The lights on the Manor's gates cast a small, weak puddle of light on the otherwise black lane. Their reflection shone in the puddle that always formed there in the heavy rains, and then it was broken as a gust rippled the surface. Nearby, a rustling and a panting grew nearer.
Lara stumbled on the uneven verge.
She was exhausted, dirty and still unable to process all that had happened to her.
It had only been two days.
She'd returned to England as quickly as possible after coming around at the lake, and landed on the Sunday afternoon in London. Then she'd taken the last train, then the last bus, and been left with a mile-long walk down the unlit country road well after dark.
Fumbling with the key, she managed to unlock the gates, and left them open wide as she dragged herself the last few hundred yards down her driveway.
The Manor loomed above her, dark and silent save for the trickling of the fountain and the small lights that marked the edges of the lawns. It was empty. Winston had been gone for years, after all.
She squinted. There was something...burning?
No, it wasn't burning. It had the colour of flame, but it didn't move that way. She drew closer, the sight becoming ever clearer, and the sick feeling in her stomach growing ever worse.
By the time she reached the door, the light had almost done its work. It finished off the last few scrolls, dancing across the wood, leaving only smooth engravings in its wake.
And then it was gone.
Lara traced the symbol with her fingers. A large, ornate, Lux Veritatis arrow.
She leant her head against the door, and cried.