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MAGIC & TIME

Chapter 15

Help from an Old Friend

Mika watched from a distance, grateful that she had arrived so quickly and that the elder had managed to keep them alive for at least a little longer. So intent had she been at watching the proceedings, that Mika did not notice when a knight astride a large grey horse came to a stop behind her.

 

“I say, madam, I have not seen you before. Are you perhaps a wandering gypsy?” Mika turned, startled, to see a familiar face, reassuringly attached to its neck.

 

“Sir Nicholas?” she said in amazement. “Is that really you?”

 

The knight was taken aback by this fair lady recognising him for he did not know her at all. “My goodness gracious me,” he exclaimed. “I see my reputation precedes me. Yes, it is I, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, at your service,” he bowed from horseback.

This gave Mika an idea. “Sir Nicholas,” she smiled sweetly. “Would you do something for me? A really big favour? I would be forever in your debt.” She fluttered her eyelashes at him relying on his chivalrous nature as a knight and his reputed eye for the ladies. No doubt that was where he had been that night; on one of his numerous amorous excursions.

Sir Nicholas dismounted his horse and bowed low. “Anything for a fair lady,” he said.

Mika explained about the children and Mrs. McGonagal being held captive in the hut. “They think they’re witches, but we all know that’s nonsense, right?” she winked, knowing full well he was a full blown wizard himself. “I need you to distract them whilst I free the others and get them away from here back to my, er… carriage.”

“T’would be a pleasure indeed to help so fine…”

“Right, right. We don’t have much time,” she interrupted his flamboyant speech. “The Witchsmeller Pursuivant will be here any moment now.”

At the mention of this most feared of muggles Sir Nicholas hesitated. “The… the Witchsmeller Pursuivant? Coming here?” he seemed frightened now.

“Yes, so you see why we have to rescue them and quickly.”

He still hesitated. This wasn’t at all what he was expecting. “Please, Sir Nicholas,” she pleaded.

He swallowed hard and nodded. “This must be a Friday,” he muttered. “I never could get the hang of Fridays.”

Together they crept closer to the village. Mika outlined her plan to the knight then went on her own towards the gaol. The villagers were bustling about the place erecting a wood pile and stakes in anticipation of the Witchsmeller’s arrival and inevitable sentence of death to all witches.

As instructed, Sir Nicholas mounted his horse and strode into the village as innocently as possible. “What hey!” he announced his presence. All eyes turned to him. “What goes here? Are we having a party?” he grinned inanely.

“Ah, Sir Nicholas. We have captured several witches and are awaiting the arrival of the Witchsmeller Pursuivant,” the elder declared.

“Then we shall destroy them and be plagued by their presence no more,” machete man said, almost relishing the idea.

“Oh my,” gasped Sir Nicholas with an only partly feinted horror. “Are you sure they are witches?” he asked in a low voice?

“They show all the signs, my lord,” the elder replied. “It was all I could do to keep the villagers from destroying them outright.”

“You did well, elder. I am sure you shall be rewarded.” Sir Nicholas smiled then pretended to engage him in conversation whilst turning his eyes from the hut so that Mika could attempt her rescue.

In the meantime, Mika silently made her way to the hut. There was a small barred window high in one side. She approached it and peered in.

“Minerva, Hermione,” she whispered. They caught sight of her and rushed to the window. “Shhh,” she put her fingers to her lips. “I don’t’ have much time. We have to get you out of here before more trouble shows up.”

“Oh, I’m so glad you managed to find us!” Hermione was overjoyed. “They destroyed the tracker. I’m sorry.”

“I know, I saw them do it. It’s ok though, I can always make another one. Can we do something to get you out of there. I don’t think Sir Nicholas can hold them all day.”

“Sir Nicholas? Our Sir Nicholas? You mean he’s here?” Minerva looked startled.

“Yes, he’s distracting the villagers so I can rescue you. Please, we don’t have much time.”

Minerva McGonagal thought for a moment. “Mika, there’s something I ought to tell you…” she began.

Mika was tugging at the bars, then looking around for something to smash them with. “Unless it’s important, Min, it will have to wait. Right now we could use some ideas.”

 

"Mika," her voice dropped to a whisper so that the others could not hear her. "This is Friday, the 13th of June, 1561. This is the day that Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington was executed for being a wizard!"

