A/N: This is chapter 2 have fun reading.
Cleopatra's Tomb was a temple from the people to their beloved Queen. To the uninvited visitor it looked no different than the rocks it was built into, but the view that Hermione and her family were greeted with was an oasis in the desert. Set in rock the temple was sand white with tall monalifts leading to the entrance. Dotting the sand were trees, grass, and fauna growing wild the closer they got to the tomb. The entrance was protected by an outer wall that held no adornment say a gate made of two heavy slate stones.
"This tomb was founded forty years ago by Bathilda Bagshot when she was touring Alexandria," began Bill enthusiastically. "She came across it purely by accident as she ended up crashing a Flying Carpet into the original protective charm during a sandstorm. When she broke the enchantment and saw what she found she immediately contacted the Ministry Of Magic in this country and claimed finders rights."
Bill got out of the very worn Jeep, that looked to be common to the area and held no color, and began to help her grandmother out while her father saw to her mother. She, herself, just helped herself out of aging vehicle.
"I thought finder rights were no longer used in Egypt and everything found belong to the Egyptian Government," inquired her dad.
Bill smiled and looked as if her dad let off a good joke, "actually the truth is anything found by a muggle is claimed by the Government do to the very high possibilities that there are enchantments on the tombs. When that happens Gringotts is contracted to inspect the area for such things and remove them before excavation teams are sent in to unlock 'the secrets of the dead'. However, we can't get all of them so their is a wizard in every muggle excavation for that eventuality."
He looked on as Hermione approached the gate as he spoke, and she was eyeing him now that he was standing. He had an earring with a fang in it on his right ear and he was tall, thin, kinda handsome with hair like the rest of the Weasley family. He wore it long and in a ponytail. He wore clothes that would not be out of place on a dig and boots of dragon hide, maybe for those curses he brakes. Her grandmother obviously thought he was a catch as she was placing herself on his arm because of her 'delicate age', one thing was for sure - she was no prude.
Hermione was an intellectual through and through, she wasn't interested in the tomfoolery like others her age. She wanted knowledge, little did her friends know she graduated high school before getting her letter, top of her class. She was expected to do great things. She has breeding, wealth, brains, and interestingly enough magic. Growing up her grandmother told her of the Last Pharaoh and she was reminded of herself; a girl born to family, wealth, power, and had brains and beauty. She was a jewel in the desert and she was the one who ruled.
When Ron told her of Egypt she wanted to come and see Egypt. To see the tombs of the great rulers of the wizarding world. To see the resting place of her idol. Silly things really.
"So," concluded her dad. "Finder rights still exist for a select few." Her mom was hold onto his arm afraid of tripping in the sand.
"Still no," laughed bill, "finder rights for muggles are different from wizards if a tomb is determined safe of all enchantments the rights go to the muggle who founded it. The Difference is if it's unsafe the rights are claimed by the government. But if the one who found it is a wizard, or a witch, the rights are not disputed and go to them. Thats according to Egyptian Law. International Laws very from country to country but it is based off the same law."
Hermione was staring at the stone doors. They were adorned with three different languages from top to bottom. On top was Greek, as with time the grammar of that language has changed a bit but it was still readable. The middle was taken wholly of the ancient hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt and stood as fine as the day they were written. The bottom was taken by the most recognizable language in wizardry, Latin.
"Bill, you said their was unknowns about Cleopatra, correct?" Spoke up Hermione.
"Yes," nodded Bill remembering his comments from earlier. "We do not know how she died, the truth about Octavian, or if she named a successor to name a few things. There is also the myth that she wielded a staff. Why do you ask?"
"Well I was just wondering because this door says, 'The sleeping chambers of Egypt's ruler, may her sleep never be disturb.'" Answer Hermione. "I was wondering if in her tomb there was evidence of a Philosopher Stone to grant immortality to the sleeping ruler as this door alludes?"
Bill's smile faltered a bit before he responded a bit slowly, "No we don't think she had the fabled stone of immortality. We think the writings on these doors were a warning." He swept his free hand wide to the expanse of the desert, "Many tombs have them changing from time to time depending on the century the person died in. We think she decided to go, in a word, 'old school' as many rulers in her past used similar speech."
Hermione was intrigued, "So you are saying that she commissioned her tomb? Because that sounds in contrast to what you said a bit earlier."
