Disclaimer: If I owned it Archie would have spent more time in a kilt.
A/N: Ok before we begin, I haven't seen any seasons of MOTG beyond the 4th in a long time but I read the episode summaries and so have a vague idea of what went on but I had to write this. So I apologise for OC and AU. I also realise that this isn't true to the show in the sense that I explore people a bit more and it focuses mostly on four main characters. I have written the entirety of the story and will be posting it in pieces with plans for a sequel swilling around in my head...so if you hate it let me know now and I will stop. Ok so I hope you enjoy...
Katherine grinned as she saw the sign up ahead "Glenbogle Estate, Bed and Breakfast." She revved the engine of the bike and sped down the drive weaving slightly to avoid bumps. She raced up to the forecourt of the huge grey house and skidded to a stop. She jumped off looking up at the house, she sighed contentedly. She pulled off her helmet freeing her dark hair and rested it on her handlebars. She unzipped her jacket as she heard someone approach from the house. She turned around to see a young rugged man reaching to shake her hand "Welcome to Glenbogle, my name is Paul Bowman and I am the..."
Katherine nodded to him before striding past him throwing him off balance with a distinct Australian accent "G'day, nice to meet you Paul, I am looking for the grouchy bugger Hector, the lovely Molly or the sweetheart Archie."
She entered the house, Paul following the tall woman realising that she had no idea what had gone on. She gave an ear piercing whistle which echoed around the house. Golly smiled and stuck his head out of the dining hall "We are just here lass, no need to ruin my old eardrums."
"Golly? Is that you? Oh it's great to see you" Katherine strode over as he fully came out. She flung her arms around him and kissed his cheek.
He nodded as he hugged her "Hello lassie, it's been far too long."
She stood back and smiled warmly "That is has, my god this place hasn't changed. Neither have you."
"Och, Why are you lying to me now?" He asked, she grinned.
"Is Molly and Hector around? Or Archie?" He shook his head soberly. Sadness etched on his face.
Katherine eyed him, alert to trouble "What's wrong?" She asked warily.
"Haven't you heard Kat?" He dreaded the answer.
"Heard what? Last I heard of this place was that Archie was laird and single handedly fishing you out of a very deep hole. I've been far away for the last six to seven years. Oh Golly... tell me... what happened?"
He sighed "I'd better tell you before you see Molly. Kat, Hector passed away... five years ago now I suppose. It was a terrible accident with dynamite near the loch."
Katherine stared at him in horror. "No, no he can't be, NO!"
Paul watched as the grief washed over this woman and Golly again. She struggled with her face while Golly once again remembered how his old friend died.
Golly went on "Archie got married to Lexie and then moved to New Zealand with her. Katherine, this is Paul Bowman, he is the laird now. "
Kat really looked at him through her grief "He's Hector's son isn't he?"
Golly nodded, she struggled with her face the tears sliding silently down her face. Paul was stunned about her sharp awareness.
She looked back to Golly "Is she here?"
He shook his head, Kat took a deep breath steadying herself "Ok I am going for a walk, I need to digest, is there anything else I should know?"
Golly sighed "Molly and I are...well we are something, and Glenbogle is being sold off to the tenants. That is all of it simply, I have a small child, Cameron and my daughter Jess is working here with me as a Gillie and dating Duncan."
Kat smiled "Congrats Golly, you deserve nothing less. Excuse me I need..."
She waved a hand, Golly nodded as she wandered out of the house. Paul turned to Golly with a raised eyebrow. Golly motioned for him to follow.
They went and sat down the library, Golly poured himself a drink before talking "That was Lady Katherine Walker of Norland Estate in Derbyshire. She and Hector were very close. Her father and Hector's father were good friends... you could say her father was his protégé. Anyway they remained family friends for a long time, but Hector hadn't seen the family in years until he was asked by John, Katherine's father, if she could come up here with a trainer and train. Hector agreed and she came up here. She was eighteen, Archie thirteen and Jamie seventeen. They were all great friends, Katherine spent six months up here with her trainer Simon, they ran endurance, learned to shoot and stalk, and learnt all about the forest and moving within it and most of all learnt about survival. When she wasn't training she was with the boys, Archie idolised her and she him. They were practically inseparable. Jamie and Kat argued with each other but missed each other terribly when Jamie went back to school. As I understand it she would visit both of them, sneaking in contraband and stuff. Well one thing led to another and next thing we know Jamie said he was bringing a girl home for a holiday. It was Kat, Hector was delighted surprisingly as was Molly she thought..."
"I thought the world of Kat, we all did, life had not been kind to her as we would discover." Molly interrupted from the door. Golly allowed her to go on "Kat was wonderful, she would spend hours with Archie just playing with him, and it was her who taught him to play the piano. Jamie would love to watch them and tease them. Kat always had a comeback and was quick to correct him. Anyway, we knew that they were spending time to together as much as they could with her studies and job, him at school still. She was supposed to be up here when the accident happened. We had to tell her when she arrived for the ball; she was devastated as were we all. She came up here immediately, looked after Archie. She was fantastic, hiding her grief, it never even crossed her mind that Archie was in the boat and possibly responsible. She is an angel like that. Anyway why are we talking about her? I haven't heard from her since before Hector died. She was moving away as part of her job for the government."
