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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Nine: Siren Song, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Nine: Siren Song, pt. 2
James woke up in the middle of the night to hear beautiful singing--sirens. Turns out that the pen holding the first task monsters somehow got less than secure. Thanks to quick thinking from Scops Malfoy, plus an assist from the Marauders' portrait, James is able to overcome it, and he and Scops go outside, doing an alarm spell to create a counter-noise. They manage to stop a lot of students, but many were already climbing the wall. Madame Maxime is able to dispatch the harpies, but there's no time to celebrate, as the wall collapses, taking many students--including Hogwarts champion Horace Goyle--down with it.

Table of Contents So Far




There was silence for moment--a long, almost sacred moment, when it seemed the wall could be wished back up, long enough for everyone to climb safely down. The broken wood and stunned, bleeding students would just vanish.

Then there was a groan from the pile, and a gore streaked hand--James never found out whose--rose up from the debris. A Beauxbatons girl screamed, and then the night was alive again, frantic and fearsome. James was still deaf in one ear from the Silencing Solution (he supposed Scops was still completely deaf), but he didn't need to catch everything to know that the situation was serious. Teachers moved the wood slowly, by hand in some cases, making sure that it wasn't caught on--or in--any of the students. Some of the fallen were able to crawl out on their own, and even stand up, dazed, to look around. Others had been twisted and thrown into the rocky ground, and at least one person had been impaled by a bit of wood that had gone through her side. The seriously injured were Levitated on stabilizing boards. Before James could see much more of the rescue, Abby Carrow had organized the Hogwarts students to help out. He found himself in the Potions classroom, unnaturally bright with the night-time lighting, following the directions of a Healer's Apprentice to make poultices.

The Beauxbatons Healer, Monsieur Roux, came up just past two o'clock--James's hearing was finally starting to come back--and told them that everyone was stable, and he had enough Potions to get through the night. He thanked everyone for their help.

James went back to the train. The others has apparently been sent back earlier, because he was the last one in. Everyone who wasn't injured was up in the common area. Simon Frobisher had got away with only a few cuts, but he was wandering around, looking like he didn't know where he was.

"How are Horace and Sybil?" James asked.

"Sybil will be all right," Electa Campbell said. "She broke her arm pretty badly, but they had Healers and Apprentices in from Paris to help. That's why they let us come back. She's going to rest there overnight, but she's fine. Horace..." She sighed. "He got the worst of it. They got most of the injuries fixed, but he's still muttering about the sirens and--well, he seems to still be hearing them singing."

"A lot of them are," Celia said. "And by the way, thanks for the fashion tip." She smiled, and pointed at the scarf that was now balled up on the table in front of her.

"That's was Scops's idea," James said.

Robards looked up wearily from a report he was writing. "Fifty points to Hufflepuff," he announced, and tapped a miniature hourglass filled with yellow sand. Somewhere at Hogwarts, jewels were moving in the full sized version.

Scops blushed. "Er... the alarm, that was James."

"Actually, it was Lupin, in the portrait," James said.

"Either way, fifty to Gryffindor." Robards rubbed his head like he had a horrible headache, then said, "The important thing is that everyone will be all right in the end. Monsieur Roux got everyone fixed up. Horace may need to go home and spend some time at St. Mungo's, but we know how to deal with a Siren curse. It just needs time."

Darcy Lynch raised her hand. "Er... not to sound frivolous... I really shouldn't... er..."

Robards nodded. "The tournament?"

"Yes."

"The judges are meeting in the morning. I don't think it can be canceled at this point. It's a magical contract for the schools as well as for the champions."

"But Hogwarts' champion..."

"If he wasn't injured in a task," Edward Flourish said, "then the Goblet might choose someone else. I read a precedent. It was in the fifteen-hundreds, but the Durmstrang champion got spattergroit, and couldn't compete, and the Goblet lit up again and gave them a second champion."

James frowned. "Again?"

"It goes out after the selection," Robards said. "Didn't you notice?"

James shook his head. "No--no, there were still flames in it when they put it in the box."

Robards considered this, then seemed to decide not to try and analyze it. "We'll see what it means in the morning," he said. "Meanwhile, I'm more concerned about getting Mr. Goyle back to full health. And I want all of you to go back to sleep." He stood up and headed for the stairs.

James followed him and stopped him at the top of the stairs. "There's something else," he said.

