12/8/2010 Log

18:21:46 Izzy-Iwamura || Another day, another evening meal in the Great Hall, another hour spent pointedly avoiding getting drawn too deeply into conversation. Which, naturally, usually failed unless he was being COMPLETELY silent. It was the way of things at Howarts. Izzy was beginning to accept that. Slowly, granted, very slowly. Gloriana wanted to inspect the Forbidden Forest (or more, suggested it should be done - Izzy was pretty sure that she, personally, didn't want to), and he didn't think it was a bad idea, really. It was just a matter of finding the right time, the right pretext to go traipsing about in a very dangerous place late at night. "Children, children, may I have your attention please!" Flutey's call was met with almost unanimous groans, sighs, and in at least one case a student turning his wand on himself. None of which would ever stop Flutey talking, of course. "Students, I'm afraid I have some bad news, which, though it pains me, I am obligated to share with you." That, actually, did turn >
18:27:25 Izzy-Iwamura < Izzy's head. It caught his attention. Flutey wasn't one to mention bad news at any point if he could avoid it by talking about achievement instead. "My former student, colleague, friend, and for a brief time, our Assistant Headmaster… Merrill Diggs is dead." Whispering amongst the student body. Again, no interruptions ever kept Flutey quiet. "As many of you know, he was taking sabbatical from this work - it was at my behest. Merrill, as was his way, took a great risk to ensure the safety and security of our school. In the end, he made a great sacrifice. I… the Ministry has asked me not to share any further details until they have concluded an investigation, but it was your right to know. I would ask you all to join me in observing a moment of silence." Perhaps the student body had actually been listening to an uncharacteristically direct, earnest, and serious announcement by Flutey. There was relative silence in the Great Hall. There was also a dead professor, granted one that hadn't >
18:30:25 Izzy-Iwamura < been seen in some time, but that changed nothing - it readily dispelled many of the illusions of safety that Flutey had worked to build in the recent weeks. The Ministry has asked me not to share any further details… that smelled wrong, to Izzy. He also didn't have a great deal of time to think about it, as the moment of silence was shattered by something of a very different nature - a lone student, a fourth year Hufflepuff, burst into the Great Hall with a breathless cry of, "Fire! The forest, the forest is on fire!" One second passed. Then two. Then…

18:36:55 Xia_Lavine sat quietly beside Izzy…poking at her food but unable to force herself to eat. She hadn't been very hungry today, but she knew she needed to eat. She frowned, biting her bottom lip and then looking up slowly as Flutey called for attention. She eyed the headmaster, uncertain whether she should be fleeing or not…but then his actual announcement stopped her cold. Diggs was dead? Okay. Well that was actually interesting and mildly frightening news. She shifted slightly, leaning forward as she stared at Flutey. She simply stared. She didn't really have a reaction beyond that. To stare. What was she supposed to make of this news? Huh? Huh?! What could she possibly make of it?! She turned, about to murmur something to Izzy when the Hufflepuff came in and made that new announcement. She stared again, lips parted in surprise. She mouthed the words and then she was on her feet, moving quite quickly to see if it was true. The forest was simply another part of Hogwarts that she knew fairly well…(c)
18:37:31 Xia_Lavine (c) It was unsurprising that she wanted to see for herself.

18:50:33 [Mop] He’s without his beater’s bracers tonight (or rather, without only the left one, since that was the only one he seemed to want to wear as a fashion statement) and carefully propping the arm up on the table at the elbow while his right hand does all the laborious work of shoveling food into his mouth. Guaranteed, he met up with Gloriana earlier to assure he’d snag a spot next to her while grubbing out. Thankfully for Gloriana’s sake, he’d learned to chew with his mouth closed at a young age from his pointy-headed parents. Things were going rather well up until someone had to disrupt dinner with bad news (seriously, who does that—just rude) and Meredith revels in the fact that he’s not the only one who ever hesitated to actually listen to Flutey’s rambling yammering. Tonight’s message – while he’s stuffing his face – is met with the same blasé manner Meredith usually meets any of Flutey’s speeches. They always end the same way and he’s probably going to do exactly what he’s being told
18:50:45 [Mop] not to do… so at this point, he’s practically looking for a rule to break – just to see if he can get away with it. It’ll be fun; no one will even die. Unfortunately, somebody did die, apparently… and it sets Meredith’s mood all askew from thereon out. Needless to say, his attention is now on the words being spoken—honestly and wholeheartedly—while he loses his appetite, just struggling through the last bit of chew. He’ll have to separate a little part of his brain for the assistant headmaster later, however, because when TROUBLE STRIKES, he’s more than eager to take his mind off the more morbid subjects or death and mourning in favor of focusing on holy shit danger, danger from the trees. Mop’s likely to have jumped to attention before many other people have reacted—it’s just the way of him… and when he hears things like ‘FIRE’, he’s got to make sure he can’t see the flames before he determines if he’s safe. Once that happens, he becomes wooed too easily to the prospect of watching
18:50:56 [Mop] something burn and from his stand on the table’s benches, he nudges at Glori with a slippered foot: “c’mon, c’mon,” she HAD to be thinking about peeping too, right?

