“This isna yer lassie’s first time thru the Stones, is it?”
Marcus’ question made the blood drain from my face. Jamie’s hand found mine under the table, steady and strong. “No,” he drew out the word, “it isna.”
Who the hell was this man?
I knew my face was often an open book, but last time I checked, I didn’t have the words “time traveler” stamped across it.
How much did he know and how did he know it?
“Yer a Scot, born an’ bred from the look o’ ye, but she isna.” “Ye’ve had some fine learnin’ and maybe been a place or two, but this bonnie lass?” He nodded his head in my direction. “She’s seen the world, I warrant. A world that doesna exist yet, aye? My own wife ha’ the look aboot her.”
His wife. He was married to someone like me. That made sense.
A chill ran down my spine as I realized there wasn’t a hint of a woman’s presence in the croft. She was obviously wasn’t living here, but why? What sort of demise had she met?
Maybe Jamie’s caution wasn’t so unfounded.
Jamie leaned forward, his eyes focused intently on the old man in front of him. “Yer wife is from the future?”
“Oh, aye. 1923 ‘twas the year.” He puffed like a proud rooster.
The year my parents were killed.
The chill solidified into an icy lump, sitting like a rock the pit of my stomach. It was just a coincidence… wasn’t it?
“What is yer wife’s name,” Jamie squeezed my hand reassuringly.
I ken, dinna fash, he said.
“If I may ask?”
“Aye, ye may, Jamie lad. Her name was Sìleas.” Marcus’ eyes grew misty as his smile wobbled a bit. Cecilia Anne Hamilton Grant.”
It wasn’t my mother. I didn’t know why I had hoped she might have been, but let out my breath, not realizing that I’d been holding on to it. It had been a coincidence.
“Four years past I buried her now, ‘twas back in ‘39. ” he added, almost as an afterthought.
Which would make this ‘43, but of what century? Not the eighteenth. Aside from that, anything before it was possible.
Jamie said something low and respectful in Gaelic. I assumed it was the equivalent of “I’m sorry for your loss.”
“A dhia!” Marcus’ fist came down hard on the table, making me jump out of my skin. “Ye willna ken when ye are, will ye? An’ me blabbin’ on aboot this an’ tha’!”
He sat a little straighter, a storyteller’s gleam brightening his eyes.
“'Tis aboot mid April, the year o’ our Lord fifteen hundred and forty-three.”
Two hundred years. It always was two hundred, blasted stones.
“An’ the King?” Jamie asked.
Of England or Scotland? I didn’t think two were joined yet. Not for another - what - fifty years or so?
“A bairn for a queen,” he chuckled, then caught himself and added reverently, “God save her.”
We were just in time for the whole Mary, Queen of Scots fiasco. The swift uptick in my husbands pulse told me he remembered his history well.
Just our luck. We traded one political upheaval for another.
Marcus spent the remainder of the evening speaking to Jamie as though I either couldn’t hear or understand him. I supposed that would be the logical explanation for my not speaking a word since the moment we met, but playing the mute was quickly becoming frustrating not to mention demeaning.
There was a large, low mattress in one corner, as was typical of most Highland crofts. It slowly dawned on me that Jamie and I might have to share it with Marcus. Another wave a nausea threatened as I tried to communicate my thoughts to Jamie via nods and the telepathic language married couples were fluent in.
Jamie, the bed!
What of it?
Where will he sleep?
I dinna ken.
Well, figure it out!
Jamie cleared his throat as he gave me a look of amused annoyance and Marcus looked up from his woodcarving. “My wife grows weary. We dinna wish to be a burden on your generous hospitality, but…” He trailed off, leaving the situation in his host’s hands.
“Oh, aye,” Marcus rose from his seat and walked into a dark corner of the room. “Ye must be near asleep on yer feet, the both o’ ye. Ye’ll take the bed, if it suits ye, that ‘tis.”
