A/N: Because there is a rather disgraceful lack of AP stories in the archive, and who doesn't love a little RamsesXNefret? If anyone needs ideas with summaries and titles, I can totally help you out with that, because I have way more ideas than I have time to write. If I get some reviews, I might write another chapter, but for now it is a one-shot. Enjoy! Also, if you need background info for this book (for whatever reason), PM me, and I'll give it to you.
When Aunt Amelia first asked Nefret to leave the lamp on for Ramses, she had taken for granted that she was the one for whom he would risk the perilous rescue. She, who had been one of his friends, one of his best friends for nigh on a decade now.
So, when she woke that fateful morning to find that it was Daria for whom Ramses had risked life and limb, she felt as if someone had driven an icicle straight through the center of her heart. At first, she thought that she felt betrayed by Daria, who had been her only comfort, the only reminder of who she was now, in this world that had become so alien to her.
Then, she realized that she could not truly find it in her heart to blame the girl. She had been treated abominably by Nefret's maidservants, shunned and mocked with thinly veiled insults in a foreign language. After all, who could resist being rescued by a Byronic-looking hero? One who was chivalrous, brave, and honorable? Would not Nefret have escaped with Ramses as well, leaving Daria behind (had he come for her, of course)?
Her maidservants rose, and began to swathe her in the usual white veils, and Nefret felt the panic swell, beginning in her stomach, and rising. She had been through this procedure hundreds upon hundreds of times in her youth, for it was required of her every day since she had become High Priestess of Isis, which was as long as she could remember. However, after her forced return, it began to feel as if every new layer of robes that swathed her suffocated her, snuffed out who she had become. Every time she wore them, she felt as though she was no longer a cool, collected, English girl of twenty-three, but the child of thirteen, with the remote, inhuman calm that came with her position. Her mind flew back to the previous week, when she had performed the Chant to Isis. Every Meroitic word, every gesture and dance step had been performed to perfection, as if it had not been ten years since the last time she had performed the dance. And it terrified her beyond belief. Daria, at least, had been someone who would speak English, remind her of who she truly was. Remind her that the past ten years had not been a wonderful dream, and that those she loved would be looking tirelessly for her.
Her maidservants had just finished dressing her when the High Priest requested her presence in the throne room of Zekare, the usurper. 'His Majesty' himself came to escort her, along with two handmaidens. It was then that she was glad of the multiple veils shielding her face, for she was able, in the vernacular, to curse him out well enough to do the Professor proud.
As the group proceeded to the chamber, Nefret allowed her mind to roam over the possibilities of what she was being summoned for. The only possibilities her mind came up with involved Aunt Amelia, the Professor, and perhaps Ramses. Before she could collect her thoughts, the ornate doors were swung open by the guards, revealing Aunt Amelia and the Professor.
Before she could react, the Professor had pushed the soon-to-be-pharaoh aside and swept her up in a bone-crushing hug. Aunt Amelia, ever logical, reprimanded her husband with a "You will smother her, Emerson." Then, she asked, "Nefret, my dear, will you unveil, if that is permitted?" The Professor loosened his grip on Nefret, and without waiting for an answer, removed them himself, getting them into a hopeless tangle. She beamed up at the Professor, her face finally unveiled, and he embraced her once more. He released her just as she felt she would turn blue, and Zekare spoke. "You are to translate between us and the Great Ones. You must not speak until given permission." He said in Meroitic. His words wiped the smile off her face, and she relayed the information the Aunt Amelia and the Professor. The king spoke again. She relayed the flood of inquiries to the Emersons, "He wants to know what happened to Daria, whether it was Ramses who got her away, how he accomplished it, and where he had taken her. "
"I, too wish to know", she added. She didn't realize until after she had spoken that she had allowed her bitterness and resentfulness to seep into her tone. Aunt Amelia responded with the explanation that they had spirited Daria away using magic, and denied any knowledge of Ramses's whereabouts. Zekare snarled, but asked no further questions. He instead informed the Emersons that they would stand next to him during his coronation ceremony and accept his rulership over the Oasis. Nefret suppressed the urge to laugh. As if the Professor would come quietly! Her mirth was short lived, however, as Zekare drew his mantle about him, and beckoned for her to follow.
"I don't want to go with him." she whimpered. She cursed the fact that she sounded like a child, but that was how she felt. She couldn't leave them again, she wouldn't! The Professor wrapped his arms around her protectively, demanding that she be allowed to stay with them. She knew that if she persisted, the Professor would continue to fight Zekare, and that wouldn't end well for any involved. Nefret drew a long, quivering breath, gently pulled away from the Professor, and attempted to look more confident than she felt. Aunt Amelia pulled her in for a hug, and whispered, "Look for a way to your rooms through the temple. I shall see what I am able to do about seeing you before the ceremony." Nefret responded with an almost imperceptible nod, and allowed herself to be led away.