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Fill for kinkmeme's Ghost Story prompt, as well as for much newer Halloween prompt.

Story so far : Professor Calculus was invited to England by his old colleague, younger brother of Lord of Moonshire, and he took Captain, Tintin and Snowy along. The Manor feels slightly strange (especially to Snowy and Captain), but nothing unusual happened at first. Yet, the second night of their visit was full of unpleasant hair-rising surprises. Which led into Captain spending the rest of night in Tintin's bed. In all chastity! Next day, when household was captured in Captain's storytelling, Tintin went to investigate for source of strange night noises and ended up trapped in hostile room. Meanwhile, Professor and Snowy encounter a strange translucent girl. Using his wits, Tintin was able to escape. But later that day, a gruesome murder was discovered. Due to a majestic stormwind, house was cut off and everyone stayed at Blue parlour during the night, hearing out an old tale about curse. And Moonshire Manor is still full of mysteries.

Warnings : Tintin/Haddock established relationship. Spooky stuffs. Mild fluff. Snowy acting BAMF.

part one part two part three part four part five part six [next parts pending]


The Mystery of Moonshire Manor (part 7)


Snowy isn’t exactly sure why did he woke up. He’s warm and fed and comfortable, snuggling in Tintin’s embrace, secured from slipping down by Captain’s hand. His humans sleep in interesting, rather breakneck position, again. Tintin is curled up with legs atop settee, half sitting half leaning on Archibald, his back pressed to Captain’s side and chest, as Archibald twisted himself in his sleep to hug his boy. Snowy is sure that Captain’s back, at least, would be solidly stiff and painful afterwards. But it’s so comfy and even Professor is close. Snowy can sense him in the darkened room. And the others as well - the woman from kitchen and the two girls who smell of detergent, the prim butler and the friendly gardener who slipped him yummy meat after dinner, and, sadly, even the human vet. All gathered in one place, which is wonderful. Snowy would be wagging his tail madly if he hadn’t been so sleepy. Fire in the fireplace almost went out, but everyone is deep asleep. Shouldn’t he wake someone? Nah, that would mean getting up and he really, really don’t want to. He stretches his legs with stifled sound and watches drowsily how the flame definitely dies out and the Blue parlour fall into darkness. It is that kind of pitch black usual for the time of night just before daybreak of particularly shadowy day.
And something is wrong.
Snowy can feel it, sudden impression of immediate danger banishes his pleasant sleepiness. He stiffens, ears hoisted, eyes scrutinizing darkness around. He knows, he senses , and he’s terrified by it, by the thing which is hiding in the dark.
The danger is aware as well, waiting motionlessly.
Mutual balance which none of them dares to disturb.
Longcase clock ticks, trimming seconds off, the normally placatory sound now terribly unnerving.
tick
tock
tick
tock
tick

Doctor Ackerley mumbles from his sleep and stirs in his armchair.
The foe makes a movement closer towards his precious humans, so Snowy shifts as well, standing on Tintin’s stomach and growls threateningly.
Move any closer and I’ll bite off your ass.
The other hesitates for a moment and then, with amused chuckle, disappears completely without a trace.
Tintin moves around subconsciously, trying to escape Snowy’s weight concentrated to four tiny spots onto his stomach. The loyal dog sighs and lies back down, guarding his pack and other humans in Blue parlour in dim light of dawn.

Looking from a window felt like looking into milk. Vicinity was drowning in thick damp fog which whirled lazily around Moonshire Manor. To see anything located further than few feet away was practically impossible. Windstorm faded away around dawn. All sounds were muffled.
Calmness.
It took all Tintin’s diplomatic skills to persuade servants that they don’t need to be accompanied constantly, that they are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, and, of course, that no one would be left alone on his own for even a minute.
But the resultant impression was ruined by Professor, who, somehow, managed to dress up his shirt inside out, even though he has absolutely no problems with such things normally.
“Perhaps he’s getting senile.” Captain said abruptly to his boy while they were eating breakfast in enormous yet cosy dining hall.
“God forbid! That would be the last straw.” Tintin answered without thinking.
Archibald laughed aloud, act which was immediately penalised by Cuthbert’s lecture about proper behaviour.
But Tintin was glad that his sailor is in better mood. He smiled brightly at Captain.
Archibald returned the smile before scowling out of the window. This weather desolated him. He hates fog, man can never be sure what will jump out on him from such a nasty intrusive whiteness. Not on sea, nor on solid ground.
Especially when Tintin’s around.
Professor talked on and on, unaware that both his companions weren’t paying the slightest attention to him. But as he was vigorously gesticulating with his fork, on which a piece of bacon was impaled, he became the most important person in Snowy’s Universe.
Tintin sipped his tea and observed Archibald, his Captain’s weathered rough features softening as he recalled some old reminiscence. Then Archibald’s dreamy expression changed, brow furrowing as he tried to focus on something outside.