Golly sighed "She was away, Molly she's here, that bike outside is hers."
Molly's face lit up "Really? Oh how wonderful."
Golly sighed again and went on "She didn't know about Hector, about Paul, any of it."
Molly nodded understandingly "You told her."
He nodded. "She needed it bluntly."
"Where is she?"
"She went for a walk, no prize to guess where she ended up."
Molly nodded "I need to see her."
Molly left, Paul turned to Golly "Job?"
Golly shrugged "Works for the government, never asked for a job description but we figured with the training she was doing it wasn't for the army. She has a law degree but I don't think she is arguing court cases. Hector knew what she did, I asked not to know, she and I were good friends. "
"So she doted on Archie?" Paul asked a little bitterly.
"Ach laddie, she was like a big sister to him, they were all consumed with grief, she kept him from despair. Lizzie didn't really know her having not being able to get home while she was here. But they became good friends. Paul, she kept this family going, it pains me to see that she didn't know about Hector. He was a better father to her that her own was."
Paul sighed and nodded before pouring himself a drink.
Molly wandered over to Jamie's grave, she watched quietly as Katherine, knelt before it placing one of the Glenbogle roses on it. She kissed her fingers before brushing the headstone. Her tears slid silently down her face. Her leather creaked as she sat back on her knees. Molly approached and knelt next to her placing her arm around Kat hugging her. Kat didn't look at her "I'm sorry Molly, I'm so sorry I couldn't be here."
Molly squeezed her "Oh Kat my darling, I know you would have been if you could have, had you known. I know how much he meant to you and you t to him."
Kat shook her head "No excuse, he was always so wonderful to me, the grouchy bugger."
Molly laughed "I remember when you first called Hector that, he was so affronted so you wouldn't stop."
Kat smiled through her tears "Jamie thought it was great, I remember him chuckling about it for days."
Molly nodded "I think we all did and every time you called him that, you'd send us into peals of laughter. It was what made Archie smile for the first time when Jamie died."
Kat nodded "I remember." She said softly.
They rose together both smiled slightly at Jamie's headstone, Kat sighed before allowing Molly to lead her back to the house.
"Now you must tell me, how are you?"
She half heartedly shrugged "I'm ok, you heard about my father."
Molly nodded "Yes, I couldn't attend the funeral. Did you?"
Kat scowled "No, long story but no. Trust me it was no skin of my nose, although he did leave me a surprise in the will."
"The estate and all its holdings plus the fortune in bonds, stocks and trusts"
Molly gasped "You are the Lady of Norland?"
Kat nodded "Unfortunately, and I have only just found out but I also have a little problem which concerns Glenbogle."
Molly frowned "I don't understand."
Kat sighed "I need Archie here, Hector did something before he died which adjusted an agreement our families had. The sale of the land cannot go ahead. I was actually hoping to talk to Hector about it but no clearly that will never be possible."
"What do you mean?"
Kat stopped and looked seriously at Molly "There is a legal agreement that Hector arranged which places an injunction against the sale of the land until I sort out what the agreement means. But Archie has to be here. It states him by name or his direct descendant, in lieu of him, Lizzie but that is only if he died childless before Hector did."
Molly gasped, Kat sighed "It was supposed to be enforced when Hector died but as neither I nor my lawyers were informed, it's has to happen now. It was to save you if something unexpected came up. Hector was ensuring the MacDonald future at Glenbogle."
Molly shook her head "But Paul is laird, Glenbogle is his responsibility now."
Kat shook her head "I'm sorry but it has to be Archie, Hector was very specific."
Molly sighed and nodded "I will call him and ask if he and Lexie will come here. Goodness knows I haven't seen them in ages."
Kat sighed "Thank you and tell them that they might be over here a while, and all expenses will be covered."
"By who?" Molly inquired.
"Dearest we can't..."
"Actually Molly I was very well off before my father died now it's a touch ridiculous. I insist."
Molly smiled "Thank you. Now come on, I am need of a sherry I would guess that you would want a single malt."
Kat smiled "That would be wonderful especially after the shock I've had. I would have put money on that he would have outlived us all."
Molly laughed as they linked arms again and walked back to the house. Molly poured them a drink, Kat grinned wickedly as she accepted the glass "Ahh yes single malt, the gentleman's drink."
Molly jumped at the near perfect impression of Hector before giggling "Oh my dear I have missed you."
Kat grinned "Thanks Mol, I have missed this place, so much! All the memories just leap out at me, it's amazing even now. I can still remember Hector berating me for bleeding on the doorstep when Archie and I decided that it would be a great idea to test out our go kart in the driveway."
They laughed, Kat sipped the whiskey "Have I ever missed highland whiskey."
Molly shook her head "You just as much of a lost cause as any highland male. Hector was sometimes a bad influence I fear."
Kat shook her head "Never!"
They continued chatting and reminiscing.
Iona heard the ringing tones of another woman's laughter and found Paul who explained that an old family friend had turned up.
Paul sighed "I dunno, she is here for a reason, and I just don't think that it is going to bode well for me."
Katherine and Molly talked for a few hours taking a break to call Archie who had dubiously agreed to come although he had become more excited when he heard that his good and old friend would be there when he arrived. They were to be there within the week.
TBC....please tell me what you think, please....