April 21st, 2098

18:56:15 [Hippolytus] It had been difficult waiting around until it was sufficiently dark enough to conceal suspicious activities from casual glances. Hip had brewed a few pots of tea and then sat by the window while each slowly cooled, drinking only about a half a cup of tea for each pot. When Winifred returned, he’d fed her and let her out into the eaves, making sure she was nice and roosted before he went back to his luggage and pulled out his Firefly and flight helmet. Donning the latter and his goggles, he’d kicked off into a high flight path. Now, breaking back down through the desolate fog, he oriented himself and spiraled in for a soft landing near the gray and dilapidated country road that terminated at an old and overcrowded wizard graveyard. The place didn’t even have a proper name – though surely the locals have one for it, as well as a slew of stories concerning it. Officially, however, it had initials and a number and each “plot” was designated on a bleak little grid. Hippolytus waited outside the scrollwork metal gate, eyes scanning in the dark for signs of wards.

19:16:33 [Porthman] Mop hadn’t ever been out to the place they were going, so he decided against popping out to the meeting place the ‘quick’ way. He took the slightly longer route – via broomstick – and met Hippolytus outside the gates. Of course, Mop’s landing wasn’t particularly graceful, but there he was all the same! “Ssssso.” Meredith hissed once all was said and done. “Scope the place out yet? Ready to get your hands dirty?” It was a fair enough question to ask upon arrival – he and Botts should be far past the point of greetings. “Do we need codenames?” He asked, almost excitedly, while he tucked his broom under an arm. “Oh, hell—I pick Rocky. You can be Mugsy. Sound good? I think so.” If the very important subject of code names is agreed upon, Meredith is more than happy to press on – or, more than happy to press on regardless.

19:35:26 Hippolytus lifted his head as Mop came in for a landing and stepped back a little when space got tight by the graveyard wall. “Glad you made it. Two sets of eyes are better than one, particularly since I’m not so sure the place isn’t boobytrapped.” He stepped back to lift his chin and take a peek over the wall. In the dark, his smile flashed a little, even as he went about finding the best vantage to get in. “Don’t be stupid – of course we need codenames. Acendio.” The spell blew him upwards like a leaf on an updraft until he could bring a foot down on the wall, pausing there. He’d worn an old black robe for the event – one he had left from school, actually. “The gravesite should be about five meters inside this wall and about seven meters down to the south. “I don’t see anything to worry about so far, but there’s a light in the shack on the far end. Hurry on, Rocky.” He flashed another grin that had something of an edge to it before dropping down on the graveyard side of the wall.

20:01:44 Porthman followed after Hippolytus like a shadow – a shadow that was not stupid enough to wear a robe on a mission. Nor was he silly enough to have to use words for simple spells (really Botts, get with the program). “Sounds like a plan, Mugsy.” He confirmed after jumping down from the wall behind his ‘partner’. He didn’t wait for Hippolytus to lead the way after their decent—he had all the information he thought he needed and if Botts needed to change the directions, he would. Meredith slid ahead their five meters and made a pause before deciding on which way was south to continue forward.

20:18:09 Hippolytus was VERY maneuverable in his robe, thank you! You shush. On the other side of the wall, the game face was on and he stalked along, wand at the ready. Every so often, he flickered a dark glance over to where Meredith was prowling up and down the rows of headstones. As he went, Hip counted the rows, then, when he came to the proper on, he ducked in and counted his way in. The plot was unmarked and looked pristinely fresh. He lifted a hand to wave Mop over if he’d gone too far abroad, then gestured down to the plot. His face was a mask. He was almost certain of what he’d find, but the tiny, cruel voice of hope kept him from giving into being angry just yet. He lashed his wand at the site, for once undeviating focus lending itself to a wordless Defodio spell. The ground violently gouged away. Another spell. Another foot gone. Hip’s lips pulled back from his teeth. Another spell. And another. He whipped spells at the ground until it was beyond blatantly obvious that they were digging intoan empty plot. Finally, he stopped – froze rather, before finally lowering his wand in ragged stages. “Son…of a bitch,” he hissed.

20:28:43 [Porthman] When they arrived at the plot, Meredith was ready to whip out his wand and aid in Botts’ endeavor. The older – and presumably, more experienced – auror appeared to be pretty deeply into his task, however, and Mop thought better of interfering. Instead, he took a step back while Botts tossed dirt around with one spell after another; Meredith left his wand in its place. Hippolytus’ seething curse was more than enough to let Mop know the dig was over. For a second, Mop hoped that there would be something – that maybe, Botts’ vision was going… but when he looked into that pit, he was just as disappointed – even if he knew he shouldn’t have been. “Well.” The Welshman announced a little louder than he’d hoped. “This is rubbish.”

20:39:58 Hippolytus put the back of his wand-bearing hand to his forehead to push his hair back as he stared down at the exhumed gravesite. Meredith’s severely understated observation earned a nod and then a long moment of silence. Hip finally moved a foot to start kicking dirt back into place, taking his time as his thoughts raced through the options. “Your friend should be safe enough in the hospital,” he finally said in a very pinched and VERY controlled voice. “But if you want to warn her, you might want to sooner rather than later.” He drew in a deep breath and peered over at Mop through the dark. “And I say we avoid bringing this up to Darby just yet. So that if either of us runs into him… and he turns up dead… no one will miss him here.” He turned right back to filling the grave up again.

21:00:51 [Porthman] There were already a thousand thoughts running through Meredith’s head, but he did well to hide them behind a curtain of skeptic humor. He was silent through Botts’ offer and his subsequent suggestion. Mop was even silent a while longer to toe some displaced dirt into the hole as his partner did the heavy lifting. “No…” Meredith finally began “…Gloriana is safe at the hospital. She doesn’t need to know about this.” He didn’t quite trust her to keep hushed about their findings here. This information is best if it’s kept in a small circle of trustees and Meredith wasn’t about to be the one to expand the circle—especially not when Botts turns into a conspirator. “Who’s Darby?” He asked with eyes half lidded and a grin too pleased with what was being offered. “Let’s get out of here.”

21:13:33 Hippolytus turned again to Meredith and flickered a grim smile when there was an agreement made between the lines – one that said this was going to be their secret for a while. It would be their problem to solve and neither of THEM would be making the mistakes of Azkaban that had cost them the convict in the first place. He gave a temple tap when his partner in crime professed ignorance of their mutual boss. “Let’s. I get the feeling we won’t have to wait long for this matter to float to the surface again.” He rubbed a smudge of dirt from his face where his fierce exhuming had splattered him with the grave earth. As they got back over the wall and to their brooms, Hip snapped his goggles into place. “In the meanwhile, I might have to sneak a look at some records on the man. One doesn’t bother getting caught and faking his own death for a straightforward matter.”

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