There is a buzz of excitement in the air as students gather around the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest to witness the second task. Before them is a large maze that will play host to the task. Who knows what could be lurking inside.
Because of the smoke, Karina's aim is horrible and doesn't hit the poltergeist. When Grizel clears the clouds, Beitris' sobs become louder even with the efforts to muffle her voice. It's almost like she was reacting to what Grizel is doing. It's moot, however, seeing as the detonators are still blowing puffs of thick smoke that continue to lower the visibility in the area. Peeves manages to see Karina emerge from the smoke and throws two recently-materialized cakes at her face. One strikes her in the face, but the other flies past her head, coincidentally hitting Grizel's stomach. "Haha, you can't get me!" he sings, before dissolving into psychotic laughter. "Come on! Is that all you've got?!"
She'd wipe cake off her face, clearly not amused. She'd continue to run through the smoke trying to use it as cover and launch a Obscuro spell at Peeves when she had something like a clear shot to make his aim even worse.
"Ugh," she groans at the mess of pie on her shirt. She'd quickly try to cast a homing spell at Peeves, hoping it'll connect with his stupid face or at least chase him off, and then turn her attention to the decoy detonators, trying to throw a bombarda at them over her shoulder to render them useless. She keeps moving forward as well.
The obscuro and bombarda are unsuccessful, unlike the homing spell, which does deter Peeves, making his eyes widen and evoking high-pitched scream before he quickly turns and bolts down the path. It occurs to him he can lose his corporeal form, so he does, but not in time to save him from the flying ball of light. When it makes contact, he's sent flying, landing a couple feet away from the very thing he'd been protecting. He groans, clutching his head with one hand and stomach with the other. "You've killed me!" he wails dramatically, "I'm dying, and it's your fault!" He doesn't realize just where he is as he finally pulls himself onto his feet, glaring half-heartedly at the girls. "Okay, fine, you got me beat. I want a rematch!" he huffs, already rolling up his sleeves. The girls will soon see the glass case behind him, standing tall. Grizel and Karina will soon realize there's a body inside that case; the body of Grizel's mother. However, something is off about her; the eyes are a pearly white and she's staring straight ahead with a dead stare, like she can't see anything. She is, however, screaming, sobbing a she hits the glass again and again. "Make it stop! Please, baby - Grizzly Bear, please, honey, save me!"
"Play dead then," she spits at Peeves, sorry to see he's still here - but her ire dies out when she realizes that's her Ma in the glass case. She feels her limbs go cold...her Ma doesn't look right. "Ma, I'm here! I'm gonna get you out!" She looks at Karina pleadingly and asks quietly, "Can you get him while I get her?" She aims her wand at the glass case, casting, "Finestra!" and hoping she can get rid of the glass without hurting her mother.
She'd turn to face Peeves tossing a few words over her shoulder at Grizel. "It's not her. Not the real her. Don't be fooled." She'd square off with Peeves and almost growl at him. "...you got cake in my hair." She'd take careful aim before jabbing her wand at him with an "Expulso!"
Karina's Expulso doesn't strike Peeves, as he's able to swing out of the way in time. He grins. "You missed!" Peeves pulls something else out of his pockets; dungbombs. He swings his arms and throws them, hitting Grizel once and Karina twice. "But I didn't! You suck, losers! What are you, first years?! Please! Even Frankie First Year can do better!" he quips. His hands are smeared with dirt now, but he doesn't care as he skips over to Karina, circling around her with a mad grin. "Come on, Princess!" Around the same time, Karina registers a muffled cry coming from the same case. This time, it occurs to her it's Jaina. "Karina! Karina, let Peeves go - please, come help me!" She'll realize there's one detail they had missed; there was something - or someone - behind Beitris. But she hadn't been there before, had she? Peeves' face falls when Grizel's Finestra works. The glass shatters and he immediately panics. "Nope! Game over!" Running out of ideas in the heat of the moment, he creates two more cakes, which he throws successfully at the witches. "I said game over, little witches! Run before I catch you!"
