|Fate Be Changed
Author: Gabzgirl PM
A malevolent sorcerer has returned to Scotland to reclaim his queen. With Queen Elinor captured, the kingdom is thrown into chaos, the first born children of the four clans must band together to save their queen and their home from the envious madman before an unforgiveable history repeats itself. (On haiatus - sorry guys)Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 7 - Words: 27,189 - Reviews: 167 - Favs: 67 - Follows: 110 - Updated: 08-17-12 - Published: 06-25-12 - id: 8256814
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Wow, this is taking longer than I would've anticipated…
So yeah I jinxed myself into getting a writers-block after all. Let me tell you it SUCKS! But thankfully I've managed to spruce up some words, but I did say that it will take time, I do like to make sense of my plot afterall.
Plus these past two weeks were busy! And yet i managed to create this chapter with my sweat and blood D: (well mostly sweat)
Reviews are always welcome! And constructive criticism too! But I do not tolerate immature bashing or unnecessary vulgar attitudes, please.
Also a quick shout out to TGIRL Happy Birthday friend! :D this chapter is dedicated to her because she is such a loyal reviewer to this silly story of mine!
Here's to you Tgirl! Cheers & God bless you all! xoxo
Although the rain had settled down within the wooded area, the air became fairly humid. The patter of rain over the leaves of trees echoed all the way to the mushy ground that seemed like a sponge than anything else. The storm had mostly passed from the night before, leaving nothing in its wake but a light drizzle.
The forest was peculiarly peaceful as you hear the bustling of branches by the warm wind and the morning dew on the leaves of bushes. The subtle sound of thunder was distant. There was still overcast in the sky with white rays of sunshine trying to break through the heavy rainclouds.
The four first-borns lay in a serene slumber within the darkened-moist vine covered grotto, hidden away from the monster infested forest.
Although a fair amount of sunlight leaked through the vines, causing the young Macintosh to stir in his light sleep.
The young lord took a slow yet sharp intake of breath, rubbing his eyes, groggily, as they opened. He woke up noticing the hint of sunlight, and assumed it was early morning.
He groaned quietly, situating himself in a sitting position using his arms to support him up. Letting out a heavy yawn and scratching the back of his head, while sluggishly looking around the dark cavern. He noticed everyone's chest drawing in slow breathes as a sign that they were all still resting.
He figured it might've been too early to cause a ruckus amongst his tired group and decided to return to his sleep. But before laying his head onto his makeshift blanket he then saw Dingwall's body snappishly sat up, making a grunting sound unexpectedly that it startling the young Macintosh.
Dingwall muttered something in a 'half-sleep' manner. Waving around his hands frantically in front of him like a madman. The awkward scene Macintosh was viewing went on for almost minute. Testing his nerves, he tried to find a way to end his strange sleeping daze.
He didn't know if his voice had come back yet but even so he didn't want to disturb the others whom were still sleeping.
Macintosh then scanned for something near him, and found a hefty-sized oval pebble. He tossed the bulky rock in his palm, giving a devious grin, and aimed it, and threw it sharply at Dingwall making a 'thump' on the side of the blonde lad's head.
Wee Dingwall snorted out of his sleep and shot his sky blue eyes open. Stopping his unconscious actions, and looked around despairingly, wondering what caused the sharp pain. His eyes spotted Macintosh who stood up stretching his arms and legs.
"Ah, wha, wha- happen?" Dingwall questioned tiredly, still trying to get his mind to wake up while tenderly rubbing the side of his head near the section he had been mysteriously hit.
Macintosh's face looked as if he didn't do anything and only gave Dingwall an unknowingly shrug and continued to do his morning stretches.
Macintosh's thoughts then wondered if his voice was able to muster up some words. He began to slowly open his mouth and hoped his voice would come back to him. By first heaving some air, hacking and coughing some spit and,
"Argh…!" a puff of noise came out from his dry lips,
Macintosh's eyes went wide in excitement and held his throat, speaking a few more distinguished syllables. And with a wide grin he spoke confidently, "Ha-ha! That old bat's spell wore off sooner than she said!" he smiled smugly with both his palms resting on his hips.
Dingwall saw this and let out a disappointed grunt, "Great…" he uttered to himself under his breath, still tending to his bruised head,
"Did'ja hit me with somethin'?" he suspiciously asked, rubbing the sleep off his sight and oddly noticing a large pebble on his lap.