18:51:34 Allerdyce felt herself begin to tremble slightly as Flutey called for attention, fixing the man with a glare that could only be described as full of hatred. She had already known her best friend was dead, and as far as she was concerned, it was that damn headmaster's fault. Still, hearing the words voiced aloud by Flutey hit her hard, like an unexpected punch in the gut. Worse than the when two losses her Quidditch team had suffered hit her, even. Eyes shining suspiciously with something that could be tears, because Slytherins never cried, the arithmancy professor tried to regain her composure. Alas, it wasn't to be, and memory after memory assaulted her. “Dycey, I think I may have just inspired my Hufflepuffs to mutiny,” he said in disbelief as he barged into her office, flopping into the nearest chair. -
18:51:57 [Allerdyce] “Aww, look at you! Your first coup! 'm so proud of you….my little Diggsey's all grown up,” she snickered, reaching over to pinch his cheek, the unmistakable gleam of pride shining in her eyes as she regarded the younger man. “Shut your gob, Dycey.” — “Cassaday wants to put a dragon in the lake? You're havin' me on, aren't cha?” “I wish, Tegan. Merlin, how I wish…” — “You went through the whole bloody castle, acting like the nutter you are and humming tacky American spy themes that are over a century old just to see me smile?” “What? I'll have you know it was fun. I told anyone I passed that if they joined me and played along they'd get extra credit.” “Wait, the whole school isn't going to be acting like this, are they?” “Nah, I could only convince the first years…” – “I'll be home before you know it, you daft chit. Stop looking at me like it's the last time you'll ever see me, ” he ordered, -
18:52:09 [Allerdyce] bumping her shoulder with his as he pushed past her and walked out the door…except he had lied. And she wanted to hate him for it as much as she presently hated Flutey. It was a pity she couldn't quite manage. "Fire! The forest, the forest is on fire!" (We don't give a —, let the -- burn!”) Quickly pushing her dark thoughts away, she turned to regard the rather haggard looking student with blank eyes. Surely it was a joke? Not with their luck.

18:57:45 Anna-Medicinebird leaned back in her chair, staring at the ceiling. She had skipped dinner today, opting instead to spend the evening working on her theorem for the Australian runes…when she noticed an odd light dancing on the ceiling of her office, like flames. She frowned, her eyes moving to the window where the glow brightened. Rising slowly she shuffled over to the window, peering out at the forest and inhaling sharply at the sight of flames licking at the air. She turned, snagging a leather jacket off the back of her chair and heading out the door, letting it bang shut behind her. Fires…which meant there was probably an uproar in the Great Hall, which meant that she should get down there and help police the mob…or something like that. She was also worried about the fire, the way it would spread. It might be cold and snowy, not uncommon for this time of year in the Scottish highlands, but the fire still posed a threat. On top of that, there were creatures in the forest that were in danger…Intelligent creatures,(c
18:58:33 Anna-Medicinebird (c) not just acromantulas and that ilk…And it was sort of a bad thing not to try and help them, right? Well that's what she was telling herself as her boots thudded on the marble stairs, feet bringing her to the entrance hall before she'd even really thought about it.