 

Mika went pale. Suddenly she realised that somehow, it had been all her fault. She never should have asked him to help her. She redoubled her efforts to free the prisoners.

“Mrs. McGonagal,” said Sarah suddenly. “Did I hear you right that you still have your wand? Let me see if I can reach it and maybe you can get us out of here.” After some searching Sarah finally came up with Minerva’s wand in her bound hands. Carefully, she pointed it at her bonds and whispered, “Flamari!” The ropes caught fire and Mrs. McGonagal was free.

Quickly she took the wand and freed the others. Then, motioning for Mika to stand back, she pointed her wand at the window, making it turn into a door. Silently they snuck out of the hut, pausing only a moment for Minerva to change the door back to a window. “Let them figure out how we got out of there,” she muttered.

They snuck around the edge of the village until they were near to the spot where Hermione had first landed. “Hurry!” Mika urged them into the woods. “The TARDIS is straight ahead about a hundred yards. It looks like a really short, fat tree.”

Just then the elder caught sight of them in the tree line. “The prisoners! They’re escaping! Quick, everyone, after them!” he gave the cry and the villagers, armed to the teeth started running en masse after Mika and the others. Sir Nicholas stared in horror, then spurred his horse into action. Already startled, the horse reared up and managed to knock some of the villagers over, impeding their progress. “Oh, terribly sorry about that,” he apologised half heartedly.

The woods were thick and the children frightened. The villagers caught up quickly and moved to surround them.

“Go! Now!” Mika shouted at them as she turned to see the mob closing in.

“Mika, no!” Hermione shouted, going to run to her, but Minerva caught her arm and held her back.

“Miss Granger, Mika can take care of herself. Now hurry! We haven’t any time to lose!”

Suddenly, they watched as Mika ran towards them, then turned, her hands shoved forwards as if she were pushing an invisible door. The oncoming mob of angry villagers flew back as if some unseen force had shoved them back.

“Whooooaa!” Luke Stargazer marvelled in admiration. “That was wicked!”

“That won’t hold them for long,” Mika gasped as she ran past them. “Come on!”

She led the way through the forest to where she had left the TARDIS. Removing the key from around her neck she unlocked the door and ushered them all in. When they were all safely inside, she turned to go back.

“Mika! Where on earth are you going?” Minerva demanded of her friend.

“You’ll be safe inside, Min. There’s something I must do before we go,” she said sadly. Suddenly, Mrs. McGonagal understood and went inside to wait with the children.

Mika quietly snuck back to the edge of the village where the entire population was in a frightened uproar. They weren’t quite sure what had happened, but they were certain it involved witches and magic. Sir Nicholas was standing beside his horse not too far away.

“Pssst, Sir Nicholas,” Mika tried to get his attention as quietly as she could.

“Dear lady!” he said, obviously relieved. “Did you succeed in your quest?”

Mika nodded. “Thank you Sir Nicholas. We couldn’t have done it without your help. They are all safe now. Though I fear you may be in some danger. You should leave right away.”

The kindly knight shook his head, a cloud of sadness passing across his face. “Alas, my dear, I fear I am already to be executed on account of a certain young lady claims that I turned her nose into a fish. I of course did no such thing. I was merely trying to reduce its enormous size when the words came out all jumbled and she ended up with a large eel. There is a difference between a fish and an eel you know.”

Mika smiled sadly. She leaned up and kissed the knight on the cheek to which he blushed profusely. “Thank you anyway, Sir Nicholas. We’ll be on our way now and you won’t remember us anymore.” As she spoke these last words, she moved her hand across the front of her body. Nicholas looked blankly at her as if he was going to say something but then had forgotten it. He looked away distractedly as Mika disappeared once more into the forest.

***

Once back in the TARDIS Mika reset the coordinates to return them to Hogwarts hopefully only a few moments after they had left. She seemed very sad and withdrawn, not speaking much to anyone. The children were receiving quite a tongue lashing from Mrs. McGonagal for their behaviour which had landed them all in this situation in the first place.

Hermione approached and put her hand on her arm. “Mika, you did what you could. You rescued us. There wasn’t anything you could do for Sir Nicholas. Like you said, you can’t change history. It was his day to go.”

Mika looked down into the girl’s dark brown eyes. She knew she was right. But it didn’t make it any less painful..

 

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