AIMNÉISE Place of Pendants 2

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Chapter Forty Seven

Call The Nicnevan

Sloane pushed the girl to the desk and took the seat on the left. “This here is Bridey, she’s Nicnevan’s daughter. Tried to poison Morgan and Conall so she could steal the pendants…an call her máithar to come collect Morgan.”

Haig’s brows shot to the top of his head. “Oh, is that right lass?” He asked a frown descending above his eyes.

“It was no poison, it would have just put them to sleep. I have to save my sister and Morgan has to help me.” She said with more courage than I expected from her seeing as she was surrounded by all of us and silver, who pulled his muzzle back to growl at her.

Haig sat back in his chair and guffawed, obviously thinking this situation was somehow funny.

Sloane looked flustered which was pretty much the look on Conall and Dougall’s faces.

“Da it’s no a laughing matter.” Conall spluttered at his father laughing.

Haig wiped at his face. “Aye it’s no a laughing matter, but ye have to see the funny side. I’m surprised Morgan didnae lock her up in a dirt pile or Ula didnae send her off to the clouds in a tornado with yer magic.”

“Abilities.” Aunt muffed.

Haig ignored her comment. “What brings ye here then?”

“Da we were attached by more Brollachans.” Sloane said leaner closer to the desk. “We cannae keep battling with them in…”

“Aye so ye thought ye would bring the battles here?” Haig got up from his chair to pace behind it with his hands behind his back. “What’s ye plan then?” He stopped to look at everyone.

Ula approached Haig. “Haig, we need to call Nicnevan. We plan to draw a pentagram, so we can contain her. We need to find out more about why she has taken up with Aoife.”

“Aoife?” Haig was visible shocked.

“Yes, we know from what Bridey has told us that Aoife kidnapped her sister. She says her mother is power weak.”

“Could be a trap.”

“Yes, but that is why we…that is Morgan and I will draw the pentagram to call her and trap her within it’s bounds. We expect…” Ula looked at Sloane, he gave her a nod. “We expect we will be attacked again, and we were hoping that maybe your men could cover us while we get this done.”

Haig took Ula by the shoulders. Daughter after all these years, I dinnae ken why ye no call me da, but ye ken that we will do whatever ye need. However, ye can no let anyone see ye call the Nicnevan or this pentagram ye wish to draw. The risk of ye being dragged to the pyre as witches is too dangerous, it has been hard enough explaining unusual weather anomalies over the years.” Haig chuffed winking at Ula, a smile edging the corners of her lips.

“Aye da.”

Haig pulled her in for a hug. “Morgan lass come give ye da a hug.” Not having to be asked twice and a small shove by Conall I went to his outstretched arm. “Now my daughters ye need to eat and rest before ye do what ye need to do.”

Another set of arms wrapped around aunt and I from the back. I half expected it to be Conall, no it was Dougall tears spilling down his face.

“This makes me so happy.” He sobbed.

“Bráithar get ye hands off my wife.” Conall scolded. Sloane had his arms crossed over his chest, shaking his head in amusement.

As soon as Haig dropped his arms and we stepped back, Dougall flung himself at his father wrapping his hands around his neck. Haig’s eyes widened.

“Get off me ye bampot.” He did though give Dougall a hard-quick hug before Dougall stepped back. It was heart warming to see a man give his son affection. One thing I could say about this family was there were no shortage of hugs to go around.

I didn’t miss the disgusted sneer on Bridey’s face that made me wonder what had happened to her that she would feel repulsed by acts of affection. It was though, a thought for another day, we had more important things to do.

“I see ye brought yer wolf Morgan. It would be best if ye keep him under wraps. The last time he was here…he frightened the shite oot of the maids. An if’n ye let him walk aroond, the guards will think he is game and shoot him on sight.”

“No worries Hai…da.”

“Right then, Sloane I think it best the lass spend a wee while in the dungeon.”

I had to agree we couldn’t risk her getting up to mischief while we all had things to do and little time in which to do them. We all ignored her splutters of outrage.

“Dougall, ye will go assemble the men, tell em we’re expecting company.”

“Aye da.”

“Conall, lad if’n ye can stop mauling ye wife, I need to ken if we ought to call tha clans?”

I had heard of this, biting my lip I was sure it was a big deal to call the clans. It was only done during times of war. By the way Conall was raking his fingers through his hair it would seem my thoughts were correct.

“Da it may be premature, however if Ula and Morgan have a problem containing Nicnevan, or if anything goes wrong, we may just have to do that. Though, how would you explain about the Brollachans? Should we be attacked.”

Haig sniggered. “French rebels.”

My brow shot up turning an incredulous look at Haig. Conall leaned down, his mouth close to my ear. “He’s joking love.”

Haig chuckled, I hadn’t realised he had an outlandish sense of humour.

“What will you tell them?” I was curious now.

Haig came around the desk and wrapped me in a hug. “I will tell them daughter, that yon English released all their insane an killers from their dungeons an sent them to invade Scotland.”

