Chapter 7 : To Anywhere
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“I know, but they will find out eventually. We can’t stride around the Sahara desert without them finding out. As soon as we pull the map out they’ll know. It would be too hard to disguise it. Besides, even if we did attempt to hide the map we wouldn’t get anywhere.”
There was a little grumble of noise from David before Anthony spoke up. “I told you bringing them along should have been avoided at all costs. They simply bring about far too much trouble for their own good. Leaving them behind would have been better.”
Rose heard Edward mutter a reply before zoning out. She knew she shouldn’t be eavesdropping but in doing so she really had learnt more about her companions. For instance, she found out that though Anthony appeared to hold a strong dislike for her and Lorcan he had a soft spot for Charlotte who was meant to be marrying some Lord or Earl back in England.
As for David he had been wandering around for years not really knowing what he was doing. Being friends with Anthony and Edward meant he ended up on the trip to Egypt and brought Charlotte along for the fun. Then there was George Russell. His purpose among them was still confusing to Rose as the only connection she could make was him going to school with Edward. Perhaps the reason would appear soon, she mused.
Lorcan was off with him now; looking at an injured camel’s hoof or something similar, and he seemed fairly nice so Rose ended up berating herself for judging too harshly. She was meant to be helping too. Though it was with sewing, and though Charlotte was meant to be teaching she had gotten caught up in her own chores.
“No, Rose. The blue cotton is meant to go over the blue material so it blends, do you see?” Charlotte asked while beginning to mutter something under her breath. The heat was clearly to affect Rose as she swore she heard the words Muggle and wand. It really did act on her in the strangest of ways; they couldn’t be magical after all. Wiping away at her forehead, her mind felt a little clearer.
“Sorry, Charlotte. I’m simply not used to having to do it myself. We have someone at home who’s able to do it for us.” Rose smiled. Having to pretend to be from the 1920s and from a fairly rich family was surprisingly easy for Rose. Though it did help that Lorcan was the one who accompanied and seemed to vacuum up any piece of knowledge he had ever come across, meaning he was expert of this era.
“I understand. I’m used to getting a servant to do it when at home. It’s rather fun to do it myself though, I must say. It’s a new challenge even if it’s one which involves blood.” Charlotte rubbed the tips of her fingers together, and Rose caught small criss-crossed scratches etched across them. “Well, no time to dabble in this. We must be off. We have to adhere to very precise timings set by Edward, so we must get ready.”
Rose quickly glanced down at the pale red lines which zig zagged up and down her hands. She knew that they would always act as a reminder for what caused to come here and the fact that there would be no escape. Even with it being a whole three weeks and her wounds having healed she still couldn’t recall what caused her to be thrust into the past. Her mind was still following those wicker lines, holding onto the hope that they would lead her somewhere, anywhere.
They were moving now, setting up camp elsewhere, so perhaps that would lead to her anywhere.
“Let’s go. It will be nice to have a change of scene and some fresh air,” Rose replied, shaking her hair back. She could only hope that this move would take her nearer to her goal rather than away from it. Then it begged the question whether that goal was Acanthus or home.
“I can’t be sure of the fresh air; the air seems to be musty here. It's as if I was walking around an antique shop which hadn’t been dusted in decades. Well, the things inside of the tent have all been packed, it’s simply the matter of dismantling it.” Charlotte pursed her lips before surveying the room with a guarded air. Rose couldn’t help but want to laugh at the expression for it made her look twice her age.
Rose noted the sparse room and saw a cluster of bags and boxes lined by the door. The beams of light meant that the little motes of dust and sand danced in and out of them, creating a scene akin to an antique shop as well as a similar air. “Let me help you take them out, I could do with some work.”
As soon as she uttered the words Charlotte shushed her. “No, no. There’s a chair waiting for you outside of the tent. You can rest for the day ahead as I’m sure you’ll need it with the distance we’re going to cover.”
Rose let out a little moan before shuffling outside. She had quickly learnt that arguing with Charlotte was like arguing with Nana Molly. You could try all you liked but at the end of the day you knew they were always right. As she heaved herself down into the wooden chair, Lorcan appeared, plopping onto the stool beside her.
“Have you been ordered to sit down too?” He grinned at her.
“Yes, much to my annoyance. There’s nothing wrong with me anymore,” Rose exclaimed. A small silence fell between the two of them, so she began to pat her nails against the chair. After several minutes of this, Lorcan spoke up.
“George is a bit of odd fellow if I’m honest. He’s too eager to please with always asking me if I was alright or if I wanted a drink or not. We were only out there for about fifteen minutes, so it wasn’t as if I was going to die of heat exhaustion in that time! Though he is nice, I should say.”
