The Portkey (3)
A blinding light hugged us before our eyes adjusted to the darkness. Luke and I were both lying on the ground. But not the cold, hard ground in Miss Graven’s boring English classroom. In fact, I felt the cool, rough grass beneath my palms, the coarse, dry earth between my fingers. We were in a clearing. The soothing swish-swish of the trees surrounded us and a faint trickle of a faraway stream could be heard. But apart from that, it was eerily quiet. A little too quiet. Like the silence before the storm; or the tension of hiding before the surprise birthday party. Something was about to happen. In addition to that, I had this niggling feeling that I somehow knew where we were.
Luke suddenly swore, getting up onto his feet. “What the hell is this place? Where are we?” he looked at me in alarm. “Sam, what happened to us?”
I was still taking in everything that had happened, when something snapped. We had to hurry. But, even then, I didn’t know why.
“Luke, where’s the book?” he looked at me blankly. “The brown, leather book that we took out of the shelf! The one with the… weird, red lettering inside…”
My puny voice trailed off, and a cold chill ran down my spine. Instinctively, I spun around. The woods behind us were ominously dark. They were hiding something.
“Bloody Miss Graven… …set us up for this…. ...wait till I tell my parents… …get her fired… ” Luke grumbled sulkily under his breath, whilst trying to look for the book.
And then, there was a noise. A twig snapping.
“Where is this bloody book?” Luke groaned in frustration, kicking some leaves underneath a tree.
Even the trees weren’t moving anymore.
There was a long pause; I was frozen in position. Only Luke could be heard scuffling his shoes on the bumpy earth.
Soon enough, he stopped moving, too.
“Hang on a sec…. Oi, Sam! Isn’t that the book over ther–”
And, just like I was suspecting, something happened.
An ear-piercing scream that would make your blood curdle split the air in two, cutting off Luke’s discovery. Luke looked up sharply, the look of fear distinct in his bulging eyes.
A white figure rose from the depths of the woods, and floated to the opposite side of the clearing to us. But, from here, I could clearly see that it was a woman. She floated with her arms spread out, hair levitating all around her like snakes, eyes wide, unmoving, mouth stretched open. Her flowing dress swayed gently. A strong, familiar smell of lavender wafted from her, it seemed.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god… ” Luke kept repeating to himself in panic, his eyes not taken off from her. “Sam, we have to get out of here. But where is that damned book?”
But my eyes were fixed on her. I took a slow step forward, and tried to remember that niggling thought in my head. I racked and racked through my brain, until realisation dawned on me.
“Luke, no! We have to save her!”
“Who? Her? Are you mad?” he glanced at me with confusion. I gave him a look. “But… why?”
Staring at the woman still, I replied, “That’s my mum.”
To be continued.