waited for him on the bottom of the entry ramp.
we the only one’s here?” she asked Ron as he approached. “I see sea animals,
but no people or crew or anything.”
one of the adjustments,” answered Ron. “When they magicked this place
up, they included a charm to make it seem like each group of visitors
is the only group of visitors.”
said Hermione. “So there could be others walking around then? How does
it work? I’ve never heard of anything like it. Hmmm. Maybe an inverse
duality charm? Combined with a…”
laughter cut off her musings.
I know is that the ‘Sugar Quill’ is an enchanted boat. It doesn’t need
asked Hermione. “By who?”
ancient queen, I think,” said Ron, wrinkling his forehead in concentration.
“She used to fight in naval battles. She was really brave and didn’t mind
ramming friends or enemies to protect her ship. She lived near Greece,
Artemisia I!” yelled Hermione triumphantly, happy that her vast pool of
knowledge wasn’t completely failing her.
hearing the name the boated bobbed and rippled its waterfalls. Hermione
took this as an affirmation. “Ha!” she said. “I’m right.”
smiled at her.
did you know about this place anyway?” she asked him.
nervously looked at his shoes.
dad took my mom here once,” he said, and then paused to consider if he
wanted to go further. “For their honeymoon.”
smiled and reached out to him. “Well, we have a special occasion of our
own to celebrate.” She offered her hand. “Shall we?”
grinned. “Let’s go!”
walked up the ramp onto the boat. They quickly saw that instead of a steering
wheel, there was a large, round pad. A pile of quills lay in a container
next to it.
took one and touched it to the pad. Since it really was a sugar
quill no ink came out. Instead, the pad leapt to life and a message started
to scroll across it.
Ron and Hermione.
to my special ship!
hope you have a joyous trip.
assure you that these waters will,
carry the sugar quills.
take the tour, just sit back,
the view, you will not lack.
choose yourself! It’s in the law.
you have to do is draw.
Artemisia I: Queen of Halicarnassus,
Winner of Salamis, Lover of Sugar Quills (not necessarily
in that order)
and Ron smiled at each other.
draw!” they chorused.
words on the pad shimmered and were replaced by a map of the region. They
could see the island they arrived on, with the ‘Sugar Quill’ sitting nearby.
The other markings showed various islands with names like ‘Clymene’s Beach’
and ‘Fire-Giver’s Volcano.” The waterways were labeled too, and included
places like ‘Nessie’s Gate’ and the ‘Straight Strait.” The map also showed
the sea creatures swimming around, along with an entire mercity under
whistled. “Where to?” he queried.
pointed to an unnamed island. “What is this one,” she asked.
find out,” he answered, "tracing" the boat’s outline next to
‘Sugar Quill’ instantly responded. The waterfalls increased their pressure
and began to propel the boat towards their chosen destination.
and Hermione ran out to the boat’s tip, leaning over the edge to gape
at the strange islands and sea creatures as they passed. They sailed past
‘Meno’s Hand’ and through ‘Epimetheus Way.’ After a while, the ‘Sugar
Quill’ was accompanied by a school of tiny sea dragons that swam besides
the boat shooting fireballs out of the water.
had never seen anything like them. Some were red, some were green, and
one was even yellow. She leaned to get a closer look. Just then the boat
took a sharp right, spraying water up into her face. She just stood there
and began to laugh. Ron laughed with her and gently wiped her face with
the boat lurched, taking an even sharper right. They were now turned completely
around, heading back towards where they came from.
frown flitted across Ron’s face. “What the heck?”
looked around. She didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Why was the
boat turning around? Their destination was close, but still a few hundred
feet away. “Maybe we should check the map,” she suggested.
nodded and they went back to the steering pad.
to the map, the “Sugar Quill’ had just finished clearing the edge of the
mercity. There were no sea creatures around except for the tiny sea dragons.
In fact, there was nothing unusual on the map, except that the boat’s
new destination was the island they had started on.
frowned, picked up a sugar quill and “redrew” their boat next to the unnamed
boat turned back around, much more gently than the last time, and headed
back towards the island.
fluke?” asked Hermione after a few moments.
don’t think so,” said Ron, as the boat lurched again, turning them around.
was watching the map and noticed a pair of red dots appear on the island.
They blinked twice, and then disappeared.
the boat,” she ordered.
dutifully “drew’ an anchor on the map. The ‘Sugar Quill’ came to a quick,
you see that?” she asked. “There is something on that island. Do we have
asked Ron, confused.
he said, tossing her a pair from his bag.
went to the back of the boat and looked towards the island. She paled
and called, “Ron, You’d better come look at this.”
way ahead of you,” he answered from right behind her, his face turning
a sickly gray colour as he looked through his own set of omnioculars.
robed figured were standing on the shore. Green hoods were pulled up over
their heads and long sleeves concealed their arms. But Ron and Hermione
could still tell that their arms were pointed at the ‘Sugar Quill,’ waving
around in a strange pattern.
think they are cursing the boat,” said Hermione.
you hear that?” asked Ron.
what?” said Hermione. “Can you hear what they are saying?”
said Ron. “Listen, it’s a rumbling sound. It sounds like it’s getting
stood frozen, their eyes trained on the island figures and their ears
straining to make out the strange rumbles. Suddenly, the water began to
said Hermione, alarmed, “I think we should get out of here.”
grabbed her hand and they ran towards the steering pad. But before they
could reach out and grab a sugar quill, everything exploded. They screamed
and hung on to each other as huge streams of water shot up between the
boat planks, splitting it into thousands of pieces.
sputtered and tried to gasp for breath as they were thrown high into the
air. Ron was desperately trying to keep track of Hermione and the rumbling
sound. He could still hear it, as loud as ever, interspersed with the
roars of gushing water.
wave that brought them so high in the air was now hurling them towards
a rocky beach. Hermione squeezed her eyes shut and hoped for the best.
They clung to each other as the land came closer and closer.