19:09:35 [Kaust] With an indifferent sort of sluggish movement head would lift from its resting position against her open palm, eyes that were once closed opening to reveal that normal (and yet not so normal) cloudy blue, roused from her dozing by the headmaster of suspicion who claimed to herald more bad news. Other than a slight deepening of breath before the cracking open of that mouth to illicit a yawn behind her now freed hand there was little reaction to the prospect of receiving the information. Only once she’d finished did she allow herself to glance up from off the table toward the ceiling, gloved hands now moving to clutch the sailor hat stationed at her front while the headmaster droned on about the loss of life of one assistant. Again, there’s little reaction here other than the lowering of her head and the slight brushing of the fabric of that hat. Whether she felt something for the death or nothing at all seemed unconcernable, but one thing is for certain, when the student bursts in proclaiming the nigh
19:09:39 [Kaust] impossible, her attention is definitely grasped. The head jerks up and those eyes narrow, lips pulling back to reveal a sneer of contempt for the messenger, and for a hot second she dares to believe the speaker is the liar from the night previous. Oh how she detested those who manipulated the truth, but the reactions gained from the news were more than genuine, as students and teachers alike rose from their seating to either check out the issue from curiosity or attend to the problem with concern. She did neither. Instead, hat would be lifted and placed upon her skull as she rose from her position with an air that bordered on chilling nonchalance. It wouldn’t do well to show her own concern for the forest, mostly because she wanted to use it for purposes nonacademic. The simple fact that it might actually be on fire was a horrific dent on the plans she wanted to put into motion, and hands would shakily pat at the pipe within her robes at the thought of such things being put on permanent hold. Slowly, she
19:09:52 [Kaust] would move around the seating she’d been placed, only to pause somewhat behind the position of one Allerdyce, a look given to the back of her skull. She hadn’t moved yet, possibly thinking the boy to be overacting… if only that were so. In dealing with this school, Kaust had learned that, one should always expect the unexpected. In the end, she’d remain in this spot, her face twisting into its usual scowl of eternal irritation while people (and students, for some reason) burst into what might prove to be unwelcomed action. “Gud job, Herr Headmaster…” She grunted. He was the creator of chaotic happenstance.

19:20:31 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] || Other than her brief run-in with Colm(and the nausea that made an appearance every time she thought about the Forbidden Forest), Gloriana’s day had gone of without a hitch. She had attended classes and arrived early as she usually did, and she was now settling into the Great Hall for dinner albeit at the mercy of one ravenous Mop. He had apparently formed some sort of unbreakable bond with her, one that was not, at all, reciprocated. While joining her housemates, she spotted Xia and Izzy, but chose not to burden them with her presence. Izzy had made it all too obvious that he wasn’t as thrilled about being “self-proclaimed” leader as she thought. She took her seat at the far end of the table and watched him devour his food in the most bestial manner with an expression of disgust plastered on her features while attempting to eat her own dinner without being sick from watching Mop eat his (which was quickly becoming a difficult task). He’d been interrupted, and thankfully so, as Professor Flutey began <c>
19:20:51 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] another of his infamous announcements. Gloriana, unlike her peers, welcomed the distraction. It gave her a brief reprieve from watching Mop inhale his food. But the “distraction” becoming a great deal less welcome when Flutey mentioned that Professor Diggs had passed away. Gloriana gaped in the Headmaster’s direction, shocked by his grim announcement and she obliged him (as did 99.9% of the Great Hall) when he’d asked for a moment of silence in honor of the deceased. It was the most quiet she’d ever heard the Great Hall; that was, until it was impeded upon by the cries of a young Hufflepuff. </I>FIRE!</I> Gloriana was in a momentary paralytic state, until Mop nudged her with his foot. To which she gave a look of detest before promptly joining him. She imagined Izzy had some hair brained idea to go along with this wonderful diversion. It would give them the chance they needed to explore the Forbidden Forest after all… wouldn’t it? She kept that thought at the forefront of her musings as she <c>
19:21:00 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] perused the crowd for Izzy and Xia.||

19:34:18 Izzy-Iwamura reacted just like anyone might have when he heard the Hufflepuff yell that disruptive word. Which is to say he was up in a second. Seeing as how Xia was right there next to him, he had no real need to find her or tell her what was going on. She seemed to have a sort of sixth sense for locating him in the midst of chaos anyway. His first target was Gloriana, who didn't prove all that hard to find, he just shuffled past her, mentioning over his shoulder, "…I think you had a plan." And then he was off, making for the entrance hall. Hopefully, Xia could pull off another of her miracle courses, and find a passage that would avoid all the foot traffic - already the panic and chaos in the Great Hall had risen to a fever pitch, the faculty was pouring out, and everyone, everyone seemed to be afflicted at least momentarily with New Jersey Driver Syndrome, and the need to go and stare at the fire. Then again, Izzy had it too. Couldn't hold that against anyone… the timing of the fire seemed unfortunate, >
19:35:28 Izzy-Iwamura < perhaps even… overly convenient, but Izzy had little time to think on that. For now, he just wanted to get a look at what was happening. There'd be time to work out a 'plan' later. It didn't take long for it to be glaringly obvious - the Hufflepuff wasn't lying. The thick, acrid stench of smoke, heavy from the damp wood, was unmistakable.