Bill's smile became soft at that statement. "I see why Ron is friends with you. Cleopatra's tomb was commissioned by the people after Octavian took Egypt, hence the elaborate protection charms, and why we have yet to go past the third level of the tomb."
Hermione ever the one for a good puzzle thought for a second before she said, "She left instructions on how she was to be entombed after her death. Like a will of sorts."
Bill smiled a boyish grin, "It has been surmised as the most plausible explanation, but it is also likely that the Head Priest of her court took on the project of her tomb, as he was, by tradition, the one to take up the mantle of her cult." Bill then looked down a emotion crossed face that appeared to be confusion, "However, we have found no evidence of cult worship that is the norm for the Pharaohs of Egypt so there is a mystery."
"As you can see the door is adorned with three languages that were popular at the time of Cleopatra," continued Bill, now including everyone into the conversation. "The thing I wish to point out here is the cartouche depicting the queen's name in the direct middle of the two doors. When we first started looking into the tomb we had the difficult problem of getting men on to the property. Their was no difficulty with the goblins, an animals that we used, or even house elves crossing the property line - it effected only men and for five years Bathilda had to handle most of the curse braking and troubles of a large dig."
Hermione was studying the cartouche, as Bill continued with his speech, and she began to see a slight alteration to the design.
"Bathilda's niece started to work on the dig and pointed out to her aunt that the cartouche was different in it design on this door than the other inside the temple," noted Bill, as Hermione began to see the genius of the spell being mentioned. Simply put, the spell prevent men from the tomb, but it was done so discretely to avoid detection that it wasn't even detected for thousands of years, that was a successful spell. "The resulting investigation showed that two drawings were over lapping hiding a very distinct spell to prevent men from coming onto the property," Bill finished, waving a hand around as he spoke.
"So, it was intended to be tended by women for awhile then," Meredith prompted, hoping to hear some more about the tomb.
Bill moved to the door and pushed on one side of the massive stones. To the the surprise of everyone there the door responded to his touch and opened revealing a beautiful well kept garden and stone pathway leading to an Untouched two story, sandstone temple. It had massive columns hold the front facade depicting the Old Gods of Egypt with the Gods of Greece battling on a open field that looked to be desert, what more they moved like Wizarding paintings. A little before it there was an arch with paintings etched into the stone showing the Late Pharaoh as she was in life. On either side of arch were two statues of what looked like the goddess Isis, the Egyptian Goddess of Magic, rebirth, and life, but the face was slightly different than normal depictions.
Bill looked serious when he turned back to them and said, "Cleopatra the seventh was the most powerful Witch of her Age, her tomb reflects that from the self sustaining garden to the enchanted statues dotting the place. Cleopatra's tomb was not meant for others to see."
"So, she was paranoid that Octavian would mutilate her body," drawled her Nana lazily, as if it were the most obvious answer in the world.
Bill laughed and his features were soft once again. "Maybe, we're not sure as the reasons could not be determined, but all that you see was picked for it's tenuous, or deadly nature." This time he pointed to a slightly inconspicuous plant that might have been mistaken for a dessert fern, "that is a rare fern commonly known as Deaths Flower, if you stand too close to it the leaves will release a colorless gas that will slowly eat away at your organs until you die ten days later, and it dots the garden every thirteen feet. There is fourteen different kinds fauna in this garden and all of them are deadly."
Hermione's mother was pale for a moment before she tried to stir some of it out of her, her dad looked at the plants a bit more closely trying to judge if he, or anyone else, might be too close, and her Grandmother was a bit calm about the information like she was herself.
Bill continued on though as if ignoring the shock her parents were in, "to avoid the threat I'd stay clear of the plants by staying on the stone pathway. It is assumed that the pathway was meant for the heir to travel safely on, but their are enchantments that are meant to lure a person into the garden." He started to walk to the right, "If you follow my step we'll avoid those as well," that got her dad to lead her mom directly behind him. She followed behind her parents.
"As I said there are enchantments, if you were to walk to your left right now you'd be pulled into a dream reality of central Rome in about 250 a.d. luring you into the garden. To the right is the same enchantment only you'd see Alexandria at the same time period." Noted Bill, ahead past the arch you'd a girl child running around the garden, it is believed to be Cleopatra's daughter that you see."
Hermione was intrigued by this, "How do we know it's her daughter that we see and not generic female child?"