She just wants to make sure her ma is okay, but no, the school's resident amortal piece of crap has to get in the way. "Game not over!" She'd try to sidestep the pie and aim her wand at him, imagining him being blown to smithereens. "Confringo!"
She'd put up a shield charm in front of them to try to block the cakes and then turn and run past Grizel towards the broken glass case looking in it to see what's there. Surely this is what's been calling them the whole maze and what they were sent in here for. They'd already gone through so much...this had to be near the end.
Peeves' eyes widen and he quickly tries kicking upwards when he sees the wand leveled at him, but Grizel moves too quickly and sends him flying well over the wall of the maze, away from them. Whether or not Peeves is ok is uncertain, but now they don't have to deal with the pesky amortal. Able to devote their attention to the case, they'll soon see both Jaina and Beitris are there. Jaina is gagged but her pearly white eyes are wide open. Like Beitris, she's staring ahead in a dead stare. For all intents and purposes, they look.... dead. The only thing that could prove any different is that both women's dominant fists are tightly closed around something.
When they didn't react she'd do her best to suppress shivers and say quietly, though loud enough for Grizel to hear. "It's not real...it's not them." She'd pause. "Be ready for...something to happen." Then she'd gently try to take whatever it was wrapped in their hands.
With Peeves finally out of their hair, she rushes over and hits her knees next to her ma. "Karina, I don't know..." she mutters back, her voice shaking. She reaches out to try to shake her, then thinks better of it. "They look so real." She points her wand at her ma. "Rennervate." She doesn't know what she wants more, for it to work, or...not.
When Karina pries the hands open, she'll realize they were clutching the final pieces of their incomplete time-turner. The hourglass, and the piece that sustained it in place. Grizel's spell doesn't work, as the copies aren't actual humans. With all the final pieces, all that's left is to use the red sparks to mark the discovery of the bodies, recover them, and bring Task 2 to an end for Gryffindor House.
She still isn't sure how she feels about the spell not working - was that her, or her ma? Not-ma? She didn't know. "I hope that's really it..." She shoots up red sparks as well and leans over to help with the...bodies?
The spell works, and the vines begin to move forward. Rather than getting the Champions, it begins to pull the bodies into the shrubbery. Behind them, they'll hear the sound of applauses becoming louder and louder until the student body is revealed, just as Silas Chevalier declares Task 2 to have concluded. Gryffindor got third place with a total of 3 points.
The Sphinx shakes her head. "The p and h are the fourth and fifth letters of the word," she corrects. "A man forgets who he is, breaks all his bones, and attacks himself in frustration. The next day, he's fine. How?"
She scratched the back of her neck, she hated riddles and honestly, just wanted to go home. "Maybe...there's two different people? I'm not sure." She looked at Jonathan to see if he had any better ideas.
Jonathan PrinceSixth Year Hufflepuff - Hufflepuff Prefect -Son of Ash and Charity Prince – 22:58, August 4, 2020 (UTC)
A mild expression crossed his face and he nods. "That could definitely work. The man and the he that are referred to are two different people, so in the end the man, now referred to as he walks away fine."
It took her a moment, her heart was beating rapidly - really not wanting to go into the water with those...things. She spelled out the words under her breath, "They both begin with F...but, that's not half..." It then dawned on her and she clapped her hands together upsetting her burns and letting a yelp escape from her, "Roman numerals? IV?" She scrunched her eyes up in pain as she gently stretched out her palms again, "Remind me not to do that again..."
Jonathan PrinceSixth Year Hufflepuff - Hufflepuff Prefect -Son of Ash and Charity Prince – 23:11, August 4, 2020 (UTC)
After kicking himself for missing an easy riddle about a werewolf, he'd been busy trying to mess around with fractions and halves of nine when she came up with a more accurate answer. "Don't do that again," he deadpans.