"What?"

"I was trying to figure out, earlier, what was in there..."

"That's more or less expected at the Triwizard," Robards said, smiling faintly.

"I know. I thought that other people were, too. I saw a footprint that looked like a broom kick-off, and a broomstick twig on the ground."

Robards thought about it, then said, "It'll be gone by now, with all the activity there. Can you remember anything specific? What kind of twig it looked like? Was it new, or frayed?"

James tried to picture it. "A little frayed, I think."

"And the footprint? Big or small?"

"I don't know. Deep. A kick-off, like I said. Probably just the front of the foot, but those always seem big, because they hit so hard."

Robards nodded. "Thank you. You do mean to try for the Auror Division, don't you?"

"If Dad'll let me anywhere near it."

"He will." Robards sighed. "Go on to bed, James. We'll figure it out."

James stopped at the portrait on the way back into the dormitory. The Marauders had been listening to everything, and Lupin was back at Teddy's apparently, giving a report. Sirius and Granddad were looking grave.

"You heard that everyone's going to be all right?"

Sirius nodded. "Close, though. Tell us what it turns out to be."

"Sure."

"Are you all right?" Granddad asked.

"Yeah. I didn't get hurt. Tell Lupin we got fifty points for that ululatus thing."

"Portraits don't actually get points," Sirius said. "And if they're going to start handing them out, I think I ought to get a few for revving the motorcycle. That was my idea."

"And I started hitting the wall," Granddad offered.

"Well, I think Robards was probably giving them to me," James admitted. "But I reckon we got the points together. I guess I'll go in now."

"Password?" Sirius asked.

"Purveyors."

"Actually, we changed it."

"To what?"

"We can't very well tell you," Granddad said. "Though Lupin did."

"Oh. Ululatus."

The door opened. James went inside, crawled back into his bed, and fell into a dreamless sleep.




The accident made the front page of the Voyant the next morning. It had made the front page of the Prophet, which Robards supplied everyone with copies of, and Poznaniya in Russia as well, and he guessed it was the lead everywhere. No one had been snapping pictures as it happened, but someone must have got in pretty quickly, as the accompanying photographs showed injured students still on the ground, trapped beneath the latticework of wood that had formed the outer fence. That had been cleared away within twenty minutes.

The Voyant article focused on Beauxbatons students, of course--more than thirty had been injured, two severely. It also suggested that rumors were flying about shoddy werewolf construction, though of course (it hastened to add), Nate's crew had been working on the staging area, not the containment area, which had been built weeks ago by someone else. James would have been happier about this disclaimer if they hadn't brought up the rumor in the first place. If it hadn't been circulating before, it certainly would be now.

The Prophet had a picture of Horace Goyle arriving at St. Mungo's, where he was being fussed at by several Healers. He looked dizzy and his lips were moving. The caption said that he'd been siren-dazed, and the cure involved being kept in a silent room for a month, after which he'd be evaluated again. One reporter asked about the tournament, and his magical contract to compete. The head Healer said, "He is not cleared to leave St. Mungo's for at least a month. Even magical contracts bend before simple reality."

Aunt Angelina, who'd got a job at the Department of Sports and Games, confirmed this, adding that "If the champion cannot compete, then the magical contract on his part is void. The school will have to forfeit."

James hoped she was wrong about this--the little blue flames that had been licking around the sides of the Goblet when it had been hastily shoved into its casket after the selection gave him some reason for this hope--but no one talked about it. The accident was too fresh in everyone's mind to worry about such things.

The interior of the papers had what James was coming to think of as the normal free-for-all about the "curse" of the tournament. The Voyant was full of speculations about revenants, and the Prophet revisited all the mishaps that had occurred so far. To James's great relief, though Amos Diggory still insisted shrilly that Cedric would not want the tournament and was insulted by it, he also added, "But my boy wouldn't do this. My boy would not hurt these children." To James's surprise, Teddy had been interviewed on the subject of revenants, as an Unspeakable. He admitted that they might behave quite differently from their living predecessors, but insisted that they attached themselves to locations, and on rare occasions to people--never to events. They claimed that Dad was "unavailable to comment," which James knew perfectly well meant that Dad had told them off when they'd asked something impertinent.