Bill smiled, "We're not actually sure, as I said before it is our belief it is her daughter. Those who ventured close to the enchantment ahead and survived have described a girl of ten wearing a beaded wig and gold crown. She is also described as wearing a white silk dress and gold sandals with strong resemblances to the statues of Cleopatra." Bill looked back at her and joked, "For all we know it could be a depiction of the late Pharaoh herself at that age."
Her father paused a moment in his step before continuing, "Bill, your a curse-breaker correct?" When Bill just nodded her father continued, "So as contracted curse-breaker shouldn't you remove those enchantments?"
Bill laughed, "Okay let's ask the resident witch a few questions," he stopped under the arch they just reached. "Hermione, what is the first thing you learn in charms?"
Hermione answered quickly, "Every charm and enchantment contains the signature of the castor in the spell."
Bill nodded, "When countering a spell or enchantment what must you be aware of?"
Again she answered quickly, as if she was in class, "You must be aware of three things." She held her hand up and ticked off each point with a finger, "first, you need to know the kind of spell you are dealing with is it a illusion spell or is it a suggestion spell. Second, you need to know is if it is aggressive or passive, knowing this can tell us how to proceed, passive spells take little effort to take down where an aggressive spell is much harder to deal with. Lastly, you need to know who cast the spell because their could be a clue in dealing with a spell by knowing the castor."
"And this pertains to my question how," Asked her father.
Again Hermione answered, albeit a bit slower, "What Bill is trying to say is that if this site was government owned he'd be required to remove the spells, but since this is owned by a privet party he is studying the enchantments with permission. He could break these enchantments but he'd lose the chance to study ancient magic."
"You got that from a few questions? You better do something with that brain or its going to be wasted," shot her Nana.
Bill for his effort ignored her grandma and said matter-a-factly, "Very astute Hermione. Yes I can break the enchantments now and be here all day doing that, but Ms. Bagshot allows me study the enchantments here at the tomb with the expressed concern that none of the enchantments I study are inherently harmful to others. You can argue that these enchantments cause harm but that is only because they draw you into the garden which is the true harm. My job description is curse-breaker but I am a master of Charms; the chance to study ancient magic is something all of us in the field would jump at and I am lucky to be doing it here. In some places of the tomb there is enchantments still active that I am studying, and there are unexplored places where the enchantment have not be tested."
This is where Bill got serious for as second, "Like in all the other tombs please stay together, getting lost is dangerous. Even more so on a active excavation site."
Her mother trying to levity the tone back to the educational, "So your also doing advancements in your field of study here? There's room for academia in sites like these?"
Bill grinned, "There is room for it everywhere. Bathilda Bagshot is a historian herself the author of A History of Magic and co-authored Hogwarts, A History as well as several other prominent works. Just because we're Wizards does not mean we're not human, or without education."
"Education is not the problem, it's implementing new idea's and teaching new things to the young, Mr. Weasley," Commented her grandmother a bit board.
"Yes, what can you tell us about this arch, Bill?" Jumped Hermione. She took a look at it from her perspective and noticed that the arch was covered again in languages.
"Well, from what we have discovered this arch is a list of accomplishment and titles attributed to Cleopatra," rambled Bill. "most notable are her titles of Pharaoh, Mother of her children, and Sorceress. It is the first time we have heard seen the term used in the description of any witch or wizard. It was seen later in several courts in Asia and a few times in England with Merlin and Morgan, but it is possible the term was coined in Egypt and this could prove it."
You have arrived.
Bill continued to go on describing other things on the arch that are note worthy and describing the statues on either side and their significance's, but she began to feel a pull towards the temple itself that could just be her feeling of apprehension to see the tomb. But that voice was slightly unexpected.
Come child, surely you seek your birthright.
The heat must be getting to me, she thought. Looking at the suns position it was almost ten thirty, it is expected to get exceptionally hot in the dessert today.
"... So it leads us to the temple," continued Bill. He started on the left side of the path this time, "As I said earlier there are enchantments that draw you into the garden so please follow me."
"It took Bathilda two years to reach the this point as everyone was easily drawn astray from the path so if push your hand out to either side of you there is an alarm spell that will trigger if your off the path to prevent accidents but they still happen, as my brother George got first hand experience in this."
"What happened?" came her mothers voice.
"Oh, he thought it would be interesting to see the little girl and to get a few samples of the flowers. He didn't know that mom would cast a body-binding curse his way and by not listening he would be subject to interrogation by veritaserum to know what he saw." laughed Bill at the memory. "If it weren't for the alarm we wouldn't have known he tried to sneak off."