He wandered back carrying a small, rolled up, straw mattress. Shaking it out before the hearth, he gestured to it. “I’ll be here if ye be needin’ anythin’ at all.”
Our host’s snores could wake the dead. This, however annoying it was, ensured that we could speak without fear of being overheard.
“1543,” I sighed.
Jamie pulled me closer, curling around me. “I dinna ken how ye did it, Sassenach, the first time.”
“I don’t know how I did it either, to be honest.” I said flatly.
“Nae, mo chridhe,” I could hear the faint smile in his voice, “That is how ye did it. Ye were honest. Ye stayed true to the person ye were, even if it meant risking your life.”
He made a soft noise of amusement in my ear, making me squirm. “An’ it did, more than once.”
“Not on purpose,” I protested.
“Umhmm,” came his standard, Scottish reply. He clearly didn’t think all my near-death experiences were purely accidental.
I turned to look at him in the dark, “So, that’s the plan? Just be honest?”
“As much as we can be, Sassenach. I’m tired of the plots and deception.”
“Where will we go?” I asked, studying his face.
Jamie’s voice was wistful, mournful. “Lallybroch doesna exist yet, nor Leoch.”
Hope stirred in my heart with a sudden thought, “What about Broch Tuarach? Or Broch Mordha? Surely there’d be at least a settlement there now.”
A slow, broad grin stretched across my husband’s face as he lowered his lips to mine.
The SNP are pretty centrist/very slightly left leaning from my understanding. How is the SNP's nationalism different from other right wing nationalist parties such as UKIP? Or to paraphrase, how can 2 nationalist parties such as UKIP and the SNP be quite far apart on the political spectrum?
Ultimately my knowledge of British Isles political parties is going to be pretty limited because I’m an American, but yeah, as is my understanding, the SNP seems to be a center/center-left party focused on Scottish independence while UKIP is a far-right party focused on British nationalism. I may have mentioned at one point that not all nationalisms are created equal, in that historically-dominated nations have a better claim on anti-imperialist progressive nationalism than prominent imperialist nations do. Scotland fits more into the former while Britain fits more into the latter – Scotland’s nationalist tendencies typically line up with progressive or left-wing ends (even the socialist party is demanding an independent, socialist Scotland), whereas Britain’s nationalist tendencies typically align with reactionary celebration of the monarchy, aristocracy, historical imperialist conquest, anti-immigrant sentiment, etc. Scottish independence is about getting out from under Britain’s boot.
This is all keeping in mind that I ultimately think the nation state itself needs to wither away with the full establishment of socialism/communism. Even in cases of more progressive nationalism, the end result is that you’re ultimately siding with your own nation’s bourgeoisie over the dominator nation’s bourgeoisie; in the long run it isn’t sustainable, and there would need to still be growing class consciousness happening in tandem with independence-focused nationalism for the trend to have a cumulative net positive. In the present circumstances, I do support independence-focused nationalism if it means a weakening of power for imperialist nations, especially if progressive grassroots movements happening within those countries are building the class consciousness necessary to eventually cast aside their own bourgeoisie as well.
After the numerous attacks on queen Mary, her mother, the lady Mary of Guise, decides the best way to protect her daughter and ensure her marriage is to send her own scottish guards to the court of France. Only there’s more to the story than anyone’s willing to tell.
See if somebody stopped Stiles from touching that spell book, they wouldn’t be in this situation. The Wolves, Lydia, Allison and Stiles go back into time and they meet Derek and Cora’s ancestor - the Queen of Scotland.
So Im planning a trip to Scotland soon and really have no idea where I would like to really visit. Since you seem to know alot about Scotland, is there anywhere you would suggest I visit? Sites to see?
i’m actually most definitely not the first person you should ask about doing touristy things in scotland as i haven’t been there yet (i’ve been to the uk, but not scotland), so instead, here’s @kazliin‘s guide to scotland:
Edinburgh (the capital) - there’s loads to do in Edinburgh including Edinburgh castle (make sure you’re there for the 1 o'clock canon), Edinburgh Zoo with the pandas and the penguin parade, Edinburgh dungeons if you like cool scary historical tours, if you’re there from the 4-28th August definitely go to the Fringe Festival because it’s full of really amazing acts and shows. There’s also lots of museums and historical things to visit like Greyfriars churchyard.