The Sphinx slowly nods. It stands on all four and moves aside, granting Jonathan and Lily access to the rest of the path. "Congratulations. You may not have gotten them all, but a deal is a deal. Good luck with your next challenge, Champions." When they walk past the Sphinx, she settles back where she just was ahead of the arrival of anyone else. As they face forward, they'll realize there's a small ensemble of ghosts waiting for them just ahead. Helga Hufflepuff, Newt Scamander, Nymphadora Tonks and the Fat Friar all wait for Jonathan and Lily to get closer. When they do, Helga steps forward, smiling kindly although she looks a little concerned. "Jonathan, Lily, you look... horrible. How are you?" she queries, sounding and looking every bit like a worried mother.
Jonathan PrinceSixth Year Hufflepuff - Hufflepuff Prefect -Son of Ash and Charity Prince – 23:31, August 4, 2020 (UTC)~
He looked at all of the ghosts-- probably different embodiments of Hufflepuff's qualities. "Ms. Hufflepuff," he says gravely. "I don't know how I can count myself among your ranks any longer." Tears pool in his eyes. "I've... I've...." He breaks down. He can't even say it out loud.
Helga's heart breaks in two when she sees the defeated and exhausted looks on their faces. She musters a smile for Lily, shaking her head. "No, no, dear, you're not dead at all. You've both done so well! I'm only here to provide you with the opportunity for an extra point," she says, softly. Jonathan's breakdown, however, renders her speechless; when she had envisioned a tournament devoted to Hogwarts Pride, this had not been what she'd had in mind. This is one of the few times she's felt a nearly overwhelming desire to be able to touch people again. It's Nymphadora Tonks that is able to step in, walking forward until she stands besides Helga. "You've both represented Hufflepuff House with honor. Nothing is what it seems in this maze. It's designed to hurt both of you. You've done wonderful - don't give up now."
The possibility of an extra point intrigued her but she wasn't sure how long Jonathan could hold up...mentally, at least. "Thank you...we're trying out best..." Her hand gently rubbed Jonathan's back, attempting to console him. "What do we have to do?"
Helga and Tonks exchange a look, but ultimately, Helga nods. "Turn me into a duck using Ducklifors and you'll win your extra point," she pauses and smiles gently, "It may not be easy and it may be time-consuming, but I imagine you could use the comic relief."
She remembered what happened last time when Jonathan tried to cast it on her and Peeves messed it up. "Alright...I'll try it..." She looked at Helga and the rest of the ghosts before she turned and went to cast it on Tonks but last minute changed the trajectory toward Helga, hoping that she might've faked them out.
Jonathan's spell doesn't work, just because Lily's 'basic' attempt is actually a success, and Helga Hufflepuff is transformed into a duck. She quacks happily; it's easy to say she feels at least a little happy that her Champions have succeeded even with the misery they're feeling. There's a brief moment of silence before Tonks' stunned laugh is heard. "Well, damn," she grins at them, "You damn well did it in your first try. See? Not so bad, was it?" Tonks goes to nudge Jon playfully, but when she slides through him and Lilly, remembers she's a ghost. Her hair turns a soft orange, reflecting her embarrassment. "Right. Well, I suppose that means we'll have to let you go now. Good luck!"
She wasn't expecting it to work but when it did she grinned with glee for the second time in the entire task. "Thank you!" She was about to clap but remembered her lesson from earlier, "It was nice meeting you all," She told the rest of the ghosts as she advanced onward, hooking her arm with Jonathan's again.
Jonathan PrinceSixth Year Hufflepuff - Hufflepuff Prefect -Son of Ash and Charity Prince – 00:16, August 5, 2020 (UTC)
He shuddered when Tonks went through him, feeling cold from the tip of his head to the smallest of his toes. He's stunned that for the first time, in what seems like this entire task, they've had a stroke of luck. He tries to remember what Tonks has said-- the task is designed to hurt them, and nothing is what it seems. But... he did kill something even if it wasn't actually his mother. He still killed something. He follows Lily forward with a nod to the Hufflepuff ghosts.
