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The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Thirteen: A Light In the Dark, pt. 2 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
The Secret of Ville-Sauvage, Chapter Thirteen: A Light In the Dark, pt. 2
James's history lesson was diverted by Celia, who figured out how to get the clue from the silver skull. Plunging into complete darkness, they found a riddle which they have interpreted to mean that the second task will take place in the oracular Whispering Caves... which the riddle implies they will be "lost" in, with an hour to find a hostage who will be randomly chosen. celia decides that they need a map.

Table of Contents So Far




The problem with getting a map, James discovered quickly, was that it was somewhat difficult to look for without clueing in the entire Beauxbatons student body about what they were looking for. They couldn't be sure that the librarian wouldn't pass information to Titouan about what the other champions might be researching, and they couldn't, obviously, just ask other students. He sent a letter to Rosie, asking her if she could check Hogwarts' records of Beauxbatons, but it didn't seem likely, and he wasn't surprised when she wrote back apologizing for not finding anything.

"What about Teddy?" Celia asked a week after they'd solved the clue. They were sitting up late in the Common Area, with most of the Hogwarts contingent present. "They're oracular--maybe he's come across something."

"Maybe..."

Sybill Horowitz grinned. "Besides, didn't he design the bit with the mirrors? He'd have to know where to put them!"

"No," Celia said firmly.

"Why not?"

"What do you mean, why not? It's one thing to ask someone who's an expert in some area or other what I might use to figure it out. It's something else totally to ask about something particular to this tournament, that's about the logistics of it. That would be cheating."

"And I'm sure Titouan and Veronika are going to pause if they have a chance to use something like that," Sybill sniffed.

"He couldn't tell you, anyway," Lupin said from the portrait. "They were trying to prevent cheating like that, so they tongue-tied him."

"You just went and asked, didn't you?" Celia asked.

Lupin shrugged. "I imagined it would be something like that, and figured I could save you time. You need to figure out spells to get around in an unfamiliar place."

"What about Point-Me?" James suggested.

"Works great if you know where you are to start with," Celia said. "But knowing which way is north isn't going to help me if I have no idea where in the caves I'm starting out."

"Why wouldn't you know?" Electa asked. "Won't you just being going in?"

Lydia Whiting shook her head. "I don't think she will. I doubt they'd have put in that bit about being lost if they planned to start you out just following some path."

"Right," Harry Norris agreed. "That would be too easy. Figure out where they're keeping a thing and just use Point-Me until you get to some pre-ordained place? No--I reckon they're going to drop the champions someplace in the caves that they'll have to figure out where they are before they can get to where they're going."

"That just seems a bit... hard," Scops said. "Isn't it hard enough just to find your way around caves?"

Celia shrugged. "Let's find some locator magic--something to tell me where I am. Maybe we won't need it, but if we do, I'd rather have it."

They talked for a little while longer, then most of the students drifted back to the dormitories to work on homework, leaving James and Celia alone. Celia prodded a bit of crumpled parchment.

From the portrait, there was a long-suffering sigh.

James turned around. "Do you have a hint?" he asked the Marauders.

"I don't know, Padfoot," Granddad said, looking at Sirius. "It's just too bad that they don't know anyone who might know a thing or two about... Oh, I don't know. Finding out where a person is in a geographical space."

"Right," Sirius said. "That person--while they might not be able to do everything that might be possible someplace else--could at least show them how to Conjure a dot on a map..."

"Really a pity they don't know anyone like that," Lupin added. "One of the great tragedies here..."

James rolled his eyes. "We still don't have map to put a dot on."

"So, get a map." Granddad said.

"Which puts us back where we started," Celia said. "But if you could teach me that spell--"

"It's not just one spell," Lupin said. "A lot of them worked together. James, did you give Lily the Keys to the Castle along with the Map?"

James nodded. He wrote to Lily after he went back to the dormitory, asking for the Keys, a scroll full of the Marauders' spells for the Map that Teddy had found while he was in school. Most of the spells on there, he didn't think he could work--but maybe, just maybe, there'd be enough to let Celia know where she was.

He woke up early the next morning--Sunday--his mind turning over the spells he remembered from the Keys, and went for a walk around the grounds. He skipped the gardens and the river path, and even Ville Sauvage. Instead, he went around the north side of the palace, behind the courtyard and the High Tower, between the grounds and the curve of the mountains as they came down to cradle them. The base of the mountains was less distinct than it looked on maps, of course--boulders strewn about here and there, the earth starting to rise up and become uneven. The Whispering Caves were on the northwest section of the grounds, beyond the Quidditch pitch. There was no great sign saying "Whispering Caves Ahead," but the narrow path of white gravel told him that he was heading, at least, toward a place that was used. He came around a curve and found a tall, shadowy opening in the rock.

"I would not go in zere alone," someone said. He looked up to find Elodie jumping easily down from a rock, looking rather disdainful, as usual. She landed and strolled over to the path. "Zere are stories, you know, of people going inside, and going mad from ze whispers."