After breakfast, James headed up toward Charms, feeling groggy from lack of sleep and an overload of news. He turned off the staircase onto the second floor instead of the third by accident, and didn't notice until he was halfway down, and heard voices coming from the classroom Madame Laurent used for her history lessons. She was speaking there again, but not to students.

"I theenk we should consider stopping," she said.

"Mother, we can't," Didier Laurent said in French. "You know that. The consequences for breaking the magical contract--"

"Would be worse than students dying?"

No one said anything. James passed the door casually, then doubled-back in what he hoped was a blind spot for them, and pressed himself against the wall to listen.

"Ze tasks 'ave always been dangerous," Madame Maxime said tentatively, switching back to English (James supposed it was the language all five judges understood). "It would not be ze first or last time zat ze tournament 'as got... out of control. We will be more careful with the later tasks."

"And ve haff to consider sabotage," Shevchenko said. "Vat Mr. Robards says of the footprint his student saw--"

"Zat could be anything," Madame Laurent said.

"There are dangers in the world," Robards said. "Not all of them are the sort that jump out in the night with fangs bared. Some of them come from folding in the face of fear."

"It's just a game!" Madame Laurent insisted. "A game!"

"A game that someone wishes to stop," Madame Maxime said.

"Unless it is a curse... Perhaps whoever tampered with the Goblet has cursed everything!"

There was a scraping sound, wood on marble, as a chair pushed back, and James heard heavy footsteps.

"Did you want to say something, Dani?" Laurent asked, his voice low.

James chanced a glance inside. No one was looking at the door. Dani Villanueva was standing by the window, her arms crossed, her lips pressed tightly together. Everyone was looking at her.

"You know what I want to say," she said.

"Do you believe it to be a curse?" Shevchenko asked, his voice dripping with condescending good humor.

"I believe," she said, "that I know who tampered with the Goblet." She turned and pointed at Didier Laurent. "I saw you--I saw you do it."
29 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 6th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

AHA!

I KNEW Laurent Jr. was rotten in someway!

didn't expected to be this way, as I admit it's making me perplexed that Someone who was So stubborn and decided on making the tournament happen would intefere in such s way......

unless he was tampering the goblet to not let Hogwarts students in- because he has a grudge against hogwarts/the english or something....

mm.... *deep thinking thoughts*
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: AHA!

Oh, he has his reasons, which seem terribly reasonable to him.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: October 6th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pointing fingers, are we? This is getting very intriging!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! To be fair, any press in the world would be engaging in finger-pointing.
willowbough From: willowbough Date: October 6th, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
The plot thickens! And that twist at the end is inspired--now I'm on edge to read just what Didier Laurent did, and who was most directly affected. The Goblet's choice of Goyle is certainly suspect, given the reaction of the rest of the Hogwarts contingent. But does that also mean the other champions might not have been selected otherwide? Can't wait to find out!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to think about exactly how it shakes out--I know what he did and why, but not its ultimate impact on the whole selection process.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
looks like horace goyle didn't got himself killed after all. it would have been such shoddy bad luck to his family if he did. that would be a real curse to the goyles, eh?

dont know what to think of his situation, what is he think he is hearing to stay in a trance?

~Ris
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, the Goyles have been unlucky lately, but not that unlucky. We're still having a Hardy Boys mystery here. ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good thing horace goyle didn't got himself killed, it would have been shoddy bad luck to him family if he did. A true curse on the goyle surname, eh?

Don't know what to think of him being dazzed for a month, what can he be hearing to not snap out of it? Probably that he won at everything.

-Ris
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 6th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

*winces* um is that the right word?

Good to know there were No fatalities this time, even if there were quite a few injures, but good to know the medical aid in France is so good.

although, erm.... would it be right to say someone got "impaled" as an injury not resulting in death? I mean I think "impale" and I image head in spikes or the wood spike going All the way through... and that seems lethal.

maybe pierced or stabbed, instead?

alkari From: alkari Date: October 6th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: *winces* um is that the right word?

No, you can certainly be "impaled" and still survive. There have been RL cases where people have been impaled by fence posts, etc after falling, and they have lived.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: *winces* um is that the right word?

Like alkari said, it's perfectly possible to get impaled without dying--it's something passing all the way through the body. It can happen without major organs being hit.
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 6th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

And Danni finally speaks out!

