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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Nine: Siren Song, pt. 1 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Nine: Siren Song, pt. 1
In France. James and Celia have been trying to figure out the clue from the Odyssey that Nate dropped, and they aren't the only ones--James sees, beside the walled paddock, that someone left a footprint and a twig from a broomstick near the wall. But the mystery may not last long... James awakens in the middle of the night to hear the most beautiful singing he's ever heard.

By sheer chance, of course, third and fourth year potions classes (at least) have been brewing large quantities of silencing solution, which Scops did badly enough on that he had to bring some back to the train to work on it. He's currently deaf in one ear, and James has helped him leave a cauldron-ful brewing overnight.

Table of Contents So Far

There were no words in the music, at least none that James understood. The voices soared high into the night, spinning worlds and images. He saw the oversized, colorful vistas of the stories he wrote with Teddy, and remembered the giant world he'd seen when flying with Mum and Dad late at night, alone on the Harpies pitch. He saw the auroras over Teddy's island, and remembered games in the attic with Al and Lily, where they saved the world from any number of dastardly threats. He saw himself standing strong, the sword of Gryffindor in his hand, a knight defending his castle. He saw the Triwizard Cup, and Celia smiling her most beautiful smile, and piles of his books gleaming at the front of Flourish and Blotts.

All of this, all of it, seemed to be there in the music, if he could just follow it, find the singers...

He was halfway out of the dormitory when he nearly stepped into the fire under Scops's potion. Scops himself was still asleep, his deaf ear turned up, while the other was pressed into the pillow. The other beds were all empty, and the door was open. For some reason, the Marauders' portrait was making clanging sounds. This irritated him. It was interfering with the song. Disturbing him. Like the fire. Like the Silencing Solution.

James blinked, and the song wavered.

Briefly, an image came up in his mind. Nate, and a copy of the Odyssey. You never knew when the classics would come in handy.

The song's volume rose again, and he saw himself rushing out into the night, facing the great danger that everyone was in, saving them all, being recognized as the brilliant one who first understood... who understood...

"SIRENS!" he yelled, and the song broke again for a moment. He kicked the corner of Scops's bed. Scops sat up groggily. James covered his own ears and yelled "Sirens" again. It didn't entirely help. The music was coming again, and he could feel his feet moving, see himself running toward the sound. He'd get ahead of the others, who would be drifting, like Inferi, toward the deadly--


Something gelatinous landed on his right ear, and the world went suddenly silent there. Only half the world was singing now. He turned to find Scops up and out of bed, both of his ears dripping with Silencing Solution.

Scops held up another handful and aimed for James's left ear, but James shook his head.

"I have to save everyone else!"

Whether Scops could read lips or was just a very good guesser, James wasn't sure, but whichever it was, Scops responded to this with a huge roll of his eyes. He ran toward his trunk.

James went on past the fire, out of the dormitory. The common area was disturbed, and the Marauders were beating on the brick wall of the alley they were in. Sirius was revving the motorbike. Lupin, standing closest to the frame, noticed him and yelled, "Ululatus, James! Ululatus!"


"James, now!" Lupin looked up again, then said. "Scorpius! Ululatus!"

But Scops didn't hear. Scops was aimed straight at James, not paying the slightest attention to the portrait or the music. For some reason, his arms were draped in scarves, and he was holding out James's red and gold Gryffindor scarf.

"What are you...?"

Scops pushed James into the wall, then forced the scarf over his head.

All sounds were cut off. James could smell the Silencing Solution.

Roughly, Scops tied off the scarf, then turned James around and looked at him curiously.

The world was silent, but suddenly clear. Everyone had been drawn off. Scops had been safe because he'd been deaf in the ear he had to the world, and James had been delayed by the fire, but everyone else was gone.

James didn't know what the sirens would really be leading them to here, but he doubted it was anything good.

In the portrait, Lupin and Granddad were both now mouthing "ululatus" and miming twirling their painted wands in tight circles.

James nodded. He'd never used it before, but it meant "whoop," and he thought he could figure it out. It would need more than him, though. Scops was already running out, the saturated scarves hanging from his arms. There wouldn't be enough for even half the Hogwarts students.

James ran after him, caught him at the train door, turned him.

Scops gave him an irritated look and gestured at the scarves, then out at the night, where James could now see students from all three schools, and not a few adults, all moving through the gardens.

James slowly and carefully mouthed "U-lu-la-tus," then, in a fit of inspiration, raised his wand and wrote the word on the wood of the door and mimed raising his wand.

Scops nodded, but pointed at the last few stragglers. He pointed at himself, at James at them.

The more the merrier.

James took a couple of the scarves and ran out into the night. Celia was the first person he caught, as she'd tripped over one of the flagstones. She didn't bother to get up--so intent was she on reaching the music that she took to crawling.

