Chapter 1 : A Bright Future
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Caradoc Dearborn studied the pamphlets spread on the oak table in front of him. Just last week, his parents had a surprise announcement that they had decided to let him travel for one year to wherever he wished. Not surprisingly, he had been thrilled and had quickly written away for the leaflets that had only just arrived by owl.
So many places he could visit! How could he pick out of all these intriguing places that he had only read about?
Of course there was no question about Alexandria in Egypt as well as Cairo, the Valley of the Kings and the City of the Dead. Wizards and witches had been there for millennia and there was magic unlike anything else to be discovered.
There were ancient curses to be studied carefully in the pyramids and other locations. These curses had been cast during the earliest of written historical times and not only had survived the caster but also still trapped the unwary.
If he was able to convince one of the Egyptian alchemists to speak with him, that would be justification enough. Perhaps he ought to bring a sample of his workÖ Perhaps he could join an archeological team and look for traces of magic and make his own discovery for the wizarding world while keeping the Muggles clueless.
A Bubble-Head charm would let him examine the ruins of the Lighthouse of Alexandria that had once stood tall and proud on the coastline as well as allowing him to visit the submerged and famed Royal Library of Alexandria.
The chance to see a phoenix in its natural habitat certainly topped his list. He first saw a phoenix when he had to see Professor Dumbledore in his office. The beautiful pet phoenix had been sitting on a golden stand, watching the interview with interest.
He had no hesitation in placing several leaflets in a pile to be looked at in further detail.
He considered Abyssinia next. It was south of Egypt and another place steeped in magic unlike he had seen except in books. Would it be worth stopping to see the Abyssinian Shrivelfig in the wild? Uncertain, he placed the booklet back on the table away from his chosen stack of pamphlets.
He looked at the Assyrian booklet next. There was much to be learned here even though the Muggles didnít believe it to exist any longer except in a ruin here or there. It was difficult actually getting to Assyria now, but definitely worth the effort. Super-imposed historical atlas maps showed that Egypt had once been part of its empire which had covered a large portion of that part of the world.
He placed the colorful leaflet in his growing pile to visit.
There were several guides covering locations in Greece.
He picked up a brochure of Mykonos in Greece. Here was another place that held ancient magic and would be interesting to study. There were rumors of a Chimaera, but that was just plain silly. There hadnít been any sightings in recent years. And just who would believe something like that in these advanced days?
Now the other magical creatures were real, like the centaurs, griffins and hippocampus. He didnít think the legendary Manticore would be found anymore; there had been no recent reports. The Basilisk, while frightening, certainly would be tricky to create.
Of course there was no pamphlet for one of the places he had read about, the island of Aeaea that was off the coast of Greece. No one had found it, but the riches that could be discovered would make it well worth any time spent searching for it. Perhaps one of the Merpeople supposedly in the area would be willing to help him find the missing island.
He placed the brochures with the clear blue water in his pile to visit. There was so much to do and so many plans to make. His smile grew as he considered his approaching trip and his eyes sparkled at the thought of traveling the world alone. If he wanted to deviate from his carefully planned schedule, he could and would.
Another guide filled with trees caught his attention, Albania. It was near Greece and heíd be in the area. But he hadnít come across anything terribly fascinating about magic in that particular country. He didnít hesitate as he placed it in the bin.
He picked up another leaflet with Diricawl displayed prominently on the front cover. It might be fascinating to join a search for the elusive Diricawl on Mauritius. The fact that they could turn invisible would make finding one all the more appealing and if he could get a picture with one, that would be unquestionably remarkable. He smiled as he added it to his itinerary.
Another booklet showed a grand castle in the background with waving pennants. He knew that even if he visited Marseille, chances were that he wouldnít be admitted into the Palace of Beauxbatons. He admitted to himself that he had been curious about the school since writing to a pen pal in the south of France who had attended school there.
He looked through the few pamphlets that were left to look through. There had been a country so small and rumor was they had used magic to remain its own country. Of course, that was just a wishful tale. It was more likely due to their people being very good at politics. He considered the last brochure he picked up: Andorra. This would be an interesting stop, if only to say that heíd been in the smallest country in the world. He placed it with the rest of his itinerary.
He looked over the few flyers he had left. One was for Armenia, a couple for Sweden and another two for Germany. He was certain there would be intriguing tourist attractions in each of these destinations, but should he include a quick stop in these locations or should he spend longer in the other places he had already selected? He knew there were more than a few that he wanted to study for at least a few weeks. A year wasnít all that long when everything was considered. Perhaps these would be best to leave for another World Tour, or to convince his parents the family needed to take a vacation there for a couple weeks.
He gathered the booklets he had chosen and waved his wand at the others, banishing them from the table into the bin. ďMum, Dad? I think Iíve figured out where I want to visit!Ē
Thank you so very much to Erised for beta reading this story! Thank you!
I hope you have enjoyed this chapter especially with Caradocís enthusiasm for spending a year traveling to every location that he wants to see. Did you agree with the locations that he chose?
Thank you very much for your constructive criticism!
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