“Well, at least he’s nice enough to ask about you. I do have some interesting news though…” Rose recounted the tale about Charlotte’s mutterings and the men’s suspicious conversation earlier. “So I really don’t know what to think,” she finished.
“That does sound odd. It makes me wonder whether they’re connected to us ending up here or not. I almost hope they are as it might give us some hope about getting home. Though it could just be wishful thinking... I still haven’t had any luck recalling the memories about it, so it doesn’t seem very hopeful.”
Rose was about to chide him for his negativity when she saw David approach. “Hullo Rose. We’re ready to be off now. Edward’s putting the tent away and that should be it. Do you need a hand getting onto your camel at all?”
Rose tried to hold in her anger. She was not an invalid, she did not need help. Lorcan sniggering in the background didn’t help much either. “I’m fine, David. It’s only a simple thing. Lorcan, can you come with me though? I need to have a talk with you.”
Lorcan gave David a quick look before skulking after her. Once they had reached the camels, Rose began hissing at him. “What on earth was that sniggering about? I thought we agreed to blend in and you go and do that. I don’t even get what was so funny. He was only trying to help.”
“I’m not going to say. You’re meant to be a journalist aspiring to be a famous one so you can figure it out.”
“I’m not going to end up being one at this rate. The world in the 1920s doesn’t really give women many opportunities, does it?” Rose climbed up onto her camel and scowled at Lorcan.
“I suppose, but you can still put your skills to good use otherwise it would be a waste of good talent.” Lorcan copied Rose and was now sat upon his camel. “If you want another hint about David, there aren’t enough camels for everyone, and he offered to give his up for you.”
Rose let out a little laugh, hoping that would disguise her nerves. David was simply a nice and considerate person, nothing more. He reminded her of Scorpius in a way, Scorpius was a nice person, too nice at times. He never realised it and ended up making out he was doing everything wrong and it was no one else’s fault. It was about his only fault, and even then it was a nice one in a way.
With a quick shake of her head, she brushed away the memories. She couldn’t think about him, about what they were, what they could have been. That led to wishful thinking which was certain not to come true.
George drew his camel up to Rose and greeted her wildly. “Isn't it exciting? I cannot wait to discover Acanthus; it will be absolutely amazing if we do. Edward is a simply wonderful leader, is he not? I do hope you’re going to be alright, Rose. It is a long trek. We have a lot of water which should help if you do need it. If only we could do mag-“ George was cut off by a clip on the ear by Edward.
“George, dear fellow, do not bother Rose with your wittering. I’m sure she has more important things to occupy by herself with. Besides, we’re setting off now.”
“Aren’t you riding?” Lorcan inquired.
“I’m afraid not, I decided it wouldn’t be fair for David to be the only one sacrificing his comforts and that I ought to too.” Edward grinned a little. “I feel more like an adventurer this way, anyhow.”
Rose eyed him and saw that he definitely looked the part. With a small beard developing, a large hat on his head and his shirt sleeves rolled up he looked just like Newt Scamander in all the books Rose had read about him. She was just waiting for…
“You remind me of my great-grandfather,” Lorcan piped up. “I never met him personally as he died before I was born but you look just like him from the photos I’ve seen, and he was an explorer.
“Thank you,” Edward replied before walking forwards, possibly trying to hide the confused look on his face. “Now we must get a move on, because the time where we have to be next is very specific.”
“Is there any reason for that,” Rose asked, tugging on the camel’s reins and it began to trot on.
“Yes, I spoke to a local and he said that if we wanted to find out something we ought to be there at that exact time.” Edward squirmed around before quickening his pace to catch David who was walking beside Anthony, without catching their eye or saying anything. Something was going to happen. Rose just knew it.
They were now travelling alongside the Nile. A cool breeze drifted off it and small, circular droplets of water it brought with it evaporated on the slightest touch against their skin. Though this relief was small, Rose still appreciated it greatly.
She pulled a leather-bound water bottle out of a pouch on the camel’s side and took a large gulp out of it before dousing herself in the residues of it too, providing a continuous cooling system for herself. Her hair had formed matted clumps, melded together by the mixture of perspiration and water running down her face, but Rose didn’t care. For the first time in a while, she felt that she was getting closer to going home, the present.
Another memory had come back to her throughout the day of travelling. She remembered that Dalila had said that they were near the Nile now and should find lots of flora farms alongside its banks. Rose remembered thinking that the term for them was rather odd but put nothing past it. Now, as the flora began to become more of a regular occurrence she wondered whether she was getting closer to the place she was taken from, albeit hundred years before she was there.
