12 HOURS AGO
"Josie? Josie!" Xavier freaks out, slapping Josie's cheeks and shaking her limp form. Only moments ago when we excited the bus, we crossed over the hills and into the garden. The second we arrived at the gate, Josie collapsed to the ground.
I look around the grounds. All gate entrances are closed off 24/7, even under surveillance.
Xavier feels Josie's forehead with the back of his hand. "She's burning up."
I feel a small twinge of panic. It's freezing outside, and she's not used to these conditions! If I can't find a way in soon, at this rate she could-
I mentally slap myself. Get a grip Jabeth!
I motion for Xavier to follow me, but he jumps up and hopelessly waves at Josie.
I motion to him, "Pick her up!"
Xavier squats and wiggles his arms under Josie, but in the end all he can do is roll her over.
"Fine!" I bark and stride over to Josie before scooping her in my arms and parading towards the gate. Her body is burning up, even underneath all the winter attire.
Xavier jogs after me until we approach the main gate to the garden. Xavier gives a kick at it, which I shush him for.
"Shit.." he huffs. "It's locked up tight."
I snort. "No shit sherlock." I rack my brain until it hits me. With deft speed I hurry to the left wall of the garden, by the front corner. There, a patch of vines hangs over a section of the wall. I jut my chin to the vines, and Xavier feels over them, when suddenly the grinding sound of brick on brick make shim snatch his hands away.
A heavy but soft thump makes my eyes roll. "Clear the vines."
Xavier just blinks at me, and on instinct I hand him Josie before parting the vines to a tight wall of bricks, with a missing gap shoulder height.
With a whirl I kick my foot into the wall, where the small wall of bricks tumbles down. Dirt kicks up, and a passage darker than night looms before us.
I turn to Xavier, who about collapses until I take Josie from his hands. "Careful!" I hiss. I wouldn't want to return the princess with a scar.
I carefully step over the pile of dark bricks, and duck my head under the ceiling of the way until I blindly navigate through the dark.
Xavier hurries after me, rubbing the back of his neck. "Wow, what is this place? How don't I know about it?"
A shadow rat scurries across the floor, which makes me jump. I can't see.. I close my eyes, standing still when Xavier bumps into my back.
I channel my magic. The swirling smoke with crimson sparks. It begs to be released, but I must retain it some.
I feel the room, and I can see a perfect view of the tunnel. The tunnel isn't terribly long, with unlit torches on each wall. I can't light them, or it would alert a guard, or even a passerby of our whereabouts.
A door is just around a corner, and when I open my eyes I hurry through the tunnel while Xavier trips at my heels.
I round the corner and find the door. Feeling the wood I grab the handle and turn, opening into a dark room. Xavier closes it behind us and turns to the room, which is even smaller then the tunnel.
Items drag at my face and my skin, probably clothes. A faint light shines from door, forming a doorway. I creep towards the door before pressing my ear against the wood. No noise.. I reach out with my magic, and soon find the room is empty.
I open the door quietly, and we come into a dark room with a stairway.
Xavier scrunches his nose. "Where the heck are we?"
But I know instantly. I sigh in relief and close the door behind us before making my way to the stairs. "The libraries basement."
Xavier looks at me. "The library has abasement?"
With knowledge of my whereabouts, I head up the stairs and through the library, in no time we're in the main entry of the mansion.
Xavier huffs in relief and juts his thumb to the way we came. "You have a lot of explaining to do."
"Huh, and so do you." The sound of footsteps cuts me off and I cuss under my breath before darting behind the stairway. I press up against the wood and look over my shoulder, waiting to see a maid or a gua-
SHIT ITS MY FATHER.
WHY IS HE UP THIS LATE?
Xavier pales and I feel flinch when my Father's face comes into view. He holds a red flame in one hand and a book in the other.
Was he in the Library? His study is the other way. He couldn't have seen us, right? But then why does he look so frustrated.
I motion to Xavier, but he shakes his head. I decide to take action. In one smooth motion, I cast an invisibility charm on me before quietly slipping out of the shadows.
Xavier flails his arms, freaking out. What are you doing?! He mouths.
I shake my head and creep up the large pair of stairs. Father doesn't notice, but I know I need to be cautious.
I keep my eyes on him, as frozen as a statue with a folding flower of red fire in his hand. I narrow my eyes at the book, it's cover is too dim for me to see.
What is he doing..?
His eyes scan the room. Once they're off me, the instinct to bolt is strong. But something keep me still.
Suddenly he motions his hand towards the shadow of the hall, and a figure emerges from the darkness.
I freeze, and I can see Xavier narrow his eyes.
Who. The fuck. Is that?
I can see by the shape of their body, it's a man. But who on earth.. why is my Father.. what is going on? I want to confront him, but with Josie nestled in my arms I don't have a choice but to go.
But I don't disappear around the corner, before I see a silver glinting. But I don't bother to go back and see.
Xavier follows me, with a charm of his own. I navigate through the halls of the mansion, my mind a whirling torment. Once we approach my wing, I open the door and slip inside, Xavier does the same. Locking my doors tight.
Once we're inside I wave off the charm. Laying Josie on a bed, I turn to Xavier, who is now visible as well. And the look in his eyes, is that of complete bewilderment.
Thankfully, my wing is sound proofed and private, or the whole mansion would've heard Xavier.
"What was that?"