This is a 1000 word challenge fic for the AA @RichardArmitageCentral. Thanks to Calliope.
It's very loosely based on Sleeping Beauty and I also bowed towards CS Lewis's The Magician's Nephew.
The Stone Staircase
Since the age of 14 Ian Mac Alwain had known the mystery at the top of the stone staircase in the North Tower of Castle Ardaniseig in the Scottish Highlands that had housed his family for ceenturies. http://www.ardanaiseig.com/about/history.p
It had been his Nanny Enid who'd told him.
She was one a secret race of people who were half faerie half human and who lived for 1000 years. She had been Nanny to Mac Alwain children for the past 600 years and it had been 100 years ago that the mystery began.
Enid's brother Max had called himself a Professor of Magic. Which meant that he had collected a library of magic books from which he took spells to try out and experimented with ideas of his own. All with little or no regard for the potential consequences.
His pet scheme was the formulating of a potion to put the drinker into suspended animation to allow him or her to go into the future.
He had tested it out on animals first and now he was satisfied the magic could work properly it was time for a human test........
He wanted to take someone with him 100 years forward. Imagine the money and fame to be made from this. No doubt there would be technical advances that with his new wealth would enable him to fulfil his dream of making a time machine.
He found his unwitting 'ginea pig' in Lord Mac Alwain's ward Kitty Gillespie.
25 years old and about to be given up to a fate worse than death with marriage to one of her Guardian's friends.
So Max had poured the potion into 2 glasses muttered the incantaion that would ensure they awakened in 100 years time. Then leaving a letter explaining his experiment pinned to his jacket he gave one cup to Kitty. ' Bottoms up MiDear down in one'. He watched her drain the cup and then slump to the floor.
He settled back on his best couch raised his own goblet to Kitty. 'To us My Little Goldmine'. And put himself into a magic sleep......................
Enid had watched her brother carefully to ensure that he didn't trick anyone into helping him. Now she was furious that he had eluded her and lured poor, foolish, desperate Kitty into his web. She read his note and groaned. ' Max you devious, foul fiend'. Well she'd just have to be there to protect Kitty wouldn't she ?.......................................
Time passed and she became Nanny to first Peter Mac Alwain's son David and then David's son Ian.
Ian she worked out would be 35 years old when Kitty woke up. ' Perfect'. She said to herself. She noted with relief that the boy was level headed and warm hearted. So when he was 16 she took him to the room she took him to the room at the top of the staircase and showed him her brother and a woman of 25 both fast asleep.
'You'll be 10 years older than her by the time she wakes up'. Enid explained. ' And all I want is for you to be a friend to her. Help her find her way in an alien world'.
' So you're not asking me to start snogging her then ?' Ian's nose wrinkled at the very thought.
' No Dear. Of course not'. Enid replied. Though her romantic side hoped they'd fall in love. Her realistic side told her to expect nothing..............................
20 years passed. Ian went to Oxford University wowing the girls with his boyish charm, tall, dark, blue eyed good looks. But because Nanny Enid's realism had rubbed off he knew that they loved his being heir to a Scottish castle and family fortune even more.
After graduation and a year out it was back to Scotland for him. David Mac Alwain wanted to retire now his son was ready to take over.
So at 22 Ian Mac Alwain became Lord of Ardanseig and one of Britains most eligible bachelors. Plenty of young women were all too willing to become his Lady but somehow
despite a great deal of dating he never seemed to find ' The One'.
And so he reached 35 still unmarried and thinking of the woman sleeping in his North Tower.
Ian sighed. He'd been a boy at the time for goodness sake. But he had made Nanny a promise hadn't he ?
So when the day came he followed her up the staiway and into the room.
Kitty looked different to the eyes of a man than to the eyes of a boy. Not beautiful in the least but there was a vulnerability that appealed to his protective instinct. And she had been well and truly conned by Enid's brother.
He could hardly turn his back on her now could he ?
7:30 pm 100 years to the second she had drunk the potion Kitty woke up follwed by Max.
And there was Enid looking balefully at her brother. ' I'll deal with you in a moment Maxim'. She said coldly as she went to lock the door.
Then she turned to Kitty. ' That was rather foolish of you my dear girl. Trusting Max like that. Still what's done is done and you must get use to being in 2008 instead of 1908.' She indicated Ian with a smile. 'This is Ian the present Lord Mac Alwain and he has agreed to help you'. Kitty gazed in wonder for a moment at the striking good looks of the man before her and murmured a shy greeting.
' Why don't I take you for some supper and then Enid can deal with Max in peace'. Ian smiled at Kitty so they went down stairs together.
Enid reminded Max that he had overstepped the mark on this experiment and she could no longer make allowances for him. He found himself banished forever to the world his faery ancestors had come from.
Over the following months Ian taught Kitty about the history of the last 100 years and the baffling new world she now found herself in. All in top secret. Kitty could not yet leave the castle grounds.
They became good friends and to his surprise Ian found his feelings for Kitty deepening. She was shy but very sweet and when relaxed could be the best of company. Most importantly she saw him just as her friend Ian not a potential goldmine.
As Christmas and Hogmanay approached, Kitty wondered if the MacAlwain's famed New Year Party was still held. ' It certainly is'. Ian told her. 'And I'd say it's the perfect time to introduce you to society if you feel ready ?'
Kitty smiled. She was nervous but was sure that Ian would guide her through. Enid hepled her to buy a gown in Edinburgh and get ready on the night.
Ian cane to collect her from her room and she felt herself melt at the sight of him in a tux.
And adding to her butterflies was the look in his eyes. Was it admiration ? Love even ?
He certainly stayed close to her all evening making sure she always had someone to talk to and he touched her everytime he passed sending a thrill through her body.
Midnight approached and he asked her to dance with him. ' Congratulations. You're a hit Kitty My Sweet.'. He told her warmly. ' And can you guess who your biggest fan is ?'.
Kitty shook her head. She couldn't speak. His eyes were threatening to set her on fire. Then he bent his handsome dark head and kissed her slowly . He was in no hurry at all
and Kitty felt her legs giving way so he clung to her more tightly.
Midnight chimed and still the kiss went on. As they finally came up for air Ian stroked a gentle hand through Kitty's soft russet curls.
' Happy new life Darling'.