"No clue. But ya were gibbering on in your sleep 'bout some nonsense. Sounded like a bunch of kerfuffle to me" Macintosh stated cracking his knuckles. He walked toward his chestnut brown horse and grabbed his satchel, randomly rummaging through his belongings he brought along with him.
Dingwall didn't understand what he was talking about. While the blond lad was about to go back to sleep, suddenly he heard a fit of hoarse coughing and sat right up again. He strained his bulbous eyes to see through the cave, looking around to notice the noise was coming from someone near Angus.
Macintosh jumped by the sudden noise of coughing and stopped what he was doing. He then walked cautiously near to the source of the noise and looked down,
It was Merida.
Although it was somewhat dim to see clearly, he saw her lean figure laying in a fetal position. Her blanket was discarded on her side as she was trembling and continued her hoarse coughing, breathing heavily.
Macintosh's stomach churned with fret at the sight of the princess. He instantly kneeled down near Merida to check if she was okay. Her eyes were still closed as her symptoms were nonstop. Placing his lean palm on top of her sweaty brow and felt her skin heat up abnormally.
Macintosh gasped, feeling his heart beat fast in his chest at the sudden realization
"She's got a fever on her." He said aloud in slight panicked tone,
Macintosh then heard someone stir in their sleep, he looked back noticing MacGuffin barely waking up. As soon as the large lad looked his way,
"Oi, MacGuffin!" he gestured his head for the stout boy to come over. MacGuffin stood up and came near him, and gave a perplexing look at the dark haired lad, "You can talk now?"
"Ay, looks like we both can now, eh?" giving him a droll grin
MacGuffin face was unenthusiastic. He never enjoyed his witty banter. Macintosh noticed this, dropping his facade and letting out a heavy sigh. His expression became grave,
"I think Merida has fallen ill…" he said,
Dingwall was behind the two boys looking over their shoulders,
MacGuffin then turned his full attention toward the ailing princess, who continued to tremble and breathe heavily. He placed his big hand on her head and eyed her symptoms, his expression turned into a horrified one,
"That's not good…" he said while feeling both her cheeks, "She has got pneumonia."
Macintosh raised his brows, "How do you suppose she's caught it?" asking him,
"It is an infection. Me mum had it once…she died from it." MacGuffin kept his focus on Merida. His glazed eyes narrowed remembering the event with his clan grieving for the loss of his mother. Macintosh's brows wrinkled in disconcert, listening intently as MacGuffin continued on,
"The nurse maids claim it is a contagion in the lungs. Honestly any of us would have gotten it. I was up a portion of the night with her. I assume she might've gotten infected after that. But if she is without treatment at… it can kill her." he said, and momentarily closed his eyes in distress at the reality of the outcome.
"Is there a cure for it?" Dingwall asked
MacGuffin scooted closer to Merida making her as comfortable as possible, lifting her head onto a makeshift cushion from the blanket while moving her long longs away from her drenched face and neck to cool her hot skin.
"Ay. She'll need a mixture of herbal remedies. The only ones I can think of to help are coltsfoot, mullein, and hyssop. We'll need honey, and ginger root, to make her a syrup." he elucidated, "For now she needs her rest." He stood up as his remained focus on Merida.
Macintosh kept his gaze at the faint princess, she continued to breathe rapidly and shivering in her sleep.
"How long do you suppose we've got?" Macintosh asked in a concerned manner
"I cannot be sure, lad…" he alleged, at that moment he felt vulnerable, he was at a loss of what to even think of next.
Without being told twice Macintosh felt something flare within him and then darted to his horse to gather some items. He placed his sheathed sword on his belt and his brown cloak over his back.
Dingwall observed his actions, "What are ya doin'?"
"I'm goin' t'a find them remedies for Merida me self." He said, strapping on his sheathed sword tight on his back, sounding rather sure of himself.
Dinwall's expression widens at what Macintosh said. Was he really going to wonder the forest by himself? He didn't even know where to look!
"Are ya daft man? There are monsters out there!" said Dingwall, facing Macintosh who was too focused fastening on his hood, and didn't seem to care what he said.
MacGuffin agrees as he walked next to Dingwall. His eyes were daggers toward the young Macintosh,
"Ay and ya couldn't even 'fend yer self alone. The last thing we need is for you to cause us 'nother mishap! So this is no time for ya to muck around!" his voice louder than usual. MacGuffin's temper was a rare sight to see indeed. Customarily it was mostly shown in times of combat in the battlefield or preparing for one. However Merida's health was at stake and he was not going to let Macintosh play at this like some self-centered child to gain some foolish buoyancy.