It didn’t sound much better than saying they were French rebels, well maybe a little better.

Aunt and I spent several hours drawing the pentagram and preparing the area to call Nicnevan. We were in the top room of the inner tower away from prying eyes of guards and maids.

Dougall popped his head round the door. “Are ye alright in here?” His eyes lit up at the large drawing of the pentagram and candles set at the points and hundreds of candles around the room. Beside the drawing was a large dish of water with herbs steeping.

“Can I stay?” He asked still fixated on everything in the room.

“No.” Aunt snapped at him.

“Why not, I can help.”

Aunt huffed putting her hands on her hips. “No.”

“Aw come on. I’ve ne’er seen this done before.”

Aunt sprinkled salt in an unbroken line around the pentagram. “Go away Dougall.”

“You might need me. I can protect ye.” Dougall groaned. How he thought he could do that with both aunt and I having earth and air power was impractical. He was far better off helping with the men if we are attacked by Brollachans.

Aunt snapped a look at Dougall still half in the door and half out. “If you don’t disappear in the next ten seconds, I’ll tan your hide.”

With that Dougall disappeared chuckling out the door only to return a moment later. “Oh, I just came to tell ye that dinner is ready.” Then he disappeared again.

“That boy is insufferable at times.” Aunt huffed finishing off her salt line.

I laughed. “He can be, but he is a hell of a fighter and he’s…”

“Annoying.” Aunt finished my sentence causing another snicker to escape my mouth.

Silver had the task of standing guard outside the room. We left the room and joined everyone for dinner. As soon as we had dinner we returned to the pentagram. I dropped off some food for Silver when we returned to find he hadn’t moved from the doorway.

Sloane came moments later with Bridey in tow, a sour look on her face. She obviously didn’t think much of her stay in the dungeon.

Sloane gave his wife a quick kiss and left as quickly as he came. Conall did the same, well actually he ran in, grabbed me in a bear hug and gave me a hard kiss, then ran out again should aunt give him an ear full.

She shook her head and laughed at Conall’s antics. Aunt took Bridey by the arm and led her into the centre of the pentagram. “Don’t you dare move from there.” She warned. “Morgan light the first candle.”

I leaned down to light a candle that stood against the wall, still wondering where they had this many stashed in the castle.

I only needed to light the first one. Aunt flicked her fingers at the lit candle and then moved her hand around the room. The jumped from one candle to the next, ending with the candles sitting at the points of the pentagram.

“Neat trick aunt.” She winked at me, a small smile curving the corner of her lips. Bridey stood in the centre looked bored.

Ula checked the drawing of the pentagram making sure Bridey hadn’t thought to scrub the line out with her foot. When she was happy with everything in its place, she handed Bridey the silver ring and the beryl crystal sphere.

“Right now. do your sing song and call your mother.” Aunt told the girl receiving a smirk and huff from her.

Bridey placed the sphere on the silver ring and began her singing chant. Singing it for the third time Nicnevan appeared in a haze of red smoke next to her inside the circle of the pentagram.

“Daughter. You called me do you have the woman and the pendants?” Nicnevan had said this before realising where she was. Before Bridey had a chance to answer Nicnevan caught on to where she was standing.

“What is this? What have you done?” She screamed to no one.

Aunt approached the pentagram ensuring she staid outside the ring of salt.

“Nicnevan, I have called you here. I want to know why you are collaborating with Aoife?”

The woman’s eyes narrow and a snarl left her throat. “How dare you interfere. Release me immediately.”

Nicnevan was a small woman about the same height as aunt. Her blonde hair fell over her shoulders. She wasn’t an ugly looking woman, quite pretty really. I expected to see some old crone considering she had been around for possibly centuries.

She did though appear unwell, dark patches beneath her eyes, she looked tired even though her eyes focused on my aunt held venom.

Aunt crossed her arms and I followed suit standing next to her. “Not happening witch. Now you will tell me what I want to know, seeing as you can’t leave the circle or use your magic, you don’t actually have much choice in the matter.”

“I’m sorry mother.” Bridey whispered her head down, hands twisting the material of her cloak.

Nicnevan turned her angry gaze to her daughter. “I knew you couldn’t carry out a simple task. Your as useless as you have always ever been.”

“Leave her alone.” I shouted out. I didn’t much like the girl, but I wasn’t going to stand here and watch the witch demoralise her. No wonder the girl had mental issues with a mother like that.

Nicnevan turned her face to me a wicked gleam in her eye. “Ah, so you are the Tuatha whore Aoife wants.”

Aunt snapped. “Watch your mouth witch or I’ll burn you before I send you to Hell, you’ll never see Bridey or Marigold again.”

With that Nicnevan’s face slackened to that of a totally different person. “Please Aoife has my Marigold. I have to save her.”

“Then you had better start talking. If you want to save your daughter that is.” Ula said casually as if she was discussing the weather.

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