|Magister J Wm Goyle (truthinartifice) wrote in lightning_war,|
@ 2009-06-01 04:10:00
Late Thursday evening, 17 September 1942, in the Great Hall of the Royal Academy...
Jubal William Goyle was finally convinced that even if the Royal Academy did not survive the night in its current form, and even if the castle fell, most of its inhabitants would still be alive come the morning. He had watched Eliot Gardiner and Joachim Piccard set up the array and the anti-lightning devices outside of the building, and he had also taken a moment to observe Michel Rosenthal and Juliana Leffoy de Marigny in their work. Althea Peverell had accompanied him.
Will had wondered if he and Miss Peverell ought not join in their work, since he had worked with the artifice before, but it responded to Juliana Leffoy as if it thought her its maker, and it was as absorbed in her as she with it. They hadn’t even noticed him entering the room, nor Miss Peverell either—and they hadn’t noticed their leaving it. He was trying not to feel jealous (on a number of different levels, because he hadn’t expected ever to encounter another person who could make him experience any of the same kinds of cravings Dracaena did, especially not a fellow artificer…who was an arithmancer, and less than a third of his age, and already in love with someone else) and having a difficult time with that.
The Great Hall was noisy; he could hear the singing ten yards away from the door. When he entered the room, Magistra Gardiner and the chaplain silenced the room and ordered everyone to assemble quietly around the tables. Once people were mostly seated, and most of the conversation had been silenced, Will addressed the student body.
“I would say good evening, but this evening has been far from good; we will do the best we can to get through the rest of the night. As you have probably surmised, there is a lightning rain in progress outside. A team of individuals from the War Bureau have set up defences, and Professor Rosenthal and his assistant appear to be manning the defences we already know we have with great efficiency.” He winced, took a deep breath, then continued.
“Our plans to evacuate the Academy using the gates in the kitchens, in the absence of train service, cannot be completed until the lightning rain is over, because the defences interfere with safe operation of the gates, and the Rosenthals--Professor Rosenthal and Miss Leffoy, that is--and the War Bureau team have both informed me that we may not be able to operate the gates safely for several hours after they are powered down. Dux Kyteler is trying to negotiate train service tonight after normal mundane hours of operation have ceased. Please be prepared to leave at any time.”
Emily Chattox winced at him from across the room. A part of him noticed that Professors Mathers and Stuart had not returned, and also that Professor Scalara was also gone. He wondered if she had gone to assist Professor Magnusson in her work with the runes on the castle’s less eccentric defences, but that seemed unlikely.
Will sighed heavily. “Naturally, some students have not yet responded to the drill. We are informed that Miss Starn and Miss Loveday are with Professor Mathers and Professor Stuart; we are also informed that Mr Pettigrew and Mr Hawkwood are in the infirmary, along with all the apprentice healers. Members of the junior inquisitorial squad have been sent to assist the constables in searching for missing students, and apprentice artificers and apothecaries should be aware that we may require your assistance at any time. At this time I kindly request that you do not leave the area surrounding the Great Hall and the nearest lavatories until you are instructed to do so.”
Emily Chattox frowned, and Will wondered what she was thinking. It occurred to him then that he could not see Florian Leffoy anywhere around the group of tables that represented Avalon College.
“What is it, Emily?”
Chattox bit her lip, and then she shook her head.
Will shrugged, and turned the floor back over to Professor Gardiner and the chaplain. “What is it, Emily?” he demanded again when he had beckoned her away from the student body.
Chattox just sighed. “Professor Scalara,” she said quietly, “believes that Mathers and Stuart are up to no good, and she’s taken Florian Leffoy up there.”
“What?” Will stared at her in shock. “And you let her do it?”
“I don’t think I could have stopped him, short of illegal magic use,” said Chattox, frowning. “He would have started a riot in here, he’s just like his mother, and you can’t have forgotten what she was like, and the Lovelace and Casaubon boys would have backed him up. They accompanied him. So did his sister, your nephew, the Trelawney girl, and Alastor Mablin, among others and over Professor Scalara’s objections. So did Edmund Bradbury, Alexander Mackenzie and Anne Loveday—Edmund and Anne left Hector Smith and Rachel Zeller in charge of their underclassmen.”
“Wait,” said Will in disbelief, “Scalara took Florian Leffoy up there, but she objected to anyone else going? How are you sure that she’s not up to no good?”
Chattox looked miserable. “I’m not,” she admitted. “But she did the maths, you know. And…” She shook her head. “It seems to be the day for it.”
Lucian Casaubon came up behind him, and in a soft voice said, “I’ll go up after them, Will.”
Will reddened. In the furore over Liane he had all but forgotten that Lucian was even there, and that was unjust of him, too. “I should go with you, Florian is Dracaena’s son—”
“Will,” said Lucian softly. “You have to take care of everyone here. I can worry about Florian.”
casaubon, voci_umbrarum (Emily Chattox) and truthinartifice
Open thread for events in the Great Hall. Do not thread/indent comments; we will repost if there are errors. This one could get pretty long.