Macintosh puffed up his chest and forcefully walks up toward the opposing lords. Looking particularly at young MacGuffin who does the same, looking at one another irritably,
"Listen 'ere lads. I could care less, if I have to face up a thousand of them trolls roamin' around' that forest! We're all she's got and I won't let her down. I say, that the last thing we need is to lose her, alongside the honor and names of our clans! And I'll risk anything, even me own life, just to save Merida's!" Macintosh claimed so without flinching,
MacGuffin and Dingwall stood with unreadable faces in a pensive silence. For the first time, they see Macintosh was truly serious about going out on a limb to find a cure for Merida.
But he was right. They wouldn't dare leave Merida in this state. If they were in her position, Merida would do the same for any of them. All they had left were each other now.
"And I will not just sit around 'ere and mope while she suffers. It's either our lives or hers." He said turning his back to headed for the cavern entrance, "Even if a' go alone in this." as he was making his departure on foot to the forest until,
Macintosh would've normally ignored last words but his feet stood still. There was a brief silence as he carelessly listened to what else the young MacGuffin had to say.
"You're right, Macintosh. This is for Merida's sake. And we are all sons of great leaders…and as warriors we each should not hesitate to risk our lives and protect those in need." He said sincerely. He knew that their fathers would have wanted them to work together, to be courageous and strong for their princess.
"That is why I'm goin' with you."
Macintosh's eyes went wide as he fully turned around. His expression became at ease, and looked intently at MacGuffin. It was rather a nice feeling for someone to finally notice his actions were, even for once, not egotistical or for his own benefit.
He gave the stout lad a confident smirk, "Shall we be off then?"
MacGuffin nodded and prepared himself for the quest to search for a remedy within the forest.
Dingwall eyed at the lads back and forth keeping quiet throughout their converse. His overbite caused his smile to be a bit warped. He was reluctant to say much during their heated conversation but he suddenly felt a tinge of admiration for Macintosh's willingness to risk his own life for a princess who rejected him and his ways.
Perhaps there was more to the cocky lad than he let on.
"Oi, Macintosh" catching his attention, "try not be troubled to muss that pretty hair of yers now lad" chuckling to himself a bit,
Macintosh rolled his eyes at his witty comment. He would've debated on about this, but his patience on setting out was beginning to grow rather flustered. Not wanting to burn anymore daylight he let the wee Dingwall win this round.
"Touché, Dingwall" shrugging his shoulders, as he saw MacGuffin standing by.
"Alright, MacGuffin and I will go. You can stay and look after Merida…" Macintosh noted as MacGuffin readied his sword on his back, a sash and his battle axe.
Macintosh eyed the stout lad's large and rather sharp weapon,
"Ya can never be too sure." he said lightheartedly as he smirked at Macintosh's stunned look and walked off ahead outside the grotto. Macintosh looked back seeing Dingwall kneel next to Merida who was sound asleep. Thankfully her coughing had eased a bit but he didn't want to jinx the situation.
"We won't be long. Take good care of her while we're gone."
MacGuffin and Macintosh looked back at the sleeping princess, Dingwall nodded firmly, knowing his responsibility.
The two young lords headed out to the entrance of the grotto, unknown to what lies in the depths of the forest hereafter and eager to come back successfully with the remedy to cure Merida fully.
The last thing she remembered was spending the night inside the cavern they found while running from a troll. After discovering the witch's cottage hiding away from all the monsters in the forest, guided by her aid with the first-born young lords. She also remembered her time with the young MacGuffin sitting by the fire. Speaking to her in warm comforting words that sunk in, giving her a peace of mind from her guilt on searching for her mother.
Merida opened her eyes, seeing the white sunlight break through the tree's leaves. Fully awake, she sat up and greeted by Angus who nuzzled her back. She returned his gesture by gently petting him, while wiping the sleep off her eyes and stood up stretching her arms.
She noticed the fire was out and the three young lords were still fast asleep. MacGuffin was sound asleep with his back leaning against a rock, Dingwall's mouth was agape with drool dripping out from the corner of his mouth and his right arm embraced one of his many bottles he purchased. Macintosh's limbs were sprawled around his resting area, still snoring. Merida quietly giggled at the sight and also wondered when his voice would come back to annoy everyone again.
