The weather was bitterly cold, even for a winter in Oxford, the once bustling city was now reduced to a hollow shell of it's former self. It was late at night, and now most people were tucked up safe and sound in their beds, their heads in the clouds. However, Lyra Belacqua and Pantalaimon weren't just 'most people'.
Cautiously, Lyra pushed the door from her room and anxiously looked left, right, and then left again. All was clear. Gently she swept her long auburn hair from her eyes and took a quick glance at Pantalaimon, her small pine-marten daemon, who was nestled in her small blue jacket hood, his head drooping down her shoulder. Finally, after what seemed like minutes of waiting, Lyra and Pantalaimon left the room. Lyra turned back and gently clasped hold of the golden colored doorknob, and as quietly as she could, she closed the door, all without making the slightest sound. Mission Accomplished!
Glancing around, Lyra tip toed to the nearest window, and let out a muffled cry as she tripped on the long red carpeting, almost hitting the floor in the process. However, within seconds Lyra was back on her feet, with a now dazed Pan in her arms. She cautiously swept her way over to the window, grumbling lightly as she finally reached it. She gently wrapped her cold pink singers around the handle of the window and pushed it open, allowing the cold harsh winter air to finally penetrate the warm college building. Gently, Lyra brought her hands up to the top of the window, and brought herself up onto a fence opposite.
Battling the cold wind, Lyra managed to eventually make it to the rooftop of Jordan College, well one of the many rooftops to be exact. Every now and then, Lyra and Pan came up to the rooftops to think, and tonight was no exception. It was no secret that the dark night had a strange surreal appeal to her, and it felt amazing to be up high, watching the time pass by... Pantalaimon was now looking over Lyra's shoulder and now looked completely at peace, much like how Lyra felt now. Lyra spent what felt like hours climbing, trying to reach the highest rooftop... Maybe choosing a nearer window would have been easier...
The highest rooftop at Jordan College had been scaled by both Pan and herself many times, and it was the one place not even Billy dared to go! It was so high up that even Lyra herself sometimes dared not look down... But tonight was not one of those nights. Lyra was feeling particularly adventurous tonight, and as such she smiled as she looked down at the grounds of Jordan College below.
Lyra let out a deep sigh of relief. It may have been a hard thing to do, but it was worth it! Looking down at the grounds below made her feel as if she truly was on top of the world. It was then that Lyra first became aware of a person and his daemon below, Lyra could only just make them out on the grounds far below, and wasn't entirely sure that she could see them properly, the freezing cold of winter's night was enough to make anyone delirious!
Both of them seemed engrossed in a conversation, and whatever it was, it seemed important. Lyra gently picked herself up from the cold hard rooftop, and much to Pan's dismay, she began climbing down, hoping to be able to get near enough to hear what they were saying. Eventually, after climbing down various smaller buildings she was far down enough to hear what both the human and his daemon were saying.
"I can't hide the fact that I love you, just the fear that I may be found out is enough to make me regret taking this job in the first place Isis!" The man said anxiously to the ginger colored leopard. His face looked full of fear and concern, his body was shaking quite rigorously, although, that could have just been due to the intense cold of the evening.
"I love you too Robert, but you and me both know it's forbidden, we shouldn't even be talking about this now, not here, we could both end up in serious trouble --"
However, Isis didn't even get to finish her sentence as at that moment Lyra slipped forward, losing her footing on the building she was on moments earlier. She scrambled from the building letting out a loud shriek in the process, which immediately caught Robert's attention. Time fell in slow motion for Lyra, before she crashed into the ground with such force she was sure she had broken something. Lyra let out a loud sob as she touched the back of her head, noticing that blood was slowly seeping it's way onto her hand. Maybe climbing up here late at night wasn't such a good idea after all...
Langdon turned and stared at Isis for a second, before walking forward to where Lyra and Pan now lay both now looking slightly disgruntled.
"Hey, are you okay there? What's your name?" Isis said as she stood next to Langdon who's arm was now outstretched to allow Lyra to pull herself up; grabbing hold of the arm Lyra managed to get up and then groaned as she put weight on her leg.