You need not worry. This is my home his spells only work because I allow them. For you they mean nothing.
She hear that Voice again it was feminine, strong and held power in its calm words to her. It seem to be talking to her and her family, even Bill, was unaware of the voices presence. I wonder if it is talking to me for a specific reason.
Of course child, you are my true Heir. The one who I am waiting for.
It answered. The Voice in her head answered her question. I am going wankers.
That is where she heard rich laughter, light and vibrant it's cords were soft and pleasing sound. Child you are of Magic. What does it teach us?
"Anything is possible," she answered quietly.
"Correct, Hermione," Replied Bill, Snapping her back into the group. Years of daydreaming in classes kept her from jumping at being acknowledge and she schooled her features to hide her surprise. "Magic allows us to do a lot Mr. Granger so cutting the building time in half would be an easy feat." They were at the front steps leading into the temple and they seemed to be smaller as they went in. "As for the design of the tombs temple you'll notice, now that your closer, that the steps are different sizes. This is a Greek design. It is a known fact that Cleopatra was descended from the Greek General Ptolemy and he married an Egyptian Princess to solidify his right to rule, but when he came to Egypt he brought Greek engineers, artist, thinkers, and Idea's. Hence a lot of post Alexander influences made it into temples and tombs such as this one during that time."
Ptolemy only improved on what Alexander started. Alexander wanted a city dedicated to himself for him to stay in during his stay in Egypt, Ptolemy built the light house and the Library to make it a shining star on the Nile.
Bill began to lead them in and Hermione, in an effort to hide her growing unease about the Voice, bounded ahead of the group and raced to the top before everyone else. He dad laughed, "looks like our little girl is anxious to see the tomb of her Idol."
Bill seem interested in learning this piece of information, "Really, how much do you know about the late Queen?"
Pharaoh. I ruled equally with my brother as I was older.
"Cleopatra was the third Eldest daughter and married her younger brother who was appointed Heir. Her older sisters were killed for treason and attempts to overthrow their father," answer Hermione in that academic tone she took sometime when she was tutoring the boys. "She was taught basic magic by her mother who was a witch as well as her father a wizard inherited through the connection made by Ptolemy by marrying the Egyptian Princess."
You forgot that my later education was handled by the court High Priests, who were hungry for their own gains.
"She was later taught by the court High Priests as she began to out do her parents," finished Hermione. She didn't know the information, but thought if the Voice was going to bother her she might as well test it's truthfulness.
Bill appeared to be taken back, "It seems you do your homework well. All that information is backed here at the tomb and a few of the journals that survived the test of time. I can tell you what we've found, but Mr. Granger your daughter could work here if she we're a little older," he said to her father.
You own this building, you do not have to worry about working here. Commented the Voice calmly. That's not how things work these day's, Hermione shot back at the Voice. Ah, but you stated it earlier, I have left a will upon my death. It leaves all my treasures, and Crown to my Heir. In short, you are my Heir you own this building not the bag lady.
Bill and her father were talking about the things she could do "...yes, she graduated High School ..." and "... I hear she is the top of her class at Hogwarts ..." " ... out does everyone ...". She on the other hand was focusing on the front of the temple and facade of the gods battling each other. It reminded her of the fact the Cleopatra was both Greek and Egyptian and this fact must have Ruled the future monarchs thoughts as a young girl. Two worlds gave birth to a great mind that solved the problems before her and lead a nation.
You know me well child.
Now this Voice in her head was alluding that it's waiting for something, or she really was going wankers. From what she has gathered no heard it but her, it seems to be listening to all the conversation being held, and it was a woman's voice.
You still do have not guessed who I am child? Responded the Voice calmly. I would have thought you'd piece it together by now. I will give you a moments time.
Hermione was stunned this Voice would say she could figure it out. From the times it has responded was when they were discussing the late monarch or the temple tomb. Then a light bulb click in the back of her mind, '... I have ..., ...my brother..., ...my home..., ...know me well...'. Hermione could not believe the conclusion her mind was leading to.
My child you are right. I am Cleopatra, Pharaoh of Egypt, and you are my Heir.
Bill's voice broke through the haze of her mind, "now you've seen the outside let's go see the inside. Follow me and don't go past the ropes."