19:41:29 Xia_Lavine glanced at Izzy and offered an impish smile as they began to move through the crowd. Fortunately her bubblegum pink hair wouldn't be hard to follow. While he got Gloriana's attention, she was scanning the crowds, picking out a pathway almost immediately when she saw where and how everyone was herding. "C'moooon. This way!" She chirped, smiling at the little group and then glancing around, heading off in the direction of a passage that would circumvent the majority of the students. She didn't wait very long, simply glancing over her shoulder to ensure people were meandering after her, and then her focus was all for the front lines. When they emerged on the grounds, Xia stood very, very still for a moment, eyes wide as she looked at the forest, blazing so vividly before them. She grimaced. "Well…What's the plan?" She asked, turning and glancing at the rest of the group, her lips pressed into a thin line. She shifted her weight uneasily and then moved forward a few steps, eyes moving back (c)
19:41:32 Xia_Lavine (c) to the blaze.

19:51:48 [Mop] Woah, woah, woah here. Meredith can hear one thing as his fellow Ravenclaw passes by – even in the chaos and noise. Gloriana had a plan? Why wasn’t he let in on this plan!? It hurt, you know! His own party member was scheming behind his back! He doesn’t have time to swoon in the cruel workings of his feminine companion before they’re heading off… and Meredith is more than happy to follow suit even if he isn’t exactly invited along. Whenever—wherever they stop, he has to wonder the same thing – what is the plan?? They’re not exactly inconspicuous, now are they? Certainly not while they’re being lead around by a girl with a bright pink mane! “Ssssooo…” he speaks up with a hissing whisper, growing louder as he goes in hopes to snag some attention. “Got a plan, do you, bach?” He’s got Spanish eyes on you, Gloriana—and if she doesn’t produce something that’ll immediately put them closer to the source and mystery behind the blaze, Mop has plans too—though no one will want to follow
19:52:02 [Mop] his lead.

20:09:13 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] || Despite the grim sort of feel to the evening and the events that had led up to that moment, the right corner of Gloriana’s lip drew up about a half an inch into a kind of smug smirk. So her idea hadn’t been all that far-fetched after all. But her victory was short-lived as the realization that they were, in fact, going to explore the Forbidden Forest, and soon. Her stomach turned again and she followed swiftly behind Izzy and Xia, knowing full-well that Xia would find them a passage out of the school without the magnificent hordes of students crowding them uncomfortably. It was amazing, Xia’s knowledge of the secret passages of Hogwarts and it made Gloriana wonder if she didn’t have some kind of map she’d memorized in her spare time. The thought was cast aside as they approached the scene. Plumes of smoke curled into the sky as the Forbidden Forest burned in a raging inferno, okay maybe not the whole forest, but that one patch that was on fire looked very menacing. Mop caught her attention and she <c>
20:09:31 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] sneered back at him in reply, “Well if you haven’t noticed the Forbidden Forest is on fire. Our plan is… well I have no bloody clue what our plan is. And if you call me a bitch again, you’ll be waltzing around with a very unflattering addition to your appendages.” She snapped back to attention and stared at the fire, still on edge about entering the forest at all, much less while a fire was burning inside!||

20:20:06 Izzy-Iwamura had, indeed, not precisely invited Mop along, but by grace of the fact that he was there, and probably wasn't going to serve as a rat, and he really seemed to want in… there was no real reason to turn him away. Well, other than the fact that he was really kind of annoying, at least. That probably wasn't his fault though. Besides, another body never hurt to have, right? Anyway. Xia may have had a very bright crop of hair, but she could be remarkably inconspicuous, mainly for the fact that she knew all the pathways that nobody else would be on anyway. It was one of those many secret passages that carried them out onto the grounds, and to look upon the forest - merrily burning, beneath the ever-thickening haze of the smoke. Izzy wrinkled his nose, coughed a little, looking at the other three who had come along with him. It was going to be difficult to breathe if they stayed outside, let alone if they actually ventured into the inferno that awaited… obvious solution? Bubblehead charm! Following the >
20:21:12 Izzy-Iwamura < judicious application of just that, he actually spoke. "You don't have a plan? I thought you had a plan. No matter. We could always play it by ear. There's worse things than wandering through a burning forest, right?"

