Sherlock’s typical late Sunday morning routine of preparing his teaching materials for next week’s classes was interrupted when Assistant Headmistress Athena McKendrick had called on all the academic staff of Cambroxzen to assemble in the teacher’s lounge. Sherlock was curious as to why it was Assistant Headmistress McKendrick that had called for the meeting and not Headmaster Ramsay Eden. The young wizard speculated that this impromptu meeting was called due to what happened to him and Shauna in the Enchanted Forest the day before.
“I’m guessing most of you are wondering why I have called you all here today?” said Assistant Headmistress McKendrick with a refined British accent to the academic staff and selected members of the support staff who was all gathered in the teacher’s lounge. Athena McKendrick was the textbook definition of what a lady ought to be. She was as refined as they came, prim and proper. She was tall and and had a rather thin build. Her shoulder length blonde hair which had long ago turned a shade of grey was neatly styled.
“We have an inkling,” replied Transmutation Professor Agatha Fawcett who was leaning against the fireplace of the teacher’s lounge. Although she was leaning against the fireplace, one could clearly see that she was a taller than the average woman. Professor Fawcett had chestnut coloured hair, and it was tied into a neat top bun.
“It has something to do with what Sherlock and Shauna encountered in the Enchanted Forest, right?” added Protection Against Dark Magic Professor Charles Harrington who was sitting down on a chair that was next to the lounge’s fireplace.
“I thought we were here to discuss Eden’s lack of action in regard to recent developments,” stated Magical Charms Professor Warwick. Professor Wynstan Warwick was half-human and half-dwarf. He was slightly taller than the average dwarf, but much shorter than the average human. The diminutive professor also did not have the typical thick beards that dwarfs had. Instead, he had a rather thin pencil like mustache.
“You’re right Wynstan, I’ve gathered you all here today to come up with a more proactive course of action” announced McKendrick who stood in front of Cambroxzen’s academic staff.
Alrick who was standing near the entrance of the lounge swallowed a lump that had formed in his throat. He hoped that his complicity in causing what had happened in the Enchanted Forrest will not be brought to light, even though he was complicit against his will. For the moment, he would remain quiet unless he was spoken to directly.
“So what course of action do you intend to take Professor McKendrick?” queried Sherlock who was sitting next to Shauna who was half asleep. Sherlock was amazed that his childhood friend had managed to even get up before noon on a weekend and drag herself to the lounge.
“Nothing too drastic,” replied McKendrick to her former student. “We don’t want to get into any trouble with our new uptight headmaster. As you know, he’s a bit of a prick when his orders are countermanded or questioned.”
The lounge erupted in laughter. “So what do you suggest we do?” asked Botanology professor Petunia Burgeon. Petunia Burgeon was a rather plump and middle aged witch of medium height. Her shoulder length curly black hair was also greying.
“The Headmasters doesn’t want to create any what he calls ‘unnecessary concerns’. Therefore he is trying to create the illusion that nothing is wrong and everything is safe,” announced McKendrick to her gathered colleagues. “And that is a recipe for disaster. There are no extensive protective charms on the castle that can keep intruders out. So what I suggest, is that we start placing more powerful protective charms on the castle itself.”
Alrick admitted that the thought of placing more extensive protective charms on the castle excited him, as it would mean that Silenus would not be able to get in contact with him. He was all for the Assistant Headmistress’ plan, as it would offer him some semblance of peace for the moment.
“So the plan is just to place more protective spells on the castle? Nothing more?” asked the professor for Ancient Runes , Quong Zhong as he stroked his long beard that went down all the way to his chest. The Chinese professor was wearing a traditional Chinese robe which was gold and red. He was of average height and wore round framed glasses
“Yes. For now,” answered McKendrick to Quong Zhong’s query.
Sherlock supported the idea of wanting to place more protective spells on the castle. Not only for the student’s safety, but for the safety of the rest of the inhabitants of the castle. However, the young wizard opined that perhaps the only way that Cambroxzen could be safe yet again was for a team of Cambroxzen’s best duelist to go into the forest and to look for these intruders. To Sherlock, that was the fastest way to return safety to Camboxzen, instead of Eden’s plan to barricade the forest. What was worst, was that these intruders had free range of the forest to look for the Gem of Immortality which they were seeking for. He needed to find a way to get back into the forest. Unfortunately, Professor McKendrick who he had spoke to before the meeting began, rejected his idea to infiltrate the forest as it would clearly be an act of outright defiance against Eden. McKendrick had also told the young wizard in confidence that he and Shauna were already on thin ice because of his act of questioning him earlier on.