Doctor Ackerley, accompanied by butler, set off to town shortly after they finished their breakfast, leaving the rest of household and guests to look after manor. As the telephonic connection was still unavailable, they have to walk twelve miles to report events of previous night. Driving a car in such fog would border with suicide.
“I hope we won’t lose our way. I cannot see any further than the end of my nose, and I don’t mean it figuratively.”
Butler smiled faintly. “Do not worry, sir. I dared to bring along compass.”
Ackley laughed. “What would I do without you?”
“You would get lost.”

Captain gasps and turns as white as a sheet in an instant.
Tintin swings around, seeing for a moment, with the corner of his eye, what Archibald had seen, a shadowy figure disappearing from the field of view offered by large window.
Tintin acts instinctively. The one roaming around Moonshire grounds might as well be the culprit or witness at least. “Quick!” He shouts, leaping from his chair. He beckons Snowy and together they sprint into kitchen and towards servants entrance, leaving behind perplexed cook, gardener and both maids.
The sound of door opening and Snowy’s furious barking brings Captain back to reality. “TINTIN!” He yells at the top of his lungs. “Tintin, stop!” Archibald stands up abruptly, shoving away his chair and even the dining table. “STOP!” He rushes after his boy, who is already chasing after that thing and didn’t heard or registered his voice full of anxiety.

Cuthbert is shocked.
It all happened so fast.
In one moment he was lecturing Tintin and Captain about correct manners when there is a corpse nearby, and the very next second, they were on the run. Again.
Is there any natural or howsoever force which would be able to hold those two back?
Professor seriously doubts it.
Nevertheless …
“That’s preposterous!” He states. He turns at dumbfounded gardener who hurried to check him and now stands helplessly in doorway. “I haven’t finished talking.”

It is unpleasantly humid, the fog feels like it tries to hold him back. Tintin barely sees, outlines of trees are flashing around him as he is running further and further away from Moonshire Manor. Somewhere in front of him he hears Snowy’s furious barking and he sprints at full speed towards that direction, the rush of adrenaline from chase in his veins urging him forwards. Somewhere behind him Captain shouts out, begging him to stop, gasping for breath but nevertheless muttering his peculiar curses, trying desperately to catch up with his boy. Captain is always few steps behind him, Tinin can bet own life on that.
“Tintin! Tini!” Archibald’s voice is breathless and full of dread, as it always is when Tintin is doing something restless and dangerous, yet … This time it sounds much more urgent, more terrified.
But there is no time to stop and think. No need for plan, no need for contemplating the next step. No time to worry about anything. Just to act – pursue and hunt down.
Snowy’s barks quiten down and Tintin jolts to a stop. He bends forward and breathes deeply, hands resting on thighs, in order to calm down and steady himself. His breath comes out in crispy puffs and only now he realises how chilly the weather is. He hears cracking of twigs and rustling of leaves as Captain approaches, puffing and panting, gasping out ridiculousness and Tintin’s name.
The ginger waits until he hears the tired, resigned grunt behind himself.
“Seems like Snowy lost the track.” Tintin turns to his lover.
But Archibald Haddock is not there.

author's notes
The long promised, subtly indicated cliffy has arrived.
I feel so evil. XD
x The sound of clock, that regular rhythm of cogwheels and ticktock calms me down. I consider it placatory, but it can be very easily used to portray nervousness.
x Threatening to bite off somebody's backside is very much BAMF acting.
x 4 kilos weighing cat could weigh a ton standing on all fours right on your stomach, pressing his whole weight down onto you. Which is rather uncomfortable, I'm not afraid to admit. Now, Fox Terrier weighs 8 kilos on an average, which would equal to a torture.
x Would Tintin shoot off like that? I honestly think that he would. Just read the comics, whichever of them. He does it all the time.
x Oh, Professor. Like you doesn't know those two three already.

Date: 25/02/2013 10:49 (UTC)From: [personal profile] unicorn1980
I LOVE the atmosphere of this story. Love, love , LOVE it! But yes, you are EVIL! Evil, evil girl XD What a cliffhanger!

Of course Tintin would shoot off like that. You're right, he's always doing that :D

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February 2013

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