Here’s my bit for Writer’s Island – the theme this week being ‘Reunion’.
Without another word Bartholomew led Alice over the fender and stepped into the ashes which covered the grate. He hesitated for a moment before closing his eyes tightly, a look of intense concentration furrowing his brow.
“I’m not at all sure this’ll work when there’s no fire,” he told Alice quickly, “but it’s worth a try anyway. I’m going to try and go back to my old school, Hogwart’s… I left it a couple of years ago.”
Alice glanced up at the young wizard uncertainly.
“What do I do?” she asked, “How can I help with the magic?”
Bartholomew shook his head, concentrating hard and clutching Alice’s hand close to him.
“You can’t do anything, I just have to lead the way and think of wherever I want to go. You just follow.”
“Alright,” stepping into the grate and being instantly enclosed by darkness, falling down… and seeing around her head spinning shreds of energy, places, people she had never met and did not recognise… still she kept falling, unaware of the young wizard clutching her hand.
Eventually she realised that her surroundings had become still. She gazed around back over her shoulder and thought at first that the room was her father’s study back in Victorian Oxford – for she was sure she could smell both the chalk dust and the age of academic books. Alice turned, eyeing curiously the bent and beautiful head of a young woman sat behind the huge dark wood desk in the centre of the room; beside her she felt Bartholomew’s grip on her arm suddenly tighten. The young woman behind the desk unwound herself slowly as she rose to her feet, her dark hair falling almost to her waist. She had the most beautiful emerald eyes Alice had ever seen in her life. the young woman’s face broke into a wide smile as she caught sight of the two figures in the grate. She moved towards them with her arms outstretched.
“Bartholomew… Bartholomew Dross? Where have you been? Come here” she exclaimed breathlessly, her arms enclosing the wizard and pulling him to her with a strength that unnerved Alice. “Come here, you errant young wizard, you! I thought you’d left me for good!”
Bartholomew shifted uncomfortably in the room he was obviously enjoying himself. “I told you I’d be back… Professor Madigan,” the young wizard said so warmly. “I couldn’t just leave you, could I?”
The beautiful witch screamed with laughter throwing back her head so that her long black hair swung out behind her.
“I’ve told you before not to call me Professor… it keeps us at such a distance, Bart… and we know each other fairly well now don’t we?” so saying, she stroked the young wizard’s cheek gently with her fingernails which Alice noticed were filed to sharp points. Alice gave a little cough; she felt distinctly uneasy. As Professor Madigan switched her gaze onto the little girl.
“I’m glad to see you once again – I couldn’t believe I’d lost you within the labyrinth of time and dimension, I knew you’d come back to me. she took a step backwards, looking at Alice coldly. “But I see you’re not alone, my dear boy. Who’s your travelling companion?”Alice squirmed beneath the intensity of the witches green eyes – but she could say nothing.