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Chapter 5 – A Plan

The door to Charles' room creaked as Natalia crept in. She started rummaging through the truck, throwing things out of it. One of them landed on the snoring Charles.

"Wha- who's there?" Charles said.

"Shhh!" Natalia clapped a hand to his mouth. "You'll wake up Allen!"

"What are you doing?" Charles whispered.

"Listen. I need some of your clothes. The ones I used to wear are far too small for me now. I don't give a wit as to what Allen says; I am not going into the care of some old nuns."

"Are you mad? You're running away?" Charles asked incredulously.

"Well what choice do I have? They're going to make me sit and sew all day in a windowless room with 'proper' ladies. Girls aren't even allowed to work on the books in abbeys!" Natalia plopped herself down on Charles' bed.

"Well… all right," Charles said slowly. "I guess so. But where are you going to go? You know how dangerous it is out on the roads!"

"I'll go to London. I'm sure there's something I can do there to earn myself some money."

"London? How are you going to travel that far? Allen will be sure to come chasing after you," Charles cautioned.

"I'll take Ned with me. And I know enough magic to hide myself," Natalia said.

"Even from Allen?" Charles asked.

"Especially from Allen. I've seen him work, so I'll know exactly what spells he'll use."

"Well you are not going alone!" Charles declared, swinging himself out of bed.

"No, you are not!" Natalia retorted. "It'll be dangerous enough with one person, and Allen needs you."

"Now if he's stupid enough to send you away just because you're not your brother!"

"But I might not be able to hide you too!"

Charles thought for a moment. "I think I know a way." He beckoned Natalia forward and whispered his plan to her. Grimly, she nodded.