spell," admits Grayson ruefully. He follows the smaller shadow back out into the darkness, walking far slower now, keeping to her pace. "Or something to reduce swelling." He smiles in the darkness. Crouching down to examine the tracks, he looks over at Roe. "We're going into the hills. And that's not much further ahead, if I remember what we saw when we flew. Once we get there, we'll let that ankle rest and come up with a plan. One that gets us back to London, and you into a nice, steaming, hot bath." A lengthy pause as the pair make their way along. "And you're the bloody filthy-mouth, you know. Ain't me."

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