20:33:34 Cyrus`Valen at the first sign of trouble in the forest, the Potions master had leapt from his seat without further delay. A twist of muscles, shifting bones and crackling marrow…claws clicked and skidded along stone as the wolf landed just at the end of a row of tables, much to the surprise of several students. While some had heard that he was an Animagus, it had only been speculation and rumors up to that point, most students whispering amongst themselves over what a man such as Cyrus could possibly choose as an animal half. And their answer came in the form of the almost excessively large wolf who had taken the place of the professor in midleap, currently rocketing through the great hall, weaving in and out of pairs of legs and causing the occasional startled shriek or leap of surprise. Not only was it his duty as a teacher to see to the disaster that’d befallen the great forest, but he had personal motivations as well. Sometimes, he felt at home in the forest, just running, the crunch of dirt and leaves beneath
20:33:48 Cyrus`Valen padded feet as he wound about trees and occasionally sought prey. During that period that he’d been gone, had been captive…he’d formed a strange kinship with the nature of the wolf despite his control over its desires, and had taken to living in the wild before accepting the teaching position. But he tended to push those black years from his mind, and did so now, focusing only on his objective. Finally coming to the edge of the raging pyre, he’d shifted back once more, and without time to truly consider what he was doing, his wand was yanked forth, and a harsh cry of “Aguamenti!” burst from the Irish wizard’s lips…and backfired horribly. The charm, rather than releasing the tremendous jet of water he’d intended to summon, caused a jet of flame to leap from his wand and only add to the inferno…and then the water followed, though most of it ended up drenching him from head to toe and splattering the ground around him, rather than propelling itself forward as he’d intended. Perhaps he should have
20:33:59 Cyrus`Valen paid attention in Charms after passing the O.W.L, but he’d slacked off and earned a grade of Troll…and a complete, abysmal knowledge of using most charms properly.

20:36:15 Xia_Lavine considered the air for a moment before copying Izzy and placing a bubblehead charm around her head. She shifted slightly, moving forward a few steps and then glancing over her shoulder at the rest of them. "Soooo…" She said, resting her hands on her hips. "Let's go. I'm all right with winging it for the time being." She said simply, grinning at them all and then turning, intending to head toward the forest. She caught sight of the Potions master accidentally setting further flames to the forest, and for a moment she brought a hand to her lips, fighting a strong desire to laugh. "Professor Valen is having trouble, methinks." She said pointedly, nodding in his direction and then looking at the others, taking a few more steps. "Come oooon. Before someone sees!" She turned and then began walking off, hoping the others would follow after her as she took a rather indirect route to the forest. She didn't want the flames to highlight their departure, though, so she took shadowed (c)
20:37:04 Xia_Lavine (c) pathways, leading them off behind the greenhouses instead of across the grounds in plain view of the doors. They came upon the edge of the forest quickly enough, and Xia slipped beyond the trees, mercifully a decent length of forest away from the burning section.

20:47:21 [Mop] “Bach.” He repeats like she’s got some kind of hearing problem. “Baahgh.” What was it with the English and not knowing Welsh? Geeze. When he realizes no matter how many times he says it, it’s not going to make Gloriana understand the differences, he concedes—but he probably won’t remember not to use it anymore. “Mate, Gloriana. Mate.” Hopefully that clears things up and it’s not hard to move on when Izzy starts speaking up. “Yeah, yeah” Meredith aggress with Izzy’s sentiments on danger, “like walking into a burning forest full of random agro monsters—oh, wait. Yeah, I don’t see how this can possibly go wrong!” He’s actually all smile and anxious excitement rather than sarcastic biting tones when he speaks – so as per usual, it’s hard to gauge exactly what his damage is. With the plan of ‘fuck the plan’ in motion, Mop (who’s pretty sure he’ll fail the first time he tries his hand at a bubblehead tonight and will wait until he’s not being stared at to evoke it) pulls the collar of his
20:47:32 [Mop] cardigan up to his mouth and nose and buttons himself up to create a wool shield to protect from the heavy smoke-filled air as they make their way towards the fire. He’s rather gracious for Xia leading the way around instead of IN to the flames… though Meredith doesn’t take part in staring at Dick-Professor and his comically sad battle with the blaze as Xia seems wont to do.

20:53:52 Anna-Medicinebird stood for a moment in the Great Hall, staring at the hordes of students as they began coming out of the Great Hall…before it got too packed she was heading out the door at a full run, her eyes on the blazing forest as she streaked across the campus, showing off for a moment her athletic capabilities. Or maybe her coyote-ish capabilities. Maybe both. She noticed, only a moment after he streaked by, the Valen was on the way to the scene of the fire as well in his timber wolf form. Her eyebrows rose as she watched him shift back to human and point his wand at the forest….And proceed to send more flames into the fire and then get doused with water himself. She bit back a laugh as she finished running up to the forest, drawing her own wand. With a flourish she began dousing the flames with a powerful jet of water, her eyes narrowed on the burning branches. "Okay there, Valen?" She called over the crackling roar of the flames. The heat this close was oppressive, and for a moment she regretted (c)
20:54:27 Anna-Medicinebird (c) wearing her jacket out onto the grounds. She moved back a small step, feeling a sweat break out on her forehead from the sheer heat of the flames.

