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Rolfin's Orb
Book 6 - Ruby
Chapter 9

Fiona saw the silhouetted of the castle. “How am I going to get there? There’s no boat.” She went down to the water’s edge and saw nothing she could use. “I can use my magic powers.” She thought of all the things she could do. “It won’t help to start fire. It won’t help to look for jewels or gold. It won’t help to talk to the animals, or to control the weather. I can make myself big though.” She closed her eyes and grew. The trees came up to her knees. “There, that will do.” She stepped over the loch onto the island and then shrunk down. She ran towards the front doorway and saw Drayton sitting there and whispered to herself, “He’s crying, like a baby.” 

His head was buried in his hands. He leaned over and sobbed. Fiona knew he’d never hear her. She crept over to the other side of the doorway and snuck past him. He never moved. The sound of arguing came from down the stairs. She ran into the main hall, glancing up at the stained glass. “I’ll rescue them.” Climbing down the stairs, she came to a doorway. “They’re in here. I can sense them all.” Knowing it was foolish to go in through the door, Fiona had to think quickly. “I can throw fireballs at them. No, the men might get hurt.” Just then she remembered the secret wall doors that opened up. Callum, Elspet and she had found a few of them the last time they’d gone to the castle alone. Fiona sighed. It seemed like a lifetime ago when they’d come to the castle for the first time.

She ran up a flight of stairs and then took a hallway. When she came to a dead end, with solid wall in front of her, she pushed one of the bricks. The wall creaked open and she ran through it, finding herself standing at the top of the castle. The towers stood at attention holding up the rest of the old building. The moon was high in the sky and a cold wind blew. She looked over the edge. Drayton was still sitting there crying. “What a baby!” She saw a window. A strange light seeped through the glass. “They must all be in there.” Slowly she lifted her head and looked down through it. She saw Uncle Angus and the others all leaning with their backs against the walls. “They look hurt.”

Ghost-like creatures flew around the room. “Not those ghost things again!” Fiona heard them shouting at each other. “I can’t get them from this way.” She went back through the secret opening and went further down the hall and then down another flight of stairs. When she came to another dead end she pushed a certain brick. The wall slid open enough for her to crawl through. She was in the room near Uncle Angus. Luckily she was in a dark unoccupied corner. “Uncle Angus,” she whispered. Looking to see if the ghosts had heard her and being relieved when they didn’t, she whispered again. “Uncle Angus.”

He turned his head and saw her, nudging Jack and Jeffrey. They looked over at her. Angus stood up and limped toward her, hurling insults at the redcaps. When he was sure none of them were looking, he ducked out the opening. “Go till you get the end and wait for me. Don’t go any further,” Fiona said.

By now Johnny and the others had seen Fiona. Each of them managed to get to their feet. Insults shot across the room as they moved to the one corner where freedom awaited them. One by one they ducked out through the hole until none were left in the room. Before Fiona shut the hole in the wall she watched one of the redcaps slice a sluagh in half with his glowing scythe. The wall closed together. Fiona pushed her way past the injured men. “Follow me.” She led them, limping slowly, into the main hall. “Drayton’s sitting out there crying. We need to be very quiet.”

They passed him unnoticed, slipping into the darkness of the gardens. Fiona changed into a giant and carried the men across in the palm of her hand. Within a few steps she stood outside Uncle Angus’s cottage. She shrunk down to normal and opened the door. Mairi jumped off the bed. “Fiona!” Julian fell off the couch with fright.

Mairi herded the injured men inside the croft. “You’re all hurt. What happened? Never mind. I don’t want to know right now. Fiona, Julian, get some water and clean cloths.”

They stayed up all night tending to the wounded. The others slept where they fell. Mairi sat next to Buntabi. He opened his eyes. “Hello, Jason. I’m glad you finally made it. We’ve been waiting for you.” He smiled and then closed his eyes again, falling into a deep sleep.

Fiona fell asleep on Johnny’s lap in front of the fire. Julian sat next to Mairi, both of them dozing off and on as the night passed slowly.

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