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The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Book 1) by Michael Scott

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Book 1) by Michael Scott

Author:Michael Scott [Scott, Michael]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
ISBN: 9780375843174
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Published: 2007-05-22T00:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

Scathach was waiting by the enormous open doors when Sophie and Josh returned to the tree. The pterosaur hopped along behind them, and the other two circled low in the sky over their heads, the downdraft of their wings setting eddies of dust circling and dancing around them. Although nothing was said, the twins knew they were being gently—but firmly—herded back toward the house.

In the gloom, Scathach’s face was unnaturally pale, her cropped red hair black in the shadows. Although her lips were set in a grim line, her voice, when she spoke, was carefully neutral. “Do you really want me to tell you just how stupidly dangerous that was?”

Josh opened his mouth to reply, but Sophie caught his arm, silencing him. “We just wanted to go home,” she said simply, tiredly. She already knew what the Warrior was going to say.

“You cannot,” Scathach said, and turned away.

The twins hesitated at the door, then turned to look back at the pterosaur. It tilted its snakelike head and regarded them with a huge slit-pupiled eye, and its voice echoed flatly in their heads. “Don’t worry too much about Scathach; her bark is much worse than her bite.” The creature opened its mouth to show hundreds of triangular teeth in what might have been a smile. “I do believe she was worried about you,” it added, then turned away, ran in a series of short hops and took to the air with a crack of wings.

“Don’t say a word,” Sophie warned her brother. Josh’s quips and comments were always getting him into trouble. Whereas Sophie had the ability to see something and keep her mouth shut, her brother always had to make a comment or observation.

“You’re not the boss of me,” Josh snapped, but his voice was shaky. Josh had a fear of snakes going back to the time he’d gone camping with their father and had fallen into a rattlesnake nest. Luckily, the deadly serpent had just fed and had chosen to ignore him, giving him the seconds he’d needed to scramble away. He’d had nightmares about snakes for weeks after that, and still did occasionally, when he was particularly stressed—usually at exam time. The huge, serpentlike pterosaurs belonged to his darkest nightmares, and when they’d come hopping out of the night, he’d felt his heart hammering so powerfully that the skin on his chest had actually pulsed. When that long-toothed face had leaned toward him, he’d been sure he was going to faint. Even now, he could feel the icy sweat trickling along the length of his spine.

Sophie and Josh followed Scathach through Hekate’s house. The twins were aware now of movement in the shadows, floorboards creaking underfoot, wooden walls popping and cracking as if the house were moving, shifting, growing. They were also conscious that the voices, the screams and shouts of earlier, had fallen silent.

Scathach led them to an empty circular room where Nicholas Flamel was waiting. He stood facing away from them, hands clasped tightly against the small of his back, and stared out into the shadowed night.



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