She then collected her bow, strapping her quiver on her back, just in case she might encounter a sudden monster attack. Merida felt a sweet craving and decided to go find and collect some fresh berries and mushrooms in the wooded area. It almost reminded the time she was out with her mother when she was a bear. She hoped to come back soon before the rest of the bunch woke up, leaving Angus in the cave and walked into the wondering forest.
She then entered the abundant forest, inhaling deeply smelling the fresh pine air.
Luckily it didn't take her too long to spot a thorny bush of plump berries and inspected them carefully – they were gooseberries!
The berries were tart and green – she remembers the castle maid, Maudie, making them into her favorite pies during winter times and using it as jam on warm bread in the mornings.
Merida smiled gleefully at the thought and started picking the berries by handfuls, throwing them all in a brown sash bag she brought along with her.
After picking a bundle she then walked a few steps further, hearing the cracking of fallen thin branches and twigs beneath her shoes. The air was crisp and fresh as it brushed against her flushed cheeks through Merida's frizzed locks, listening to the melody of birds chirping and spotting an eagle high over her head through the tall thin branches of the trees. Much of which are the many reasons Merida loved the outdoors, it was totally peaceful and private, and there was much to explore when it came to natures wonders.
But before Merida had gotten comfortable with her surroundings, the day started to dim as the temperature dropped. Seeing a puff of her breathe in front of her, she hugged her arms around her feeling the sudden rush of goose bumps run up her body. The forest was then engulfed with a white vapor of fog, creepily filling the area.
Merida looked all around her and saw nothing ahead of her arms length. She suddenly felt uncomfortable and decided to turn around and head back to the grotto where the others were.
The only problem was that the forest and the trees seemed to have disappeared within the thick fog. Merida was frantic now, as she paced all around trying to find a way to break free of the murkiness.
"Scared, 'princess of DunBroch'?" a voice echoed
Merida head snapped into focus. She recognized that deep-throated husk voice before, 'but where?' She thought, looking up and around to see where it was coming from.
Unaware that a large silhouette was just behind her and spoke more,
"It seems like you keep getting lost in your own thoughts now don't you?" he snickered
A cold chill ran down her spine as she whipped around following her thick red locks flowing behind. And then she saw him as clear as day. The very man that made her blood boiling with indescribable craze, the very man who left her kingdom in ruins, and the very man who took her mother away from her family.
Ambrose stood tall and firm, his long velvet robed clothes dragged behind him and his broad shoulders were covered with padded armor and his gloved hands behind his back. His light-tone skin seemed pale in the fog's lighting, his hair 'black as his soul', Merida figured. His dark slanted eyes were devious, the corner of his thin lips arched and his brows narrowed.
His appearance was cleared from the fog that slightly was uplifting around them. Their eyes focused on each other with high tension filling the air.
She glared daggers at him curling her hands into a tight fist, but his composure remained cool and still. The sight of him sickened her greatly, though he was much bigger than her she couldn't help but feel small and trembled a little.
He is formidable, and intimidating, and he knows it. He slowly approaches Merida filling the space between them as she hears the clanking of his heavy boots stomp the ground.
Merida was about to prepare her arrow and bow to attack him. Until she realized how light she felt, scanning around her back and looked at herself seeing her weapons were gone, leaving her vulnerable. Ambrose is only less than five feet away from her and smirks smugly,
"I wouldn't feel so confident if you dare to come up against me, 'princess' Merida" Ambrose spoke, rather cocky of himself to state to the fiery red-head,
"I'm not afraid of an old man who uses magic to get what he wants." She retorted to the sorcerer
Ambrose cocked an eyebrow, "Brave, young girl? Or are you just stupid?" he said emphasizing each of his words like venom and shook his head in displeasure. Merida continued to glare at him, not fazed by his offense.
"I am not here to waste my time bickering with a spoiled brat such as you," he said seriously, "I have no time for child's play so I will make this quick…" he paused briefly for effect as Merida's mist blue eyes were focused and furious.
"If you dare come looking for Elinor, wherever I may be, know this… I will not show sympathy on you simply because you're her blood, least I be not merciful. So hear me well and clear young maiden…I will slaughter your beloved companions and dismantle your home for good."