James grabbed her and wrapped the scarf around her head. She struggled for a minute, then looked up, bewildered.

He put his mouth close to her ear, then lifted the scarf long enough to say, "Alarm spell. Do it."

Next, he caught Matej Čupić from Durmstrang, and went through the pantomime again. Scops had caught up with Anton Bogdanav and was running after Abby Carrow.

James raised his wand and twirled it beside his ear, and yelled, "Ululatus!"

He didn't hear himself yell, or hear what was coming from his wand, or from Celia's or Matej's, but he could see the people closest to them, in the Garden of the Mind, slowing down, covering their ears.

He ran, moving his wand in great circles, catching everyone he could. Some of them were still struggling toward the music, but more and more were raising their wands and letting out the alarm.

He nearly flew through the garden, past the curving walls of statues, into the grassy area that led to the barns. More people were here, and he could see them now, scrambling up the walls of the hidden paddock. Boards were breaking, and people had fallen, but no one had made it in yet. At the top of the paddock, sitting calmly on some kind of latticework, was a giant bird with the head of a woman. Two more like it sat further back. Their mouths were full of sharp teeth.

And they were advancing.

There were teachers out now, wearing their own earmuffs and Conjuring more, sending them at students, who fell to their knees as the world went silent for them, but there never seemed to be enough. Madame Girard from Magizoology and Madame Laurent were both trying to keep up magical barriers. Madame Maxime, on a great flying horse, was trying to Curse the Sirens back into their pen. They swiped at her greedily.

James looked up at the wall. He could see Horace Goyle near the top, not wearing earmuffs and apparently not effected by the alarm spell, not this close to the Sirens. Simon Frobisher was on the wall as well, and so was Sibyl Horowitz. Dozens of Beauxbatons students, and a handful from Durmstrang were there as well.

James made his wand go in tighter circles, hoping it would make the alarm more high-pitched, but it didn't seem to do anything to the students on the wall. The one still on the grass fell down, holding their hands over their ears. It didn't look comfortable, but it seemed safer than the alternative. James signaled to Celia, and she tightened her wand motion as well. More students fell back. Scops was working further down, and seemed to have caught on, and the two Durmstrang students they'd caught were also managing to hold back the crowd.

James looked up and saw Madame Maxime triumphantly shout to the night (he couldn't hear what she said) as she managed to Curse the lead Siren, which fell backward into its pit. She swooped down on the other two, who retreated toward the mountains. Madame Girard made a grand gesture with her wand, then James felt the scarf ripped from around his head. The earsplitting alarm sound was all he could hear, rising and falling in the night like the wail of a thousand Muggle ambulances.

Then it stopped.

A few others were still going off, but Robards and Shevchenko were ending the spells as they went through the crowd.

The night seemed unnaturally still--just the wind in the grass, the soft sounds coming from the Muffled cages in the Magizoological gardens, and the slow, steady cracking of the boards in the wooden wall ahead of them.

James looked up.

The wall was moving, the students on it looking panicked. It seemed to be swaying in two different directions.

It was buckling.

"The wall!" he yelled.

But it was too late.

The wall collapsed with a horrible, screaming explosion, taking dozens of students down to the ground with it.
56 comments or Leave a comment
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sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 4th, 2011 10:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Go, James! And Scops!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thought you'd like that. :D
oliversgal07 From: oliversgal07 Date: October 4th, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Called it

Loved the action but I hope they don't blame the pack because how is a wall supposed to survive with that many people climbing on it.

Question is, who took down the enchantments with the footprint and the twig?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Called it

I think Nate was building the staging area inside, not the actual wall, so it shouldn't come back on him.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: October 4th, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow, that was exciting! One knows the potential sirens have, but one would generally think you're safe on the ground! And I LOVED the portrait helping out, doing sounds and suggesting spells.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just can't imagine that a Marauder portrait would sit idly by.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 4th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

did not expected that at all

that the mermai- sorry sirens, would have that far a reach.

the footprint and the broomsticktwig most certainly belong to a person to broke the enchantments on the containing box.

this tournament is looking deadlier than the previous one.

~Alex Wells
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: did not expected that at all

Definitely, that's who the footprint belongs to.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 4th, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

WOW you came back recharged with a Punch

no, seriously, you take a break and then BAM! everything becomes adrenaline filled, time is essencial, and the stakes are higher.

The dragon in the last tournament seemed TAME compared to the sirens

Three cheers for James, Scorpius and the teachers for thinking so quick on their feet!