21:03:59 [Kaust] This was not her issue to deal with; her only concern for the forest being the simplistic fact that she had meant to use the security of the area for her own nefarious research. As it was, that research would have to be put on hold, or some other place would be needed for its completion. All in all, it didn’t make the professor particularly excited to face the swarm of students in an attempt to reach the burning foliage, and the headmaster…? Well, she’d lost sight of him, and hadn’t heard not so much as an order for wayward students to return to their rooms since his announcement. Useless… Standing upon the nearest table the German would examine the chaos, only sparing a glance toward the first two professors to take off, one in the form of a wolf, the other swift and agile enough to navigate the storm. Once they were out of sight, and assumedly heading toward the disaster to solve it, she would cup her hands together and screech in that intimidating voice of absolute disgust.
21:04:01 [Kaust] “CALM DOWN.” To those students left behind, and those heads that still remained, orders in clip militant tone would be barked and arms would be whipped in the appropriate directions to catch what little remained of the student body and filter them to the appropriate place. If some child died, burned to a crisp due to their mischievous curiosity, let it be known that they deserved it, and that Kaust may inwardly smile at the thought. Though, for now, with face void of anything remotely positive, she’ll stomp along the control she’d attempted to create, and watch with narrowed eyes for nondescript child that thought themselves mini-explorers. It was just a shame she hadn’t visually caught the escape of the group that had slipped out at the first cry of adventure. None the less, she’ll be out to the fire soon, just gotta take care of Hogwarts worthless insurance liabilities and all that.

21:14:59 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] || She joined the other two and directed a Bubblehead Charm at herself before retorting, “Well I didn’t exactly have time to come up with anything! And you were all being anti-social, which made brainstorming and bouncing ideas off other people a little difficult.” And now they were on their way into the Forest. Gloriana had never been more terrified in her life and it showed. As they passed the tree line, Gloriana lingered back a little and caught hold of Mop’s arm just as he walked by. She clutched desperately to his robes, eyes wide with fear and barely able to keep her breath at a reasonable pace. She groaned and whispered, loud enough for only Mop to hear (though she didn‘t care if he‘d heard or cared to respond in any case), “This was such a terrible idea. Why did I have to suggest such an awful, awful idea.” Her eyes shifted in the dark, at every little sound and every unexpected snap of a twig beneath their feet. This really was going to render Gloriana almost <c>
21:15:26 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] completely useless. What had she been thinking?||

21:25:14 Izzy-Iwamura was pretty sure this was a bad idea. Much of the forest was already aflame, and the thing about fire was that it spread. It was slower than it might have been, because of the heavy rain of the past two weeks, and even the sprinkling snow, and in general the foliage and wood was very wet. Unfortunately, that was small comfort - it meant, above all else, that this was not some natural blaze. And considering the relative disparity of random wanderers through the forest, it seemed fairly unlikely that someone had accidentally set off the forest with, like, a cigar or something. Izzy kept coming back to the word >
21:30:32 Izzy-Iwamura < 'arson', which wasn't a very pleasant word at all, considering the circumstances. "Strictly speaking, Gloriana, I was being avoidant, which differs significantly from anti-social. And you were being irritating, so I consider myself wholly justified." Then again, why hadn't she found someone else to bounce ideas off? It wasn't as though Izzy was the only person in school. Hell, he probably wasn't even the only competent person in the school, he had seen a fair bit of evidence that other people were as well. Including at least one of the people currently forest-running with him. "I think we should probably have a destination in mind, rather than chasing shadows in a burning forest." Hadn't he been the one who initially suggested the plan of 'fuck the plan' in the first place? Oh well, best laid plans went wrong, presumably the worst-laid plans could go wrong as well. "I don't like it much. Someone started this up deliberately. And… I kind of hate to say it, but it's probably specifically to >
21:31:19 Izzy-Iwamura < distract the rest of us from what's happening at Hogwarts. Or what's… going to happen." Pause, then cheery refrain of, "So! Where are the acromantulas?"

22:03:02 Cyrus`Valen a violent cough wracked the thin professor as parts of his coat began to smolder, clouds of smoke issuing from his sleeves before he whipping the jacket aside. A shame…it was one of his favorites, brown corduroy, rather worn and patchy from years of use. Though he paused not to mourn its loss, regarding Medicinebird with a rather testy glare and a shouted, “I’m doing quite fine, thank you very much! before coiling his fingertips about the sturdy shaft of his wand once more. He took a deep breath…concentrating. He could do this right. Rather than rushing as he’d done before, he focused on the tip of his wand. Imagined the cold, refreshing spray of water he intended for it to issue…and spoke again, “Aguamenti!” he thundered. And praise the gods, it worked. A geyser spewed from the tip of the wand and steadily grew in size as he focused all of his concentration into it, beginning to “hose” down the closest areas to himself. Flames sizzled and died as the water splashed over it, sending
22:03:06 Cyrus`Valen sending great billowing clouds of steam upwards to mix with inky black smoke.