Glasgow (the biggest city) - Glasgow is full of things to do. There are lots of amazing museums like Kelvingrove, Riverside and the Science Centre and historical things like Mackintosh house and the Tall Ship. Glasgow also has a really good music scene so there are big venues like the Hydro or little famous ones like King Tuts where people like Oasis and Paramore played before they were famous. Glasgow is also the best for shopping so places like Buchanan and Sauchiehall street and good places to go. There’s also lots of weird and wonderful things to see in Glasgow like Sharmanka and there’s plenty of theatres and opera houses if you want to see plays/shows/opera etc. Glasgow is also surrounded by lots of mountains (as are lots of cities in Scotland) so there is plenty of outdoor activities and hiking to do
For other outdoor things, Scotland is very beautiful so there are lots of things like Lochs to go and visit if you want to do outdoors stuff. Loch Lomond is very pretty with lots of good walking trails and hiking opportunities around it, as places like Loch Ness (plus you can try and spot the monster). Scotland also has hundreds of castles and they are always worth going to see. Some like Doune Castle have had famous things like Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Game of Thrones filmed there and some like Eilean Donan are very beautiful and full of lots of history, especially Jacobite stuff.
Wherever you are in Scotland, there is almost guaranteed to be a castle nearby and they are always worth visiting because they usually have fun guided tours or cool things to do and see.
There are loads of other historical things in Scotland that are really fun to go to. Places like the Wallace monument in Stirling (it’s not just a monument, there are historical reenactment, costumed guided tours and things like archery), Calanais standing stones, the Antonine wall, St Andrews cathedral etc.
It all really depends on what you’re looking for, cultural, historical, outdoors or city life.
But you can pretty much guarantee whatever city you go to, if you pick up a tourist brochure at the local visitors centre there will be tons available to do.
Apart from that just remember to pack an umbrella. Because you’ll need it.
From what I’ve picked up in my research for BtDS, I know that Scotland is known for scotch (of course), and mead and fruit wines (there’s a couple interesting small wineries that specialise in those things).
Also, there’s a railroad line from Glasgow that goes up to Maillaig (which is roughly where I’ve located Torvill lol) called the West Highland line that has been rated the top rail journey in the world (even past the Trans-Siberian railway). It goes past Loch Lomond, I believe. Parts of the Hogwarts Express were filmed there, as well as in Maillaig, and also from Maillaig you can take ferries or other trains out to islands in the Hebrides, which are another set of really great locations for hiking and photography and things.
As for other cities you could visit if you’re in the Highlands and stuff, I’ve heard Inverness is pretty cool. It’s the capital of the Highlands, and there you can find Macbeth’s castle, the fields of the battle of Culloden, etc. Fort William is also on the West Highland line, and is the location of Fort Con, which is a pop culture convention! Besides that Fort William is good for hiking and outdoorsy stuff, and is also the setting for a lot of films as well (Braveheart, Harry Potter, etc)
If you’re really looking to get away, the Orkneys are a good place to do so, though I hear it gets terribly cold up there all the time. There’s some fascinating cliff structures up in the Orkneys that definitely influenced the look for Torvill, so yeah.
If you…. um. Want to go seal watching (because why not?), harbour seal pupping season in Scotland is from mid-June to roughly mid-July or August (followed by the moulting and mating seasons), and you’ll get to see tons of the cuties all over the Hebrides and Orkney and Shetland and stuff. There aren’t as many harbour seals as there are grey seals (and I know you’re not going to Ireland but bruh, Wicklow City in Ireland has their own Katsudon – look up Sammy the Seal!) but from the photos I’ve seen they’re all ridiculously cute.