"I'm armed," James said, pointing at his wand. (She was, of course, not carrying hers.)

"Yes, zat will do well against ze voices in your 'ead." Elodie rolled her eyes and lapsed back into French. "Were you going to go in, or were you just making noises?"

"I thought about it."

"Why?"

James considered telling her--he couldn't think of anyone less likely than Elodie to tell the other Beauxbatons students--but ultimately just said, "No reason. Just curious. What are you doing here?"

"Having a walk." Elodie blinked at him. "If you're not going in, are you going back to the palace?"

"Er... yeah. Did you want to go back with me?"

"No." She climbed another rock and sat down. "I think I'll stay and meditate."

James shook his head and went back to the palace, meeting the other Hogwarts students as they came in, blearly-faced, for breakfast. He sat by Celia and told her about the meeting with Elodie.

She frowned. "That's weird," she said. "Why would she be poking around oracles? The Crassonists aren't great fans."

"Maybe she's supposed to learn it, the same way she's supposed to learn everything else before she spends her whole life not doing it," James said, reaching for a roll. "Maybe she's... what?" he asked, as Celia's eyes went wide.

"Well, I just thought..." She bit her lip. "Everything before we got here could have just been coincidence--the avalanche, someone getting hit with a Bludger."

"Cedric's picture--"

"Could have just been a bad practical joke. The real problems--the blood in the goblet, the sirens getting out... those started after we came. And who seems sour about everything? Who's got a bone to pick with a big magical competition?"

"You think it's...?"

"I don't know. It's a theory. We need to find out. We need to think of a good way to talk to her, where she won't be suspicious."

"Right, just walk up and say, 'Hey, we don't talk, and you've been rude to us, so for no reason at all, will you tell us whether or not you want to sabotage the tournament?'"

"Of course, not, but something will come along. Come on, it's worth following up on. It's--"

But Celia didn't get to continue her persuasion. Madam Maxime, Robards, and Shevchenko had all come in together, and were grinning like Cheshire cats.

Madam Maxime rang a small crystal bell. "My dear students and guests," she said (her two translators spoke beside her). "It is official--arrangements have now been made. I am happy to announce that the Triwizard Tradition of Yule Ball will be observed on Christmas night!"

"Who will be playing?" several students called.

"We are in negotiations," Madam Maxime said. "I hope you'll be pleased."

She sat down.

"That's it!" Celia said. "I know how to do it."

"At the ball?" James asked, his stomach suddenly in knots. He'd spend so much time with Celia, and he'd known the ball was coming... he should have asked her before it was announced, before--

"It's perfect," she said. "The ball is completely out of the ordinary, so she won't think twice about it."

"Who? What are you talking about?"

"Isn't it obvious? Just ask Elodie to the ball!"
38 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
tree_and_leaf From: tree_and_leaf Date: March 15th, 2012 10:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Celia. Because there's no way that could possibly go wrong...
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: March 15th, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
{snicker...}
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, yes. Not the clearest-headed idea... but not that far off from the way they think. Lots could have gone wrong with the Polyjuice, too.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: March 15th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poor James... Celia, you are so clueless!

From the portrait, there was a long-suffering sigh.
I love this bit. James I is/was SO overly dramatic!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, he's eternally a ham, isn't he? ;p
starnightmuse From: starnightmuse Date: March 15th, 2012 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh Celia dear- No- that's not a good plan

*facepalm*

I know Celia is completely oblivious to knowing James Jr. fancies her, but that's just -"shakes head"

and besides, that has just as much chance of backfiring as the other plans
"Hi we dont talk and you're mean and we dont get along but- want to go with the ball with me?"

cause that's not fishy at all. and that's even assuming elodie will say yes. which, considering how elodie treated James jr moments before- I'm positive she will say no in a most disdainful way.

can't they use polyjuice? i mean that worked for the last gen trying to get info.

and the second task looks tough- just as tough as the maze last time. (also kind of- phobic? i mean rescue person underwater- risk of drowning, getting lost in a cave with no way to find the exit- starve.)

if that's the third task- i'm kind of dreading the third one.

(and for james jr sake I really hope he doesn't actually has to ask elodie)



Edited at 2012-03-15 07:35 pm (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Oh Celia dear- No- that's not a good plan

I don't feel like Polyjuicing anyone. :D

It's definitely a pretty tough task.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Elodie's Strength

Celia and James might be going about it in a stupid way, but frankly, they need someone like Elodie to bounce stuff off of. Too much Gryffindor planning, not enough Ravenclaw. Celia seems to be overlooking the hint in the skull's clue that part of the battle in the caves is going to be psychological, tapping into the champion's deepest fears. And it's already been mentioned that the second task will be taking place on the day of the full moon. Elodie not only seems to be aware of the psychological aspect of the caves, but to have the mindset to best prepare to combat them -- ie, this is not a battle to be fought with a spell, but with strength and presence of mind. Not everything in the magical world can be dealt with without using outright magic (like a Death Eater attacking you for starters) but there are more viable options that do not involve magic for quite a number of situations than most of the wizarding community realizes (like Dudley punching Greyback in the face -- Yay Dudders!). Which I think must be part of the Abstentioniste philosophy. Abstaining from magic so as not to create an over-reliance on it?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Elodie's Strength

Celia's overlooking a lot, and I doubt James even really processed that bit of information. I agree that Elodie might well be someone helpful... unless, of course, they're right that she's sabotaging the thing.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
OK, Celia, suppose Elodie is innocent of anything for a moment, will you? Imagine being the girl with poor social skills who everyone thinks belongs to a group of weirdoes they equate with wartime collaborators and who has already lost out on her chance to say, "See, I am worth something!" by not being chosen by the Goblet.