22:05:16 Xia_Lavine began moving through the forest slowly, in the general direction of away from the school and sort of away from the flames. No fear was evident on her face, despite the knowledge that the flames could and would spread, and despite knowing that there were other things potentially lurking in the shadowy forest. She had no fear of the place after her myriad visits. Listening to Izzy speak, she giggled, glancing over her shoulder at Gloriana and arching an eyebrow. "You should have tried harder." She said simply, giving a small shrug as she turned her attention ahead of her once more. When Izzy chimed in with more of his thoughts, she glanced over her shoulder and then grinned. "This way!" She chirped, smiling brightly at them all and leading them off into the forest. She knew the general direction she wanted to head…she could get more specific direction soon enough. She glanced at the others, grinning and then shaking her head slightly as she focused once more, humming to herself. Clearly she(c)
22:05:30 Xia_Lavine (c) needed a head check or something, parading off into a burning forest with no fear.

22:12:13 [Mop] Anyone who looks at Meredith would be under the impression he’s half brain damaged or… at the very least… he’d been dropped on his head as a child. As soon as he gets his bubblehead up and on (which only takes one try—surprising even himself), he looks like a kid about to get a room full of Christmas presents to tear into. The forest is hardly a devastating trip for him – perhaps a little unwisely so after even he had mind enough to point out the dangers of the situation they were throwing themselves into. You’d think he does this all the time! His light-hearted and adventurous expression changes significantly when Gloriana takes his arm and even the barest brush makes him cringe as though she’s about to rip off his flesh. He grimaces through it and tries to paint his grin on just as bright as before when he puts Glori’s troubles to rest with an equally hushed voice: “no worries, bach. Just a little walk in the woods, aye? What could possibly go wrong?” It doesn’t take him much
22:12:34 [Mop] longer than that to try and gracefully recollect his left arm and usher it back to safety by attempting a quick step behind and around Glori so… you know… if she gets grabby again, she’ll be on the right side—in more than one way. “Hey so—“ Meredith starts up once Izzy’s finished, speaking in-turn again. “Is that how you really feel? Someone starts this to keep attention away from something going on back at the castle?” If so, would they be too late to turn back and figure out what… or would it be like this chasing ghosts theme they seem to be following—they’d get back only to find the wake of something that had happened. “Well,” the littlest Welshman starts with a roll of his shoulders and a glance around. “It’s probably too late to go back now, aye? We may as well sort things out while we’re hee—WHY would you bring up acromantulas?” BUT HEY no time for concern, the humming, chipper (possibly most psychotic) Ravenclaw at the front and his right Captain is bouncing off like there’s
22:12:45 [Mop] nothing to worry about. So really, Glori’s the odd man out here – acting like this is something to be wary throughout. Buck up, Gloriana, maybe they’ll only run into a little death! It’ll be fine—and Meredith isn’t going to allow either of them to fall too far behind the party… so when he kicks up a step to follow after Xia (and likely, Izzy), he snakes his right hand out to claim Glori’s left forearm if she doesn’t budge right away and give her a little gentle tugging persuasion. Let’s not get left behind in the burny forest of doom, yeah?

22:19:05 Anna-Medicinebird simply shook her head at the response her question got her, though she did decide laughing openly at his folly might not have been such a bad idea in that moment. A sigh eased across her lips as she turned her attention to the flames. "Good. I really didn't want to carry your ass back to the school anyway." She rolled her eyes. Reminder. Social interactions with other professors never ended well. Don't do it. It probably didn't help that it was Valen in particular, but she shrugged the thought off and instead directed her stream of water over the flames, frowning at it. She needed a way to summon a tidal wave…not that that would make matters better. Instead of a burning forest they'd have a flood. She could see the headlines now. Yeah…maybe it was good she didn't have a spell or rune for everything.

22:20:23 [Kaust] After an eternity of listening to the shuffle of tense bodies and the whining of the cowardly the great hall would find itself empty sans the one that remained upon the table she’d taken for her throne. At this point the instructor was smoking, pipe held between her lips pushed to a corner while hands were linked over the top of one knee, which had been crossed over the opposite leg. Here it seemed she took on a relaxed position, more than willingly to allow the two professors outside their chance to attempt to control the fire that raged. It seemed as if she’d done everything she was willing to do, for now anyway, and it was only a matter of time before those nondescript students currently being ushered back to their common rooms would be safely tucked away, no thanks to Herr Headmaster. Snort. Thank goodness for those who wished to do more.