When they take the first corner, at the very end of the path, there's a king-sized bed. Lying on the bed are Rudy and Charity. They look peaceful, with their eyes closed and arms crossed over their chest, as if they were dead and this was their funeral. Under Rudy's hands is the final piece to the puzzle; the hourglass that completes their time-turner. All that's left to do now will be to collect the final piece and use the red sparks charm to signal the discovery of both bodies and the end of Task 2 for Hufflepuff House.
Immediately after spying her sibling, Lily ran full speed toward them, panicking. "Rudy? Rudy!" She checked to see if they were breathing or were alive in any way, shaking them as she noticed the hourglass in their hands. "Please be fake, please..." She tried to grab the hourglass.
Jonathan PrinceSixth Year Hufflepuff - Hufflepuff Prefect -Son of Ash and Charity Prince – 01:19, August 5, 2020 (UTC)
His grief turned to confusion. He'd seen the body of his mother. Seen her burned up corpse. He was right there next to Lily. "Wh-what's happening? Lily. They can't be dead. They can't be here. This... this can't be them. It can't be." He watches to make sure she's able to get the hourglass before sending up sparks. This could very well be another trick. Reanimated corpses... the tournament wouldn't stoop so low as to create Inferi, would it? And then... disguise them as loved ones?
When Lily touches her sibling, nothing happens. As a matter of fact, nothing happens until Jonathan casts the spell. The sparks are a success. The vines of the walls emerge and begin to swallow Charity and Rudy's copies whole once the items have been recovered. As this happens, they'll realize there are cheers echoing behind them. As they whirl around to take a look, the wall behind them parts at the behest of Silas Chevalier. It reveals the student body and Hogwarts faculty. The Hufflepuff Champions are given a standing ovation as the Headmaster proclaims Hufflepuff House first-place winners of Task 2, with a total of 5 points. Task 2 has officially concluded for them.
See, Dante should've left Iseult to do the spells because one incantation heard from the wizards and Peeves was bouncing about, avoiding both spells. "Trying to hex me see? Lookie here, we have some fools who think they can trick the trickster!" Peeves laughed a little manically, moving to bounce on the glass. "This what you're looking for? Trying to get your Dad? You'll have to get through me first!" Laughing, Peeves continued to jump on the glass casing. "Try and save your precious father - and your point! If I get you first, I get a point all for me!"
Iseult smiles as she comes up with a plan. It's a trick she's practiced with Sabrina and Adele for a long time - she shuts her eyes, quirks an eyebrow and uses her legilimancy to plant a vision of the only person Peeves will listen to. The Bloody Baron. Iseult's vision involves the Baron threatening Peeves to leave the two of them before things get bad for him. She hopes this is enough to remove him, knowing how fearful Peeves is of the Baron.
Right, let Iseult lead the confrontation... while Dante could easily sneak behind the distracted enemy's back. As Iseult attempted to use her legilimancy, Dante let himself look where the easiest access to the box. He didn't move hardly a fracture with Peeves still on the box, but he would pounce for it if the baron could be the perfect convincing strategy to get the poltergeist to step away.
Thankfully for the two of them, Iseult's plan worked. In a matter of seconds, Peeves had scurried away muttering insults of Iseult being 'a vile girl' and 'how dare she.' Now with the tube open for grabs, all the two had to do to complete the first half of the task was to send red sparks into the sky and find the clue on the body.
She runs to Dante, back to the body. "Dad." She says, looking at him. Or rather, not him. Whatever. "As soon as I get the clue, be prepared to cast periculum." She says to Dante, before searching the body for the clue - looking to see if she could find anything. She assumes the clue will be something to do with the incomplete time turners from before.
