There was a thud as Tiberius landed on the floor. Normal shushed him.
‘Someone might hear,’ he hissed.
They waited and listened. No one came, no footsteps sounded. Tiberius shrugged and started pulling on his trousers over his pyjamas.
‘Come on,’ he said, ‘the game’s afoot.’
‘It’s something Sherlock Holmes used to say to Dr Watson when there was a mystery to solve. “The game’s afoot”. Let’s go find it.’
Something hit Normal and wrapped itself around his head. It was his school jumper. Tiberius was throwing clothes at him. reluctantly he sat up and pulled it on. Tiberius had already finished dressing and was pulling his big silver torch from one of the drawers. It had a long handle and he held it up in his fist, the stem resting on his shoulder.
‘You look like you’re in a movie,’ said Normal.
‘I feel like it,’ said Tiberius and he crept to the door and cracked it open a little.
They listened again. No sound. Nothing unusual anyway, there was lots of creaking going on, but that was only to be expected in a big old building like the Grange.
The corridor outside was empty, a few shadows loomed here and there as the moonlight broke in through the evenly spaced windows. Tiberius waved to Normal and they crept out into the gloomy building. As they passed the doors to the other dorms they could hear the sounds of snoring and snuffling from other pupils asleep. One of them was talking loudly in his sleep about not wanting to wear his pants on his head. Tiberius had to slap his hand to his mouth to stifle his laughter. Normal urged him on. The corridor came to an end and the door creaked a little as it opened out onto the main staircase.
‘Down to the classrooms or up to the top floor?’ Tiberius asked.
‘There won’t be anything in the classrooms now,’ said Normal.
‘Good thinking, dark doings on the top floor it is.’ Tiberius opened his eyes wide. ‘The game’s afoot.’ he said again.
The stairs creaked like crazy and Tiberius was quite heavy so he created double creaks with every step he took. At the top they paused to look out of the window by the door into the top corridor.
‘Look!’ hissed Normal.
Tiberius pressed his nose to the glass, his breath steamed the window.
‘What is it?’ he said.
Out in the grounds, moving between the oak trees there were some strange silver and purple glows, like lanterns being waved about in the night, only much, much bigger.