The memory continued on with Lorcan calling out to her, saying that there was shelter ahead and they could escape the sandstorm there. She remembered following him and entering the house but after that, all was blank. Nothing more could be remembered, for now at least. The for now was the only thing that kept her going, and the only thing which would continue to do so. Even if it was a smidgen of hope, a smidgen was more than nothing.
“I’ve found the rock! It’s right over there,” Edward cried out from a little ahead of her, and David soon joined in him in his cries, echoing the exact same words.
Rose followed their hands, gesturing wildly in the air, and traced them to find a large boulder not too far from them. It was the lone object in the solitary landscape. With it being on the opposing side to the Nile, further inwards too, that feeling was reinforced further.
Tugging on the reins of the camel, it ambled over to Edward and David who had been joined by a moody Anthony. Once she had reached the trio, Lorcan, Charlotte and George had also joined her, reuniting the group once again.
“What are we exactly doing here then?” Anthony asked in a surly voice. He rubbed at the sides of his head, as if he was moulding his thoughts together.
“The merchant I spoke to at the market in Alexandria said that if I place this map on this exact rock three hours after the sun has reached its full ascent, it should reveal where we have to go,” Edward answered simply, pulling a piece of tattered parchment out of his pocket as he did so.
“Right, but don’t we need a-“ George was, once again, cut off by another clip on the ear. The only difference being was that it was delivered by Charlotte.
“We don’t need anything at all, do we?” Charlotte affirmed. The emphasis on the ‘do we’ interested Rose greatly. It only strengthened her suspicions that something was, in fact, occurring between them all. All this business with clipping George on the ear and constantly quietening him did seem odd for a group of people who had been open in sharing things.
Perhaps something sinister was going on, Rose mused. She cast her eyes over to Lorcan, a person usually adept at picking these things up but he was merely running his hands along the camels head, gazing at the boulder with a smile on his face. Clearly, he thought everything was well.
“No, we don’t. We also don’t have the time to quibble about insignificant matters like this,” Edward snapped, unfurling the parchment before slapping it onto the boulder. “Now, wait here with the others while David, Anthony and I find out the rest of the trail.”
Charlotte’s expression soon turned to a scowl. She hurried over to the pannier-like bags on the camel’s back and began rummaging through them emitting a huff every now and then. Rose wanted to go over and say something, anything really, but the scene which was unfolding before kept her interest more.
She watched the others trickle over to Edward before leaning over his shoulder and begin to whisper in his ear. As Edward smoothed out the creases of the map, David glanced furtively around, giving Rose a small smile in the process, before nodding at Edward. He quickly withdraw something from his pocket, a small stick maybe, and then he raised it, cast it at the map and a smatter of small, sliver sparks shot out of the end of it.
Rose let out a small gasp and could hear a similar one echo from Lorcan’s mouth. There could only be one explanation for that - Edward was a wizard.
“You see, Scorpius,” the man continued. “The girl and her grandfather are mere observers in this case. They will never, ever be nothing more or nothing less. I hope what I just said has a certain level of importance to you.”
“How am I connected to this?” Scorpius cried out. “Why won’t you tell me anything?”
“Now, now Scorpius, I thought I told you I didn’t like answering questions. Though I will make an exception in this case because you have been very good for the most of it,” the man conceded. “You killed one of my ancestors and, therefore, ruined what should have been mine and had it taken from me. I refuse to tell you my family name because it would have too many ramifications, but I hope you are satisfied now.”
The man gave him a small smile before turning on him, but Scorpius barely noticed his changed expression. He had killed someone? Why? How? Who? All these questions ran around and around in his head, proving to be as an unsolvable as Rose’s disappearance.
He wasn’t even sure which tense to use or how this was even possible. He was here, in the present. How could he have killed ancestor? He had tried to avoid what his grandfather had done as much as possible, but it appeared as if he couldn’t escape that fate either.
He glanced over to Dalila and Rashidi and saw looks of revulsion on their faces. They had seen the monster he really was. The monster trait seemed to be a genetic thing in his family. It was as if he knew that this would always be his fate, leading that life.
“Yes, that’s right, Scorpius. The guilt, revulsion, confusion are all appropriate feelings. Very appropriate.”
Author's Note: Sorry for the long wait - school has been crazy! I know it's probably like that for you too, but I would still love to have your views on this chapter, even if it's only a line as I really would love to know what you think of the introduction of magic and all the new OC's as I love them a lot! Also any predictions about Scorpius would be brilliant and who he might be killing!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, it means a lot! ♡
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