Then, she gets asked out by the cute foreign guy - only to find out he only did it to get information out of her. Because, of course, no guy's ever going to ask out someone like HER without an ulterior motive.

Could you PLEASE not give her any MORE issues to deal with?

Ellen
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I so agree with you!

and Celia should know more than anyone what it's like to be marginalized, So How can she think it's a good idea???

(Becca)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Most likely by being completely thoughtless at times. Which we all are from time to time.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: March 16th, 2012 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Elodie has my sympathy! (As does James.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Both would probably appreciate it at this point.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
that's a stupid idea Celia >:(

Christine Briggs
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
We'll see how it works out.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
there seems to be an error in there.


"From the portrait, there was a long-suffering sigh.

James turned around. "Do you have a hint?" he asked the Marauders.

"I don't know, Padfoot," Granddad said, looking at Sirius. "It's just too bad that they don't know anyone who might know a thing or two about... Oh, I don't know. Finding out where a person is in a geographical space."

the initial person talking is james Sirius Potter, and the person answering him is James Potter Senior, saying padfoot, but it seems initially talking to his grandson.


fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a three-way conversation. The "looking at Sirius" and calling him "Padfoot" is how I indicated who was speaking to whom. James1 sighs, James2 asks him a question, and James1 responds by sarcastically addressing Sirius.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 17th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Maybe a period after "I don't know" instead of a comma would fix that.

I'm loving this story. James talk w Madam Laurent reminded me of an article I had just read in my local (Virginia) newspaper that said that we are still, after 150 years, unpacking the American Civil War. That immediately after, there was a desperate "at-all-costs push for reconciliation" that led to talk only of the bravery of the soldiers on both sides and only now are we telling the stories of the enslaved people, the women on the homefront, etc. let alone the causes of the war. Or, as my mom told my boyfriend the first time they met "oh, we won that and moved on".

I am worried for Celia in that cave if she hasn't given thoughts to facing her greatest fears. And very interested in Elodie's storyline. James is a very polite young man, so I hope she'll be ok at the ball even if he does have ulterior motives.

Karen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 18th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Putting a comma after the "I don't know" would make it separate from "Sirius," to who it's addressed, though, so it would change the meaning of the sentence. More like "I don't know... hey, Sirius," rather than, "Gosh, Sirius, I don't know..."
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 19th, 2012 12:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess I read it more as "I don't know[, James]. Padfoot, it's just too bad that they..." But who am I to say? You're the author, and a darn good one.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 19th, 2012 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)
No, it was definitely addressed to Sirius--that's why the punctuation was there. I'm not sure how to make sure that reading is how it goes other than the direct-address comma followed by the nickname. It's a puzzlement! ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 6th, 2012 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Late, but maybe something like:

James turned around. "Do you have a hint?" he asked the Marauders.

Granddad shook his head sadly at Sirius. "I don't know, Padfoot. It's just too bad that they don't know anyone who might know a thing or two about... Oh, I don't know. Finding out where a person is in a geographical space."

From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
oops, that was me.

GullySam
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
OMG! Yule ball!

Yay!

jeanne
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Hope it's fun. I haven't decided who's playing yet.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I dont understand?

What keys? the keys to hogwarts? but shouldn't Robbarb have those?

marauderschick
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought people might have forgotten those from the Teddy stories... that's why I put in the next line that they're "a scroll full of the Marauders' spells for the Map that Teddy had found while he was in school." :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
this is going to bite them in the ass, I can tell

Ris
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
That could very well be.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
i'm surprised someone as smart as Celia would come with a plan with so many things 2 go wrong.

mercury-ravenclaw
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Then again, how many disaster-prone plans did Hermione come up with? ;p
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
??
well if your intent was to completely confuse us as to what the plan for the caves was, you suceedeed.

I understood very little

stephen-the-onlooker
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Ouch. Please let me know where you're confused.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 16th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
!!!!!!

eeee!!

Yule Ball! Yule Ball! it's almost here!!!!!!!!!!!

is it going to be Winter Wonderland themed? or something more christmassy?

Betthanny Anne
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 17th, 2012 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it's mostly like the Hogwarts ball--just a standard formal dance that happens to be on Christmas. At least that was my take on the Hogwarts version of it!
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 18th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
the second task looks like it's going to be quite difficult.

Alex Wells
38 comments or Leave a comment