With Bailey's screams interjected with Teagan's as the two run towards them, no doubt they would be persuaded to be on edge no matter how sure they were that the screams weren't real. They'd eventually come to another set of crossroads that was blocked by a Graphorn lazily sleeping. It was in such a position that waking it and facing it would be the only way the two Champions could progress in the task.
Remembering that a Graphorn isn't very easy to deal with from her limited knowledge of CoMC, she wracks her brain for an alternative. Transfiguration has always been her favorite subject, so... "I'm going to try transfiguring it." she whispers to him, trying to block out the screams. "Cover us." She aims her wand at the creature, focuses, and casts a couple spells. "Diminuendo!" she says, hoping to shrink it, before casting another spell for good measure. "Duro!"
"Sounds like a plan," he whispered in response as he cast a quick disillusionment charm on the two of them. And for good measure, he also cast Cave inimicum just in case the disillusionment failed and they needed to shield themselves from an attack.
Hana's diminuendo worked just like a charm, shrinking the unsuspecting Graphorn into the size of a miniture poodle. Confused for a second before locking eyes on the Champions, it attempted to attack them how it usually would... lest it forgot it was significantly smaller and would be no more than a nuisance. Her duro incantation, however, failed, instead turning a section of the hedge to their left to stone. Down the left path, the two would hear Teagan's soothing voice. "Come here Tate, we'll be safe from the beasts together."
With the Graphorn being no more than a small thorn in the side, it was quite easy to ignore the small creature. However the sound of his mother's voice was now even more unsettling. He'd almost rather her screaming for help rather than trying to coax him towards her. With a weary look at Hana, he began moving in the direction once more.
Following down the path, the two Champions would find a clearing with the glass tube containing Bailey's body. To the left, in a small warm water spring, perched a Siren in her water. As the Champions approached, she smiled. "So good to see you," She said, her voice identical to Teagan's, "Don't you want to end up like Appa over there? Nice and safe?" It was clear that the beast was their last challenge, if not by the way it got ready to attack.
As they arrived to the clearing and Tate saw his dad in the tube, a sense of relief washed over him. But seeing the Siren fake the voice of his mother filled Tate with an anger like no other. He had two options, attack the Siren or save his dad. Channeling his anger, Tate raised his wand and cast finite follow by alohomora at the glass tube his father was in. His priority needed to be his dad, hopefully Hana could take on the Siren.
Hana immediately goes for the siren when she notices Tate going for his dad. First, she raises her wand and casts a quick, "Petrificus totalus!" in its direction. Afterwards, she sets up another Imperturbable Charm to block them in case the siren decides to attack, but stays in between the creature and Tate, defending him as he tries to open the tube.
Tate's finite spell did very little to the casing that held his father, in fact it did nothing at all. His alohomora, however, caused the glass casing to slide off and shatter into the sirens' warm water. Hana's imperturbable charm was unneeded as her petrificus totalus paired with the sheet of glass shattering against the beast had rended the Siren null - save for a large, deafening shriek she let out prior, debilitating the two Champions for a few seconds.
Watching the case slide off and shatter against the Siren, Tate tried to recover as fast as he could after the shriek nearly ruptured his ear drums. Or at least that was how it felt. Running shakily to the case his father was in, he didn't even look to see if he was real. Not wanting to know the answer, honestly. "Periculum!" He called out, lifting his wand to the sky as his other hand reached out for the piece of the time turner. He wanted to move fast, grabbing it and tossing it to Hana to save time.
The shriek stuns her for a bit, but Hana knows that there’s no time to waste. She knows it’s a race against the clock and immediately begins to fiddle with both the part they’ve acquired as she puts the timeturner together; when the piece clicks she finally lets herself breathe, and waits for Tate to hand her the second missing piece before doing the same with that one.
With the red sparks exploding into the sky and the maze reclaiming Bailey's body, Slytherin had completed the second task. From the distance they would hear an explosion of cheers and the announcement from Silas that Slytherin had completed the task, coming second.