22:35:41 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] || Gloriana was exceptional at Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts, so if any trouble did, in fact, come to them, she was sure herself and (at last) Izzy could take care of things. And she had some faith in Xia as well, it was Mop that she imagined would be in the most trouble if anything was to happen. Gloriana’s heart rate quickened at the mere mention of Acromantulas. Why? Why did Izzy have to do that? Well if she didn’t think Izzy disliked her before, she certainly did now. She barely allowed Mop to inch around her before she clung to him again, unwilling to let go. But now she stood, glued to the floor of the Forbidden Forest. “A-a-acromantulas? Y-y-y-you’re not s-s-s-serious are you,” she cried, trembling on the spot. Mop caught hold of her arm and dragged her along against her will, at first anyway, until she realized that being alone in the Forbidden Forest was much worse than being ushered into it by “friends”. She removed her wand from inside her robes and aimed it in front of <c>
22:35:53 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] her cautiously. Okay, so the Forbidden Forest idea, was definitely not the brightest. At least not for someone who was deathly afraid of it.||

22:41:34 Izzy-Iwamura actually hadn't considered for a second that Gloriana might be afraid of Acromantulas, or that anyone might be for that matter, he just had brought up the first thing that came to mind that he knew had a fairly specific territory staked out in the forest. Sure, they might be dangerous and carnivorous and prone to hunting humans, but Izzy wasn't remotely afraid of that! Considering that, being spiders, they probably found fire terrifying, he considered them to have the distinct upper hand! Or… well.. maybe he hadn't actually thought about it much. And he didn't plan on thinking about it much, either. "Of course I'm serious, Mop. Acromantulas are, at the very least, reasonably intelligent. They might know something. They're also probably fleeing, because silk burns really rather spectacularly, I learned that when I was at Candlecross, but we'll find out when we get there, yes?" Never did it occur to him to just admit he had no idea what he was doing. If somebody else had bright ideas, Izzy >
22:43:26 Izzy-Iwamura < certainly would have listened, but nobody else was being proactive and throwing out brilliant ways to toy with death, which left the onus almost entirely on Izzy here. And hey, this was all Gloriana's brilliant plan ANYWAY, right? If anyone asked, that's what Izzy was saying.

23:02:16 [Mop] Okay, actually, if she’s going to be clinging to him like this… Izzy can say fuck-all that’ll keep her scared and Meredith will remember not to complain. He could deal with this – even if she’s more adept with a wand, he’s clearly the more emotionally stable of the two. Gloriana is welcome to be a flighty as she and cling as long as she wants as long as she’s ready to keep them safe in times of turmoil. So Izzy continues to mention giant nasty spiders and the more he talks, the more Meredith is quite certain he’s not saying anything at all. It’s more a ‘well yes, those are words, I get it’, but he feels there’s no worth behind them. “Uh… yeah. Yeah.” The probably DO know something. They likely know their HOME is burning down and they want nothing to do with the fire – you know, you don’t see many creatures around an inferno… just schoolchildren with a wish for bodily injury, apparently. He’s not much for leader material, but he has no qualm with sharing his opinions while Xia leads them into the mouth of what
23:02:38 [Mop] may as well be HELL at this time—and Meredith would feel a whole hell of a lot happier about this if his bat hadn’t been in the infirmary when someone decided to light it ablaze. “So… the only thing I’ve got is this fire has to be linked to the one in the medical ward…” though he’s still not sure why Xia is walking them through with no readily apparent goal… that is… until the ditch comes into sight… and even then he’s going to be pretty sure she’s either a) joking or b) possessed by spider brains and luring in a free meal until his reasonable and sensible brain returns to the ‘all the smarter beasties have probably run away’ thing they started with and all worries are resolved.

23:31:12 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] || Why did it have to be spiders? Weren’t the centaurs just as intelligent. Actually, as she recalled from her recent study of Fasntastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, they were one of the most intelligent creatures that were considered “beasts”. She also remembered reading that they were excessively good at healing, which, naturally, led to the conclusion that she would much rather have a run-in with a Centaur than an Acromantula any day. In fact, that needed to be said aloud. “Wait! What…. What about the centaurs? They’re more intelligent than…“ she shuddered momentarily, “Spiders. And I’d wager they are less likely to try to murder us than the latter, don’t you? I mean, I know their history with humans isn’t spotless, but I’m going to go ahead and vote that they are the lesser of the two evils.” She gave them all a pleading look, the most pathetic thing you’d ever seen. Gloriana would never be able to live this embarrassment down as long as she lived, but she wasn’t just <c>
23:31:14 [Gloriana`Boulstridge] going to sit around and let Izzy lead them into the den of killer spiders. Not without suggesting an alternative first. And her best alternative was the Centaurs.||

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