"My name's Lyra. What's it to 'ya'?" Lyra replied hastily, hoping to have given Langdon and his daemon at least the slightest hint of Intimidation.
Langdon smiled to this, and Lyra's scowled slightly; much to Pan's dismay.
"Ignore her, My name is Pantalaimon, but you can call me Pan!" Pan chirped disobediently from Lyra's hood. To this Lyra growled and gently grabbed Pantalaimon from the back of her neck and put him of the floor below her. Pan, once feeling the coldness of the frozen unloving ground changed his form into an owl and hovered slightly above the cold unloving grass.
"Well Lyra, my name is Robert Langdon and I -"
"What were you and your daemon talking about a minute ago?"
Langdon voice stopped dead in it's tracks and he looked down at Isis who now bore the same expression.
"We were talking about my new job here, you know my new apartment, and what I shall be teaching!" Langdon lied; hoping that his bluff was as good as it seemed.
Lyra's face contorted as she heard this, she rubbed her eyes with her cold, and now red hands, and stared at both Langdon and Isis confused.
"There's no reason to lie to me and Pan y'know, we won't tell anyone. I heard what you were saying, just not all of it."
Langdon sighed unhappily as he heard this, the small child below him had heard everything, and now, knew about his predicament.
"Look, me and Pan won't say anything, you can trust us entirely!" Lyra said, attempting to break the silence that currently loomed over all of them.
Isis Looked at Pan who smiled at her warmly, almost like a parent did to a child. To this Langdon smiled, and then shook his head gently.
"You wouldn't understand even if I told you Lyra, you're not old enough yet to even comprehend anything I would tell you... From what I've heard your daemon hasn't even settled yet!" This was true, usually when a human had finished puberty and entered adulthood, their daemon undertook a permanent form, which would mirror the feeling and emotions of their human.
"Anyway, I think it's time you headed back inside young one, I doubt anyone else knows you're out here?" Isis asked Lyra inquiringly.
To this Lyra only shook her head, taking her arm from her pocket Lyra walked up to the wall, glanced back at Langdon and Isis and then began ascending the wall, until, she was once again back at the top of the cold dark tower. It was always harder getting back up a tower than climbing down... Even more so after experiencing a fall.
Finally, Lyra and Pan both managed to make it all the way back to their room. Both breathed a sigh of relief as Lyra closed the door quietly. Lyra removed her jacket and placed it on the chair next to her desk; Lyra shivered as the warm air from her room gently swept along her skin. For a moment Lyra simply stared ahead of her, staring off into space... However soon enough she snapped out of her 'trance'. Shaking her head, Lyra walked up to her vacant bed and gently placed Pan lovingly on her pillow. She then took off her boots, and cautiously placed them where they had been in the afternoon right beside her wardrobe. Lyra then smiled and slowly walked to her bed. Climbing in, she gently took hold of Pan and held him against her. Before long, Lyra was fast asleep, once again allowing nature to take control of her thoughts and vision.
Lyra awoke to find Pan looking at her, he was once again in his pine-marten form and strangely enough, he looked worried. However, once he became aware Lyra was awake he quickly averted his eyes, and closed his eyes quickly, as if to avoid any questions.
"Pan? What's wrong?" asked his human gently. To this Pan opened his mouth and then shut it again, as if scared to answer her question, although, eventually he opened his eyes and this time, he answered her.
"I've... I've been thinking about what we heard earlier..." Lyra's eyes met Pan's and she looked at him even move confused than ever. "You know that Langdon said he loved Isis, I don't think he meant it as everyone else does."
Lyra wasn't entirely sure what Pan was trying to say, his words seemed to be hinting at something, and yet, it was something she didn't fully understand.
"What are you trying to say? That they are lovers?" Lyra knew of Love stories, she had been told many by Mrs Coulter when she came by, sometimes at night before she went to sleep, it wasn't often, but it happened from time to time. "You know... I thought the same thing when that Robert guy tried to lie to us, I thought, why lie about something unless it was really serious... And this would be serious!"
"Why would it be serious though?" Pan chirped quietly, his face quivering slightly from embarrassment. "It wouldn't be bad at all, they'd always have each other, It's... It's kind of the same way I feel about you."