Lost and found

Getting lost has always sucked. But getting lost with Queen Arcana? That goes beyond the comprehension of any mortal. Or immortal, for that matter.

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1. Lost Somewhere Else.

"Come on, Lance," Queen Arcana called her servant. She even had the nerve to make a come hither movement with her hand. "I think it's this way."

The servant glared at his Queen, muttering something unintelligible under his breath that sounded somewhere in between an insult and serious cursing. For a moment, he hated everything about her: her light brown hair, her red way-too-formal-to-go-looking-for-apples dress, her thin golden crown, her tanned skin, her hazel eyes. Her demeanour. Her beauty. She was about fifteen years old, and yet her eyes gave her an air of wisdom that Lance lacked, even though he was five years her senior. Looking down at himself, the servant noticed the difference between her clean and poised self, and his dirty rags. He wore a white cotton shirt and a deep red vest, plus his usual khaki pants and low leather boots. He didn't enjoy the formality and thought it useless to wander around the forest getting fruit in such an attire, but it was his uniform, so to speak. Therefore, he said nothing when His Queen asked him to accompany her in such a weird quest dressed in the clothes she selected for him.

Lance sighed. He readjusted the huge stack of apples over his shoulder so quickly that one fell to the ground. The Queen wasn't paying any attention, though. So he wouldn't get any help from her. Again. He would have to maneuver as best as he could with the heavy sack to get the fruit back into it.

Sighing once again, Lance extended his leg to roll the stray apple closer to him with the tip of his foot. After a few failed attempts, he finally managed to make the fruit move closer to him, which left behind a small trail dug in the snow. In the excitement of his success, Lance bent down to pick the apple up, completely forgetting about the stack he heaved on his back. He was reaching out for it when gravity pulled from the other fruits, making them roll down Lance's back and hitting him one by one on the head before falling to the ground.

Lance emmited a loud and exhasperated groan and threw the now empty sack to the floor, kicking the snow-covered ground with all his might. The Queen turned around, her attention probably piqued by the strange noises her servant was making. She did so just in time to see him cross his arms and sit down on the floor, surrounded by apples. It didn't take long for his rear to register the coldness of the surface, which made him get up with a shriek.

Arcana lifted her brow so high that it seemed to blend with her hair. Lance buffed and rubbed his frozen bottom, trying with all his might to avoid using foul language in front of his superior.

The last three hours had been spent wandering around the forest in an attempt to find their path back to the village and therefore to the castle that was their home. The quest was proving to be an unsuccessful one. Lance wondered for a minute who had sent them in such a ridiculous search. He inspected his surroundings. Tall trees with white-covered branches stood everywhere around them. The ground was white with snow as well, only showing their steps. Apparently, they had crossed the path they had taken at least once, for he could see further away a cross made of footprints. Try as he might, there was no official path or signs anywhere to be seen.

"We are lost, Queen. We need to accept it," he deadpanned.

Arcana shook a dismissive hand in his direction. "That is nonsense, Lance. We are not lost. I know exactly where we are."

Lance started but decided to humour her. "Where are we at, then?"

"Why, at the Hogwarts Forest, of course."

Lance shook his head. "You do know that's not a real place, right, milady?

Queen Arcana glared at him. "Says who?"

"I..." Lance shut his mouth. He knew better than to argue with his master. "Okay, I don't have time for this. It's getting dark, My Queen. We'd better either go find some village or set up a camp right here."

"Oh, it is indeed," she replied looking at the darkening sky. "Well, let's go then. Follow me, Lance."

The servant looked at her with a pained expression, knowing all too well that if His Queen decided the route to follow, they would end up getting lost once again. She began to walk, and he quickly reached her.

"Wait, Milady, I... Er... I was thinking maybe we could ask for directions?"

"Oh, Lance. Don't be silly. Who are you going to ask for directions to?" She spread her arms and spun around. "I don't know about you, but I don't see anyone around here. And if you do, let me know. Because I don't want to go on a journey with someone who sees things where there are none. We are on our own."

Lance scoffed, but he had to admit she was right.

A low rumble in a nearby bush, though, proved them wrong. They both looked in that direction, Queen Arcana preparing to fight and Lance hiding behind her. They heard a low growl. Whatever was hiding in that bush was not human.

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