Madame Maxime on a winged horse facing a siren is an Epic image to imagine.

but oh-oh that last line. here I'm really really hoping the wall was just wood or not so big and thick and heavy....

because that last line is giving me Serious Final Hogwarts Battle Deja Vu, (you know in the book? when a wall is blown apart and then....)

so here i'm going to be worried sick that it Doesn't have the same outcome.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: WOW you came back recharged with a Punch

Thanks! Yeah, occasional recharges help. And I wanted Madame Maxime to kick some butt.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 4th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

also even when it worked on their favor- i sympathize with deaf scorpius...

reading over scorpius with one of his ears deaf, and because of that sleeping with his good ear pressed against the pillow to be able to sleep....

took me back to when I had a severe ear infection on my right ear and couldn't hear for 2 weeks.

it was not pleasant at all- my balance was Awful.

so here's hoping Scorpius recovers the use of his currently deaf ear.

surely with magic they can fix that, right? it's not permanent?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: also even when it worked on their favor- i sympathize with deaf scorpius...

It's temporary--he even deliberately did the second ear. James's ear is only temporary, too.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 4th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

a thought ocurred....

So- since the sirens seems Way to dangerous for the task, and two of them seems to have fled to the mountains... (don't know how many of them were there in the pen?)

does that mean they will change what the champions will face?

and speaking of champions.... I'm kind of hoping Horace Didn't got killed incapacitated in here....

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: a thought ocurred....

Well, whatever else is true, it's not a surprise anymore, so they'll have to switch it up.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 4th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, boy! Wonder who let the sirens out? Ten to one, Amos Diggory gets blamed for it somehow.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure they'll do their darnedest.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 4th, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, someone who knew it was Sirens and could get into the grounds and let them loose. Amos Diggory, with any luck, is accounted for. I also seriously doubt he has the skill set for this.

Not Cedric's style at all. Anyone who knew him has to know that, even if he had a thing against the tournament, deliberately endangering this many people just isn't him.

But this has something to do with Ville-Sauvage, which we now know had something to do with defending/fighting in the wizard half of World War II.

It's possible some old, defense spells have been triggered (although these would have to be incredibly good ones that can come up with things like aiding and abetting the Siren attack).

OK, "outsiders," which the visiting students all are, may have triggered it, but that doesn't explain troubles - and odd things - happening even earlier. It's possible Amos Diggory somehow triggered something defensive with his conviction about the tournament practically being like murdering his son all over again, but that seems weak. What, no deeply deppressed wizards equating something with murder in 70 or 80 years? If that was all it took?

So, it takes more.

I suspect we're still missing critical information covering potential motives. But, I would guess someone is making use of the tournament and doesn't have a motive against the tournament specifically, someone who knows things about Ville-Sauvage and its militant spells. The person doing it may be getting destruction results beyond what he or she expected but hasn't stopped on that account. This could just be the incredible hubris of someone who has written these off as "mistakes" he/she/they (we could have a group) won't make again (getting more committed to whatever they're doing each time they rationalize/write off what they've done, upping the price they're willing to pay because they justify the price that has been paid).

Dani has no motive that I can see. Any shadowy groups trying to use her (primarily her, I mean, rather than someone plotting around her, Madam Maxime, and the rest of the people involved) would be western hemisphere and lack connections and knowledge that seem to be going into this.

It could be someone with a grudge against the pack, though that seems a bit far fetched. The tournament almost didn't happen - and that's what the early trouble seemed to be pushing towards. The current mess may implicate them and may be used by people with issues or bad history with werewolves, but it doesn't seem like a primary goal.

Someone planted the picture of Cedric at Hogwarts, but the most dangerous things - the avalanche and, now, the Sirens - have happened on the continent. The villain(s) may have British connections or may just be making use of the stink Amos raised as misdirection. I'd be nosing around France for suspects and motives.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Ellen--I love your posts, and can answer so very little of what's in them. :D

I think there are a couple of things I need to establish for motive (one has been mentioned, but too briefly, I think), but the majority is at least sort of in play.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: October 4th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh no! James should be proud, he was a real hero. And so was Scops!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think so, too... though it may be lucky that the sirens inspired visions of heroism in him!
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 4th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Horace Goyle was on the wall, I'm kind of hoping that you just killed her off so that Celia or James gets to compete. I agree Amos had nothing to do with the incident
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'm not going to kill off Horace...
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 4th, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
good thing everyone is safe!

i think sirens are not good idea for tournament

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
They're really not any more dangerous than the dragons--imagine if one of them had gotten away from the handlers. The problem is who got them away from the handlers.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 4th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
the teachers at beauxbaton just proved they be as Awesome as the hogwarts teachers

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely. Teachers are awesome.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 4th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh no!

this is bad, this is bad, this is bad!

everyone is okay?

Betthany Anne
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
We'll see...
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 4th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Go Madam Maxime!! :D

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
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