Sorry about that Cliffy back there, ;3.

Lyra and Roger gulped in rhythm. The Master looked doubtfully down at them. Lyra never met his eyes, and Roger looked away sheepishly. Pan backed up behind Lyra, hiding between her ankles.

"Oh Pan! What have I gotten myself into now?" she murmured to Pan, who was fluttering up on her shoulder in the form of a moth.

"I don't know Lyra, but we are in deep trouble now…" he whispered into her ear. Lyra brushed away a lock of red hair from her eyes and coughed sheepishly. Salcilia hid next to Roger's foot. The cook finally caught up to them, heaving and breathing as if she had just gone swimming against the current in the clay beds. The cook grabbed Lyra by her hair and pulled her head to face her. Lyra inched her nose in pain.

"Well now… I seem to have caught my chocolate and marshmallow ceasing thieves!" she growled. The Master glared at her, opening his mouth to protest to her version of punishment. Though even The Master knew that Lyra and Roger did something wrong and they were very sneaky about it as well. The cook growled and scolded at the children, her eyes blared. The Master cleared his throat then spoke gently;

"Lyra, Roger, what you did was worth earning a punishment… as you know, I am permitted to punish you for your actions…" he said. Lyra and Roger groaned, glancing at each other ever-so-often. The cook growled, rolling pin still at hand. Lyra raised her eyebrows quickly and held back a quick gasp. "Your punishment for stealing from the Cook, running away, and breaking the College's property…. You will clean the cookery from ceiling to tile-" he began before Lyra and Roger moaned even louder, "Quiet! You will clean the cookery from ceiling to tile. I expect it to be spotless. That is your punishment, and if you should continue this behavior, I will have to take matters higher." He bent down to the children, looking deep into their eyes. "Now, now… Children, you know I care for you both. I am very fond of you and I regret having to punish you like this, but my feelings for you too cannot break my duty to the school. Now run along and get to work," he said. Lyra and Roger dipped their heads respectfully and scurried off to the kitchen.

"That was harsh…" Lyra groaned.

"Well, I bet we did bring it on ourselves…" Pan shrugged.

"Quiet Pan… What's wrong with 2 kids and their dæmons having a little curiosity?" she asked, beginning to run the hot water into a tin bucket.

"Nothing, but I think most of our punishment came from breaking them porcelain cups…" Roger explained. Lyra shrugged, her life's motto was 'do no right, never get caught'. Pan hopped onto Lyra's shoulder in the form of a small prairie mouse. Salcilia nodded;

"I think your right, Roger…. They looked expensive…." She barked.

"Not to mention the price of the chocolate and the marshmallows," Pan threw in.

Lyra stopped the hot water and pulled the bucket out of the wash basin. She squirted some soap into the bucket and got 2 sponges, one for each of them. She dipped her sponge into the soapy, hot water and plopped it onto the chipped tile. She began motions of back and forth. She and Roger talked the entire time. Pan and Salcilia played for a while before forming into a clump and lying down, watching Lyra and Roger work.

Four hours passed and they were finally finished with the cookery. Lyra wiped the sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand before plopping on the ground, closing her eyes and sighing. Roger did the same, the breathed heavily, feeling exhausted. She immediately felt a burst of energy when she remembered the crypt, down underground. She remembered how she examined it by herself after Roger got snatched by the Gobblers. She remembered the trick she played on the skulls by switching the pendants they were rested with. She stood up, gently kicking Roger with the tip of her shoe.

"Roger! Wake up!"

"Huh? What are you doing Lyra?"

"We're going to go explore the crypt, and maybe on our way there, we can make a stop at the cellar and grab a bottle of wine for the journey."

"Crypt? Uh… Ok, I guess," Roger said, standing up and brushing his pants. Pan and Salcilia stood as well, trotting over to their humans.

"C'mon Pan, let's go!"


They made their way through the maze that was the cellar, so many barrels full of liquor… The smell of the different kinds of alcohol made Lyra's mouth water. She and the rest of the kids liked to drink liquor and smoke cigarettes. She grabbed a bottle of red wine from the resting slot. She pulled the top off and took a swig, then gave the bottle next to Roger.

"So… What was the General Oblation Board like?" she asked.

"Clean…. Real clean. People there were always runnin' around like headless chickens. They also let us write to our parents to tell them where we were… Though none of us really knew where the hell we were…" He whispered now. Lyra hooked her lip, making a sour face;

"Sorry that happened to you, Roger. I am sorry I couldn't save you sooner," she replied. Roger shrugged, kicking a small pebble on the ground. They finally reached the Crypt. Lyra was giddy. She loved going down there for some odd, sick reason. She traced the name plates once again with her fingers, the gold was cold… it made her shudder.

"Cool, iddn't it, Roger?" she asked, looking around, mystified.

Roger nodded falsely, his eyes searching the dark tunnel before him, only a few lanterns were lit, but the stalks of the candles hadn't been trimmed.

"Oh c'mon, you ain't scared, are you?" Lyra sighed, rolling her eyes and raising an eyebrow.

"A little bit."

"Well…. You should be!" she whispered in an eerie tone.

"What? Why?" he asked, getting frightened now.

"I was down here after you got snatched up by them Gobblers, right?" she continued, "And while I was down here, I switched them pendants inside those gnarly skulls on that shelf over there. Guess what happened next?" she circled around him never taking her ghostly eyes off him.

"W-what happened next?" he dared ask.

"I was haunted! I went to sleep that night, and them ghosts showed up by my bed! Screamin' at me for switchin' their dæmon pendants! They reached out to grab me….." she began, reaching out to Roger as the ghosts had done. Just as Roger was about to scream, she yelled, "BWAH! Then they disappeared into my wall, and then floated out into the night sky… Next mornin' I come around and replace their rightful pendants… They never bothered me again..." she had a long pause, "but I still have those dreams…." She said, yet again, in an eerie tone. Roger shivered.

"Alright Lyra, stop it with the ghost stories. They can fright a grown man out of his socks. 'Specially down here…." He whispered.

Lyra shrugged and circled the coffins. Pan giggled from her past prank, he was on her shoulder in the form of an ermine. Salcilia quivered behind Roger, sniffing the ground very often.

After a few minutes of exploring the underground tunnels and looking inside the Crypt, Lyra and Roger finished off the bottle of wine. They walked recklessly up the stairs. They started giggling incessantly, they dæmons slipping off their shoulders and tripping over their own feet. This was the first time Lyra and Roger had gotten drunk. They said goodnight and parted ways back to their rooms. Lyra and Pan snuck up to their room. Lyra put on her night gown and slithered into bed, tucking the sheets beneath her chin. She nodded off to sleep with Pan snuggled close to her.