FURTHER DOWN THE West corridor, Anala stopped and waited impatiently for him to catch up. She stood, tapping her foot in front of two glittering trophy cases, plaques and embroidered purple ribbons indicating the many successes of the Draíochta, in magick above all else. Some of the trophies were new and shone in the oil light like molten gold, whilst others were old and tarnished beyond repair, dates from centuries ago chiselled in.
'I thought we were going to the commonroom,' said Will, watching his face twisting and distorting in the golden cups.
'I am, it's right here,' she answered. He looked and saw that between the trophy cabinets was a pair of purple curtains bound with golden cord, made from heavy, shimmering velvet. Expecting a door, there was nothing but a brick wall, and Will glanced at Anala with confusion.
'If this's a joke, I don't get it,'
She huffed at him, 'no. Just walk.' Will crossed his arms and remained still, raising an eyebrow at her as she would have to him.
'Fine,' she added, calmer, 'trust me.'
Behind his scepticism, there was something nibbling at the back of his brain, telling him that he should do so, and in fact begin to feel safe. He took a few paces forward, reaching out until his hands met the cold, solid stone.
A hand on her hip, Anala pulled a face of mockery and snapped her fingers; suddenly, Will was falling.
The stone beneath his palms dissolved, and he fell through the wall as if it was nothing but sand, his feet stumbling below him. His breath caught in his throat until something long and solid slammed into his stomach, knocking it from him, and he used all of his strength so his body wouldn’t flip over it into what seemed to be nothing but darkness. He felt around, feeling the cold metal railing he had fallen onto, his feet scuffing the ground below him until he could feel the wall he had come from. Once again, it was solid and impenetrable, and he slammed against it, snapping his fingers to no avail. Instead, something sizzled beside him before orange light stunned him, the blazing wick of a mounted oil lamp. Then, another a little further down the wall, and another until, as each lamp bloomed with light, a stone stairwell was illuminated, swirling down towards the centre of the earth, how many stories down it was impossible to tell.