Seems Dani had a reason for her behavior, and considering dennis treatment of her, now it seems it's going to bite him back!

also I find it Ironic how Dennis was all "Amos This or Amos that, if someone happened blame Amos Diggory"

and now HE is the one being a prime suspect.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: And Danni finally speaks out!

Yeah, he turned out a nastier piece of work than I thought he was at first!
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: October 6th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

oh crud.. the press still having a field day on this...

new Theory- Someone from the press is causing the accidents so tey get material and they can criticize/ blame as many people as they wand (Amos Diggory, Dani and the Americans, the werewolves....)

inall seriousness the French press has got to Stop blaming the Werewolves, it's Really quite quite disgusting how they're blaming the werewolves for everything.

at least they price their necks enough to put the disclaimer that Nate crew was Not working on the area that got damaged/caused injuries. but like James Jr said, they should have just Skipped naming Nate and the other werewolves to begin with, if they were just going to cover their rears after making the accussation... *massive, furious eyeroll*

I hope karma bites them in the rear quite hard at some point because of this whole anti-werewolf thing...
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: October 6th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
James is very good at being where the action is, both by design and by accident. That the judges are now starting to fight among themselves is not good.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
The family does seem to have a genetic predisposition for being in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time...
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
They claimed that Dad was "unavailable to comment," which James knew perfectly well meant that Dad had told them off when they'd asked something impertinent.

I'd love to see that scene!

Anxiously awaiting the next installment! Thanks so much for writing.

-SideAlong
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Writing is fun. Not as much fun as sitting on my couch reading all night on Tuesday, but fun. :D
alkari From: alkari Date: October 6th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm - so what was Didier doing near the Goblet? Just checking it - or did Dani actually see him doing someting ... The plot thickens.

Loved the Portraits' discussion of House points!
bluejayfic From: bluejayfic Date: October 6th, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh! Shiny, shiny chaperlet!

Is it just me, or is it awfully fishy that the only Hogwarts person seriously injured was the champion? Hmmm... maybe there was something done to him ahead of time to make him more vulnerable. Or maybe it's just that he's an idiot. Either way.

The law of plot construction says you can't have the culprit revealed this early, so I'm guessing that it is not, in fact, Laurent, or that it is, but Dani didn't see what she thought she saw. (I just realized that she could also be making it up, but I really hope not. I like Dani.)

I wonder who it was that put away the goblet, and if they were aware that it should have gone out. Oooh! maybe it didn't go out because the champion it 'chose' for Hogwarts wasn't the one it really chose, and it will now choose Celia. */wishful thinking*

Regarding Russian - first, that made me happy. Second, while 'Poznaniya' is a perfectly good word, it is somewhat specific. If you meant something general, like 'knowledge', 'Znanie' would be better. 'Poznaniya' would generally refer to knowledge of facts or information, and usually more in the education sense than in the news sense. But it kind of works.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops. I was looking for something that would be a wizarding equivalent of "Pravda," so I went through all the suggested words that began with п, and came up with Poznaniya with the meanings of Knowledge, Learning, and Experience. I figured someone would correct the translation if it was bad. Is there a better suggestion with the п?
bluejayfic From: bluejayfic Date: October 11th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn't even realize the "starting with a p" thing. Hmm... Like I said, Poznaniya kind of works... maybe 'Poznanie', instead? it generally refers to the process of learning, instead of the results as 'poznaniya' does. I can't think of any other p-word that would be appropriate in the context (except 'pravda', and that, of course, would be inappropriate for very different reasons).

I just realized I commented in the wrong place. Whoopsie-daisy...

(sorry about the delay - I was away!)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Dani definitely saw him doing something.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
i found it kind of funny that robard gave points to scops and james for what happened.

like, it makes sense, but since they're not at hogwarts it wasb weird...

yay hufflepuff got points! oh, i wonder how the people back at hogwarts are like going to react when points get add to hufflepuff but no one at hogwarts did anything

:P

abby
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
If they saw it before the paper, fifty points to two houses might have been their first clue that something happened in France.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
hahaha at harry not wanting to talk to reporters
good thing too since they probably would have made stuff up.

tabatha
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 7th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
They can always make stuff up anyway, though...
cleindori From: cleindori Date: October 7th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, tres exciting! I mean, not exciting that people are getting impaled and Horace Goyle is all Siren'd and needs to be kept in iso for a month, but generally exciting. :)
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