Merida's eyes widened at the insight he fed to her. She felt her heart beat fast against her chest and her breath hitched, seeing more puffs of them in the frigid air. Ambrose was about to take his leave turning his back,
She felt fire burning within her, growling lowly,
"Ambrose!" Merida yelled daringly catching his attention. He stopped in his tracks, his face looking down listening intently what the young girl had to say next.
"Where is my mother!" she boldly asked demanding an answer.
The sudden silence is deafening. Ambrose didn't bother turning around but looked to the side so his voice was lucid enough to hear,
"Your mother…" Ambrose leisurely said, "Belongs to me now." And with that said he made his leave to the unknown fog,
Merida noticed this and started chasing after him, "No wait! Stop! " frantically reaching her arm out to Ambrose who disappeared in her sight,
The next thing scene happened so fast. She felt her stomach churned, and she felt her nerves tingle, her throat felt like it was on fire, feeling herself as if she was falling off a cliff into vast emptiness…
Merida woke up suddenly as she gasped sharply startling the wee Dingwall who was a few inches away from her.
She was sitting up and felt hot sweat drip down the side of her flushed face as she was trying to regain her thoughts in order, taking heaves of breathes to calm down. Merida's nose suddenly then caught the scent of hot steam and looked to her left seeing Dingwall prepare something on the fire as he came closer to her,
"Merida, are ye alright?" he asked, his voice full of concern
Merida only eyed the blonde lad in her confused daze, her posture was wobbly and she felt rather lightheaded. She undergone a wave of nausea but her stomach was totally empty.
"Wha-what's goin' on?" she looked very drained and then started to feel an itch in her throat and her hoarse coughing began but it wasn't as bad as it was during the morning.
She felt horrible. Seizing her coughing she looked around the cave noticing Macintosh and MacGuffin were nowhere to be found,
"Don't worry about them," he said reassuring her uncertainty, "They went off to find some herbal remedies for ya to relieve yer infection. They won't be long, they just left this mornin' while you were sleepin." he had a fairly lighthearted expression adorned on his face.
Merida had been asleep all morning so it became news to her that she was ill, Dingwall explained to her that she has an pneumonia and how the Macintosh and MacGuffin set out during sunup to fetch her the remedy.
"I also prepared ye a rosemary steam to ease yer coughing. And if yer a bit hungry I packed several apples and some bread and cheese fer the road, just in case." he explained, Merida then looked to the pot filled with steam coming out from the pot, she heard the boiling water and smelt the hot scent of the herb.
"Me mum used to make these herbal steams for me when I was ill one time too" he then saw Merida's face looking down at her lap disheartened,
"Merida?" he said, snapping out of her thoughts, "How are ya feelin'?" placing a comforting hand on her lap,
Merida wanted to spill her feelings out to him and explain her fears and worries, to tell him her nightmares of Ambrose and her doubts about this journey. But at the same time she composed herself inwardly to not overwhelm the lad, and looked at him with soft eyes.
"I am just, a bit tired…" she said, not totally honest with the wee Dingwall and he could tell from her voice she wasn't being sincere but didn't want to badger her since she was still in a weak state.
"That's alright. You need yer rest, and don't be troubled, I'm here if you need any' thin." he said in a supportive manner that made Merida's soul feel warm and safe. She was very grateful for his aid and gave him a tender smile
"Thank ya kindly, Dingwall… for all you've done." she said, he nodded to her and saw him stand up to leave her to rest until she stopped him,
"W-wait" she said, catching his immediate attention as Dingwall looked toward the princess, listening for her request.
"Would, would you mind sittin' next to me?" Merida asks a bit timidly. Dingwall eyed her carefully waiting to see if she was sure of herself. She then gestured her hand to where she wanted him to sit and gladly accepted it.
He sat next to her as she rested her head next to his legs, taking in the scent of rosemary, staring into the low fire fuming the pot.
Dingwall's cheeks felt warm and looked down only seeing Merida's crazy frizzed red locks overcrowding her face. He suddenly felt bold and brushed away a handful of hair, as his hand rested on her shoulder and never left. Merida felt the warmth of his hand on her but didn't complain one bit.
She was normally not one to be so willingly to accept such company. But in this case she didn't want to feel alone anymore. Ever since Ambrose had been haunting her dreams she didn't want to admit to herself that she was indeed afraid of what will happen next.
Merida silently prayed to the heavens that her strength will come back to her and the comforting of her friends will always be there to guide her ways.