down the corridor, scanning the doors.

        'See how Mr. Pink does it?' Mr. Saffron said, following closely and glancing around. 'Knows to trust his information, he does. No sentry, no problems. Right, Mr. Pink?'

        Mr. Grey trailed behind Mr. Saffron, frowning massively and watching the mysterious doors. There were hundreds--maybe thousands--of them along the endless corridor. None had names or markings of any kind. In the lead, Mr. Pink could be heard counting softly under his breath.

        'Why do I have to be Mr. Grey?' Mr. Grey said petulantly. 'Nobody likes grey. It's hardly even a color at all.'

        The goblin ignored him. After several minutes, Mr. Pink stopped walking. Mr. Saffron and Mr. Grey halted behind him, looking around the corridor with furrowed brows.

        'Can't be the place, Mr. Pink,' the goblin said. 'There's no doors in this section at all. Are yeh sure yeh counted aright?'

        'I counted right,' Mr. Pink said. He glanced down at the floor, and then scuffed at a section of the marble tile with his toe. There was a chip in the corner of one of the tiles. Mr. Pink grunted and knelt down. He probed the broken corner with a finger. He nodded to himself, then hooked his finger into the hole and gave a tug. A rectangular section of the tile floor popped upwards, pulled open by Mr. Pink's tugging finger. He heaved and the rectangular chunk of floor slid upwards like a long, vertical drawer, rising with a grating rumble until it touched the ceiling. It shuddered into place. It was as wide and tall as a door, but only a few inches thick. Mr. Grey peered around it and could see the endless corridor of the Hall of Mysteries stretching away behind it.

        'How'd yeh know that was there?' Mr. Saffron demanded, slitting his eye up at Mr. Pink.

        'She told me,' Mr. Pink responded, shrugging.

        'She did, did she? Anything else you might know that you hain't told us about, yet?'

        'Just enough to get us there,' Mr. Pink replied. 'You're the lock breaker, Mr. Grey is the heavy hand, and I'm the mapper. We all know what we need to know, and nothing else.'

        'Yar, yar, I remember,' the goblin grumbled. 'Let me get on with it, then, won't yeh?'

Mr. Pink stood aside as Mr. Saffron moved closer to the slab of mysterious stone. He studied it carefully, squinting and muttering. He laid one of his huge ears against it and tapped here and there. Finally, he reached into a pocket of his black shirt and produced a complicated device made of dozens of brass loops. He unfolded one and peered through it at the stone slab.

        'Hardly worth the effort, really,' he muttered. 'It's a homunculus lock. Only opens when a predefined set of factors is present. Could be it only opens when a redheaded lass sings the national anthem of Atlantis at three o'clock on a Thursday. Or when the light of the setting sun is reflected from a cracked mirror onto a goat's eye. Or when Mr. Grey hawks a bogey onto a purple newt. I've seen some good homunculus factors in my time, yar.'

        'Is this a good one, then?' Mr. Grey asked rather hopefully.

        The goblin grinned, showing lots of tiny, pointed teeth. 'S'like Mr. Pink says, isn't it? We all knows what we need to get the job done.' He reached into another pocket and produced a tiny glass vial filled with red powder. Carefully, the goblin uncorked the vial and upended the contents onto the floor before the stone slab. The powder swirled and eddied as it fell, so that as it hit the ground, it formed an unnaturally regular pattern. Mr. Grey peered down and saw that it had formed the shape of a skeletal hand with one finger pointing toward the slab.

        Mr. Saffron produced a tiny brass tool and muttered, 'Acculumos.' A narrow beam of greenish light glowed from the end of the tool. The goblin squatted and carefully laid the tool across the bony hand so that the light pointed at the exact angle of the pointing, skeletal finger.

        Mr. Grey gasped and took a step backwards. Seen in the carefully arranged light of Mr. Saffron's tool, the rough stone surface of the slab was no longer random. The play of light and shadow revealed an ornate engraving of a grinning skeleton surrounded by dancing, impish shapes. The skeleton's right hand was outstretched, forming something like a door handle. The left hand was missing, and Mr. Pink shuddered again, realizing it was the shape formed in red powder on the floor.

        'It's a danse macabre,' Mr. Saffron said, studying the engraving. 'A dance of death. Revealed with powdered dragon's blood and cavernlight. Yar, it's a good one, Grey.'

        'Is it unlocked, then?' Mr. Pink asked briskly.

        'Never was locked,' the goblin replied. 'We just had to know where to grasp. Feel free to do the honors, Mr. Pink.'

        The tall, bearded man approached the slab, careful not to block the greenish light. He reached forward and wrapped his hand around the outstretched fist of the skeletal engraving. He turned it, producing a low, grinding click. The engraved shape of the door swung inwards, revealing a large, dark space and a sound of distant, dripping water. Cold air pushed out of the opening, filling the corridor and ruffling Mr. Saffron's black shirt. Mr. Grey shivered as the sweat on his forehead went cold.

        'Where's that go to? That space isn't even here, if you know what I mean.'

'Of course it isn't,' Mr. Saffron replied tersely, but he was clearly shaken as well. 'It's the hidden depository. We was told about it, just like everything else. That's where the chest is. Come now, we haven't much time.'

        Mr. Pink led them through the doorway, ducking to fit through. It became apparent by the smell and the echo of their footsteps that they were in a deep cavern. Mr. Pink produced his wand and illuminated it, but it revealed little more than the shiny, wet rock beneath their feet. The blackness sucked at the light, and Mr. Grey had the sense that they were in a place so deep that it had never known sunlight. Raw, musty cold pressed onto their skin, chilling them after the warmth of the corridor. Mr. Grey glanced back once and could just see the shape of the door leading back. It glowed like a pillar of silvery light, almost as if it were a mirage.

        'Wh-where do you think we are?' he asked.

        'Air pocket in a cavern under the Atlantic ocean,' Mr. Pink replied, still walking.

        'Under…' Mr. Grey said faintly, then swallowed. 'I got a bad sense about this. Really bad. I want to go back, Bistle.'

        'Don't call me Bistle,' the goblin said automatically.

        'What's in this chest, anyway?' Mr. Grey moaned. 'It better be worth a lot. I can't think of anything worth coming to a place like this.'

        'Never yeh mind that,' Mr. Saffron said gruffly. 'It's more than yeh've ever dreamed of. We'll never have to work like this again. No more petty cons and midnight holdups for us. Once we get the chest, we'll be set for good.'

        'But what is it?' Mr. Grey insisted. 'What's in the chest?'

        'Well, yeh'll just wait and see, won't yeh?'

       Mr. Grey stopped walking. 'You don't know, do you?'

        Mr. Saffron sputtered. 'It doesn't matter what it is, yeh great dummy. We was told it was more than we could ever dream of, wasn't we? Alls we have to do is nick the box and gives a twenty percent share to our inside informer. They'd hardly help us break into the Ministry of Magic if they didn't have a prize bit of swag in mind, would they? Mr. Pink knows what it is, anyway. Why don't yeh arsk him?'

        'I don't know either,' Mr. Pink said thoughtfully.

        There was a long moment of silence. Mr. Grey heard the steady drip of water echoing out of the darkness.

       Finally Mr. Saffron said, 'Yeh don't know neither?'

       Mr. Pink shook his head slowly, barely visible in his own wand light.

       The goblin frowned. 'Each of us only knows what we needs to know, aye?'

        'All we need to know is where to go,' Mr. Pink said. 'Once we get there, we'll know what to

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