“Ouch!” I squeaked, hurriedly dropping the lantern as it landed on the stone floor with a clang.
It rolled lifelessly until it bumped into the wall, then quickly and huffily righted itself, it’s flame blaring into a red and purple fit.
“Why I never!” it exclaimed.
“Shh!” I hushed in my attempt to quiet it, while frantically looking round my feet, “I’m sorry, something scratched me on my ankle -!”
“Is that an excuse?!” it continued to yell, flapping it’s rusted handle up and down, its parts making shrill creaks in the echoing chamber, “Humph! Well, we’ll see if I ever help you again!”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry – just!” I sighed, trying to implore my enchanted companion, and admittedly scapegoat, “Please, just calm down. I’ll make it up to you, it was an accident. It won’t happen again, I promise…maybe you would like some fancy new lavender oil, hmm?”
I tried to give it my most charming, sincere look. The lantern’s handle slowly creaked up, it’s flame subduing to a strange, bluely yellow that made the atmosphere feel more awkward, somehow. I tried to keep my poker-face. It wasn’t buying it. I was screwed. Of course, how to read the facial clues of a lantern was well beyond me. I hadn’t even known enchantments were real until last week; for all I knew he had no visual sense at all, and I might as well be smiling like the village idiot at a block of rock.
“Fine.” it suddenly said, flopping it’s handle down definitively, “It’s a deal.”
I breathed a sigh of relief, “Thank you, so much,” I told it, the lantern allowing me to hold it once again, “and again I’m sorry. I must have just brushed up against something sharp.”
I looked down around my legs again, the lantern now swinging so very slightly in my hand, glowing silently as I shone it’s light around the stacks of books, tools, and tables. I bit my lip, a little befuddled still, as whatever had scratched me was sharp enough to make me yelp. But I didn’t see anything, and I stood there awhile in the dark somewhat lost in thought, and decompression from the obnoxious object’s interjections that almost got me caught.
“Oh, I almost forgot.” the lantern perked up, “That trunk you’ve been looking for is under the set of floor boards by the Rudimentary Alchemic Volumes, over there by that ugly tapestry – .”
“What?” I said excitedly, turning to the left to see the wearing bookcase filled with Alchemy books where the lantern had rolled into the wall.
“Yes, I saw it as I was rolling away after – you know – when you dropped me.”
Quickly I went over, immediately hearing the difference in my thudding footsteps as I walked over the floorboards, exhilaration suddenly brimming in me.
I set the lantern down on a table and clambered onto my knees, sweeping my now clammy hands over the dusty planks, feeling out the edges. My fingers finally wheedling out the corner of one, I gave the floorboard a hard yank! It popped loudly as the corner released from the floor. I breathed, holding still and straining my ears for sounds, my eyes making a hasty sweep over the chamber, then I gave it another hard pull as the board wrenched out, and beneath it I saw part of a large, old leather-bound trunk. Half of the Magician’s Seal clearly visible in faded gold upon it’s cover. This was it. Dresden Malloroy’s personal effects.