~Severus and Wesley don’t move until the convulsions and vomiting diminish and the sores begin to heal. While the sickness lasted, they had felt like they were being turned inside-out through vomiting, and with tender sores, the thought of crawling across the rocky landscape of Level 2 wasn’t appealing, if it had had any appeal to begin with. But now Wesley and Severus begin their journey once again. They stay on a low and straight course; in this way, they are relatively safe from the natives and their electrical touch, and most of the wind passes harmlessly over them. But they soon realize that they must have been in the eye of the storm, as the winds pick up and press closer upon them, regardless of how flat they attempt to be.
Snape’s cloak is both their undoing and their good fortune. A particularly strong gust catches the voluminous folds and draws them both back into the buffeting storm. Once more, they are swept helplessly along, clutching desperately to each other’s arms, and are carried higher than ever before. Snape is glad that his cloak doesn’t fasten at his throat, or he would be choked, but as it is, the cloak seems to be cutting into his armpits. From this height, Severus and Wesley can see that Level 2 is nearly completely surrounded by towering cliffs of jagged rocks that help to keep the winds swirling; there is a relatively small break in them that had allowed their direct passage from Level 1, which can be seen from their vantage point as the winds spiral them back towards their native level. They can see the inviting glow of the buildings below. Snape still doesn’t feel quite like himself, and as he looks down, and perhaps that is why he can’t help but yell out a quip.~
I CAN SEE OUR HOUSES FROM UP HERE!
~He’s not sure if Wesley has heard his comment over the deafening roar of the wind, but the next moment, it doesn’t matter. They are swept past, and Snape knows that they will continue to spiral unless luck or their own ingenuity comes to the rescue. Snape doesn’t really believe in luck. With much effort, he reaches up and gropes blinding for the edge of his cloak; perhaps if he can draw it back in, they might get some control over how quickly and how high the wind will carry them. He grabs an edge, and almost instantly, he feels a jerk as the cloak stops whipping randomly and billows like a sail, pushing them instead of dragging them. This would not be so bad, Snape thinks, if it weren’t for the fact that he’s facing away from their forward motion and can’t see to steer.
A particularly strong gust carries them over the jagged edge of a peak, just barely. But now they have a different, if not predictable, problem. They are no longer over Level 2, and with no wind to sustain them, they are falling at a speed that Snape would rather not contemplate. There isn’t anything to do but close his eyes and hope for the best which, as it turns out, wasn’t as bad as it could have been, at least for himself. He lands with a jarring crash onto something monstrously huge but squishy...and terribly foul-smelling. He has landed face-first into what apparently is the bloated, decaying carcass of some giant beast. For a moment he can only lie there, but the wiggling of maggots against his mouth and the stench soon make him stagger shakily to his feet. Ignoring the pain of his bruised and likely broken body, and wiping putrifaction and insect larvae from his face, he carefully sits up and looks around. Level 3—they made it past the second level and into the third. He looks around, concerned, for Wesley.~