Jul 03, 2020 12:22 PM
Neathy Lucy flips the Wizarding World's table
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Fucking Seekers, fucking candles, heh, fucking Candles, fucking Devils--

Maybe she should have worked harder to piss fewer people off. 

Oh well. She just has to get away, and make her way back to civilized areas, or at least areas where the wilderness is hazardous enough, and--

She trips. She rolls down the hill. She fetches up against something--

She has just enough time to realize that oh shit, it's the rim of a well, before she topples inside

and

she

falls

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And then she falls some more, through different air, and then she hits the ground.

She's on smooth grass in the middle of some sort of stadium. The stands above are full of people, mostly children. Their attention is split between the person who just appeared in and then fell out of the air, and the people who are still in the air, riding broomsticks and throwing a ball to each other. 

"And it looks like someone just apparated onto the pitch, I dunno why, hopefully one of the captains will call for a time out so we can oh Merlin's beard, what are the dementors doing here?"

This last is probably referring to the trio of horrible figures in ragged black cloaks drifting out from under the stands, emanating an aura of despair.

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She doesn't feel despair. 

She feels--wrong, itchy, there is something wrong--

Almost involuntarily, she lights up, blazing the light of life like a tiny and unusually nonjudgmental star. 

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The awful floating things turn their absence of faces towards her and slow to a stop. The flying people stop what they're doing to stare, except the one in red who's too focused on not passing out.

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It feels like--someone being dead, except without the someone, and--people being dead isn't this--intrusive--

She has no idea where she is or what's going on.

But she knows that death is bad. 

The choice of life over death, always, she speaks in a single word of crystals-in-river voice. 

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The creatures that shouldn't exist scream, and their scream is a silence deeper than the absence of sound, a sucking silence from a place where sound cannot exist, and then they are not. Reality flows together seamlessly into the place where the holes in the world used to be, and the air is clear and the sun is bright and the hundreds of people watching sigh in instinctive relief before they gasp in shock.

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Okay! That dealt with, she looks around, and--

Is this...the Surface? Can't be, the light shining on her skin--well, it looks like sunlight, but she can feel that it's, it's as inert as candle-light. From the most normal, non-Neathily weird candle ever. 

She looks skyward--well, that looks like the Sun, but. 

She calls up to it, in the loudest rocks-and-river voice, she can, Concern for one behaving in an uncharacteristic way???

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The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace! It does not tell her this because it can't talk.

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She is so concerned right now!!!

Having exhausted all avenues of directly addressing her concerns she starts actually paying attention to the human beings around her. 

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There's a white-bearded old man coming across the field towards her. He says, "All you alright, young lady?"

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"I am confused and concerned. Is this supposed to be the surface of the planet? There's something very wrong with the sun."

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He was expecting confused and concerned, because it would take a rather impressive magical accident to appear right through the wards on the grounds, but that's still a surprising batch of sentences. It doesn't show on his face.

"This is the surface of the planet, yes. Do you know how you came to be here?"

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"I fell in a well while being chased by Seekers. Honestly, that could've gone worse."

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That raises more questions than it answers, especially the part where she seems to expect him to understand it. 

"And what did you do to those Dementors? I would have said destroying them was impossible."

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"Are there more of those things? They were--um--okay, this probably requires context, actually maybe the last thing I said does too, there probably aren't Seekers on the surface--how much do you know about the Neath?"

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"I am beginning to suspect that this will be a rather long conversation. Why don't you come to my office?" He starts trying to lead her off the field; several of the players have landed and are arguing with each other and the referee about whether this counts as a stoppage in play and whether anyone committed a foul.

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"Alright." She agreeably follows him off the field.

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Then they can cross some more lawn and enter an enormous beautiful castle. The outside is all elegant towers and gleaming windows; the inside is distinctly mobile and noneuclidean. They go up two flights of stairs, wait for a third to swing around to where they can get on it, and once off it make five left turns in quick succession without seeing the same bit of hallway twice.

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Lucy does not comment on the oddly Parabolan architecture. 

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It doesn't comment on her, unless you count the occasional portrait waving and saying hello.

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Thaaaat's weird. Um. 

"Are you sure this is the Surface and not some part of Parabola?"

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"This is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in Scotland."

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"That's...not less confusing but okay."

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"I'm sure we can sort it all out and get you back to wherever you were going. Chocolate frog." This last is addressed to a gargoyle, which hops to one side, revealing a door, which in turn opens to reveal a stone spiral escalator.

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"I wasn't strictly going to anywhere, just away from some people who meant me harm," she says dryly, following him up the stairs. 

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When the stairs stop turning they're at the entrance to a very crowded and curious office. Every inch of space is covered in books, parchment, strange blatantly-magical devices, or all three. An ancient pointed hat with a face is dozing on a shelf; they open one black seam-eye to look at her before going back to sleep. And sitting on a golden perch above the desk is a gloriously red and gold bird the size of a swan, who looks at Lucy and trills a single perfect, ringing note that somehow conveys feelings of greeting and friendship and warmth and comfort.

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