“The headmaster is sure to find out about what we’re going to do,” voiced out Magical Charms teacher, Gifford Lockwood who was sitting down. He was a dashing man, perhaps in his early thirties. His blonde hair was luxurious and was combed back nearly. It shone slightly whenever the late morning sun that came through the windows of the teacher’s lounge hit it. He wore a a finely tailored grey vest over a white shirt. “We’re all going to be issued warning letters, or worst, we could get fired.”
“Like he’ll dare fire all of us,” scoffed Professor Horace Mudd. Professor Mudd was the Senior Potions Master of the academy and has been teaching at the academy for decades. He was a rather tall, but stout man. He was also balding. “We’re the foundation of this very academy. If we get fired, the parents will all be up in arm.” All the senior professors who have been teaching in Cambroxzen for most of their careers nodded in agreement with Harrington. “Plus, I know some people in the Ministry of Education that could make Eden’s term as Headmaster a living nightmare if he does fire us.”
“So it is agreed then, we will all begin placing more protective charms around the castle’s ground,” voiced McKendrick to all the academic staff that had gathered in the teacher’s lounge. “Just one thing, try to be as inconspicuous as possible. We don’t want Eden getting suspicious. That means no casting of spells that can physically stop a person from entering or leaving the compound.” Everyone in the lounge nodded in understanding before getting up to perform their respective duties.
Christopher’s and Russel’s trip to the hospital to try and get any information from Mr.Fletcherly on who was his assailant and whether or not he was somehow involved in the break-in of Eragash was for naught. By the time they arrived at the hospital, the Eragash vault guard had already been placed under an extremely powerful healing trance by the healer in charge in which he could not be brought out off until the duration of the spell runs out. The two agents had to resign to the fact that for the moment, their only lead had gone cold. For the time being, the two returned to the Ministry of Artefact Recovery which was housed inside Thames House which was located on the north bank of the River Thames in London.
“Did the healer in charge tell you how long Mr. Fletcherly would be in that healing trance?” asked Christopher to his partner as the both of them made their way back to their desk which was situated in The Nerve. The Nerve was the heart of the Ministry. This was where all the Ministry’s recovery agents would perform their investigative duties on newly discovered or stolen artifacts. The Nerve which was normally quiet on a Sunday, was bustling with activity. This was due not to only the theft of the Chalice of Life from Eragash, but also because of the theft of many other artifacts from the bank’s other vaults.
“She said three weeks. Minimum,” answered Russel.
Christopher took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Far too long,” he said to Russel before putting on his glasses again. “By then, the trail would have gone cold even if he did give us any pertinent information.”
“Agent Hart ! Agent Hart !” called out a voice which had a wee Scottish accent. Christopher turned around to see who was calling him. It was Benjamin Darling, one of the Ministry many support staff calling out to him.
“Benji, what can I do for you?” asked Christopher with a friendly tone, hiding his frustration at the recent turn of events. Benjamin was much shorter than Christopher, almost a feet shorter compared to the experienced artefact recovery agent. He also had light brown hair that was short as well as a neat and well kept beard.
“I have a letter for you,” said Benjamin as he handed Christopher a letter that was addressed to him. Christopher thanked the Benjamin as he took the letter from him.
“Who’s the letter from?” asked a curious Russel as Christopher took the letter from Benjamin.
“It’s from the headmaster of Cambroxzen Academy of Magic,” answered Christopher before he began to open the envelope in which the letter was placed in.
“You’re not going to check whether it has been cursed, hexed of jinxed?” asked Russell to his partner. Although not as frequent as their counterparts who works for the Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement, there have been a few cases of artefact agents being cursed or hexed by letters that were sent to them from some disgruntled parties.
“I don’t think the headmaster of Cambroxzen will want to curse, hex or jinx me,” said Christopher who had stopped opening the letter to answer Russel. “Plus, I would think that Benji would have used a spell detector to see whether the letter has been cursed or hexed.”
“Quite right,” said Beji with a large grin on his face, “I’ve checked it, and there are no traces of dark magic on the letter.”
Christopher continued to open the envelope and took the letter out of it when he was done. His brown eyes scanned the letter thoroughly. Making sure he did not miss a single ounce of information on it. His eyes arched upwards halfway through reading the letter that was addressed to him.
“Something interesting Christopher?” asked Russell to Christopher.
“We’re going to Cambroxzen,” said Christopher as he folded the letter before walking pass Benjamin and Russell and towards the Nerve’s exit.
“Going to Cambroxzen? Why?” queried Russell with a bewildered look on his face as he followed Christopher towards the exit.
“I’ll explain on the way,” replied Christopher to his partner’s question. With that, Christopher and Russell left the Nerve and were off to Cambroxzen, leaving Benjamin confused on just what had happened.